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Thread: Best way to manage icon sets in Photoshop?

  1. #1

    Default Best way to manage icon sets in Photoshop?

    Hi all,

    First post (I think - or at least, first in a long time!) I've been an avid CC3 user for awhile, but recently switched to a Mac and am starting to learn Photoshop for my mapping needs (several weeks into the free trial). I've found some excellent tutorials for overland design and using layer styles / grids for tactical maps, but am really missing some old CC3 features like randomized mountain/tree details.

    I've read a few tutorials on brush dynamics and am feeling pretty good with B&W or monocolor maps using brush sets that I've put together (Deviantart rocks, also converted some of my CC3 annuals that I liked).

    However, I'm really struggling with dungeon maps. Specifically, I miss being able to click on my item catalogs and easily drag/drop dungeon details like tables, rocks, and so on. I've been dragging PNGs into photoshop on unique layers, but I'm still finding that it's a giant PITA.

    Is there anyway to do this more easily in PS? I toyed with putting a few things into brush sets (specifically, rocks, etc.), but there's quite a bit that I can't convert into brushes because of the color loss.

    Looking for any ideas to help me work through this more efficiently - I could crank out a dungeon level in CC3 in an hour, but it's a lot more work in PS if I want details (as opposed to grid/layer style 4E type map). I may have to work through the Wine installer to get CC running on my Mac :p


  2. #2
    Guild Expert Azelor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    Have you tried the duplication stamp?

  3. #3
    Guild Apprentice
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Sanremo, Italy


    i think managing icons in photoshop requires a lot of creativity.
    I personally used three different ways, as i'll describe, hoping to be useful (and hoping that someone will come out to tell me "but no, there is a much easier way .." )

    1) create an array of icons on a seperate photoshop document, and open alongside the one you are workig on.
    2) when you need an icon, switch to the icon sheet, set the origin for the cloning, switch back an start cloning.
    In my opinion, this is also a PITA Slow, clumsy. Only good thing, you don't need to browse the files, and see directly all the icons.. yes, i know: if you use a lot of icons, this is not exactly a "good" thing, isn't it? :/

    1) repeat step 1 as above
    2) for each one of the icons: select (with selection tool) the icon itself, go to menu "edit", select "define pattern". You will end creating a sort of library of patterns/icons.
    3) each time you wanna use the icon, activate the stamp tool, deselect "aligned" (in the top bar), select the right pattern, start drawing on your work.
    Main issues? First of all, i do not think it is possible to "stamp" the entire icons every time you left click. You can resize the tool size, but every time you do not know "what" part of the icon will come out on your click (and if you enlarge the toll size, you'll simply end drawing more than one icon). Second issue: you will draw at the same size of the original icon. There is no way of resizing, so you should work on a separate layer, draw the icon, resize the layer... Argh.

    1) Yeah! Same step-1 as stated above!! But this time paste every icon on a separate layer, naming it in a appropriate way and organizing the layers in folders ("walls", "furniturese", "son-of-... minions").
    2) when you need an icon: select the appropriate layer, select the icon (you can simply use the magic wand, crtl-click the layer name...), copy, paste on your work. Resize the resulting layer if needed, merge down.

    This one is the best i have achieved... it is still a damned awful way of working! But, hey, what can i say?
    Maybe i'll post this method as a tutorial with a couple of screenshot in the appropriate section...

    EDIT: ok, i have done it. You will find a tutorial on the "how-to" forum, with a couple of screenshot. I hope it will be useful, even by making someone more expert than me to reply with better infos!
    Last edited by EruSilme; 10-17-2013 at 08:18 AM.

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