More Mask Tutorial Work
Okay, So what can you do with masks that apply directly to mapping?
The answer: A whole !@#$ load of stuff. This particular excersize will deal with a simple pattern and layer mask and how you can manipulate the mask to gain a desired effect.
I started a new psd file with my custom web setting, which I will be using over and over again (6"x6" 150 dpi with a white background.)
The first thing we have to do is create a seamless forest pattern. So here is how you do that. (small note: for anything professional you do, you should try it at 600dpi and a broader selection, what I use here is for tutorial purposes and not meant to look very pretty.)
Create a new file, 1"x1" 300 dpi is what I used here, then start to draw in some trees. Stay away from the edges of the picture. Once you have some trees in the middle run the offset filter (Filter>Other>Offset) you can play around with the settings some or use the ones I did (+137, -178 with Wrap Around checkmarked)
Then go in and start making some more trees in the center (always keep to the center) and use CTRL + F to run the filter repeatedly until you have filled the whole thing in. Then save the pattern (Edit>Define Pattern)
Go back to the original file you created for your map. Create a new layer (CTRL + SHIFT + N) named Forest. Or optionally you can just go to Layer>New Layer Fill>Pattern and choose the pattern you just made. I prefer this option to Edit>Fill>Pattern because you can adjust the scale of the pattern you are using. I scaled this one down to 40%
With the mask highlighted go down to you mask button and ALT+Click the the layer mask which will add a Vector mask, Right click on this new mask and choose Rasterize and you will then have a black mask over the pattern you just layed down (It will disappear, don't freak out :D)
Choose a nice soft brush and make sure your layer mask is selected, Your foreground color should be white, then brush in a nice sized forest or two.
Zoom in and touch it up by switching between your black and white colors to edit out stray edges.
Once you have that done, create a new layer underneat the Forest layer, then paint in some tree trunks to give it that ISO feel.
Granted this particular forest isn't that great, but I did it in about 15 minutes (the entire tutorial excersize) but hopefully you can see how this process can work for mapping.
SOOOO..... why do you need to use a Vector Mask??
Well I used this technique on the monthly challenge and so I will demonstrate a good use of vector masks for mapping.
I wanted all the objects in the map to resemble each other and maintain a semblance of uniformity.
So lets get right into it. For my original map I used quite a few layers for the stonework, but for this mini-tut I we'll be using a lot less. I also used nothing but brushes but again, for simplicities sake, we'll be using textures. Create your new file (As above tutorial instructed) Create a new layer which will name "stone" and well do it simple this time and Edit>Fill>Pattern and choose a nice rock pattern. Then go to Layer>Vector Mask>Hide All.
I used a backdrop on my original, but we are going to freehand some objects this time around. Grab the pen tool, make sure your path option is chosen and that you have Add to Selection marked. You'll notice that unlike a layer mask, your thumbnail of the layer as well as the mask will be selected at the same time. (Rasterized Layer Masks you either select the mask or the layer). So make sure your have the Vector mask selected as well and start laying down som straight line objects. If you want to get fancy, drop down a circle or two... up to you. Throw down a shape or two... HAVE SOME FUN! :D
Now create another layer "Overlay" and set it to overlay. Hold down the ALT key and LCdrag the vector mask to the new layer, making a copy of it.
Chose you a rough brush like a stipple brush, set your brush settings to pen pressure, min size halfway up, angle jitter 90%, click on the color dynamics, run the jitter up about 90%, brightness of 15%. Make sure your vector layer is unclicked, choose some nice ugly colors like (r177 g198 b84) and (r129 g129 b84) and start swathing the rocks and symbols you created.
Now create a new layer "Edge" and ALT copy the vector layer as before. Right Click on that vector mask and choose Rasterize Vector Mask,Right click the mask and choose "Add mask to Selection" With the mask still selected go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur with 12 pix radius. (Now get ready for some fun) Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur with 9 px, CTRL+F to run it again, then Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur 6px, CTRL+F to run it again. Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur 3px. (Whew... glad that was done huh?... I have an action command set up to do this as it works well when rendering logos and text), Now select the Layer thumbnail and not the mask, make Black your foreground color and the ALT+Backspace to fill the selection .... set the layer to Overlay .... You can adjust the opacity if you think it is too dark...
I filled the background with a dark gray in the final picture so you could see it a bit better.
Congratulations.. you just made some rocks :D
I'm sure however that you can see that many applications that vector masks will have to mapping.
I hate getting stuck so early in the tutorial! :(
I could NOT get the previous key command to work. I don't know if it's because I'm using PS 7 or because the key command didn't translate to Mac properly. After doing some fiddling, I discovered that this works:
Originally Posted by delgondahntelius
1. Go to the Paths Palette. Command Click (PC: Control Click) on the path you just created to make a selection of the shapes. Command+C to copy. Make Work Path From Selection (from bottom of palette).
2. Go back to the Layers Palette. Click on the Overlay Layer to activate it. Go to the Menu > Layer > Add Vector Mask > Current Path.
Everything else worked like a dream. That was fun! Thanks!