Dungeon designed in photoshop

Making a Fan-inspired Dungeon Room

By David Goldstein

Alex Fruen takes us through his process for designing and creating a fan-inspired Knightmare dungeon room.


I wouldn't call myself an artist by any means but I've always been inspired by David Rowe's artwork for Knightmare.

His paintings had incredible atmosphere and realism which really added to the magic of the show. I remember trying to draw my own dungeon rooms as a kid (with pretty terrible results) and now years later I have some great digital tools like Photoshop to work with so I was curious to see if I could produce something that might be up to a fairly decent standard.

I work at a print shop and use Photoshop all the time so this is a great way to develop my skills for work. I'm pretty happy with the results even if it is a very basic room design. I'm now intending to do some much more complex designs with some original puzzles too!

The Process

1. I started off by using the 'Nilrem' room as a basis for my artwork. I chose to use this room as it is simple and it allowed me to trace the perspective lines fairly easily.

Alex Fruen adds perspective lines to the 'Nilrem' Level 3 Clue Room.
Alex uses the original Level 3 Clue Room as a base

2. You will notice that the side walls extend outwards to give the feeling of a wide angle, this was a recurring feature in David Rowe's paintings, so I was very keen reproduce it as closely as possible.

Alex Fruen's grid of the void, creating a wide angle.
Alex creates a perspective grid for the room

3. I decided that I wanted the texture of the walls to be layered stone and after searching the web I stumbled across this one which fitted the theme nicely.

A layered stone texture for Alex Fruen's dungeon room.
Alex selects a stone texture

4. The textures were distorted to fit onto my grid.

Alex Fruen's stone texture is shaped to fit onto the room grid.
The texture is laid flat to form a floor.

5. This was repeated for the back and side walls.

Alex Fruen uses a stone texture for the walls of his dungeon room.
The texture is added to every wall

6. I found a nice stone archway image on the web that would fit with the other texture I had used.

A stone archway vector for Alex Fruen's dungeon room.
An archway vector that suits the room

7. The archway was placed on the wall and distorted to keep in line with the perspective.

An archway is slotted into the wall of Alex Fruen's dungeon room.
The vector forms a doorway

8. A segment of the wall was removed for the doorway.

A doorway is created in the wall for Alex Fruen's dungeon room.
The doorway is created

9. The archway texture was cut into pieces and stitched together to give the appearance of a 3D doorway. This was the most complex part of the project. The floor was also extended under the arch to make it look like the door actually goes somewhere and isn't just a black rectangle.

The archway is manufactured into a 3D doorway in the wall by Alex Fruen.
The door is made 3D

10. This was repeated for the back wall using the same method, but just working on a different line of perspective.

Four 3D doorways are added to Alex Fruen's dungeon room.
Alex adds three further doors to the room

11. Some gradient shading was added to each segment of the wall to give the image more depth.

Alex Fruen's complete dungeon room with gradient shading and contrast.
The room gets added shading and contrast

12. The contrast was amped up and some noise was added to give the image a grittier feel. I wanted to try and steer away from the perfectly sharp rendered CGI look and try and stay truer to David Rowe's hand-painted style.

Hope you guys enjoy, would love some criticism/feedback!

Alex can be found on the Knightmare.com foum as AcidSkies. Take a look too at his unofficial Knightmare DVD case designs.

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