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surfarcher
03-30-2011, 04:54 PM
My players are 90% through this now and none of them seem to frequent these parts so I thought I'd share this... Just in case it was of use to anyone else.

Props to RobA for his wonderfully simplifying Dungeon Map Maker plugin. Additional props to many others on here for all the info posted in the tutes and how-to forum.
34734

I'll do my best to answer any questions anyone might have.

Wannabehero
03-31-2011, 02:21 PM
Very nice, and lots of fun to trace my way through like a maze. Thanks for sharing!

jtougas
03-31-2011, 04:00 PM
Very Cool :)

mearrin69
04-02-2011, 04:01 AM
Quite nice. Have rep! My only "complaint" would be the fuzzy river but it still does the trick.
M

surfarcher
04-12-2011, 09:28 PM
Apologies for the delayed reply... Things have been crazy for me!

And many thanks for the kind words folks :)

@mearrin69
Any thoughts on how I could improve the river? I ran out of time on this one so refining it wasn't an option. But there will be more cave rivers in future maps!

mearrin69
04-12-2011, 11:04 PM
It's a tough thing to get right and I'm no master of it...still experimenting to improve my water. My best results have come from using an invisible "template layer" the shape of my body of water. Then I'll create many layers with varying degrees of transparency over that. I've also tried several different blending modes (say for ripple shine on top or to get "caustics" underneath) and transparency masks to make the water more transparent toward the shallows.

I'm uploading some of my better examples...all use this basic technique (plus maybe some hand-painting for whitecaps and flow).
M

[edit]Click the one with docs for a larger view...most of the others don't zoom much. :(

Ascension
04-13-2011, 12:20 AM
I'd say the last 2 look great from what I can tell.

Jaxilon
04-13-2011, 12:30 PM
Great map and lots of fun to look at. I like the way you showed the "underpasses". Rep to thee!

Port Paladine
04-13-2011, 07:14 PM
Nice Map Archer. I never used GIMP but everybody here seems to be doing some really nice work with it. And thanks! ...can never have enough cave maps. PC's always through you a curve ball. Having a cave ready to go it great. Have some Rep :)

surfarcher
04-13-2011, 11:24 PM
It's a tough thing to get right and I'm no master of it...still experimenting to improve my water. My best results have come from using an invisible "template layer" the shape of my body of water. Then I'll create many layers with varying degrees of transparency over that. I've also tried several different blending modes (say for ripple shine on top or to get "caustics" underneath) and transparency masks to make the water more transparent toward the shallows.

I'm uploading some of my better examples...all use this basic technique (plus maybe some hand-painting for whitecaps and flow).
M

[edit]Click the one with docs for a larger view...most of the others don't zoom much. :(

The first three have "drop banks" and I specifically was a fter a slippery gradual slope at the edges. Muddy and slippery and we did have some fun with that :)

The last two are closer to what I was after, but like I said I plain ran out of time. The one with the ship at the docs in particular is close to what I was after. What technique did you use for that? Are the white caps done with color level/curve and overlay/soft light? I think I can do somethign with that next time.

All suggestions welcome... Think I'll do some practice runs on them.


Jaxilon, Port Paladine, et al...

Thanks for the rep... But I seriously don't feel I deserve it. :D


Cheers!

mearrin69
04-14-2011, 01:16 AM
The last two use multiple layers in the shape of the entire water area. I usually use a PS filter called Render Clouds using a light and a dark shade. Sometimes I'll run a filter called Difference Clouds over that. I'm not sure *exactly* what that one does technically but visually it makes the differences in coloration more dramatic. I simply mess with the transparency of these layers until I come up with something that approximates what I want. Generally I make the deeper layer colors muddier and the upper layer colors bluer and lighter - outdoor water looks best to me when it's reflecting the sky. Over all of that I will usually use a layer with Render Clouds and then use the Ocean Ripple filter and put that on top (sometimes Overlay, sometimes with Soft Light or something else that looks good).

I may have used a mask with partially transparent edges to make bits of the darkest water layer go away so you can see a little bit of the bed/ground beneath. On the ground itself I painted that fully, just like the land, with dirt, sand, rocks, etc. In the one with docks I think there might even be some sunken boats and crab traps and things...but you really can't make them out.

The whitecaps are simply done by selecting the water shape, creating a new layer, reducing the size of the selection (in PS it's Selection->Modify->Contract I think) by a few pixels and then stroking with white and repeating until it looks good - I varied the size of the reduction and the stroke size each time. Once done I used the smudge tool and eraser with a grunge brush to muck it up until it looked good.

On the map with "Tarina" on it I also used a couple of Hue-Brightness adjustment layers with masks to get that bright sea color...because it didn't really come out right from my color selections.

Just remembered I did one of water in a cavern here (room D):
http://www.cartographersguild.com/album.php?albumid=326&attachmentid=31905

There's also some crazy, shiny polluted Gamma World water here, but I doubt it's of much use to you!:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/album.php?albumid=326&attachmentid=31907

Hope any of this helps.
M

Edit: On slippery, gradual, here's a bigger zoom in of the ruined bridge map:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/album.php?albumid=326&attachmentid=34353
It actually is a fairly gradual entry to the water (you can see better on the full-sized map but...) and you can see some of the bottom near the edges, less towards the middle of the stream. Same techniques, maybe with more masking of layers since I wanted to show more of the bed. I actually botched up the shore line some in this one...trying to make it seem as if the water was lapping around the rocks there. Didn't really come off very well.

surfarcher
04-14-2011, 02:42 AM
That's very, very similar to the way I do oceans and large lakes on continent scale in GIMP.

I think I'll tinker with that and your ideas and see what I come up with. I could hand edit but other than as a final touch-up I'd prefer not to.

I had thought about trying this for the river but.... (insert mechanical "out of time" excuse here) :D

Cheers!

Kolyana
04-15-2011, 05:08 PM
I loooooooveeee these maps - particularly Tarnia; the water is outstanding! Thanks for posting your technique and tool list ... the results are very clean and the colors/hues perfect.

torstan
04-20-2011, 12:54 PM
Surfarcher - that's a great encounter map. Are you using it in a virtual tabletop program, or just as a personal reference? Some highlights on the water would certainly work well, i'd also recommend sharpening the banks a little. That would give the water areas a more clearly defined edge.

surfarcher
04-20-2011, 07:01 PM
@torstan

Thanks mate! In fact it was used for both. Our game is primarily face-to-face... For maps like that maptool is just great for exploration and I pull out sections to print full colour battlemaps for the table. As fate would have it one of our players is overseas for a few months so he'll be playing via maptool for several sessions.

Since I'm now working on a village near a keep snuggled in a bend in a river I'll be doing a fair bit of river work now. Damn, how did I get bogged down in this? I need to do more battlemaps! LOL!