any chance of a tutorial on your process??
Obviously I am using Photoshop to do my maps so it is a requirement (or something similar like GIMP). Here's a quick outline of what I do...
That's my usual process. I hope this makes sense. This doesn't count the tweaking I do here & there to get the right look. I hope I haven't forgotten anything or left a step out here & there. Feel free to ask any questions.
- I have my map grid on one layer.
- I then add a new layer above it that is coloured black. I then make the black layer transparent so I can see the grid underneath it.
- With the select tool, I mark the area I want to be a room or corridor. I then delete the selected area from the black area. Voila I now have a room where the grid underneath it is visible. I repeat this process until I get the look I want.
- I add the doors, stairs, statues, etc to their own layers (usually between the black layer and the map grid).
- I turn the black layer's transparency back to 100% so you can't see through it. Now the map grid is only visible where the rooms/hallways are. Then I select the empty space of the dungeon rooms with the magic wand tool. I inverse the selection so it wraps itself around the walls instead (that's a handy trick). This is easier than trying to select every little area on the walls (especially when sections of the walls aren't connected to each other). Obviously you may want to do this on a duplicated version of the layer (saving the original in case you need it at a later date).
- Once the wall area is selected, I then add the texture (Fill option under Edit), then I add a black outline to help show the rooms better (Stroke option under Layers --> Layer Style) and then I add the Ripple effect (Filter --> Distort --> Ripple). There are three choices for the type of ripples: small, medium and large. There is also a sliding scale that determines how strong these ripples are rendered. I often use medium ripples with a value between 60 to 100%. It depends on what look I'm going for. For caverns I might use large ripples with a value of over 100%.
- I add the numbers to the rooms.
- On a new layer above the dungeon textured layer, I draw a area around the dungeon with the lasso tool. This has made a squiggly line around the dungeon. I then inverse the selected area so it selects the area outside the dungeon and not the dungeon itself. I sometimes add a feather effect to this selected area (not much when I'm drawing it freehand with the lasso tool). I add white the the selected area. While this area is still selected, I add a ripple effect and that's how I do the white cloudy area that surrounds the dungeon.
- I save this whole process as a photoshop file (psd file) so I can preserve the layers and various effects. When the map is ready, I do a 'Save for Web' to get the large JPG version (for a low res version). Then I merge all the visible layers into one layer, change the size to 600 pixels wide (usually) and do another 'Save for Web' but this is the small version. Once I have my two jpg files, I undo the size change & layer merge and resave the file as a psd file (just in case).
Edited to Add: The reason I merge all the layers before I make the smaller jpg file is if you just resize the image, then all of the Stroke sizes will be out of wack. The image size changes but the Stroke sizes do not change in relation to the image size. Course you could just merge individual layers that have the Stroke Effect but I find it much easier to do a Merge Visible and then undo it when I want my layers back.
Last edited by Turgenev; 05-09-2008 at 01:09 PM. Reason: Added new info
what version of PS ...?
I've used most of these shortcuts since Photoshop 4. Yeah I'm that old.
Thanks for collecting them all together and putting into context for a cartographer!
LOL, Glenzilla. I know how you feel. To answer delgondahntelius' question, I am using Photoshop 6 or 7 (depending on which computer I am using). For the most part it is Photoshop 6. I have Photoshop CS on my laptop but I always find myself going back to PS 6 instead.
The problem is that we generally interpret lighter colors as being higher. Consider elevation maps with the white peaks. So when I look at this map my mind immediately thinks the lighter gray is higher than the darker gray and then when the shadow is added it makes it convex because of that. I think Torq struggled with it on one of his maps as well. Even an inner glow on the passages/rooms didn't seem to help. I forget what the end solution was though.
It is a nicely textured map though so it is definitely aesthetically pleasing.
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Once again.. Love the map... I dunno why but it actually reminds me of the old dungeon out of the first editio DMG ... I loved that adventure .. well.. the first couple rooms.. after that it was up to you to fill in the rest