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View Full Version : June/July Lite Challenge Entry - Celtic Hill Fort



Seraphine_Harmonium
06-24-2012, 04:08 PM
This is only a piece of what the map as a whole will be. It will be part of the keep, surrounded by all the trappings of a Celtic Hill fort.

I hope I can make this look right. I wanted to make sure I got a WIP in, just to commit myself to actually doing this challenge.

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Chashio
06-24-2012, 06:44 PM
That left cylinder looks like one of those trash cans with a flip lid at the moment. And, connected in turn to everything else, it looks like one of those multi-simple machine things that I can't remember the name of. You know, where a ball rolls down a ramp and lands on something that flips up and sets off something else which releases the mouse that eats the cheese on a string, etc, etc, and eventually turns on a light bulb or something? But it could also be a part of a keep. I'll enjoy watching this progress. =)

LindaJeanne
06-24-2012, 09:36 PM
Looking forward to seeing where this goes!

Seraphine_Harmonium
06-24-2012, 09:48 PM
And, connected in turn to everything else, it looks like one of those multi-simple machine things that I can't remember the name of. You know, where a ball rolls down a ramp and lands on something that flips up and sets off something else which releases the mouse that eats the cheese on a string, etc, etc, and eventually turns on a light bulb or something?
You're thinking of a Rube Goldberg Machine. It won't be one of those when I am done.

Chashio
06-24-2012, 11:12 PM
That's the one. I know, I know, it's a keep. But it's fun to think of other possibilities while you can. I think it's fun anyway.

Seraphine_Harmonium
06-25-2012, 11:16 AM
Actually just started over completely. Then lost most of it due to a GIMP crash. Then went back and did it better than I had the first time. Still a few things left to do.

### LATEST WIP ###
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My biggest problem at the moment seems to be with the Palisade as it slopes down the hill. It might be as simple as playing with sizes, but right now the universally equal size of the stakes makes the top of the hill and the bottom of the hill look like they are on the same plane. I need to find a way to fix that. And to just generally neaten up the image.

Chashio
06-25-2012, 01:18 PM
Pretty =)

The scale tool, if you select the palisade from the top of the hill downwards (or in more sections), then drag the 'center spot' of the tool higher or lower before scaling, you may be able to adjust the heights of the posts somewhat easily. Maybe. Alternately, if you just select the top halves of the posts and squish them down with the scale tool. It's looking nice overall!

LindaJeanne
06-25-2012, 04:54 PM
Pretty =)

The scale tool, if you select the palisade from the top of the hill downwards (or in more sections), then drag the 'center spot' of the tool higher or lower before scaling, you may be able to adjust the heights of the posts somewhat easily. Maybe. Alternately, if you just select the top halves of the posts and squish them down with the scale tool. It's looking nice overall!

The problem is, the isomorphic projection forces everything to be at the same scale, regardless of distance :). SH isn't trying to figure out how to scale the objects -- but how to indicate distance despite the fact that the challenge doesn't allow the use of perspective.


SH -- when I looked at it, I immediately saw the hill as a hill -- I think the diagonal shaded portions do a good job of given the impression of the elevation change.

Seraphine_Harmonium
06-25-2012, 05:51 PM
SH -- when I looked at it, I immediately saw the hill as a hill -- I think the diagonal shaded portions do a good job of given the impression of the elevation change.
Thanks. Then maybe that's all that needs to be done with that. The only other thing I can think of is to remove the portion of palisade along the path from the top of the hill to the bottom. The idea being to have the two separate areas indicate the change in elevation.

Seraphine_Harmonium
06-26-2012, 02:16 PM
Added a gatehouse, a well, and some shadows. I think I may have gone a little overboard with the wood color/texture on the gatehouse, so I'd appreciate feedback. I also don't think the castle shadow looks right, so I'll have to go back and fix that.

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Chashio
06-26-2012, 03:23 PM
Sorry about before. I don't know where my brain went. But I like the gate colors, though you might grey it down a bit if you want it to look more weathered.

Bogie
06-26-2012, 04:29 PM
Nice work. I agree, the gate house needs a little less color saturation. The shadows are fine unless you are looking for perfection, in which case you need to somewhat match the shape of the shadow with the tower's roof's peak, also the alignment of the shadows is not the same on all the buildings. A couple are more south direction while most are southeast. I would not have noticed if you didn't ask, but I am not as particular as some people are with those details.

Seraphine_Harmonium
06-26-2012, 08:14 PM
Nice work. I agree, the gate house needs a little less color saturation. The shadows are fine unless you are looking for perfection, in which case you need to somewhat match the shape of the shadow with the tower's roof's peak, also the alignment of the shadows is not the same on all the buildings. A couple are more south direction while most are southeast. I would not have noticed if you didn't ask, but I am not as particular as some people are with those details.
Yeah, I will work on those. I also realized I left my ISO-grid off when making the shadows. Switching that back on for a while would certainly help make the alignment more uniform.

Seraphine_Harmonium
06-27-2012, 04:43 AM
Ok, update! Fixed the shadows, toned down the saturation on the gatehouse, and added a forest in the background.

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Jaxilon
06-27-2012, 09:59 AM
Nice going. You are showing very well how these forts tend to be and good job with the shadows too. I think the base (grass) needs some more sort of texture so it integrates more with the buildings and whatnot. For some reason it looks to me like compared with the rest of the things (trees, walls, buildings) it's too flat which makes it look like everything is just pasted on top of it. If that makes sense you might be able to read my mind :)

Keep up the good work.

Lyandra
06-27-2012, 11:21 PM
This looks great so far!

Seraphine_Harmonium
06-27-2012, 11:50 PM
I think the base (grass) needs some more sort of texture so it integrates more with the buildings and whatnot. For some reason it looks to me like compared with the rest of the things (trees, walls, buildings) it's too flat which makes it look like everything is just pasted on top of it. If that makes sense you might be able to read my mind :)
I think I know what you mean. I think the grass is too flat too. I tried one or two things that didn't work at all. When I figure something half-way decent out (that doesn't clash with the established style too much) I'll post a picture.

Chashio
06-28-2012, 12:04 AM
Um, how about a grass brush? I don't know what gimp has, but ps has a couple of simple brushes that can simulate grass pretty well if you play with the spacing, scatter, size, value, etc, etc. Here, hold on a sec, and I'll see if I can upload a basic black/white jpeg you can turn into a brush if you want, if gimp doesn't already have it. ...


EDIT: The single lines are done with 100% opacity, normal brush; the big splotches are at 60% opacity, normal brush (but for going over what you have, multiply or overlay brush style might be better). Anyhoo, ... You might like it, you might not. Worth a try. =)

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arsheesh
06-28-2012, 05:11 PM
This coming along nicely. Your shading work looks good. Also, in addition to Chashio's suggestion, Torstan discusses creating grasslands in his Assorted Tips and Tricks thread.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Larb
07-01-2012, 09:33 AM
Yes, I was thinking of Torstans helpful tips thing regarding the grass to give it a bit more texture. Another method to add texture to an image (and which I (ab)use a lot) is to find a nice big high resolution texture of rust, paper, stone or something of that sort, and make it the top layer set to 7-10% overlay.

Anyway, this is coming along very nicely now!

Seraphine_Harmonium
07-06-2012, 01:37 PM
### latest wip ###
46323

Ghostman
07-06-2012, 05:16 PM
This map is shaping up nicely. The palisade looks particularly striking.

Bogie
07-06-2012, 11:51 PM
Looking very good!!

Chashio
07-07-2012, 02:04 AM
Whatever you did to the ground, =D
Adding the second gate house was a good idea, too; it really pops the hill. Very nice!

Blaidd Drwg
07-07-2012, 08:42 AM
What he said :)
And I like the shading on the motte. Beautiful!

LindaJeanne
07-07-2012, 06:14 PM
Love how this is shaping up.

Master TMO
07-08-2012, 01:07 AM
I liked the ISO grid you had in a prior version, but with a caveat that you shouldn't have it visible on the sides of the hill, as it throws the eye off perspective and makes it look flat, rather than on a hill (or it did for me). If you have the grid visible on the hilltop and grasslands, but not on the hillside, I think it will make it look even more three dimensional.

Seraphine_Harmonium
07-08-2012, 02:47 AM
I liked the ISO grid you had in a prior version, but with a caveat that you shouldn't have it visible on the sides of the hill, as it throws the eye off perspective and makes it look flat, rather than on a hill (or it did for me). If you have the grid visible on the hilltop and grasslands, but not on the hillside, I think it will make it look even more three dimensional.
Huh. An interesting idea. I will play with that and see how it works.

Seraphine_Harmonium
07-09-2012, 09:00 PM
### latest wip ###
46423

Seraphine_Harmonium
07-11-2012, 09:04 PM
I tried making new houses that are drawn in actual iso perspective, rather than just looking kinda sorta like they COULD BE. I don't think they all look quite right. The white ones at least need thicker lines in the corners, but might not fit with the others at all. I was trying for a little variety, but I'm not sold that it looks good that way. What do you think?

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Gidde
07-11-2012, 09:34 PM
I like the new houses much better than the round ones.

Seraphine_Harmonium
07-12-2012, 12:09 AM
I like the new houses much better than the round ones.

...The new ones are round too...

Blaidd Drwg
07-12-2012, 12:49 AM
Looking good! :)
One nitpick: isometric can be tricky in the sense that it's hard to tell sometimes whether objects are positioned behind eachother or above. See this picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:IsometricFlaw_2.svg
I have that problem a bit with the part of the hill with the castle on it and the lower ground behind the hill. Maybe you could push the woods back a bit by making them a bit lighter/more vague? Like atmospheric perspective used in paintings?

EDIT: hmm, it could be due to the grid as well. Because it continues through the pallisade, it gives the impression of flat ground. Maybe if you got rid of the grid in the background, it wouldn't be confusing anymore :)

Seraphine_Harmonium
07-12-2012, 01:24 AM
Looking good! :)
One nitpick: isometric can be tricky in the sense that it's hard to tell sometimes whether objects are positioned behind eachother or above. See this picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:IsometricFlaw_2.svg
I have that problem a bit with the part of the hill with the castle on it and the lower ground behind the hill. Maybe you could push the woods back a bit by making them a bit lighter/more vague? Like atmospheric perspective used in paintings?

EDIT: hmm, it could be due to the grid as well. Because it continues through the pallisade, it gives the impression of flat ground. Maybe if you got rid of the grid in the background, it wouldn't be confusing anymore :)

I could probably manage to fade-out the grid in the background, while leaving it intact on the foreground below the hill. Do you think it would help if the forest was blurred somewhat?

Ghostman
07-12-2012, 03:14 AM
The new houses do look to be better aligned to the horizontal plane than the earlier ones.

As for the height effect, maybe just use a different color for the gridlines on the hilltop?

Hai-Etlik
07-12-2012, 03:20 AM
To me the grid on the flat ground but not the slopes doesn't work. I'd either go with no grid, or, if you are up to it, trying to make the grid fit the terrain, something like this:

46475

Gidde
07-12-2012, 07:24 AM
...The new ones are round too...

True; I should have been more specific. I like the more complex ones as opposed to the only-round ones :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Blaidd Drwg
07-12-2012, 02:55 PM
I could probably manage to fade-out the grid in the background, while leaving it intact on the foreground below the hill. Do you think it would help if the forest was blurred somewhat?

Hmm, well. It took another look at it and I think Hai-Etlik has a very good point with the warped grid (I have no idea how to make one; maybe you can use his or download one somewhere?). Added benefit: it makes the slope more pronounced/visible.
Also, I think the problem is not so much the grid as the pallisade at the bottom of the hill. When it runs around the back of the hill, it disappears completely, giving the impression that it is either underneath the hill and fort (which is impossible) or that the slope of the hill is vertical there and the pallisade is built against it. Maybe if you show the tops of the wooden poles peeping out above the hill's edge, it will set the hilltop apart from from the woods behind it.

I'm not sure if you understand what I mean. I find it a little difficult to explain. I could do a sketch if you like?

Seraphine_Harmonium
07-12-2012, 03:17 PM
To me the grid on the flat ground but not the slopes doesn't work. I'd either go with no grid, or, if you are up to it, trying to make the grid fit the terrain, something like this:

46475

The idea in principle has occurred to me, but I am with Blaidd in that I have NO idea how to create that kind of warped grid.


I think the problem is not so much the grid as the pallisade at the bottom of the hill. When it runs around the back of the hill, it disappears completely, giving the impression that it is either underneath the hill and fort (which is impossible) or that the slope of the hill is vertical there and the pallisade is built against it. Maybe if you show the tops of the wooden poles peeping out above the hill's edge, it will set the hilltop aart from from the woods behind it.

I'm not sure if you understand what I mean. I find it a little difficult to explain. I could do a sketch if you like?
No, I think I get what you are saying. And I could try showing some of the slope in the background, to have the palisade show up behind.

Hai-Etlik
07-12-2012, 03:45 PM
The idea in principle has occurred to me, but I am with Blaidd in that I have NO idea how to create that kind of warped grid.

Well, I wrote this little Ruby program to make that image.




require 'matrix'

def height(x,y, r1, r2, h)
r=Math.sqrt(x**2+y**2)
return 0 if r>r2
return h if r<r1
return h*(1+Math.cos(Math::PI*(r-r1)/(r2-r1)))/2
end

# Isometric Projection
def project(x,y,z)
sr3=Math.sqrt(3)
sr2=Math.sqrt(2)
m=1/Math.sqrt(6)*Matrix[[sr3, 0, -sr3],[1,2,1],[sr2, -sr2, sr2]]

v1=Vector[x,y,z]

v2=m*v1

return v2[0],v2[1]
end

puts "<svg xmlns=\"http://www.w3.org/2000/svg\">"

r1, r2, h = 175, 450, 100

(-10..10).each do |i|
x=i*50
d=(-50..50).map do |j|
y=j*10

z=height(x,y,r1, r2, h)

project(x,y,z).join ','
end.join ' '
puts "<polyline points=\"#{d}\" style=\"fill:none;stroke:black;stroke-width:3\" />"
end


(-10..10).each do |i|
y=i*50
d=(-50..50).map do |j|
x=j*10

z=height(x,y, r1, r2, h)

project(x,y,z).join ','
end.join ' '
puts "<polyline points=\"#{d}\" style=\"fill:none;stroke:black;stroke-width:3\" />"
end
puts "</svg>"

Seraphine_Harmonium
07-12-2012, 04:10 PM
Well, I wrote this little Ruby program to make that image.

Unfortunately, my programming skills are nil, so this means nothing to me. I do everything in GIMP, so if there isn't a technique (or a Script I can download or something) that can do it there, I can't do it.

Hai-Etlik
07-12-2012, 06:37 PM
Unfortunately, my programming skills are nil, so this means nothing to me. I do everything in GIMP, so if there isn't a technique (or a Script I can download or something) that can do it there, I can't do it.

You could try using a displacement map though it would probably distort or blur the lines a bit.

Seraphine_Harmonium
07-15-2012, 12:39 AM
Tentative final update.

### LATEST WIP ###
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Blaidd Drwg
07-15-2012, 03:22 AM
Yay! It's lovely, well done! :)

Blurring the background has worked even better than I thought it would. It's like tilt-shift photography; it gives the impression of looking at a scale model rather than a drawing. Repped ^^

Ghostman
07-15-2012, 05:04 AM
The knotwork on the title is fantastic but makes the letters a bit hard to recognize. Could be easier on the eyes if they were given a slightly different color/shade.

Seraphine_Harmonium
07-15-2012, 03:43 PM
Ok, real final update. Recolored the knotwork around the letters, added a couple shadows I had forgotten, and gave a slight blur to the palisade behind the hill.

### LATEST WIP ###
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arsheesh
07-15-2012, 08:25 PM
That turned out quite nice Seraphine. Great job.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh