View Full Version : Yet another, H!: Keep on the Shadowfell map

10-10-2010, 04:11 PM
Map is finished: Look here! (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?15338-H1-Keep-on-the-Shadowfell)

// Edit Level 1 of the keep is done. Look further down.

Hi all.

This is my first map ever in photoshop. I used to do maps in hand last time I gm'ed 12 years ago, but this time around, I'm trying with photoshop.

I'm doing the H1 keep. I know its been done over and over, but its the first game I'm gonna GM in awhile, and I wanted to do something where I could get a lot of inspiration from maps
that already has been done.

So far I have learned a lot about map making in photoshop from reading here, and by trial and error by myself.
Bevel's are very nice when doing something in 2D. They make things look more realistic.
Shadows give items the illusion of depth.
Good textures mean a lot.

All objects you see in the map are done entirely in photoshop by myself.
Most item's have been textured by filterforge. An awesome plug in for PS. Would have been lost without it.

First piece I'm gonna post that's almost done is Area 4. It's still missing doors and random "mess" items. But it gives a good idea of what I'm trying to make.
I hope you will like it.

10-10-2010, 04:15 PM
Just wanted to add one of the item's I have been making. It's for room 2. But It show's of some of the object's I'm trying to make.
When I'm done, if I get done, then I will release all objects as png and psd, if someone will find them useful.

10-10-2010, 04:34 PM
The objects are awesome. Nice work. Only thing that makes me cringe is the white background. If you're using a VTT software like Maptool I suggest completing the entirety and then overlaying on black color there which works well. As long as you are having fun and learning in the process there is no problem with redoing maps. Welcome to the club!!

10-10-2010, 05:16 PM
The white background is not final by far. It's just there for the purpose of being white right now with the preview :p
And I'm glad that you like the objects :)

10-10-2010, 05:33 PM
Looks Great I love the objects . :)

10-10-2010, 05:51 PM
Excellent work, if this is the 1st stuff you are attempting I think you will do really well.

10-10-2010, 06:01 PM
As another comment or inquiry. Is this the resolution you are working with?

10-10-2010, 06:13 PM
DevinNight: This is my first map in photoshop. Only other thing I have done before are some small backgrounds for websites and a single complete skin for phpbb called fae forest (http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=185&t=1111355&start=0) (which is horrible outdated by now I believe)

geamon: The map preview is also the resolution the final will be in as that fits my needs. The grid is 39x39 and the final map (level 1 of the keep) is around 2500x2500 in 72 dpi. All objects are made as 1000x1000. Some are smaller and some are bigger. Doing that so I can use the objects in closeup of rooms later.

10-10-2010, 06:31 PM
A little small to me I prefer 100 dpi/ppi, plus 100 is an easily divisible number. Up to you , as long as you put thought into it. I know it's harder to find good textures to work with at higher resolutions.

02-14-2011, 04:10 AM
Well it's been awhile. But I finally managed to get level 1 done. To make a long story short, I didn't complete the "original" map I started with for a lot of reasons and last week I decided that it was time to reboot this map and started over with everything except objects.

So here we are with level one of Shadowfell keep. The aim was as original to make a semi realistic look of the keep and I do think I managed that sorta. I'm still not happy about everything and I rushed some of the last objects like doors. So they might be redone at some point. The plan is now to get level 2 of the keep done in the same style. No promise on when that will happen tho. But possible soon, since I got players that are going to reach that point in short time.
I have uploaded the full PSD to my server and if you wish, you can explore it to see how the map is done in more detail. Just one warning. The psd is rather large. 110.089 KB.

Anyway I hope you will like the map.

The map fits maptools standard grid of 50x50. ( I am going to use this myself, so maybe I will get a version out with blocking layers and stuff.)
The map is done in Photoshop CS5 at 300 dpi and it has 250 layers. The finished size is around 3500x2878

High Quality PNG file: http://platoon.dk/dnd.maps/shadowfell/shadowfellLevel1.png - 8.989 KB
The .PSD File: http://platoon.dk/dnd.maps/shadowfell/shadowfellLevel1.psd - 110.089 KB

02-14-2011, 04:44 AM
Very nice lighting and textures. The objects are lovely too. Great work. 250 layers! Wow!!!

02-14-2011, 06:11 AM
looks great cadric - the only thing that jumped at me were the plank bridges at the digging - you'll want to anchor those planks to the floors with harder closer shadows, right now they are floating in space :) ... have some rep :)

02-14-2011, 08:23 PM
Very Good. :)

02-18-2011, 09:51 AM
Thanks for the replies and suggestion :)

I got a preview ready of area 18. One of the more "exciting" area's of level 2 (technically its level 3, but I'm adding it to this level)

It is still missing doors, rubble and some raised area's, but otherwise I'm almost done with it.
Oh and I am going to redo the crystals at some point, since they are not my own work. I just don't know how to do them right now. So the replacements here will do for now.

02-18-2011, 03:53 PM
This is a more overall view of level 2. Allot of details are missing. But there is more detail in Area 18 now.
The raised floor in area 18 was pretty hard to do because of the blood flowing down, the rubbles from the broken wall and getting the shadows to fit.
But I do think it turned out ok :)

Ps. Look at the bottom part of the map. The top is mostly empty...

03-28-2011, 10:23 AM
Beautiful maps Cadric. I love the coloring and the objects are pretty slick.

03-28-2011, 04:16 PM
Beautiful maps Cadric. I love the coloring and the objects are pretty slick.

Thanks. More is comming. But my group is really slow with getting to the dungeon. So i'm not in a hurry, not yet anyway :p

04-11-2011, 09:42 PM
Absolutely stunning work! I am definatley borrowing these for the keep parts of my campaign.

How's it coming with level 2?

04-11-2011, 10:31 PM
So pretty! Nice pattern on the floor! I like a lot

04-12-2011, 11:13 PM
I like your interpretation of this map.

I must say, Keep on the Shadowfell must be the most reinterpreted dungeon in all of 4th Edition. There are so many variations of this map (nearly all of them really good) that there is much to choose from!

04-13-2011, 04:44 PM
Absolutely stunning work! I am definatley borrowing these for the keep parts of my campaign.

How's it coming with level 2?

I have been working on a couple of other maps. But I will begin on this again soon. Level 2 should be fairly quick to finish, since it's mostly just beds, crates and doors that are missing from it..

04-14-2011, 09:47 AM
that's awesome :) Do you have any tips fro creating really wellmade maps(like yours), how did you create the square pattern, where do you get your textures from? i have been really inspired by your work, and will probably try to create some maps of my own for the future adventures of my D&D group, all because of you :) Cheers mate

04-14-2011, 10:23 AM
that's awesome :) Do you have any tips fro creating really wellmade maps(like yours), how did you create the square pattern, where do you get your textures from? i have been really inspired by your work, and will probably try to create some maps of my own for the future adventures of my D&D group, all because of you :) Cheers mate

I can't give you any pro tips, since I'm a newbie myself and this is my first map I started with :)
However I can tell you how I got started with making maps and getting pretty good looking textures fairly quickly. I got Filterforge (http://www.filterforge.com) at a holiday sale. With it you get 1000's of textures, that is easy to scale, color and recreate for your own purpose. It's a really good photoshop plugin. It will even work standalone. But it's best to use with photoshop.
As for the objects I mostly just create them myself from scratch. It's easier then it looks once you get started. Get a reference of what you want and just start making it. And with filterforge you also will have a easy time giving your objects textures.

So the main thing I would recommend is getting filterforge if you already have photoshop. BUT wait for them to have a sale. I got the basic version 75% off. Or else it's pretty expensive.

Everything thing else is just layers upon layers of items that all create what you see. 1 layer with cracks, 1 layer with dirt, one layer with slime etc.. Download the .psd I have linked in one of the other posts to see how I created this.

Oh and remember to check the turtorials here. Many of them are very good at getting your started.
And one last thing. A good little filter for creating your grid is this: Grid Generator (http://www.richardrosenman.com/software/downloads/)
Hope that helps :)

04-14-2011, 10:28 AM
btw filterforge have a tria (http://www.filterforge.com/download/)l. So try that first and see if its something for you.

04-14-2011, 10:49 AM
Great job on the dungeon maps cadric, they look really good.

05-18-2011, 12:39 PM
I'm actually going to use your level 1 map instead of my throw-together PyMapper version (which is honestly taking way too long due to layers not up to snuff). Here's to you, and here's to the future Level 2!

07-19-2011, 06:34 PM
Hey again. Just stopping in to see if you have worked more on the level 2 map? By the looks of it, you have probably canceled the project for more intersstig work, bur I thought I'd just give it a shot.


07-20-2011, 02:19 PM
I haven't canceled the project. I'm just horrible slow :)
However.. Good news everyone..
I can almost promise it will done before sunday...(If its not, then don't hate me..heh.)
I finished level 2 last week except for doors and a few stairs. Other then that area 1 to 19 is all done.

07-22-2011, 03:45 PM
So I'm almost done. All area's have been furnished and finished. Including area 19 :D

What is left to do on level 2 is doors mostly. Might be some cleaning up to do or extra small details to add.

And sorry about the delay. I'm only working on this when I really feel like it :)

Anyway here is a preview of the almost done lvl 2.

07-22-2011, 06:47 PM
That is great news Cadric :D I'm running Keep on the Shadowfell right now using your beutiful maps, and the party have just entered the first level of the keep. Keep up the good work, pun intended, and I hope you continue with Thundeerspire labyrinth next ;)

07-23-2011, 07:23 AM
Updated. Look below

07-23-2011, 08:32 AM
Finished concept for lvl 1 and 2.

So the map is done.
What is left to do now is to make a few different versions..
A printer friendly version and one without doors (for programs like maptools)
HQ png version. Also need to check and upload all psd's so people can get them.
And ofcource a finished post.. :)

I hope you will enjoy the map.
Next up, Thunderspire Layrinth.. Which will be done in a few years, if keep my current rate with mapmaking..hehe

07-23-2011, 08:52 AM
That is seriously well done. Impressive work, Cadric!!! Rep coming.