View Full Version : Coppernight Hold

08-31-2010, 09:03 AM
Ok ... well this is my first mapping project and I have decided to tackle Coppernight Hold from Dungeon Delve.
Comments and criticism are welcome if not asked for.

08-31-2010, 09:09 AM
The first thing I decided to make on the map is the rubble which should cover the edges of the map to the east and to the south and also some other parts so that means basically a lot of rubble.
For me the rubble should consist of pillars, rocks , wood and a broken tool or two.I made the pillars and I'm happy enough with but about the rocks I'm still playing around. Sometimes they look like dirt and sometimes like circular pillars.Oh well.

P.S. If anybody notices, the grid is not in black but in a shade of brown because I think that will go better with the dirt background.


08-31-2010, 10:04 AM
Hard to comment yet but I'll watch this develop and try to help out if I can. I could probably Google it but do you have something that tells about Coppernight Hold/Dungeon Delve? I've never heard of it.

09-01-2010, 04:18 AM
Dungeon Delve is a supplement for D&D 4e.It contains thirty mini-adventures for one night play each.So basically instead of trying to map a whole adventure I decided to try to map three encounter areas.The one I am doing the mini-adventure for level one.

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Product.aspx?x=dnd/products/dndacc/9780786951390This is a link to wizards product catalog where they say some more things about it if you are interested.

P.S. I hope hope I've inserted the link correctly.

09-01-2010, 04:44 AM
This is what I have came up with after a morning(for me a morning) of searching and expirementing with gimp. This biggest problem a had was to make some of the rocks seem at a higher elevation than the rest so I used bump map on them.Well I'm not that happy with it so if you have any other ideas please tell me.

P.S.I don't care if I have to draw again all of the rocks cause it was quite an easy procedure.Also I think I have to read the gimp manual's entry on bump map.


09-01-2010, 05:58 AM
After applying Gaussian Blur on the rocks with higher elevation.

09-01-2010, 07:17 AM
I think you would find a little shadow around the rocks would set them into elevations. To made that is quite easy. Get a single rock onto a white background then contrast enhance so that it becomes an all black rock on a white background then blur that a little so it fades down. Then put the grey rock back on top. It will be a grey rock with a little dark halo around it for shadow. I believe you can do that on a transparent background instead and then you can use it as a brush. I'm not a Gimpy kinda guy tho :)

09-02-2010, 09:10 AM
Redrobes I applied your method for shadows on the rocks and the pillars that I wanted to seem as if they were on top and it worked wonderfully.Thanks.

Now back to the map. While I went to save I discovered that I had made a mistake on the size of the map so I had to resize it and move around many of the parts of the map.
Also, I'm finished with the rubble and I added a background texture.Now my question is this: can somebody tell me a method to randomize it somehow (yesterday I fell on a post of RobA where he was explaining it but I just can't seem to find it again,hm...) cause I don't like the repetitive look it has at the moment.


09-02-2010, 09:17 AM
Cool beans man, the delve looks fun enough from what I've read in the supplement. Looking to see what you pull off. Seeing as we both started at around the same time and are both using GIMP 2.6 maybe I can throw some ideas off you if you ever have the time.

Edit: Plus I know how crappy those dungeon tile maps look I can see why you would want to do this as a project. haha :)

09-02-2010, 09:32 AM
Edit: Plus I know how crappy those dungeon tile maps look I can see why you would want to do this as a project. haha :)

Yes, those maps are one of the worst wizards has ever came up with.Putting together dungeon tiles from previous sets that don't even match is lame.
I'm also quite curious to see what I'm gonna pull off too.lol.

09-02-2010, 10:32 AM
If you would like to add some depth to your rocks so they don't look so much like flat slabs of stone you can use the Dodge/Burn tool. Just burn around the edges and a little toward the center of rock, then use the Dodge to lighten the center and blend things in so they look right.

Here is an example of what I'm talking about. It requires a bit of painting but it's just a rock so it's not like it has to be perfect. In the example, I used your image and just burned/dodged around the rock. Things are darker towards the edges and lighter towards the middle. Maybe I shouldn't have used such a round rock but I think you get the idea. It seems almost like the shadow is too circular to me but that's for another conversation.

Hope it helps, keep up the good work.

09-02-2010, 10:58 AM
If you don't mind me asking are you doing an interpretation of their map or a relatively accurate replica?

09-02-2010, 11:50 AM
@Jaxilon: I was wondering how to give some depth to the rocks so I'll try it out and see what happens even though I'm almost sure that it would look better that way.

@geamon: To answer your question I'm doing "a relatively accurate replica".I decided to add rubble to the northern and west sides of the map because in the encounter's flavor text it said that those sides "are impassable due to high piles of unstable rubble".
For some reason wizards decided not to map those those sides (possibly because they didn't have the right Dungeon Tiles)so instead of having to explain to the player's what's surrounding them I decided to show it to them.

09-03-2010, 09:42 AM
I redid the rocks using Jaxilon's method for depth. A big improvement.Thanks again.
Also after a lot of playing around and thinking I was able to find a way to make the fences. I'm happy enough with them even though they are a bit small.My excuse is that I'm looking lokking at the map in a top-down view:).
Now comes the pit in the center.


P.S. I have a feeling that the fence looks like ice cream cones or small trees put in a row.lol.

Edit 1:I just noticed that the grid is barely noticable with that color.In the next post I'll have that fixed.

09-05-2010, 03:39 AM
I did some work on the map.
The layout for the pit area is done and so are the fences that surround it,the stairs are also done too, I think I redid them three times until they finally came to this form and I've played with the brightness so that I can show that the pit is in on lower elevation than the rest.I have to flesh out a few details in the pit and them I'm going to proceed to the next map.


09-07-2010, 09:54 AM
I'm calling this map finished.I'm quite happy with it and I guess it was my learning project with gimp.
Even though I say it's finished I might someday go back to it so feel free to post C&C.
Thanks to everyone for their useful tips.


Next up is encounter 1-2 The Hall of Ancestors
Also I'm wondering should I post all three maps together in the finished maps forum or should I post them one by one?

09-07-2010, 12:10 PM
I redid the rocks using Jaxilon's method for depth. A big improvement.Thanks again.
Also after a lot of playing around and thinking I was able to find a way to make the fences. I'm happy enough with them even though they are a bit small.My excuse is that I'm looking lokking at the map in a top-down view:).

BIG tip, Always do bump maps and dodge/burn on a new layer set to 50% grey(or more than one layer if needed). This will keep your underlying objects from being directly modified and make it MUCH easier if you wish to add/change shadows in the future. For me, I always pick a light direction and use dodge on the direction the light is coming from and burn on the opposite side. I also think it would be a lot more consistent if all the objects have an outer glow, with the height of the object being being the basis for your size of the glow(ie, an football sized rock would have a smaller outer glow and a file cabinet would have a larger one. However, be careful with this so that you don't get the glow "to" big. Likewise, with your burn (again, on a 50% grey layer) it's nice to provide shadows away from the light source. Lot's a ways to deal with this, some more time consuming than others.

09-07-2010, 04:18 PM
jfrazierjr thanks for the comment which I think is going to be a big help but after reading it a few(read: quite enough) times I still haven't understood some parts of it. About the layer with the 50% grey I see that it would be soooo functional but is that layer supposed to be above the object that I want to dodge/burn or below it? And also, how will I not allow the rest of the grey layer to be seen?

Now about my map, I see now that I should have done many things different and that makes me happy because it means I'm improving. Actually I got carried away trying to show the different elevation levels on this map and stopped thinking completely about how the shadows should look.I'll have to pay more attention next time and I imagine that somebody could find in my map many different light sources.

About all the objects having outer glow I think that that would not look nice and I believe that if I were remaking the map I would have tried out applying bevels to the "elevated" rocks and pillars(although when I was doing them I had no idea what bevel was, I first heard about in a post of a dungeon wip that I was reading by accident).

And finally coming to a conclusion and trying to end my writing spree I am wondering about the difficult terrain triangles, if I should include them in the final version or not.Any ideas?

09-07-2010, 06:30 PM
What you do for the 50% grey is create a new layer (I like to call it Shadows or something like that). Place this over the one you are working on. Fill it with hex color 808080 (I think that's the right one) and set this layer to OVERLAY mode. Now, if you use the burn tool on it the image will darken and vice versa if you dodge. It is the best way to do it - I just gave you the quick and dirty method.

09-07-2010, 07:14 PM
What you do for the 50% grey is create a new layer (I like to call it Shadows or something like that). Place this over the one you are working on. Fill it with hex color 808080 (I think that's the right one) and set this layer to OVERLAY mode. Now, if you use the burn tool on it the image will darken and vice versa if you dodge. It is the best way to do it - I just gave you the quick and dirty method.

Ummm yea... DUH!! I kind of forgot the most important part! Thanks for the assist Jax. And yes, it IS the bet way to go since it means you never break your original objects. If you mess up, just paint the messed up area with 50% grey and it's fixed. As much as possible, try to avoid doing things that actually alter an underlying object. This also helps in cases where you want "just a little more" where you can duplicate the overlay layer and adjust the opacity downward if it's "too" much.

09-08-2010, 01:24 AM
Thanks for the explanation.I'll be trying it out on my next map.

09-09-2010, 09:58 AM
This is the first post from "The Hall of Ancestors" map. I find out that it's coming out quite faster than my other map and I'm happy with that.

I did the general layout of the room, chose what kind of colors I wanted my map to have and did some of the shadows.
In the southernmost part of the room should be some stairs which are supposed to be coming from the surface.I'm still playing about how to make them look good.I'm thinking of applying a gradient to make them go from dark to light but I have no idea on how to do that. I think I saw a tut the other day on gradients, I'll try to find it.And after the gradient to put some burn on the edges of the stairs to form shadows to show that they are stairs and not just one slope(pretty much, like I did in the earlier map but not so standing out).
Also those anybody have any idea where I can find a statue of a dwarf warrior in top-down view because I don't think that I'm going to be able to make one that looks nice.


Edit: For some reason the grid does not look correctly in the post. Just ignore that and go to full-size where it looks right.
Edit: I have to make a door at the top part of the map too.:)

09-09-2010, 12:05 PM
Very perspectivie. My suggestion would be play with the layers of your grid and put the grid ONLY on the actual floor. This is where using layer masks(see my sig for a short tutorial in GIMP) comes in.

09-10-2010, 09:30 AM
Small detail I noticed is that since you're using the same texture for both the floor and walls they blend in together even though you have the perspective in place with the shadows. Basically just offset the layer for the walls, if you don't have one create one, this way it doesn't take away from the perspective setup by your drop shadow.

09-10-2010, 09:59 AM
Basically just offset the layer for the walls,
I pretty much can guess what you are proposing me to do but I have no idea on how to offset the layer for the walls.So if you could give me an explanation you would solve my problem.
Thanks for the comments.

09-10-2010, 10:17 AM
Layer ---> Transform ----> Offset. But you probably will need to fill a area even larger then the walls with the texture then using either masking or crop the specific area once you offset it because shifts everything on that layer.

09-10-2010, 03:07 PM
Okay... when I first found out what offset did I started laughing, quite a sly tool I thought.
Oh well it ended up that I had to offset also the shadow layers and the grid layer.The result though was nice but I'm too tired at the moment to do any normal work with map so it's going to have to wait up to tomorrow.

Also I tried loading the attachment above using Internet Explorer and the grid only showed normally when I had zoomed in. I really don't no why it's happening.

09-11-2010, 03:59 AM
I adjusted the grid and offseted (is there such a word?) the wall,shadow and grid layers.I think the problem is partially solved.Sometime I'll try out using a small bevel.
Also I was experimenting with gradients and lighting effects for the stairs.I'm happy with the gradients but I might change the shadows for each different step.
Finally the map has gotten a few tones darker because the illumination is supposed to be darkness.Please tell me if it looks too dark and I found a collection of many statues so my life has gotten a lot better.


09-11-2010, 11:30 AM
The only part that looks really odd on my monitor is where it looks like the grey of the floor is bleeding over into the color of the walls. This is most noticeable in the two east/west running walls that have flooring to their North (South side of upper right hallway and South side of lower left room). It almost looks like you painted the grey of the floor on a separate layer but didn't stay inside the lines or something. I had to look at the stairs for a moment to see that's what they were. I know Torstan had a great tutorial hosted on another site that showed how to make stairs. I just spent 10 minutes and failed to find it. Maybe I need to finish drinking my coffee first :)

It was some kind of Noobie guide that showed how he did his Dragon Cavern map. (Good grief but my memory fails me on this one!) If I have time later I'll dig it up. That or maybe someone will come along who remembers what I'm talking about. It is a great tutorial and it will help with doing these things.

I think the map is coming along nicely and the techniques you are hammering out right now will be helpful in everything else you do so it's worth it.

09-11-2010, 09:38 PM
I think the reason is because you didn't take advantage of the drop shadow filter that's built into GIMP. If you did use it, you can change the location or source of the light for the shadows and allow for a nice round edge. Unless you used the burn or dodge tool on a 50% transparent layer I dunno. Correct me if I'm wrong.

09-12-2010, 02:56 AM
Thanks for the comments and first of all I have to say that I think that both of you are talking about different things.
@Jaxilon are you talking about a grey color( the normal color for the floor ) which is noticable in every wall but most in those two you pointed out.If yes then this is what has happened.At the beginning I had decided to make the background texture looked like it leaked into the walls giving the walls an aged look but I overdid the distortion and growing of the selection that I had and that's why it came out like that.
@geamon I believe that you are talking about the shadows for the corners of the walls.There I did the shadows with the dodge/burn method on a 50% grey layer but i shall to work with them again cause they stand out to much.ALSO I forgot to set visible the layer of one the dropshadows to which are on the eastern walls and that made some of the floor imperfections show out like some grey lining.:)

P.S. About the tutorial it's here (http://newbiedm.com/2009/11/09/newbiedm-tutorial-the-battlemap-a-guest-post-by-jonathan-roberts/).I found it when I first started checking out cartographer's guild but I just dumped the project cause I was wasn't understanding enough parts of it but now I think that I'm going to redo it.

09-12-2010, 04:12 AM
You explained exactly what I was talking about and that makes sense. You might want to just do the walls with their own coloration to age them. Unless you want them to match the floor in which case you just need to extend the coloration so it's more even.

09-12-2010, 09:19 AM
I have fixed many of the minor problems of the map(forgetting to make visible a drop shadow layer) although I can't fix the matter Jaxilon pointed out because due to my inexperience I put the wall texture, the wall outlines and the background color all in one layer.
Also I made the rubble and I am mostly happy with it but couldn't the anything better with the stairs.The statue that I added is not mine I got it from geamon-he found it at RPGshare.
If I have forgotten anything important please tell me.I'm not going to add anything to this map but I might improve something if I can.

Now I'll follow all of Torstan's tut and then come back to do encounter 1-3 Audience Chamber.

09-13-2010, 04:10 AM
Hmm, if I was going to mess with the wall coloring I would just use my square selection tool and cut out the floor and put it on a new layer. That way you have isolated the walls. Then you might just try adjusting the color of them to see if that will suffice. I've done exactly what you did a lot of times. It does requires a bit of cut/paste to get your layers back though.

As far as the textures, outlines and background you are probably best of just recreating them. You have to decide how far you want to go as well.

This looks good and is fully functional so it may not be worth it for this one.

Nice work!

09-13-2010, 07:02 AM
Thanks Jaxilon but I think that I'm not going to work any more on the wall textures for this map.Either way I'll have that possibility in the next one in this dungeon delve so I there is no need for me to unnecessary ( in my opinion ) work.

09-13-2010, 08:25 AM
One thing you want to try to get into the habit of doing in the future is using Channels. Anytime you make a selection to "cut" out some shape or something like that, go to the Selection menu and Save to Channel. A channel is nothing more than a special place to hold what will in most cases become layer masks. It also allows for very easy re-selection of a specific shape as you can right click on any channel and channel to selection will create a selection for you.

09-14-2010, 09:59 AM
If only I had thought about that things would be easier.Oh well next time.

09-15-2010, 03:59 PM
I'm continuing with the third encounter of Coppernight Hold:Audience Chamber.
Walls, background, floors, doors and shadows are done.My only important concern at the moment is if the doors seem a bit too wide.
Now to fill up the map with objects I shall have to make a wooden armchair and a fur mat.Even though I downloaded CSUAC I don't want to use like it like that because I will be getting the feeling that what I have made will not be completely mine.At the moment I have no idea on how to draw those objects as my drawings skills are not that good but I'll give it a a shot.

C&C welcome and appreciated.


Edit: It ends up that I didn't have enough time to follow torstan's tut.Thanks god there are no stairs in this one:).

09-18-2010, 07:22 AM
And with this post I think that I have completed the encounters for the Coppernight Hold Dungeon Delve.
Now for the last map,audience chamber, I finished up the adding of objects to the map and redisigned the doors.Also I made a minor update on the Halls of the Ancestors map adding blood stains to the pile of rubble.
When I have some spare time I'm going to post the maps in the finished maps sub-forum.
Thanks to everyone who gave their opinion about the maps (especially to jfrazier,jaxilon and geamon for their endless explanations).
C&C (even at this step) is welcomed and appreciated.

29407 29405 29406

Edit: Posted in the finished maps forum.