View Full Version : Reptillian Vellum

06-14-2007, 11:39 PM
Hello all.
First day here and I have questions already :lol:

I'm in the beginning stages of starting a Dark Sun campaign that's been brought up to date with 3.5ed rules. Well, for those unfamiliar with the setting, it's a desert world. And from there it just get's plain weird. All that aside though, I thought--wouldn't it be cool to have map backgrounds that looked like reptillian hide/vellum. Large croc/dino sized scales, tiny to medium serpent style scales, vibrant colors that look faded or bleached by the curing/tanning process. Aging that differs from what would happen to parchment. Maybe even some organic, primitive pallets for the inks used.

Has anyone ever seen anything similar to this or suggestions on how to accomplish it?

Any input would be appreciated.


06-15-2007, 01:07 AM
Welcome to the community Jim! Great to have you here.

As for the request, I'm sure that someone will be able to help better than I, but I would suggest checking out Dundjinni to start. There are some wonderful textures being posted there all the time and they even take requests from time to time.

06-15-2007, 01:43 AM
Well, I decided to challenge myself to see if I could come up with a tile to suit your needs. I haven't figured out how to turn it into a suitable paper, but maybe someone can build on what I've done.

06-15-2007, 01:49 AM

That would definitly work as a pattern with the nifty symetry. I wonder how it would look as a color burn layer. Another thing that leapt to mind when I saw it was how you caught that scales get smaller as you get closer to the belly scales.

06-15-2007, 03:24 AM
This is my first attempt. Now, I have to wonder how I'll keep that scaly look and lighten it enough to look bleached and, more practically, have map symbols show up.

06-15-2007, 04:02 AM
I was thinking how most parchment maps have that burned look around the edges. For hide, I'd like to find something different but the only thing thats coming to mind is making the edges look curled up. Any other suggestions would be welcome.

06-15-2007, 04:59 AM
I think there's an easier way.

Go here: http://mayang.com/textures/Nature/html/Mud/index.html

And download one of the cracked mud textures, they look like scales, or see if you can find a reptile texture on the web. The good thing about mayang's textures is that they are so big that you don't need to make them seamlessly tile (normally).

But if you do need a seamless tile fill, then make one using a paint program.

Make your vellum parchment as normal.

Overlay it with a new layer using the fill and coloured to suit - try using 'multiply' and 'overlay' and playing with the opacity settings.

Put your symbols / drawings etc on layers above these.

Hope this helps!


06-15-2007, 09:20 AM
At the bottom of this page:


There are also closeups of scale and alligator skin. Might work...

-Rob A>

06-15-2007, 10:50 AM
Our friends over at Dundjinni made some mods, as I expected they would :), of the reptile tile (is that redundant?) above. You can see their work here:

06-15-2007, 02:55 PM
Ok. Using the first 2 installment of Zombie Nirvana's Youtube map tutorial and then grabbing some of the textures from the sites recommended, this is what I have thus far. My favorites are #2 and #4. The only other thing I'd like to to change is the edges. I see vellum/hide as heavier stock so rather than having fragile, tattered looking edges, I'd go with upward curls or something that might resemble scuffing.

As usual, any direction on this would be gratefully appreciated.

06-15-2007, 02:57 PM
The other 2 examples.

06-15-2007, 03:01 PM
Razor: Wow, nice work! I agree with your favorite. :)

PS: I'm moving this thread, since it's not really a tutorial. Great job; keep it up. :)

06-15-2007, 06:35 PM
I like the middle one in the group of three you posted. If the scales are too large it looks unrealistic, because there ought to be too much 'bump' in the map, the smaller the scales the less bump. The middle one looks good.


06-15-2007, 08:09 PM
Yes, thats my second favorite one. #4 is my first just because of the irregularity. While most of the other textures were close ups of a reptile, #4 is actually a skinned reptile hide of some sort. Had that stretched out on a frame look to it.

I did consider scale eh... scale (is that a pun?) in most cases and I think I could probably reduce it in some ways but these were kinda hard and fast examples I threw up to see if I was on the right track.

Now, the edges... I toyed with that for about 3 mins before gettting called away but I haven't really made any head-way on that. Any ideas?

06-15-2007, 09:07 PM
Ahhh..now if it's puns that you're after...

listen to this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/comedy/pip/i4deu/

and enjoy!

about the edges...what sort of edges do you want?


06-15-2007, 11:01 PM
Unfortunately, I don't have a real player plug in needed to listen :x

But the edges look a bit sturdier than paper I think. Less tattered and flimsy. They need to look aged of course but I'm envisioning this piece of hide is anywhere from 1/32th to 1/16th of an inch thick. It's usually rolled up so it wouldn't lay perfectly flat. Either the top and bottom edges would curl upwards or the left and right. I'm not versed in tanning or the treating of any hides, let alone reptilian so there are elements that I'm probably missing here as well.