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Gamerprinter
10-06-2013, 01:41 PM
Working on a detailed style of photo-realistic forest ground floor with exposed tree roots, shadows cast from the canopy overhead. I used overlapping layers of cracked earth, patchy grass and leafy ground textures to depict the varied forest terrain. As always, I used Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 9 as the software to create this style.

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Jacktannery
10-06-2013, 01:56 PM
Very nice! Personally I would go with a crisper circular black bark blackout instead of your blurred shape, but I do really love your wonderful roots. There is some white pixels around some of your greenery however - did you cut these out of .jpgs? You should be able to run a 2-pixel outer-shadow filter on these in Gimp or photoshop to remove the white if you are anal like me.

Bogie
10-06-2013, 02:31 PM
Very nice! Great work with the forest floor textures!

Gamerprinter
10-06-2013, 03:12 PM
Thanks guys.

@JackTannery - yeah, 3D plants, exported as JPGs then cut out. I could have been more careful on attention to detail to get rid of that white.

Those tree roots are 8 point lines with a diminishing shape to the end point, converted lines to shapes, then given a bark texture fill and a rounded bevel, and very slight feather.

Jacktannery
10-07-2013, 03:54 AM
Thanks guys.

@JackTannery - yeah, 3D plants, exported as JPGs then cut out. I could have been more careful on attention to detail to get rid of that white.

Those tree roots are 8 point lines with a diminishing shape to the end point, converted lines to shapes, then given a bark texture fill and a rounded bevel, and very slight feather.

I find the best way to remove ALL of a white background in a jpg (& this is also how I get rid of shadows on an object) is to make a copy, use the THRESHOLD tool (under colour tools in gimp) to convert the image to white or black, alpha to colour, invert selection, return to original object, and delete. I find it works better than the colour-to-alpha tool.

Thanks for explaining how you did those roots. I'll certainly use that one day.

- Max -
10-07-2013, 03:00 PM
I don't want to be rude but since it's a finished map I'll just throw in my two cents. for me it doesn't work that much. The fooliage looks blurry and I agree with jack about the pixellated edges of the greenery. The blending between all the elements used isn't really good (there's even some edges on layers you used that are still visible and don't match the other layers). The roots shape is interesting but the bevel and emboss used on them make them looks too digital and unrealistic.

Gamerprinter
10-11-2013, 04:46 PM
I don't want to be rude but since it's a finished map I'll just throw in my two cents. for me it doesn't work that much. The fooliage looks blurry and I agree with jack about the pixellated edges of the greenery. The blending between all the elements used isn't really good (there's even some edges on layers you used that are still visible and don't match the other layers). The roots shape is interesting but the bevel and emboss used on them make them looks too digital and unrealistic.

There's some edge feathering on the log, but there's nothing blurry in the images, I started with 300 ppi photos and exported a 300 ppi JPG - what is blurry? The cattail (the plant with the white edging) was a last minute drop in object, and I hadn't noticed the white edges, I should have looked more carefully. However, note I'm not using an image editor, so the way I'd fix it is just apply a hard feather of a couple pixels to fix it just fine. JackTannery's described technique would probably work if I were using an image editor like PS or GIMP, but I seldom use image editors for any map I create.

I do have a drop shadow of the tree canopy on the ground terrain which might be obscuring the details slightly, but it's not due to any blurring effect.

Midgardsormr
10-12-2013, 01:33 PM
I think Max is referring to the difference in visual quality between the grass, the leaves, and the rest of the textures. It doesn't matter how high-quality the digital file is if the focus was soft in the original photograph! There is also a mismatch in the hardness of the edges of the roots vs the sharpness of detail in the wood texture.

The thing that kind of bugs me is that the roots are running over the leaves. The leaves should be on top, with the roots peeking out from beneath them, except in places where they're clearly lifted up out of the dirt.

- Max -
10-12-2013, 02:07 PM
I think Max is referring to the difference in visual quality between the grass, the leaves, and the rest of the textures. It doesn't matter how high-quality the digital file is if the focus was soft in the original photograph! There is also a mismatch in the hardness of the edges of the roots vs the sharpness of detail in the wood texture.

Yes exactly. Also I think some leaves textures parts have been scaled up and that's why they are blurry. Also I was reffering to the lack of blending with collage of some textures that really look unfinished (see marked areas on attached map). You should really be careful on those things.

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Gamerprinter
10-12-2013, 03:30 PM
Ah, but for this image, the roots are alive - trying to go for the animated tree roots look more than anything. This was just an experiment. Yeah, sometimes it's difficult to use images of different focal differences from different sources to work well together.