In the screenshots I have some pictures from ‘Wiederkehr der Heerscharen’, which is a map in Arma2. I’ve used the same pictures because they give nice examples for decors, light and shadows. You can see that there’s always shadows on walls or roofs, but never on ground (objects).

To have a better view on objects in your map just open your map in Arma2 and play it with one of the game modes (it doesn’t matter which). You can stop playing when you’re on your map, but before that just load the game with the desired weather for your map (e.g. ‘Bright 16h’).

what color goes with black and gold?

This guide will cover the general things in decoration. It won’t show you how to create buildings, but it will help you with some basics for creating your own objects. The most important part is the color combination between lights and shadows that defines your map. To make it easier for everyone i’ll use my own decoration system which contains 3 steps:

1. Decoration Concept (colors that i use for shadows and lights)

2. Black Map (the reason why we need a black map)

3. Noise Map (Creation of a noise map with Photoshop or Gimp)

Introduce the color palette and give a little history about it

The colors I have chosen are just examples. Of course you can choose other colors, but if you don’t stick with the same or similar color palette all your objects will look odd. To make it more clear what this guide is about i’ll give an example from a map in Arma2: Wiederkehr der Heerscharen by J_gore. Sure, those colors are just examples and can be changed to whatever you like!

Show examples of how to use the colors in your home map

Now that we have a finished color palette for our map, I will give some examples on how to use it. If you’re lost while applying the colors in your map just look at my screenshots from Wiederkehr der Heerscharen and copy them. In other words: follow other peoples work to build yours! Always try to make your decorations as homogeneous as possible, especially on lighting and shadows.

There you can see examples of how I handled the light/shadows on every object (in Wiederkehr der Heerscharen press F3). There are always shaded areas and areas with no shadow or only a little one.

Provide links to where you can buy paint, fabric, and other decor items in the colors

As you can see in my example I’ve used red and white for the road marking. Depending on what type of object (for example a building) you use, you need to check where your paint/fabric is coming from. If its a real world object like a tank then simply go into the editor and select it with your mouse, then go into the config and check where the paint comes from.

Share before-and-after photos of rooms that were decorated using the palette

As you can see it makes a huge difference to your map when following this simple steps into decoration. Of course you need something to hang up on the walls, but that shouldn’t be a problem if you’re maintaining a certain color scheme in your map. If you have further questions feel free to ask me. But before you read the FAQ at the end of this article, check out my other work first:


NO! You can create beautiful lighting and shadows with any colors you like as long as they fit into the color scheme of your map. Don’t worry about it, all you need is a black map and a noise map (which will be explained later) and keep on decorating: