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Thread: Adding a touch of realism

  1. #1

    Tutorial Adding a touch of realism

    After some questions about my mapping technique I thought that I would try to put my method into a tutorial. For this tutorial I will be doing a river running through a canyon.

    Firstly I will show the final effect

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    To achieve this effect I had to take several steps.

    1. Take lots of photos.
    All of the rocks and sand beds used are photos taken at a quarry.
    The water was taken at a local river.

    2. Take the photos and edit them in photoshop till they look something like the following
    Cliffs and rocks

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    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2


    3. Take these edited photos and arrange them. In this case I used dundjinni but I usually use photoshop. I added the water last so this is the effect withouth the water

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    Heres a close up without the water so you can see the detail

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    And here with the water

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    So as you can see getting a realistic effect isnt that hard. The hardest part is getting the stock images. This takes time and sometimes allot of effort. Quarries, creeks, the garden are all great place to start looking. If anyone needs an indepth on layering etc let me know and ill add to this. This was meant to give an idea of the total process..

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Ft. Wayne, IN


    Great stuff... I'd give you some rep, but I need to "spread the love" a bit more first.
    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.

  5. #5
    Administrator Redrobes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Blog Entries


    Excellent and concise. That almost exactly the way I do my terrain too. You should check out for some excellent textures to look at to get these kind of canyons and water. One of the things I have noticed about rocks is that they appear almost exactly correct at any scale. I.e. you can take a small bit of dirt and scale it up and it looks exactly as though it was a hundred foot high bit of rock. You cant do that with water so well but getting shots of water is not so hard. I have found trees the hardest being big and not something that you can cheat on very well. I'll rep if I am able.

    Edit -- Nope hah. Been dishing it out to you already it seems !

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