View Full Version : May Entry: Druidic Shrine

05-06-2008, 03:24 AM
This map is completely experimental, and I probably will be doing a different map for the entry.

Experiment is - the techniques that Ravs is doing with his map: no anti-alias, minimal colors, etc, is completely unnecessary to still create a map that falls under 75 KB and at 1280 x 1024 pixel JPG. The difference is maximum compression JPG file and the best compression method.

So here's a rather photorealistic Druid's Shrine, not unlike many other maps I've created yet this file (1280 x 1024, at 50 pixels per inch, 1 inch = 5 feet) is only 42 KB in size. My goal is create as large a map as I can get, so I imagine doing 1600 x 1200 or greater in size.

WIP so far... (if I keep this map, that is...) 8)

## latest WIP ##

05-06-2008, 05:17 AM
Wow, that's incredible. With my experimenting, I just couldn't see how it was possible to build anything at 75 Kb. Your post gives me hope!

05-06-2008, 07:56 AM
Nice map GP. I totally agree with you. The antialiasing is only going to make minimal difference. With PNG it would add a little but with JPG anti aliasiing would likely drop the size a little ! But this challenge is more technical than artistic. Knowing how to get an image compressed is more important than anything else including artistic merit. Its going to depend on the image but I would favour JPG but theres lots of maps that would be better under PNG. I would think that Xara would help out quite a bit on this challenge.

Again, nice example - ill start the thumbs even if this one changes.

05-06-2008, 01:35 PM
The trick here is that jpg compression is designed for photos (or photorealistic images).

It is horrible for diagrams. Ravs - you would probably get a better reproduction with a 2 bit gif on the diagram you posted.

-Rob A.

05-07-2008, 12:13 AM
Staying with the Druidic Shrine theme, and knowing that the final will be an extremely compressed JPG at or under 75 KB. I decided to go for the style that everyone seems to prefer for my stuff, hand drawn, colored in Xara.

Since this is more time-consuming, for the time being I'm creating one object at a time, a tree for now, will probably create 5 or 6 more trees, a bush or two, fallen logs, ground plants and other detritus. I want to create a interlacing of vine/root systems across the ground as well.

Once I complete the objects, then I'll actually hand-draw the ground SANS objects with a pathway, a creek, and an open glen area.

I was greatly impressed with Torstan's maps in Regional/World WIP Thread. So I'm going to attempt to use Dodge/Burn in the final color composite, before I save to optimized JPG. I might also try to work with the bump map layer in GIMP, using Dodge/Burn in the bump as well, then applying it to the final ground map.

Import back to Xtreme, place objects, drop shadows, complete composite then export to final format.

For now - a Silver Oak map object. (note: I realize this is 214 KB, but it could be useable in higher resolution VTT apps this way.) 8)

## Latest WIP ##

05-07-2008, 12:56 AM
Awesome tree GP. Once more your artistic talents leave me wishing I had more.


05-12-2008, 12:38 AM
For all intents and purposes, I'm completed with this challenge. Being that any furnishings and druidic stuff in this map - those would be map objects, something the user can place himself, no need for me to put them in.

However, I do plan to create some map objects to accompany this entry, that will not count as part of the entry, but as a means for truly "finishing" as a complete job.

I plan to create a Druid token, a Bear, some druid's furniture, and utensils, and maybe some cages for animals to heal within protected from predators.

Map is in at 71 kb - 1280 x 1024 at 50 ppi 8)

### Latest WIP ###

05-12-2008, 02:21 AM
And to really blow your mind, if you think you've got a grasp around this VTT requirements thing, know this the tight restraints to this challenge with 75 kb file size and all.

Other VTT apps prefer higher res PNG files for the maps. This is the case for the MapTool users. So I created this file for their uses. Note: they asked for 200 ppi, but at 128 feet x 102.4 feet (1" = 5' scale) that's a 27 MB file.

Instead, I created a 100 ppi file, but it still clocks in at 9+ MB.

In case you want the file for MapTool - here's a direct link from my site...


05-12-2008, 05:57 AM
That is looking seriously lovely, GP!

05-12-2008, 08:04 AM
I agree. A great artistic piece of work. I have snagged the hi-res version already and plan to work it into my next gaming session with Maptool. Thanks GP, as always.


05-15-2008, 05:59 PM
Note: this is officially not part of the entry, just a few add-ons to make more complete. Got varmints, well one varmint and a couple larger beasts.

Grizzly Bear, Elk, and a Raccoon. Plan to create at least a Druid, before I'm completely complete! :P

05-15-2008, 06:17 PM
mmmm.. Racoon is good roasted over an open fire... :D

Very nicely done... :D

05-16-2008, 12:25 AM
How about something more useable and interesting than woodland animals... the kind of "wolf" you don't want to run into. :P

05-16-2008, 03:32 PM
I really like this stuff - I have always been fond of hand drawn maps and your choice of colors bring this to life! Thanks for making the critters too -they will come in handy :)

05-20-2008, 02:30 AM
These are really great, and I especially like the raccoon and the spider, but ::whisper:: the elk's caboose looks kinda stitched on!