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Jaxilon
05-02-2010, 05:07 AM
Ok, I'm experimenting like crazy with this thing and although I am a long way from done I figured it wouldn't hurt to post this up and get some additional pointers.

What I need to verify first and foremost is that this will even work in a VTT. I'm still not certain I have the right settings going on. I did pull it into Maptools but I'm such a dope with maptools that I couldn't make heads or tails of it. Any help would be appreciated.

It's also 2am and I can't see straight.

### Latest WIP ###

Ascension
05-02-2010, 11:26 AM
Very cool, man. You might want to blur the edges of your greenery, kinda sharp, but otherwise I'd love to know how ya did this.

Jaxilon
05-02-2010, 12:45 PM
Let's see, I drew this by hand in my Sketchpad without using graph paper (which btw made me have to adjust some things once I got it in Gimp). I also painted the greenery with watercolors being careful not to load up too much water since it was only on paper. I don't know why, I just felt like painting. I also painted the walls and the benches in the alter room. I then used my digital camera since I don't have my scanner working at the moment to import everything into Gimp. This meant I had to clean up the background which had lots of grey crud in it (probably because I didn't take the shot in full sunlight but indoors). I left some of the grunge from the import because this is an old place and is meant to be full of dust. I had some work putting the textures in for the marble floors but I think I'm happy with how they turned out. Lots of fiddling with layer effects there. I also adjusted the colors on them to what I thought would allow me to drop a grid down on them and not look wonky. I had to multiply some colors. I also painted the alter in the actual room (top down view) within Gimp (I'm pretty happy considering I did those snakes with my mouse). I will put some kind of a background texture on the whole thing but I haven't found what I want yet for that. I needed to verify I was creating something that would even work with a VTT before I pressed onward so that's why I posted now. I can post the original sketch if anyone is interested so you can see what I have changed once I got it all into the digital realm.

I am likely creating a lot of extra work for myself but I am still learning Gimp and I've got to be happy with getting techniques down. Next time I for sure am going to use a grid for my sketching. It's a pain to have to adjust walls that are not quite straight even if it does add a certain hand hewn quality to the structure.

I still have to do the floor textures for the rest of the place and I may adjust some of the rooms or even add others.

If you have any other specific questions I will answer to the best of my ability as I sometimes get off into layers and filters and loose my way.

I still would like to verify with someone who can tell me if this will work in a VTT once I'm finished. Whether it will look polished enough to use is another story but I want to validate I'm using good settings, resolutions and whatnot.

Ascension
05-02-2010, 03:59 PM
Kudos for the watercolor...I've never been able to do anything but make mushy colored paper with watercolors.

Jaxilon
05-03-2010, 01:32 PM
Hmm...been wondering. Should I place doors or are those added later on by the GM? I'm thinking I may have screwed up because it's coming to my mind that I am really only creating the base layer, correct? If so, it may be a real hassle for me to fix what I have done. If anyone cares to help me on this path it would be groovy :)

I would hate for a door to be opened to reveal a white space of nothingness beneath....LOL, imagine the players...."Holy CRAP, what's that?" "I don't know, do you think we can cross it?" "It looks like some kind of portal to another dimension or something, it's too bright to make out any details." Haha, I would rather not create this problem.

So here is the update. Still need to get on the Alter room and need to figure out what to do about doors.

torstan
05-03-2010, 01:44 PM
So I dropped it into maptool to see how this works. I assumed a grid size of 100px as that fits nicely with the top right room - but you can see that the grid doesn't really work well as soon as you move away from there. Ideally on something that looks as rectilinear as this - you want the walls to run along the grid lines.

24377

As for doors - you can place them in the base image or have them placed later. It doesn't really matter one way or another. I do think that it's worth having a little colour on the ground outside if only to place the map in some form of context.

Jaxilon
05-03-2010, 02:02 PM
Thanks Torstan, you posted while I was going back to add in my image so sorry about that confusion. I will see what I can do about the grids lining up more. If nothing else this will just be a learning lesson for me.

Jaxilon
05-04-2010, 06:08 AM
Ok, I think I fixed most of the grid line up issues with this. I think it's starting to take on some shape now. I still have to finish the last two rooms and then go back and do odds n ends including dust so the place looks more old and used.

I had to get wild to reshape the place and one of the results was that some of the colors changed. This thing is getting big in size I'm thinking too which is not good for a VTT.

torstan
05-04-2010, 08:28 AM
Nope, the dimensions are fine. You shouldn't have any problems there.

Jaxilon
05-04-2010, 12:47 PM
Just a quick update because I don't like the white floor, hehe. Also, shot some dust over the place, subject to change.

Not sure if I was clear when I said size, but I was referring to the 7 mb file size more so than the map dimensions. I don't really know what I can do about making it smaller though.

Thales
05-04-2010, 01:44 PM
Jaxilon, I think this is absolutely gorgeous. I can't wait to incorporate it into my campaign. :-)

Jaxilon
05-04-2010, 07:24 PM
Cool! I'm glad you like it and hope you will be able to use it. Please let me know if you run into any problems or things that might be better for my next one. I hope to be able to make many more. Also, I'm not quite done with this one yet as I still need to go back and add some busted stuff, bones and whatever variety of refuse I can create that looks passably good drawing with a mouse....actually, I could probably do some of that in my sketchbook and port that in...hmmm, sounds like another experiment coming on.

Stryke
05-05-2010, 02:08 PM
I was just staring a few minutes breathlessly at the last thumbnail, wishing I had the full map to appreciate all the details I now only can suspect there are. Awesome, totally awesome! I do like the style of your work, honestly!

Jaxilon
05-06-2010, 05:47 AM
Thanks for the compliments, it is encouraging.

I didn't have much time to do anything more but I did manage to get a skeleton in there. This really showed me the weakness in having to use a digital camera for small stuff but I think in the end I worked it out alright. I did a few touch up things here and there but still need to put stuff in the rooms etc. I'm just slammed for time due to gearing up for vacation next week. Oh well, I'll just have to finish it up when I get back I guess.

Latest iteration

Stryke
05-06-2010, 03:04 PM
How can I get a full version of the map (the 7mb variant) ? My eMail won't process mails of that size...

Ascension
05-06-2010, 03:11 PM
I don't think that you need the images in the corners. The top left one I don't even know what it is, the bottom left one just doesn't seem to fit. Otherwise, this look really great, man. Nice job.

Jaxilon
05-06-2010, 07:30 PM
How can I get a full version of the map (the 7mb variant) ? My eMail won't process mails of that size...

You should be able to just right click on the image and save a copy on your Hard drive. Unless there is something I'm missing?

Jaxilon
05-06-2010, 07:35 PM
I don't think that you need the images in the corners. The top left one I don't even know what it is, the bottom left one just doesn't seem to fit. Otherwise, this look really great, man. Nice job.

I was wondering about those, they are just the frontal sketches of the locations on the map. I can get rid of them but may add them because in the VTT's you can have images that pop up like a playing card of whatever the players are looking at.
I haven't worked on them for a while but the top left is a frontal view of the entrance area - The bottom left is the statue behind the alter with the white wings (you can see it near the south end of the alter room - and the bottom right is the alter that stands right in front of the Winged statue.
I did plan to fiddle with those a bit more so they were more obvious but I wasn't sure what the best way to deal with them were nor even if they were useful. I'm thinking maybe just have them as separate images in case anyone wants to use them?

Ascension
05-06-2010, 09:10 PM
Ya got me there, I don't know the first thing about VTTs and what they can do.

Stryke
05-07-2010, 12:57 PM
You should be able to just right click on the image and save a copy on your Hard drive. Unless there is something I'm missing?

I am able to get a version of 634kb size, but that allows to view enough details to make up my mind, I think. I'll have a good close look and think about if it is already perfect or some small changes could improve the map for my purposes...

Jaxilon
05-07-2010, 06:51 PM
I will PM you a link to the full version so you can download it. I'm not sure what the deal is here though but this is my first time working all these little details out.

Also, I plan to add quite a bit more detail in the form of rubbish and overturned stools, etc. I am thinking I might bust in through the wall of the alter room a bit and have some vines going around near the pool area because I'm thinking after 1000 years the plants would find that. Anything else let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Stryke
05-08-2010, 10:34 AM
*g* I didn't read this as I answered your PM. Funny that we both think alike what would help the overall feeling of the map...

Jaxilon
05-10-2010, 11:35 AM
No kidding. The site was down when we left but I was able to print your message out via my email account. From the sound of it I thought you had read this before you wrote that. It is nice to be on the same page when working with someone on a project. From experience I know that it is not always how things work out.

Looking forward to digitizing some of the results when I get back next week.

Jaxilon
05-19-2010, 09:48 PM
Ok, I've done some updates but held of posting anymore on the WIP until I verified with Stryke that it was ok or not. He has said it will be fine to continue posting here because the comments are usually helpful. This being my first VTT I will continue to post here so that others might be able to "save me" in case I start going off the deep end.

There have been a couple changes requested:
- The entry garden area with the stairs leading up to the main door has been removed. Players will enter by falling in through an opening in the roof. I will have to do something to indicate that area but haven't gotten around to it yet.
-The main door is filled with tree roots and vines.
-Tree roots and vines have breached the Southwest wall of the Alter room near the pool area and made their way into the room.

I have also removed the doors to create .png files of them so they can be placed on the map as manipulatable objects. <-- this means they can be opened by GM. Maybe by players if they are set up for it, not sure on that tho.
I have included the first Reinforced doorway and my version of a secret door. (Mainly so Stryke can test them out. When I'm finished I will see about putting them all in a pack for anyone who might be interested.)
I am not sure how secret doors work in a VTT -> Do I create the map with a section of wall that is "visible" and a secret door "Hidden" and these are flip flopped? If anyone knows please fill me in.)
I have to finish the double set of doors for the Alter room.
I still have to add a bunch of debris.

Useful C&C appreciated.

I did this as a jpeg because I could drop the detail down to 85% and for some reason it came out way smaller....my file size on this bad boy is now around 7 MB and I'm thinking I may need to do something about that.

Jaxilon
05-20-2010, 12:24 PM
For those who don't know, portrait images can be linked into Maptools so the players can see them when they view objects. I felt like doing a few as I created the map to help me along so here it is.

Here is a portrait of the Double Doors leading into the Alter room. It looks a tad blurry so I may need to tweak it a bit and perhaps darken the background more.
The second image is the Alter and Statue view as you face them walking in through the doors.

Stryke if you have any other ideas for the doors or whatever let me know, these are pretty easy to whip up. Alternatively, these don't have to be used at all.

Jaxilon
05-26-2010, 03:39 AM
Ok, I've been kinda dragging lately from work so haven't done much but I have dirtied it up a bit, added some refuse, a few odds n ends. My favorite is probably the Lair which I think looks particularly ominous, muahaha, anything could come outta there.

The brighter area with the leaves on the floor is the area where the PC's will "fall" in.

Jaxilon
06-07-2010, 09:14 PM
I think this is almost done. Unless there are tweaks Stryke would like or things I think of (or any you guys come up with).

I am loading up an image with the doors in place so you can get a feel for what it looks like when it's all set.

On a side note, I don't know how the secret doors will work in the VTT so not sure if they will work.

Jaxilon
06-16-2010, 09:07 PM
Well, I'm not sure what's happened to Stryke. I hope all is well with him. There are only a few objects I added like a fire pot (lit & unlit) that can be used as a light source and fits nicely in the alter room on those stands near the door.

I don't know how secret doors work in a VTT and whether or not I should create what looks like a regular wall to be shown until the secret door is detected? If I had to guess I'd say I do need too create the wall for those areas but I'm not sure how the VTT handles that.

If I don't hear from Stryke at some point I guess I'll just roll a finished version of everything out so whoever wants to use it can. I sure hope he's alright, last I heard one of his kids was not feeling well :(

torstan
06-16-2010, 09:29 PM
For secret doors it's usually best just to leave it as a wall, with a label that shows where the secret door is on a GM version of the map. Any other approach risks showing up where the door is by a slight hint and the players will spot it.

Looking really good!

Jaxilon
06-16-2010, 10:25 PM
Thank you Torstan! I have filled in the openings where Secret doors were intended and these will no be up to the GM to set I guess.

Here is the updated version. I include the Firepots, Reinforced Door (this one may need to be re-sized) and Secret Door images. I will post the Double doors to the alter room next.

Jaxilon
06-16-2010, 10:31 PM
Here are the two sides of the Double doors, one right, and one left. They should pivot correctly.

Jaxilon
06-22-2010, 08:09 PM
I finally got a scanner working and I'm excited to do some new things. Here is one of the illustrations I did for the temple tombs. You can add it for the Caskets if you want.

Stryke
07-18-2010, 02:47 PM
I am so sorry to let you wait such a long time, but I was seriously ill for quite some time, but very well on the road to recovery now. I will not be able to use the map - which is awesome - for my campaign for quite a while, but I printed it out over 16 din A 4 pages. It just looks terribly great! Thank you so much for your effort and patience with me. We can consider this project as successfully completed to my fullest satisfaction.

Do I have your permission to PM you if I need a small map here and there on the way to prepare my campaign further?

Jaxilon
07-19-2010, 04:54 PM
Thank goodness you are alright, I was worried you got hit by a bus or something. Of course, I find this message after I have posted on all the others :)

Please do contact me as I am certainly interested in doing more maps to improve my skills. It's great practice for me right now.

I did send a message asking if the file was too big or not which now that I have a bit of experience with VTTs I am a little concerned about. If needed I can see about creating a less "heavy" version.

Glad you are feeling better and sorry to hear you were ill.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Jaxilon