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Thread: WIP - Watercolour/Painting/Ink Style

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  1. #1
    Guild Artisan Juggernaut1981's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Sydney Australia

    Wip WIP - Watercolour/Painting/Ink Style

    Okay, here's the thing. As nice and almost photo-realistic as some of the maps around here get... something about trudging through a dungeon in plate male with a hairy dwarf and a stinky half-orc with even stinkier trolls down the hallway says "No Photorealism in Mapping".

    I want feedback on this. If you know any tricks or methods... let me know. I'd like to get this to the point where I could write a whopping tutorial so the rest of you can see how its done, adapt and tinker so you get the results you want.

    So, to be objectionable, a point of counterbalance... or just cause I think I'd like it more... I'm looking to find ways to create more "hand drawn" in digital maps without going nuts and drawing it by hand... and also avoid getting to "photo real" in style.

    Attached to this is the first map doodling involving some of this idea... There are tricks stolen from RobA's tutorial to generate texture, but then those "Cloud Maps" he likes have been seriously fidgeted with using GIMPressionist, Oilify, Blur and more... To get away from that "realistic texture" and get closer to "ink/paint/watercolour" sort of textures without doing it by hand.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Coyotemax's Avatar
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    Jul 2009


    Well, what I did in my Oten-Jo map to keep it looking hand drawn was to draw everything out with a spatter brush at various sizes (15 to 50) and set to fade over a variety of distances (25 for some of the windows to 9000 for the riverbank at one point). Each object was done by hand separately (you could easily duplicate or cut/paste instead once you have a few good examples), what I did was I had the basic picture on a layer, then above that would outline/trace with the brush, simulating brush strokes. Once I had the outline of the house done, i would hide that layer (or sometimes keep it visible to start getting variations) and trace a new house on the layer above that. At some point I would go back through one at a time with a smaller narrow brush to draw windows and doors. Then with a wider brush, under each tracing add a new layer with the lighter shading, follwed by another layer with the darker shading (less wide but above the light shading layer), and finally draw out a chunk of solid white on yet another layer underneath the shadings - then merge the layers for each house. Yes, each object was 4 separate layers at some point. They needed the white background for each individual house to prevent other lines from showing through once I arranged and stacked them. After I had enough houses (I think 120 or so) i started arranging the layers. a similar process was used for the mountians/hills in mine, that would be used to good effect in yours, plus on the forests if you draw the trees individually. I wimped out at that point and did the forests as large irregular elliptical clumps, but I used the same technique to shade them on each layer underneath.

    Whew. Sounds a lot more complicate than it really is, it's not nearly so bad once you've done a few. But it is a lot of work and still quite tedious, though a lot of the tedium could be removed by the copy/paste or duplicate method, then maybe run some filters at low settings to give them individual variations.

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

  3. #3
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    St. Charles, Missouri, United States


    You might want to look at this tut by Delgondahntelius. Granted that the tut covers actually hand-drawing a map but I'm sure anyone can adapt the same techniques to digital art...I read that tut frequently.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)

    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

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