View Full Version : Am I missing the "How-To" on Forest Battlemaps?

01-26-2009, 01:50 PM
Hey all, I am in awe of what you all are doing here. Well done to you all! I have been doing all the tutorials in an effort to build my skills as a map maker and Dungeon Master. I would like to learn how to build a forest battlemap. A few of them actually to take out at random during those treks to unknown fame and fortune. Any ideas on how to make the bushes, trees, etc? Maybe the trees would only be stumps because of the battle map perspective? This is my first post and I sincerely apologize if I missed this discussion somewhere else. :oops:

01-26-2009, 02:27 PM
No, you aren't missing any as far as I know. I'd recommend sticking to the trunks as they are the important features for combat.

01-26-2009, 03:33 PM
Which software would you use?

Steel General
01-26-2009, 05:40 PM
Well first off...Welcome Aboard!

Don't have a whole lot of experience with creating battle maps but I'd follow torstan's advice and just stick with the trunks at the start, then as you get more comfortable with what you want to do start expanding.

01-26-2009, 06:21 PM
@ Torstan Cool!
Thanks for the advice. I was thinking of that. They would be an important component. Now to go on a trunk hunt. lol

@ TheElf
I will use PS or GIMP. I have a bit of knowledge of both. I have lots more now that I have been through the tutorials on this site.

@ Steel General
Thanks for the warm welcome! I will play around a bit and post once I have something I am not to embarrassed to share. I look forward to the CC that I will get once I submit my amateur maps. ; )

Thanks again everyone for the help.

Now that I am looking around a bit more, I notice that I should have posted this thread in another area. Sorry about that. Darn noobs!

01-26-2009, 06:41 PM
Here are a few that I've been pirating from older maps that I have:


You can always colour them in if you like, but feel free to borrow them. I'll try to get more stuff into that thread over the next few days.

01-26-2009, 06:48 PM
Post early, post often. It's the best way to improve your mapping.
There's nothing embarrassing in posting a rough sketch and we will be able to visualize your problems much better if we can see your thoughts...

01-26-2009, 07:56 PM
Trunks are cool n all but what if it's mounted griffon combat? Then we'd need some trees to fly over...I get mine on the Dunjinni forums, but yeah we could probably use some good tuts on doing up our own trees.

01-26-2009, 08:12 PM
Well I am playing around with the trunks in PS, trying to make something that looks cool. I am not sure if I am the man for the job, but once I get something that I like, I will share it with you all and provide my tut as to how I arrived at my result. It is ok if you are all a little scared of what I am going to come up with. I know I am. : ( lol

EDIT: Great suggestions everyone. Here is a revamp with a little more shadow. What do you all think? What is is missing?

I wanted to post the PNG file, but it was displaying it wrong. In my earlier days I remember there was a way to fix that, but it excapes me at the moment. Anyway, once finished, I can post the PSD and PNG file. A tutorial as well. I want to make a few different shapes for a little variety and then we can use these for the trees in the battle maps or whatever.


01-26-2009, 10:28 PM
Very nice start! I like the growth rings quite a lot. The roots look very flat--a little dodge and burn to make them look round might help. Once you get it finished, save it out with transparency in place of the grass so you can use it anywhere easily (and so we can, too!)

On the subject of battlemats with trees, there were a couple efforts that should be mentioned, particularly one by JFJohnny5 that was simply gorgeous. It was a bandit camp, but the trees and their shadows were gorgeous.

It seems like someone was experimenting with tree canopies with reduced opacity, so the ground and trunk could be seen clearly, but the canopy information was still there in case of climbers and flyers.

01-26-2009, 10:40 PM
looks good, but I second Midgårdsormen about the flatness...

01-27-2009, 04:26 AM
I think the trunk itself looks great, but I would work on the roots a bit more

01-27-2009, 01:46 PM
I touched up the roots a bit with a touch of shadow. See my earlier post for the revamp. What is missing?

01-27-2009, 01:52 PM
Now were cooking. Looks really good.

Steel General
01-27-2009, 01:55 PM
Coming along nicely - looks very much like a photo.

01-27-2009, 02:26 PM
I like the look of that a lot. I'd suggest leaving the lighting until after the object is placed on the map. The flat colours will allow you to rotate the image to get a number of tree trunks that look different even if they are the same image. Then go over the map placing in directional lighting and you'll have a lovely map.

01-27-2009, 03:12 PM
I have nothing to add other than that looks great.