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Gamerprinter
11-01-2007, 11:40 PM
No sense waiting for this next challenge. At first thought, an Old West map and style doesn't evoke digital graphics in my thinking. So I thought I'd try a complete 180 degrees for me and create a completely hand-drawn map, scanned and colored in Xara or Photoshop/GIMP (haven't decided.)

Setting: Superstition Valley, Arizona Territory (fantasy location), located along the border of Old Mexico, along the Dos Diablos River and the Sangra Madre Mountains. The region is known for mining - gold, silver, copper, even borax and other chemical mineral deposits. There are mining camps and mining towns, the former being mostly tents, the latter having a stamper and smelting operation.

The Red Mountain Apache tribal nation range throughout the Sangra Madre mountains and pose a persistant threat to the mining communities of Superstition Valley. Also the hacienda of Don Ernesto Reyes, former regional Mexican governor, prior to its seizure by the US government lies in the southern upper valleys of the Sangra Madre and maintain a band of "constabularios" who work as partisans/outlaws and raid the invader miners of the valley.

The railroad follows the Santa Domingo Trail, though the rich silver deposits at the Constellation Mine at Orion Hill are bring a railway spur into the valley, though it is far from complete. A village of Chinese laborers are building the tracks.

The communities of the Superstition Valley include: Orion Hill a wealthy silver town along the Dos Diablos River, Gila Gulch - a mining camp for placer gold on the San Paulo Wash, Fort Joachim - home of E Troop 3rd US Cavalry, and an hispanic mission at San Pedro. There even is a ghost town already, at Haleyville not far from Gila Gulch.

Oh and legend has it that the Lost Vaquero Mine lies somewhere in the wilds of the Sangra Madres, a King's ransom in gold, but is both cursed and hidden.

WIP - more of a doodle, I need to find a finer pen, and this is a GIF not a PNG, like I said, just a doodle so far... 8)

ravells
11-02-2007, 06:09 AM
Wow! That is lovely penmanship! See if you can hunt down an 'Ergoline Rollerball superfine 0.2' made by Artline, they are lovely to draw with.

Ravs

Arcana
11-02-2007, 07:48 AM
Dang GP...that's looking awesome! When I was reading the text of yoru post I was goign to say it seems like you might be just doing a map and not focusing on the symbols...but the way you've put this together I can totally see how the symbols can be pulled out.

And this also proves that for most western themed maps (focusing on art as opposed to functionality) the resolution doesn't need to be very high for the symbols. But knowing you GP there will end up being some hi-res stuff in here.

RPMiller
11-02-2007, 12:30 PM
Very good start. I'm enjoying the back story very much and I'm looking forward to seeing how you will bring it all together.

Gamerprinter
11-02-2007, 03:54 PM
...but the way you've put this together I can totally see how the symbols can be pulled out.

By creating the map first, I can get the "look" I want, and by creating hills, and terrain features as individual objects, I can then pull them out and isolate them as individual map objects - thus I will be creating a dozen or so hill objects, etc. I plan to create several more mountain ranges going different directions and one spreading out, as well as several individual mountains. Though I may not use every terrain feature I create as individual objects.

For a compass rose, I plan use a native american motif. The north-south point will be an Apache spear with feathers, the east-west point will be a springfield rifle with native feathers, metal stud decorations, as would be done to a native owned rifle. The center piece will be a round "skin" shield with southwestern native geometric art painted onto it.

I may include some "wood-cut" type designs on the edging, as well as several inserts of prominent citizens or known desperados in the Superstition Valley. All labeling will feature heavy serif-western motif fonts, I may even place a legend that has a feel of a 19th century advertisement. 8)

I know I said, I prefer Dark Ages and earlier, but I'm having fun with this Wild West project!

Gamerprinter
11-03-2007, 03:26 PM
I'm thinking of minimizing the use of color, only using muted watercolor tones in the cactus/trees, detailing on the mountains, hills and major terrains, then relying on a parchment map background - black ink only for all other graphics and labeling.

Which means I'm not going to "type in" the labeling, that will be hand-drawn as well.

For the mountains, as a web object, I'm thinking of creating each "side of the mountains" as separate objects, allowing users to butt them up together closely for a narrower mountain range, or use only one side to separate a higher plateau from the ground floor below, or face each other to create a canyon like valley between two plateaus. This means I will be creating southern end pieces in different directions to allow the placement of mountains going different directions - to custom build your own mountain range.

For the towns and camps, I intend to use more than just that one "mining town" design, rather, I will be drawing prominent buildings at that location, rather than an entire town, and rather than just a circle or star. Thus each community will have its own unique marker.

For labeling I intend to combine text on scrollwork, hand-written descriptions right onto the map area at specific sites and large labeling that is "laying down on the ground surface" following the 3/4 view perspective in the map itself. I'm also researching drawings of women/natives/horses in 19th century style as embellishments at the corners of the map, and surrounding the legend, etc.

(I know Arcana said a simple Old West map and set of objects, I just can't control myself! :o)

Gamerprinter
11-04-2007, 07:59 PM
To ensure I have useable web objects from the pen & ink drawings I'm creating I am now focusing on creating just the objects as opposed to the entire map (that is more or less developed in my head so far - at least generally where things must go.)

I created "mountain/canyon" parts, side views, front views, end pieces to connect to canyon walls or mountain sides.

I created a few stand-alone rock piles and formations to fill empty flatland areas of the map.

I started to create "plant" patches that could be used as repeating tiles for areas of growth. I will crop in close to each object to create a useable repeating texture.

The "square of dots" represent scrublands at a greater distance.

Because of the 3/4 view, I may have to create objects in different scales for those programs not able to rescale objects easily. Due to objects in foreground will be larger than midground or distant northern area of map.

WIP so far... 8)

Oh this file is a PNG, but since there no color yet, and the objects aren't separated to individual objects, this is still pre-production art.

ravells
11-05-2007, 05:04 AM
Looking great, GP! I think they look excellent in black and white.

Gamerprinter
11-05-2007, 11:27 AM
I like the "black and white" only look myself, though once all the objects are placed on a map, perhaps color would truly help to visualize everything. However, I will be creating "colored" and "uncolored" versions of my map objects, so that I can create a b/w only map, as an option.

Additionally to prove that my mountain parts map objects work, I will be creating a few optional quick maps that show different mountain configurations with my hand-drawn map objects.

Finally, regarding the parchment background for this map, I'm thinking of just using a slightly manila white instead of true parchment look, since map printing existed for the old west onto normal paper and not necessarily parchment.

So I won't have any torn corners, burned edges, etc.

I am now referencing both old west 3/4 view maps and an 1876 Plat book of my county in Illinois for more ideas and to stay consistent with a 19th century mapping theme.

Next I have to work on buildings, mines, and communities - as far as drawing goes! 8)

ravells
11-05-2007, 11:36 AM
I'm looking forward to seeing how the modular mountains work. Great work, GP!

Gamerprinter
11-06-2007, 12:33 AM
Good thing I tried this experiment of testing the mountain modules to see how they worked. I can already tell, I need at least a dozen more pieces to cover some angles I hadn't thought of ahead of time - still it is already working well enough. I'm definitely on the right track.

Oh, I tried my scrubland fill at different scales just to see how it looked for a region fill. I tried my cactus and bushes, but they didn't work well - needs some tweaking. :?

Anyway, Mountain Mods - 1st attempt... WIP so far...

Top left is a flattop ridge using my first mountain doodle.
Center top, same doodle, but both sides facing each other to form a canyon and a box canyon connecting piece at the bottom.
Top right, just one side of the mountain range to indicate a plateau over the ground level.

Upper center - is one side of the "east west" canyon side with a couple of end pieces attached.
Lower center is upper and lower canyon wall with left side box canyon connector.
Bottom is just the lower wall of the canyon with two upper end mountain pieces attached.

RPMiller
11-06-2007, 12:02 PM
That is really cool. I like the modularity of those. Really great idea.

Gamerprinter
11-06-2007, 09:34 PM
The more I think about it, the more I can see that there is lots of potential in this "modular mountains" concept.

My map is in a 3/4 view, however, "modular mountains" should work no problem in standard birds-eye-view of a normal map perspective.

My map currently is b/w which makes it easier to match terrains, even in color as long as mountain tops maintain the same color and the area between objects also become filled with this same color or other mountain modules of the same set - it should work fine.

My "mountains" are the flat-top desert mesaland kind of mountains of the southwest US, but this should work fine with standard "alpine mountains" or any other type of mountain terrain.

Lastly, mine are hand drawings, but as long as terrain edges are similar, it should work with standard mountains created by any means digital or otherwise.

The idea came to me, only after drawing that first mountain range in my first post. I didn't want to draw a million different possible mountain ranges to offer a basic few as web objects. How could I take advantage of this single mountain range? That's when I thought to cut it down the ridge line and make two pieces.

Why not cut the ends of as well to offer different ends, add-ons or changes in terrain direction.

This could probably work with other terrains as well - forests, swamps and other terrains with defineable changes to more neutral terrains.

Thoughts?

(Still doodling for primary towns and structures, if I don't post tonight, I'll do it sometime tomorrow... 8))

RobA
11-06-2007, 09:57 PM
How could I take advantage of this single mountain range? That's when I thought to cut it down the ridge line and make two pieces.

Why not cut the ends of as well to offer different ends, add-ons or changes in terrain direction.

This could probably work with other terrains as well - forests, swamps and other

That is how many isometric view video games do it.

-Rob A>

Gamerprinter
11-06-2007, 10:22 PM
That is how many isometric view video games do it.

-Rob A>

Well that makes sense! I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought of it. There's probably lots of video game creation technique that directly applies to map making.

I should learn more - never really been a video/computer game fanatic, so I never really looked. :o

ravells
11-07-2007, 05:17 AM
Is it possible to rotate the modular mountain elements and still have them work at differing angles?

Gamerprinter
11-07-2007, 09:21 AM
Is it possible to rotate the modular mountain elements and still have them work at differing angles?

Of course these mountains could be flipped on the X-axis, and I'll probably being doing just that opposed to creating custom mountains in every direction.

However, because of the upward angles of the slopes, too much rotation would be to obviously wrong, so I don't think you have lots of rotation to work with.

I will be creating mountains in 45 degree angle, 135 degrees and their flipped opposites. I plan to create some rounded south, west, east and north faces and some faces with contorted rocks changing direction suddenly.

Although the modular mountains are proving to work well, there is only a slight amount of reuse value in each mountain module object. By mixing the pieces however, you could the same element more than once, as it is disguised by the other attached pieces. 8)

Gamerprinter
11-07-2007, 10:42 AM
Without adding more mountain modules yet, I took the existing ones I had, applied some horizontal flipping and rescaling to create a few more mountain configurations.

And I discovered they don't really work well with much rotation at all.

Anyway, a few more mountain configurations...

(I'll get to buildings later on today...)

WIP so far - mountain mods - attempt 2:

ravells
11-07-2007, 10:46 AM
This is really so cool. You can't see the joins. Keep working on this GP, this is probably something you will be able to sell for real money!

RPMiller
11-07-2007, 12:44 PM
Regarding matching colors and such - Don't discount translucence. If you keep them black lines on white and then make the white transparent, people can drop the symbol onto any background and have different mountain colors and such.

Gamerprinter
11-07-2007, 02:30 PM
Regarding matching colors and such - Don't discount translucence. If you keep them black lines on white and then make the white transparent, people can drop the symbol onto any background and have different mountain colors and such.

Although that is certainly true, the fact that you can't see the join in my maps is because the white is solid. The transparency area beyond the outlined shape is by default "gray". thus the white covers overlap area between mountain modules.

If I were to make the object as "black lines" only, you limit what the modules do by requiring to meet the exact "seam" - its more difficult to join.

I can see the advantages in solid line graphics only, if I could figure a clean way to match up the seams.

Otherwise I only see requiring both black and white to make this object. In the case of color, same thing. Which brings up another problem - if the mountain tops do not touch, the open area at the tops of the mountains are the color of the background beneath the mountain objects. The mapper would be required to place a matching color or fill at the mountain top levels, in situations like these. :?

RPMiller
11-07-2007, 02:53 PM
I've tested out my idea and works just fine with the sample you posted up above of the canyons and mesas. Yes, the mapper has to be creative with the colors/textures used, but the hard work, the symbols, is all done so the background is a matter of splashing around some texture fills.

Once you get a larger volume of symbols done, I'll post an example of what I'm talking about if my description isn't very clear.

Gamerprinter
11-07-2007, 03:02 PM
I can understand what you're meaning, and please do provide a sample - I'm interested.

I was just trying to create something more user friendly in this regard, however I hope this wouldn't be a restriction for more creative mappers.

So, what if I were to create a Mountain Mods pack, that includes black and white, black line only and outline with color fill versions all included. So the mapper can decide which module type works best for their methods?

And for this Old West Map and map object challenge, I'll provide all three in the final submission. This of course will be for all map object elements, not just the mountain modules. 8)

RPMiller
11-07-2007, 03:10 PM
Sounds like a really great plan!

Gamerprinter
11-08-2007, 01:36 AM
OK, I've created a few more mountain faces and a couple buildings - Fort Joachim and Mission of San Pedro, as well as a frontal mine entrance with an ore car on rails.

I want to create some pointed ridge mountains as well to round out the mountain mods.

It was getting late, so I didn't make any more for tonight.

WIP so far...

ravells
11-08-2007, 07:53 AM
I think you should do all your maps by hand from now on!

Gamerprinter
11-08-2007, 09:33 AM
I think you should do all your maps by hand from now on!

Granted, I've been able to draw since I could hold a pen or pencil, and my career is based on my artist ability, however, I like digital graphics, especially 3D as it can create images I cannot by hand.

I appreciate, that you recognize and appreciate my natural talent, but don't condemn me to one type of map creation - that's against my grain.

I need options to create, sometimes I mix media and sometimes I draw by hand.

I am sure you will see more examples of my hand done work in the future, but don't expect it exclusively! :|

RPMiller
11-08-2007, 02:41 PM
A nice watercolor effect would go really well with those to add the color. I think more realistic or textured coloring would ruin it.

Gamerprinter
11-08-2007, 03:13 PM
A nice watercolor effect would go really well with those to add the color. I think more realistic or textured coloring would ruin it.

I've already said on the first page of this thread, that "muted watercolor tones" is what I plan to use in my color version of this map. So RP you're quite right about ruining it if I choose any other texturing method.

When I say "mixed media" that's more like what I did on my last challenge, that won't do for this one.

Wish I still had Painter, its the best at creating watercolor imagery. (CD scratched and harddrive fried with my last loaded copy.) I'll probably use PS instead. :|

Gamerprinter
11-08-2007, 11:35 PM
I added a few north-south non-flattop mountain ridges - as I need a few in my final map.

I created several structures: on top is the Hacienda of Don Ernesto Reyes, beneath that is a redo of my Mining Town Mill with a Town Hotel in foreground - which represents Orion Hill and the Constellation Mine, beneath that I have the adobe ruins of Haleyville, near the bottom is the tents of Gila Gulch, and in the corner is an Agave cactus.

WIP so far... 8)

Slowly, but surely I'm getting this done. Each night I can create about ten or so objects. I need a few east-west and diagonally arranged ridge mountains and end-pieces and that should do it for Mountain mods for this challenge.

I need to create a few dozen more plants, a few more mining structures, a railroad, and the other required symbols for the challenge. After which I will begin coloring of the web objects.

Then finally, I'll get to assemble the map of Superstition Valley and get ready to finalize it!

(I hope I'm not the only one doing this challenge! )

Getting closer...

Gamerprinter
11-09-2007, 12:49 AM
I've got several compass roses in mind for this old west challenge.

Here's the one that's selling itself to me the most... definitely old west, not necessarily native american, but desert southwest for sure!

Long horn steer skull compass rose... WIP... 8)

ravells
11-09-2007, 05:54 AM
All I can say is 'wow'.

töff
11-09-2007, 12:32 PM
I just found this forum, awesome! Love it.

I have an Old West map I did recently, here: http://gonewest.mysteryandmagic.com

I stuck with just browns, and a splash of red ink for the town names.

Cheated by stealing clipart for the town icons & cacti. Meh.

RPMiller
11-09-2007, 12:36 PM
Welcome to the forums töff! However to submit a map for the challenge you'll need to start your own thread. ;)

What? Too subtle? Hehehe

Gamerprinter
11-09-2007, 12:55 PM
I just found this forum, awesome! Love it.

I have an Old West map I did recently, here: http://gonewest.mysteryandmagic.com

I stuck with just browns, and a splash of red ink for the town names.

Cheated by stealing clipart for the town icons & cacti. Meh.

Töff - nice map. Create some custom towns and cacti, and resubmit your map into this November challenge, give me a run for the money! I hope not to lose, but I also don't want to do this challenge alone!!

Welcome to the site, there's lots of help available, but it seems you do pro map work already! Show us more of your work (but as RP said, start a new thread!) 8)

töff
11-09-2007, 01:16 PM
Well that's not fair, to recycle an existing map, is it? Don't seem right, I'll have to pass, but maybe something will come up in a near future challenge that I can bite into.

[edit] Sorry, just realized, it might have looked like I was submitting my Gone West map to the challenge. That was not my intent.

RPMiller
11-09-2007, 01:27 PM
Not at all töff, my intention was to get you to take on the challenge. :D You know you want to. ;)

Oh, don't forget to go to the member introductions forum and post an intro thread so that you can be properly welcomed and then I can move the above posts over there and out of GP's wonderful challenge thread.

Gamerprinter
11-10-2007, 12:51 AM
The main object created tonight is the Dos Diablos River and the attached canyon wall on the southern end and the cliffs near the center. All other objects in the image were from previous scans incorporated to get a feel of where I planned to locate things.

I plan on slightly different placement of mountains, but this is close to what I'm going for. The far west side will be heavily mountainous being the Sangra Madre Range. Mesa lands near the south and spotty across the valley plain.

Orion Hill will be just north or just south of the cliffs along the center area of the river, haven't decided which side of the river yet. I'm thinking the west bank is towards danger, so the town should be on the east bank. Of course, the Constellation Mine will probably be on the other bank into the mountainside.

I still have many plants to create and more ground cover, as well as a few more mountain modules I am sure. As far as buildings go, I'm pretty much done. I still have watercolor work to do, so I'm far from done.

I just wanted to get a general feel with how the final might look...

WIP so far... 8)

ravells
11-10-2007, 08:07 AM
This is seriously beautiful, GP, but the perspective of the mountains in the distance looks a bit off. Maybe make them a little smaller and lessen the opacity a tad? Not sure. I can't believe the mountains are modular. Great work!

Gamerprinter
11-10-2007, 11:56 AM
This is seriously beautiful, GP, but the perspective of the mountains in the distance looks a bit off. Maybe make them a little smaller and lessen the opacity a tad? Not sure. I can't believe the mountains are modular. Great work!

This was just a preliminary rough draft, rather than anything towards a final layout - the river is permanent, but that's about it in this last image.

Ravs, you do have a point though, perhaps I'll just make the outline edges of the horizon mountains and remove the surface texture of lines and shrink it down about 30%.

In a way, I don't want to be too accurate in the perspective, in that I don't want to create "dots" for elements that are too far away to discern. No doubt most of the mapping detail will be in the top third down, as anything north of the top third will just be too small to view.

I also thought about placing a tiny city on the horizon with a label like Tucson 200 miles north or something like that... 8)

Gamerprinter
11-10-2007, 12:00 PM
This is seriously beautiful, GP, but the perspective of the mountains in the distance looks a bit off. Maybe make them a little smaller and lessen the opacity a tad? Not sure. I can't believe the mountains are modular. Great work!

This was just a preliminary rough draft, rather than anything towards a final layout - the river is permanent, but that's about it in this last image.

Ravs, you do have a point though, perhaps I'll just make the outline edges of the horizon mountains and remove the surface texture of lines and shrink it down about 30%.

In a way, I don't want to be too accurate in the perspective, in that I don't want to create "dots" for elements that are too far away to discern. No doubt most of the mapping detail will be from the top third down, as anything north of the top third will just be too small to view.

I also thought about placing a tiny city on the horizon with a label like Tuscon 200 miles north or something like that... 8)

pyrandon
11-10-2007, 12:18 PM
I also thought about placing a tiny city on the horizon with a label like Tuscon 200 miles north or something like that... 8)

I think that's a nifty idea! I'd at least try it out!

ravells
11-10-2007, 02:28 PM
This was just a preliminary rough draft, rather than anything towards a final layout - the river is permanent, but that's about it in this last image.

Ravs, you do have a point though, perhaps I'll just make the outline edges of the horizon mountains and remove the surface texture of lines and shrink it down about 30%.

In a way, I don't want to be too accurate in the perspective, in that I don't want to create "dots" for elements that are too far away to discern. No doubt most of the mapping detail will be from the top third down, as anything north of the top third will just be too small to view.

I also thought about placing a tiny city on the horizon with a label like Tuscon 200 miles north or something like that... 8)

That's the really hard trick, to make it 'not quite' accurate, but enough. I had this problem with the Glass Ocean challenge. In retrospect, I wish I had projected a non perspective picture using bryce onto a sphere or a plane and used a perspective view; just to help me with the construction.

Might be worth a try?

Ravs

RobA
11-10-2007, 04:06 PM
I have found that sketchup is great for perspective mock-ups, just substituting in primitive solids in place of the final shapes.

-Rob A>

Gamerprinter
11-10-2007, 05:35 PM
Hmmm, that's interesting!

I'll honestly say, that I do most of my "mock ups" in my head for most everything. In this case, I wasn't sure I had enough Mountain Mods I'd need to fill the map, but my little mock-up, showed me I had plenty. (This is one of the only "mock ups" I ever felt was necessary for my work.)

On a professional level however, mock-ups are important to show a WIP to a client. I'd seriously consider Sketchup for that type of situation.

Something to think about anyway! Thanks for mentioning it, Ravs and RobA...

As much as I work with 3D, I should have thought of this. However, I do have some reference maps in 3/4 view and they are providing the hints I need for proper perspective. If I run into trouble though, I will run to my 3D app and give this a try!

Gamerprinter
11-12-2007, 12:50 AM
OK, this is my first attempt at "painting" the color into the web objects. Call me, unconventional, but I used Xara Xtreme to "paint" the color in.

First I found a nice photograph of a desert southwest canyon and used a color picker to choose about 16 colors from that photo to build my palatte.

Then I converted the line art into a transparent PNG file and imported to Xara.

I began drawing freehand shapes for each of my colors going in layers from a base color (yellow tan) and building from there. Some of the color layers are beneath the black lines, whereas some are above. The cloudy gray and the dark brown are above the black lines with a transparency about 60% applied.

All the colors have transparency.

Anyway, critique me on my colors and usage.

Question: what is the optimum size for web objects for various software and are there needs for different scaled versions. I know CC3 can use different scaled objects?

Anyway, here's the WIP of my first attempt at applying color... 8)

ravells
11-12-2007, 05:39 AM
Will the modularity still work with the colours? These look beautiful.

Gamerprinter
11-12-2007, 09:29 AM
As long as I maintain the same color palatte and continue to use the colors similarly by layer and strata as in all the map objects, I think it should work as well as "black and white".

Of course, once completed, I will also save the black line only PNG file and cut the map objects in same modular chunks.

I still have to make several more Mountain Modules, Danger Sign, Oasis, Railroad tracks, plant objects, ground fills and an Apache Wikiup (grass teepee) for objects to create.

One problem, recall the issue about objects in upper third will be too small to view due to perspective and distance? The railroad tracks are all in the upper third area - that is the Santa Domingo Trail is that open space that is just in the foreground from the distant horizon mountains and the railway spur will be going from this railline just into the valley, but far away from Orion Hill, so the tracks will be small... 8)

Gamerprinter
11-13-2007, 02:20 AM
No WIP today. I've painted about half the existing web objects, so far. I want to finish painting, properly scaling all my objects in all three formats - black line only, black and white, "watercolor painted" line versions.

I need to create the final map objects required for the challenge, mainly railways, a warning symbol and an oasis.

I intend to create a "long distance" railway, really more of a symbol line than a drawn graphic, as well as straight and curving track sections for closer versions, though I won't be using these in my final map. To enhance the faraway tracks, I plan to place a "train" on the tracks as the symbol graphic.

Warning symbol - thinking of a human skull, with a cavalry hat on a post with feathers.

Oasis... hmmm, in the desert southwest, waterholes are pretty rare. More often than not, water is found in a "tank" which is a hollowed surface rock located in a shady area within a dry canyon. A pool on a large rock is called a "tank". So, staying accurate, this will be my version of an oasis for this challenge.

Oh, and for the Mission of San Pedro, I found several mission images where they are painted a light pink in color. I thought, pink is not my favorite color, but how often is it proper to use pink on a map - probably rare if ever. So I'm creating a pink mission, just to be both accurate and strange!

So, I'll be busy accomplishing this over the next couple days, so I won't post a WIP until later this week.

I'm not taking a day off or anything... 8)

Gamerprinter
11-14-2007, 12:42 AM
All web objects drawn so far have been "watercolor" painted in Xara Xtreme, cut into their individual shapes and exported to PNG format. I exported at their respective sizes at 150 dpi, 16 color with alpha channel.

Test for me, to see if I need to create large dpi/scale for any of these images.

I still need to create cut objects in line art and black and white format, yet - since the color would be more difficult and time-consuming, I did them first.

I will be uploading all my painted terrain objects today, not structures or plants yet, just mountains/mesas/hills/buttes.

In this first batch, I'm uploading buttes...

WIP (these are finished objects - short of rescaling)... 8)

Gamerprinter
11-14-2007, 12:49 AM
Now for Mesa objects...

Gamerprinter
11-14-2007, 01:05 AM
I've created and painted 20 hills, but here's 5 of them...

Gamerprinter
11-14-2007, 01:18 AM
Hmmm, looks like that last image is telling me I screwed up in exporting PNG files, for some reason, that one hill is the only one with a built-in alpha channel. I've got to check to see if that's the case and fix the problem. Oh well.

I'll upload the first 5 mountain modules to see if that's the case, if so, I'll stop and fix them.

Because there's so many files, and I will need to create 3 different versions of each - color/lineart/black and white, I won't be uploading everything next time. Rather I will place all objects onto a webpage and provide a link to that page. There's just too much to upload.

(I have 29 mountain objects and plan to create at least a half dozen more, in three versions that's 105 mountain modules alone.)

Altogether, I should have about 200 to 250 map objects in total, when I'm through with this challenge.

Did I ever say, I put too much work into these challenges... :P

WIP so far...

Gamerprinter
11-14-2007, 01:32 AM
Here's the base map with the river, before mountains are placed...

WIP so far... 8)

Gamerprinter
11-14-2007, 01:50 AM
Oh, good, they exported fine and all have proper alpha channels - I didn't want to do all that work again.

Tomorrow's post, I'll provide a link to a webpage that contains all existing objects for this challenge.

(I'm about 3/4 done with the challenge - I think!) 8)

ravells
11-14-2007, 05:32 AM
Looking truly superb, GP! Are the alpha channels working now? Presumably the images will have varying opacity so the the background shows through in varying degrees?

terrainmonkey
11-14-2007, 07:39 AM
see, this is why i don't enter these challenges any more... truly superb work, GP. wait until i get my hands on all of these symbols, the map i am gonna make. oh boy, can't wait!

Gamerprinter
11-14-2007, 11:28 AM
Does anybody need a pink Spanish Mission map object? Whether you are ready for it, here's the first "pink map object" I've ever created...

Mission of San Pedro... final object, WIP... 8)

And yes, Ravs, the alpha channels are all there with varying degrees of opacity.

And TM, hey, I didn't win last month, but that didn't stop me from entering this month. No I don't like losing, but showing off my work through a challenge WIP is worthwhile, even if I don't win. Don't get put off from the challenge because of the competition.

Besides, once I win a challenge, I'll pick and choose which challenges I participate in the future. Come on, TM, the challenge is kind of hollow, when there's only one participant. I'd hate to "win" because I was the only contestant.

Gamerprinter
11-15-2007, 02:08 AM
Thinking back to the first post in this thread and reflecting the back story of the map idea, I wanted to see how far I'd gotten with the map objects already created. Still got a few more to make and convert to the various formats, but there's lots here.

Of course this is unlabeled, not to mention unfinished, but how it looks so far. Oh, when I create my B/W map, the mountains will probably be placed differently, afterall, these are mountain modules. Why would I keep them the same?

Superstition Valley, WIP so far... 8)

Next time I upload the map, I'll save it in higher color mode, this is a 16 color GIF, so even the pink in the mission lost its color, so the color in this WIP is not accurate.

ravells
11-15-2007, 05:22 AM
Absolutely superb! The map works better if it's not zoomed in too far though (as with most maps).

Gamerprinter
11-15-2007, 09:42 AM
Ravs, about the zoom in issues, that's really because it was 16 color GIF that I uploaded. I thought I created a 256 GIF. The gradations were lost, the feathered edges were lost, the transitions between map objects were lost - all due to lack of color.

So, I've uploaded a JPEG of the same map, to show, that you should be able to zoom in more with better quality.

WIP in JPG format... 8)

Notice how the roads, are areas that lack the ground cover vegetation - I really like this for this kind of map, afterall, these aren't brick streets, just exposed ground with plants and rocks moved out of the way, so this is how it should look at this distance.

Gamerprinter
11-16-2007, 12:36 AM
As far as the map I originally intended - Superstition Valley, its complete.

I have yet to create all the required symbols and yet to create all versions to be posted on a webpage for challenge viewing and download. So the challenge isn't complete, just the map portion of it.

I started to hand-draw all my text - what am I kidding, that's way too much work, so I resorted to several fonts and placed the text in with white shadowing and creative placement.

I rescaled the structures to more "accurate" though still its too big - again this is supposed to be a map, not an aerial photo. I placed the last structures that weren't in the last WIP.

I'll probably create a black and white version before the end as well.

WIP so far... 8) (Whoops, Tucson got bumped before I saved it - its floating above the horizon)

Torq
11-16-2007, 01:34 AM
I think this is incredible work GP. Well done. You have clearly got some great skill with the pen. I'm envious.

Torq

ravells
11-16-2007, 05:48 AM
Absolutely beautiful - and with the modular symbols I'll be able to draw one like it?

Just one observation though - the black river banks might be too overstated, I find my eye constantly drawn to the river banks because they are so dominant.

Gamerprinter
11-16-2007, 09:29 AM
That thought has occurred to me, as well. Perhaps I should take away that solid fill and make the river just unfilled line art - then place a softer blue watercolor fill behind it.

Yes, Ravs!
Except for the river and the cliff banks - which I created specifically for this river, and the river was never intended to be a map object. It is specific to this map only. All other mountain module elements are setup, so that yes, Ravs, you could easily create an old west map such as this in no time at all.

Perhaps I should make the river a map object too, just its not configurable like the mountain modules, the river only goes one way.

I should have all the map objects completed in their various formats and uploaded into a webpage, sometime this weekend. 8)

Gamerprinter
11-16-2007, 10:25 AM
Is this an improvement?

ravells
11-16-2007, 12:20 PM
Much better!

I really like the cacti as well. What a great piece of work and all the more so because it's modular and you can't see the joins.

Gamerprinter
11-17-2007, 08:09 PM
Although I will wait until after this challenge is over, I've been thinking about creating bonus packs that fit themes other than Old West, using the same mountain modules.

Because of the flat top nature of these mountains indicative with American desert southwest, a mapper might reserve the use of these mountains to creating old west only maps. I think they have more value than that.

Keeping the desert southwest theme, I might create an Azteca pack containing ziggurat pyramids, rectangular sun temples, pueblo type communities, cliff-dwelling sites, additional slot canyon modules too.

Medieval fantasy with a few castles and towers, temples, paved road mods, and walled desert communities, even a small colleseum arena.

Finally, a Sci-Fi themed pack with Starports and flat-top landing zones, outpost mining communities, tunnel entrances to place into the face of a vertical slope mountain module for underground bunker/prison/military outpost. Also planetary defense guns, field generators, etc.

How about a Stargate?

I think adding additional packs in different themes would expand the use of mountain modules in designing any artistic style map requirement.

Thoughts? :idea:

Midgardsormr
11-18-2007, 10:57 AM
YES!

Er... pardon my enthusiasm. Really, though, this is jaw-dropping work. It makes me want to write a Western campaign just so I can use all the bits you've made. Come to think of it, I think I know somebody's who has a Sidewinder rulebook...

Ooh! This would be perfect for a Firefly game! That's an even better idea!

ravells
11-18-2007, 01:23 PM
Definitely make more symbols for it, this is too good for the Western RPG'ers to have all to themselves!

Gamerprinter
11-19-2007, 10:51 AM
OK, I've created a webpage containing all currently available map objects for my November Challenge entry.

I still plan to create 20 more mountain modules before the month is over, as well as an oasis symbol and 8 railway symbols.

Additionally, I should be uploading the "non-old-west" theme objects sometime during this week - Azteca, Medieval, Sci-Fi.

Anyway, feel free to download my mountain modules to play with in your respective mapping applications. 8)

http://www.gamer-printshop.com/oldwest.html

ravells
11-19-2007, 12:54 PM
holy moley that's a lot of downloads!

Is there any chance you could put all the symbols of each category into a zip file?

Cheers

Ravs

Gamerprinter
11-19-2007, 02:48 PM
I have the color PNGs on zip and the BW PNGs, however the transparent PNGs are still too large, so I'm going to recreate them at proper scale/resolution/file size - 16 color transparent.

I will upload the same page with the zip links at the top of the columns, tonight. :?

Gamerprinter
11-20-2007, 11:35 AM
OK, all the Zip files have been prepared. At the top of each column of files on the linked page, is a zip file containing all linked files in that column.

Here's the linked page again: http://www.gamer-printshop.com/oldwest.html

Unlinked files haven't been created yet, though I'm sure I'll finish tonight or tomorrow night, then upload the adjusted page and provide additional zip files containing the new content.

Do me a favor, and create some custom mountain configurations/maps using these objects with various map applications to prove that my objects work universally. Upload them to this thread! 8)

Gamerprinter
11-22-2007, 02:03 AM
For Ravs, here's a quickee black and white map, using the b/w map objects. It looks similar to the Superstition Valley map, primarily because I'm using the same river object. I chose to do some different mountains with modules.

I placed both the buildings and cacti at larger scale, to show "closer in" map.

This is a low res 2 color GIF map. 8)

I'm working on the Sci-Fi bonus pack at this time...

Gamerprinter
11-24-2007, 01:43 PM
I've created my final objects - 4 sets of tracks, oasis, 7 more mountain modules.
I've added extra zip files containing these objects.

I also created an Anasazi cliff-dwellings object and a slot canyon.

http://www.gamer-printshop.com/oldwest.html8)

Error on HTML page, link to second b/w zip file is mislabed as color, but still points to correct zip file.

sigurdbjohansson
01-17-2011, 03:21 AM
Dear Sir....

Where would one get hold of these objects?
The link 404's on me...

-ss

Gamerprinter
01-17-2011, 12:00 PM
I'll dig them out, I know I still have them, just been a long time since I looked at this - this being my very first challenge win from 3 years ago. I'll repost them sometime this week. Got a flu bug or something, so give me some time - I'm not all 'with it', being sick and all.

GP

Sadizm
08-15-2013, 02:21 PM
Wow! Your stuff is really awesome!

Can i use your attached thumbnails to create a map for personal and non-commercial use please?
Of course your name will be mentioned in the credit when i publish the map on Deviantart.

An other thing, you mentioned a brush pack we can get but the link appears to be dead!
Did you still have this brush pack in your files somewhere? And is that its a paid pack?

Thanks!

Gamerprinter
08-16-2013, 03:39 PM
Wow! Your stuff is really awesome!

Can i use your attached thumbnails to create a map for personal and non-commercial use please?
Of course your name will be mentioned in the credit when i publish the map on Deviantart.

An other thing, you mentioned a brush pack we can get but the link appears to be dead!
Did you still have this brush pack in your files somewhere? And is that its a paid pack?

Thanks!

That brush pack is now part of my Kickstarter I'm running to fund a series of Map Tutorials Guides and available Map Pack sets. So while they were free here, now I'm selling them as part of the backer levels to a Kickstarter - sorry about that.

25 Quick & Dirty Map Tutorials Guides Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/615795674/25-quick-and-dirty-map-tutorials-guide-book)

Sadizm
09-11-2013, 03:43 PM
Ok tell me when i can buy the Old West Hand-Drawn Map Object set (250 objects) please! ;)