Can you explain how to depict chain-mail? Gibson Healey, US
The trick is to create a few different chain-mail brushes, to introduce some interesting patterns to the image. For this image I make a selection of a single metal ring of the chain-mail and use a soft Eraser to fade the contour. Then I double check if this single metal ring is tillable. This step is crucial, because I have to play with the Brush Spacing setting later for the individual metal rings to hook up with each other.
Once I’m happy with the initial pattern, I make an inverted version before defining the brush. This is also an important step because Photoshop reads the values differently when creating the brushes. Even though you can use photos for painting the chain-mail, you’re limited by the references that are available.
When generating an interesting armour design, my best solution is to combine the chain-mail with other dark leather or metal parts, so the contrast can bring out the shininess of the armour even further.
Here are the two steps I use for creating the chain-mail brushes, in which I create the initial pattern and then paint an inverted version of it.
After This before and after image shows how a dark background can give the chain-mail a more pronounced, shiny quality. I use different chain-mail brushes, and the result is partially erased with a textured brush.