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View Full Version : *** July10 Challenge Voting - A Convergence of Power ***



Immolate
07-31-2010, 06:54 PM
July's challenge was to create a map that describes a locus, or focus of power. It could be an intersection of ley lines or a singular expression of the type of power represented--manmade or natural. Thus a locus for the power of the earth could be a great mountain, or a stone temple. Our members came through big time this month, creating some really great and imaginative entries. Every single entry is worthy of a first and second look.

To look at the entries in one convenient spot, you can check out the thumbnail gallery...

HERE (http://www.cartographersguild.com/utilities/Thumbs/Html/Challengers_Jul10.htm)

Please choose two entries. Our rules state that we allow one vote for each five entries, rounded down, but I'm feeling rebellious. Feel free to explain your vote or not, as you wish. Even at this stage, honest criticism is a blessing.

PLEASE GIVE REP TO THE ONES YOU VOTE FOR (along with anyone else you think is deserving).

Thanks all of you who provided excellent feedback to all of the entries. Your care and attention is appreciated.

mmmmmpig
07-31-2010, 08:00 PM
great entries all around (save the ham lover, his crap was weak this month, yo).

If people are willing I would love to give detailed crits of what I see for each piece, but I don't want to offend anyone so I would like some buy-in from the participants before deconstructing their work. The deconstruction is intended to help and not hurt, but I understand that some people don't want that kind of feedback. I also am intending to wait on crits so that most people have an opportunity to vote without my biases getting in their way.

Great showing this month!

Immolate
07-31-2010, 08:28 PM
I was quite impressed by all of the entries this month (except mine obviously), and I think you all deserve our thanks and appreciation for the hard work and for lending us a small bit of your inspired creativity. Rep for all as always, because I know just how hard you had to work to get it done.

I voted for the Solur Nexedifice because it is a tour de force of modeling and shows a fascinating appreciation for engineering and physics. I'm always enthralled by pieces that demonstrate an absolute love of detail and "realism".

I voted for The Menhir Dance of the Ui'Iliad because it's just so beautiful and pleasing to look at. I don't think GP has done anything better that I've seen, and he is one of the true masters in the guild, so that's saying something. Perfect creation GP, or as close as Allah (or is is Danu) will permit.

Gidde
07-31-2010, 09:08 PM
Wow. Every month it's hard to vote, but this one was REALLY hard.

I ended up voting for the Solur Nexedifice, because OMG the detail. It's gorgeous. My second vote went to Sapiento's Air Nexus; I love the surrounding city and those Aether ships rock.

Every single entry was awesome this month, about to go spread a bunch of rep love around. I wish I had 6 votes.

Aval Penworth
07-31-2010, 09:21 PM
Crayons was the standout for me. Reckless got my vote too.

Diamond
07-31-2010, 10:48 PM
Reckless got my vote, hands down, because that entry is made of win and awesome.

And Sap also, because he's Sap, and just about every one of his maps is staggeringly good, this one especially.

It was a hard choice though; I wish I could've voted for three.

Immolate
08-01-2010, 12:34 AM
When I created the poll, I checked the box that made votes public. When I looked at it, it showed everyone's votes automatically, instead of making you click the number to see who voted for whom. That wasn't right, so I went back in and changed it to private, thinking I could switch it back to public and figure out what I did wrong. Well, bad move because once you switch to private, you can never switch it back. I'm guessing the idea is that you shouldn't be able to lure someone into thinking they are making a private vote, only to turn the tables on them. So hooray for the forum software for protecting people's privacy, but boo for Immolate for messing up.

Jaxilon
08-01-2010, 12:45 AM
mmmmpig - As far as I'm concerned you can critique mine. I know my best is yet to come so the more I can learn from each item I create the better. My entry had a number of things I attempted for the first time. I believe I scanned in at least 4 items separately and merged them digitally. Not everything worked out quite like I expected (the stretching for instance) but I learned from it and that's what it's all about at this stage. One of the biggest things I think I have to work on is having a solid visual of what I want from the final before I begin. Practice, practice, practice.

I chose RE's Volcano of fire because it is both functional and gorgeous.
I chose Crayon's Solur plant next because it's impressive in it's engineering and detail.

GP - Very professional job and would be top of the line in any game supplement I have seen.
Sep's also totally professional and I really liked the buildings a lot.
GP & Sep have what seems to me more of an illustration style going on which is great but I enjoy something that looks a bit more realistic whenever possible. The Volcano by RE for instance. Textures, lack of hard lines, to me that goes beyond functional. Nothing against illustration and there are times when I like it more than a photograph but I'm just saying this so you can understand where I'm coming from. I love both of your works so I wouldn't say you need to change anything. What little background I have is from drawing animals and so on in as realistic a manner as I could.

EDIT: Wow Immolate, you are on such a roll :) No worries though, we all appreciate the extra work you do around here. It won't be the first time we had a private vote on a challenge. Most of us post why we voted the way we did anyway just so others know what we were thinking.

2nd Edit: somehow it ate my first one then posted a partial which really made things look odd

Redrobes
08-01-2010, 08:04 AM
Some really good standard of work this month. I went for Crayons cos I thought that it was a nicely executed idea and showed a lot of good new ideas about how to make a map. I also liked Jax's tower due to its sheer imagination. All of them were amazingly well done tho. I liked GP's use of sketchup to outline the map and mmm's artistry and the fire pit looked very realistic as well. Then Saps image is worthy of publishing and fitted the spec well. I could have gone for any of them given a change in mood. Really well done to all.

EDIT -- oh BTW, the fix has gone in for the scraper so thumbs are back up correct again...

Thumbnails (http://www.cartographersguild.com/utilities/Thumbs/Html/Challengers_Jul10.htm)

Crayons
08-01-2010, 12:30 PM
great entries all around (save the ham lover, his crap was weak this month, yo).

If people are willing I would love to give detailed crits of what I see for each piece, but I don't want to offend anyone so I would like some buy-in from the participants before deconstructing their work. The deconstruction is intended to help and not hurt, but I understand that some people don't want that kind of feedback. I also am intending to wait on crits so that most people have an opportunity to vote without my biases getting in their way.
Great showing this month!

"Ham lover"? I take it that is yourself "mmmmmpig"? :) I'm an "ahhhhsheep" kinda guy - and let's lay off the innuendoes eh? :lol:

Please feel free to let rip with any critique on my stuff, any time. I welcome any. I'm aware that 3D modelling may have mixed reactions due to the "realism" aspects as opposed to "hand drawn" look. I am working on that.
I'll just say here at the outset that POVRay and 3D in general is OK for battlemaps and any sci-fi/contemporary game material but struggles with city and land maps and the like, most especially for fantasy type setttings and player handouts for such things.

Gamerprinter
08-01-2010, 12:58 PM
Montana, where men are men, women are scarce and sheep are nervous... :P

Yeah, I goofed, and didn't notice VOTE 2, so I only voted for Sap's map, but my second would go to Crayon's if I'd been paying attention (strange, I've never missed a second or third vote, until this time!) Though my map turned out fine, it lacks the extraneous detail of other maps among the entries. Again, I don't do this for the win, but the challenge for myself, and that I need this map for my next publication - so it works for me fine, and its a style I plan to extrapolate on with other maps in the same publication.

All the entries were great this month, though I think Jax's map could have included more labels, a compass rose and what not to give it a more 'mappy' feel. RE's is great normal entry, SAP's has a medieval-steam punk look to it, something I never design for, but looks good here. Mmmmmpig's trees still look rock-like to me, but that's its only discrepancy. Good luck on the winner.

GP

PS: besides, I don't crave badges, I crave REP! I've sat on the same REP for too long...

Immolate
08-01-2010, 06:38 PM
You got some love from me GP. I think maybe the notice to vote for >>>TWO<<< was too subtle, don't you think?

Ascension
08-01-2010, 06:55 PM
My first vote went to mr ham as his looked the most mappy. I then voted for Jax cuz I like his waves...which has nothing to do with looking mappy. Sue me :) Sap's was very strong and I should have probably voted that way. GP's stuff is great but his lines look kind of sterile, no character, and that should probably be third...the coloring is sweet and all the other stuff to go along with a good-looking map (I don't know how he does it, some sort of creative mine that he can tap into anytime he wants). RE's looks like something from a video game and looks awesome but not altogether mappy and same for Crayons. Very tough vote, I almost got out the coins and flipped them. Tried to rep my votes but can't so I'll have to owe you guys. I hope that we can expect such high quality all the time. Nice work all around.

RecklessEnthusiasm
08-02-2010, 12:16 AM
Well, my first vote went to Sapiento (as always, his maps are just amazing) for the amazing and consistent detail on everything, and the creative take on the challenge. The colors and clarity remind me of 8-bit games, but when you zoom in, the craftsmanship really hits you.

GamePrinter got my second vote for the brilliant use of tools to create a really impressive effect--I am going to have to try using Sketchup and then 'inking' by hand. It looks amazing. I didn't like the drawing of the druid on the bottom left, but it didn't ruin anything for me.

Jaxlion - I really like your style but as mentioned in your thread, when you zoom in the lines look almost like... I don't know... sloppy paint? If there was some way to maintain the really neat 'painted' effect you use, while making the lines crisper with more definite edges, I think it would take your work to a whole new level. There might even be a simple photoshop filter you could apply to clarify everything.. hm.

Mmmmpig- I feel like this might have been my favorite, if not for a couple facts: The monochrome just didn't do it for me, and the simple layer effect to achieve the bevel on the rounded roofs seemed a little too exact (pc generated) in comparison to the really awesome hand-drawn quality of the rest. Like I said in the WIP thread, this has an "rpg map" feel (and impression of usability) that none of the others had, which gave it a special place in my heart.

Crayons - what can I say about your awesome work that hasn't already been said? Really amazing work, practically professional quality. Only two things prevented me from voting for you: the layout of the final image, while awesome in that you could focus and zoom in on different parts, seemed fragmented and somehow busy. Also, for a fantasy map, the 3d style doesn't seem a perfect fit: maybe playing up the steampunk elements would have made it seem more consistent? Other than that, this was absolutely amazing, and I am jealous of your mad, mad skills!


I would be open to hearing your criticism, mmmmmpig!

mmmmmpig
08-02-2010, 01:16 AM
I will spend some time tomorrow writing up some detailed crits. Thanks for the feedback everyone, and thanks for the votes whomever voted for me... so far. There's still time, right? A guy can dream can't he?

Sapiento
08-02-2010, 04:11 AM
I voted for Gamerprinter and for mmmmmpig. Both are outstanding maps. GP has again produced a wonderful hand drawn map, a place you can imagine for a visit. And mmmmmpig's map has a really good old-looking feeling. Bravo to both!

mmmmmpig
08-03-2010, 12:46 AM
Okay, here is the deal. I am going in order of how people are listed in the poll,

Keep this in mind for all of these crits. They are only meant to help and not to hurt. The crits and comments are just my own personal musings. They hold no weight what so ever.

First up:
Jaxilon, Dimensional Nexus:
Let me start by saying that I love the concept of this one. The tower coming out of the ocean floor to create a nexus of energy. The issues I have with it primarily lay with the cleanness of the “mapped” portions of the map. The levels of the tower are a bit difficult to read. The exterior information is really well done, but the interior is muddy and difficult to read. Clean up that stuff and you are cooking with fire.

Second up:
Crayons, Solour Nexedifice of Kharaghan:
The scope of this one is out of sight. The engineering is over the top. Wow… I am in awe. The presentations of the different insets is where the map starts to hurt just a bit. Now I am not positive as to what I think would work best for that presentation, my initial thought is to have the main piece of the map (the one that runs through the center from top right to bottom left) take up the entire page and remove the teal and yellow background. Then I think you could just differentiate the other insets from that background a bit more. The issue with that is that I think it would be a bit too brown. I would love to see a video capture exploding fly through as a movie map.

Third up:
Mmmmmpig, Nexus of Earth:
Here is the problem with this piece. GP and Ascension are correct that the trees indeed do look rocky. The page tiling does not match up with the cartouche that is used. The style of the regional map in the corner doesn’t match the overall style of the main map. The main map should have labels on it. I should have taken the time to create a rendering of the temple elevation. Good color scheme, overall, but some issues.

Fourth up:
RecklessEnthusiam, Nexus of Fire:
There are tons of great texture on this map.I love the idea of it and the layout of the final version. There is a lack of scale for this map, meaning I have no sense of how large areas are. The other issue that I have is the color associated with the map. The mapped area is too dark. I understand that it is a volcano, but I think the relief and elevation of the area is lost due to the relative flatness of the colorscheme. Also there are some little graphic artifacts associated with your title on the parchment portion of the map. Some little red and white pixilating here and there.

Fifth up:
Gameprinter, The Menhir Dance of the Ui'Iliad:
The style of the map is really well done. I think some knotwork rosettes on the corners might have helped the overall aesthetic of the map. That way you are pulling in more of the style of the inset map into the overall feel of the composition. Consistency is something that would really pull this up to another level. By that I mean, the inset map has a double gold border, the text area has a single red outline and the main map does not have any outline to speak of and the overall composition has a single red outline as well… That is some seriously knit picky stuff though.

Sixth up:
Sapiento, The Air Nexus Station at Sanz:
The style and make up of this map are really incredible. I love how the background buildings fade away to, umm… well… the background and the main buildings really stand out. The weakness in this particular map is the marginalia. You have some pretty large empty areas in the marginalia of your map. Also with the hand drawn look of the main map area, I think the lettering does not entirely match, might want to look at a more fluid calligraphic script like Freebooter or something like that. Great stuff though

Great stuff all around though. Seriously knit-picking for me on these to come up with credible crits. Well done folks.

Jaxilon
08-03-2010, 02:41 AM
Thanks mmmmpig, very nicely done. I even think I know what you mean =P

Gamerprinter
08-03-2010, 03:22 AM
Thanks, Mmmmmpig! Since this will be a series of maps, I am sure as I go along I'll find a better border design, rosettes and other design features that work best. Then I'll go back and edit the previous maps to accomodate the same style. So for the competition, it works for now, but by publication I'm sure it will be tweaked some.

GP

Crayons
08-03-2010, 07:09 PM
Okay, here is the deal. I am going in order of how people are listed in the poll,

Keep this in mind for all of these crits. They are only meant to help and not to hurt. The crits and comments are just my own personal musings. They hold no weight what so ever.

... Second up:
Crayons, Solour Nexedifice of Kharaghan:
The scope of this one is out of sight. The engineering is over the top. Wow… I am in awe. The presentations of the different insets is where the map starts to hurt just a bit. Now I am not positive as to what I think would work best for that presentation, my initial thought is to have the main piece of the map (the one that runs through the center from top right to bottom left) take up the entire page and remove the teal and yellow background. Then I think you could just differentiate the other insets from that background a bit more. The issue with that is that I think it would be a bit too brown. I would love to see a video capture exploding fly through as a movie map.
[

All very valid, thanks! Mind you I'm not sure if I'll take this one any further unless someone wants it for some publication purpose or other (unlikely!).
The whole "border" thing was rather "rushed" - not just in my time but also computer time. In order to keep renders manageable they were all done at 1600x1200px. (The longest render was the cutaway view which took a bit over 20 hours to finish!) The border needed separate 8 renders and then stitching together in PSP X. It was something I've not tried before (along with a bunch of other things here). The border was rendered as a bevelled gold plate with the holes in it attached to a flat surface with the inset images image_mapped onto it, essentially re-rendering the rendered images. This should have provided some reflections of the images in the bevelled border, which it did, but not really all that obviously. Once all 8 border renders were stitched together the inserts were then cut out and the originals pasted in. It almost worked ! :sad: Probably to make it work better would need a thicker (in/out of screen) border and different angle of bevel.
Anyway, yes, the whole "how to present this" was a serious issue.
The brown-ness was vaguely planned, I wanted to have the buildings mostly made of "local materials" as one would expect, so the general effect is sand and sky (not enough of that tho) - gold and tan and blue. I only really wanted the Entropic Temple to look out of place. That colour plan actually came out stronger than I expected (my expectations are always low! ) so I was pleased there. I wanted it to "feel" hot and dusty - it's really up to viewers to decide if I succeeded.
I'm not here to "sell" the 3D method to anyone, it's just my preferred tool. The joy of it is that you don't have to be able to draw worth a bean (although I can draw a bean) and most of all, it presents lots of little challenges and projects along the way and surprises you all the time! Apart from an hour or so in PSP X stitching, all this is text input and a couple of tiny image_maps.

And now a little "almost secret" I spotted too late!
Some of the observant among you will notice that in the three renders of the park area the trees are in different places. (This is obviously me not nailing down the random factor there).
I am fully prepared to explain this.
What you are looking at is a park composed of the Legendary Wandering Trees of Karaghan. Water is so scarce in the desert that the trees themselves have evolved to migrate, at need, in search of it. Held in captivity by small walls, the Wandering Trees dither about aimlessly and provide the ideal focus for priestly meditation. The Karag Tree Liberation Front, however, deplores such treatment, especially the practice of limiting such vegetation in pots!

I'm afraid a "fly through" is highly unlikely! Sorry.

cheers!

mmmmmpig
08-04-2010, 09:29 AM
so, when are we calling this one? It looks like a done deal!

Redrobes
08-04-2010, 09:31 AM
The poll lasts until:
This poll will close on 08-06-2010 at 12:03 AM

which is quite a long poll time I would agree.

Jaxilon
08-05-2010, 10:51 AM
So you're telling me there's a chance!

LOL (a great quote from the movie 'Dumb and Dumber')

Immolate
08-05-2010, 11:45 PM
Congratulation Crayons! A truly impressive first attempt. Very nicely done!

ravells
08-06-2010, 02:53 AM
Congrats, Crayons!

Sapiento
08-06-2010, 03:28 AM
Bravo, Crayons!

Crayons
08-06-2010, 04:17 AM
Oh crikey! Thank you! Just lookit that thing all shiney and new! Wow.
I'd like to begin by thanking my agent, my lawyers, my masseur, my overseas construction workers for building the real thing out in the deserts of Morocco, the helicopter pilot who helped me take the photos...:D
Thinking back I don't think I've won anything for about 20 years when I won the "worst tie and shirt combo competition" at work!
Thanks to ALL involved and for all the encouraging comments I was gettng along the way and especially to all those who voted for my piccy! - I'm going to buy some Potter's Patent Pixel Polish and see if I can make this compass sparkle!

Jaxilon
08-06-2010, 04:19 AM
Good job man, congratulations!

Steel General
08-06-2010, 10:32 AM
Congratz Crayons!

mmmmmpig
08-06-2010, 11:08 AM
Congrats! Great win!