View Full Version : Making rocks look more natural

06-16-2013, 12:03 PM
Hello everyone,

I have been working on an encounter map located in the hills and I am trying to add rocks to the map by using textures. My problem is that I don't think they look natural or blend with the map and I was hoping for some advice to help me achieve my goal.

I am using Photoshop CS5 to create the map below, it is far from being completed. Any advice would be appreciated. Also this map is a reduced size so that I could upload it. The original size is 4000px by 3000px with a resolution of 100px per inch.

Thanks in advance for the advice.


06-16-2013, 12:09 PM
Certainly you should use a soft brush to paint the rock layer, probably you should set either the rocks layer or the relief layer on multiply, so that the rocks would better follow the elevation of the cliff.

06-16-2013, 12:35 PM
Feanaaro is right. Here is a quick example of how this might work:

(i) Make two new layers above your map layers, calling one 'slope shadows' and the second one 'slope highlights'. It does not matter which is above the other.
(ii) On 'Slope Shadows' Draw a black line with a crisp unfuzzy brush along the top break of slope between grass and stone. Now use the blur tool to blur the bottom of this black line only into the rock. I did it very badly in the example below - yours should be crisper and thinner along the top and better blended along the bottom.
(iii) Change to highlight layer; now get a hugely thick white fuzzy brush and paint with abandon above and below your black line, aiming to get the upper half of the rock texture covered in white. Use blur to even it all out.
Your map should now look like this, but obviously much better because you were more careful.
(iv) turn both layers to overlay mode and duplicate the shadow slope layer. Your map should now look a bit more 3D and your rock should 'sit' down in your grass - hopefully!
By the way you can easily upload your full map if you export to .jpg 85% compression rather than .png., with no visible loss of quality (there is a loss of quality however it is imperceptible to the human eye on a computer screen so its ideal for uploading to CG). Your boulders in the top-centre of the map are really good by the way.

06-17-2013, 10:41 PM
Here is my last attempt after following your instruction Jacktannery. I'm not happy with the rocks along the road at the moment and I am working on adding vegetation. Do you have anymore suggestions regarding vegetation. I'm thinking of using trees from the RPGMapshare website but I'm not sure yet. So far they don't look right to me.