View Full Version : March/April 2012 Lite Challenge Entry: Lostwater Caves

04-02-2012, 07:36 PM
I thought I saw some karstic caves in those inkblots. :!:

(So what does that say about my psyche?)

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04-02-2012, 07:53 PM
Whatever it says, it's something positive. ;) I dig it! I love the plant life around the openings. I think it works really well. The interior looks great and the placement of the stalagmites look naturally placed. I only saw one that was without a counterpart above it, but it works because it's below a low point on that part of the cave ceiling. Well done. :)

04-02-2012, 09:46 PM
Very cool, Great idea!

04-03-2012, 03:25 PM
Thanks for the nice comments! :blush:

Here's a newer version. I was happy with the cave outlines, but I messed with the colors a lot and added some text. That's always the part where I get hung up because it involves creating some kind of culture to have named the things, but at least this one should be fairly ecologically coherent, and I got to stick a Classic Maya style date on there.


04-03-2012, 06:51 PM
Great idea with the caves! Nice use of the z axis :D

I almost prefer the one with the black "rock" - it just looks more balanced somehow, it's immediately clear what the focus is: the caverns. I'd maybe try a less obvious rock texture for the solid ground.

04-03-2012, 07:41 PM
You know, I think you're right. This is easier to look at, despite the fact that the other one looks more like limestone.
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04-03-2012, 11:26 PM
I like it. It is similar way that I approached this challenge. The ink blots are huge voids. I enjoy the layout of it. The black rock looks better, but I would add some light and dark values to give a rough feel. Not a lot, just very subtle. Like this type of thing: http://bit.ly/HcQdL1

04-04-2012, 12:39 AM
This is great. I really dig the trees you have on top too. Did you paint them yourself?

04-04-2012, 02:45 AM
I like it a lot, but perhaps a low-opacity screen layer of actual limestone or a limestone texture would look good on the rocks. I can grab you a few photos when I go walk my dogge.

Unfortunately I have trouble reading the text at bottom left, it just doesn't contrast enough with the black on my monitor.

Finally, a good idea might be to think about adding a bit of a soil layer at the top. Sort of like in this image: http://igs.indiana.edu/images/bedrock/solutionFeatures.jpg

And I came a pretty good article on karst here. (http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Hy-La/Karst-Hydrology.html#b)

I'll be keeping my eye on this! :)

04-04-2012, 01:22 PM
Inriconus: I have been fooling with different possibiliities for the rock texture but nothing has looked quite right yet. That one's too cracked and volcanic-looking to come out right, I think, and I haven't found any really good "eroded limestone" images that work as a texture either.

Jaxilon: I used this free tree brush set (http://www.brusheezy.com/brushes/1312-complete-tree-brush-pack), actually...they're pretty amazing, distinguished by species and everything. Good stuff. Highly recommended.

Lukc: Good point about the soil horizon; I'll add some in where appropriate. Karstic terrain is cool stuff. Also, painting stalactites is seriously fun.

Do you think it'd be better without the cave names etc.?

04-04-2012, 01:53 PM

Would some limestone like this help? There's loads of it lying around here (not surprising, since I live close to an alpine karst landscape) and I have a bunch of texture shots of it for when I need a rock texture. I'm going to be updating my texture library soon, since I've just got a new camera and lens and it's going to be good to see what I can get out of it. The joy of looking like a total geek, wandering around weighted down with two cameras and then taking photos of ... dirt, stones, pebbles, wood, dirt, sand, asphalt ... :P

04-04-2012, 02:09 PM
Yeah, I feel your pain Lukc, It drives my wife crazy with the things I take pictures of when we are out.

04-04-2012, 03:34 PM
Oh NICE. Thanks! I'll definitely use that! I live on a giant heap of glacier poop, so I can't get a photo like this, alas...thanks for sharing!

04-04-2012, 04:47 PM
Octopod, if you need a higher res image, give you can give me a shout at lrejec (the standard monkey "at" sign) gmail and so forth and I'll transfer you three, four hi-res limestone textures.

@Bogie: it only drives my dog crazy for now. My darling ex used to drive me crazy, then I traded her for a great dane. I've never had a girl who was happier to see me if I was late, I've never had a dog that wasn't ;)

04-04-2012, 06:41 PM
Hey Octopod, would you mind if I showed you the idea I had on a section of your map? It may give you some ideas for a texture you can make. :)

04-04-2012, 10:40 PM
Oh NICE. Thanks! I'll definitely use that! I live on a giant heap of glacier poop, so I can't get a photo like this, alas...thanks for sharing!

Lmao. Just lmao.

04-04-2012, 10:45 PM
Inriconus: go for it, I'd love to see it. Post it in here. Goodness knows I scribble tectonic plates on enough people's maps around here, I'd be a hypocrite to mind. ;)

04-05-2012, 12:06 AM
Ok, here is an idea for the texture. Has some limestone coloring and dirt coloring, while remaining somewhat dark. :)


04-05-2012, 04:19 AM
Looks good Inriconus, I like the texture. I'd just point out, however, that the dirt layer you've done is too thick and most of the "brown dirt" should actually be white/grey rock. On a karst landscape you get 1 metre of soil or so, rarely 2. Where you get farming and settled communities on karst, the landscape becomes littered with stone walls, cairns and piles, and all the houses end up built of stone, because farmers keep pulling stones out of their soil to make arable land (usually at the bottoms of depressions and such).



Example more:


And the entrance to a really pretty cave nearby, on wikipedia, where else (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Entrance_to_the_%C5%A0kocjan_Caves.jpg). More of the Škocjan caves. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%A0kocjan_Caves)
Some more pretty karst pictures (nicer than on the English wikipedia, if you ask me). (http://sl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kras)

P.S. - I actually live on river/lake poop. A 20-30m thick layer of gravel and conglomerate over more than 70m of fine clay. The clay was only discovered when they started drilling for groundwater to use for heating and instead of river deposits they found ... clay. And more clay. But there's karst nearby ;) it just sticks out of the gravel a lot more.

04-05-2012, 09:19 AM
Of course, but as I said: this was only meant for an idea, not meant for accuracy ;)

04-06-2012, 06:30 PM
How about this?


04-07-2012, 02:58 AM
It looks good to me, the texture works pretty well to make the blacks less intimidating.

04-10-2012, 01:47 AM
This is my favorite of all the maps competing with mine for the challenge. As a former caver, I like the side-view elevation of the caves. Reminds me of crawling around Marengo Caverns in Indiana.

Cunning Cartographer
04-10-2012, 03:56 AM
This is my favourite so far, really interesting idea.

04-10-2012, 01:53 PM
Lukc and Inriconus, thanks very much, that was a really good idea and the photo worked perfectly.

Yospeck, thanks. :)

BigBlueFrog, you used to be a caver? Do you think the names here are OK? It was hard to get a handle on plausible cave names...

I'm not sure about the colour inside the caves anymore, either. Hmm. Maybe a touch darker.

04-10-2012, 03:53 PM
Cave structures that are created by flow are usually shades of rust and cream colors, as the limestone is colored by iron oxide. However, I've seen just about every color of the rainbow underground, as various minerals and salts change the coloration (always muted though - no jeweltones). Names are whatever people feel when they see the room, and your "Back Breaker" is exactly the kind of name I'd expect. I've crawled through tunnels called "the Birth Canal" and "the Crusher" and if you look at maps of Mammoth-Flint cave in Kentucky, you'll see that there are all kinds of vaults, ballrooms, hallways, etc.

If you do a Google image search for "cave interior" (http://www.google.com/search?q=cave+interior&hl=en&newwindow=1&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=oEi&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=Jo-ET8HPKuLv0gHwhpGrBw&ved=0CCQQsAQ&biw=1615&bih=921) and ignore the false-colored flowstone that is common in commercial cave tour operations (think Rock City) then you'll get an idea of what the colors are.

04-10-2012, 05:30 PM
Haha, thanks. My mineralogy classes have solidly beaten into me the set of chromatic possibilities here -- I know you can get more or less anything you want out of limestone with appropriate impurities. :) I was more thinking about what it looks like on the actual map, and whether I ought to introduce some variegation into the shading within the caves; or whether that would be too visually confusing.


04-10-2012, 05:44 PM
Now that's a clever use for the blots shapes, you've got my vote Octopod!


04-10-2012, 05:56 PM
I think if you used the cave wall texture just around the edges, really faint, it might work. That way it would look like the texture gets more faint and hard to discern the farther back in the chamber you're looking. I don't know. It might work.

04-11-2012, 02:06 AM
Yes, I'm with BigBlue on this one, it might work - possibly interspersed with a big fuzzy stalagmite or column or stalactite or grand piano in the background ... :)

04-15-2012, 05:31 AM
I vote for this.
The concept just blows me away :)

04-15-2012, 05:53 PM
Try again? This has a texture in the cave interiors.

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04-15-2012, 06:33 PM
I like the textures, but perhaps they're a bit too dark ... just visually, there doesn't seem to be enough contrast now for my taste.