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Thread: [Award Winner] Assorted tips and tricks

  1. #71
      torstan is offline
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    Default How to create a ripple texture using the clouds filter

    [Award Winner] Assorted tips and tricks-creatingripplesfroclouds.jpg

    Today I知 going to cover how to create a rippling water pattern in Photoshop using the clouds filter. This is a little technical, but it値l become clear why we池e doing this over the next few days.

    As light hits the waves on the surface of the sea it痴 distorted and that creates a pattern of light and dark across the sea-bed that痴 very distinctive. We can replicated this pattern in photoshop with relatively little trouble, but there will be some new concepts so I値l take it step by step.

    1. In a new document, create a new layer, make sure the colours are set to black and white, and run Filter->Render->Clouds. This creates an automated collection of noise with a characteristic scale you can see the overall pattern of dark and lights across the panel above. Note that you値l get a subtly different pattern every time you run the Render->Clouds filter.

    2. Run Filter->Render->Difference Clouds. This will give you a pattern like the one below. This still doesn稚 look much like a wave pattern, but bear with me.

    3. Invert the layer (Image->Adjustments->Invert or command/ctrl + I).

    4. Adjust the levels on the layer it痴 currently very light and we need a wider range of lights and darks for it to be useful. To do this either go to Image->Adjustments->Levels or add a new adjustment layer. I致e taken a screenshot of the levels panel after I致e tinkered with it to get what I知 after.

    5. Now we池e getting somewhere. Finally I stretch the layer in this case horizontally by arond 200-250%, depending on what looks good. Now I agree that this might not look that exciting right now, but tomorrow I値l be showing you how to use this to turn any map into an underwater sunken vista.

    I致e also uploaded one of my own ripple textures here: Ripples | Fantastic Maps

    The file is CC-BY-NC licensed, so if you want to use the ripples in a commercial product you値l have to follow the tutorial and make your own

    There's a slightly longer version of this tutorial posted over on the blog: Using clouds to create ripples | Fantastic Maps along with an archive of previous tutorials here: Tips and Tricks | Fantastic Maps
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  2. #72
      - Max - is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by torstan View Post
    Here痴 a quick tutorial to get back into the swing of things for 2013. I was asked about drawing coastlines. This is just a technique question so it痴 software agnostic.

    Attachment 51180

    1. Starting point

    Here痴 the basic shape of the coastline this is what I see a lot in turnover sketches at the early design stage. It痴 very blobby and indistinct, and looks nothing like a real coastline. The key is the regularity and smoothness of the line

    2. Break it up!

    I致e followed the general shape of the coastline, but broken the line into a more jagged pattern. Some regions are almost sawtoothed. Try not to make features and variations the same size. Coastlines are fractal they should look similarly broken up at a range of different zoom levels. Add some smooth coves for beaches to give variety (like the beach under the 2.)

    Add islands along the coast. I tend to add them off peninsulas where a spur of rock stretches out into the sea and leaves a trail of islands pointing out or in inlets where the islands can mimic the shape of the negative space.

    3. Edge detail

    At this stage I致e added a range of marks to the land to indicate the structure of the coastline and hint at hills, valleys, and the form of that beach I mentioned earlier. A lot of coastline has a sharp drop to the sea, and these lines hint at that structure.

    This now comes as a video as well:

    More tips on the blog (which is back up!)
    Hi Torstan, can you give more details on the settings you use with your brush? Thanks for sharing your tips

  3. #73
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    Of course. It's a straightforward hard round brush 5px wide, with size set to pressure sensitive. So in the brush settings, the Shape Dynamics option is checked, with control set to pen pressure - all other sliders are at 0%. The other option that's checked is Smoothing. That's it!
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  4. #74
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    Thanks Torstan. It's always nice to see your tuts. Cheers

  5. #75
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    Default How to turn a map into an underwater landscape

    [Award Winner] Assorted tips and tricks-howtosinkamap.jpg

    1. Starting map

    I'm going to take an existing battlemap and turn it into an underwater ruin. Here's the map I'll be using - a simple ruin from this Ruined Library map pack (Fantastic Maps: The Ruined Library - Rite Publishing | Fantastic Maps | Tabletop Essentials | RPGNow.com). Ruins work well as they can easily be the remains of a unfortunate city subjected to an Atlantean cataclysm.

    2. Add a colour layer

    The first problem is that the map is definitely not the right colour. We need to desaturate the map, and add an over-all blue cast to the map. I create a new layer above the map and fill it with a grey blue (#3e526a to be precise). It's not too saturated, so it'll do both jobs at once. I set the layer blend mode to Color, and set the opacity to 75%. For more on blend modes, see this post: Lunchtime Tips: Blend Modes | Fantastic Maps

    3. Add an overlay layer

    Note that you can still see colour variation in the map - that's because we set the colour layer to 75% rather than 100%. You don't want to wash out all the prior colours. The map looks a bit like a moonscape rather than an underwater map. To bump up the blues a bit I duplicate the colour layer, set the blend mode to Overlay instead of Color.

    4. Adding Ripples

    So we could leave it there, but I want to add some ripples to the map. As light hits the waves on the surface it is distorted and that creates a pattern of light and dark across the sea-bed that's quite distinctive. Yesterday I covered how to create a ripple pattern (Using clouds to create ripples | Fantastic Maps). You can follow those steps, or just download one of my ripple files here: Ripples | Fantastic Maps (note the file is CC-BY-NC licensed, so if you want to use the ripples in a commercial product you'll have to follow the tutorial and make your own!).

    I select a large region of the ripples texture and paste it into my working map - it will show up as a new layer. Once there, use the transform tools (ctrl/command - T or Edit->Free Transform) to spin it round and make sure it covers the whole image. Add a color layer above it, find a nice blue and merge down so that the black parts of the texture are now a good sea-blue color. Finally I set the blend mode to Multiply and drop the opacity right down to 30%.

    5. More Ripples!

    You can immediately see the difference that the ripple pattern makes to the map. I like this so much, I'll do it again. The second layer is coloured with a greener blue to add some colour variation to the map, and it's been rotated so that the ripples aren't going in quite the same direction.

    6 And we're done! The ripples give a convincing under-the-sea feel to a map that started off as an arid blasted desert ruin.

    Please share, and comment if you have problems or have suggestions for future posts. You can find previous tips under #fmtips or over on the tutorials section of the blog: Tips and Tricks | Fantastic Maps
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  6. #76
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    Now also available in video edition. Torstan's accent revealed!

    Fantasy Map Blog | My food illustration
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  7. #77
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    how is this hand drawn? its just another computer generated picture

  8. #78
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    Hi drawzalot. The ripples are computer generated. The other images are hand drawn using a Wacom tablet into photoshop. I don't claim that all the images are purely hand drawn.
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  9. #79
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    drawzalot chill out a bit on the handdrawn stuff! Why don't you give a look at Gimp (free download) and see how easy it is to produce these easy "computer generated pictures" LOL You may have a better appreciation for how the world really works. There is a tremendous amount of skill / knowledge / talent to produce these images no matter what your media, as well as a tremendous overlap of media on these boards.

  10. #80
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    Default Drawing Water

    [Award Winner] Assorted tips and tricks-waterinbattlemaps.jpg

    Here's a quick walkthrough of some thoughts on drawing water at the battlemaps/building scale. I was thinking about Mike Schley's water style (like this map)

    1. Lines
    Around the edge of the water area, draw in smooth flowing lines. Draw them quickly with a sweeping motion - don't think too hard about it. This takes a little practice, but once you've got the hang of it, it comes quickly. Have the lines loosely follow the edge of the water, and avoid any sharp corners

    At this point you can use it as-is - black and white line maps are easy and quick to use. But if you want colour, read on.

    2. Base colour
    Here I've added a grey blue as the base (on a new layer under the lines). Once the blue is in place, I added a white highlights, following the black lines for the edge of the ripples. I've added the white only to the edge away from the side of the pool. This way the ripples look like they're heading towards shore. Add brighter highlights right along the ripple edges.

    3. Extra credit
    In this step I've added the ripple texture from earlier this week as an overlay layer at 8% opacity. I've also added a new overlay layer and used a large fuzzy brush set to black and low opacity to darken the deeper parts of the pool. This will darken the blue, and bump up the saturation, but leave the white highlights almost untouched.

    That's all there is to it! More tutorials on the Tutorials section of the blog: Tips and Tricks | Fantastic Maps Have a good weekend!
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