View Full Version : A new map using multiple sheet effects with CC3

12-13-2007, 11:10 PM
This is a fun one. I am not sure if the JPEG really shows the details well, but when using the sheet effects (blur, displace, and transperency) on multiple layered sheets (4 sheets layered) I have found what I think is a very nice look, giving a sense of different climate effects. CC3 is really advancing, allowing for maps that have a great look. My goal is not to make 'photo realistic' maps (though I love those greyhawk ones someone posted) but to create maps that provide a lot of data in a visually appealing fashion.
This map is a large on (this is about 1/6 of the total) and has taken about 55 hours so far (figuring out the sheet effects has been a bear).
Part of the trick is the mixing of bitmap fills to provide texture, then plain fills using various levels of transperancy, edge blur, and displacement.

12-13-2007, 11:51 PM
Nice. I like what you've done with the edges of the forests and the transitions between climates. I think some cool things could be done with river valleys like that.

The sheet effects in CC3 are very powerful, and I know I've barely scratched the surface with them.

And now allow me to prognosticate a bit: someone is about to say something about branching rivers.

12-14-2007, 12:08 AM
What about branching rivers????

12-14-2007, 01:24 AM
And now allow me to prognosticate a bit: someone is about to say something about branching rivers.

There's nothing wrong with the rivers. They all come from mountain ranges or hill regions. Some lead into lakes with outgoing rivers dropping to lower elevations. My assumption is the rivers in the center area are draining towards the sea which is east off the map.

The lake in the top left center edge might be misleading you into thinking the sea viewed on the northwest side is the same thing. I'm assuming the water body at the top left center edge is actually a lake at a fairly high elevation.

If my assumptions are correct - these rivers do not branch unrealistically, IMO.

12-14-2007, 09:24 AM
GP brought up a point that bugged me as well, namely it is hard to visually differentiate between lakes and bays. Since darkness usually indicates depth, I would suggest colouring the lakes lighter than the seas. This will provide additional clarity on the type of water body it is (important for any clipped by the map edge).

-Rob A>

12-14-2007, 09:53 AM
Part of the challenge here is that this is a snippet of a larger map, making it tough to see where the rivers go and the lakes versus the seas... The rivers all follow the correct logic, and the lakes are mostly made obvious by the fact they are completely surrounded by land :D and of course, are named lakes. I wish that they effects were better show here, but the relatively low grade JPEG does not capture the subtleties of the effects very well. It is really a nice look.
Oh, and yes, that body of water to the top center left is a lake, with water flowing OUT of it to the main river flowing through this region (from the western mountains to the eastern ocean). It is a broad gently sloping central grassland with broad flood plains. Again, the larger map would have made that obvious.

12-14-2007, 10:39 AM
I really like it. It has that "game-map" feeling. Although i really like some of the more realistic maps on here, it is also nice to have some maps with this flavour.

And the question i always ask in threads that state that they show only a part of the whole map: can you show us the whole map? the world-map? That'd be great!

12-14-2007, 10:39 AM
Ah! I see. You're right. I had thought the water was running into that body of water. Now that it's been put into perspective it makes a whole lot more sense to me.

Try exporting the map as a PNG. You won't get any compression artifacts that way. I think it should still be under the file size limitation even at that resolution (4.77 MB)

12-14-2007, 01:53 PM
I'll put up the overview map this weekend sometime... though clearly the quality will drop due to the size. Total map size is about 6000 miles north/south by 2500 miles east/west.
By the way, I did the forests differently, using a bitmap fill from DD3 (dirt and grass) and then doing a lighter green glow on a 30 mile radius, as well as a blur on the forest bitmap. Gives it a sense of depth along the edges, as well as a nice transition. I played with about 50 sheet effect combo's before settling on this one.

12-14-2007, 03:41 PM
Nice work, Richard! I likee. I am not fond of the neon blue of the waters, though: it's a bit too overpowering for me.

Thanks for posting this!

12-14-2007, 05:22 PM
I tend to use a bold blue for water... I like the contrast, and when it prints some of the contrast is lost. All a matter of taste, I suppose.

12-14-2007, 06:13 PM
I think it looks just beautiful, but it is a perfect example of a problem that plagues me all the time....what to do with forested mountains? Popping the mountains on top is one solution but it just looks like a symbol on top of a fill. There must be a better way to achieve the effect!

12-14-2007, 11:08 PM
Here is the whole map (I hope this downloads).
As to forested mountains, I've decided that for large scale mapping purposes it does not add anything to the map. IN more detailed regional maps I generally change over to symbols and scatter a few around the mountain symbols, which does a decent job of indicating that the mountains are forested. At the end of the day, I've always felt less is more on RPG maps, and the more you try to capture full detail and full realism, the more you build a work of art, and the less a usable RPG map.

12-14-2007, 11:17 PM
Oh yeah, I should say, that the one subtle thing I do to represent forests into the mountain ranges is that the forest fill is over the mountain fill, with only the peaks above. This indicates forested mountains. If the fill ends at the mountain contour, then not forested. But, honestly, I'd not assume most people would catch that, its just my way of envisioning it.

12-15-2007, 05:26 AM
That is truly stunning! Thanks for posting Richard!

12-15-2007, 02:26 PM
Repped for certain! Thank you for sharing.

12-15-2007, 02:53 PM
p.s. I think you can risk doing more with the font in the larger areas rather than the blocky sans serif.

12-17-2007, 10:35 AM
Nice map and great use of the sheet effects. :) I can't stop playing with them either latey, to the point they are distracting me from the work I need to get done, both in CC3 and the real world... :oops: