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Thread: Building Shading

  1. #1
    Professional Artist Gracious Donor Djekspek's Avatar
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    Post Building Shading

    Hi all, I'm working on a city map that should be some oriental/elfish mixture in a medieval city- layout (not sure if it will work but lets see..). I'm working on the building blocks for houses but have problems getting the shading right. I did some 3d sketch-up meshups to get an idea but I want the shades to reflect structure without having to model every detail in 3d to see the shadow casting). Any help/tips on how to handle this (any fancy Photoshop trick?) is appreciated...
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  2. #2
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    No PS tricks that I've ever found. I just draw the shadow out by hand, rotate it, and make a copy of it if it falls upon something else (like a wall or building) and then move it around to represent a faux height and chop off what sticks out.
    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.
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  3. #3
    Guild Journeyer Tom_Cardin's Avatar
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    yeah if you don't want to model everything in 3D then your best bet in photoshop is to draw them in by hand.

    When I want a 3D object with a shadow and I don't want to model everything just to have the shadow, as the case of these buildings, I will model the hidden structure with just simple blocks and cylinders. At these kind of scales it creates enough of a realistic shadow that it works for me.
    One other thing I do since I don't want to render in the ground for the shadow to appear on because I want to be able to put the item on any kind of ground - In 3DS Max there is a matte/shadow material which I can put on a ground plain. If I render to a file type with alpha channel that will put my object on transparency with a semi transparent shadow. Its the cats meow for work like this.
    I have no idea if sketchup has anything similar, but its worth looking into.
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  4. #4
    Professional Artist Gracious Donor Djekspek's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips guys. I tried to export 'alpha shadow' in sketch-up but I don't think it is supported. The 3d layer in PS (I use CS3) also doesn't seem to support shadows. Anyone got experience with CS4? (it claims 'better 3d support' so maybe also shadows...)

    At least by making simple models in sketch-up I learn how these nasty shadows behave then copying them in PS as starting point. Hehe, I seems shadowing needs some good ol' fashion handwork

  5. #5

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    It can make your PSDs a little conveluted, but If you put all 1 story buildings on one layer, all 2 story building on another, etc etc, then you can just use a drop shadows on the buildings, and adjust size and spread to taste till your shadows have the appropriate look...

    here's a 30 sec example.
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  6. #6
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    The problem with drop shadows is that they overlap if less than 100% opacity and also don't start at building corners. That tends to produce the floating look.
    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)


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  7. #7
    Guild Artisan töff's Avatar
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    Also, shadows should be sharper near the objects, and fuzzier further away.

    But I don't know how to achieve that, except manually.

  8. #8
    Administrator RobA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by töff View Post
    Also, shadows should be sharper near the objects, and fuzzier further away.

    But I don't know how to achieve that, except manually.
    There are focus blur pugins for photoshop and gimp that use a focal depth map... These works, but building the proper map is almost more effort than the actual blurring

    -Rob A>

  9. #9

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    Hep perhaps I find a solution to the problem
    control clic on the building layer to load selection
    creat new layer under the building one
    selct it and fill selection with black
    move this layer down and right (about 5 pixel depending on the scale of the map)
    copy this layer and move again
    repeat the previus step 5 time or more as you want
    merge all this shadow layers
    apply a gaussian blur to the merged layer
    set its tranparency to 50%
    Last edited by Major LEE; 12-12-2009 at 05:30 AM.

  10. #10
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    Yep, that's the standard method but most folks just starting out find drop shadows easier despite its flaws.
    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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