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Objects and Textures: Fantasy
 Dundjinni Mapping Software - Forums : Objects and Textures: Fantasy
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jdale
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Posted: 12/08/2004 at 8:09pm | IP Logged Quote jdale

These are bushes but I think could pass as small trees.

I used to like snow, but now I love it because it makes the background eraser work perfectly...



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Melisere
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Posted: 12/08/2004 at 9:50pm | IP Logged Quote Melisere

Awesome work as usual! Gee... I love to see some of these in their spring greenery, they might even have colorful buds. *hint* *hint*
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Halebop
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Posted: 12/08/2004 at 11:50pm | IP Logged Quote Halebop

These are very nice!
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Metajock
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Posted: 12/09/2004 at 5:19am | IP Logged Quote Metajock

These are good. I'll definatlly be using these.

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alfblack
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Posted: 12/09/2004 at 7:39am | IP Logged Quote alfblack

Very nice.. We can never have too many trees. :) or any natural object.

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jdale
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Posted: 12/09/2004 at 8:43am | IP Logged Quote jdale

Melisere wrote:
Awesome work as usual! Gee... I love to see some of these in their spring greenery, they might even have colorful buds. *hint* *hint*


Ok, come back in May and we'll see what shows up... ;)
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Melisere
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Posted: 12/09/2004 at 9:05pm | IP Logged Quote Melisere

May? But spring here starts the first week of March! It lasts for 3 to 5 days then back to summer.
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jdale
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Posted: 12/09/2004 at 9:40pm | IP Logged Quote jdale

I'm not good with this season thing. Too much time on the west coast with evergreens that couldn't be bothered to change color or drop their leaves. To be honest I never really believed this whole myth about piles of leaves until I moved to New England. ;)

Anyway, I'll do spring when it comes. Right now I'm stuck with winter and bits of fall, since the weather here has trouble making up its mind. The truth is I just keep my camera in my pocket whenever I go somewhere, and there's no telling when something will be useful. The bushes and partial snow covers are from the University of Connecticut at Storrs. I could do a travelogue based on my textures alone. ;) So far I've posted textures or objects from seven states and two planets (admittedly that part is cheating).

This gives me a great idea. I could do a fantastic set of summer textures and objects much sooner if someone would just fund a trip for me to New Zealand. Any takers?
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Halebop
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Posted: 12/10/2004 at 2:54am | IP Logged Quote Halebop

You wouldn't know it was summer here at the moment! It just snowed last week down in the South Island and we're still getting cool winds and rain up here in Auckland.
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jdale
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Posted: 12/10/2004 at 7:53am | IP Logged Quote jdale

Shhh! You'll ruin my plan!
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johnpaulstoddar
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Posted: 12/10/2004 at 11:01am | IP Logged Quote johnpaulstoddar

Theres a great Contest Prize Idea...An all Around-New Zealand All expense Paid Trip...Contest only open to the state of Texas..First Time Contest Entries with the Initials of JPS...Born on Labor Day 1965...who has two pet House Geckos..

hum wonder if I could rig it in my favor anymore..

Anyways Mother Nature has been screwy downsouth lately...Rain Rain Nothing but Rain.

Nice photos
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Icebreath
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Posted: 12/10/2004 at 11:45am | IP Logged Quote Icebreath

jdale wrote:
I'm not good with this season thing. Too much time on the west coast with evergreens that couldn't be bothered to change color or drop their leaves. To be honest I never really believed this whole myth about piles of leaves until I moved to New England. ;)


You mean they really DO change color and fall to the ground?!    I thought that was just some kind of sick joke!

And what's all this talk of "seasons"? There's the rainy season, the other rainy season, and a week in between on each end where it's either scorching hot or freezing cold.   

(as if you couldn't tell, I live in the pacific NW)

Edited by Icebreath on 12/10/2004 at 11:47am


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Solanio
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Posted: 12/10/2004 at 11:52am | IP Logged Quote Solanio

Wonderful trees/shrubs. Thanks so much!

I'm pretty new to this but I'll have to take the digital camera out to the backyard and see what I can come up with. I'm blown away by all the stuff you guys are creating.

I know the magnetic lasso in Photoshop is great for this sort of thing, but even then, trying to create perfect transparencies with all those twigs and branches I imagine must be murder.

Is there a good tutorial to tell us how to begin w/o having to invest in something expensive, like Extensis Mask Pro? - How do you folks do it?
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jdale
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Posted: 12/10/2004 at 12:35pm | IP Logged Quote jdale

Icebreath wrote:
(as if you couldn't tell, I live in the pacific NW)

I grew up in Seattle... so I know just how you feel!

Solanio, my advice for taking pictures is 1) use no flash, 2) pick a grey day or otherwise take pictures where there is no direct sun (this prevents strong shadowing), and 3) hold the camera as high as you can. When I am making textures, I take at least a half dozen pictures of similar areas, and use one per tile. For objects its usually one picture per object, you want to keep the object centered in the shot.

As for cutting things out... I posted some of this earlier but I've found some new tricks so this is extended.

I use Paint Shop Pro, and a few different techniques. Maybe someone else can talk about what Photoshop techniques are equivalent. I think PSP is cheaper for anyone deciding what to buy...

Background Eraser - great when the object contrasts with the background. It just erases the background and leaves the object there! If you can set up the picture, you can make this work. I always try this first. These bushes were against a snow background, so it was super easy. If they were against a brown mulch background I probably wouldn't have even bothered taking the pictures, way too much work.

Magic Wand - selects adjacent points similar to the point you click on. Hold down shift to keep selecting additional points and add them to the current selection. Then either copy and paste into a new image, or invert the selection and delete.

Freehand selection - Outline the objects with the freehand selection tool, then copy and paste into a new image. (You could also outline and delete if you want to do it in pieces.) I use a graphics tablet (Wacom), which makes this easier. I used this for some of the rocks, they have simple and forgiving outlines.

Freehand plus - when you pick the freehand selection tool, there are two really nice options for "selection type": Smart Edge and Edge Seeker. Both of these are useful for making PSP follow existing edges, but give it more guidance than just using the magic wand. (Perhaps this is like the magnetic lasso in Photoshop?) I have used these for cutting out plants, but it's tedious. I did most of the gravestones using these.

Usually I have to do some clean-up afterwards (plain old eraser), but I try to minimize that.

Occasionally I have used the darken brush to shade the edges in places where I've trimmed too much depth. The darken brush is great for manually adding shadows and shading. The clone brush is also good for fixing things that aren't quite right. I sometimes use both of these to fix tiles that are uneven around the border areas.

For objects, usually I then add a drop shadow (Effects/3D/Drop Shadow, with 0 offset), basically just a black glow. I omit this if it's supposed to be flush with the ground. In some cases I've either used the eraser with a low opacity and density to blend the edges against the background, or feathered the selection when I cut it out, in order to make the edges of the object blend into the background.

Also, I do all the work (except the shadow) at full resolution (my camera is 3 megapixel), and then reduce afterwards. That covers up a lot.
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Solanio
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Posted: 12/10/2004 at 4:21pm | IP Logged Quote Solanio

Hey jdale,

Thanks for all the great info!

I don't have PSP, but I work with some artists who use it, and the stuff
they create is incredible. Boy, you're really talking me into getting a
Wacom tablet. Maybe next year... (or maybe I can talk work into getting
one and I can take it home when needed!) :-) - I can really see where it
would do so good for this.

For Photoshop (and I'm just talking off the top of my hat; I do some image
work but I haven't done this just yet. This would be my attack plan)...

For CX, I'd probably try the extract filter that uses a 'highlighter' to help
demarcate the image and ease the bg into transparency. I haven't tried it
but I hear it works very very well.

Heretofore, I've used the magnetic lasso, which works wonderfully well.
Once I get my selection close, I would turn the unselected area into a
masque in order to not effect the base image by clicking, with the
selection active, on the masque icon at the bottom of the layer palette
(mac) while holding control key down. (On PC, you would do this by right
clicking on the mouse, onto the masque icon) ( This turns the unselected
area "off". It's still there but transparent.

Then I would follow up with a soft small brush for touch ups, working
again on the masque layer, not the actual image (the masque icon should
be visible next to the eye icon in the layer, not the brush icon, which
means you're working on the actual image).

For good contrast like your snow images, I would start with a colour
selection to capture most of the pixels range (Select -> Colour Range) OR
Magic wand with aliased option, value somewhere between 5 - 30
depending on how different the colour values between the image and bg
are. - Then I'd swich over to mag-lasso above.

Also, when I do this, I like to have two views open, a detail pixel close-up
and 100% so I can see how my close-up work in pixel view is effecting the
whole image). (Do this by selecting the file and then Window -> Arrange
-> New Window for (name of file) )

Finally, I usually blur my selection by a couple pixels or so (depending on
the size of the original). First I like to make a layer copy at this point
(drag layer to layer icon, which makes a copy of the layer). (Cmd/Cntl
Click the masque in the layer to load the selection, then choose Select ->
Feather -> choose value. This is especially important if you're using a
hard brush as you want to recapture those blend pixels. OR, since the
masque is just a greyscale image, you could go to the channels palette,
click on the masque itself and apply either a blur or Guassian blur filter to
that channel image; then go back to layers to see the effect. If you don't
like the effect, undo or use the history palette to reset.

If you have $200 kicking around bothering you (ha!) Extensis Mask Pro
plug-in - which does only this one thing - but does it so well - is
supposed to be so good that it is able to pick hair strands out of a bg. But
it used to go for $300 so I think that the built-in PS tools are starting to
work well enough to cut into MP's market share maybe.

Do you do any colour adjustments? Your colours look so rich and vibrant.
I'd probably do a final pass with curves/levels on an adjustment layer
(again so I don't muck the original image) (click on the adjustment layer
icon in layers and pick whichever tool you're intending to use.

In fact, you could make a Hue/Saturation layer (or layers) and use these to
create colour variations from the same base object. (Why wait for a
seasonal change when you could do it yourself sort of thing - or create
alien colour schemes).

Again, you could do the same by picking Image -> Adjustments -> (pick
adjustment option) - but at that point you're effecting the actual image.
By doing an adjustment layer instead, you can discard it or toggle it off to
get a before and after preview.

Cheers, Sol.
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jdale
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Posted: 12/10/2004 at 7:54pm | IP Logged Quote jdale

Usually the only thing I do related to color is darken the image and sometimes raise the contrast. My camera (Canon Powershot A70) is really good for color, I'm very happy with it. Makes me feel like reading a million reviews was actually worth it. The pictures are often lighter than typical Dundjinni art, though.

I have played with changing colors, for example I changed some of Alynnaliza's trees from summer to fall, but not on photos. Hmm. Maybe I should try it. Although it's easier to go from green to fall colors than vice versa, since when you go from green to brown/orange you can use the hue map without messing up anything else, but if you use it to make browns into greens it will also affect the stems and branches. The hue adjustment layer would work, of course.

I don't think PSP has a color selection tool. (E.g. select everything that is green.) One of the very few things I wish they would add. I also have Corel Photopaint and I have used it just for that.
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alfblack
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Posted: 12/12/2004 at 7:44am | IP Logged Quote alfblack

Before, I thought wacom pads were a luxury. Only for major graphic artists or people who can draw very well. But my brother offred/traded his for my old DIMMs so it was a great deal (for me).

Graphics editing (mostly masking for me) it is much faster and more precise!



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jdale
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Posted: 12/12/2004 at 8:21pm | IP Logged Quote jdale

I got the tablet mostly because my mice and trackballs were killing my wrist. The advantages for graphics were bonus! But I do like it a lot for graphics.
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Solanio
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Posted: 12/13/2004 at 12:18pm | IP Logged Quote Solanio

One of my coworkers uses his Wacom instead of a mouse. I can see the benefit but my hand isn't steady enough - or perhaps I just need more practice - to use it as a mouse.

As to the colour selection tool, it's good to have but I don't think you're missing much. It's one of those features that sounds better than it is, IMO. Not that it's not good to have in those rare situations that it works perfectly for (such as selecting hard to grab areas based on colour), but using it in complex images usually results in over selection of unwanted areas that must be lassoed out; and in simple images that work better with colour selection, usually the wand works better.
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Targeteron
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Posted: 12/14/2004 at 2:01pm | IP Logged Quote Targeteron

great trees and great info. thanks!

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Kepli
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Posted: 07/06/2006 at 1:13am | IP Logged Quote Kepli

As promissed ...

Here are some keplifications and dbladings on these bushes by JDale (see first post)

Zips
Summer_Bushes.zip
Flower_Bushes.zip

Contactsheets



Seach: bush, summer, flowers, ...

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benwax
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Posted: 07/06/2006 at 5:01am | IP Logged Quote benwax

Nice work Kep!

Thanks bro! Can never have enough bushes, trees....oh...and vines too!

Ben

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heruca
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Posted: 07/06/2006 at 9:22am | IP Logged Quote heruca

These are great, and tremendously useful. Thanks, Kep!
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Dragonlady
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Posted: 07/06/2006 at 9:56am | IP Logged Quote Dragonlady


Stupendous! Great work!
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gtech_1
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Posted: 07/06/2006 at 7:16pm | IP Logged Quote gtech_1

Great Stuff!

Thanks Kep!

GTech

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Futureboy
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Posted: 07/07/2006 at 2:54am | IP Logged Quote Futureboy

Thanks, Kep! These are great, always need more of this kind of stuff!!
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MasterMind
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Posted: 07/10/2006 at 5:12am | IP Logged Quote MasterMind

Great
More PLEASE
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forumLurker
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Posted: 07/11/2006 at 3:19pm | IP Logged Quote forumLurker

Nice versions Kep
~lurker~

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