View Full Version : Adding a touch of realism

06-13-2009, 06:19 AM
After some questions about my mapping technique I thought that I would try to put my method into a tutorial. For this tutorial I will be doing a river running through a canyon.

Firstly I will show the final effect


To achieve this effect I had to take several steps.

1. Take lots of photos.
All of the rocks and sand beds used are photos taken at a quarry.
The water was taken at a local river.

2. Take the photos and edit them in photoshop till they look something like the following
Cliffs and rocks






06-13-2009, 06:32 AM
3. Take these edited photos and arrange them. In this case I used dundjinni but I usually use photoshop. I added the water last so this is the effect withouth the water


Heres a close up without the water so you can see the detail


And here with the water


So as you can see getting a realistic effect isnt that hard. The hardest part is getting the stock images. This takes time and sometimes allot of effort. Quarries, creeks, the garden are all great place to start looking. If anyone needs an indepth on layering etc let me know and ill add to this. This was meant to give an idea of the total process..

06-13-2009, 08:41 AM
Very helpful, Jake, thanks for posting!

Steel General
06-13-2009, 09:47 AM
Great stuff... I'd give you some rep, but I need to "spread the love" a bit more first. :)

06-13-2009, 10:40 AM
Excellent and concise. That almost exactly the way I do my terrain too. You should check out cgtextures.com for some excellent textures to look at to get these kind of canyons and water. One of the things I have noticed about rocks is that they appear almost exactly correct at any scale. I.e. you can take a small bit of dirt and scale it up and it looks exactly as though it was a hundred foot high bit of rock. You cant do that with water so well but getting shots of water is not so hard. I have found trees the hardest being big and not something that you can cheat on very well. I'll rep if I am able.

Edit -- Nope hah. Been dishing it out to you already it seems !