View Full Version : *** March/April Challenge VOTING - Ink blots ***

04-16-2012, 01:31 AM
It's that time again to place your votes for our Lite challenge entries.

The challenge this time was to use the supplied image of "Ink blots" to create a map of some sort.


We have 8 entries so that allows us to have 1 vote each, choose wisely. Although there can be only one winner remember to give reputation to all entries you enjoyed so they can feel your appreciation.

The winner will receive a fancy silver lite compass award.

The thumbnails are here for your viewing pleasure:
March/April Lite Challenge Thumbs (http://www.cartographersguild.com/forumdisplay.php?84-Current-Lite-Mapping-Challenge-Thumbnails)

Poll closes in 5 days. Good fortune to everyone who entered!

04-16-2012, 02:33 AM
I have to admit this month's lite challenge has made voting very hard for me - all the entries are fascinating, interesting, different and well-made. They all have something to recommend them. I'd write up a more detailed review of all the works, but I'll keep that for later. So, for now, congratulations to all the participants!

EDIT: OK, it's later. I, too, voted for Octopod's caves. All the maps had something to recommend them, but to my mind the caves made the best use of the blots to create a map that is both a bit fantastic and eminently plausible. The blots become an inherent part of the map, they fit in perfectly and yet a person looking at the map on its own would never see them. Also, the trees on top were really cool and it felt like a long time since I'd seen a nice fantasy map drawn side-on.

04-16-2012, 03:13 AM
Gave my vote to the legendary waterfalls. Itīs a great idea and stirs a kind of "fear" in me. Those holes are vast and lead down to unknown depths. The pastel tones and rough strokes give the things a mysterious aura. In short I like it ;)

04-16-2012, 03:50 AM
All great entries - I love the diversity. I voted for Waldronate. Getting such beautiful mountains in FT / Wilbur from a given silhouette (rather than a random generation), is just incredible. A tutorial would be nice too :)

:: Edit :: I've just seen you've written a tutorial! YAY! Thanks Joe!

erm what happens in.....Jockich? (http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/jock itch):)

04-16-2012, 04:10 AM
Yeah this was a tough one. There were at least two entries that I wanted to vote for. In the end I went with Troedel's hand drawn map which was very nice. Great job everyone though.


04-16-2012, 09:15 AM
Voting, especially where we can only give 1 vote, is always tough. My 3 favorites are Bridges over Troubled Air, Lostwater Caves, and Valma Islands, but lots of goodness in the others as well.

04-16-2012, 11:40 AM
What can I say. I love fantasy style maps. One vote is tough. Some the these maps were really good and way outside the box! Caves, sky-top bridges, lost Starships... Great job to all. I guess you all passed the "Ink blot" test ;)


Blaidd Drwg
04-16-2012, 11:54 AM
Tough one! It was a bit of a tie between Bogie's and Octopod's, but I went with the latter in the end.
Props to all the contestants! :D

04-16-2012, 12:12 PM
I agree with the rest - I was bummed to only be able to vote for one of them. In the end after I had reasoned over each of them I let my gut decide and went with the one that gave me the most interesting feeling inside.

What follows is just my thoughts as I tried to whittle them down so I could vote for one. It is just my opinions which don't matter a hill of beans in most cases. Like all of you I am still learning so if you listen to me and end up being terrible at this well, you get what you pay for :)

Mar-April Entry SAT-RECON CZAKO ISLANDS by Bogie: I was impressed by what was done just using a few layers and overlapping them. It does look very much like a satellite image. The Ocean water is a tad boring but around the islands and the islands themselves look very cool. Personally, I like to see a little more handwork in the art but this is a nice image. Keep up the good work.

March/April 2012 Lite Challenge Entry: Wreck of the ISS Titanic by Fury: What a cool idea. Thank goodness for the inset though because it was a little hard to see the ship in the larger picture until I knew what it was shaped like (not unusual for a crash site I suppose). For me I just felt like the provided shapes were not capitalized on as much as with some of the other entries.

March/April 2012 Entry - Ocean's End: The Legendary Waterfalls by Inriconus: I really like the feel of this, the brush strokes and mistyness of it all are just great. I could drop this as a location in my RPG world and just go with it. There is a story to be found here and it appealed. Beautiful yet eerie. What creatures ply these waters and what happens if you go over the edge of one of those holes? I had to vote for this one.

March/April 2012 Lite Challenge Entry: Ritradenix's Lair by Joshua: Would have liked to seen it completed as it has potential. Oh well, it happens, hope to see you in the next one.

March/April 2012 Lite Challenge Entry: Lostwater Caves by octopod: Another great entry. This one could have received my vote but I would have liked to zoom in on it more and seen more variety in the soil layers. All in all however this was a fantastic job.

March/April Lite Challenge Entry - Bridges Over Troubled Air by TheBigBlueFrog: I love the viewpoint of this one and it looks fantastic. I almost voted for this one because it kind of gives you vertigo but I would have liked more detail on the land areas. As it is they are just grassy looking. I was wondering why would there be bridges between plain patches of grass? Love the perspective and the faded out planet below though. Just excellent work, I really hope we see more from you in the future as well.

March/April 2012 Lite Challenge Entry: Valma Islands by Troedel: This was another excellent entry. It's the basic fantasy map and covers the spirit of what we do here everyday. I could see this in a children's book which means it's a great quality map. I think if some of the other out of the box takes on the Ink blots hadn't come out quite so well this would have taken it.

March/April 2012 Lite Challenge Entry: CSU Johnsondale's New Found Lands by waldronate: Obviously, way cool mountain ranges. I don't know how to get much myself from Wilber so I'm impressed. The water is kind of boring to me but it does look like a lot of the atlas maps you find out there. I think I would have liked to have seen this developed a bit more with locations and stuff. It does make me want to go revisit Wilber again and see if I can figure out how to make mountains like that.

Wonderful job everyone, you make these challenges a blast to watch and be a part of. Congratulations to whoever wins this round.

04-16-2012, 02:17 PM
Hard choice. I think it should be a tie between two of them. I ended up voting for Octopod's map, it is just a neat idea and gives a sense of wonder. A VERY close second would be Troedel's map, I love painted and hand drawn maps. I had to choose one though and I thought both had great features, so it was more of a coin toss between the two.

04-16-2012, 02:27 PM
March/April 2012 Lite Challenge Entry: Wreck of the ISS Titanic by Fury: What a cool idea. Thank goodness for the inset though because it was a little hard to see the ship in the larger picture until I knew what it was shaped like (not unusual for a crash site I suppose). For me I just felt like the provided shapes were not capitalized on as much as with some of the other entries.

Eh, the concept can only be taken so far :)

While the 3D perspective differs from the perspective of the ink blot image, it is an exact match because it was loaded as a heightfield map. Look for the smallest ink blot dot and it can be found rendered. Hope no one thinks this was a cut and paste :) It took 3 hours to render and several tries before that to get it right, not to mention having to create the shaders first.

Got 4 reps for this so far (thanks) which didn't translate into votes but then I'm even losing to a cut and paste :blush:

04-16-2012, 05:01 PM
That's the unfortunate thing about the voting process where everyone gets just 1 vote. You could have been a bunch of people's second choice and still never get a single vote. As far as how much went into making a map I have learned to never make assumptions. For example, my map might just look like a picture to some people, but it was several hours of layering together, and then shading in, lighting effects from about 8 to 10 random texture pictures.

04-17-2012, 12:23 PM
@Fury - Bogie is right that we tend to have blow outs when there is only one vote. That's why we like it when there are a lot of entries, so we get more votes. It could be just one little thing that captures the eye and that piece gets all the votes. It may only be a tiny bit better than the rest but that's all it takes.

Also, just in case, I didn't think your entry was "a cut and paste" and sorry if I gave that impression. By the same token I did not mean to infer Bogie's was either. It takes a certain skill to use layers correctly to pull that off and it is something that has taken me quite a while to get down myself. I think everyone in this community likes hand drawn/painted stuff over cut/paste.

I don't think you are offended or anything but maybe I can explain myself a little better:

What I meant by my comment regarding the shapes on your piece was that I found them harder to see. Now maybe it's my crappy eyesight or the settings on my monitor but the base shapes seemed more of a background to me. My critiques on these things are just little nit picks because that's the only way I can get myself down to one vote. I feel it's only fair if I can share what went on in my mind while determining where I cast my vote because otherwise there is no feedback. I have lost a bunch of these challenges but the only times I really learned anything about how my stuff was coming across was when someone actually explained what pathetic excuse they had for not voting for me :)

At times I have felt frustrated that the feedback didn't come until after the fact but I understand that sometimes life keeps folks busy and they may only have analyzed things when it was time to vote. I guess late feedback is still better than none, eh?

One of the special things about your picture is that I feel it's the only real science fiction entry in the lot.

I expect you will get a lot more rep in the days to come and as the challenge voting ends. I sure hope to see more of your work in future and that goes for all of you.

04-17-2012, 07:49 PM
I agree on the tough choices... But <i>Ocean's End</i> invoked a sense of, "How on Earth..." Only in a very good way. It's something I'd love to see but would be somewhat terrified to, simultaneously. It defies being, but the beauty of it brings it right back home. I suppose I love epic, dangerous, but lovely things too much to not vote for it. :)

Sorry for not finishing mine. :( I haven't touched a map in a while. I started a new job (thank goodness!) so I've been really busy, and then I decided to spend free time on different arts. Painting, mostly. Coming back to learning cartography soon, though. :D

04-17-2012, 08:25 PM
Hey if you are up for it take a picture so we can see what you have been painting. I know this is a Cartographer's guild but we do from time to time like to see the other things our members can do.

04-21-2012, 08:09 PM
Congratulations Octopod, great map!

04-22-2012, 07:25 AM
Congratulations Octopod and well done!

04-22-2012, 01:02 PM
Congrats, Octopod. I was on vacation when the voting first ended.

Thanks, Jaxilon, for your comments.

04-22-2012, 02:56 PM
Congratulations to Octopod on his excellent win for this challenge. He is the new owner of a shiny silver compass. Wear it with pride!

At least he is if I did the pinning ceremony correctly :)

04-22-2012, 04:00 PM
Congrats! Nice job!

04-22-2012, 10:30 PM
Congratulations Octopod!


04-23-2012, 09:57 AM
Congrats on your well-deserved medal!