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Add small hills or mounds to illustrations like this


mjs6789

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This is my first post here so thank you for having me.

I create these illustrations of golf course fairways in Photoshop. I'm looking for ways to create small hills and mounds that I can then save and add to other fairways. Perhaps end up with a collection of 10-20 different types of mounds, hills, etc. Right now I use two curve layers and work on the masks to create highlights and shadows but I was wondering if there are other ways to accomplish this. I have briefly tried to do something with height maps or relief maps (not familiar with this terminology so pardon me) but all I can get are mountains.

If you look at this image you can see slight hills and mounds as variations on the fairway and rough and that's the sort of thing I'm looking for but using other methods if they could be more efficient.

Thanks for any help.

fairway.jpg
 

Rich54

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This might possibly work for you. Using either the freehand Lasso tool or the elliptical marquee tool, create a roundish shape of a mound on a blank layer. With that selection active, fill the selection with a radial gradient, with white as the foreground color and black as the background color. Change the layer blend mode to Soft Light. Now un-select the mound and give it a fairly healthy Gaussian Blur (the amount of blur is up to you) and, if you wish, reduce the layer opacity somewhat. This should result in a passably convincing mound that you can then move around, resize, or re-shape using the warp tool or the liquify filter.
 

MrToM

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...and when you've done that, isolate the 'mound' to its own document and create a Brush Preset from it.

Then when you want a 'mound' you can use the Brush tool to place 'mounds' wherever you want....and by changing the brush size have different sized 'mounds' too.

If you change the Brush options you could even set a random rotation, random size, random scatter.....all sorts of things.

In fact you could go one step further and create several different 'mounds' of differing shapes and have several 'Brush' presets.

Getting a good 'mound' image in the first place is the key here.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

mjs6789

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Rich54, thanks for your suggestions! I tried your ideas and they worked great. MrTom, what a great idea of turning them into brushes I would have never thought of that. Thanks a lot guys!

After some more playing I found I can really create some great mounds...by using a gradient I can adjust both the highlight color and the shadow color (highlights with a little warmer color and shadows playing with different shades of grey) and adjust to the look I want.
 
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