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DIY Gaming

My thoughts about low budget open source type game design and publishing. And probably some other stuff.

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Creative Commons stock art for RPGs: Snow Leopard

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Australia
Ashfield
NSW
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Pushing a lesbian old growth union-approved agenda since '94.
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More zoo beasts. The glint of intelligence in the caged leopard's eye makes me think of an urban fantasy game, perhaps The Dresden Files or something from The World of Darkness (nWoD) setting.

This leopard was hiding at the back of its enclosure, so I used a paparazzo style catadioptric telephoto lens to pick it out. The downside of these extremely long lenses is very low contrast, so I added a lot of tone and contrast, then made the image mono to emphasise the whiteness of the leopard. An interesting side effect of the catadioptric design is a ring appearance to out of focus areas, which makes glints of sunlight blend into the leopard's spots.



Click through to download more sizes. Licence and file format info may be found in the main stock art post.
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Mon Aug 4, 2014 2:37 am
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Music of Merit: Love is a Stream -by- Jefre Cantu-Ledesma

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Once in a while I find a really great piece of music. The music that I end up listening to over and over again has a cathartic quality, making me euphoric when I am happy, calm when I am angry, comforted when in distress, etc. When I find a record like that I will make a note of it here. Hopefully you will dig it it as much as I do.

So, the first such album is Love is a Stream by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. This for me sits at the intersection of ambient, shoegaze, and drone. It's a bunch of distorted electronic sounds, but with a definite pop music lineage. I would not be surprised to hear that it was the wet signal from the desk of a shoegaze recording session: the distortion without the original guitar, the reverb without the original vocal, the octave pedal without the original bass. So it's a wall of shimmering, distorted noise, but the structures (the key changes, the bridges) of a conventional shoegaze album. This is headphone music, or drug music. Turn off the lights and crank it up.

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Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:24 am
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Creative Commons stock art for RPGs: Gators

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Australia
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Some ominous gators, good for something pulpy like Spirit of the Century or Savage Worlds.

To create this image I photographed some gators at the zoo, digitally cross processed to bring out the green colours, and tone curved to restore detail to the gators' backs.



Click through to download more sizes. Licence and file format info may be found in the main stock art post.
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Mon Feb 3, 2014 11:32 pm
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Creative Commons stock art for RPGs: Planetary Surface

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Australia
Ashfield
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Something for Diaspora or other hard SF, a false colour image of an alien world.

In reality it's a rock on the beach of a tropical island, just after the tide has gone out. To create the spacey effect I applied a digital red filter with the camera sensor in black and white mode. When processing the image I ran auto gradation, jacked up the contrast and saturation, then applied a digital cross processing filter. Finally I inverted the colours in GIMP.



Click through to download more sizes. Licence and file format info may be found in the main stock art post.
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Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:44 am
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Creative Commons stock art for RPGs: Graveyard

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Australia
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A spooky one for Halloween. This is just a plain old photo of my local cemetery, but shot in mono using an uncoated circular polariser from the 60s. The result is masses of flare and haze. To prepare this I just made a square crop, added vignetting, and jacked up the contrast.



Click through to download more sizes. Licence and file format info may be found in the main stock art post.
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Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:04 am
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Creative Commons stock art for RPGs: Poly Dice

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Today, dice! This is the first photo I've taken specifically for this stock art project (the rest have been repurposed from my old photos).

To create this image I took a 1:2 macro image of some dice from my dice bag, using a small fill flash to expose the dice brightly and thus darken the background. I manually focused on the 7 face of the d12 to make sure everything was nice and sharp. The raw image was then processed in Olympus Viewer 3 to add +0.3 EV, monochrome, and mild tone curves. Finally, I cropped it to 3:2 format and added vignetting.



Click through to download more sizes. Licence and file format info may be found in the main stock art post.
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Fri Oct 4, 2013 1:52 am
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Creative Commons stock art for RPGs: Crypt o' Doom

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Australia
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Behold, the Crypt o' Doom! It has an oriental vibe and a misshapen stone guardian. Perhaps something for Call of Cthulhu or Dread?

As you may have guessed from my username, I like to make zines using a photocopier. This image is inspired by the photocopied look of cut and paste zine art. The foreground is an actual crypt that I encountered while rambling over a mountain in Shangri-La, Tibet. The background texture in this image is skull by Stephanie Casarez. (Thanks Stephanie for the CC image.) No raw file for this one as it's another compact camera shot.

To put them to together, I stuck the crypt photo on a layer above the background texture, applied levels to both layers, and posterised the crypt layer to monochrome. To finish up I roughly erased the background of the crypt photo so that the skulls would show through in a zine-like manner, then I flattened the whole thing and applied levels again.



Click through to download more sizes. Licence and file format info may be found in the main stock art post. When using this particular image you should credit Stephanie Casarez as well as me.
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Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:11 am
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Creative Commons stock art for RPGs: Pagoda

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Some Legend of the Five Rings or Exalted style art today. This is a compact camera photo of a five storey pagoda in Nara, Japan. I took this at night under sodium lighting, using a pile of rocks as an improvised tripod. To prepare the final image I applied auto levels in GIMP, cloned out spotlights, fly bracing, vending machines, etc, then colour mapped blacks and greys to pinks. Finally I inverted the colours, stuck it on a pink background, and added some kanji saying five storey pagoda. As it's a compact camera photo there's no raw file for this one, sorry.



Click through to download more sizes. Licence and file format info may be found in the main stock art post.
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Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:11 am
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Creative Commons stock art for RPGs: Pulse

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This latest bit of stock is a computery science fictional thing. To me it suggests artificial intelligence, or a futuristic internet, or maybe even a spaceship. In reality, it's a photo of some really bright blue lighting lighting outside Princes Wharf Shed 1, Hobart. To get the sparkling effect I attached a four-point star filter (cross screen) to the lens before taking the photo. Normally these filters are used for jewellery photography, to make gemstones sparkle. There isn't really any post-processing on this image, just cropping and a light tone curve.



Click through to download more sizes. Licence and file format info may be found in the main stock art post.
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Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:52 am
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Creative Commons stock art for RPGs: Idol

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This time it's a creepy idol that makes me think of Lamentations of the Flame Princess. The original photo is of a damaged statue recovered at Carcassonne, and it's the damage (the cracks, the missing hands and nose) that makes it creepy. To prepare this image I cropped it and applied a tone curve, then posterised to GIMP's 'warm colours' palette and played with the Hue-Saturation dialogue until I was satisfied that it was vivid enough. This is another low-res point-and-shoot photo with no matching raw file.



Click through to download more sizes. Licence and file format info may be found in the main stock art post.
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Wed Sep 4, 2013 3:09 am
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