Friday, March 27, 2020

How to Rock

Greetings everybody!

Don't be mislead by the title. This how to has nothing to do with the teeny series, not the actor... or the music.
It is about... rocks, stones and sand. Or, in a nutshell, how to create rocklike textures on styrodur.
When I was working on my mining table for Infinty, I wanted  a quick and realistic looking texture, without having to use something heavy like stewalin or exhausing like cutting all the structures by hand.

So, if you are interesed in a rather quick and cheap technique, head this way ->


- Papertowels, idealy without any structure. (Don't buy that 1000 Pack on Amazon, you don't need    
   thaat much of towels... I have the basement now full of that stuff) 
- some fine sand
- pva glue
- a handblender
- a bowl
- acryl colors (black and brown)

- prepared terrain

Of Cause you can use almost anything as a base to work upon, I have cut some XPS board into rough shapes. I got derailed with some, but don't spend to much time on getting that nice texture out of the foam. It will probably dissapear. 

Now, that we have everything in place, the fun starts. Tearing the paper. Every paper has a "tear direction", in which you can easily rip the paper in to long lines. I grab a bounch of tissue papers (~10 at a time), tear them into long lines, which I then tear into smaller pieces, about 2x2cm.

Put the shreds into a bowl, add water and let them soak nicely. Fill up the water until it coveres the paper. If you would have to much water, you could always squeeze it out afterwards.

In this chase, I didn't give the paper that long to soak. But it makes the blending much easier, if you give it an over night soak.

Now to the fun (aaaand a bit messy) part. Use a hand blender to shred everything to mush. Here come a bit to much water in handy, otherwise you handblender will have a bit more work.
If you had too much water, you can now easily squueze it out. Make sure the mush is moist, but not to watery, otherwise, squeeze out the excess. Having little water in the mix speeds up the curing and makes it easier to control the texture.
Now, for some fine, grainy texture, add some fine sand. Just a bit... you don't want to have your rocks look like sand dunes.
Now,  add pva-glue. Lots. The pva will keep your mush in place and will seal off the XPS, so you can use a spray can to speed up the painting process.
And now... acrylic paint. Black and brown. That saves you from work some priming the fines cavities.
Then, take a large brush and apply on the XPS rocks. I found it usefull, to start at ground level and work upwards.
Almost... I sprinkle some more fine sand onto the still wet paste at a steep angle. This way larger areas gain a bit more texture and flat, "boring" surfaces are avoided. 

Well... that's  it.

I have used several different spray paints to paint my rock, but mainly because I am a lazy frog. Using drybrushing, pigments and other techniques you can easily get some great results.

I hope you found this tutorial useful! 

Stay save, stay at home and stay tuned ;)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this, man! It would seem that so many useful approaches to making interesting terrain and textures just boil down to a version of the papier mâché we made as kids 😂