View Full Version : May Entry: Fentor Cross Church

05-09-2008, 09:20 PM
Firstly before we start on my entry can I just point out that we're still doing the thumbnails for the challenge entries. Since there are a lot of new members entering this month I shall explain. After we had a lot of entries one month I made a script which logs in, looks at all the challenge entries, grabs the latest work in progress (WIP) image and formats up a web page. The link is usually in a post from me under the main challenge details but I will post it here too :-

May 08 Thumbnails (www.viewing.ltd.uk/Temp/CG/ChallengeTN/Challengers_May08.htm)

voila... Now at the time of posting theres a link to each entry but a lot of WIP images missing. The script needs to look for a tag which is the latest WIP image tag that you can put just before your image and it will snag it in the formatting. So as of writing, Sigurd, Melee Guy, terrain monkey, NeonKnight, GM's apprentice, and Redrobes (because I havent finished this post yet !) all need to put a tag in if they have an image to show.

Ill put one in just before my post but it is just ### Latest WIP ###. You need to put a new one in every time you put up a new image. The script snags the last one it finds.

Ok - my entry this month is Fentor Cross Church because if I dont win I still get a useful map for my co-op tile :)

I have been told that somebody is using Fentor Cross as their story base and it revolves around a church so I figured well thats my next map so might as well be a challenge entry too. I will leave the story for a while but it sounds intriguing with some shape shifters called Thrixs' Oddling Bunglers... (been on the booze too much I think :) ). Its not exactly a full campaign were talking here but ill take whatever I can get !

So Fentor Cross church is made of stone and is situated a little way from the town. I shall have to mark it up on my tile (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1854).

So time to add my wip tag and 74.1kb image...

### Latest WIP ###

GM's Apprentice
05-09-2008, 10:34 PM
Nice and useable map. This is one I'd like to see in all it's glory.

(going back to tag my map)

05-09-2008, 11:19 PM
I like how you added the Creative Commons licensing to the image. :)

05-10-2008, 07:17 AM
I like how you added the Creative Commons licensing to the image. :)All of the maps for the co-op stuff are supposed to be CC so I have been adding this to each map. I think its useful to mark up the map as these images seem to travel and then nobody knows whether they can use them. I went on RPGMapShare a few days ago and saw all of my maps there 'owned' by somebody else. I think I haven't been there so long that my account has expired but I marked those up the same so its still possible to know that you can use them without asking. The text takes up a bit of image memory tho ! When I did the base map which is the grass, walls, tiles and steps it came out at 24Kb so the 50Kb is all in the little bit of details like the text, chains, pews, chests and so on.

For GM's Apprentice, there really isnt any more glory to see for this map. It was designed and built for the 75K limit so I had to limit my use of using more fancy textures. Theres some jpg artifacts around a few bits like the chains and text which would look a lot nicer but its essentially the same. Ta for wip tagging - ill rerun the script now.

05-12-2008, 12:59 PM
I went on RPGMapShare a few days ago and saw all of my maps there 'owned' by somebody else.
Steel Rat, that runs that site is very good about Copyright stuff so if you email or PM him, he'll likely make sure that you are given ownership of those images.

05-12-2008, 01:56 PM
Steel Rat, that runs that site is very good about Copyright stuff so if you email or PM him, he'll likely make sure that you are given ownership of those images.It wasn't a knock at him. He's a good chap. Its just that these things tend to happen even with the best of intentions. I have a lot of pencil maps there of old alternative Forgotten Realms towns which I said could be public domain as I see no value to them other than that of interest to other GMs and the others are marked up anyway - mainly because I use tokens which are in themselves CC so I figured that I ought to do the "share alike" bit of the CC agreement. Its probably the content management system he is using where my login has expired and its defaulted the user ownership.

05-13-2008, 08:35 PM
Hmmm it seems as though I am going to need a little more to keep up with the current ante.

I thought I would put some shadows in and liven it up a bit. I have also done a roof but this is not part of the challenge entry. It's just that I am going to need it on my map. To make life easier for VTTs I have made the roof as a clear background PNG. I am also including a microscopic html page to put the two together so if you don't have a VTT then you can still look at the result easily. Just put them all into a folder and click on the html file.

Running out of ideas to progress this further though I could make this about 60Kb and it still looks alright so theres room for more if I can think of it.

### Latest WIP ###

05-13-2008, 11:08 PM
If you're looking for ideas to detail it more, possibly a cloak or overcoat thrown over the back of a pew, maybe a couple books laying on the benches.

Not sure what else could be needed to liven up the scene a bit, maybe some sconces around the entry way for a lightsource on that end of the church? Just thinking something to break up the pattern might be nice.

If you touch up the steps with a thin black line to give more contrast they might be a little more clear. ATM they appear to be kinda fuzzy to me.

If you're not looking for suggestions, well... ;)

05-14-2008, 12:49 AM
Yes, I agree the competition is fierce.

Your floor seems somewhat dark up against the black walls - consider a lighter, perhaps marble looking with maybe carpets here and there to keep the pixel count down.

One of the things that stands out to me about Torq's map is the masterful use of depth in the composition. Jazzing up your altar, especially as it is such a likely fight scene somehow also might be useful.

Alternately, you could layer up your walls suggestive of the grand structure the building must be.

Anyway, just some ruminations from a novice.

05-14-2008, 02:16 AM
I really like this church layout. I had previously only looked at the thumbnail but when I took a proper look I really liked the layout. My favourite feature is the realistic wall and pillar layout hinting at real architecture and immediately giving it a context. I think there is a bit of a consistency issue between two types of art. The first exemplified by the altar, which has a drawn look with outlining, and the second by the sarcophagus and statue which have a photorealistic look. I think the tow could prossibly be brought more in line with each other. For me the layout would look better with a line drawn feel, so I would recommend "arting" up the photorealistic elements like the sarc.

This can be achieved by running them through a filter. I only really know gimp, but usinf that as context I would run a cartoon filter on it (not too strong) and then use the outline selection functions to give it a thin black outline to match the other objects eg. chests, table etc.

If you are going to have a building shadow on the outside, what about shadows on the inside. Churches are always fairly shadowy places. Maybe a few window glass shine throughs like the one attached. It is from the Dunjinni forunms.


05-14-2008, 01:32 PM
Thanks guys I need the ideas. So a lighter floor, some books, cloak, sconces and whatever else I can find, a little more definition on the steps too.

The altar is covered with that blue cloth. I started drawing it and thought - screw this, and got a blue towel out, threw it over a board and took a photo of it. I am so lazy. So there is a mix of photos, art, pen and ink, textures, renders the whole kaboodle. This is probably the reason why my maps never look as good as can be. Maybe I should go for a balls out 3D job next month and forget the 2D entirely.

I like the window idea - actually it was the original reason I started to put the shadows in. The map was a pure 2D job but to get the shadows I made a 3D version from the 2D map and then cut some windows out. You can see the three on the top easily but there are two more lit areas bottom right. Well I think I need to enhance them as its not all that clear and put in some coloured glass too.

Still got a while yet...

I'll sort out some color in due course but heres the window places.

### Latest WIP ###

05-14-2008, 03:12 PM
Really nice shadows. I think they create more depth illusion. Looks cool.


05-15-2008, 11:22 AM
This would be a great church to throw down on an existing map. Perhaps after the challenge is over, you could upload a version where there is no ground, Redrobes? This way we can place the church in our towns and plop the roof over it until needed. :)

05-15-2008, 11:37 AM
Sure, its for my Fentor Cross Area (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1854) which is the central region on the Thrubmorton Fens tile (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1805) which is in turn part of a region called Ansium (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1744) which is part of the Cooperative World Building project (http://www.cartographersguild.com/forumdisplay.php?f=55) that were running.

But feel free (well within the liberal terms of the CC) to rip and use for any other map area. I can do one with no ground if you like.

05-16-2008, 10:08 AM
Done a bit more with windows, extra books, lighter tiles, a little more detail on the steps and some more shadows.

### Latest WIP ###

05-16-2008, 12:11 PM
That stained glass shadow effect is just sick. Great job!


05-16-2008, 12:25 PM
I'm sorry, I can't help it. I have to ask whether you would see light patches from the windows on the grass outside? Obviously you do get them in the church as the light shines in through the windows. However for there to be light patches on the grass outside you would need a source of light inside the church shining out, and that doesn't seem to be the case. In anyway, the external and internal shadows should be different, unless the church has no roof. It looks very pretty, it was just bugging me. Right. Back to moving my own entry on rather than attacking other people's very pretty maps :)

05-16-2008, 12:29 PM
Obviously its the huge bonfire where they burn witches at the stake that is shedding light through the church windows and onto the grass... geesh... :D

05-16-2008, 01:19 PM
Torstan your quite right. Even if they had lights in the church then the shadows would not follow the sun shadow lines.

Should I just cut them out or mega blur them to attempt some kind of multiple light shadow thing. I reckon the real effect would be so small that I might as well just cut them out.

I should have done this map in full 3D I think.

05-16-2008, 01:30 PM
Blurred and lower intensity offside shadows...

Looking at it in JPG its lost a bit of the color there but I think thats more realistic.

### Latest WIP ###

05-16-2008, 01:36 PM

I'm beginning to feel my vote waver...sure, battling away on windswept heights has its appeal but I am beginning to sense...a great evil that must be clensed from Fentor's Cross by fire and sword!

Floor grunge maybe?


05-16-2008, 02:03 PM
I know if I was running a church, I'd make sure you saw a big symbol or statue as you walked inside the doors so that you knew exactly who's house you just entered. Maybe a symbolic pattern done in colored stone or a carved stone statue of the deity in question.. If it's an old church that has gone unused or is with a hidden evil, maybe some vines on the outside?

Looking good though RedRobes.

05-16-2008, 03:09 PM
*I'm not sitting next to the dead person..* :)

Coming together nicely Redrobes!

05-16-2008, 03:52 PM
I don't have any detailed back story about the church. I think we have established that this was around for a long time, something happened like a raid with fire on the unprotected thatch village. The village burnt down leaving the stone church which might have decayed a bit. Some time a short while later a new town was set up with the palisade and forts and the church was restored in its original location.

So I think for my map there would not be lots of evil and grunge but I did have a good idea. What I could do is make some more transparent PNG's like that of the roof which is for extras like floor grunge and changes to the church. At least show how you might be able to do that yourself.

I like the floor tile idea. Its just like Pyrandons roman tile floor thing. I reckon that would take me a while to do one of those tho.

05-16-2008, 04:49 PM
I have done this one. It was part of my 75K strategy not to have random noise stuff on the tiles so I know that by adding it its seriously going to take up most of the bytes. So this isn't part of my entry but I am adding the grunge map as a separate PNG to multiply with the map to add grunge. Also got a demo logo type thing. You could add any number of possible religious symbol types.

The map is 75K so shows what kind of quality loss you get. The PNGs are not lossy so you can take these and use them with the previous one to get a better look. I will prob upload a better quality version at the end anyway.

05-17-2008, 05:54 AM
That's an excellent solution. It's best to have a VTT map as game agnostic as possible so having a church that you can 'deity up' for your own purposes is great!

05-19-2008, 08:36 PM
Just looking around at everyones entries this month and theres some great stuff there. Then looked at mine again and noticed that one of the masks was a bit off which was causing unnecessary image degradation.

So this post is to fix that, post the map that is my entry and call it a day cos I know I am not going any further with this one - this is my final WIP.

I'll prob post a new thread of hi-res & lossless versions of entries after the vote since all entry threads get frozen.

### Latest WIP ###

05-19-2008, 09:15 PM
Fantastic Final Redrobes! *clamps hands*

But I bet you anything that you will end up tweaking something over the next few days. ;)

Betcha a silver piece. :)

05-20-2008, 05:45 AM
That is a great entry, Redrobes! I love the little touches like the chests, books and coffins.

05-25-2008, 06:53 AM
I'm pretty sure some foul evil will erupt from beneath that alter. Yep, one day.

This is an excellent map, although I know you have your doubts.

05-25-2008, 08:48 AM
Hey buddy,

Ur church look good, well good enough for a dark mess that is (which I like), but personally I would put real stone-like wall instead of the black one.
I think it would give it a more realistic feel that would go with the rest of it.

Anyway, I may still use it to kill one of my PC that a villain will soon capture. Just a little sacrifice to ... :?: >:) :D :P


Sea U,

05-25-2008, 09:11 AM
Thanks everyone,

Alu, I will post some better less compressed versions after the vote. All I would do for this is go to the ole CGTextures and look for asphalt close ups section :-


and pick one and flood fill that into the black area with a color match of 0.

A bit like this... (Note - this is not my entry)