View Full Version : Photoshop: Making Realistic Looking Flags For Your Maps

12-08-2009, 03:35 AM
The following tutorial will teach you how to make wind rippled flags as an accompaniment to your maps. Flags can add an extra dimension to your realms, countries and duchies, as they give away something about the culture that lives in the realms of your map.

The tutorial is for Adobe Photoshop. I use CS4 but it should be compatible with older versions. The guide is relatively straightforward and will teach you how to take advantage of displacement maps to curve the flag as if it is made of fabric and is being moved around by the wind.

The tutorial will be divided into two parts. The first will discuss techniques and tips to make your original flags, as I guide you through making a flag. The second part will discuss how you can make it look the flag is made of fabric moving in the wind.

Examples of Flags Produced by this tutorial


Next time I will show how to rough up the flag, to make it look like it was found after a crushing defeat in a battle


12-09-2009, 01:17 AM
Good idea to post such a tut. Repped.

12-09-2009, 06:26 AM
I was just looking for such a thing for my maps. Awesome, repped.

Would this work for banners as well? The countries I'm tryng to create are more of a banner carrying than flag waving type of people.


12-09-2009, 08:18 AM
Yeah would work for anything fabric based, as long as you maintain the banner at a smaller size than the fabric displacement map you use to displace your flat banner/flag.

Here is a random French banner done in that style.


12-10-2009, 05:19 AM
I was actually thinking about a hanging/vertical banner than a waving one, but if i rotate the fabric layer it should work fine. Thnx.


12-10-2009, 06:02 AM
Yeah sorry I though you meant a horizontally slung banner, but it will work with anything. Yeah you could turn the texture round it may give you a nice flowing look. But this technique is pretty versatile for what you want to do.

Another tip is, that the more of the fabric displacement map your flag banner takes up the more of the folds you'll see, as you can see in the banner I did, some of the nice folds in the flags are missing because its a lot thinner and those folds displaced off the banner.