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Thread: Extending Gradient from Selection

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  1. #1

    Default Extending Gradient from Selection

    I'm after a particular effect for a dungeon I'm designing, almost a style or direction I may take all future dungeons I do down. Essentially, I've got the multiple layers using masks to bring out the dungeon shape; the bottom layer is the floor plans with the grid, and the top layer is typically the surrounding texture of the dungeon, the 'dead space' if you will.

    The effect I'm after is having a texture expand out from the selection and then fade of; as if an opacity gradient is slowly fading the texture itself. I've used a layer mask, and brushed the opacity in myself, but when I come to the layer effects, and attempt to stroke the edges (typically for the inside wall effects) it just goes horribly wrong. I was wondering if anyone had any clues or advice for improving the effect.

    I got the inspiration for trying this technique from another poster here, so essentially it's the same outside wall effect I'm trying to emulate. The selection he's used seems very accurate for the pattern gradient on the outside walls, so I know he hasn't done it by brushing it himself. I'm also aware it's done in Illustrator. I'm attempting this in Photoshop CS5, and would like to stick to that software if applicable. This is the thread with the technique; http://www.cartographersguild.com/du...lustrator.html

  2. #2
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    I'm not 100% sure I understand what you're after, but it sounds like what you want might be a good use of the glow layer effect. If I understand correctly, your top layer is a texture with the floorplan knocked out of it. Ctrl-click that layer, invert the selection, and then fill the new selection with a black. You should now have a layer that completely covers your floorplan with black, but the texture surrounds are still visible. Now make a new layer and place it beneath that one. Fill the new layer with black. Your entire image should now be black. Now select the top layer and apply a glow layer effect, setting it up so that you have white at the inside border, and it fades out to black at the distance you desire your texture to fade away. Select both of the layers and merge them. Now you should have a single layer that has the shape of your floorplan in black, and a white glow around it that fades back to black. I'd suggest you copy this entire layer to a new channel in case you want to be able to get to it easily. Now ctrl-click the layer to make a selection, turn the layer off, select your texture layer, and click the New Mask button. That should cause your texture to fade away the further it is from the walls.

    There are probably simpler ways to get there, but I don't have the leisure at the moment to open up Photoshop to experiment.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  3. #3

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    I can see where you're heading this with; pretty ingenious method. I followed it up until the last part where it seemed to not work applying the B&W image to the textured Layer mask. Bit of snooping on Google managed to sort that out.

    I did encounter one problem though, which was that when I started stylising it with layer effects, the stroke effect just went utter bonkers; it seems to be adding the black stroke to the outside of the fading white region, giving it a rather awful black mess. I figured an easy work around, by simply using the brush tool to mark the lines around the floor plan out manually, and it gives the intended effect. It's more curiosity if you know more about the stroke issue, or if it's just working as intended, but not very well with the process?

  4. #4
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Right, a stroke will always go around the outermost pixel that has any level of opacity at all, so if you apply it to the layer with the rasterized glow, it will go around the edge of the faded region. You can make a separate copy of the outline to apply the stroke to. There is a slider in the layers dialogue… I think it's called "fill," that allows you to fade out the pixels, but the effects remain active. Then just put the layer with the stroke wherever in the stack you need it to go.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  5. #5

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    I actually can't believe I missed it, and I've managed to get the desired effect spot on from what I intended.

    Instead of cutting the floor plan out of a larger texture to reveal the floor texture, I had the floor texture on the highest Layer. I then Ctrl Clicked that to get the shape for the outside texture, expanded it X pixels until it was the distance that was desired, and feathered the selection. After that, invert the selection and mask the outside texture away, so your left with a texture expanding from the outside walls of the dungeon rooms and corridors, eventually fading out as desired, and just move that outside texture layer below the floor plan layer. After that, using the stroke on the floor plans, and not the textured layer, produces a nice stroke along the walls without giving that ugly stroke along the feathered outside edges of the texture.

    Thought I'd slap this method up in case anyone is in need, as this is pretty quicker and much simpler a workflow, and the ability to stroke the inside floor without the outside texture edges is very handy.

    Thank you again Midgardsormr for all the help

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