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Thread: (Photoshop) Create a dungeon floorplan in minutes (dial-up killer)

  1. #1
      Duvik is offline
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    Tutorial (Photoshop) Create a dungeon floorplan in minutes (dial-up killer)

    Creating a quick and easy dungeon floorplan ((View this thread for a work in progress with images that illustrate this method http://www.cartographersguild.com/sh...=5763#post5763 ))

    This quick tutorial will show you how to create a quick and easy dungeon floorplan. I'll be using and referencing photoshop but, the technique should work just fine in Gimp.

    Step 1: Decide on your overall map and grid size and open your file. I'll be using a 45px grid on a 20x20 square map. ((900x900 px for image dimensions))

    see the Grid Tutorial for making a transparent grid layer

    Step 2: Create a new layer. fill it with your grid pattern, and reduce it's opacity to about 10-20%... just enough to see it while you draw your floorplan.

    Step 3: Create a layer 'under' the grid layer and name it 'floor'

    Step 4: On your 'floor' layer, you have a few options for drawing but... for beginner's, we're going to use the rectangular Marquee selection tool (see Appendix 1 for method to draw natural looking cave systems). Using this tool, start drawing your rooms and connect them with hallways and corridors. The gridlines will serve as an easy guide for judging measurements and placing doors.

    Step 5: Once you have your floors shape all filled in... use the magic wand tool and select the entire floor.

    Step 6: Set your brush size to 5px and a hard stroke.

    Step 7: Create a new layer, name this one 'walls'

    Step 8: On your walls layer, choose the marquee tool again, your previous selection of the floor layer should still be visible. Right click the image and select, Stroke (position: outside)

    You now have a nice wall surrounding your floor

    Step 8: Switch focus to the 'floors' layer and then use your magic wand again. This time, once you select the floor area, right click the image and choose, 'Select Inverse' This will select everything 'outside' of the floor.

    Step 9: Switch to the Grid layer and click the ol' Cntrl-X... this will erase all the grid lines that are outside the floor and allow you to add texture, title, map key, or whatever you wish on the external area of the map.

    Step 10: Switch back to the 'floor' layer and apply a nice texture to it... stone, marble, whatever you wish. If you want to add different textures to separate rooms... you'll need select each room area on that layer and 'Layer via Cut/Copy' to another layer.

    Step 11: Here's where it'll start to look nice... Give the wall a bit of drop shadow, bevel, and texture. Play with the settings a bit and find a style you like.

    Step 12: Create a new layer and name it 'doors'

    Step 13: Draw yerself a little door symbol that is one grid space wide and about a 1/5th grid space wide or so. Play with the bevel and emboss, texture, and color until you get the look of whatever sort of door you are placing in that area.

    Step 14: Copy the door you make and paste it where ever you need using new layers for each door, and eventually merging all doors to one layer.

    Step 15: Optional -- you can play with drop shadows and strokes on the grid layer to achieve some nice grout lines on tile that double as grid markers. Also try changing color of grid and transparency... some folk like saving maps with grids, some don't... If you just wan't groutlines for tiled floors to match up, you can always just cut out the room area from the grid layer and tweak it or hide it for each section.

    You should now have a passable looking map for use in your online or tabletop games. There are a lot of neat effects you can add to a map like this.

    Appendix 1: Alternate method for creating winding caverns... instead of using the Marquee tool to draw your lines, just freehand them with brush tool... ends up coming out very natural looking.

    Appendix 2: Adding flavor... building furniture and rugs and such is beyond scope of this tutorial. I will add a nice trick for lighting effects at a future date I hope.

    no time for images now... please post your experiments using this method if you try it out. I'd like to see how well i convey my thoughts

    on second thought, here are some finished images at least. I created these three maps using this method.

    please note that some of them aren't perfect and doors don't align with grids on one or two whilse the grids extend over walls a bit in another... these were my learning maps... fergive me




    Last edited by Duvik; 08-03-2007 at 11:47 PM. Reason: adding link to images for visual aid
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  2. #2
      kalmarjan is offline
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    Good progress overall! A few comments if I may:

    • Watch the drop shadows. I am not sure which program you used, but sometimes your shadows make the walls look like they are floating over the ground. This can be fixed by adjusting the placement of the drop shadow. In photoshop it is the distance and the spread markers that will fix this for you.
    • In the first map, the spot marked 1 looks as if your dias goes beyond the walls. If that is the look you are after, disregard this comment. Otherwise, if you place the dias layer(s) below the wall layer, it will take care of this problem.
    • The altar needs some loving as well. With the shadows you have, it sort of looks like it is floating.
    • THe spot marked 2 on the second map presents a little problem. Again, it is interpretation of the map, but logic states that if this is a dungeon, the pillars in the middle of the dungeon would be as tall as the wall, so the drop shadow would/should match the wall's. Otherwise, it appears that there is no ceiling in this dungeon. Also, the spread of the drop shadow needs to be fixed (see the first list item above.
    • The spot marked 3 on the second map is another interpretation. Again, this probably goes towards layering, but if the pillar does actually glow, the corners of the walls in this area would have no shadows. See, that is the problem sometimes with using layer effects, they just do not work. Try this: Make a new layer above the walls, then press ctrl+alt+g. This will clip the layer to the walls. Fill this with 50% gray, then set the opacity mode to soft light. Then use the dodge and burn brushes to make your shadows. A soft brush will do the trick


    All in all, a good tut. A few minor points, and you are on your way to mapping masterdom!

    Sandeman
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails (Photoshop) Create a dungeon floorplan in minutes (dial-up killer)-map2_crit.png   (Photoshop) Create a dungeon floorplan in minutes (dial-up killer)-map1_crit.png  
    What???? You mean there is NO MAGIC RENDER BUTTON!

  3. #3
      pyrandon is offline
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    Duvik! You rock! Thanks so much for this--especially since it's on subterranean mapping (which is for some reason only lightly treated in our forum).

    If you ever feel reallly crazy, you may want to add some "in process" shots to your tutorial, too, for those of us who are more visual.

    Thank you so much for posting this!

    PS: in your thread title make sure to specify the program your tutorial utilizes, too, ok? Makes easier surfing/searching.
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  4. #4
      RPMiller is online now
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyrandon View Post
    PS: in your thread title make sure to specify the program your tutorial utilizes, too, ok? Makes easier surfing/searching.
    You know I really like what a couple people do on the Dundjinni forums. At the bottom of the post they type several related words that helps when doing searches. Now that we are starting to get up there post count wise, maybe we should do something similar as a standard for Informative and Tutorial posts.
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      Torq is offline
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    Great Tut Duvik.

    Arcana, when can he have a competition creating this sort of map? It seems that the number of VT heads is growing on the forum (:


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  6. #6
      Duvik is offline
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    Heh, glad you all think it's useful and take heed of the suggestions made by Kalmarjan... they are all well deserved and... my only excuse for those errors is...

    These maps were created over a year ago as I practiced the the techniques I had been pieceing together from around the net. I've gotten a little more skilled and pay more attention to the little details. Here's a screen shot of another more recent map I am working on that uses this technique...

    ((note... i still need work on torches and doors but, you can see a lot of improvemnents over those first maps i posted.)) The attached map is of small scale and was designed for the following event... The Kobold's Key
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails (Photoshop) Create a dungeon floorplan in minutes (dial-up killer)-koboldskey.jpg  
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  7. #7
      RPMiller is online now
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    Where did you find those beds? I'm looking for such a bed right now actually.
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  8. #8
      Duvik is offline
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    homemade, i can post a copy of just the beds if ya wish, won't be til tomorrow though, I'm off to bed... started a new job today and got knowledge overload...
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  9. #9
      Duvik is offline
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    nevermind, if yer looking now... i know how it is... here's the bed as a png... you'll have to clear drop shadow yerself though,,, i had merged the layers for bed...
    Attached Images Attached Images  
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  10. #10
      RPMiller is online now
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    Thanks! If you happen to have the original or remember how you made it that would be even better. I'll make do with this one for now.
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