| ||AN ONGOING NEWSLETTER||April 2006|
While nothing beats a real handmade, painted and drybrushed miniature wall, if you are in a hurry or want a large amount of scenery you can design it yourself.
Here is a quick and convenient way to make concrete walls or floors in Photoshop for CoZo or for any sci-fi/gangster/urban game. All you need are some knowledge of Photoshop: Some artistic skill makes it even easier to get a great result!
A tip for all newbies in Photoshop: Always use several layers when rendering effects and textures. It makes things a lot easier if you need to change a colour or discard something that looks wrong. If you stack up all effects in a single layer you might to have start all over again if things go wrong. (Trust me, it happens. I´ve had to start over several times myself)
Open Photoshop and create a new project. I choose to make mine 50mm (2inches) high and 200mm (8 inches) wide with a white background. Make sure the Layer-window is visible (usually to the right). If it´s not, go to the menu-bar, choose Window and check Layers or simply press F7.
Start by making a new layer on top of the background (Shift + Ctrl + L) and fill it with white or black (you can´t render anything if the layer is empty). Now render difference clouds in it, (the path to find it is on the menu-bar: Filter>Render>Difference Clouds).
Doesn't look much like a solid concrete wall does it? Things will get better though! Next, do an emboss in the same layer (Filter>Stylize>Emboss): I used the following settings:
Merge the layer with the background (Ctrl + M) and make copy of the newly merged ones by choosing Layer>Duplicate Layer . Select the copy layer and set it to “Overlay” in the layer window. Then add vertical grain (Filter>Texture>Grain) and use the settings:
Set the opacity to around 65%. Now it's starting to look like a concrete wall, but it´s a bit too stark.
Create a new layer on top of the others and fill it with black. Now we need to set the colours for the final layer. I went for two grey tones, # 787878 and # 5C5B5B.
Now, create a new layer and fill it with any of the grays. Then render clouds in it (Filter>Render>Clouds). Set the layers opacity around 65 to 70%. Merge all the layers (Shift + Ctrl + E) and then Blur it (Filter>Blur>Blur).
Save it and there you have it, just print it out and use it on your cardboard-walls. I prefer thicker paper that adds a bit to the thickness of the walls. It seems the walls look a bit better than ones printed on ordinary sheets.
It is kind of dull and boring by itself, but now that the real fun begins. By adding layers of effects and text you can turn the dull wall or road surface into a little piece of art!
I´ve added some dirt. A text-layer, some black areas where the window and door will be (make them a size that fits your miniatures) and a sign.
There are loads of good texture-tutorials on the net. This was just a simple example of what you can do. With some variations of the walk-through above you can do asphalt, stone walls or clay.