Battle Maps, Part 8 - Breaking Ground

As I said in my last tutorial, there's nothing new to learn from here on out. All the techniques that I use for my battle maps have been explored and here on, it's just different applications of the same basic ideas.

Which means, by and large, I'll be going through things more quickly.

8.1 Rough Terrain

Uneven, broken ground is achieved in a similar way to the hills in Part 7. It needs a layer which is set to "Multiply" so that anything we draw on it in white is invisible. We then create a layer style which will be visible and will give the appearance of broken earth.

Create a new layer, call it Broken Earth and set the Blend Mode to "Multiply". Then add the following layer styles. First, a Bevel and Emboss...

Then, add a Contour Bevel...

And finally a Pattern Emboss...

To actually draw the rough terrain, you should use the ever-handy maple leaf brush with white as your colour. Use it sparingly to scatter small piles of broken earth around on bare dirt.

8.2 Craters

Craters are not all that useful in the fantasy role playing games I usually find myself in but the technique I developed looks way too cool not to use. Again, set up a new layer with a Multiply blend mode and add the following layer styles...

At this point, you can use this layer as a slightly different take on broken ground by drawing on it with a maple leaf brush as before. It's worth a play to see which on you prefer. However, to make it suitable for cratering (and unsuitable for broken ground), we need one more layer style - an inner shadow.

And that's it. To draw your craters, use a round, hard edged brush and the colour white. It's best to freehand draw a circle so it isn't too precise. The effect should look like this...

As with the trees in Part 4, you can theoretically print out craters on overhead transparencies and place them on your existing maps. You can also place them in response to events in-game. If a particularly violent spell gets dropped on a hapless hero, then you can place a crater underneath his feet.

Part 9 -Just Desert