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View Full Version : May 2011 Challenge Entry - Silmencia



ravells
05-12-2011, 03:07 PM
Thought I'd throw my cannon fodder entry into the ring.

Here is the first bit. Just putting down a little of each element. The grungy hand drawn look seems to be really popular at the moment.

Ascension
05-12-2011, 03:53 PM
Some good lookin hills and mtns there, man. Dig it.

jtougas
05-12-2011, 04:02 PM
Thought I'd throw my cannon fodder entry into the ring.

Here is the first bit. Just putting down a little of each element. The grungy hand drawn look seems to be really popular at the moment.

It also helps if you can actually draw.. ;) Another great start Rav. :)

RjBeals
05-12-2011, 06:38 PM
yeah nice start there. We have a serious comp going on here. Heavy hitters.

Sapiento
05-13-2011, 02:19 AM
Very good looking start!

ravells
05-13-2011, 04:57 AM
Thanks guys...it'll probably never get finished though. The rest of this month is going to be a bit nightmarish r/l wise.

Ramah
05-13-2011, 06:56 AM
That's looking lovely already, Ravs. Come on, you know you can find the time to do it somewhere. :)

ravells
05-13-2011, 08:13 AM
Thanks Ramah,

Your name was on my lips as I came back to post a quick update....by way of an acknowledgement and thank you for the 'Tree Thing'. :) It just rocks for this style of map! IMHO the tree thing is one of the greatest gifts the guild has received.

RjBeals
05-13-2011, 10:23 AM
i love it. got my vote already

ravells
05-13-2011, 05:14 PM
Gah...it looks like Serif Drawplus can't handle large texture backgrounds I'm throwing at this...I can't open the file now (get an out of memory error)...17mb is a big file for drawplus. (sigh).

Djekspek
05-13-2011, 05:23 PM
man, i hope you can get your file to open again :( as the start is looking very promising! love the subtle grungy effect. cheers, DJ

ravells
05-13-2011, 06:50 PM
Cheers DJ & RJ

I've gone back to an earlier save and downsampled some of the bitmaps and redone all the town labels and forests and some other stuff. Holding the faith with Drawplus but saving a lot more (with incremental saves in case it tries to pull this again).

I'm really beginning to like this map, there's a 'rightness' to it (to me anyway) which I think I've got by pure luck.

### Latest WIP ###

ravells
05-13-2011, 08:50 PM
Final one before Bedtime.

###Latest WIP###

RjBeals
05-14-2011, 03:44 PM
glad this is still in progress - looks great, and I love that pentagram compass rose.

ravells
05-14-2011, 06:17 PM
Thanks RJ.

I think this is virtually done...may go back and do the mountains again if I have to the time, they look a bit horrid.

### Latest WIP ###

Ascension
05-14-2011, 06:48 PM
I think the mtns are kick-butt, man.

Ramah
05-15-2011, 05:57 AM
Lovely stuff, Ravs.

In fact, I'm kinda glad your program stuffed up on you because I think those redone forests are better than the original. :) I liked them on the first version but you could definitely see them following the edges of your template. These new ones look fantastic with no sign of the edges.

ravells
05-15-2011, 12:35 PM
lol, thanks Ramah, I used a really grungy splatter brush second time round for the mask which helped, I think. BTW, would it be asking too much if you could make a little Tree Thing logo to pop onto my map? It would be quite a cool way to acknowledge its use on the map itself.

Glad you like the mountains, bigA, I think they go bit squiffy towards the top of the map. Got to finish this by tonight because next couple of weeks are going to be a bit nightmarish. Actually, not bad, finished this map form a standing start within a week which is pretty good for me.

### Latest WIP ###

Ramah
05-15-2011, 01:13 PM
BTW, would it be asking too much if you could make a little Tree Thing logo to pop onto my map? It would be quite a cool way to acknowledge it's use on the map itself.

Hehe. I could maybe try and rattle something off but I doubt it would be any good. I reckon I suck at logos.

Edit: Anyway, I just noticed you already put a log on your map. :) That looks fine to me as it is.

Diamond
05-15-2011, 01:25 PM
That is just pure awesomeness, ravells. You're right about it just having that 'rightness' to it - everything balances out and is symmetrical without being obvious, which is pleasing to the eye. I especially like that compass.

I'm just sad there's no more Satrapy of Ketch - I liked that name. :(

ravells
05-15-2011, 04:07 PM
And I think we're done! (Can't think of anything else to put into it), The Satrapy of Ketch returns (I hate the whole naming thing - one bit of this maps has towns named after single malts and another politicians, just so I could get something down).

###Latest WIP ###

jtougas
05-15-2011, 04:15 PM
For someone that hates naming things your pretty darn good at it. I think I might try to name things after my favorite TV show. How about the Kingdom of Jezzer or the Stig Wildlands.. :) Oh and as I've said before great great map. :)

Zar Peter
05-15-2011, 04:45 PM
Just found a little nitpick, sorry. Between Hamilton and Waterford (Upper right of the map) you forgot the text "tland". Seems to be a a try from "The Heartland s".

Otherwise the map is great!

Djekspek
05-15-2011, 04:52 PM
Love the 'soft' feel to it, great job! cheers, DJ

ravells
05-15-2011, 05:00 PM
Thanks Guys. Zar - the 'land' you saw was the tail end of another region 'Rutland' but the Rut was hidden by the mountains. Thanks for the catch, I've moved the label so it's easier to see.

Ascension
05-15-2011, 05:01 PM
I'm glad you muted the border, looked kind of weird before. Strong work, my friend, very strong.

arsheesh
05-15-2011, 05:12 PM
Beautiful job Ravs, I really like this map!

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Ramah
05-15-2011, 07:03 PM
Beautiful map, Ravs. Good luck in the challenge - I'm sure you'll get lots of votes. :)

ravells
05-15-2011, 07:20 PM
Lol, thanks guys. I'll be delighted to get a few votes, although I think this comp is going to be more about who comes second (#me looks at DJ's map). Then again, people like Torstan and Ascension (to name but two) are just getting started, so it's going to get very interesting. I was getting a bit worried that interest in the challenges was waning a bit, but this month is a doozy! Ascension, yeah after I saw your and Ramah's comments about DJ's border, I took another look at mine and dialled it back a bit. Still not really happy with it and might change it later on if I have the time and am happy with everything else.

I am so glad I did the challenge this month, I've never really done one of these traditional Fantasy grunge/Tolkien tree maps at this scale and am really pleased with the result. The challenge deadline has actually forced me to finish this one.

A bit more minor fiddling with the Cartouche and some misnamed places.

###Latest WIP###

LonewandererD
05-16-2011, 01:04 AM
Not a big fan of the yellowy feel but that's just personal preference, still a very nice looking map. Nice work Ravells.

-D-

Steel General
05-16-2011, 07:41 AM
Nicely done Ravs!

ravells
05-17-2011, 06:51 AM
Thanks LW and SG.

Some final work on the trees to get some variation of colour and to sharpen them up a bit and I think this is now finished.

###Latest WIP###

Clercon
05-17-2011, 10:18 AM
Looks really good. I better check out the tree-thing. Looks like a very useful tool.

Tigon
05-17-2011, 12:10 PM
Excellent map there Ravs, thought we were going a bit Rainwilds at one point but the whiskies and filesize limitations seem to have remedied things! 35874

Might have to do something for this challenge myself, even if it won't be of the standards being set.

Ramah
05-17-2011, 12:30 PM
Hmm, I actually preferred it when your trees were softer. They fit in with the map much better. Also, you either need to adjust the shadow offset in TreeThing or your shadow layer is a little offset from where it needs to be.

ravells
05-17-2011, 01:00 PM
Hmmm thanks Ramah, I'll take a look. Clercon you should check out tree thing, it's very small and very clever!

Clercon
05-18-2011, 01:01 AM
Clercon you should check out tree thing, it's very small and very clever!

Now I have it on my hard drive, so I just need to find some time. Which usually is a bit harder then clicking on download :)

ravells
05-18-2011, 04:04 AM
Shadow offset fixed and trees made soft again....thanks Ramah!

###Latest WIP ###

Tigon
05-18-2011, 09:12 AM
Colours definitely working a lot better this way, although the trees are a tad transparent in places, which looks a little odd when the water comes through (main island, Break Spur Forest). You might want to look at the lake labels too... might just be me but I find them very hard to make out.
The thumbnail looks absolutely gorgeous BTW.

LonewandererD
05-18-2011, 10:21 AM
Have trouble with my browser so I could open it properly but it looks epic! :)

-D-

ravells
05-18-2011, 02:20 PM
Cheers Guys!

Thanks for the crits Tigon: making the trees semi transparent was to intended to show the rivers beneath them, otherwise they would have just vanished under the trees and the Tree Thing doesn't allow for such fine control that you can position trees very closely on either side of the river. (probably me not using it right). The lake labels are a little hard to read, partly because they are so small...I just like the slight air of mystery that by making labels which don't really matter so much very small, that the map gives the illusion of being bigger than it is and the map is meant to look a bit distressed anyway (my excuse, I'm sticking to it) ;). But....I can never resist a fiddle so I've brightened up the lake labels a bit, made them a bit larger and make the map a bit bigger....hopefully that should sort it...

They really are right when they say that the last 10% of the map takes 50% of the time!

### Latest WIP ###

Master TMO
05-18-2011, 02:27 PM
Yer WIP didn't Werk. WIP it again.

Ramah
05-18-2011, 03:34 PM
making the trees semi transparent was to intended to show the rivers beneath them, otherwise they would have just vanished under the trees and the Tree Thing doesn't allow for such fine control that you can position trees very closely on either side of the river. (probably me not using it right).

Well if you wanted the forest to ignore the area where the river is you would need to alter your template so that the area where the river is remains clear. You would need to give it a little space either side too or the trunks could still be placed so close you couldn't tell the difference. The program views wherever you paint your template as fair game to place a tree trunk. With just the river kept clear those trees that are in front of the river will probably still cover it with their foliage, unless you made a larger gap below the river (again, the program works out where the trunks go and not the top). So to combat this (if you want the river completely uncovered) would be like I say, to make the clear space around the river large below it or to go into the options and check "Strict Template Constraints" (I think) - this will make it so that a tree is only placed if ALL of it is inside the template.

Hope this helps and isn't too confusing. I should probably have taken more time to think through what I wanted to say. Hehe.

ravells
05-18-2011, 04:21 PM
Ramah, in the pantheon of coolness. You do realise that you are Kelvin zero. (hey I'm quite proud of that Douglas Adams-ish comment which I just invented). You have thought of everything and bundled it in such a small and elegant package. I'm just amazed that the Tree Thing has not become a natural tool that everyone at the guild reaches out for if they want the Tolkien tree effect. Dang...maybe I should have just kept it as our secret!

Truth to tell, I'm really getting a bit sick of fiddling with this map now, so I'll put your advice into the next one!

Ramah
05-18-2011, 05:26 PM
Well I'm very glad you like it and are getting some use from it Ravs. It's a pity I cannot dedicate more time to working on it but I have to lay it aside for months on end before I finally manage to get back and have to relearn what the hell everything does. :) When I stopped work on it last I had made it so that the forests had a faux perspective effect with smaller trees at the back and larger at the front. This meant completely rejigging how it saved the trees in an array as the rows at the back held far more trees than at the front. This was all working but I ran into some problems with positioning looking a bit crap on certain lines as the change in sizes etc. meant that every now and again the lines would sync up somewhat and would look terrible... Ah well, hopefully I will sort it next time I get onto it. Sorry for taking this OT.

The map looks great. :)

ravells
05-18-2011, 06:15 PM
Not OT at all! I just wish I had your talents, but in the absence of that, I am so very grateful that you share your talents with all of us.

Diamond
05-20-2011, 01:56 PM
Not OT at all! I just wish I had your talents, but in the absence of that, I am so very grateful that you share your talents with all of us.

What he said. I really need to make use of Tree Thing one of these days...

And Ravs, your map, as always, is the bee's knees.