Dungeons in Photoshop - by Daniel Hasenbos

 I became painfully aware that my visual library does not include very many objects from the top down


I am currently taking a class called Dungeons in Photoshop by Daniel Hasenbos on Skillshare.  Even though his instruction is in Photoshop, he isn't doing anything so program specific that it cannot be done in Clip Studio Paint.  I have been following his work for quite some time on Instagram. He goes by @danielsmaps  Go ahead.. go look.  I will wait here.

Awesome stuff, huh?

There is so much information in this class.  It was totally worth the $15 fee I am going to start paying when I forget to cancel my skillshare account in a month.  I don't want to say his class was lacking, because it isn't, but there is one skill not covered in this class that I became very aware I don't have.  Objects to put in the dungeons I create.

Up to this point, everything I have done has been circles or squares, or squiggles or something more landscape oriented.  When it came time to work on the furnishings portion of this class, I became painfully aware that my visual library does not include very many objects from the top down.  Not only that, I could not think of anything to put into the dungeon, other than the rocks and bricks on the floor.  You don't know what you don't know.  It is a reoccurring theme in my life.

So I went to the Cartographers Guild Discord channel and asked if there are any tutorials on how to do this and was sent to a thread on their boards called Mapping Elements, Starting with Preset Tables and Chairs. This is not a tutorial, it is actually a set of objects to use in Dungeon Painter Studio and similar mapping programs.  It is, however, an amazing resource for things that are viewed from the top.  It is exactly what I needed to get jump started into finishing my project.

As Daniel suggested, I made a purpose for this dungeon and decided what each room would generally be used for.  I decided to make a few adjustments and make one of the rooms a kitchen with storage in the back. 
Things to put in the cooking area


This small set of assets here is what I have drawn from the references I found on the Cartographers Guild forums.  I wanted something that could be hand colored, or used with textures to create objects that didn't look pasted in.  The trouble with dungeon mapping programs is that the mish mash of styles kills the cohesive look.  I don't want to put them down, because I have seen the benefit of a decent map to use for playing RPG's, but as an art lover, some of them really do have that photo-shopped look of "I don't belong here" and "None of these things looks like the others."

Ready to paint or texture!


Why is this so cool?

Up to this point, I have had zero motivation to practice the fundamentals of drawing.  You know, the boxes, the cylinders, the cones, the spheres... the bleh.  I want so bad to be one of the cool kids that draw dragons and armor and people and environments!  This is exactly those fundamental skills that I tried so hard to skip over.  Now, they are more interesting because I am calling them barrels and bags and crates.  It is also a thwap in the back of the head for not doing them back when I knew I needed to do them.  I heard from one of the many interviews I have listened to that you either learn the fundamentals, or you go back to learn the fundamentals.  I am a very proud member of the last group. (Life is too short to live in shame.)

A smart woman (yes, I am a smart woman, sometimes) would keep these drawings in a separate file to be used in more dungeons in the future.  Eventually, Mr. DM will have me making enough different kinds of dungeons to create an actual set. This still keeps me inline with our self imposed rules to have everything in Trist Adventures made by our own hands.  I will still complain about how hard it is.  I can't have him thinking I am making this easy on myself!  He might make me take out the trash. A woman has to look busy.


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