View Full Version : November/December Entry: Those Damn Damp Depths Derived from Dubious Drainage

11-23-2010, 01:09 PM
Pardon the title.

I decided I'd take the traditional rout of waterworks/sewers with something darker lurking beneath. Cliche or classic? You decide, I suppose.

I've never done an isometric map before and I thought that, this being a challenge where height/depth is featured so prominently, it would be a good time to give it a whirl.

Just working on the basic structure and layout of the place at the moment. Hopefully it will be properly useful as an encounter map/VTT by the time I'm done.

11-23-2010, 05:30 PM
Nice start!

Steel General
11-23-2010, 06:11 PM
A fine start.

11-24-2010, 04:35 AM
Getting to finer detail now and adding my own custom textures to the model. Still haven't fiddled with transparency for the fore-walls, and I think that will have to be a last step... I'll have to come up with a solution on my own since the built-in x-ray option for Sketchup doesn't produce the desired effect.

11-24-2010, 04:50 AM
Awesome work, a few things I noticed is the areas outlines with a black stroke have some irregularities. I.E. the grass area and waterways outside the walls have bumps sticking out, clean it up for a sleeker look. Is there any way you can add more fluidity to the waterfalls or add some transparency to allow for depth? Also the stairs at the entrance is very unclear and disorienting maybe something you can do to make it look more streamlined. Good luck with your submission!

11-24-2010, 04:54 AM
Gaemon - thanks for the advice. The stroke irregularities was just from my being lazy. I'm hoping to add some photoshop magic to the waterfalls to make them look more like flowing liquid, but I will wait to do that until after I finish the basic layout and texturing. Same with the transparent walls--it'll have to be 'post processing,' but I hope to get to it.

Good point about the stairs though. when things are face-on in Isometric maps, it destroys the perspective, doesn't it? I remember someone saying not to have rivers flowing directly "up" the map because it breaks the illusion.

Anyway, thanks for the compliment! I hope you join in on this challenge too!

11-24-2010, 04:56 AM
Unfortunately, I can't I'll be packing my PC this week and shipping over the boarder this week. Also I'm trying to acclimate myself with the use of the tablet I've acquired, yet another skill to learn.

11-24-2010, 05:18 AM
looks really good RE, as usual ;) ... perhaps the columns are a little nice for a sewer? :)

11-24-2010, 08:56 AM
Thanks Tilt-Tastic! Can I expect an exciting entry from you this month? It is a little lonely in this here thread.

11-24-2010, 09:52 AM
Looking awesome. You're off to a fine start.

11-24-2010, 10:52 AM
Thanks Tilt-Tastic! Can I expect an exciting entry from you this month? It is a little lonely in this here thread.

hehe, yeah, I'll think I'll go for a classic dungeon this time ... thought a minute for going for the secret passages under Santas house, but I don't have time to do with that idea what I'd want to, so a basic dungeon is what it'll be :) ... gotta give you a run for your mo.. compass ;)

11-24-2010, 12:21 PM
Looking really nice - and that's a very familiar parchment background you've got there! I think you've got a good shot at that third compass with this.

11-24-2010, 02:02 PM
Cereth - Thanks my man! Hopefully I'll keep it up.

Tilt - I can't wait to see it!

Torstan - I appreciate the kind words, and yep, I owe that parchment to you! My girlfriend said that it was too smooth though, and insisted I add folds. I have done so to pacify her, so now yours is an overlay layer over two others... but I may remove them before all is said and done--folds might look pretty, but it certainly clutter the image.

I think my Sketchup work is done, and the rest will be done in PS. It is only the 25th, so I feel I am a bit ahead of schedule for once! The transparent foreground walls were a huge hassle, and I wish there were a better way to do them, but I think I got the rough effect I was going for. I hope I addressed all the issues gaemon mentioned (though I left the stairs the same shape).

I added some 'sketchy' lines which were a 'style' option from Sketchup and cleaned them up and altered them in PS. They are still a little too messy and I'll have to clean them up further, but I think the harder edges help give a sense of structure that the non-stroked version lacked, especially since Sketchup only paints lighting (what would normally provide the effect of hard edges) in very broad strokes. I see I need the bottom level f the cave is a little too close to flat black, preventing easy reading of height land land shapes, so I'll have to adjust that too. Also, there is a lot of empty space on the bottom left, so I'll have to scribble some lore or add some other alternate views to balance the image out. So, still plenty left to do.

I have got to say, sketchup is an amazing tool for producing perspective drawings/sketches. I never ever would have been able to hand-draw an isometric map without oodles of graph paper and tonnes of time.

11-24-2010, 04:21 PM
looks damn good, gonna be hard to compete with that, and I don't have time to learn sketchup *lol* ... a few points of critique. I'd get rid of the folds (just keep this one to show your girlfriend ;) ), I think the sketchy lines are a little heavy on the colums, and the plusses on the floor in the cavern are a bit dominating, I'l make them smaller and lighten the color on the ground a little too :) But looks fantastic RE :)

11-25-2010, 10:10 AM
Wow, that has turned out really nice and I always like to see isometric maps and can't wait to see it finished. I'm also going to have to investigate this sketchup thing at some point.

11-25-2010, 01:13 PM
Tilt - Thanks! I'm on it!

Larb - Thanks my man! It is my very first try at ISO mapping, so I am a little nervous, and still working through some of the problems I hadn't full thought out. Sketchup is super cool, and Google has produced tonnes of easy-to-understand tutorials and put them on Youtube. I got up-and-running in it after less than a couple hours, and I am picking up the rest of the real neat tricks as I go and find need for them (be sure to watch the 'follow me' tutorials for creating walls and roofs! I wish I'd seen it earlier). Anyway, good luck!

Really small update, trying to address the line-art around some of the individual pieces, like the columns, and fixing up the coloring a little.

11-25-2010, 06:20 PM
I think for the stairs you need a more opaque color choice and need to contrast the itself against the parchment. Also for it to work you need to have the right hand plan show clearly the steps going down without anything else hampering its visibility. Only other suggestion is the plus signs for the grid in the cavernous areas are off putting. Are they necessary? I'd say just take them out because ISO maps aren't usually used for battle maps therefore grids are unnecessary. I understand it for the sewer section because the floor is tiled and it works to your advantage. Up to you though.

PS Added a quick revision of your map just to show it could look more visible. Note you'll probably need to remove the section that is below what I've highlighted. I'm sure you can make it look much better then my 2 min example.

12-09-2010, 05:23 PM
Excellent..once again :)

12-11-2010, 12:48 PM
Well, the time limit on the challenge seems to be nearing, and I don't think I'm going to have any more time to work on this. I would like to have done some extra art or flavor text in that big open area to the bottom left, but I don't think I'll get a chance...

Edit: added some stufft--let me know what you think.

### Latest WIP ###

12-12-2010, 10:48 AM
Very nicely done!

12-12-2010, 11:43 AM
Jtougas, Jaxilon - Thanks a bunch, guys, I appreciate it. Tough competition this week, so I have to work hard.

12-12-2010, 12:30 PM
That's really beautiful, RE! Lovely work!