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Thread: First battlemap - Sand Raiders from Dark Sun 4e

  1. #11
    Guild Novice reddragonjr's Avatar
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    Edit: actually, it's even faster to just use the paintbrush, and I think it looks even better than the changed one above...
    Could you elaborate on the brushes please ?

  2. #12
      madcowchef is offline
    Guild Artisan madcowchef's Avatar
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    Those are pretty, and good representational shadows Raptori, but I'm going to argue against them being more realistic. Look outside on a sunny day, shadows cast by most objects are actually quite sharp, and unless there is a second light source, or a highly reflective area behind the object they don't typically fade that visibly unless they are very large objects. That said I think its more important that you shadows look good than are realistic, and your fading shadows pass that test with flying colors.

    I think for the brushes he simply means take a brush and paint your own shadow under it, its a great technique and on a couple or rocks like you have very quick. He can correct me if I'm making a poor assumption there.

  3. #13
      Raptori is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by madcowchef View Post
    Those are pretty, and good representational shadows Raptori, but I'm going to argue against them being more realistic. Look outside on a sunny day, shadows cast by most objects are actually quite sharp, and unless there is a second light source, or a highly reflective area behind the object they don't typically fade that visibly unless they are very large objects. That said I think its more important that you shadows look good than are realistic, and your fading shadows pass that test with flying colors.
    Yeah it depends on the lighting - I think the reason I randomly made it blurry is that it's very cloudy over here at the moment so shadows are usually blurred like that; it's probably not actually that appropriate for such an arid scenario! I'm pretty sure it could work for the more well defined shadows you'd see in this kind of place, might have to try that when I get a chance.

    Quote Originally Posted by madcowchef View Post
    I think for the brushes he simply means take a brush and paint your own shadow under it, its a great technique and on a couple or rocks like you have very quick. He can correct me if I'm making a poor assumption there.
    Yup you're pretty much spot on - I just brushed along the edge of the rock (with a separate layer selected) using the brush tool, then used the eraser to fix it up a bit.

    Despite it being such a simple trick I'll create some screenshots and post the process here when I get some time (which should be Wednesday at the earliest), since it might help someone and it'd be cool to see if anyone does anything differently.

  4. #14
    Guild Artisan Jacktannery's Avatar
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    The guys above are right, but another reason you might not be satisfied with your rocks, is because they look like they are very flat. This is because you are adding lots of shadows UNDER the rocks as per the guys above but not OVER the rock. Adding shadows and highlights over the rock will make it feel rocky and natural. Personally, I like your flat rock formations and think they are fine.

  5. #15
    Guild Novice reddragonjr's Avatar
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    Thank you guys for taking time and analyzing my battlemap. I am yet to decide which way I want to go with doing battlemaps - make them 'realistic' like in the map uploaded (use real textures for items) or just use paint tool to draw them (if I manage to make things look like they suppose to without having to explain what everything is). Wish I could draw better ~_~

    "Drawn" variant
    First battlemap - Sand Raiders from Dark Sun 4e-sadness.png

  6. #16
      Raptori is offline
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    As promised, here are some instructions!




    The starting point here is a Photoshop document with initially two layers - a white background layer and the shape above it. First, I'll show the steps to create the painted shadow version with soft edges, then develop that a little, then show a quick way to create a sharper shadow.

    First battlemap - Sand Raiders from Dark Sun 4e-01-start.jpg

    I created a new layer, and placed it in between the background and the rock. I then selected the paintbrush tool, chose full black as the colour, and made the brush pretty big with 0% hardness and 30% opacity, giving the result you can see below.

    First battlemap - Sand Raiders from Dark Sun 4e-02-brush-click.jpg

    To start the shadow, I used that brush along the edge I wanted to add shadows to. By that I mean I positioned the cursor so that it's center was directly on the edge of the shape, then followed the shape along, giving this as a result:

    First battlemap - Sand Raiders from Dark Sun 4e-03-brush-stroke.jpg

    I then repeated that step several times, trying to focus on the areas that should be darkest.

    First battlemap - Sand Raiders from Dark Sun 4e-04-brush-darken.jpg

    Next, I used the polygonal lasso tool to select the excess shadow, and pressed delete to remove it.

    First battlemap - Sand Raiders from Dark Sun 4e-05-lasso.jpgFirst battlemap - Sand Raiders from Dark Sun 4e-06-deleted.jpg

    Next, I used the Gaussian Blur filter to soften those sharp edges.

    First battlemap - Sand Raiders from Dark Sun 4e-07-gaussian-blur.jpg

    Finally, I selected the eraser tool with a smaller brush at 0% hardness and 15% opacity, and fixed the shape of the shadow so that it looks a bit better.

    First battlemap - Sand Raiders from Dark Sun 4e-08-eraser.jpg




    Using that same layer, to address Jacktannery's point, you can put the shadow layer above the rock layer, and then use the eraser to give some different impressions of 3d rocks.

    First battlemap - Sand Raiders from Dark Sun 4e-09-shadow-top.jpgFirst battlemap - Sand Raiders from Dark Sun 4e-10-shaped.jpg

    Obviously that would look a lot nicer with a bit more work. Highlights and different shadows would make it feel a lot more three dimensional, but for a quick start it's not bad.




    To make the sharper shadows really easily, I first copied the rock layer and placed the new layer underneath the initial one, then moved it to where I wanted the edges of the shadow to be.

    First battlemap - Sand Raiders from Dark Sun 4e-11-duplicate.jpg

    I then used the colour layer blend mode to colour it black, and flattened the layer.

    First battlemap - Sand Raiders from Dark Sun 4e-12-black.jpg

    Next, I used the polygonal lasso tool to connect the corners together, and filled the selection with black using the paint bucket tool.

    First battlemap - Sand Raiders from Dark Sun 4e-13-lasso.jpgFirst battlemap - Sand Raiders from Dark Sun 4e-14-filled.jpg

    At this point, you could just reduce the opacity and then set the blend mode to multiply, and it'd probably look pretty good. You can also improve the shape using the brush tool with hardness set to 100%, and you can also make it look a bit more three dimensional by placing the shadow layer on top and messing around with it as above.




    I think that's probably all you'd need to know to get the basic steps, and once you've got those, it should be pretty obvious how to improve the result to make it look really good. If you need any help don't hesitate to ask though!

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