View Full Version : Photoshop and Map Overlays

10-03-2011, 07:25 PM
Hey all.

I want to do a hex-based map of my existing campaign map. Does anyone know of a quick and/or easy way to do this inside photoshop? Im running CS4 if that matters.

EDIT: To clarify, ideally I would like to do a hex overlay of an existing map.

10-03-2011, 08:54 PM
There might be a better way, but what you'll want to find or create a hex grid pattern. The create a pattern in photoshop. Create a new top layer, fill with white and go to layer styles. Fill the layer with your pattern, size to your liking and then multiply the top layer with the layers below. If you can want a different look for your overlay, you can always flatten that layer with another newly created layer, then select the white and delete it, leaving you with a black line overlay that you can now try using other blending options.

10-03-2011, 10:13 PM
Here is a resource to generate hex pdf grids:

Just create and import the appropriate size page into your image as a new layer.

-Rob A>

10-04-2011, 04:04 AM
and remember you can also delete (or mask out) part of the hexes that you don't need, like on top of trees and such - that often makes a better looking map :)

10-04-2011, 07:59 AM
And here is another place where you can get hex grids: http://axiscity.hexamon.net/users/isomage/

Steel General
10-04-2011, 09:42 AM
There should be some here in the Map Elements forum as well.

10-04-2011, 01:45 PM
There are a bunch of hex resources available at The Piazza (http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewforum.php?f=21). I did some quick checks, though, and they didn't seem to have a whole lot of useful stuff for photoshop. If you have Illustrator as well, though, they have vector symbols and a setup that makes doing hex mapping very easy.

03-04-2013, 03:00 PM
I know this topic is really old but it still comes up when you google this issue. I've found a quick and easy solution. Download the hex PDF from Free Online Graph Paper / Hexagonal (http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/hexagonal/) (thanks to RobA). Open the PDF in Photoshop. Then, zoom way in to select an area EXACTLY like the attached (or just used the attached jpeg). Then go to Edit>Define Pattern. Then, open your map image in photoshop. Go to the layers window and find the little semi-circle button on the bottom of the window called "create new fill or adjustment layer". Select "Pattern" from the list of adjustment layers. Your Hex pattern should show up by default - if not, select it. You can choose the scale before placing the adjustment layer. If you keep the image layered, you can go back at any time to change the scale by double clicking your pattern layer. Good luck and have fun! 52625

07-21-2015, 05:34 PM
I've done this but now I've encountered the issue that I can't remove the white background from the layer resulting in my map being blotted out. I've tried adjusting the layer opacity to still get the grid I want but unfortunately it doesn't have quite the desired effect. How would I go about removing the white from between the hexes?

- Max -
07-21-2015, 06:46 PM
Set the layer to multiply mode and you're done.

07-23-2015, 09:38 PM
To expand on that a bit and let you know why it works, Multiply does exactly what it says: It multiplies the value of the top layer's pixel by the value of the image's pixel and displays the result. You would expect that to give you a brighter image, but Photoshop internally converts all of the colors to a range of 0 - 1. Since white has a value of 1, multiplying a pixel by that has no effect. Black, at a value of 0, will result in 0. A value of 0.5 (127 in the color picker) cuts the value of the output by half. Thus, multiply is very good for putting things like grids and hand-drawn work into your image.

Screen works in the opposite fashion, where black changes nothing, but white makes things brighter.

Overlay is a cross between the two, where 0.5 is no change. Anything above that acts like a Screen, and anything below it acts like a Multiply.

With that knowledge, you can more easily determine which blending mode you should try based on the images you're trying to merge. Multiply to integrate line work with your image or make shadows. Screen to put in lights or glows. You can adjust the opacity of your top layer to get exactly the level of darkening or brightening you want.