Blend modes are a wonderful feature of Photoshop, and also appear in many other programs, including Gimp. Here’s a few I use regularly. I’ve taken the same styles o text and shown how they appear using the different blend modes. Further down, you can see the effect of using a selection of different gradients and setting them to the relevant blend mode. There’s a breakdown of each blend mode after the jump.
Today I’m walking through my method for colouring trees quickly for RPG maps. This follows on from this mini-tute/discussion on different tree styles from last week. I’m working with style 1 from that tutorial here, though it can be directly applied to the other styles just as easily.
The problem with trees is the leaves. Continue reading
The human eye looks for detail and texture, or patterns and regularity. If you use a hard edged round brush in your work, there will be hard edged circles in your work. We’re very good at picking them out, so your audience will see them. On the other hand, if you use a brush with splattered edges, a random orientation and a variable size then there will be no pattern anywhere. Then the human eye sees other patterns and forms. It sees texture that isn’t there, and fills in regions with the texture it believes it should see. Continue reading
How do you take a line art map like this one and colour it up? An isometric map is a little trickier than a top down map. As there aren’t hard edges for the walls it’s tricky to set up a selection and stroke the selection or use filters to define walls and floor styles. So I do it by hand. And here’s the steps I use. Continue reading
It’s often the case that you find that you have a map from an adventure that has labels on it. You need to remove the labels before you show it to your players or they’ll know where the bad guys are. On many maps this is actually pretty easy. Continue reading
This week I’m looking at how to take published maps, rescale them for miniature or virtual tabletop use and then slice them up for printing at home. Continue reading
This week it’s all about the dungeon, and I’ve been covering ways of creating dungeon maps without actually drawing anything. These tips should work whether you’re a natural doodler or you think pencils are the devil incarnate.
Castle Defence – a classic gatehouse
Castles are built for more than one reason – people live there, guards are stationed there and often they are political power centers for the region. But first and foremost they are built to keep people out. Continue reading
I’ve been doing some lunchtime mapping tips over on my G+ page and facebook page. Circle/friend those pages if you’d like to see these tips through your social media of choice, but I’ll also be posting them directly to here.
Today – my workflow on hills:
- Lay in the shadows with a large fuzzy brush. In photoshop or the Gimp I’d suggest doing this on a layer with the blend mode set to overlay.
- Lay in the highlights with a slightly smaller fuzzy brush. Avoid sharp edges. You want hills to be rolling, and in contrast to the sharp peaks of a mountain range. Again, here I’ve done this on an overlay layer.
- Add colour (here I’m a layer with the blend mode set to colour) and leave the hills slightly browner than the flat plains. That helps to differentiate them – and means that even with subtle light and shade they’ll be easy to read at a glance.
A couple of other things to keep in mind:
- Lay in the rivers first. As rivers drain the water out of hills, they will determine where the hills should go.
- Less is more when it comes to shadows and highlights here. Your mountains should have the darkest shadows. Make sure that your hill shadows are quite a bit more subtle.
I hope that’s useful, chip in if there’s a particular topic you’d like to see covered!
I was recently asked about the process that goes into making a map like the map of Rhune: Dawn of Twilight
I haven’t had the time to put together a full blown tutorial on this, but I did jot down the steps I take to get to this point, and a few of the settings I use. This walkthrough uses Photoshop and a graphics tablet. It can almost all be done in Gimp with the same settings (I use PS because it handles large files better – and has more advanced brush dynamics). The tablet is more critical. The line art can be done by hand drawing and scanning and setting the layer to multiply. The colouring can be done with a PS brush with the opacity down low and then lust built up multiple times – but I’d recommend spending the $80 and picking up a cheap Wacom. It makes all the difference.
Okay, onto the workflow: Continue reading