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mearrin69
07-24-2010, 04:37 PM
Hi all,
Been so bad about finishing up my mapping projects lately. Well, time's a wastin' on my Curse of the Emperor's Stone adventure...so I've been trying to catch up. The first part of that adventure takes place in the docks area of Haibianr, so I'm including an area map with a key to various establishments, etc. Here's the start on it. To get it going I zoomed in on my city map to find the area I needed and then did rough outlines over that in Illustrator. Then I brought the various layers into Photoshop and used them as masks as I started painting. Right now I'm working on getting the terrain up to speed and then I'm going to start on the water and harbor floor. Buildings, docks, and bridges are next up after that.
M

mearrin69
07-24-2010, 10:01 PM
Lots more work; not much visual progress. Stopping for the night, though, so I figured I'd post what I have. Spent a lot of time playing with the water and trees to little effect.
M

Steel General
07-25-2010, 09:47 AM
This is progressing quite nicely.

LonewandererD
07-26-2010, 02:55 AM
You're taking an already great map and making it better, bravo. I really like your forests so far, simple yet works very well.

-D-

mearrin69
07-26-2010, 03:03 AM
Thanks, guys. I didn't get any time to work on this tonight but hopefully can post some more in the next couple of days. Will post it at higher res when I get some more detail - a lot of stuff isn't showing up at this size.

The overview map of the city is going on the inside front cover and this one will be inside the rear cover...so I want it to be a good one. When done it'll have a key pointing out interesting locations for the GM to use while the PCs are out on the town.
M

mearrin69
07-29-2010, 02:48 AM
Little more. Playing with the roofs (rooves? nah.) now. I created a bevel layer on multiply and then modified by painting to create some different roof shapes (bevel is great to get the lighting right for different surfaces but I can't bring myself to use it without modification even though it'd be quicker). There's also a color adjustment layer over that. Underneath it all I've been dropping in textures and mushing them around. I'll have several different kinds of tile and wood shingle textures when I'm done but there are only two styles on there now. Over that I plan to have a decoration layer with little rows of tiles along the ridges and so forth. Much more to do but I'm trying to do it pretty quickly. Still, it's amazing how much time this stuff takes...must. accelerate. process.
M

ravells
07-29-2010, 05:39 AM
That's looking superb, mearrin!

mearrin69
07-29-2010, 11:36 PM
Thanks! Now roughing in the wall. Haven't decided if I want to have a tiled roof on the towers or not...it was kind of in some of my concept sketched but maybe I like it without. The ground shadow is currently, as you can probably tell, just a temporary layer effect dropshadow. I'll be fixing it later but want it to interact properly with the buildings and the trees.

Hmm. Seems I need a bridge also... :)

Critiques or suggestions welcome at any point.
M

Ascension
07-29-2010, 11:39 PM
The only thing odd to me is that the trees don't seem to be very tall and they're all roughly the same height. I have no idea to fix either thing, though, (my brain must have shut off) so great job :)

mearrin69
07-30-2010, 12:18 AM
Thanks. Indeed. The trees are fugly at this point. I have three layers of tree cover with their own bevel and shadow, hoping that would give the impression of depth. Unfortunately that failed miserably to do so. I'm going to do some more work on them at some point but they sort of look okay zoomed out so I'll leave them while I get the buildings together then go back to them.
M

mearrin69
07-31-2010, 12:53 AM
Little more work. Bridge is in and more roofs are textured. Still some more to go but I'm going to find some more roof textures before I go on because it's starting to look pretty repetitive. Will do some mushing about to break up the repeating textures once I've got them all in. Nothing done on the forest yet. Once the basics are in I think I'm going to do a fair bit of hand detailing of the roofs, bridge, docks, etc. I think it looks pretty plain. Also, as this is going on my inside back cover I think I'll maybe think about putting in an easter egg or two.
M

Ascension
07-31-2010, 01:25 AM
Would you even see them at this scale? Heh heh, kidding. Eggs are always fun.

mearrin69
07-31-2010, 11:59 PM
Still no work on the trees - short and flatness continues. Finished the buildings, though. Going to work on real shadows and detailing next. Can't say I'm really digging it yet. Hopefully something will break and it'll start looking amazing somehow...
M

LonewandererD
08-01-2010, 03:07 AM
If you're not digging it I am. Nice, my only critique is that forests look a little flat compared to the rest of the map. But i'm not complaining.

-D-

mearrin69
08-03-2010, 05:42 AM
Thanks all. I think I've solved my forest problem; the trees are finally looking pretty good in this version. Problem is, they're now putting the rest of the map to shame a bit I think. Ah well.
M

mearrin69
08-03-2010, 11:10 PM
Just about happy with it. Still needs some detailing I think...especially on the docks. Maybe a ship or two? Some crates? Any suggestions for what I should do with it at this point? In the final presentation it will be numbered and have a legend, title, border, etc. but I haven't done any of that yet...just focusing on the map image itself at this point.
M

Ascension
08-03-2010, 11:58 PM
Something about the forest still has me off and I think it's the shadows...the forest doesn't cast any shadows on the roofs and so it looks like shrubbery (or really tall houses). The house shadows could be a lil darker as well. Two lil things but, overall, I like it a lot.

mearrin69
08-04-2010, 10:28 PM
Howzis? Little better? Refined the shadows some and generally pushed things around. Now some trees appear to be taller than the buildings. Tried to do realistic shadows (showing roof peaks and such) but realized I have a lot to learn about such things before I want to give it a go.
M

LonewandererD
08-04-2010, 10:42 PM
Much better, now the trees seem to real have a sense of hieght. Well done.

-D-

Ascension
08-05-2010, 06:58 AM
Yeah, much better.

mearrin69
08-06-2010, 12:31 AM
Starting to play around with detailing this one. I want to put a few "Western" style ships in the harbor along with a few local "junks" and other boats. This is supposed to be the ship aboard which the PCs arrive in Haibianr. It's docked in the central area of the map - and they'll be taking their shore leave in the nearby area. The shadows are pretty hinky. I'm going to have to go do some learnin' about making shadows. Oh, also, that bit of white froth on the water is just the start of detailing the surface. It'll react to stuff more properly in the final...and I'm going to add wakes for the ships that are moving, etc. Any advice on shadows? I'm all ears.
M

LonewandererD
08-06-2010, 02:25 AM
Cool, thats a nice boat, how did you make it?

-D-

ravells
08-06-2010, 05:58 AM
Wow, the texturing on all of it is looking super beautiful. I really like all the different roof textures. It looks like you're detailing those shadows very painstakingly individually for taller structures which are irregular (ship's sails). The result will be beautiful and I admire your patience.

mearrin69
08-06-2010, 11:42 AM
Thanks, guys. The boat is actually taken from my encounter map, Intruder Alert. I collapsed the image and overlaid the quarterdeck over the main deck. Then I drew some shadows on the deck by hand in a layer over the top of it (black brush, multiply). My encounter map doesn't have sails so I drew those on with light grey and then used burn and dodge to highlight them.

Think I'm going to throw some things on the deck as well (the thing up front that the anchor wraps around, suggestions of ropes, some cargo, etc.) Have to do a little more research on rigging to see what else should be visible. There are two more ships in the bay, but I haven't started on those yet...going to see if I can get away with using slightly resized/recolored versions of this base ship so I don't have to draw another one. Alas I'm going to have to do a "junk" from scratch because of the different hull shape.

Just realized that the docks probably need some posts holding them up or something...they're kinda just floating there now. Eh. Probably starting to go overboard.
M

mearrin69
08-07-2010, 01:27 AM
Little more. Two more ships and I've finally figured out something about shadows. The ship that's partially on the map has its sails shadowed properly. The two ships to the right and below just have masts...got to figure out how the sail spar thingies should be oriented. I'm sort of getting there. They're probably not correct but they're much closer than I had before. Still need a junk. :(
M

Crayons
08-07-2010, 03:51 AM
I'm not an expert on square riggers but I've sailed bermuda and gaff rigs (which are far more advanced!) but I'd hazard a bit of physics to suggest something like this?
27820
However, you can get away with murder this close to shore. The incoming ship will likely be luffed up and spilling wind to lose speed - so the sails will be side on to the wind much as you had them and flapping about.

I'd like to add my appreciation of your different roof tops here - what slightly jars for me is the uniform consistency of the docks themselves. They all look like they where built by the same contractor using the same flatpack docking kit from Ikea :D I'd like to suggest that maybe some traders can afford stone piers and some are really cheap and rotting planks, perhaps? On the other hand, I could imagine this as a well ordered and perfectionist japanese port compared to a smelly, rotting fish-heads and sewerage european port!
Just thoughts really!

mearrin69
08-07-2010, 04:17 AM
Uh oh. Critics with Profession (sailing)... :) Heh. I don't know jack about sailing, but I guess I'd better learn since I'm drawing ships. Thanks for the input I'll see if I can change the direction of the sails without too much trouble. BTW, does the one on the docks look okay? I was trying to indicate that the sails were "rolled up" or whatever the term might be. LOL. I'm a complete know-nothing here.

Thanks for the comment on the rooftops...but you're completely correct about the docks. I do plan to work on them a bit to change up the textures and such. When I first started this map I really wasn't planning on adding this kind of detail so I sort of thought that one texture would suffice. They look plastic at this point, even with some grunge on top. This is a fairly well-kept area (not Japanese-level well-kept, but decent) but that's no excuse for them looking like they were all built at the same time with the same materials. Next project. Ahead of the junk...another thing about which I know nothing. :)

BTW, I'm going to do some work on the shoreline as well. Was going to add some flotsam (or whatever) and maybe suggest places where the bank is shored up with rocks or something like that. Any suggestions there would be appreciated.

Thanks for the comments and help on it!
M

Edit: Actually, let me petition you for additional help here! :) I want to put a couple more ships in the harbor. Maybe a biggish junk and a smaller boat. Any suggestions for what type of boats? Any suggestion for position, heading, sail response on a junk in the harbor somewhere? Honestly, left to my own devices it'll be in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing. Thanks for any help you can give on the subject!

Crayons
08-07-2010, 05:33 AM
Oooer!
Erm... I can sail a boat, but then again, I can drive a car but I don't know all the stuff that makes a car work! I'll do my best!

As for the two kinds of "junk" - oh yes!
Flotsam, yes, is stuff that has floated off a ship. The other common one is Jetsam, which has been thrown (from french "jeter") off a ship. ( The other legal terms are "lagan",which is stuff on the sea bed expecting retrieval, and "derelict" which isn't!). Sorry, got carried away there !
If the place is a mess then you can also add rotting hulks - or at this scale, perhaps the remains of a rowing boat or something? Old pilings from previous jetties? Pretty much anything goes for mess on a dockside.

There is a lot of generalisation in the following so, there will be exceptions...
The Junk sailing ship is an ideal ship to add given the longevity of the design. Its sail design is unique and not surprisingly is called a junk rig. It's a simple design and even today is used on new yachts where I think it looks silly but... Anyhoo, look at wikipedia under "junk rig" and there's a piccy there showing the various angles to the wind it can use. This diagram is true for pretty much any rig that can sail into the wind - bermuda, gaff and so forth being two of those as well.
The square rig can't generally sail into the wind, but can handle "quartering" winds, ie winds coming over the stern. However, if you mix-n-match square with jibs and stuff, well, it gets complicated!
Very generally, a square rigger may often have oars, which is something to consider, which would make your boats "galleys" basically, and these were extremely common.
A whole load depends on your "world technology" and who the local cultures are if it's a rpg setting.
As I said, in a "snap shot" of port activity, you can pretty much expect anything to be going on so I doubt you'll have any sailing faux pas to worry about. Just so long as the boats are on the wet bit! :D

Your furled sails on the docked ship are good but the chances are that the sails would be bundled underneath the cross beams (called "yards"). One practical reason for this is to protect the sails from sunlight. Also, let's face it, those sails are gonna be heavy!

mearrin69
08-07-2010, 07:05 AM
Profession (sailing) -2 (0 ranks -2 Wis) = D20 (1) -2 = -1. Ah. The sails *are* supposed to be hanging from the horizontal things (spars?) aren't they. For some reason I had envisioned them being somehow lopped over them (like a curtain on a rod). This is why you shouldn't draw what you don't know...or should at least make a token effort to look them up. LOL. Oh well, bit of revision in order I guess.

Thanks for all of the help!
M

mearrin69
08-07-2010, 06:21 PM
Okay, fixed the ships a bit. Couldn't really rotate the sails as suggested without redrawing from scratch because I've already flattened those layers (silly, I know, but I thought they were done!). I did, however, go back in and put the "yards" on top of the sails. Probably could use some more suggestion of rope and such in there but I don't really know where to put it and, at this scale, it might not be that important.

I also added some posts and their shadows to the docks. It makes the whole thing look better...but the docks look even more repetitive. So, I've tried my hand at replacing one of the docks with some sort of stone pier thingie...Chinese style, complete with little tiled roofs on the pillars. I frankly can't find a lot of reference photos/drawings of older style docks. The oldest I can find is a bunch of stuff from Industrial Revolution England...usually featuring some sort of tramway. I did find a ref for a manual cargo loading crane, however, which is very cool.

There are a couple of other, misc. items upgraded in this version. Note that there's some overlap on shadows on the water that won't be in the final.
M

Edit: I was thinking there weren't many significant changes since my last post but I opened both images in new tabs and switched back and forth a few times. Wow. It's kind of amazing what little changes will do for a map's quality.

ravells
08-07-2010, 07:14 PM
Wow, this almost looks photographic in quality. Stunning job, mearrin!

mearrin69
08-07-2010, 10:48 PM
Thanks! Hopefully it'll look even better when I get some dock variety in there...and some more ships and other little details. Hey! The wall need Great Wall-style banners! (and also to have its shadow fixed :) )
M

mearrin69
08-08-2010, 01:45 PM
Hi all,
I might do some more detailing and tweaking at some point before I publish it, but I'm going to call this one done at this point. Here's the finished map thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?11435-The-Docks-of-Haibianr). Thanks so much for your comments and suggestions!
M