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Thread: Photoshop questions.

  1. #1
      Tymophil is offline
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    Help Photoshop questions.

    Hi folks,

    I need some help with Photoshop. I have recurring problems with this fantastic tool.

    1. When I make my dungeon maps, I have a walls layer. I use a layer mask to mask the corridors and rooms. I then use a bevel and emboss effect to the layer to give an effect of relief. Unfortunately, this makes the edge of the image bevelled too. Is there a way to avoid this?
      Photoshop questions.-couloir_inond%E9.jpg
    2. I use a parchment layer along with a expanded and blurred layer mask to give the impression that the plan was drawn on a parchment. I would like to know if there is a way to have the layer mask automaticly produced from the layer mask of the walls layer?
      Photoshop questions.-plan-g%E9n%E9ral.jpg
    3. I use a series of layers to simulate the pavement of the floor. I have two layers, by default, because I like checkerboard patterns. I use a layer filled with solid white, along with a series of effects: inner shadow, bevel and emboss, color overlay, pattern overlay, satin and stroke. So, once again, I use bevel and emboss to have the pavement strike out. My problem is that this doesn't work quite well with stairs. My stairs steps are, by default, half a square wide. Unfortunately, this doesn't match beautifully with the pavement. I would like to have a method to make my stairs matching flawlessly with the pavement. Do you have a solution?
      Photoshop questions.-escalier.jpg
    4. I also make two kinds of plans. I have a general plan of the dungeons (72 dpi), and tactical maps of each room and corridor to run encounters (300 dpi). I cannot have a general plan at 300 dpi, my machine would not handle it. What kind of advice would you give to automatate the making of the tactical maps from the general one?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
      tilt is offline
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    hi and welcome to the guild
    1. no ... what I would do would be to take a copy of the layer without the bevel and put on top of the other - then cutout the middle so it only covers the problem.
    2. not quite sure what you mean - but you can put a mask on a group if that helps. I often CMD (CTRL) click on a layer or mask to get a selection choosen, then go to the relevant layer and activates mask there, that is pretty fast.
    3. what isn't matching - the dark between tiles? You might consider making the tiles bigger and then drawing an extra shadow manually
    4. none - you can't go to 300 dpi from 72 without having to tune and/or redo stuff. Photoshop can do a lot of stuff but everything can't be automated.

    Looks like you got a good start on mapping - looking forward to seeing more ... you might want to make a WIP thread on your map while you work - then you can get help and critique
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  3. #3
      Tymophil is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by tilt View Post
    hi and welcome to the guild
    1. no ... what I would do would be to take a copy of the layer without the bevel and put on top of the other - then cutout the middle so it only covers the problem.
    I copied the WALLS layer. Renamed both layers : on top it's now labelled STONE, beneath, is now the one labelled WALLS.
    I modified the layer mask of STONE by expanding the black region by 24 px, then blurred (Gaussian Blur) with a 12 px radius. I only kept the [B]Pattern overlay/B] effect. It does the trick.
    I tried to automate the process through ACTION. But there is no way I can select or paste in a layer mask using an action. When I record my actions, it seems to work fine, but when I run the action it pastes in a new layer rather than in the layer mask or selects in the layer rather than in the layer mask.

    Quote Originally Posted by tilt View Post
    2. not quite sure what you mean - but you can put a mask on a group if that helps. I often CMD (CTRL) click on a layer or mask to get a selection choosen, then go to the relevant layer and activates mask there, that is pretty fast.
    Here again I used a layer mask based on the one of the WALLS layer. I copied it as the mask layer for the PARCHMENT layer, then expanded the black area twice by 72 px (you cannot expand by 144 px directly), and applied twice the Gaussian Blur effect (72 px radius each time). Once again, I was unable to make an action automating the operation. Actions don't handle very well layer masks.

    Quote Originally Posted by tilt View Post
    3. what isn't matching - the dark between tiles? You might consider making the tiles bigger and then drawing an extra shadow manually
    When you look closely, you will notice that steps dont all look the same, I would like all the steps to look completely similar.

    Quote Originally Posted by tilt View Post
    4. none - you can't go to 300 dpi from 72 without having to tune and/or redo stuff. Photoshop can do a lot of stuff but everything can't be automated.
    Okay, I am going to prepare a 300 dpi file with the right layers and will only copy/paste then resize the layers masks. It should make thing faster.

    Thanks for the quick answers.

    Quote Originally Posted by tilt View Post
    Looks like you got a good start on mapping - looking forward to seeing more ... you might want to make a WIP thread on your map while you work - then you can get help and critique
    I am not sure my work is on par with what I saw on this site...

  4. #4
      Lukc is offline
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    Actually ... going from 300 dpi to 72 dpi is easy - you can just write an action for that. The hard bit is going UP, increasing the resolution. For that, you're pretty much stuck, unless you used linked files for your textures, if those were big enough, you could then just rescale and it would still work. But I could be wrong.

  5. #5
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Not so fast! Scaling up might actually be possible, depending on how you're doing things. If each texture is seamless and fills the entire document, you could simply crop down to the room you want, increase the canvas size, redo the texture fills, then scale up each layer mask. Even better, if you've used paths, which are vector shapes, to build your masks, you can scale up the paths and reconstruct the masks. End result: the textures will be exactly the same, but the masks will all be resampled.

    Or, as Lukc says, you can use Smart Objects. If your original textures are 300 dpi, then you scale them down to 72, as long as you don't rasterize the texture layers, you can scale back up to 300 with no loss of quality. That will require you to scale each texture by 24% in your 72 dpi document so that they'll return to their original resolution when you go to 300. Make sure that they're Smart Objects, though, or that won't work!

    edit: Concerning your bevel issue: If the layer is bigger than the canvas, then the bevels will be outside of the visible area. You can either make the layer bigger or trim the canvas at the end of the process.
    Last edited by Midgardsormr; 11-05-2011 at 05:55 PM.
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  6. #6
    Professional Artist RecklessEnthusiasm's Avatar
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    As far as #1 goes, controlling where the bevel comes through, you don't need to make a second layer. If you open "blending options" then the tab at the very top has a series of tick boxes--you can tick the one that says "Layer mask hides effects" or "Vector mask hides effects" and use that extra layer to mask-out any shadows or bevels. That way you don't have an extra layer cluttering up the file, and you have a little more control.

    For #3, I also fiddle with making stairs that match and still have the 3D pop. I almost always resort to having each step as a separate layer, and applying the bevel/shadow effect to each one, then making them one "smart object." That way you can still pop it open and fiddle with each step, but it can act like a single object.

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