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RobA
11-06-2007, 10:45 AM
I came across this post at RPGnet (http://forum.rpg.net/showpost.php?p=3971703&postcount=10) that shows an interesting technique of combining hex mapping with a heightmap to render a sort of symbolic hightmap that looks like it has potential...

-Rob A>

Valarian
11-06-2007, 11:45 AM
Nice, but how do you apply the 3d effect?

RobA
11-06-2007, 11:46 AM
I assume he is rendering it in a program like Bryce or POVRay.

-Rob A>

ravells
11-06-2007, 12:07 PM
Now that's a clever idea. You could use it as a board for VTT maps! I might have a play with this as the heightmap is dead easy to do.

Thanks for the link, Rob!

RPMiller
11-06-2007, 01:49 PM
That is a very interesting technique... If you smoothed the height map hexes with a gradient you could get a more gradual effect as well, but it would require more work. Definitely a neat idea.

RobA
11-06-2007, 04:01 PM
That is a very interesting technique... If you smoothed the height map hexes with a gradient you could get a more gradual effect as well, but it would require more work. Definitely a neat idea.

Just blur it! That would smooth it quite well.

(If anyone a a hex map, load it up here and I'll give it a go)

-Rob A>

RPMiller
11-06-2007, 05:05 PM
Give this one a shot.

RobA
11-07-2007, 03:06 PM
Best I could do (It was a pain because the map you attached isn't exactly hex).

It is a quick and dirty heightfield that I generated by selecting by colour, expanding the selection by 6px then shrinking the selection by 5 px, then filling with a color.

Different blurs of the height field produce different results.

Ideally, the mosaic filter (with a hex tile should work, but I just couldn't get it to line up with the image...


-Rob A>

RPMiller
11-07-2007, 03:13 PM
Neat! That was a map that someone posted at the RPTools forums for use with MapTool.

I'll be sure to direct them over here to show them what you've done. :)

ravells
11-07-2007, 05:05 PM
Very nice! Lovely results Rob. As a matter of interest, why did you increase the selection by 6 and decrease by 5 rather than just increasing by 1?

RobA
11-07-2007, 07:22 PM
To get rid of the stuff in the middle of the cells (mountian symbold, plains symbols, etc)

-Rob A>

Hawke
11-07-2007, 07:28 PM
Very cool! I love what you did with the map, I hadn't ever thought about anything like that. Sort of reminds me of HeroScape.

RPMiller
11-08-2007, 02:09 PM
Welcome Hawke! Hawke is from the MapTool forums and the creator of that hex map in case anyone is wondering.

You play HeroScape? HeroScape is big fun. I own pretty much everything for it. Although this latest Wave has been difficult to find.

RobA
11-08-2007, 02:38 PM
I didn't like the way that turned out, so like a dog with a bone I kept at it.

Here is what I did finally-

Took the crude grayscale heightfield I made from the map-

selected everything but the sea level and blurred the heck out of it. Added a low detail rendered cloud layer over that to add a little variation to each of the tiles on the same level-


Then I sucked that into Inkscape, and used the Tiled Clones feature with trace colour turned on (starting with a suitably distorted hex that lined up with the map...which was an exercise in trial and error to get the original hex scaled right). I also overlayed a smallblack blurry outline to the cloned hexes that I hoped would make a bevel when rendered. I exported this out of Inkscape at a very high resolution (>5000px horizontal) so the height filed would be smooth.

Final Map:
1416

-Rob A>

RPMiller
11-08-2007, 03:03 PM
That worked great!

pyrandon
11-10-2007, 11:27 AM
What an interesting experiment. The final, pre-painted b&w image was especially provocative--mainly due to the light & shadow suggestions. These, however, were all but lost in the next versions. I'd be interested in seeing you use that earlier image as an overlay on the final map, so the lower hexes were darker and such. Is that possible?

RobA
11-10-2007, 01:01 PM
C'mon Don - everything is possible, just depends on the time a person wants to spend doing it!

I think this is what you wanted to see... I should have masked out the dark grey areas, but forgot to, so they ended up really black.

The whole thing could probably use a gamma adjustment, too...

-Rob A>

ravells
11-10-2007, 02:31 PM
Rob....you are just....a genius. Your talent for working out how to get the software to do what you want it to (rather than just to rely on happy accidents, which is what I do) and then to explain it clearly, really is amazing. And the number of styles that you're able to reproduce again, is wonderful.

Ravs

RobA
11-10-2007, 04:04 PM
That is why I don't consider myself artistic....

But I am a pretty good copier!

-Rob A>

pyrandon
11-14-2007, 01:22 PM
Can you make this map sit up and bark, too? How about get me a brewski from the fridge? Is there anything you CAN'T make a map do????

:)