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Thread: Wargame map (Battletech, 6 mm games)

  1. #1

    Default Wargame map (Battletech, 6 mm games)

    Hi everybody!

    I was lurking in the nets to fing some good advices of creating battlefield maps and terrain in Photoshop, close to "eupean" style boardgames. Actually, there are no good tutorials I found, so I needed to figure something out by myself (I work as a graphics designer) First atempts were very lack of skill and not so detailed and well drawn as the mentioned above analog. I'll post some of my maps and scale buildings here, please share me some tips how to improve my work and make it way better.

    I use Adobe Photoshop CS3, Autodesk 3ds Max 2009, Corel X3, Bryce 5.5 and tonns of textures

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  2. #2
    Community Leader Guild Sponsor
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    tilt's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Trelleborg, Sweden
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    Hi Withar, welcome to the guild... that looks pretty nice...
    one thing you'll have to concider in a wargame map is that there can't be any doubt as to how a hex it enterpreted... no "is that a hill?" comments - that why most wargames have rather flat and clear graphics, and they can be cool too ... and that is also why normally you want your graphics to stay within the lines
    regs tilt
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  3. #3


    Yep, I'll add markings and hex names/numbers later, that was only a sketch Hand drawn maps look so great, but take a lot of time and practice.
    There were some tutorials I used to make continental maps, here's a photo. I want to make something more real and preciese detailed, matching the wargaming system. I downloaded many from top to bottom view trees, so no problem with the vegetation, but creating realistic slopes and terrain curves seems so complex using only a set of brushes and styles. It is ok with 1:1000 scale, and what can I do with bigger maps, where you need to escape from randomness? How is it possible to lay down nice clumps of grass and bushes, looking the way they look in nature enviroment, and the correct use of light and shadow on stones, mountain peeks, not talking about the correct textures for everything without using 3d modelling? I'll pin some examples, this is what I'm up to, they are surelly done in Ps, the site is

    If someone is interested, that's the way I made the hex map above - I've drawn the height map in photoshop, as a displacement map for 3ds max, then, used blending modes to create textures. There are some other ways to do the right texturing, but that one is ok too. In the end, I turned again to photoshop and added hexes. But this method requires rendering in good resolution or the texture detail will be lost
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  4. #4
    Community Leader NeonKnight's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Surrey, Canada, EH!


    Looks absolutely lovely!

    Welcome to the Guild!
    Daniel the Neon Knight: Campaign Cartographer User

    Never use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice!

    Any questions on CC3? Post them with CC3 in the Subject Line!
    MY 'FAMOUS' CC3 MAPS: Thunderspire; Pyramid of Shadows; King of the Trollhaunt Warrens; Demon Queen's Enclave

  5. #5


    Thanks! You have great maps here)
    Last edited by Whitar; 07-16-2010 at 12:16 PM.

  6. #6
    Guild Novice
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Near Montreal, QC



    One comment though: in your shaded relief map (the one in the middle above), your water looks like hill because the shadow comes from the same angle (it seems) as the ground. If for the relief above ground, the south-east facing face is shadowed, so is should be for the ground below. And generally, for the mind, it's easier to see elevation from a shaded relief if the light comes from the North-West (as you did). Otherwise, it looks like depressions (at least for about 90% of the population) (or your bathymetry looks like above ground).

    In the example below, it's the same image, but rotated 180°. They look totally different place
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  7. #7
    Guild Journeyer Wannabehero's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Ohio, USA


    Looking good man.

    I used to play Battletech 2nd ed. all the time with friends when I was a kid. Love the game.

    I'll be watching this with great interest.

  8. #8


    That last construction site map is especially amazing! I feel inspired to try 3-d mapping now. Welcome to the guild!
    Last edited by RecklessEnthusiasm; 07-16-2010 at 02:44 PM.

  9. #9


    Oh, thanks for the advice) I'll probably get rid of those water shadows, and try to recreate debths instead) Yes, this Junkyard is a paper model by worldworksgames, really great) Nice to meet someone who is familliar to Battletech too)

  10. #10
    Administrator Redrobes's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    I have a couple of tips / suggestions. The first is that if it were me, id lose the bathymetry and make all the sea flat because normally you cant see under the sea. Now it might be that you need to know this in submarines etc in which case forget that but for above ground stuff I see no advantage to knowing water depth.

    The other thing I discovered is that if you can get hold of a 3D model of something you like and you can get it into Blender then it has a nice feature called Unwrap into UV. What that does is flatten a model into 2D and you can export that image. Then what your supposed to do is draw on the 2D representation and texture it up a good 'un and then reimport that image and wrap it back onto the model once more. Now if after exporting the unwrapped image you texture it up then print it instead then you can form it back into a real 3D paper model by folding along the polygon lines.

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