View Full Version : how do I create walls in Photoshop?

09-26-2013, 02:25 AM
I am attempting to learn how to create map tiles that I can print and glue to a solid backing. I have spent several days looking at different programs. I've gotten very frustrated after trying 4 or 5 different programs. I think I've finally settled on Photoshop because it's popular and somewhat easier to learn. I'm using version CS6.

I'm not an artist by any means. I'm just taking existing textures and files and putting them together into something that I (hopefully) like. My tiles will be 6x6 when I cut them out. I start with a 6x6 tile in photoshop. I haven't figured out how to add walls to the floor. I'd like a wall with some stone texture that looks good.

I have one set of "wall tiles" in PNG format. The only thing I know to do with them is to copy and paste them onto the floor and then line them up so they (mostly) match.

Can anyone teach me how to make the walls for my tiles?

Here's an example of a tile with a proper wall:


09-26-2013, 07:04 AM
There are many ways of making walls for this sort of tile.

The two examples you give above use the same technique which you should be able to replicate on photoshop like this:

1. draw the shape of your walls in a temporary block colour. Note the width of your walls in pixels (ie maybe they are 20 pixels wide).
2. texture the wall shape with your wall texture, probably some sort of stone texture. Usually this layer will be the uppermost layer on your image.
3. Use a bevel and emboss filter on your wall layer. For the size of the filter compare with the thickness of your wall - for example if you bevel the wall size 5 pixels and your wall is 20 pixels wide, the central flat bit will be half the width and the beveled edges will each be a quarter of the with in size.
4. If you want a stronger bevel effect then duplicate step 3.
5. Create a shadow layer directly under the walls layer to make the walls stand out. You can do this easily by duplicating the wall layer and changing the wall to a block black colour, blurring it heavily, placing it BELOW the walls layer, then deleting everything that isn't over the floor.

09-26-2013, 03:36 PM
I experimented with that method a little bit and it seems to be working. I'm not entirely satisfied with the default patterns or textures that are available to color the walls but I haven't yet figured out how to install something that looks more like a wall. My current effect looks more like a continuous stretch of rock.

I'm going to experiment with more methods for drawing the actual walls as well.

09-26-2013, 04:17 PM
Don't use a default pattern. In fact don't use a pattern. Instead, just get a really good photo of a rock texture, stretch it or duplicate it to cover your walls, then just delete all the bits of it that are not over your walls. I'm not sure I explained that very well - I have never used photoshop but I understand it is very similar in functionality to Gimp, so I know its easy to do.

09-27-2013, 02:08 PM
Here's the way I do it:

Fill a layer with the desired texture. Do whatever you need to make the texture fit the entire image—I usually make several copies, sliding them around to fill the canvas and making sure they overlap quite a bit, then I use a very soft eraser to blend the edges to make it look relatively seamless. With more work, you can make it actually seamless, but I don't usually find it worth the effort. Then I select all of the texture layers and merge them (Ctrl-E) into a single layer.

Once you have your texture layer, add a black layer mask to it. (Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All). Your texture will vanish, and a black rectangle will appear in the Layers palette. This is the mask you just made. Click on it to select it, then activate the Rectangular Marquee tool (M). In the toolbar, there are four icons that look like rectangles intersecting in dfferent ways. From left to right, they are: New Selection, Add to Selection, Subtract from Selection, and Intersect with Selection. Use this tool in those various modes to create a selection that is in the shape of the walls you want to build. For this purpose, I'd probably start with a large box the size of the room, then change to Subtract mode and make a smaller box inside that one. That will cut out an unselected area in the middle of the larger box, giving you a hollow rectangle. Then subtract some spaces for the doors, and if you want some internal walls or pillars, you can switch back to Add mode and put those in the selection. Once you're satisfied with the shape, make sure your foreground color is set to white, and use the Paint Bucket to fill the selected areas with white.

Since you've done this on a layer mask, the texture will reappear in the areas you had selected.

You can make adjustments to the layer mask after the fact to change the shape, round off the corners, feather the edges, or add and subtract new areas. You can also paint on the mask with the Brush tool. If you use shades of gray, the texture will become translucent. And if you make all of your layers like this, you can easily use the document as a template for all of your tiles, so that they have a consistent look with very little effort.

Effects applied to the layer such as Outer Glow, which is a popular way to get that ambient occlusion shadow for walls, will be applied based on the edge of the mask.

If you want more information on this technique, do a search for the term non-destructive, and maybe dungeons. I think there are a couple of tutorials out there that describe the process better, and with pictures to illustrate it.