PDA

View Full Version : January Challenge: The Coreroads of the Bergan Dwarves



moutarde
01-06-2011, 02:36 AM
This entry is based somewhat on the Deep Roads from the videogame Dragon Age. I've started work on what will be an inset of the region containing the Bergan Mountains. At this point, I'm envisioning having a second inset showing a side view of the tunnel network, with the main body of the map being a top-down view.

### LATEST WIP ###

RjBeals
01-06-2011, 10:05 AM
Cool - a challenger :)

moutarde
01-06-2011, 12:11 PM
I'm a little nervous about the side-view part, but I figure if I just treat it like a drafting project it'll turn out at least halfway decent :P

jtougas
01-06-2011, 02:18 PM
Very cool. Looking forward to this !! :)

moutarde
01-06-2011, 03:47 PM
Creating a parchment texture for the background, and finished the rivers and coastlines of the regional inset. I guess I should make some borders or something pretty soon...

### LATEST WIP ###

Ascension
01-06-2011, 04:11 PM
I'm glad you added the woodcut around the coast - I got lost in that islandy area. :) Looks good so far, man.

moutarde
01-06-2011, 04:38 PM
Thanks Ascension ;) Can't have a coastline without a woodcut!

moutarde
01-06-2011, 06:22 PM
Added the city icons and labels, plus border. Almost done the easy parts, but I was having too much fun with it to leave it for the end.

### LATEST WIP ###

moutarde
01-07-2011, 02:01 PM
Started laying out the major routes underground. Obviously still a lot of work to be done on them, but these dwarves are starting to come to life in my head a little bit. Turns the reason its so dangerous to travel these routes now, is because of the emergence of the Fungoids! Yes, its Dwarves versus Fungus down there! These particular dwarves mine a lot of pitchblende, for the radium that can produced from it, which they use to create self-luminescent paints. This leaves them with a lot of uranium waste, which they use for bullets and cannonballs (19th century, or steampunk dwarves, yay!), and also for weighted cores for axes and hammers. Unfortunately, the Fungoids are also very attracted to pitchblende (maybe they eat it, or something). Oh yeah, and forget your stereotypical scottish dwarves. These dwarves are dutch! ;)

### LATEST WIP ###

moutarde
01-07-2011, 03:31 PM
Sketched out a picture of a heavy infantry dwarf warrior. Gotta have a gas mask, or else you might breathe in deadly Fungoid spores!

Edit: Added the polished up version of Mr. Dorf.

JackOfHearts
01-08-2011, 11:06 AM
I love it so far! Can you talk about your process a little bit??

moutarde
01-08-2011, 12:23 PM
Well, there's certainly a lack of planning. I kind of missed the journey between two points part of the challenge requirements, and started this with the concept that there's a few safe cities, and everywhere else is extremely dangerous - so I'm going to have to work the journey part in somehow.

I started on the regional inset with the mountains, and I wanted them to have that nice hand-drawn look, so I browsed through the tutorials section and found this (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?1669-Award-Winner-Simple-Mountains-Photoshop-GIMP-Painter-etc.). Which, it turns out, is a ridiculously easy way of hand-drawing your mountains. If you look closely at my map, you can probably tell that I started at the bottom and worked my way to the top, from the quality of the mountains ;) The coastlines are a modification of Oldguy's Tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?9056-Award-Winner-Creating-Realistic-Coastlines&highlight=oldguy). I added some extra steps on to it, and then traced over the coastline with a tablet, so that the line strength wouldn't be even all the way along, and to keep the hand-drawn feel. And the woodcut along the coastlines is a whole lot of patience. Little squiggly lines all the way along. I made a nice woodcut texture for another map a while ago, but again, wanted to keep this hand-drawn. Rivers are also simple tablet lines, pressure-sensitive is a must for that of course. Finally, after all that, using a font to do the labels seemed just plain wrong. So I used the Algerian font as a guide, and drew the letters by hand. So they look nice, but they have that little margin of error in them to keep em honest.

Right now I'm working on the tunnels, for which, I think, I just need to start drawing all sorts of little off-shoots and caverns now. The journey is probably going to have to be represented by drawings and filler text - the section I put aside for the depth map may have to pre-empted for such things. Maybe a most-dangerous list of the Fungoids an unlucky dwarf might encounter ;)

moutarde
01-08-2011, 03:48 PM
Phew, I never would have thought that drawing out extensive cave and tunnel systems could be so mind-numbingly boring! Some of the squigglies are natural cavern and tunnels, while other are former veins of ore that have been mined out. The little x's are just to remind me which of the squigglies are caverns for later on. Never having drawn caves before, I'm hoping that these are falling somewhere in the middle between terrible and brilliant :P

moutarde
01-09-2011, 12:22 AM
Just another update, I figure I'm about halfway done the minor tunnels and caverns. I think I'm going to have to come up with a way to indicate the depth of the various tunnels - it's starting to get a little confusing! Also sketched out the first Fungoid, the Voelhoorn! Basically just giant tentacles :P

### LATEST WIP ###

JackOfHearts
01-09-2011, 01:57 AM
Well, there's certainly a lack of planning. I kind of missed the journey between two points part of the challenge requirements, and started this with the concept that there's a few safe cities, and everywhere else is extremely dangerous - so I'm going to have to work the journey part in somehow.

I started on the regional inset with the mountains, and I wanted them to have that nice hand-drawn look, so I browsed through the tutorials section and found this (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?1669-Award-Winner-Simple-Mountains-Photoshop-GIMP-Painter-etc.). Which, it turns out, is a ridiculously easy way of hand-drawing your mountains. If you look closely at my map, you can probably tell that I started at the bottom and worked my way to the top, from the quality of the mountains ;) The coastlines are a modification of Oldguy's Tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?9056-Award-Winner-Creating-Realistic-Coastlines&highlight=oldguy). I added some extra steps on to it, and then traced over the coastline with a tablet, so that the line strength wouldn't be even all the way along, and to keep the hand-drawn feel. And the woodcut along the coastlines is a whole lot of patience. Little squiggly lines all the way along. I made a nice woodcut texture for another map a while ago, but again, wanted to keep this hand-drawn. Rivers are also simple tablet lines, pressure-sensitive is a must for that of course. Finally, after all that, using a font to do the labels seemed just plain wrong. So I used the Algerian font as a guide, and drew the letters by hand. So they look nice, but they have that little margin of error in them to keep em honest.

Right now I'm working on the tunnels, for which, I think, I just need to start drawing all sorts of little off-shoots and caverns now. The journey is probably going to have to be represented by drawings and filler text - the section I put aside for the depth map may have to pre-empted for such things. Maybe a most-dangerous list of the Fungoids an unlucky dwarf might encounter ;)

Thanks for the discussion. I'm loving it so far.

tilt
01-09-2011, 03:53 AM
looking really good - lot of patience gone into this.. :)

moutarde
01-10-2011, 12:37 AM
I think I'm finally done drawing little random squiggly lines. Maybe still a few touchups left to be done on them, but basically finished. Thank god!! Time to start making stuff pretty, should be much more fun :)

### LATEST WIP ###

Immolate
01-10-2011, 07:56 AM
One thing you might do is try to impart some heft on all those delicate lines on the right, perhaps by giving a solid background to them. They just don't look very Dwarvish at the moment.

moutarde
01-10-2011, 11:37 AM
My original thought with those was to add some colour to them, kind of like a traffic map, but with the colour indicating the relative danger instead. But that could very well end up looking stupid, in which case I'll try giving some black fill, with a coloured outline. Maybe the colour just won't work at all, in which case I might be hooped, because I havn't come up with any other really good ideas to help convey the points of light thing yet.

moutarde
01-10-2011, 12:57 PM
Added in the danger colours for the main roads. I think they might work. Though I'm worried that I'll get them all coloured in, and then decide that it looks like crap.... I also that if I'm using colour there, I should use colour everywhere, so I coloured a little bit of the regional inset to see how it would. I kinda like it :) Any comments on colour are very much appreciated.

Edit: Not sure where that big stripe of weirdness across the middle came from. Jpg must have saved funny I guess.

### LATEST WIP ###

jtougas
01-10-2011, 01:12 PM
Looks great !!

moutarde
01-10-2011, 02:56 PM
Regional inset is now fully coloured. Colouring is fun, especially when you don't have to worry about staying between the lines ;) I think I'll probably some sort of drop shadow under the tunnels to give it some more oomph. Just need to figure out how to do that without layer styles, and without ruining the colour on top.

### LATEST WIP ###

Jaxilon
01-10-2011, 07:28 PM
What about laying down a stroke around those tunnels and then blurring them away from the inside. That would give them some depth maybe?

moutarde
01-11-2011, 01:41 AM
I've tried a few things, but the best so far is a airbrush, watercolour, scatter, dual, texture (and some others I think?) 50% grey with low opacity and flow, with the layer set to colour burn. Gives it a nice rough brown glow that pretty much leaves the colour intact. I should be able to upload a wiped with that tomorrow.

moutarde
01-11-2011, 11:37 AM
This is what I've got going on for outlining the tunnels a bit more. It passed the wife test, so I'm pretty happy with it ;)

Gidde
01-11-2011, 05:21 PM
Aesthetically that looks really good, but then when I try to actually read the map it kind of optical-illusions my eyes a bit. I'm having trouble telling which sections are big rooms which are part of the tunnels and which sections are big spaces that aren't part of the tunnels. maybe a really light shading of that same color filling the actual tunnel rooms would delineate the positive/negative space better? I mean, when I really look I can tell what's going on but it still keeps trying to flip-flop on me in my brain.

moutarde
01-11-2011, 08:29 PM
Thanks Gidde, that's a really good point. It didn't even occur to me, even though I sort of had the same problem while drawing it! I'll add some cross-hatching to the caverns and that should fix it right up :)

moutarde
01-12-2011, 11:32 PM
Small update with cross-hatching added into the caverns. I didn't really want to have the danger colours go from green to red, but the yellow isn't reading very well at all, so I think I might have to change that. This also shows my first stab at a few of the caverns that have pools in them, but I really don't like them right now. Not sure where I'm going to go with those.

32465

Gidde
01-12-2011, 11:47 PM
The cross hatching really helps, I can tell where the tunnel rooms are now. Not sure about the pools, but I agree that they need something. I'll think about it too :)

moutarde
01-13-2011, 03:43 PM
Finished colouring all the tunnels, started in on the labels and added a legend. Also decided to splash a bunch of colour to show the whole of the underground sea, rather than just the parts that are easily accessible. I think it's working better than the original little blotches, but I'm still not entirely sure about it.

### LATEST WIP ###

Gidde
01-13-2011, 03:47 PM
Ooh, yes, I like that!

moutarde
01-13-2011, 09:59 PM
Thanks Gidde :) I think I'm still going to try adding some watercolour-ish looking stuff to that sea. It's decent but still needs some work. Trying to get inspiration for Fungoids by googling for fungus pictures was mostly a fail, so I'm going to go look through those handy dandy monster manuals for inspiration instead :P

pindercarl
01-14-2011, 11:57 AM
Thanks Gidde :) I think I'm still going to try adding some watercolour-ish looking stuff to that sea. It's decent but still needs some work. Trying to get inspiration for Fungoids by googling for fungus pictures was mostly a fail, so I'm going to go look through those handy dandy monster manuals for inspiration instead :P

Trying looking at the myconid, or just doing a Google image search for it.

moutarde
01-14-2011, 12:17 PM
Thanks Pindercarl :) I came across those guys, and just looking at the pictures was enough to inspire me for quite a few baddies. Just have to think along the lines of what happens when fungus goes wrong? :D

moutarde
01-15-2011, 12:47 AM
Started off by drawing the humanoid-like fungi first. The first is a dwarf who has inhaled fungoid spores. The spores kill him and then control the body from inside, while feeding on it as well. The naked obese man (never thought I would draw that for this map!!) is the next stage of the infected dwarf. The spores have grown much larger inside, so that the host body can barely contain it anymore. At the end of that stage, the body finally bursts and the mature fungoid emerges to terrorize even more dwarves (the emergent fungoid hasn't been drawn yet). The third humanoid is a fungoid that was purposefully evolved, with the goal of being able to use dwarven weapons against the dwarves.

Still to be drawn are two quadruped fungoids, as well as the basic worker drone fungoid - who is the main source of the inhalable spores.

Might have to shrink the pictures a little bit, not much room for them at the moment :)

### LATEST WIP ###

ravells
01-19-2011, 12:45 PM
Moutarde, this is inspired work! Wonderful use of colour and your drawings are really cool too!!

Diamond
01-27-2011, 01:49 PM
I agree; this is truly cool.

jtougas
01-27-2011, 01:51 PM
Awesome !! :)

moutarde
01-27-2011, 02:25 PM
Thanks guys :) The illustrations are slowing me down, but they're almost done now. I figure I'm on track to get everything finished with about 3 seconds to spare :P

JackOfHearts
01-27-2011, 07:13 PM
Good luck. Looking good.

moutarde
01-28-2011, 12:19 AM
So, it turns out that writing text by hand is a lot harder on the hand (physically) than I remembered! Even though its really just tracing letters, its a fight to keep my hand from cramping completely :P I've also included the only illustration that I havn't drawn yet, to show all of you my awful version of concept art :D And once I finish all the text for our friendly little monsters, its on to.... More Text! Yay!! :) Yep, lots of filler text left to go all around the little twisty tunnels.

I also think I need to colour the monsters. This scares me. But I've used colour everywhere else, so I don't think I'm allowed to keep the monsters black and white....

###LATEST WIP###

Jaxilon
01-28-2011, 12:37 AM
Heh, not sure but those two dinosaur looking monsters just look like they want to play ball. You may have to 'evil them up' if you know what I mean.

moutarde
01-28-2011, 01:21 AM
Go fetch boy! Who's a cute little fungus monster? :D

Gidde
01-28-2011, 06:28 PM
Lmao. This is looking great, Moutarde. I really love that second shroom.

moutarde
01-29-2011, 02:55 AM
Hmmm. Seems that writing text by hand makes jpeg file sizes balloon. Had to reduce the dpi from 150 to 100, and reduce the jpeg quality from 10 to 5 just to get this wip to fit under the 4.5 mb limit. So... I may have to take the easy way out and sacrifice my artistic integrity for the sake of people actually being to able to read the damn text :P Crap.

Anyhow, any comments on monster colours are most welcome. I think they're looking alright, but what do I know? :)

Edit: Nope, not specifically the hand-written text, just the text in general. Even worse.

###LATEST WIP###

Steel General
01-29-2011, 08:36 AM
Love the 'bestiary' you've included.

Gidde
01-29-2011, 10:34 AM
I think the monster coloring looks very good, natural and in keeping with the overall color scheme of the map. By the way, I *love* that the text is blue. So many parchment-style maps just get plain black text, and this contrasts beautifully.

moutarde
01-29-2011, 11:44 PM
Thanks Gidde :) I actually pretty much never use black, its just too dark :P About the closest I ever get is 85% grey.

Here's the nearly complete, exceptionally crappy quality version :) I think when its finished, I'll post it up on deviant art as well, and the border on this version will have a link to the nice version :P Only thing I can think of, short of it shrinking it so much that the text becomes illegible....

###LATEST WIP###

geamon
01-30-2011, 12:03 AM
Very well done moutarde. Spicy and hot just like your name!! haha Definitely a contender when taking the context/influence into play from Dragon Age.

Jaxilon
01-30-2011, 12:07 AM
Wow Moutarde, you really are squeezing that through the Thumb nailer with a shoe horn aren't you? :)

I'm surprised text chews up that much memory but it looks thorough and complete.

moutarde
01-30-2011, 12:30 AM
Wow Moutarde, you really are squeezing that through the Thumb nailer with a shoe horn aren't you? :)

I'm surprised text chews up that much memory but it looks thorough and complete.

Hey now, it made it through with 0.07 mb to spare! :)

moutarde
01-30-2011, 04:17 PM
Okay, I officially no longer have the slightest clue how jpeg file compression works. By adding even more text, plus a colour burn behind all the inklines, the jpeg file size has shrunk considerably!

But, it's complete! With hours and hours to spare no less!

###LATEST WIP###

Gidde
01-30-2011, 04:31 PM
Moutarde, this is simply gorgeous. I *love* this map! The only thing is, it seems like the theme got lost. I'd hate for you to lose votes because folks say "I couldn't see any points of light!" Think you could maybe throw a lens flare or something in on your major cities to get the Points of Light back in?

moutarde
01-30-2011, 04:35 PM
Maybe even just a colour dodge around the cities, that should be easy enough :) Great idea Gidde!

moutarde
01-30-2011, 04:45 PM
Okay here's the update. By the way, the reason I couldn't do a lens flare, is that this map was done entirely by hand (except the borders, and straight edges on the scales), and I can't think of any reason why a dwarven cartographer would draw lens flares on his map :D

Oh yeah, and the mug stains are a brush, I didn't draw those :P

Edit: I've posted a higher quality version over at deviantart, 14mb - http://aferlane.deviantart.com/#/d38f1st

###LATEST WIP###

jtougas
01-30-2011, 05:14 PM
Incredible !! :)

Gidde
01-30-2011, 05:35 PM
By the way, the reason I couldn't do a lens flare, is that this map was done entirely by hand (except the borders, and straight edges on the scales), and I can't think of any reason why a dwarven cartographer would draw lens flares on his map :D

Naw, the lens flare thing was just to illustrate what I was talking about, it wasn't a specific request. This works wonderfully.