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Jacktannery
03-03-2012, 05:58 PM
EDIT: Note all of the finished maps are here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?18033-Madness-at-Gardmore-Abbey-Encounter-Maps


I am planning on drawing maps for all of the Madness at Gardmore Abbey encounters. I have a group of players starting on this WotC 4th Ed. D&D module on RPOL, and I will be using my maps in MapTool.

Maps are created using free textures and mapping elements from the interweb including this site.

This is a WIP thread - I am looking for advice.

First I will do the outdoor Feywild encounters, in the hope that my PCs go here first. The is encounter 9, the Outer Garden. I am not at all happy with the lake, but I can't work out what colour to make it. Advice needed!

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Bogie
03-03-2012, 07:03 PM
Great start. Overall I like this map a lot, but there are a few things that can make it better.

1: Stop calling a 10ft x 7ft pool of water a "lake". OK, that was a cheap shot, but I couldn't resist. The 2 problems are that it is to bright a blue color, and a pool that size would only have whitecaps if there were an earthquake. Try a water texture with ripples in a darker color.

Here is a nice little pond and some water pieces that might work better
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2: The trees look great, but you can create more illusion of height by using a bit more shadow under them.

3: The flowers are probably to big. At the current scale each flower is about 14-16 inches across.

Now that is all just my opinion, but a few changes could make a good map into a great map.

Jacktannery
03-03-2012, 07:11 PM
Great advice Bogie - thanks a million. I'll change the POND and I'll reduce the flowers a little. Not sure about the tree shadows - I reduced them a lot because I didn't like the contrast, but I'll keep experimenting.

Bogie
03-03-2012, 07:17 PM
Yeah, I like shadows, but not everyone does.
I really like those Boabob trees that Kepli made (the 2 bigger ones in your map), but I find the leaves very bright. I often darken them a bit when I use them.

Jacktannery
03-03-2012, 08:09 PM
Second attempt with smaller flowers, more shadowy trees and different water. I think the water this time is even worse than last time! I think I need to walk away and come back to it.

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EDIT - just noticed your ponds Bogie! thanks; I'll try and use those instead.

Bogie
03-03-2012, 08:27 PM
I like the stone edge on the second one. Try your stone bottom with the first transparent overlay I posted.

lostatsea
03-03-2012, 11:43 PM
Looking much better in the second one. The "pond" surface is too busy(ripply)for a Still body of water. Similar effect with less density and lower opacity perhaps or even just blur that layer might work. IMHO:) I like where it is going !

Jacktannery
03-04-2012, 06:56 AM
Okay - I tried LOTs of different things and was not happy with any of them. I also tried using a sky texture over the surface of the pond to look like a reflection, but it just looked silly. Bogie's pond textures were great but it still felt too dull.

So I tried a highly-reflective glass texture, and I like it. I'm finally happy with the pond now.

Although the map does look better with the smaller flowers, I actually preferred my big oversized sunflowers, but I forgot to save them so I can't revert. But the darker tree shadows is definitely an improvement.

Now the issue is the spiderwebs - they look like they are floating. I have a light dropshadow under them (on overlay). I want the strands to look like they are attached to something, but can't work out how.

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Fixed the Webs - now I think the map is finished.

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jfrazierjr
03-04-2012, 08:55 AM
I think the pond is still to busy. There is no inflow, so it should be very very still... Personally, I would suggest putting in a solid blue color of your choice and then using a layer mask with a blur to progressively "hide" the stones(ie, to indicate the water getting deeper.

Jacktannery
03-04-2012, 09:19 AM
Thanks jfrazier - I'll try that next. Here's my WIP for Encounter 10: the whispering grove. This has the same over-busy water as Encounter 9 so will need some fiddling with too. I don't really like this map, but I can't put my finger on the problem.

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jfrazierjr
03-04-2012, 10:28 AM
Here is a quick sample(at least I like it). I don't "quite" have the water color I like, but that's easy to play with since I have two masked layers to make it. EDIT: perhaps I need to have a VERY slight texture to it...shrug...

As for your other image, I think the issue I have with it is the bolders(but, perhaps they are supposed to be!) are all quite flat. I did a quick mock up and made one of the bolders higher off of the ground as well as a few textured "wrinkles" on the surface plus a deeper shadow(ie, perhaps this rock might be say 2-4 foot tall from the ground.

I hope this helps, and if not, nothing lost..

Bogie
03-04-2012, 11:39 AM
Nice work with the rock jfrazierjr. The shading with the water is excellent, but the water is to blue.

Jacktannery
03-04-2012, 12:15 PM
That's brilliant on the rocks jpfrazier - Here's my latest attempt to copy you and fix the water.

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Jacktannery
03-04-2012, 02:05 PM
And here is the latest attempt at Encounter 10 - I went heavier on the tree shadow to great effect, and I think I nailed the water this time - let me know.

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Bogie
03-04-2012, 02:12 PM
Excellent!!!! Both maps, big improvement!!

jfrazierjr
03-04-2012, 05:32 PM
Yep... those new rocks...welll... they ROCK... For the second one, since there is flowing water, perhaps just a HINT of movement. I would say create a layer with 50% grey set to overlay, possibly hard light and draw a few (not to many) flowing squiggles(not TOO much squiggles though) with white. Using a pen/tablet will let you do this much easier, but if all you have is a mouse you just have to set the opacity low and do multiple careful strokes. If you do hard light on the layer vs overlay, you will likely have to reduce the layer opacity quite a bit though... But then again, since your water color is so light to start with, perhaps it might need that extra bit to pop out....

The new water looks good at full size, but honestly looks excellent in the thumbnail.

@boogie, ye.. I knew the color was a bit off... I really suck at getting colors "just" right...it's especially hard for water on a battle map... I typically want to put algae on still water, but can't ever get a look I like...heh... Anyway, this is someone else's thread, so I will just shut up now....

Jacktannery
03-04-2012, 06:14 PM
I'll give that idea a try tomorrow jpfrazier. For now, I think I have finally finished the first map. changed the water colour slightly; doubled the web strength and added strong offset web shadows, and added tree shadows. I think it works now. I have to stop tinkering.

On a more serious note, the idea here is to make five encounter maps of an outdoor space, then to shrink them and place them on a smaller-scale map of the entire monastery. That is why each of the encounter map must have a slightly different palate.

The monastery comprises several zones, of which the three first ones are: the foresty bit (what I'm doing now); the village-y bit (that's next) and the monastery ruins (that's last). All c. 20 maps need to work together on the overview map. Perhaps I have bitten off more than I can chew...

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jfrazierjr
03-04-2012, 07:14 PM
I would say to lighten up on the webs.. I see you also have some places where they are thinner/thicker and I would play more with that approach and/or use a layer mask to make some bits quite a bit less stand outish.. As for the shadows, good thought... but pay attention to the height. The higher they are, the smaller the shadow as well as the further away. For example, a web at 4 foot would have a shadow offset smaller than the offset for web at 10 foot and as well, the higher would would have a less noticeable shadow(assuming consistent width)

A number of these anchor to the ground and thus the shadows near the ground would end up having very little light through... Anyway, I don't envy you all the time you have spent on this, good job for sticking to it...

Oh yea, do you have a VTT you are targeting this for? I would suggest posting grid and non grid versions since most VTT's include their own grid system. I see your images are at kind of oddish resolution... are you using Battlegrounds? I know most VTT's suggest 50, 100 or some multiple of 50 px/in while I think I heard Battlegrounds expects 120(is that right?) If you are not targeting a specific VTT, I would suggest sticking with something easily divisible by 50.

Jacktannery
03-04-2012, 07:29 PM
I am the running the campaign on RPOL, using MapTool. I will be using the gridded versions but I'll post up an un-gridded version for anyone what want it too. The grid I am using is 100 pixels across, so it should not be too complicated for other people to use.

Jacktannery
03-05-2012, 03:21 PM
Right. Hopefully I can get as much feedback on the next one in the series: the groundskeeper's cottage.

Does the path look terrible (I took the lazy option and didn't align the stones to the route)?
Does the topiary look ridiculous? I've always wanted to use those topiary animals.

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jfrazierjr
03-05-2012, 04:42 PM
I think the path looks good. It's rather refreshing to see something not quite "in the lines" so to speak. The bull is good... Horse is to dark IMO, but it might just be it's shadowing. The triceritops is good, but the shadows are wrong...light on the south dark on north when the lighting is coming from NE(perhaps just a quick turn to the opposite direction???)

One question though(not that it's bad or looks out of place or needs to be changed), but why would someone build their walkway into a trough? Of course, if it rarely rains or snows or whatever, it's a moot point.. just something that stuck out at me since it appears quite a bit "deeper"(perhaps 9-12 inches or more?) than the surrounding ground

Jacktannery
03-05-2012, 05:50 PM
Good catch on the triceratops. I turned it and moved it somewhere completely different. Also reduced the gully along the road (it was supposed to be terracing as the slope falls away, but obviously it did not work) and also fixed up some errors with the interior shadows in the shack. The triceratops is too bright (which is why I had shoved it behind the house earlier) - I can't seem to make the colours match the bull and horse - I may have to delete it completely (much to my regret).

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I thought that I would also show a WIP glimpse of the final overview map. The base map with the buildings is part of the larger map as published by WotC, to which I have overlaid the green bits. You should be able to make out the first three encounters on it. The red squares are the next three. It seems to be working ok so far, and its nice that each encounter area is recognisable.

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Jacktannery
03-06-2012, 04:14 PM
Well even though the last map is not at all finished I have to keep powering on with the rest of them, until I know where my PCs are going to begin - damned non-linear adventures. So here is - the Belltower. The map is supposed to show steeply sloping paths winding up the hill, but I don't think I have been able to achieve that with my shadows. I'm getting a terrace effect rather than a slope. I'm happy with my steps, but I think they need a lot of shading work to make it more obvious which parts are leading up and which are leading down. The roof is from these forums - it was an orange tile roof and I changed the hue to make it slate.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

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EDIT: attempt number 2 - better slopes, but is it too dark?

Also - I want to add a huge broken and overgrown bell on the slopes, that fell from the belltower. No idea how that's going to work out.

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EDIT2: Added the bell. The map is a bit dark, but I quite like it. I'm especially proud of my steps.

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Jacktannery
03-07-2012, 08:54 PM
This is an absolutely terrible photo-montage of the PCs first view of Gardmore Abbey. I had intended to draw it properly but I had no time - the PCs are arriving there tomorrow... - so I copy-pasted a bunch of images from the googleweb and stuck them into a collage to make this franken-thing. I used a cartoonify filter to disguise its awfulness but it just made it worse.

Still, at least this way they will be pleasantly surprised when they see my encounter maps. So long as they head to the foresty-bits first, rather than the gatehouse and village.... I'm going to need to make a bunch more encounter maps this weekend I think.

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anstett
03-07-2012, 09:12 PM
I have been looking at this and I like the collection of maps as a package. I might even buy a product that had them all combined into one place.

For the last image, I like it the way it is. To use in game I would put a scroll border around it, making it look like it was cut/torn out of a frame. The PCs carry this around to know which of the little hill towns they are encountering is the correct one that they are supposed to be visiting.

Or I would just post that image you have on my website and call it done.

Nice work

BOB

Bogie
03-07-2012, 11:46 PM
Fantastic collection of maps, can't wait to see more!

Jacktannery
03-08-2012, 02:57 PM
Thanks for the encouragement. Anstett, these maps would never be on sale because they include many elements that were created by this community and other people, uploaded for free, for free use only. So even if you wanted to buy them you wouldn't be allowed. Feel free to use them though.

Right - I have two encounter maps left for this area, then depending on what the PCs do I can either improve them or start the next area. The next two are the font of ioun (for which I intend to use the excellent jungle alter set-piece uploaded a while ago on these very forums - have to do a search and find it) and the watchtower. For the watchtower I am using as a base a sketch of a tower that I also found on these forums - I wish I wrote down the name of the authors so I could thank them, but I always forget.

Anywhere, here is the first WIP. This map uses a 50 pixel grid so that the tower is eight grid squares in diameter - important for the internal parts. The next step is to find a jagged rocky outcrop texture using my googlefu. If anyone remembers the name of the original artist sketch let me know.

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loogie
03-08-2012, 04:08 PM
frankenlandscape.. bahahahaha.. still doesn't look bad.. why not just let them see it in thumbnail only :P

Jacktannery
03-08-2012, 05:34 PM
Okay here is WIP 2 of the Watchtower. I think that the exterior is pretty much done now except for adding some trees - I'm not that fussed about the outside anyway. Mostly this is an interior encounter, over a number of tiers. I plan on blurring the background various amounts for the interior maps to depict height. I also need to do the interior of the belltower...

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EDIT: And now I have finally finished tweaking:

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Amazingly, it takes twice as long to go from the middle WIP to the finished map/last WIP (both on this post) then it does to go from the first concept (last post) to the middle WIP.

jfrazierjr
03-09-2012, 10:52 AM
That last one almost looks like a 3d render. Nice...

loogie
03-09-2012, 12:32 PM
quite good.. you have a talent my friend.

Jacktannery
03-09-2012, 01:32 PM
Thanks loogie and jfrazier.

Fixed some errors with the watchtower, and completed the font of Ioun using the jungle alter (can't find the name of the artist to credit). That's all the base maps, now to do the interior of the bell tower and watchtower, and to go back and tweak those over-heavy spiderweb shadows on the first map. And the best news is that my PCs decided to start the adventure with ... the foresty bit! Hurrah.

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jfrazierjr
03-09-2012, 02:14 PM
Be careful with your rock shading. Go a little lighter in more passes if necessarily. The second from the bottom is probably the worst offender as well as the center one and the one at the bottom(same rock, same shading...you might be able to hide this with a rotate and different shadows if possible)

Jacktannery
03-09-2012, 03:17 PM
Thanks jpfrazier - I had left my top-most shadow layer on 'normal' rather than 'overlay'. Hopefully it's a little better now. I did the Font map in a bit of a rush as you can tell. I also deleted that bottom rock - it is not adding anything to the encounter and you were right about it looking copied.

I went back to my first map and lightened up the webs (by changing them to 'hard light') and the shadows (by changing them to 'overlay) just like you suggested. I think the map looks better and less heavy as a result. But do they look a too metallic now?

It's really helpful to have another opinion - I am very grateful that you are taking the time to advise me jpfrazier.

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jfrazierjr
03-09-2012, 03:47 PM
Yep, looks much better.. As for the webs, IMPO you should drop the opacity to somewhere between 60-80% for that layer.

Jacktannery
03-09-2012, 05:25 PM
Reduced web layer to 70% opacity & corresponding reduction in the webshadow layer. I have to upload them here so that I can compare.

Added the interior of the bell tower - do the colours clash too much? I tried to match the warm sandstone colour of the steps using Neyjour's tiles, but it doesn't look great against the grey tower walls.

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EDIT: I have a question: is it possible to re-colour a layer/image/object/selection in GIMP using another layer/etc as a reference? For example, say I select a stone which has nice shades of pale reddish brown. I want to save it's pallate (so all the shades of brown from lightest to darkest on that stone are saved somewhere), then I go to a new layer/etc and map that pallate onto it. Does anyone know how to do that?

jfrazierjr
03-09-2012, 05:55 PM
Well, there is the Color Map feature which uses a height map to map to a gradient, but other than that, I don't know. RobA would know the answer if anyone would.

Jacktannery
03-10-2012, 10:08 AM
Ok - I worked out how how to do it. It is easy and very powerful - basically, I can select any object, layer or image and save it's colour scheme, then remap any other image/layer/object using that same colour scheme. This has a lot of uses - say you really like the sea shades on someone else's world map, and want them to apply to your sea. It's easy. Maybe I should do a short tutorial.

Jacktannery
03-10-2012, 12:13 PM
I've started the watchtower interior. Here is the ground floor WIP - need to add some internal walls and doors. Unfortunately the internal steps go down rather than up, but trying to make the steps go up turned out to be far too difficult and not worth the hassle.

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Bogie
03-10-2012, 04:09 PM
Fixed some errors with the watchtower, and completed the font of Ioun using the jungle alter (can't find the name of the artist to credit).

The artist is Supercaptain, you can find his original post (with several variations of the altar) at Dundjinni Forums by clicking here: http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=9503&KW=jungle

These maps are coming along beautifully! Keep up the great work!

Jacktannery
03-10-2012, 07:45 PM
Thanks Boogie - that is exactly the alter I used. Now that I am learning to use GIMP better and posting more encounter maps on-line I really need to make the effort to credit the original artists of the elements and ideas that I am using. Supercaptain - thank you very much.

Here is the finished ground floor and middle floors of the watchtower. Next up: upper floor and psychedelic floor.

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EDIT: Top floor and psychedelic.

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Jacktannery
03-11-2012, 05:23 PM
Now I am beginning the village. Here is encounter 1: the gatehouse - I just need to add some furniture.

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Jacktannery
03-12-2012, 01:01 PM
Finished the top of the gatehouse, unless anyone has any suggestions for improvement.

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anstett
03-12-2012, 01:05 PM
A "trap" door over the stairs, or they turn into a water fall every time it rains. Or the guard falls down when he has drunk too much on his midnight shift. :)

I would put a simple wooden square hatchway door there just to cover it up.

BOB

Jacktannery
03-12-2012, 03:10 PM
Good point Anstett - I wish I had thought of that before. Might be a bit tricky to add that now - I'll see if I have time.

In the meantime, here is encounter 3: the keep's courtyard. Roof and tower are from Bogie's church in his 'Back Alley' scene here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?16679-Dangerous-Back-Alley-(-2-Maps-)

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Jacktannery
03-13-2012, 09:12 AM
Only have two encounter maps left for the moment. Now I have a question to all you cartographers:

For the wizard's tower I need to make something difficult: a series of adventurers and monsters frozen in blocks of ice. Has anyone attempted something like this before? Can anyone advise me on how to make realistic blocks of ice in GIMP?

Secondly, I need a very long banqueting table for the keep hall. Does anyone know if Bogie has made something like this yet?

anstett
03-13-2012, 10:05 AM
You should look at Torstan's ice projects for inspiration.

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?16997-8-Map-Pack-Bundle-for-9-99&highlight=ice

I picked up the entire series the other day on GMs Sale Day.

BOB

Jacktannery
03-13-2012, 12:32 PM
Thanks Anstett - they are great, I'll definately use them for inspiration. Here are some mockups I am doing at work - which look best? Do they look like an adventurer frozen inside a block of ice? or not?

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anstett
03-13-2012, 12:55 PM
Now only $19.99 plus shipping and handling you can have your very own set of Adventurers Ice Cubes! Just think of the fun at parties when you secretly drop one of these in your friend's drink. Hilarity ensues when they go to take a drink and OOOPS they thawed out just a little fast.

If you order now you get not one but TWO complete sets of our Adventurers Ice Cubes! Perfect for that Evil Overlord on your list, and we will ship anywhere in the multiverse for you if you act now. Remember you can only get these exclusive Ice Cubes here on the Cartographers Guild! Act now! Quantities are limited!

BOB

(yes they look very nice, grins)

Jacktannery
03-13-2012, 03:28 PM
Completed Encounters 1 and 3. Here are the finished versions - I am not allowing myself to do any more tweaking. Tweaking is the enemy.

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Jacktannery
03-13-2012, 08:24 PM
First WIP for the second-last map. This is supposed to be a keep hall with banqueting table and three-sided balcony. I elongated one of Bogie's tables - it might be a bit too fancy. I think I'll try a rougher table tomorrow.

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Jacktannery
03-14-2012, 06:53 PM
Second WIP, using a staircase and balustrades uploaded onto the dunjinni forums. It's beginning to come together. I want to add a lot of shields onto this map too, hanging from the balcony and scattered on the floor. I just need to find some nice shield images.

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EDIT - Table added and shading complete.

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Jacktannery
03-15-2012, 03:56 PM
I added the shields, however I'm not completely satisfied. The shields hanging from the balcony don't look good, and I don't know what to do to make them better - advice is needed here.

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galenty
03-15-2012, 05:38 PM
It looks really nice, but you're right about the shields. I think its a matter or perspective. Looking down at them, we really wouldn't see much detail. Perhaps if you rotated them to be more 'vertical' it would look better?

Bogie
03-15-2012, 07:08 PM
Vertical shields is tough to do. I played with this one and it looks Ok. let me know if it works, I can make more.

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Otherwise, the banquet hall is looking good.

Jacktannery
03-15-2012, 07:39 PM
That look great Bogie - how did you get that curve at the top? It looks better than my attempts using the eraser tool.

Bogie
03-15-2012, 10:37 PM
I used the image resize to shorten it vertically, then Filter/Distort/Spherize setting it at a negative number (concave). the trick there is the bottom of the shield needs to be near the middle of the canvas. So only a little empty canvas above the shield and more below the shield tip.

Here are 2 more.

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Then after I did these, I found where the original artist had already made a vertical version of the same one.
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Jacktannery
03-16-2012, 12:29 PM
Bogie - that is wonderful. That last one is the best by far - I'll take that and recolour it a few times and use it on the balconies - thanks a million for your help.

Jacktannery
03-16-2012, 02:27 PM
Improved version using Bogie's shield. Are the shields convincing now?

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Jacktannery
03-17-2012, 12:12 PM
First WIP for the wizard's study - this is an ice wizard and his study is supposed to look frozen. I'm not sure I got the stairs right. Also the central rose is supposed to be from a ceiling light - perhaps I got the colour off? Or are the edges too sharp? There is something I need to change about it, I am certain.

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EDIT - small improvements:

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Jacktannery
03-17-2012, 01:56 PM
This is the ground floor. Question: does it look like a large subcircular staircase winds up the walls of the tower, and leads from the ground floor to the upper floor? I've done my best but it's a really tricky thing to depict.

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Bogie
03-17-2012, 01:56 PM
Looking good. Overall the stairs look very good. The part that is off just a little is the shadows in the middle. I know it is because of the column beside those stairs, but it's not quite right. The eye doesn't follow the progression of getting darker as you go down. Specifically, the stair shadow I circled in red should be the same darkness as the other stairs near it, and the opposite column shadow circled in green shouldn't be there. At least that's what it looks like to me.

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Bogie
03-17-2012, 02:00 PM
This is the ground floor. Question: does it look like a large subcircular staircase winds up the walls of the tower, and leads from the ground floor to the upper floor? I've done my best but it's a really tricky thing to depict.

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The fade to transparent almost makes it look like it is going back down. I would keep the stairs solid and end them where they would match the start of the stairs in the Study, at about 5 o'clock.

Jacktannery
03-17-2012, 02:01 PM
Thanks Bogie - unfortunately that is the one bit that's a nightmare to change - I accidenctly painted directly over the stiarcase in black there (meaning of course to paint on my shadows layer than smudge it/half-delete it). You can ever see those same marks in the ground floor staircase. I'll try and fix it up with some selective hightlighting. I had been hoping no-one would notice that bit!

EDIT: regarding your second point - yes but I want to able to do things under them.

Bogie
03-17-2012, 02:04 PM
Oh well, those are minor details anyway. If it is to hard to change, don't. It still looks great.

jfrazierjr
03-17-2012, 02:22 PM
As boogie noted, on the ground floor, the stairs seem to accent to the top of the image and then looks to start back down. Also, on the right, the stairs won't fit in the space you have.. the lines will bisect the right wall instead of joining with it.

I do agree that the second floor stairway looks really odd and off due to the extra shadows mentioned.

rdanhenry
03-17-2012, 04:23 PM
Where's the railing/banister? You don't want to skip the safety features when you're likely to have ice on the stairs.

Bogie
03-17-2012, 04:29 PM
Where's the railing/banister? You don't want to skip the safety features when you're likely to have ice on the stairs.

That's part of the Ice Mage's Trap for unwary adventurers.

Jacktannery
03-17-2012, 04:58 PM
That's part of the Ice Mage's Trap for unwary adventurers.

!!!

Changed the staircase a little - hopefully its getting better rather than getting worse.

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And now I have added the cool knights, an apprentice and an ape. Hopefully these look ok. I'll see if I can play with the light settings in gimp and get some sort of twinkly shimmering over it all.

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Bogie
03-17-2012, 09:12 PM
The stairs look fantastic now, love the extra ice coating.

Jacktannery
03-17-2012, 09:27 PM
Oh good - I didn't know if it just looked cheesy. But this might look cheesy - here is the finished version, with blood.

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Aargh! Bogie - you cursed me with your compliment. I accidently deleted my steps, as you can see from the above WIP. I managed to rescue something of them through a screenshot, but there is a white outline I can't get rid of. Drat. Oh well.

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anstett
03-18-2012, 10:09 AM
A bonus set of frozen adventurer, collect them all.

BOB

nice work

Bogie
03-18-2012, 11:54 AM
The white line just looks like the edge of the ice floor, so here it is OK.

To get rid of the white line in Photoshop open just the stairs with the white outline. Select "Inner Glow" Choose a black color set the size as 3 or 4 pixels, and "Normal" instead of "Screen" (screen is the default on my version of PS)

Jacktannery
03-18-2012, 01:12 PM
Thanks Boogie. Something about that white line really annoys me - I think it is the pixelated effect on it.

Here is the latest of the ground floor - an odd encounter this: the script calls for a broken obelisk over which is draped an enormous female knight, covered in a bloody sheet, and on top of that a scroll. It's not the sort of thing that comes pre-made, unfortunately. A challenge, but I think I did ok.

43176

jfrazierjr
03-18-2012, 02:06 PM
Probably too red, unless it is super fresh. Over a short time, dried blood turns a brownish color. But you don't want it a uniform brown since it would have different saturation levels as it soaked up the blood.. Not quite sure where to tell you to go with this though as dried blood is a PITA to depict and have people know what it is. On scale, that knight is roughly 12 feet tall, is that right? Ditto the scroll at about 2.5 feet. Also, especially on the top left side, the sheet would have much more folds and would not drape in a straight line, so you will need to try to warp it some more. The same for the bottom right, but at least there is at least one fold in there, so it looks a bit more natural.

Jacktannery
03-18-2012, 02:33 PM
The knight is indeed supposed to be about twelve feet tall. The scroll not so much. Anyway here are the last details to this map - some wierd lights, some dead orcs, a door and two gargoyles. Perhaps I can desaturate the bloody sheet - I'll try that later.

43177

Desaturated the sheet slightly and added a ripple as jpfrazier advised - I think it looks much better now.

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Bogie
03-20-2012, 01:47 PM
That does look more natural

Jacktannery
03-31-2012, 03:08 PM
Started the next one - this will be the hero's gate. I want to get the impression of a ruined gatehouse perched on top of a cliff overlooking a village far below.

43541

Jacktannery
03-31-2012, 08:23 PM
First proper WIP. I'm toying with the idea of a partially destroyed upper storey, but erring on the side of no. I don't like the internal paving and will probably change it. Not happy with the arrowloops either. I need to add steps cut into the cliff-face to the left, and a path leading from the bottom.

43554

EDIT: fixed up the floor tiles.

43565

Jacktannery
04-01-2012, 08:02 AM
Added the steps and path and finished the shadows. I think that's it now - I just need to decide how to do the doorways.

43575

I added some BATS!

43583

Jacktannery
04-01-2012, 02:09 PM
I tried to add some piles of rusty debris, but perhaps it doesn't look too good - I think I need another opinion, or to stop looking at it for a while.

43590

cereth
04-01-2012, 02:14 PM
I like the pile, though it might conform to the squares a little too much in a slightly unrealistic way.

Bogie
04-02-2012, 02:20 AM
Looking Good Jack! One issue is the Arrow slits, they are backwards. The narrow side should be out to minimize the target for incoming arrows. With the wide opening facing out it would funnel the arrows back to the archers on the inside.

Jacktannery
04-02-2012, 06:36 AM
One issue is the Arrow slits, they are backwards. The narrow side should be out to minimize the target for incoming arrows. With the wide opening facing out it would funnel the arrows back to the archers on the inside.

I feel so stupid! Of course you are correct - I knew that something was wrong about them. I'll fix that up later.

Cereth you are right about the piles, though it's quite difficult for me to move them because I did some stupid things with their shading to save time (and which I know regret). I'll try and break them up a bit anyway.

jfrazierjr
04-02-2012, 09:17 AM
One issue is the Arrow slits, they are backwards. The narrow side should be out to minimize the target for incoming arrows. With the wide opening facing out it would funnel the arrows back to the archers on the inside.

I feel so stupid! Of course you are correct - I knew that something was wrong about them. I'll fix that up later.
Why have arrow slits at all? Unless I miss understand, this is at the top of a fairly steep cliff? Even if you do keep them, you need to do a bit more "incision" since they seem fairly flat. Probably a shadow would help with that.

On a personal level, I am not a big fan of the walls. Unless this was cut out of solid stone, I think it's just not a good look.




Cereth you are right about the piles, though it's quite difficult for me to move them because I did some stupid things with their shading to save time (and which I know regret). I'll try and break them up a bit anyway.

Can you explain what you did, perhaps we can help? Typically, I either a) put shadows on a layer underneath the object or b) add a layer right above the object with 50% grey (808080) set to overlay and then either use my tablet's pen pressure with the air brush tool and a large fuzzy brush to layer in shadows/highlights OR use the dodge/burn tool to do the same. Also note that many times I duplicate this overlay layer and drop the opacity of the top one by about 50% or so.

The one problem with the dodge/burn tool (thought I do use it quite a bit) is that it shifts relative to whats below it, so it's real easy to overdo in one area and miss another since it's hard to "draw a line twice".

My main point in this is to point out a workflow here you NEVER modify the actual object itself. If for example you were to take a look at my stairs example in it's source form(GIMP format), you would see about 12 layers. The two layers used for the texture are totally unmodified with the exception of a layer mask on one(which is itself not a modification, but more like an optical filter... like a red lens on a camera might make the picture shift red, but the original object of the photo sure it is NOT red now!!!)

Jacktannery
04-02-2012, 09:56 AM
Great feedback jfrazierjr.

I can’t picture what you mean by a bit more ‘incision’ in the arrowslits – can you think of a visual reference for this?

Fair enough on the walls – I really like them though so I’ll retain them as they are.

Regarding the rust-piles, I usually follow a workflow as you stated, but in this instance I screwed up. I imported the two images of rust piles (google image ‘pile of rust’) and rescaled them and added a layer mask to remove the parts I did not want, then made an ‘undershadows’ layer (40% black) below them, an ‘overshadows’ and a ‘highlights’ layer (both overlays) above them both with the same layer masks.

However (and this is where I screwed up) I then decided to see what would happen if I merged the two rust layers (with each other – not with their over- and under-shadows). I was curious if their layer masks would merge into one. What happened is that the layer masks were deleted and the piles were merged into one. I did some other experimentation and managed to merge the over- and under-shadow layers with similar layers for the statues.

After that, I had intended to press undo a few times, but then I got distracted, went out for some pints with some friends and pressed SAVE instead of UNDO.

jfrazierjr
04-02-2012, 10:58 AM
Great feedback jfrazierjr.

I can’t picture what you mean by a bit more ‘incision’ in the arrowslits – can you think of a visual reference for this?

Sorry... just a big word to mean they look flat and at the same level as the wall. Since they should be many feet lower than the top of the wall, there should be something to indicate the height. A shadow would work for this. Just like the edges of a stairway... you add deeper larger shadows to indicate chance in height.




Regarding the rust-piles, I usually follow a workflow as you stated, but in this instance I screwed up. I imported the two images of rust piles (google image ‘pile of rust’) and rescaled them and added a layer mask to remove the parts I did not want, then made an ‘undershadows’ layer (40% black) below them, an ‘overshadows’ and a ‘highlights’ layer (both overlays) above them both with the same layer masks.

However (and this is where I screwed up) I then decided to see what would happen if I merged the two rust layers (with each other – not with their over- and under-shadows). I was curious if their layer masks would merge into one. What happened is that the layer masks were deleted and the piles were merged into one. I did some other experimentation and managed to merge the over- and under-shadow layers with similar layers for the statues.

After that, I had intended to press undo a few times, but then I got distracted, went out for some pints with some friends and pressed SAVE instead of UNDO.

Heh.. Yea.. I have never done that...(yea, that was sarcasm...lol)

Jacktannery
04-02-2012, 01:34 PM
Latest WIP: arrowslits are now the correct way around (but still too flat - I'm not sure how to improve them) and I tried to break up the piles of rust a little.

43618

anaxetogrind
04-02-2012, 06:41 PM
Looks, to me, like the rest of your walls have a roundness caused by erosion. However your arrow slits seem sharp by comparison. Try to give them that same rounded look. I would try a gradual gradient mask, dodge/burning, but I'm no expert by any means.

I also agree the location does not serve the intended function of arrow slits, but doubt most players will notice. :D Mine wouldn't. If you were trying for more reality the arrow slits would be along the west path where they would be used to rain terror down on anyone climbing the approach. Now if the path double backed under the structure... it would make more sense.

Love the blur on the height effect.

Cheers!

Jacktannery
04-02-2012, 07:13 PM
Thanks anaxetogrind. Everyone is correct that the arrow slits are not very practical, however perhaps the path does indeed wind up the cliffface directly underneath; in any case I'm stubbornly keeping them. I'll try and do as you suggest tomorrow.


Love the blur on the height effect.

The best thing about it is that I did not blur it at all! It is a completely unmodified google map satellite screenshot of some random french hillside. I just added a bit of fuzz over the top and bleached it, but otherwise kept it exactly as it was.

PaxVeritas
04-08-2012, 09:15 AM
Greetings Jacktannery,
After looking at your artwork/maps I was inspired to post my first comment here. You're very talented. I especially enjoyed the window lighting on the floor in the wizard's tower, and the way the town faded deep below the hero's tower battlemap. From a usability point of view, I was really inspired by your heated pool/forest map, as well as your excellent gatehouse and many others. I wish you good luck in your future endeavors.

Jacktannery
04-08-2012, 04:46 PM
Thank you PaxVeritas - great to get such encouragement.


... your heated pool/forest map ....

You are the second person to say it, if you mean my Encounter 9 map with the spider webs. I whipped this out for my PCs a little while ago. I was really proud, and hoped that they would be suitably impressed. They say they pride comes before a fall...

After pointing out that the low cloud in the middle of the forest was unrealistic (I tried to explain it was supposed to be a small lake - but they kept thinking it was a cloud or something steaming) they pointed out that in the future I might be better off downloading free maps for use in the campaign. They even gave me a link to site where I can download 4E encounter maps! I still enjoy making them though.

Vhex
04-09-2012, 04:08 AM
I've been following this thread and I think you're doing a fine job creating maps. I've been saving them for use in my own Madness campaign.

Jacktannery
04-09-2012, 06:48 AM
I've been saving them for use in my own Madness campaign.

Great - I was hoping someone else would use them, not just me. Make sure to use the finished and polished maps in the finished map thread, not the rougher maps in this thread (see post 1 for link). I'll probably get back to this in March after I complete the mapping challenge.

Jacktannery
05-10-2012, 02:52 PM
Starting the next couple of these - here is the first WIP for Encounter 20 the barracks:

44695

Jacktannery
05-11-2012, 02:00 PM
Possibly the finished version:

44712

Bogie
05-11-2012, 02:11 PM
Looks great, how do you make the walls?

Jacktannery
05-11-2012, 03:06 PM
I am still experimenting on these. My current approach is as follows:

1) download a photo of a masonry wall from here: www.mayang.com/textures. I get this sort of thing:

44713

2) turn the photo into a texture tile. I do this (in the Gimp) by cropping a square section of the texture, and then if I'm lazy using the 'create seamless texture' filter on GIMP or else, in this case, doing it properly (offset image by 50% X and Y, then clone/heal along the seams, then adjust the colours if needed - usually not needed if you are going to recolour as I usually do). Now I have this sort of thing (I've had to save this as a jpg because it is too big to post here otherwise - my file is 7mb, but this should work just as well):

44714

3) On my map, I make a layer with my wall texture (often I rescale it so the blocks are the size I want). Then I use a layer mask to block all parts of the layer except the wall. Then I go over each bit carefully with a HARD white or black brush respecting the stones (this bit takes long!).

44715

3.5) Optional step. If you want to change the colour of the wall, desaturate completely and add a new layer on top filled with a block colour of your choice, then copy the same walls layer mask to it. Set this layer to burn and opacity at c. 50%

4) Make a new layer over that. Using the colour selection tool on the wall layer mask white bits, select your wall outline(s) then on your new layer fill this with black, then copy the same walls layer mask to it. Use a big soft brush and the smudge tool. Stroke away from the edges of the wall towards the centre roughly. This allows the walls to 'appear' - you can see the effects clearly on my Nightwyrm Fortress Maps.

5) Make a layer below and use a soft brush with black and smudge a lot to make under-wall shadows. This is crucial and makes the walls pop out - I no longer use drop shadows on my maps - I find they don't look good.

6) Cross your fingers and hope it works.

Jacktannery
05-12-2012, 08:58 AM
Added some broken beds from the dundjinni forums

44736

EDIT: And made the next map, which is the last one of the above-ground maps:

44738

Bogie
05-14-2012, 02:19 PM
That's a lot of work to make the walls, but they do look great!

Jacktannery
05-14-2012, 03:58 PM
Well actually I think it looks pretty awful - I much prefer the walls in my map of the gatehouse (see post 88). This technique has worked well in my dungeon maps (for Nightwyrm Fortress) but does not work well for these half-outdoor maps in my opinion. As for it being a lot of work - well, the walls are the easy and quick bit! Don't get me started on the floors.

jfrazierjr
05-22-2012, 11:24 PM
Well actually I think it looks pretty awful - I much prefer the walls in my map of the gatehouse (see post 88). This technique has worked well in my dungeon maps (for Nightwyrm Fortress) but does not work well for these half-outdoor maps in my opinion. As for it being a lot of work - well, the walls are the easy and quick bit! Don't get me started on the floors.

I think they look pretty darn good...now...stretch yourself and duplicate your stone texture, rotate 90 degrees and make the stones with correct orientation... You might need to make a few duplicates of that layer with diferent masked areas, but it will really look photo realistic...

Jacktannery
05-23-2012, 03:46 AM
Why did I know you would eventually suggest that, jfrazier, Eh? I'll try it - fine - but I have a feeling this is going to be the most horrible time-sink ever.

jfrazierjr
05-23-2012, 03:38 PM
Why did I know you would eventually suggest that, jfrazier, Eh? I'll try it - fine - but I have a feeling this is going to be the most horrible time-sink ever.

Well.. it's your fault... if you had not noted your process of manually masking of individual blocks, I would not have noted the pattern of all the blocks going left<->right... well.. I might have noticed it, but it would have just shrugged it off, but since you are doing that extra work, might as well go all out and make it "perfect"...

Jacktannery
06-30-2012, 07:18 PM
jfrazer, I actually did this on one of the Assault on Nightwyrm Fortress maps (near the end)

I've decided to finish the maps - I started Encounter 23: Altar of Glory. Just trying out walls/floors for the 'Catacombs'.

46175

Jacktannery
07-01-2012, 05:24 PM
And now I have started Encounter 24 in the same style.

46215

jfrazierjr
07-01-2012, 05:59 PM
for comparison, could you put a side by side of the "original" texture vs the one where you did the rotate/mask approach? I would even suggest you do a tutorial if the effect can be clearly distinguished for those who may want to give it a try themselves, but have no idea how to do it.

Jacktannery
07-01-2012, 06:50 PM
This is the one where I used rotate/mask. I' m not sure if I still have the original texture (I keep modifying them - I look through photographs of Indonesian walls from http://www.mayang.com and turn them into textures as and when I need them).

46220

Jacktannery
07-02-2012, 01:46 PM
Latest versions of Encs 23 & 24.

46235 46236

Jacktannery
07-08-2012, 06:44 PM
I've started encounter 25.

46388

Bogie
07-12-2012, 01:00 PM
The maps are looking great Jack. I like the rocky walls a lot.

Jacktannery
07-12-2012, 01:27 PM
Thanks Bogie - I wasn't sure about those.

jtougas
07-13-2012, 01:07 PM
These are really great. I have also abandoned drop shadows in favor of more "realistic" methods of shadow creation. I have returned to this thread over and over for inspiration for my own "encounter map" series. Thanks :)

Jacktannery
07-13-2012, 02:51 PM
Thanks again jtougas. I finished Enc 25 and did Enc 26; now I need to decide whether or not to redo Enc 27 (there is a poster map, but it's not great).

46509 46510

Jacktannery
07-16-2012, 11:27 AM
Enc 28 - the next (and last) five maps are of the Catacombs - a minotaur-themed dungeon. Here I am just working on finding good wall and floor textures, and on the colour scheme. Is this too pink? EDIT: a bit of shading.

46614 46615

Jacktannery
07-17-2012, 06:41 AM
Some references for the pieces I have been using:

Doors – by Graytale http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=7085&PN=8

Rubble - by Jgovernale http://dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=4158&KW=rubble&PN=0&TPN=1

Chess set: (coming up) modded combination of englishkid http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=814&KW=runes&TPN=2 and Oberoten http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=814&KW=a&TPN=6

Sarcophagus – some by Targeteron http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=698

Sarcophagus – others by Futureboy http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=7085&PN=8 which were themselves modded from the originals by Graytale http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=7938&KW=tiles

However I also just found Bogie’s ones http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=11829&get=last which are magnificent so I might replace them with his instead.

EDIT:

Fountain by Jgovernale http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=2536

Statues by Steel Rat http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=7445

Jacktannery
07-17-2012, 11:38 AM
Encounter 28 Complete

46640

jtougas
07-18-2012, 01:46 PM
As I keep saying these are fantastic !! The only thing that I could possibly call out is the "regularness" of the floor tiles. I find myself always thinking that anything like this should be a little broken here and there.. either way incredible work :)

Jacktannery
07-20-2012, 05:59 PM
Encounter 29 - initial stage

46782

Jacktannery
07-21-2012, 11:54 AM
Added lighting.

46798

Kearnaun
07-21-2012, 12:58 PM
I have to say, every time I take a look at this thread you impress me anew.

Jacktannery
07-21-2012, 08:58 PM
Thanks Kearnaun.

Still playing with the colours in the last map. Latest (and probably final) version:

46811

Bogie
07-23-2012, 01:05 AM
Excellent work Jack!! I recently had a look at the original maps from WotC and yours are SO much better!

Lukc
07-23-2012, 06:48 AM
This is looking really good and nifty! I'm quite impressed! :)

Jacktannery
07-26-2012, 03:06 PM
Encounter 31 done.

46944

Bogie
07-26-2012, 06:43 PM
More Jack Mapping Goodness!!!

Jacktannery
07-26-2012, 06:48 PM
Thanks Bogie - did you see I used your tents that you had posted up in your mapping elements thread.

Jacktannery
07-27-2012, 07:26 PM
I've started encounter 30, making heavy use of elements from Bogie's thread here on these forums (the table, stools and plates). Now I need candles or candlesticks - Bogie?

46990

Jacktannery
07-28-2012, 11:39 AM
Found a candelabra in the dundjinni forums, and found a lovely bowl and jug made by Bogie. I think this one is done now. I'm going to have to go back and change the colours on the map with the checkerboard pattern though - it looks awful.

47028

Bogie
07-28-2012, 01:55 PM
Excellent maps Jack!! I don't recognize the candelabra, I'll have to go back to DJ and find it. While I can take credit for the chairs, the bowl & the jug, I can't take credit for the tents. I used someone else's tents to make that campsite. Keep up the great work!!

Jacktannery
07-28-2012, 03:09 PM
I used these ones: http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=5468&KW=candlestick. I added some candles and flames.

Bogie
07-29-2012, 11:41 AM
AH HA that's why I didn't recognize them. Nice

Jacktannery
07-29-2012, 05:03 PM
I've started the very last map - thrilled to be almost done! Here we have my most dreaded subject - water! I am just working on the lighting at the moment - can't work out how much the water would reflect of the solar flare thingy. I'll probably want to yellowify the water too.

47070

EDIT: Did some more work on the lighting on the water especially; I think its better now. Maybe even done; will have a second look tomorrow morning and decide.

47075

Cunning Cartographer
07-29-2012, 06:45 PM
Colour wise I think you already nailed it, maybe a little less blue, my only advice would be that if the water isn't absolutely still (ie. you have ripples from a breeze or whatever, which in your case you have as there is texture to the water) then the lines of the tiles under the water shouldn't be completely straight. Not sure if you said you were using Photoshop or GIMP, but in Photoshop you can quickly apply a "Ripple" filter and it will make your straight lines slightly wavy, not sure how this is done in GIMP. It's subtle, but it's a nice detail that makes the water even more realistic.

(ninjad :D I'd still maybe saturate the colour in the water slightly though, but the sparkles are a really nice touch).

Jacktannery
07-29-2012, 06:51 PM
Good advice on the ripple effect Yospeck. I've used that in the Gimp (which I use) in two maps: a spiders web over a pond in one of the early Madness maps, and more successfully in a very hot room in the Nightwyrm fortress maps, so I could give it a go.

How do you mean saturate the water slightly? Do you mean make it a brighter yellow?

Cunning Cartographer
07-30-2012, 03:50 AM
Pull out the colour so there is less yellow/blue. If the water was very deep where you couldn't see the bottom (where it would almost look like a black pool) then you would have stronger colours and a more visible reflection (eg. sunset on a lake or harbor buildings on a river), but if the water is shallower ie. your pool or a puddle, then the show through from the bottom surface would make your image not as strong; a lowered opacity (as you have done) and paler reflection. This is presuming that the liquid in the pool is water, if it's blue liquid then it's fine being blue. Water isn't blue though, albeit some creative license lets you get away with it so it's not the end of the world, but the blue is created from the scattering effect of light; the deeper your water the bluer it looks, so it would depend on how deep your pool is supposed to be as well :)

Sorry for going all Bill Nye on you, it really does look good if you leave it as is and your colour pallet for your entire dungeons light sources has been very intense and vivid anyway (dont read this as a bad thing, I think the lighting effects you have done look amazing) so could match the style, but it might be worth having a play with it.

Jacktannery
07-30-2012, 09:41 AM
Ah - I see. Great advice there Yospeck. I'll have another go at it tonight, making the water more transparent so that we can see the (ripply) bottom.

In the module as written, the pool is originally some holy water to do with a sun-god, but that has become evil and corrupted by demonic inluence. I decided to depict it as golden-yellow to fit with the colour scheme and make the map look prettier. I also decided the solar flare thingy would make a gentle solar wind over the top of the pool (again, for purely aesthietic reasons). Presumably it is supposed to be quite shallow.

Jacktannery
07-31-2012, 01:06 PM
Yospeck - I tried but it's not working for me - how ripply should I go, and should all equally-ripply everywhere or vary the rippling? I think I need some more advice here.

Regarding the transparency of the water, do you think this is better?

47152

Jacktannery
08-01-2012, 01:18 PM
One last try - two versions. I can't decide between them. I hate water.

47177 47178

Bogie
08-01-2012, 02:30 PM
The second one one the right looks more like there is water in the pool.

Jacktannery
08-01-2012, 02:37 PM
Thanks Bogie - On that note I think I'll leave it there ; this thread is now finished!

Cunning Cartographer
08-02-2012, 05:47 AM
*thumbs up*

aershae
02-24-2013, 05:10 PM
Apologies for necro-posting, but does anyone have a sense of the height of the hill the abbey sits on? I'm trying to work up a version in Sketchup but I'm not finding this bit of information.

Jacktannery
02-25-2013, 05:13 AM
Aershae, I'm not sure what the answer is to that, however I made this image http://i1006.photobucket.com/albums/af182/jacktannery/Madness/GardmoreAbbey.jpg to give the PCs an idea. Also if you are using my maps make sure you are using the finished versions - see link in post 1 of this thread.

Icestorm008
07-25-2013, 01:03 PM
Would love a walk-through with how you built these in GIMP. Let me know if you have some time to do this.

Jacktannery
07-26-2013, 02:22 AM
Icestorn008 - sure I'll let you know when I get a chance; I will be happy to do this. In the meantime you might familiarise yourself with GIMP and read through jpfrazier's tutorial on layer maps, especially the part where he creates a river (find that in the tutorial section of this forum).

Jacktannery
08-16-2013, 05:01 PM
Would love a walk-through with how you built these in GIMP. Let me know if you have some time to do this.

I have time this weekend and next week if you want to do this Icestorn008.

Sarcasm1333
10-18-2013, 02:09 PM
Went through this thread and there are some great pieces in here! Jack, I was wondering if you could give a brief overview of how you do the lighting and shadows in your maps. I have gotten pretty good with textures and color but I still havent figured out how people do some of the lighting and shading tricks that really separate the great maps from the good ones.

Jacktannery
10-18-2013, 03:12 PM
Sure Sarcasm. I use a variety of techniques. Lately I am using a very bleached-out lighting style you can see here http://www.cartographersguild.com/virtual-tabletop-battlemap-mapping/24367-warehouse.html, which is different from the Gardmore lighting.

Kennyt
02-23-2014, 01:52 PM
Jack, i had some time to plug away at GIMP; actually making a bit of head way. If you end up doing a tutorial with icestorm sometime, i'd love to listen in on it. here is me playing around with my current skill set. of course there are some GLARING mistakes - but it's a start for sure. Kinda playing around with an ice cave idea. I have twitchtv set up to if you'd actually like to see what i am doing inside of GIMP - or more importantly, whatever i am NOT doing, for whenever you and icestorm link up.


61721

Jacktannery
02-23-2014, 02:37 PM
This looks great Kennyt - I love your ice effect. Your walls look like they are floating up above the floor to me, due to your perspective shadows, but its still a great map. I'm afraid I don't link up to icestorm, whatever that is.

Kennyt
02-23-2014, 07:06 PM
Jack,
sorry i keep posting my crap here, i should prob start my own thread >.> Yeah wasnt "icestorm" some guy supposed to link up with you and chit chat live - an in person tutorial? i could be reading a post 12 months old though >.< Anyways - IF you ever do somethign like that, i'd love to listen in on it. I am getting a bit more comfortable with GIMP now - here's the second map i've created. The catacombs of Gardmore abbey - course i ran out of room near the top so that chamber is cut short - gotta rework the whole dang thing. It's only two layers at the moment, have not added any objects yet. Any tips on how you filled the walls in with black in your rendition of the catacombs? when i did it, it did not look seamless.
61738


Did you soften the wall edges on yours? my edges seem to harsh - i've went back through and used the free-cutter tool to make the walls a bit more even, but still fairly sharp.

Raiko
02-24-2014, 03:27 AM
That's a nice map Kennyt, especially if you're still getting used to GIMP.

You can use <Image><Canvas Size> to extend the size of your map, without rescaling the existing image, so you might not need to 'rework the whole thing.' :)

Jacktannery
02-24-2014, 05:58 AM
Any tips on how you filled the walls in with black in your rendition of the catacombs? when i did it, it did not look seamless.

Big black paintbush, very fuzzy, and I just painted. Not sure what you mean by seamless.

Kennyt
02-24-2014, 06:09 AM
@ Raiko - Thanks for the tips! There are still some GLARING mistakes (poorly meshed wall tiles, color palette a bit off, knife-edged walls, etc) but more improvements incoming! i'll prob switch to another thread so i dont muck up Jack's thread.

@ Jack - Sweet, i'll give her another go - i tried at 1 am last night but either i am terribad at it or i was just hallucinating; but my first attempts looked exactly like someone scribbled on the walls with a paintbrush and not as natural as yours looked.

So, generally, when i start adding doors, furniture, items into a map - what's the best way to do it?

So, for example doors: i cut and paste it, resize it, move it around, get it where i want it. then turn that floater into a layer? then add doors one by one, continuously merging added doors until i have a "door" layer of about 20 or so doors? Then do the same thing with crypts?

Walls: so is the method I used the "norm" method" ? I create a floor as my base layer, create a second layer as my walls-then start "cutting out" rooms (with a third layer that is just a grid on top to keep myself aligned), revealing the floor beneath. once i have all the rooms cut out, select all, invert, drop shadow.

Kennyt
02-24-2014, 10:45 AM
trying to get my craptastic work off your thread :-) moved my on-going project here:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/dungeon-subterranean-mapping/26323-madness-gardmore-abbey-catacombs.html

Jacktannery
02-24-2014, 01:55 PM
So, generally, when i start adding doors, furniture, items into a map - what's the best way to do it?

So, for example doors: i cut and paste it, resize it, move it around, get it where i want it. then turn that floater into a layer? then add doors one by one, continuously merging added doors until i have a "door" layer of about 20 or so doors? Then do the same thing with crypts?

Walls: so is the method I used the "norm" method" ? I create a floor as my base layer, create a second layer as my walls-then start "cutting out" rooms (with a third layer that is just a grid on top to keep myself aligned), revealing the floor beneath. once i have all the rooms cut out, select all, invert, drop shadow.

That's pretty much exactly how I usually do it, except instead of a drop shadow (I never did get the hang of using that - i probably should try it one of these days) I just duplicate the layer, lock pixels, fill everything with black (this just changes all colours to black because pixels are locked); unlock pixels; blur to c.30% of my ppi value; and place under the primary layer. I would double up this black shadow layer for my walls probably, and maybe reblur the second one.

I checked out your latest map on your new thread and I think it looks really great.

F. Randall Farmer
02-28-2014, 06:17 PM
This is an absolutely terrible photo-montage of the PCs first view of Gardmore Abbey. I had intended to draw it properly but I had no time - the PCs are arriving there tomorrow... - so I copy-pasted a bunch of images from the googleweb and stuck them into a collage to make this franken-thing. I used a cartoonify filter to disguise its awfulness but it just made it worse.

http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachments/virtual-tabletop-battlemap-mapping/42865-madness-gardmore-abbey-encounter-maps-gardmoreabbey.jpg



(I already posted this on the Welcome board, but thought I should post it here -in context- for posterity.)

I love this map and used it in my Gardmore Abbey run- adventure log posted at: https://the-forsite-irregulars.obsidianportal.com/adventure-log/respite-before-chaos

I turned it into a painting that hung in Wrafton's Inn in Winterhaven. Here's my heavily photoshop-filtered version:

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2861/12842733124_1db2c1de3c.jpg (http://flic.kr/p/kySn8b)

Saturated the colors to look more like paint, fuzzed it up a bit, dirtied up the corners, added canvas grain, and eventually printed it 5x10" paper to use as a reference during sessions...

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3795/12842390153_438134e21c.jpg (http://flic.kr/p/kyQBaT)

I also used this image on the quest-cards...

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3699/12842588243_9f6504a0c1.jpg (http://flic.kr/p/kyRC4e)

and that tower image inspired my watchtower build...

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3747/11748470405_81656fb3ff.jpg (http://flic.kr/p/iUaYWz)

Jacktannery
02-28-2014, 06:28 PM
Wow - my frankenthing really does look very good by the time you finished with it! Great job. It's great to see it used in such a wonderful way. I'm a huge fan of handouts. Thanks for posting up these images.

Kennyt
03-04-2014, 04:24 PM
Jack!


Working on the old Minotaur temple of gardmore - map is a bit bigger than the other so i am splitting it into two parts. I've come to the red and blue checkerboard arena portion and was wondering if you could give me some tips on how you colored those squares? here is my 2nd map so far. yours are still much "cleaner" than mine but hopefully the more i do, the better i'll get :-)

62029

Kept playing with it and this is what i came up with - i still like your map better - i dig the floor texture in yours.

62030

Jacktannery
03-05-2014, 05:21 AM
Thanks Kenny,

I'm not that happy with the way I did the chessboard on that map. But here it is anyway: here's the completed map.

62039

Here's the floor only.

62040

Here's the colours only (.png). These are on grain merge. I used a layer mask with a plasma cloud to get the faded look.

62041

Kennyt
03-09-2014, 05:33 AM
Jack,
Good tip, i never thought of using the plasma cloud! will have to play with my chessboard a bit more. I think i need more shadows in my map as well to make it more gloomy. Do you have the Minotaur statue saved? i spent about an hour playing with the original image to make it look statue-esque but it still looks pretty craptastic.

Kennyt
03-09-2014, 07:19 PM
I think i may have got a working version of the Minotaur statue together...here is my combined Vaults part II Map.
http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachments/dungeon-subterranean-mapping/62203d1394403449-madness-gardmore-abbey-catacombs-vaults.jpg
of course your lighting is on another level than mine.

F. Randall Farmer
03-10-2014, 03:46 AM
I think i may have got a working version of the Minotaur statue together...here is my combined Vaults part II Map.
http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachments/dungeon-subterranean-mapping/62203d1394403449-madness-gardmore-abbey-catacombs-vaults.jpg
of course your lighting is on another level than mine.

Wow! I wish I could have printed these as the floors for my run of the Dining Room and the Temple - They would have looked great under these encounters!

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3818/10483435344_1c56d656fc.jpg (http://flic.kr/p/gYom6f)

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3672/10483598563_3a7e0196cb.jpg (https://the-forsite-irregulars.obsidianportal.com/adventure-log/the-dragon-in-bahamuts-vault)

Jacktannery
03-10-2014, 05:38 AM
Do you have the Minotaur statue saved? i spent about an hour playing with the original image to make it look statue-esque but it still looks pretty craptastic.
No, but I'd say all I did was to put a rock texture over the minotaur drawing on 'grain merge'. Your map is looking really great -well done.

Kennyt
03-11-2014, 12:42 PM
very nice job on the 3D! how did you like the adventure altogether? i am gonna actually start DM'ing mine come April.

Thanks on the kudos Jack - your maps are still the benchmark i am aspiring to though!

F. Randall Farmer
03-11-2014, 02:13 PM
very nice job on the 3D! how did you like the adventure altogether? i am gonna actually start DM'ing mine come April.

Thanks on the kudos Jack - your maps are still the benchmark i am aspiring to though!

I tried this because of all the great reviews I'd heard about it... Especially how they managed to get The Deck of Many Things into a game design without completely ruining the game!

Here are some episodes of The Tome Show (a podcast) that featured it: The Tome Show (http://www.thetomeshow.com/?s=gardmore)

Once I had it, it was a matter of figuring out where it fit in the campaign and having the big bad in an early adventure-arc have the one loose Card.

As for running the game, it was a true joy. They could choose the path through the multiple arcs - with 3 arcs each with separate entrances to the abbey - and the adventure was well written with multiple flash-back stories to tie the parts together.

A good example is captured in this post from my run: https://the-forsite-irregulars.obsidianportal.com/adventure-log/sir-oakleys-end - though I moved the sword in question to a different treasure parcel (it was originally in another arc's throwaway encounter).

My advice it to prepare each arc completely, once the characters have chosen a path. Do not run this without prep, you'll miss a story line that you will have to awkwardly fix later. Do the "index card" notes technique, it is totally worth it.

I really liked that the adventure customized itself based on an initial random draw from the deck (including the identity of the BBG!).

But don't feel a complete slave to the results, I tweeked the Rivals positions and chose the alternate finale for my secret boss to better fit the situation and my greater campaign story arc.

Oh! That reminds me that I should post my deck of many things power cards! :-)

F. Randall Farmer
03-12-2014, 04:51 AM
https://db4sgowjqfwig.cloudfront.net/assets/305472/Key-Card.gif?1394609870 (https://the-forsite-irregulars.obsidianportal.com/adventure-log/power-cards-for-magas-deck-of-many-things)

I did it. I posted my Deck of Many Things Power Cards (https://the-forsite-irregulars.obsidianportal.com/adventure-log/power-cards-for-magas-deck-of-many-things)...

Jacktannery
03-12-2014, 05:35 AM
very nice job on the 3D! how did you like the adventure altogether? i am gonna actually start DM'ing mine come April.

Thanks on the kudos Jack - your maps are still the benchmark i am aspiring to though!
Thanks Kenny.
I agree completely with Randall - I tried MaGA due to the great reviews, found that running the game was amazingly easy despite the fact that the module is a sandbox, not a linear plot, and overall me and my players really enjoyed it. Our game was play-by-post and you can see it here Madness at Gardmore Abbey on RPoL (http://www.rpol.net/game.cgi?gi=50219&date=1371920596).

Great power cards Randall.

F. Randall Farmer
03-13-2014, 03:38 PM
Our game was play-by-post and you can see it here Madness at Gardmore Abbey on RPoL (http://www.rpol.net/game.cgi?gi=50219&date=1371920596).

I scanned your RPoL game, I love reading and hearing about folks' run of the same adventure and noting how similar the players and GMs interpretations are (and where they are different.)

So far, every party I've heard of thought to skin the displacer beasts - even those that (like mine) didn't yet know about the potential utility, nor special call-outs in the module that it was possible.

Great run!

mr_abomination
10-19-2014, 05:01 AM
(I already posted this on the Welcome board, but thought I should post it here -in context- for posterity.)

I love this map and used it in my Gardmore Abbey run- adventure log posted at: https://the-forsite-irregulars.obsidianportal.com/adventure-log/respite-before-chaos

I turned it into a painting that hung in Wrafton's Inn in Winterhaven. Here's my heavily photoshop-filtered version:

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2861/12842733124_1db2c1de3c.jpg (http://flic.kr/p/kySn8b)

Saturated the colors to look more like paint, fuzzed it up a bit, dirtied up the corners, added canvas grain, and eventually printed it 5x10" paper to use as a reference during sessions...

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3795/12842390153_438134e21c.jpg (http://flic.kr/p/kyQBaT)

I also used this image on the quest-cards...

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3699/12842588243_9f6504a0c1.jpg (http://flic.kr/p/kyRC4e)

and that tower image inspired my watchtower build...

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3747/11748470405_81656fb3ff.jpg (http://flic.kr/p/iUaYWz)

think you could post just the picture of the updated photo, the one you edited.

F. Randall Farmer
10-19-2014, 11:31 AM
Click the photo to go to Flickr to grab the full sized version...

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3933/15394041649_14a30d7161.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/psjugc)
Abbey Painting Edged (https://flic.kr/p/psjugc) by Oracle Omega (https://www.flickr.com/people/35034360663@N01/), on Flickr

I just applied some photoshop filters - all the hard work was done by Jacktannery.

Jacktannery
10-20-2014, 12:53 PM
That looks great Mr Abom & Randall.

mr_abomination
10-21-2014, 02:17 AM
Huge thanks for the original Jack, and thank you Randall for the touched up version; it'll look great in my campaign.