Good morning! A slightly different entry to the blog today, this being a tutorial on the Accurate Image Masonry Designer application. Creating brick textures is something which is often fraught with issue as a tiling texture on something with a large expanse, as brick is likely to be, is an instant image-killer.
So, this program and the tutorial as detailed below, goes some way to assisting at the very basic level and avoiding the main and common issue highlighted above. Without further ado, then, let the tutorial commence:
- Go to http://www.accurateimage.com/Endicottmac/EndicottMD/Main.html and download Masonry Designer.
- Once installed, go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Accurate Image\Masonry Designer – Acme Brick\acmebrick_data\siding and copy the JPEG file pl_md_dentonxx to your (brick) texture library. It is also useful to create a shortcut from the folder back to this location in order to streamline the latter part of this process.
- Open the copied file in Photoshop.
- Download a sample of the brick you need to create a texture from – Many brick manufacturers provide small photographic references – and save it to your computer, then open it in Photoshop.
- Grab a large portion of a brick from the sample and drag it into the copied Accurate Image file, thus creating a new layer. Resize it to match the proportions of a single brick.
- Repeat step five to create as many varieties of brick as possible – It is likely that you will not have a large enough sample to create sixteen individual bricks so you will need to copy however many “original” bricks you have and apply a little judicious scaling, rotation and tonal variation in order to create enough variations.
- Save the file as a PSD, naming it as appropriate, and use the Copy Merged command to create a new file. Save this file over the original pl_md_dentonxx.
- Copy the new pl_md_dentonxx file and, using the shortcut created earlier, go to the Accurate Image directory. Paste this file over the existing JPEG. Now open Masonry Designer.
- Once launched, Masonry Designer should display a large brick texture in the main window and a selection of brick manufacturers listed vertically on the left. Click on “Acme” and then on “Modular Brick”
- This will create two new menus, one for mortar and the other for brick type, the defaults for each being “Plain Gray” and “Denton Plant Modular.” Clicking on the mortar will open a menu from which you can select from a number of colour and tonal variations, simply choose the closest match for your project. It is important to note at this point that the default brick is not in fact the default Accurate Image but one derived from your copied image file, thus meaning that you do not need to select any other brick option.
- Along the top menu bar you will see an option called Image – Click on this and then “Build New Image” from the drop-down menu. This will open another menu to the right, at the bottom of which is the “Custom Size” option. Select this to open a dialogue box which allows you to specify the number of units you wish to create – The default is 10 (horizontal) by 16 (vertical) but it is clearly more advantageous to create a much larger image to encourage more variation. Once you are happy with your number of units click on OK.
- This will create a new image based on your base brick texture. If you are happy with the image as you see it, go to File>Save As Image and save the texture in your library as appropriate. TGA or TIFF files are the better options as you will have more option to manipulate the texture in Photoshop.
- However, it should be noted that if there are areas which you are not satisfied with, it is possible to click on individual bricks to cycle through the available variations from your base texture. This can be quite useful should there be small areas of repetition which might obviously tile.
- The default brick coursing is running bond, however there are options to create stack bond and running thirds, as well as soldier and header options, simply by clicking on the appropriate button found toward the top of the screen – The stack, running and (running) third options are individual whilst the standard, soldier and header options are resolved by clicking through a cycle. This is clearly a huge bonus in the event that a particular brick type features heavily in a number of arrangements throughout a project as you can create these variations in one fell swoop.
Hope this helps! Until next time…