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Greason Wolfe
12-08-2010, 09:13 PM
Ahhhh . . . Ermmm . . . Uhhh . . . Against my better judgment, what with it being that time of the year, I'm gonna have a go at this one. I'm still waffling a bit on which projection to use (probably Hammer or Wagner IV depending on how things compare between the two) for the main portion of the map, however, there will most certainly be an "off-planet" view included as well.

Haven't accomplished much yet other than to select a world to work with, and pounding out a new climate image to use with FTPro (which may still need a bit of tweaking at this point). I'm not quite happy with the "ocean texture" just yet, and may need to build a new lighting file for this project. I'll also need to get in and edit things a bit in terms of elevations, temperatures and rainfall, then, maybe, slap a nice cloud overlay on top of everything.

For now, it is still in an equirectangular projection and the climate/biome coloring has been laid in. There are definitely some areas that need to be dried up and/or heated up a bit, but we'll see how that goes.

If I am lucky (very lucky, perhaps) things won't get stupid at work and I'll have time to finish this up before the challenge deadline. Wish me luck.

GW

### Latest WIP ###

Greason Wolfe
12-09-2010, 08:38 PM
Surprisingly enough, I made some progress today.

A bit of work in Wilbur to fill in the land-locked oceans, some erosion and a few tiny tweaks in the climate/biome overlay. Still need to adjust temperature and rainfall amounts before I start placing points of interest. Also laid out the basis for the map, as a whole with, as I promised, an "off-planet" view in the upper left portion and room for a technical readout in the upper right portion. I'm thinking, in the long run, I'll try to set this up to look as though it is on a monitor screen of some sort, but, again, we'll just have to wait and see how that goes.

For the time being, I've opted for the Wagner IV projection, however, it seems to have the same river problem in FTPro that the Equirectangular projection does. That may force me into the Hammer projection, though I don't like it quite as much as this projection.

GW

### Latest WIP ###

Steel General
12-10-2010, 09:17 AM
Looks good so far, hope you have time to finish it.

Greason Wolfe
12-10-2010, 10:33 AM
Thanks, SG. Things are looking good so far, in terms of having time to finish this one. I've made pretty good headway on it so far and, though it wouldn't be my best work, I could probably finish this up in the next couple of days. I am, however, gonna experiment a bit today, tweak a few things here and there and see if I get results I'm happier with.

GW

tilt
12-10-2010, 04:07 PM
good to see you entering GW, and looking good - may your (real) work be slow and your pen fast :)

su_liam
12-10-2010, 04:31 PM
It's a nice color ramp you have there. At least for the narrow spidery continents you have. Hopefully you'll post that after you win the comp :) .

Greason Wolfe
12-10-2010, 08:44 PM
It's a nice color ramp you have there. At least for the narrow spidery continents you have. Hopefully you'll post that after you win the comp :) .

Well, I don't know about winning and all, but I most certainly will share the climate image I'm using, and I won't even make anyone wait until the end of the challenge. Mind you, it's still in tweak mode right now, but here is the foundation for it. Once I have it finalized, I'll post a new version of it.

GW

Greason Wolfe
12-10-2010, 09:14 PM
Well, I got some more work done on this today.

First and foremost, I stretched the shores a bit. I wanted to expand on the "habitable" land some and make the mountains a little less dominant. The rough editing was done in FTPro, but eventually I sent the file to Wilbur so I could re-fill in the landlocked and start working on the erosion process. Once satisfied with that, I sent the whole mess back to FTPro.

I had hoped to circumvent the "straight, horizontal river" problem that FTPro has with some projections, but, sadly enough, I was unable to do so, at least not at this time. The idea was to use an overlay to place the rivers rather than depending on FTPro to lay them out. I'll have to look at that approach again and see where I went wrong, as it seems like it might be a good way to place lakes as well, particularly those above sea level.

To that end, I've opted for a Hammer projection in the lower portion of the map, though now I'm toying with the idea of using that area to "zoom in" on the focus of the map that goes along with the back-story that is developing in my head.

I haven't tackled the temperature/rainfall editing yet, but hope to get to that over the weekend. Still, progress is progress, and I'm fairly happy with the way this is going so far.

GW

Edit : As a side note, I'm really starting to like this world and may pursue it further once the challenge is complete, though I'll probably alter the genre from a sci-fi setting to a fantasy setting.

### Latest WIP ###

ravells
12-12-2010, 04:05 PM
Love the colours that you have for your FT shader. I've always been unhappy with mine, they end up hugging the contours too much and look unnatural, but yours looks beautiful. I think this one is going to be a doozy when it's done! Great work, Greason! Maybe just draw the rivers in by hand rather than rely on the software?

jtougas
12-12-2010, 04:08 PM
Beautiful !! :)

Greason Wolfe
12-12-2010, 06:36 PM
@ Ravs : I thought about drawing them in by hand, but, as it happens, I figured out what I was doing wrong with the overlay, so the next update should show the rivers properly with the projection I want to use. As for the coloring, I'm using the "Show Other Shader" feature instead of showing altitude, and using the climate overlay posted above. It doesn't follow the contours as much as the altitude shader does, but, as I mentioned, it still needs a bit of tweaking before it is finalized.

I haven't had much of a chance to work on this over the weekend as I'd hoped. We had some incidents at work that required my attention, but I'm on MY weekend now, so I should be able to work on this some. I've got a few more tweaks to work out, and I've got to make a final decision on presentation, but as it stands now, all systems are a go and I expect to have this wrapped up with plenty of time to spare.

GW

ravells
12-12-2010, 07:01 PM
Cool, can't wait to see those rivers! I saw that you were using the 'other shader' option, but I still get that altitude (or it might be rainfall?) banding. I used your shader and got this result zoomed in on a random FT map. Yours don't seem to be that 'altitude' dependant, although I guess one could take it into photoshop and do some clone stamping to break up the obvious contour lines. The other thing I found is that those lovely tree textures don't show up..the colours are much more uniform.

waldronate
12-12-2010, 07:07 PM
The climate image shader in FT point-samples the image to get its data. Basically, it just puts the temperature index along one axis and the rainfall axis across the other and the grabs the pixel closest to that intersection. The larger your input image, the smaller an area that each pixel will control. There will always be some banding if you zoom in far enough.

As with so many things in FT, it wasn't really intended for close-in work.

ravells
12-12-2010, 07:23 PM
Ah thanks Joe...what's the largest input image that FT can take for the shader?

waldronate
12-12-2010, 07:59 PM
There isn't a limit in the code, but there should be a practical upper limit imposed by the OS or 32-bit address space. Figure 4k by 4k or so (possibly higher or lower depending on what's already in memory). The way you'll know that you've exceeded the limit is that the software will crash, so save often when experimenting.

Greason Wolfe
12-12-2010, 08:43 PM
Joe hit it on the head there, both the banding and the lack of "texture" are caused by the point sampling. I haven't tried using a larger image yet (mostly because I was under the impression that it had to be a specific size) but one other solution is to blur the climate image to some degree. You'll still end up with some banding issues depending on how far you zoom in on the surface, but the more you blur, the closer you should be able to get.

I am having a bit more success with the rivers now, but I'm still pushing towards a specific look. My problem before was that I had done a few vertical flips between FTPro and Wilbur and had my river overlay flipped the wrong way. Things are, however, beginning to work out the way I had hoped, so I should be able to include significant landlocked bodies of water as well, and they'll even follow the rules. Wooohooo.

GW

Greason Wolfe
12-14-2010, 07:30 PM
Well, it hasn't been the best "weekend" for my wolfish-self.

As I was working on this, I discovered a continuity problem in my land masses. Apparently, while filling in the landlocked bodies of water in Wilbur, I missed one edge of the file, and that resulted in a nasty looking straight continental edge in several areas. So it was back to the drawing board so to speak, but it's all good, gave me a chance to tweak the continental masses and add in some island chains. Then it was the whole Wilbur thing again to fill in areas that needed to be filled, smooth things out and cycle through some erosion just to pretty things up a bit.

I also spent some time tweaking the climate overlay image, and it is a little better, but I'm still not 100% happy with it just yet. For now, however, it will do. The big push today has been to catch up to where I had hoped to be with this, thus I've spent some time working on the rivers. FTPro's river function and the Wagner IV projection don't play well together, so I've basically had to draw the rivers in by hand using an overlay. Had to experiment with that a bit to effectively taper the rivers the way they should be and make sure they settle in where they are supposed to. All in all, they aren't looking too bad, but I imagine I will likely tweak them a bit more once I've finished up the major editing process.

I'm still debating the layout, but, in the process of playing around with things, stumbled upon a new technique that may push me towards an inset of a particular area that will, if the technique works well across the board, give me some really good texture results. Will just have to wait and see. For now, here's a bit of an update, though it only shows the "world" map.

GW

### Latest WIP ###

Greason Wolfe
12-15-2010, 04:14 PM
Ahhh, finally have the rivers finished. While I wanted them to be visible, I also wanted them to remain somewhat subtle. I think I've managed to accomplish that. For the more detailed map, I made them a bit more prominent. Sadly, at least when it came to the world map, my hope to include the major lakes just didn't work out. I'll take another stab at it next time around. For now, however, I think I'll only try to tie them in to the detailed map.

I'm still pretty happy with the progress so far, and I've finalized the overall layout. I had intended to include a "view from space," but had a change of heart and opted to go with a detailed insert instead. I'm going to experiment with the detailed portion of the map to see if I can lay in a bit more texture. Beyond that, it should mostly be a matter of labeling everything that needs to be labeled and slapping in the "Technical Readout" mumbo-jumbo.

Things are looking good for me to be able to finish this one up! Wooooohooooo!

GW

### Latest WIP ###

Greason Wolfe
12-18-2010, 12:31 AM
Well . . . Progress of sorts. I'm just not sure if it's positive progress or not. Took my first stab at trying to add in some texture to the detailed view. Some of it I'm fairly happy with, and some of it . . . Well, I'm just not sure about it yet. I might try taking another stab at it, but if I'm still not happy with the results, I'll probably end up working with the more atlas style look and start slapping the labels in.

GW

ravells
12-18-2010, 07:41 PM
It looks beautiful, GW, but the top pic is quite dark (on my monitor anyway).

Greason Wolfe
12-18-2010, 11:29 PM
Yep, I noticed the same thing when I was working with it. I'll have to look at brightening it up a bit when I re-attempt a few of those textures.

Greason Wolfe
12-31-2010, 01:30 PM
Let's see, one person gets fired a week before Christmas and another quits, leaving three people to handle a 24/7 job. Guess I should have trusted my better judgment. Anyways, let me "officially withdraw" at this point. I will, however, be continuing with this map as soon as I get a chance (or one very close to it) as I am very close to a method/style that I really like with this one.

GW

Jaxilon
12-31-2010, 03:20 PM
Nooooooooooo, stay in just in case we get more than one vote.

I don't envy you having to pick up that slack at work though. :(

ravells
12-31-2010, 05:14 PM
What a pity, GW, but work sounds like no fun at all for you at the moment.