Saturday, December 6, 2014

Trying walls using stock photos

Here's a quick attempt at a wall using some free-to-exploit photography.

Not too shabby! I can easily imagine the post textures to go with it. I made sure to make the wall texture really wide, so I could drop it on angled walls, too. It might be tough to make double-height walls from something like this.

Still, it's pretty trivial to make walls like this, so I'd like to get a couple done and see what a set might look like. There are a lot of options out there for windows, doors and other decorations. It's really a matter of me getting better at blending them with arbitrary walls.

I'll see about floors, too.

Friday, December 5, 2014

New GIMP script - Make Bricks

It's slow as molasses, but it works! I've got a script that will let me create a complete wall of blocks where the size of bricks and bevel are customizable. As I type this, I see it working away. The bevel plugin that's being used on each brick is what's painfully slow. I need to tweak it's smarts so the bricks are stacked a little better. I am shifting them on each level, but not by enough. I need to enforce some minimum shift.

Now that I have the basics down, I can work on adding some more features, such as gaps between the bricks or eroding the edges somehow to roughen them up. Maybe automatically, randomly, chip the edges of the bricks and stuff.

Trying my own thing - white marble

Just dabbling in GIMP, following some YouTube videos and seeing what kind of results they yield. Here's a simple white marble wall:

I think I might play around with some more GIMP scripting. It'd be neat to write a script that lets me pick the source layer, the dimensions of the bricks, the size of the beveled border, etc. It would randomly pick bricks out of the source, add the bevel, and place it on the wall. That would let me quickly experiment with different settings, and would let me quickly make base textures (like sandstone, marble, stone?) and turn them into bricks.

Along with this, I will try to make some different wall features, such as pillars, alcoves, windows, doors and door frames, etc. Maybe some decorative stuff?

Then I'll play with some grunge brushes, adding cracks and imperfections, stains etc.

I think it would be cool to come up with some base styles from which additional kitbashing could be done.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ice CaveWorks, too!

I found this post inspiring. Specifically, making the caves icy simply by adjusting the color...

The second one I was just tinkering with adding 'sparkles' to. I think if I get the hang of the plugin, it would actually add a nice effect to the texture. Also, I would probably desaturate the image even more. Everything prints out darker than you'd normally want. Anyway, I really like the effect, and it's so simple, that I'd be crazy not to do it.

CaveWorks repackaged

Just some pics I whipped up to see what the old CaveWorks terrain looked like.

I played around with regular 3" and 6" walls...

 I played around with making TLX cliff walls...

Then I went ahead and made some walls that went above the standard 2" height. Lots of sets do this, so why not caves too?
I would imagine I could make at least two of each kind of wall, stitching together stuff here and there. The floors really need some TLC, more than the walls do. But, I think I might be able to work something out. Anyway, just tinkering around because I've always wanted caves...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Swampwood Village roof texture redo

I wasn't liking how the thatched roof texture was turning out. It just doesn't fit well with the rest of the set. So, I'm making a new texture. Here's the start:

Yes, it's just the wall bits stretched long and thin, layered and made a little jagged at the edge. Still, I think it's better than the original Swampwood roof texture:

I might add some moss/leaves/vines to the roof as an option, and I might adjust the roof so that it's more yellow in order to separate it from the walls more.

UPDATE: Daaaaang. I apparently didn't SAVE before walking away from my computer... By the time I came back, my son had switched users and used the computer quite a bit. It was all too much for GIMP. My changes were lost. Now I just have to figure out HOW MUCH was lost. :(

A roof solution at last?

Rather than make NEW trusses and NEW roof pieces, I opted to simply cover existing roof pieces and trusses. Here's a picture of a thatched roof in a Thoumont's truss:

I didn't modify the truss at all. It's standard TLX, which has the following things going for it:

1) If you've made any trusses already, you won't have to redo them.
2) If you've never made them before, you can follow the TLX instructions.
3) They're fully textured inside and out, and are really sturdy.

I also didn't modify the roof at all. Well, sort of. What I've done is created a rectangular piece that covers the existing roof as well as the truss. Here's a picture of the roof, upside-down:

So, it's a TLX roof that I glued an extra piece to. This has a couple things going for it:

1) You can continue to use your roofs as-is!
2) You can upgrade your existing roofs very easily, and start using them on other trusses!
3) The modification is very simple to perform - no complicated cuts or fiddly assembly!

Here's one more shot from the front, showing that the roof piece completely covers the tops of the two trusses it is slotted into:

I made the roof 'cover' hang over the original roof by 2mm on each side, which brings it nicely to the edge of the truss. The extra bit you have to add on is 2 layers thick, which raises the top layer up above the truss.

So, I'm moving ahead this this design this week.

Quick update to show what this would look like with a 2-way truss supporting two roof pieces.

So, yeah, they overlap a little bit. But, that means they're covering up the truss nicely. Also, it's only one layer of cardstock that's overlapping, so it's not all that unpleasant. I just took these test roof pieces and stripped off the extra overhang.That left a 2mm gap between them. Yuck! I tried to shave just 1mm off of the overhanging bit, and yeah - if you've got laser precision, you might get them to fit snugly, but chances are you're going to have a little overlap or a little gap. I'm happy with the intentional overlap.
That's just an ugly close-up of the current overlap. That's about as bad as it gets.