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#1
Pete

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I had to rush this map out last week. The people that wanted it had seen some of my other maps - "those maps you do, you know, the ones with the trees" - and wanted the same for a presentation.

I tried to use the same technique I had come up with using the scribble filter and scatter brushes in Illustrator but it kept on falling over when I tried to add a drop shadow to the layers of trees, providing that I could get the wooded areas to take the scatter brush in the first place - there were simply too many little bits of geometry to offset and render that the software couldn't cope.

What to do :( ?

Illustrator couldn't take any more abuse and even putting the trees into a separate file and placing them into the map (a ruse that normally works) didn't help so I outsourced tree-rendering duties out to Photoshop. I'd never had to do this before ... brave new world!

I exported a 200dpi .tif of the wooded areas in Master Map from ArcMap and used it to define and limit the extent of the trees that I would be applying with a scatter brush by transforming a selection based on those wooded areas. I used the same principle as my other wooded maps - three layers of vegetation in progressively lighter colours to suggest height and volume. The layer effects in Photoshop were far better more intuitive than I thought they would be - the drop shadow was straight forward enough and the bevel and emboss filter helped to give individual trees a more rounded shape. Colour overlays also gave much more flexible control over shading.

Attached File  north_part.gif   524.88KB   272 downloads

#2
Pete

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Attached File  south_part.gif   560.66KB   254 downloads

Oddly enough, the trees are based on the rose head brush tip rather than a solid spot.

#3
Pete

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Trees in action.

Attached File  trees.gif   925.66KB   225 downloads

Rose head trees.
Colour overlay.
Bevel and emboss.
Drop shadow.
Middle layer.
Extra trees.
Top layer.

The balance of highlights and shadows in the emboss effect changes thoughout the layers so that the darkest (deepest) layer has about 75%shade and 25%highlights, the middle layer is about 50/50 and the top layer has the strongest highlights to suggest the increased light that the top of the trees would get compared with the more shaded layers below. It's really subtle ... but I know it's there ;) !

#4
Hans van der Maarel

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I'm speechless! Awesome work once more.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#5
l.jegou

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Indeed, beautiful work ! Thanks for sharing the technique :)

#6
Kathi

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That is indeed awesome!

I realize I have still soooooo much more to learn about what Illy and Photoshop can do... :)
Cheers,

Kathi

#7
Michael Schmeling

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Very good work indeed!
Michael Schmeling
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#8
ravells

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That looks wonderful!

A while back I saw a beautiful method of making forests by Lui who posts on this site (thread here)

Lui kindly posted his method, which I cross posted at the fantasy mapmaking site I frequent, and try as we might, we just couldn't replicate it. Our work-around ended being pretty much the method that you used.

If you'd like to see the gnashing of teeth and the tearing of pixels that got us there in the end, here's the thread, but you may have to register to see the piccies.

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#9
Pete

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Thanks for the positive feedback everyone.

Hi Ravells - I had a read through of what Lui had posted. I'll definately take a look at that method for smaller scale maps. Using noise to create your initial texture before colouring, embossing and shading is quite a neat idea - I remember reading a tutorial on how to do something very similar in ArcMap with the raster calculator and various extensions.

The scale of the original map (1:3,000) was large enough to justify painting the trees on with the scatter brush and the cover wasn't so dense that it look a long time - maybe an hour ... like I said, I was in a rush! - and I could cross-reference the map with a relatively recent aerial photo to get some of the more important landmark trees in the right place

In fact, I just had a quick bash at rendering some trees with noise and I actually quite like it.

Attached File  tree_noise_sample.gif   143.58KB   150 downloads

I really quite like it :D !

Thanks for pointing that out: 50% monochromatic noise, bit of a blur, select the dark patches, expand the selection a bit, feather it a bit, fill with black on a new layer and copy and paste the effects from my original tree Photoshop file, mask with tree areas ... groovy! You could even add a bit more texture to the trees by applying a texture in the bevel and emboss style ... what more could you want?!

I realize I have still soooooo much more to learn about what Illy and Photoshop can do... :)



...

Me too ... :lol: !

#10
Bryan Swindell

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Attached File  south_part.gif   560.66KB   254 downloads

Oddly enough, the trees are based on the rose head brush tip rather than a solid spot.


Hi Pete,

I am going to give this method a go. How do I come by the 'rose head' brush tip? Is it standard with CS5? I can't seem to locate it. Thanks!

#11
Pete

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Hi Pete,

I am going to give this method a go. How do I come by the 'rose head' brush tip? Is it standard with CS5? I can't seem to locate it. Thanks!



Hi Bryan - I'm still on CS2 but I'd imagine it would still be in CS5 ... one thing is it won't be in Illustrator: from what I remember I don't think Illustrator likes transparencies and gradients in its scatter brushes. If you open up Photoshop and take a look in your brush menu the scattered roses should be in the Special Effects brush pallette. Once you've got your hands on it you can tinker with the various settings to get the sort of distribution and size you want.

If the rose brush has been bombed out in favour of something else you could make a similar brush easily enough by using a greyscale 999x999 image of a rose and using it to define a brush in Photoshop.

Let me know how you get on!

#12
Bryan Swindell

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Hi Pete,

I am going to give this method a go. How do I come by the 'rose head' brush tip? Is it standard with CS5? I can't seem to locate it. Thanks!



Hi Bryan - I'm still on CS2 but I'd imagine it would still be in CS5 ... one thing is it won't be in Illustrator: from what I remember I don't think Illustrator likes transparencies and gradients in its scatter brushes. If you open up Photoshop and take a look in your brush menu the scattered roses should be in the Special Effects brush pallette. Once you've got your hands on it you can tinker with the various settings to get the sort of distribution and size you want.

If the rose brush has been bombed out in favour of something else you could make a similar brush easily enough by using a greyscale 999x999 image of a rose and using it to define a brush in Photoshop.

Let me know how you get on!


Thanks! You were right - it is available only in PS, and it is indeed located in the Special Effects brush palette. Many thanks! Also, were you just bringing your finished map into PS and adding three layers of trees directly on top of it, or did you create some sort of custom pattern that you could use in Illy on all of your projects?

#13
milare

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Congrats, Briliant map ;)




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