PDA

View Full Version : [Award Winner] Photoshop: Using Paths to create textured walls -or- why I hate bevels



torstan
10-13-2011, 10:35 PM
So one effect that I see a lot of in maps is bevel/emboss to pull walls out of the background in dungeon maps. I personally don't like it so I chose not to use them in my own maps. I wanted to create a nice edge effect on dungeon walls without having it look like a photoshop filter. In this tutorial I'll walk through how to use paths in photoshop to create nice edge highlights and shadows on walls.

In this tutorial I'll be creating this simple one room:
39195

Here's the psd file if you want to look at all of the layers used to create this:
39196

And here's what the same room would look like with the walls done with bevel and emboss:
39197

This is a quick and easy tutorial, so if there's anything that makes no sense give me a shout (or a pm) and I'll make sure I explain it better.

torstan
10-13-2011, 10:47 PM
So let's start with an easy base. I begin with a background layer that's a textured neutral - you can grab these from parchment or rock textures over at cgtextures.com. I then just quickly drawn in a wall outline that will be the room. The wall lines are done on a new layer - I always keep my lines on a separate layer on their own:
39198

With the walls in, I use the magic wand tool to select the area that will be the walls (and use Select->Modify->Expand to make sure the selection runs down the middle of the ink lines). Then go to the Paths dialog and click the 'Make work path from selection' button to make a path from the selection. (also use Select->Save Selection before going any further - you'll need this selection later)
39199

This creates a work path. Drag and drop the work path to the New Path button to create a permanent path. You also want to invert the selection and do the same process to get a path that surrounds the floor space. You'll now have two paths.
39200

This is the structure that will underpin the work that comes next.

torstan
10-13-2011, 11:00 PM
Okay, starting with a quick tweak - I desaturate the background layer using an adjustment layer. I also add an overlay layer that's masked to just hit the walls.
39201

First create a group (folder icon) and mask the folder so that the floor is masked out and the walls are open. In the group create a new layer.

Now select the path that surrounds the floor. You don't want to have a selection going round the outside of the walls, because we're going to stroke the path and we don't want the outside of the canvas to be highlighted.

With the path selected go back to the layers palette and have the new layer selected. Pick a nice large brush and press enter. You'll see a big fat line stroke the path! Ctrl-z to undo. You should now see what we're doing here.

This should be something like what you just produced:
39202

So get rid of that big fat line and we'll do something more subtle. First off, I want to put in a grungy highlight along the edge. I use a large grungy brush with a low opacity (around 10%) Start off really big - like 100-200px - and stroke the path with white (hit enter). Then reduce the brush size and do it again. Rinse and repeat until you have a nice gradual highlight up to the wall edge. I set the layer to overlay to get a nice textured highlight:
39203

torstan
10-13-2011, 11:21 PM
This is nice, but it needs to have an extra texture. I set up an extra layer and this time I'll use a hard round brush with lots of scatter (1000%), colour jitter to swap light and dark and a low opacity (around 20-30%). Stroke the path again (make sure the path is selected then hit enter with the brush tool selected) with a few different sizes of this brush. You should have something like this:
39204

Now set this layer to overlay and set the opacity of the overlay layer blend in nicely:
39205

That's the wall highlights sorted.

The wall shadows are just the same trick. In this case set up a new group, and mask this with the inverse of the previous mask. You can do this by selecting the previous mask, right click->Add Mask To Selection, and then use Ctrl/Cmd-shift-I to invert the selection. Click group icon and then click the Add Layer Mask button (to the right of the fx button at the bottom of the Layers dialog).

Now add a layer to the group. This layer will be our base shadow layer. Selec the second path - from the Paths dialog - and then go to your new layer. Choose a nice dark colour, and a large, low opacity grungy brush (again around 5-10% opacity) and hit enter to stroke the path. Reduce the brush size and repeat. This will give a nice grungy shadow:
39206

In this image I have this layer set to multiply at 100%. It's a little overbearing, so I reduce the opacity to 10-20% and create a new layer, this time set to overlay. Repeat the process of stroking the path and you should get something like this:
39207

This way you can set up highlights and shadows for a map of any size, as long as you get your initial selection right. Stroking paths in this way has lots of other uses beyond this kind of wall highlighting. Once you've got used to it here, you'll find many other uses for it elsewhere in your workflow.

eViLe_eAgLe
10-14-2011, 02:28 AM
Thanks for the awesome tut Torstan! Heres something quick I did with the technique: Still lots of refining for me to go ;). But, whats the fun of no challenge?

39209

Dain
10-14-2011, 03:39 AM
Awesome!
I understand now how you use the "path stroke" ... clever.
Everything's crystal clear, just have to do it myself now, no more excuse :P

Ramah
10-14-2011, 06:21 AM
Nice tut, Jon. I especially liked the stage where you stroked the selection with the brush on high scatter. Gonna have to try that. :)

ravells
10-14-2011, 06:57 AM
Great tutorial! I'll look into translating the concepts in drawplus!

Lukc
10-14-2011, 07:42 AM
Sweet tutorial ... a really simple trick, bringing together three common processes from photoshop into a way to make nifty dungeon maps. I like it. I can already see the potential of porting in an illustrator-made map to get those square, excavated, artificial rooms and throwing this together. I'll be sure to do one soon, just to try it out a bit.

torstan
10-14-2011, 12:04 PM
I've done the same trick with a transparent triangle brush with angle and shape jitter with scatter for ice walls, and you can create widely spaced brushes in the shape of a jagged line and place cracks in walls using the same technique. Very handy for adding a little visual interest to large dungeons without having to hand draw every bit.

@evil_eagle - great work! That's a very cool looking layout.

Jaxilon
10-14-2011, 12:39 PM
Great explanation. I have been doing similar things but have been doing it all by hand. I hadn't thought about using the stroke line method to speed things up. Thanks for the tips, I'll be sure to try it somewhere.

SilenBlade
10-14-2011, 01:59 PM
I think it's possible to do awesome job with bevel and emboss to but not only by clicking and a activating an option. Every good map need lots of work not only option clicking. Anyway nice Tut, thanks for share your knowledge :)

torstan
10-14-2011, 02:45 PM
Agreed. The bevel comment was a little tongue in cheek. It's just one of those options that people use as a fire and forget solution and stands out like a sore thumb - especially on hand drawn maps.

eViLe_eAgLe
10-15-2011, 03:02 AM
I've done the same trick with a transparent triangle brush with angle and shape jitter with scatter for ice walls, and you can create widely spaced brushes in the shape of a jagged line and place cracks in walls using the same technique. Very handy for adding a little visual interest to large dungeons without having to hand draw every bit.

@evil_eagle - great work! That's a very cool looking layout.

Its supposed to be a mine of some sort. Thanks btw!
Finished maps over here if you wanna take a look. http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?15813-Multiple-VTT-WIP/page2

hawkwind
10-19-2011, 04:55 PM
Going to try this on my dungeon maps. Very cool.

torstan
10-19-2011, 05:18 PM
Glad you like it - let me know how it goes. Looks like you're local too :)

jfrazierjr
10-20-2011, 04:25 PM
Hmm... sooo.. how about a "thick"(size) bevel followed by a stroke with a erase->grunge brush with somewhat high jitter and random opacity.


FYI, I have used this on coastlines a long time ago with large brush(fuzzy) set to high jitter, random size, random color on an overlay layer and it comes out really nice for randomizing "continental" shelf's and stuff.

torstan
10-20-2011, 05:07 PM
If you have a bevel as a layer effect I'm not sure what it is you'd be erasing with the brush? Or is this a gimp question where it's not a layer effect?

Yes, it's a great way to do things like continental shelfs and coastlines.

jfrazierjr
10-20-2011, 08:02 PM
If you have a bevel as a layer effect I'm not sure what it is you'd be erasing with the brush? Or is this a gimp question where it's not a layer effect?

Yes, it's a great way to do things like continental shelfs and coastlines.

Heh... well.. since I am cheap, I don't have PS and thus layer effects.... so any bevel effects would likely be done %50 grey layer set to overlay... THAT would be the layer to stroke in this example...

Grumpf
04-10-2014, 06:29 PM
Well, thanks a lot! I learned a lot today.

I used donjon; Random Dungeon Generator (http://donjon.bin.sh/fantasy/dungeon/) to generate the lines (then use filter->stylze->find edge to create the path. From there, use a small brush to create a thick line).

http://i60.tinypic.com/2vx2k9k.jpg

Mmm Im necroposting, sorry.

rockmaster
06-22-2014, 01:35 AM
Is there a possibility of getting screen shots for post 3 and up? i'm still struggling with the steps.

Thank you

Mask_of_winter
07-05-2014, 01:33 AM
Same here. I got the paths but I can't replicate the steps when the walls become darker, floor desaturated, etc. The part where you pick a large size brush and click enter doesn't generate a big outline either. I'm gonna try to create a layer for the walls and one for the floor instead and try out some things.

Niven81
08-06-2014, 10:05 AM
Same here. I got the paths but I can't replicate the steps when the walls become darker, floor desaturated, etc. The part where you pick a large size brush and click enter doesn't generate a big outline either. I'm gonna try to create a layer for the walls and one for the floor instead and try out some things.

Me as well, I can't seem to figure out just how he got it to work.

My attempt:
66357