View Full Version : Beginning rework of Irimagik Campaign Setting, Galaxy Mapping

02-12-2012, 12:03 AM
So, thanks to bartmoss and my finding this site while researching techniques for doing galaxy maps, I am posting my 1st attempt to breathe new life into my Campaign setting.

I particularly want to create an in-depth settings book for it for the iBooks apple store using Author. I really, really like the potential of that program. I want to make a whole series of "Alternitechnity Galactica" guidebooks sort of like Mechanismo and the old Terran Trade Authority superbooks that came out a while back. The feeling and atmosphere was super-positive and they always cheered me up reading them. It really helped get me into Science Fiction and I've never looked back at my choice of reading genre.

While I don't have nearly the skill of those guys, I do want to create the maps and descriptive dialog to go along with them, along with stats for the Alternity RPG in the back part of the book. Each book will cover a specific time period and I do want to have interactive maps that show the progress of conflicts, where as you drag the timeline under the map it shows the movements of explorers or fleets. Again, I am really super-psyched and to make sure my work doesn't bog me down, I just ordered my first liquid cooled i7-3930 PC to keep photoshop and illustrator from crying when I open graphics... heh.

But to start things off, here is my selected background map that everything else will branch off of. It's about 19MB, and I hope my link works. Let me know what you think, it's based off of the Pinwheel Galaxy, and this is the raw image that I am working on which will be getting extra details such as UI overlay. It's roughly 340,000LY across with a more turbulent structure than our milky way.

Dropbox link to (Irimagik Galaxy (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/34133141/Pinwheel%20Redux%20rough.png))

I have 3 distinct star densities in this map, each has it's own color.

02-14-2012, 07:11 AM
The shape is great, but the raster is really not easy on the eyes (I am guessing it's temporary) and the colors look like a false-color image to me (again, I understand this is just the basis for further work). Will be following your progress!

02-14-2012, 07:13 AM
Oh, ps - I'd guess the very circular blobs are foreground stars in your source image, you might want to remove those.

02-14-2012, 09:13 PM
Yeah, the blobs are that.. oh wait, no they're uh... supernovae!!! kidding.

Was aiming for a good contrast so I could seperate largest differences of stellar densities.

I've got a (newer (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/34133141/Pinwheel%20Persp%20db001.jpg)) version here that illustrates roughly how it looks in perspective. As soon as I dig out my tablet going to be starting to lay down different layers of those main star clumps.

02-20-2012, 03:12 AM
Looks good, waitingt to see where you go with it. Still dislike the raster but it's not as noticeable in the perspective view.

02-20-2012, 09:52 PM
Agreed, the raster moire effect was getting on my nerves too.

Latest evolution as I play with different styles, (this one (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/34133141/002-Master-Pinwheel-Path-Layout.jpg)) seems to look good, have to add the other colors too. I like this as far as ease of production but not sure if I like losing the fine detail from Illustrator. Gonna have to see if I like this enough starting out to keep doing it this way.

02-21-2012, 09:38 AM
It's certainly got more... structure to it than your last version, and I am happy you ditched the raster. I do think you need more fine detail than this, though.

02-21-2012, 10:18 AM
What?! You don't think it's done yet? Okay okay... heh, the solid red is the outer boundary of the arms themselves. I've got several subdivisions coming, like the way you map height differences.

02-21-2012, 09:08 PM
Little bit further along, I am really trying to move this from Rhino3D into Illustrator to keep the vector detail intact. Illustrator has the Perspective Grid Tool so right now I'm just playing in Rhino to come up with the draft, then do it in Illustrator.

-----( new step here, little more detail ) (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/34133141/004-Master-Pinwheel-Path-Layout.jpg)-----

Just finished a (PDF example (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/34133141/001-perspective%20test.pdf)) of what I want to do in Illustrator. Learning more about the perspective tool which makes positioning and transforming the top down view easy. Positioning the grid on the other hand is a little counterintuitive in several ways, the main one being that instead of adjusting the persp grid to the artboard (limits of what gets saved or printed), you should create the persp grid how you want it, and then edit the artboard until it encloses the grid. Then you turn off the grid, make sure what you want to be transformed is all grouped nice and neat, and after making the persp grid visible and selecting the view (left, right, top) you want to transform to, drag the object into the grid. Illustrator will transform it so it aligns with the view you picked and then you can size it, move it, etc, and it keeps that orientation.

02-22-2012, 05:24 PM
This is the frame I am using for the galactic map, any suggestions to soup it up welcome, will start transferring the actual graphics onto it. I do really like the perspective grid tool in Illustrator.

-----( Irimagik Galactic Perspective (isolated grid) (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/34133141/002%20Master%20Perspective%20Test.pdf) )-----

What I REALLY like is that you can zoom in quite a bit and don't get that damned fuzzy crap with non-vector graphics.

-----( Top Down / Side View ) (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/34133141/003%20Master%20Perspective%20TopDown.pdf)-----