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Thread: Making roads in a boardgame map.

  1. #1

    Help Making roads in a boardgame map.

    Hello people. I'm stuck.

    I have decided to take an old Lord of the Rings game (from 1977), and modernize it.
    I started with the map, I wanted to make it photorealistic, and I am happy with the result.

    Now I have to draw paths and it's a pain.

    I can't find a tutorial that helps me make them in Photoshop. I have already thought that the cities will be Points, make the roads like lines and that is how I solved the problem. But if I saw a path tutorial that I liked, maybe I would be encouraged to do it.

    Another thing that doesn't convince me is the coast, which is very flat, and I don't know how to proceed either. Thank you!!
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    Last edited by razanon; 11-21-2023 at 08:58 AM.

  2. #2
    Guild Expert Facebook Connected XCali's Avatar
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    Nov 2016


    There numerous ways how to do this. I'll help you with two types. The first one is the easiest for your type of map.

    Preview 1
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    This one is simple. Pick a round brush, pick your color that would fit your map. Then change your brushes SPACING to be much larger. And then you literally just draw the line and the dots would be evenly spaced as long as you draw.

    Preview 2
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    This one is a bit more complicated. Pick a cloudy brush, something that doesn't have a hard edge. Pick your color for the road, something that would fit. And then you draw your road. ON ITS OWN LAYER. When you have your road outline, you select the road. And stroke selection with a lower opacity brush that is darker. BECAUSE you have the road selected the shadow would just appear on top of the road, but you are brushing the sides. (Okay, simplistic language, you paint the sides of the road in a darker lower opacity brush to give a shadow effect.)

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  3. #3
    Professional Artist Tiana's Avatar
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    If you use Clip Studio Paint, you can do that second style by selecting 'watercolor edge' on your brush. If you have Photoshop or Affinity, you can do an inner shadow or inner glow (but set it to multiply and a dark color).

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  4. #4



    Do you want to recreate the roads as they are in the original? You said "roads like lines" which is a bit vague. If you want them to look like in the original, you could create a brush for this.

    First, you'd make a small circular selection and fill it with black then duplicate it onto another layer. Arrange both circles so one is in the upper part of the document, and another is in the bottom part, below the first one. This will be your stamp. Copy both circles onto another layer, and hide the originals. You might have to adjust the gap between them, so we're keeping them as backup.

    Select pixels of the stamp layer, go to edit menu and pick "define brush preset". In brush dynamics, under angle jitter, from the control drop down menu, select "direction". That's it! You have a road brush. Add some smoothing in the top bar to make the lines more steady when you need the roads straighter.

    If the line weight seems too light or heavy, or the gap too large or small, go back to the circles and adjust the gap between them, then define a new preset again, until you have something that you like.

    If you had a different style in mind, paste an example, so I can better understand the look you're going for.


  5. #5


    Thx a lot guys!

  6. #6
    Guild Adept Facebook Connected timallen's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


    Making nice smooth curved roads in Photoshop can also be done using Paths, which is my preferred way when making strategic scale maps. Its a bit finicky but worth it, IMO. You do this using the Pen tool, making sure you are creating points and not shapes (which you can change at the top of the page). Once you have place a bunch of points down on the map, you can then change the pen tool to Convert Point Tool. You can then click on each point you have make and by holding down the right mouse button you can create road-like curves. Once you like what you see you can left click to "stroke" the path with a brush of your choice. Make sure you do all that on a separate layer. I'm probably not explaining this well... just google "using paths in photoshop" and you will find better explanations.
    Last edited by timallen; 11-22-2023 at 10:32 AM.

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