View Full Version : HQ ruins

03-29-2013, 11:11 AM
First off, I'm not entirely sure if this is supposed to be here or in city mapping. If it's in the wrong thread, feel free to move it. Thanks.

So this is a sketch for my next (attempt at a) project. It's a ruined fort, abandoned for who knows how many years, if not centuries. It was recently found and claimed by a group of adventurers. The lighter green is the forest and trees surrounding the ruin. The blue is, obviously, some sort of shallow stream that provides fresh water to the adventurers. The black and brown are the ruins and new, wooden structures for defense respectively. The dark green is a path that formed due to the coming and going of the people who now stay there.

The entire clearing can be crossed in a matter of minutes so the place is not big at all. With about twenty adventurers the entire ruin is full.


I did have some questions though. I've got one tree tutorial but that's for large overland maps, here it would look more like ugly shrubs. So I'd like to ask you guys if you have any good ways to generate some close up trees. And while I'm at it a tutorial for ruin like stones/walls would be nice as well.

Oh right, I work in GIMP only but I can probably turn a PS tutorial into a GIMP one in my head.

Thanks in advance.

03-29-2013, 10:39 PM
So, I decided to make it slightly bigger. I see it now to be between 600 and 800 mē and can comfortably house around 50 people. I'm really bad with dimensions so if this is incorrect or impossible, please let me know.

I added the forest, dirt and undergrowth to the sketch. The first one is with the sketch for the river and ruin, the second in is just the clearing, to give some sort of an idea for what is going to be added later on. I'm still looking for some way to make the trees look bigger. Would making the Drop Shadow longer help? Comments are most welcome.

Christie Shadow
03-30-2013, 06:24 AM
I'm not used to working with GIMP or PS, but have you tried a Texture layer in PS? I know some have used a Cloud layer for trees.

03-30-2013, 06:53 AM
My knowledge of GIMP is already severely limited. My knowledge of PS, besides the name, is non existent. I do generate the trees in GIMP with a noise cloud.

Also, I'm trying to come up with some sort of a rocky texture. Once again, any tips?

Looking for something a la http://www.worldofstock.com/slides/NEA1454.jpg

03-31-2013, 03:53 AM
Added the ruin after messing around with some of the effects to find something I like.

The stone texture is a combination of a generate grid and a mosaic effect overlayed on a 20% and 40% grey color. I kinda like it as it gives the sort of medieval vibe I wanted. The stream is a little... I don't know. It's too flat to my liking so I'm trying to find a way to make it look deeper.

03-31-2013, 05:57 AM
Hi there - I think that looks pretty good.

Your river needs some shading along the edges. I did this real quickly on the example below - just use the black paint tool and the smudge tool and make sure the final shading layer fades INTO the river but is SHARP to the green banks. This creates the illusion of height. My example here is not very good at all (a bit black and clunky - you can be more delicate). Also you might want to reduce the saturation of the your blue colour a little.

As for your forests, they are ok but you can get a better effect: do a google image search for aerial views of forests, then use a good one in your image. Get it to the right size and then copy/paste it and fix up the seams until it covers the entire image. Then use the delete tool to remove the bits you don't need to be forested. I include an example in the top left.


03-31-2013, 09:05 AM
Thanks for the tips jack. For the stream, it's really undeep so which way should saturation go? Up or down?
I managed to change the trees, which look much better now. Thanks for that. The stream however is bit more of a problem. I attempted to make it look blacker around the edges as you said and it has somewhat an effect but I'm not sure about it.

03-31-2013, 02:09 PM
Your water is better - you can perhaps try reducing the saturation (the blue-ness) a tiny bit more, and increasing the dark edges slightly, but it does look good. The forest is much better - well done - though to my eyes it is a little 'metallic' (caused by the high-contrast noise). If you reduce the high contrast it might decrease the metallic look and make it sit a little better.

03-31-2013, 08:43 PM
I managed to find how to change the saturation and contrast in both layers so it now looks something like this:

Never mind the next bit. I managed to find it. Apparently my forest mask was a little off and didn't focus on the edges so it didn't color them, leaving them grey. I'm still not happy with the stream, however. It seems too... flat, like I used paint to add it. (no offense to any paint masters out there)
The only problem I have now is that at the edges of my forest there is this grey... something and it bothers me to no end as I can't seem to get rid of it. It looks out of place, to put it nicely.

03-31-2013, 09:41 PM
i was seeing the progress till i get locked and blind after Jack's tree tips. I guess you have to use it.

03-31-2013, 10:09 PM
What do you mean locked and blind? The tree tip Jack gave me made the forest more realistic then the bumps I had before, imo. The bumps look very good on large region or world maps but for this I don't think they're very useful.