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Master TMO
07-26-2011, 02:21 PM
Original Thread: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?14886-May-June-2011-Lite-Challenge-Entry-Compound-Interest

The Lite Challenge for May/June '11 was to do a planetary survey. I hadn't really planned on entering, until I saw this comment in the main thread:

It's interesting how everyone has gone 'SF' on this challenge (which is the natural thought). No steampunk, no fantasy (refreshing!) although it would be hard to see how you could do a fantasy planetary survey unless... it was some planet as seen through the crystal ball of a wizard or such like.

And then I had an idea. :D (Once you all get to know me better, you will realize that when I start having an idea is the *perfect* time to run away)

What would a planetary survey look like to a completely alien species, say one with compound eyes? So yes, you may blame Ravells for your eyes going all 'splodey after looking at this map. :)

The original idea was that I would try to show different information in different facets of the compound eyes that, if you unfocused your eyes kind of like one of those 3D images, would merge together into a single image with all the relevant information right there.

Needless to say, this is not quite how the map turned out. ;)

I built the world using Fractal Terrains, and exported 4 layers of information:

the Visible light spectrum, using Image Climates
average temperature (shaded red)
average rainfall (shaded blue)
elevation (shaded white)


I combined those last 3 layers in Photoshop and overlayed them with one another to highlight the areas of the planet with the most rain, lowest elevation, and highest temperature, on the theory that those areas would have the highest abundance of life for the alien race to eat. This layer was colored in green, and was the supposed target of the 'planetary survey'.

I finished off the visible light view of the planet with clouds and a starfield, then split up the colored layers into hexes and spread them out so they didn't overlap, but were still laid out in a recognizable pattern. If you focus your eyes on a single layer of the info, theoretically you can see just that single layer with the others fading out. In reality, it doesn't quite work out right - the red and blue layers in particular tend to fade out over the visible continent.

After all that, the only thing left to do was warp it into a bent compound eye shape, which took 8 different Spherize filters to do right.

37356

There is a rather long backstory attached to the image as well that I came up with after the fact. It is here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?14886-May-June-2011-Lite-Challenge-Entry-Compound-Interest&p=156029&viewfull=1#post156029

Chashio
07-26-2011, 03:29 PM
Now that's something you don't see every day. hmm. I sort of feel like a bug.

Fun concept. "The original idea was that I would try to show different information in different facets of the compound eyes that, if you unfocused your eyes kind of like one of those 3D images, would merge together into a single image with all the relevant information right there.

Needless to say, this is not quite how the map turned out." I figured this one out by trial and error, just to make sure it didn't work. haha! Still very stunning in it's complexity. Definitely worth the effort. I like the backstory, too. =)