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Thread: Photoshop and Map Overlays

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  1. #1
    Guild Member Katerek's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Hobbitt Estates, Greater Kansas City Metro Area, Kansas, USA

    Default Photoshop and Map Overlays

    Hey all.

    I want to do a hex-based map of my existing campaign map. Does anyone know of a quick and/or easy way to do this inside photoshop? Im running CS4 if that matters.

    EDIT: To clarify, ideally I would like to do a hex overlay of an existing map.
    City of Opal Island Map (Featured Map Winner...yay!):
    Various maps from my Homebrew Game:
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  2. #2


    There might be a better way, but what you'll want to find or create a hex grid pattern. The create a pattern in photoshop. Create a new top layer, fill with white and go to layer styles. Fill the layer with your pattern, size to your liking and then multiply the top layer with the layers below. If you can want a different look for your overlay, you can always flatten that layer with another newly created layer, then select the white and delete it, leaving you with a black line overlay that you can now try using other blending options.

  3. #3

  4. #4
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    tilt's Avatar
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    and remember you can also delete (or mask out) part of the hexes that you don't need, like on top of trees and such - that often makes a better looking map
    regs tilt
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  6. #6
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Ft. Wayne, IN


    There should be some here in the Map Elements forum as well.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  7. #7
    Guild Novice
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    St Louis, MO, USA


    There are a bunch of hex resources available at The Piazza. I did some quick checks, though, and they didn't seem to have a whole lot of useful stuff for photoshop. If you have Illustrator as well, though, they have vector symbols and a setup that makes doing hex mapping very easy.

  8. #8


    I know this topic is really old but it still comes up when you google this issue. I've found a quick and easy solution. Download the hex PDF from Free Online Graph Paper / Hexagonal (thanks to RobA). Open the PDF in Photoshop. Then, zoom way in to select an area EXACTLY like the attached (or just used the attached jpeg). Then go to Edit>Define Pattern. Then, open your map image in photoshop. Go to the layers window and find the little semi-circle button on the bottom of the window called "create new fill or adjustment layer". Select "Pattern" from the list of adjustment layers. Your Hex pattern should show up by default - if not, select it. You can choose the scale before placing the adjustment layer. If you keep the image layered, you can go back at any time to change the scale by double clicking your pattern layer. Good luck and have fun! Name:  Hex Square.jpg
Views: 5677
Size:  19.5 KB

  9. #9


    I've done this but now I've encountered the issue that I can't remove the white background from the layer resulting in my map being blotted out. I've tried adjusting the layer opacity to still get the grid I want but unfortunately it doesn't have quite the desired effect. How would I go about removing the white from between the hexes?

  10. #10
    Community Leader Guild Sponsor - Max -'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012


    Set the layer to multiply mode and you're done.

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