View Full Version : Brightstone Keep

07-13-2012, 09:07 PM
Brightstone Keep was once built to house and protect the miners who work in the nearby caves. It has since been abandoned and then resettled by a band of nefarious creatures led by an evil Orc cleric. This particular building has been reconfigured to house the slaves who are forced to work the mines and a troll who guards them.

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I plan on mapping also mapping out a general overview of the keep, but for now I just have the layout of the tower. (I should note that my overall approach to the tower was inspired by Bogie's entry in the last lite challenge).

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Made all this with CC3 and a whole slew of symbols snagged from the Dunjinni forums (mostly Bogie and Greytale I think - thanks btw). Comments and critiques are appreciated.

*I've attached updated versions that incorporate suggestions regarding wall texture and grid placement

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07-14-2012, 01:53 AM
This is an overhead view of the Keep. I still have some prettying up to do with it - but I think i've got most of the nuts and bolts in. In my head - the keep sits atop a plateau leading to higher elevation. So in the bottom of the pic is the low ground which leads to a rock ledge and man made ramp. At the far end of the keep is the entrance to the mine and another rock ledge that begins the rest of the mountain range. I hope this map conveys that - but any comments, critiques or suggesting on any of this is appreciated.


*Actually - now that I look at it in comparison to the other maps i've posted - I need to work on matching my ground colors/textures better

07-14-2012, 03:48 AM
Very nice - great lighting and I really like the ruts in the tower maps. The first two maps of the keep are quite excellent - I love the walls on this one.

For me, the only thing that jars a bit is the stone texture that you used on the tower and in the north curtain wall in the keep maps - it looks very modern to my eyes. I also think that the keep map would look better if you showed the other side of the curtain wall and perhaps a bit of the exterior; in fact you might even make the keep abut the curtain wall.

Your grid would look better if it was below your walls and furniture.

I really like the way you are blurring the ground layer as you are rising upwards, however I note that you are not blurring all the objects (instead I think you are making them more transparent), so the effect is not really working.

I downloaded your ground floor tower map and ran a blur on it to show you what I mean. I ran a Gaussian Blur of 12 on your map for the middle floor, then ran it a second time for the top floor. If you use these or do it yourself I think your map will look better.

Great work; I look forward to see more of Brightstone.

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07-14-2012, 01:06 PM
These are really very good. I agree with Jacktannery on the stone texture. I have no experience with CC3 as I use GIMP for everything but I find that a little blur or in my case erode can really make a stone texture "pop" regardless these are very nice and I am eagerly following this thread. :)

07-14-2012, 01:32 PM
Thanks for the tip on the stone texture guys (never really thought of that before - but it makes sense and should be a really easy swap).

The blurring for the tower was actually quite annoying - the problem that CC3 has is that if you use objects that are not part of their symbol sets (i.e. from Dunjinni or wherever) then you cannot use all the effects the software provides (like blurring). So my temporary solution was to try to create the illusion of a blur on the rubble, trees, rocks by adding a bit of transparency (really clear this is not working - especially if you look at my prison). I think there is a way that I can make those objects part of a symbol set (and thus use blur) - but I haven't really messed with it yet. Alternatively, I could do it as a last step in photoshop as Jack demonstrated. Either way, thanks for the comments.

BTW...JTougas I have been eagerly following your thread on the Adventures of Calan - I think its a really great story your developing and I find myself checking it regularly to see what happens to him next.

07-14-2012, 05:11 PM
Thanks :) (I find myself wondering what is going to happen to him next too... ;) )

07-15-2012, 02:27 AM
OK - so I incorporated suggestions regarding the wall texture and placement of the grid into the previous maps - I'm waiting to upload them until I get the blur issue taken care of. I tried using the magic wand in photoshop to only blur the background and realized that the best way to do it was to export the jpeg from CC3 w/o the title and scale bar...however, I'm wondering if anyone can point in the direction of some nice looking scale bars that can be created in photoshop?

I found this post - and although it serves the purpose, I was wondering if anyone knew how to make a more stylish scale bar. http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?9078-Using-photoshop-to-set-a-scale-marker&highlight=scale+bar

Aside from that - i've made some progress on the overview of the keep. I've attached two WIPs. One includes a series of hill overlay shadows. Right now i'm leaning towards the one with overlays (since it matches my plan to have the path leading to the keep beset by hills). But, I'm not sure if I just made it look like a big mess. Any input would be appreciated. BTW - the part of the wall that juts out into the keep is supposed to an overlook where archers can take care of unwanted visitors and beneath it is a stables. I'm also less than satisfied with the buildings I used...but they will have to do for tonight.

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07-15-2012, 08:28 PM
Here is my latest WIP on the Keep overview. I'm pretty pleased with it thus far - but any comments or critiques that help me make it better are appreciated.


Slightly modified version with a subtle texture beneath the tracks and moved the cave entrance to inside the fort - simply couldn't think of a plausible justification for why a fort would be built to protect the mine without including the mine entrance.