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Thread: Untitled layer mask test

  1. #1
    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Coyotemax's Avatar
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    Wip Untitled layer mask test

    Actually for a test, this didn't come out too bad. The beaches were.. interesting to do. The brush I was using was doing some unexpected things, but I think that was because of the layer style combined with the soft brush combined with the mask. Perhaps it's normal for it to act strange, i don't know - this is my first attempt at working with layer masks to any real extent

    So, a combination of paying attention to the Masks and Such with Craig John (i forget the username of who made and/or posted it, argh), a few layer styles (bevel options) inspired by pasis, whoever it was that wrote that one tutorial that included the Jiggle filter (wow, it's my new friend) and me just monkeying around, this is what ends up.

    I know I could probably get the layer masks to work more efficiently in a few areas, but it was really starting to frustrate. I found a way to keep almost everything working the way I wanted to, but there was a spot where I was trying to get an outer glow and an inner glow to show up at the same time and the masks wouldn't let me. I also gave up on using the textures as pattern overlays, because they were messing up th layer styles I was trying to work with. So until I can sort out a few issues, this will do.

    I took a screenshot of my layer palettes just to show exactly why i'm semi-proud of this map On the left are the layers as is, the right shows the expanded smart object (land layers). Yes, each layer is 100% texture filled, all terrain work is done through the masks alone. The mask on the smart layer is where the rivers came in (yay, i figured that one out, lol). This is also my first attempt at working with smart objects. Nifty keen! Though I wish there was a way to "un-smart" the layers and put them all back as separate objects/layers - there likely is and I haven't found it yet.

    Ok! that was fun!
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    Last edited by Coyotemax; 09-17-2009 at 01:17 AM. Reason: re-upload correct version

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  2. #2
    Guild Journeyer altasilvapuer's Avatar
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    So just where do you get all your textures? It seems every map I see from you has amazing texture-work that takes it above and beyond the level of a 'normal 'map. Bravo!

    And I must agree: Smart Layers (and their cousins, Smart Filters, if you have CS3+) are probably two of Photoshop's most genius moves, yet. I think I've basically decided that they're almost as big as layer-based editing in the first place, though I haven't wholly decided on that, yet.

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  3. #3

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    Hi - I'm glad you found the tutorial useful.
    (and it's 'craggles')

    but there was a spot where I was trying to get an outer glow and an inner glow to show up at the same time and the masks wouldn't let me.
    This depends on how you've set up the layers. On a layer that has a mask, you can create an inner and outer glow without any problems.

    The issues start if the layer in question is within a layer group that has a mask which may hide the inner or outer glow (depending on whether the layer group (the folder in the layers panel) mask is revealing or hiding the land mass) or if the layer (with the inner and outer glow) is being clipped by a layer below which also clips the layer effect.

    If you like, I can have a look at the photoshop file and find the problem for you.
    But you'll need to drop the resolution of the file so it's small enough to email/upload quickly. Once I find the problem layer, you can replicate the solution on your original higher res file. The layer image you've attached is handy to see but I'll also need to look at what effect is applied to each of the layers.
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  4. #4
    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Coyotemax's Avatar
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    Really, the issue came up because i was primarily trying to use a single mask for the entire map - going for the ultimate ease in editing the landmass shape. I could either get the inner glow to show, or outer glow, but not both. that was because either I was masking the inner landform, or outer ocean. I'll take a look at chipping the file down to a manageable size and upload it in a bit (RL timing right now, heh) so you can take a peek, thanks for the willingness to help a grasshopper (I'll see if i can replicate the effect I was after in the first place, it was a really nice ocean gradient)

    alta: i'm starting to agree with you now that i've actually *really* used smart objects and the textures are courtesy of Genetica. I'm starting to use it a bit less now that I have a fair number of textures generated and can recycle, but I still find myself creating at least one or two custom textures for each map. It's a lot quicker and easier than sifting through my previous archives from my 3d rendering days (i had some good stuff, but most of it was for objects or wood surfaces, not groundwork or anything suitable for really zoomed out effects) and google-fu (though I still do that, old habits, lol)

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  5. #5
    Guild Expert Ramah's Avatar
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    That looks really great. So good that you've made it with such a minimum of editing. The beaches look superb.

    The jiggle filter you mentioned is championed by Ravells btw, so you have him to thank for that.
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    I don't know what you were trying to accomplish, but what you did accomplish looks great!
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  7. #7
    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Coyotemax's Avatar
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    karro: thanks, looks like even my failures look cool these days

    craggles: i figured out a better way to explain my problem.
    I'm trying to use a single mask for the entire landmass (minus the mountains and forests). This involves 3 ocean layers, and originally I was looking to add 3 more land layers on top of the basic land shape for terrain variations along different parts of the shoreline. The problem I ran into was that I ended up needing to put the layer effects on 2 different layers. I think the problem I ran into was that I was using the pattern fill for the textures, and that was hiding one of the glow effects (i was trying a subtle shore outline for inner, and ocean gradient for outer). The goal i was trying to achieve was to have each layer completely solid black filled, and *everything* else being done through layer effects and mask. So due to the pattern fill (which needed to be at 100% opacity) I could not show both glows on the same layer without one getting masked out be another layer or covered by a pattern fill.

    If you follow what i mean.

    I compromised by switching to each layer having it's own solid pattern instead of black colour, with no pattern fill layer style, but I forgot to go back and try to add the layer effects I *originally* wanted to use now that the pattern style wasn't covering anymore.

    I'll give that a try and if that still doesn't work, I'll upload that psd and see what can be done.

    (and btw, i just wanted to say, that tutorial rocked. I really do well with your teaching style, there's a lot of subtle things you add in there when talking that act as "memory anchors" for lack of a better term. Wonderful job there)

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    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

  8. #8

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    (and btw, i just wanted to say, that tutorial rocked. I really do well with your teaching style, there's a lot of subtle things you add in there when talking that act as "memory anchors" for lack of a better term. Wonderful job there)
    Thanks - I really appreciate the kind words!
    (It encourages me to do more despite the project being officially on hold thanks to my health).
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  9. #9
    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Coyotemax's Avatar
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    Ok, I found out why I was having the issues. It's the inner glow I need to get the ocean effect i was after. It has the option to start from Center. So I can't use the mask as the shape of the land, it has to be the shape of the ocean in order to get that effect. But that conflicts with the other layers needing the land shape to be the mask.

    When I had the pattern fill layer effect, that was cancelling out one or the other glow when I inverted the mask back and forth during testing stages. I'm going to give one more experiment.

    Encouragement tends to work both ways, so if i'm helping you out as you help me, then everyone wins

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  10. #10
    Guild Member Andartar's Avatar
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    That looks really great! How do make the sand look so "sandy"?
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