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Gamerprinter
12-08-2011, 05:52 PM
OK, I'm giving this a go, as your typical fantasy dragon's lair in a cavern - this one alongside a lake in a cliff-face. As I said I would, this time I'm going for a photorealistic look, but still using Xara Xtreme Pro to create those cool bevels that it does, along with feathering, fractal cloud transparency layers, etc.

So far this is the cavern layout, along with some ground detritus - boulders, gravel and such.

I plan to place some structures near the cavern entrance - a sacraficial pillory for princesses to be chained upon. Perhaps I will place some burnt skeletons of failed knights and their charges. Also there will be a treasure pile in that furthest chamber back, the actual dragon's lair within. You'll note some elevation changes within - caverns are hardly ever flat-bottomed.

When I'm done I plan to place a grid, so this can more easily be used in game.

There's a few anamolies I see in the rock walls - some cuts that don't belong, I will fix those before I move on...

GP

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Bogie
12-08-2011, 07:41 PM
Nice map, This looks like it will be a very good map to play on. I also like the wall bevels.

If you are going to add a grid at the end, can you also post a final version without the grid?

Gamerprinter
12-08-2011, 09:16 PM
Sure thing Bogie - right now the map is just shy of 24" x 36" at 100 ppi, which should be usable for VT applications - I'm assuming that's why you don't want the grid. I could even save the rocks and walls as a 'wall' layer, separate from everything beneath, so you could load the that as the floor, place a grid on it, and place the walls above the grid. Not sure if your VT allows that or not.

mearrin69
12-09-2011, 12:19 AM
Love the water. Looking forward to seeing the finished product.
M

Bogie
12-09-2011, 12:31 AM
Yeah, Maptools can do all of that, but I just prefer no grids. I think the maps look better without them and I play old school 2nd ED and don't need them. If I do need to have a grid on a map I'm making, I try to make it as subtle as I can. Of course, that's just my preference, I know many people use the grids. So, make the map the way you want it to look, and if there happens to be a map with no grid as well, then I will be a happy mapper!

Gamerprinter
12-09-2011, 12:51 AM
Thanks Mearrin69! When I do photorealistic, I love doing water, one of my favorite subjects.

Some more detail. I added lots of rock piles, more gravel, a few skeletons, more stuff underwater, and the treasure hoard. Will do more tomorrow.

GP

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Lukc
12-09-2011, 03:46 AM
That's a really nice map GP. Does it take a lot of time to do a map like that? It just seems to me like it would be very hard to do (I don't know how to do one like that myself :))


Yeah, Maptools can do all of that, but I just prefer no grids. I think the maps look better without them and I play old school 2nd ED and don't need them. If I do need to have a grid on a map I'm making, I try to make it as subtle as I can. Of course, that's just my preference, I know many people use the grids. So, make the map the way you want it to look, and if there happens to be a map with no grid as well, then I will be a happy mapper!

Yay! Another gridless player!

Gamerprinter
12-09-2011, 03:55 AM
That's a really nice map GP. Does it take a lot of time to do a map like that? It just seems to me like it would be very hard to do (I don't know how to do one like that myself :))

Lukc - ask any of the oldies here at the Guild - I'm the world's fastest mapper, at least that's my reputation. I did all this today, in between jobs at work, and then after supper for an hour. I've probably got 2.5 hours of work in this so far. Its the software, knowing how to use the software, having the right photo textures, knowing techniques to get the water, rock piles, treasure as I want them and it's a fast paced creation process that I am used to. I run a graphics shop in the daytime, by myself, and have to work at high speed while maintaining quality of work. It's what I do, so that translates to quickly created maps - I couldn't do it slow if I wanted to...


Yay! Another gridless player!

When I do the final version at the end, I'll post 3 versions of the map. The first one will be the gridded version and comprise of the final entry, however, I will also post a non-gridded version, as well as one separated in 2 layers - one as cave walls, and one as everything else, for ease of use for VTTs.

Gamerprinter
12-09-2011, 03:17 PM
Here's the final map with details - done. Though I still need to create grids and labels. Next I'm going to work on a fancy border. I see using Anglo-saxon styled jewelry styled corner pieces, then a celtic knotwork styled border as a frame. I may also include a story below this map, attached to the same piece - something to do tonight!

I added the princess platform near the entrance, placed a half submerged small ballista in the cave pool - a failed assault on the dragon from the past, and dung and 'pee' puddle in the offal chamber to the top right. Also, I decided to replace the color of the background from that light parchment to a dark gray - I think it draws the eye towards the caverns itself, more than the other color ... moving right along!

GP

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Bogie
12-09-2011, 05:01 PM
Looking good. Nice extra details. I don't think I've ever seen an offal chamber for a dragon's lair! ....Cedric, for my next potion I'm going to need a bottle of dragon pee and a basket of dragon poo. Run down to the Wyrm's lair and collect some for me, that's a good lad. ...:D

Gamerprinter
12-09-2011, 06:14 PM
I always try to think of details that others would not...

Alright, here's an attempt at an ornate border - no other labeling yet, but I think I'm going to create an outline version of the lair layout and place as a key beneath the map itself, along with a story, or mini-adventure. We'll see how that goes. The corner pieces are quite cool though, I found a photo of anglo-saxon broach and used it for reference in creating these.

GP

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Diamond
12-10-2011, 02:09 AM
My favorite thing? The skeleton that looks like it's crushed into that round rock, like he got sat on my a very large dragon butt.

:D

Gamerprinter
12-10-2011, 03:47 AM
Thanks, Diamond - the devil is always in the details.

I changed up the interior of the border - I didn't like the way it looked, the style kind of clashed. So I pulled those parts out and replaced it with some story text on top and bottom. I plan yet to create some swords, shields and Sutton Hoo like helmets to fill the verticle part of the border. I added a compass rose using the same graphic as the corner pieces. I made the pillory bigger (move some rocks around) and made the ballista smaller - now everything seems to scale. I added in text labels around the chambers they depict - I think it works.

The title font is called Anglo-Saxon, and the text font (believe it or not) is called Magic the Gathering.

Almost done!

GP

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Bogie
12-10-2011, 03:38 PM
These last changes really make the map eye-catching!

Gamerprinter
12-11-2011, 09:25 AM
After gaming I decided to finish this map, before I go to bed.

I darkened the background even more, so the gold text labeling could be easier read. I made some spacing corrections in one of the labels. I placed the graphic icons in the border verticles - including a saxon sword, a Sutton Hoo helmet, a saxon axe and a round shield. Oh, I also placed a cartographer by line with copyright.

That's it, I'm done. I will post a non-gridded version later today, and a wall separated from floor transparent PNG version for use in VT apps.

GP

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Gamerprinter
12-11-2011, 10:20 PM
The previous map is still my final entry into the December 2011 Mapping Challenge.

However, just for an addendum, I've created a gridless version of the map for Bogie. Also, I created a PNG of just the walls as one piece to import to VTT apps like MapTools, as well as a separate floor piece. (Note the lair walls and floor are added as just links, as the PNG of the walls is over 5 MB in size - so it's too big to post as an attachment.)

Enjoy!

GP

Wyrm Sign Walls (http://www.gamer-printshop.com/cbg/lair-walls.png) (transparent PNG file)
Wyrm Sign Floor (http://www.gamer-printshop.com/cbg/lair-floor.jpg) (1.35 JPG file)

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Bogie
12-12-2011, 09:52 AM
Thanks! Wonderful map. Will be using it in a game soon.

Gamerprinter
12-12-2011, 01:32 PM
OK, for an extra piece of addendum, and to know how impractical it is, I've rescaled the map to 200 ppi, then in photoshop adjusted the ppi back to 100, so the squares are true to scale. The final map is 75.63" wide and 51.3" tall. I used Poster Razor to slice the map into printable chunks at 7" x 9.5" letter size pieces - 66 pages total, saved as an Acrobat PDF file 23.984 MB in size!

Print it if you want - enjoy!

GP

Link to sliced PDF of Wyrm Sign Map (http://www.gamer-printshop.com/cbg/wyrm-sign-sliced.pdf)

Master TMO
12-12-2011, 02:22 PM
... thanks. I think I'll just admire it here on my screen instead...

Gamerprinter
12-12-2011, 02:33 PM
I did say, it was 'impractical', but if you wanted a print version - it's been provided, that's all...

GP

The Goblin's Lair
01-02-2012, 10:55 PM
Nicely detailed map. You also did a good job of laying out the production process. Good work!