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Gamerprinter
06-19-2008, 04:58 AM
OK, I said I was out, but I've got a week to play with (client's out of town on business, so I'm temporarily free.)

Plan is to do a hand-drawn 3/4 view of a castle town. I've always been dismayed by city/town maps because you can't see the beauty of the structures, only a bunch of roofs. But a 3/4 view will let you see it.

I want to keep the town fairly small, so I don't have to draw too much in such a short period of time.

In order to get the perspective right, I created this in 3D using Nendo with the intention of tracing the outlines, then filling in the detail in pencil/pen. I'll probably do some subtle coloring in Xara to finish it.

Anyway, my 3D sketch to make my tracing from... 8)

The rear area of this castle town will have a pinnacle of rock with Castle Darkov at the top, accessed by a winding road leading from the street at the far right of this map view, rising to the castle over the center rear of the town...

ravells
06-19-2008, 06:43 AM
Looking good, GP. I had not heard of Nendo before but it looks like a great little 3d programme. I'm in complete agreement with your frustration about town maps suffering because the roofs are usually pretty boring and it's hard (I think shadows are the only way to do it) to emphasise varying heights - hence the decision in Stormlit Cloister map to get rid of the roofs altogether.

I briefly flirted with the idea of an isometric view, but then got very scared when I saw how much work and artistic ability was involved!

Which CWBP map is Castle Darkrovia in?

Gamerprinter
06-19-2008, 10:48 AM
Darkovia is in my first regional map, Qashya Mal. It is almost due north of Calishem, at the end of the steppe and the foothills of the Vahlvoska mountain range. Its the center of the Bloodstone Gem Market and the site of the Nosferatu Boyar-Prince, Casimir Darkov.

I'll plan to create a rich story with the Prince's rise and fall into his current state and state of affairs. 8)

GP

Nendo was originally developed by the Japanese Game company Squaresoft, under their flagship 3D app Nichimen Mirai (Mirai meaning - New Dawn.) Nendo was the subdivisional 3D modeler within the Mirai product. Nendo means "Clay". Its a very easy to use modeler, I use for almost all my 3D modeling needs, then export to .3ds or .obj format to use in my other 3D apps.

This view is a screen capture within Nendo.

Sigurd
06-19-2008, 11:06 AM
Cities are a real pain getting the detail but not spending forever.


Can you compare Nendo to Sketchup?

I notice that in the free version it disables saves and exports...


Sigurd

Gamerprinter
06-19-2008, 11:36 AM
Izware Nendo (who owns it now) offers the app for $49

Compared to Sketchup which free - no comparison. However as a subdivisional surface modeler, I think Nendo is great.

No other 3D modeling app gives me as much freedom to create organic models, animals, plants, monsters - the smooth capability after you model at a lower number of faces creates smooth and rounded shapes with great success.

Really I'd use Nendo to create my complex shapes and models then import to a more complete rendering application like Sketchup. 8)

GP

Gamerprinter
06-19-2008, 11:51 AM
Thread jack on myself...

Here's a complex, organic 3D model I created a few months back. It was modeled in Nendo, then exported to old Raydream Studio where I textured and rendered it. I used it as a map object in an overhead view, but here it is in an isometric view.

The Aboleth... 8)

jfrazierjr
06-19-2008, 12:08 PM
Thread jack on myself...

Here's a complex, organic 3D model I created a few months back. It was modeled in Nendo, then exported to old Raydream Studio where I textured and rendered it. I used it as a map object in an overhead view, but here it is in an isometric view.

The Aboleth... 8)

Very nice. Can you render it from over head and we can stick it onto Torstan's ship map in Maptool! That ought to scare some "ink" out of the players when they see that come up out of the water.

Joe

torstan
06-19-2008, 12:21 PM
Just what I was thinking. No secret that my current game throws the players against an aboleth with a fiendish kraken minion - hence all the water maps. That would be an excellent token to add to the game. Pretty please?

Gamerprinter
06-19-2008, 06:38 PM
When I first post my early hand-drawn map WIP for Darkovia, I will upload the overhead view map object of the Aboleth, for you Torstan. OK?

GP

Gamerprinter
06-20-2008, 01:50 AM
Torstan - here's your top view aboleth (200 ppi, 800 pixel sq. approx.) since aboleth measure from 12 to 20+ feet in length.

I'll probably post this in the Map Elements thread, as well...

End of thread jack! :D

GP

[Dang, I forgot to make this transparent PNG, meh... I'll fix it tomorrow...]

Gamerprinter
06-20-2008, 02:13 AM
OK, let's get back on topic. I traced my 3D perspective isometric view of the Castle town of Darkovia and started to color it in.

Once I complete this, I will hand-draw the mountain, mountain access road, and Castle Darkovia. Couple more days to finish this up, but I'm knocking this out.

I figure the size of this town is small enough, with several distinct structures that making it a useable map for RPG use, despite not being a miniatures battlemap.

Some back story: The Mountain Town of Darkovia is 789 years old, as old as it's sovereign - the Boyar-Prince Casimir Darkov (Nosfertu Vampire.) Having grown from the rustic outpost community and bloodstone mining claim into a wealthy, independant walled town second in importance to Calishem in western Qashya Mal.

Bloodstones are a "blood red" gemstone with the power of holding 50% more arcane charges when used in the creation of magic items, thus are a greatly sought after commodity by jewellers and wizards worldwide. Prince Casimir has a monopoly on this rare arcane enhancing mineral.

Having secured his down by location, defenses, defense forces and his own dark legends as a Lord of the Undead and established lucrative contracts with the leading merchants in Calishem, the Imperial Mongol House and outside connections across the continent.

The town is largely wealthy guildsman, merchant, jeweler, and military officer residents, primarily upper middle class and noble class, with a housed working staff. Buildings south of the Stirgloi River, beyond the walls of town, contain the lower classes of the community.

Gold Weighers, Goldsmiths, Jewellers, and Usurers (Money Lenders) dominate the rich economy of Darkovia.

The mines which produce Bloodstones are worked by slave forces, purchased from Mongol tribes own slave stock, these serve the Prince's thirst as well, as he does not prey on his own citizens (not generally anyway.)

WIP so far... 8)

### Latest WIP ###

Gamerprinter
06-20-2008, 05:43 PM
I finished coloring in what I'd already drawn and scanned. I placed some initial labeling. I plan to create the mountain, castle and access road tonight.

WIP so far... 8)

### Latest WIP ###

ravells
06-20-2008, 05:46 PM
Really superb! I'm glad you haven't abandoned us totally for your project, I love seeing your work.

jfrazierjr
06-20-2008, 06:47 PM
Very nice. I smell another badge/compass thingy coming your way...

Gamerprinter
06-21-2008, 04:33 AM
I never count on a definite win, especially with Rav's and RLucci's, among other great entries this month!

OK, I've drawn and scanned the mountain, access road, Castle Darkov and a few other structures to ornament the moutain side. Still needs to be colored in, but so far so good.

I think I'll add a few structures on the unwalled area south of the bridge - the commoners and lower class districts. And just hint at the environs surrounding the town of Darkovia.

WIP so far... 8)

### Latest WIP ###

Torq
06-21-2008, 04:58 AM
This is looking fantastic GP. I really like the font for the title. Is it a pre-made font or is it homemade?

Torq

Gamerprinter
06-21-2008, 05:02 AM
This is looking fantastic GP. I really like the font for the title. Is it a pre-made font or is it homemade?

Torq

Not that I can't create my own font design, but no this is Dreamscar a free TrueType font from Acidfonts.com.

I like using it for undead and wizardly maps.

Sigurd
06-21-2008, 12:45 PM
Its really very pretty GP.

I can understand what you used the render for but the highest compliment I can give you is that it has gotten better the more it was in your hands and the more it left the 3d app.

Nice feel.

Very convenient shape for a the bounds of the picture - but very nice feel.


Sigurd

Gamerprinter
06-21-2008, 02:06 PM
I may add some finishing details, don't know what that may be yet. Otherwise I am mostly done with this entry. I was thinking of labeling several of the major structures in town - Bloodstone Inn, Gemcutters Guildhall, Blood Swords (mercs of the Bloodstone trade), Mayor's residence and town courts, Abbey of Withered Light, and a few other locations.

The uncolored mountains behind the town and structures south of the town will remain uncolored.

And thanks Sigurd - yeah, I only used the render for maintaining perspective, I can get more detail faster by hand, then 3D modeling - it just makes for an easy work-around.

WIP so far... 8)

Gamerprinter
06-23-2008, 02:23 AM
Unless I think of anything else, I believe I am now finished with this map.

I didn't like the undetailed background, and I thought this map needed trees, so as a cheat, rather than drawing a thousand trees, I placed silohuette (however you spell that) layers of pine on a mountain side with areas of tranparency between to simulate a fog effect. I threw on the border just to frame it out.

Final Map... GP 8)

### Latest WIP ###

ravells
06-23-2008, 02:50 AM
Absolutely wonderful as usual, GP!

Gamerprinter
06-23-2008, 04:40 AM
Thanks, Ravs, as always! :D

A couple more tweaks - now I'm done! I brought the fog into the valley surrounding the town to soften the forest meeting the rivers and added a sky.

GP

### Latest WIP ###

Robbie
06-23-2008, 08:56 AM
Looks like your water layer is misplaced...its overlaying the roof of the church...other than that fantastic work!

Gamerprinter
06-23-2008, 11:38 AM
Looks like your water layer is misplaced...its overlaying the roof of the church...other than that fantastic work!

Thanks for noticing! Fixed it! :D

If I have the time, I do plan a couple more details now that I'm relooking at this map design. The line details in the castle mount, castle and road looks a bit more sketchy than the town below. I plan to tightly place cross-hatch or parallel diagonal lines into the mountain to give some better detail, which should also make the road look better. I will do an equal amount of detailing to the castle itself.

I also think I should add a few stand-alone pine trees. I'll do this tonight and I'll be done with this map for sure!

GP

### Latest WIP ###

Hussar
06-23-2008, 10:56 PM
Just a quibble.

The perspective between the castle on the mountain and the town seems off to me. The village is about a 3/4 view, but the castle is almost straight on. Just a thought. Love the idea though.

Gamerprinter
06-23-2008, 11:29 PM
Just a quibble.

The perspective between the castle on the mountain and the town seems off to me. The village is about a 3/4 view, but the castle is almost straight on. Just a thought. Love the idea though.

If you look at the first page of this thread you will see the 3D rendered view of the town level which I started with to reference in my hand-drawn version. Because the main town and surrounding walls are a flat plane, the differences in perspective is not as noticeable.

What I didn't show in the WIPs was the 3D rendered view of the town with a rough of the mountain, the road on the mountain (to maintain flat road surface without tilt around curves yet continuously rising), and the castle on top.

The 3D rendered view has the exact same perspective as in the drawing above. If you look at the towers on the walls surrounding the town, notice how the tilt of the towers on the west side lean to left, while the eastside leans to the right. The center towers are fairly verticle.

This is not a completely isometric point-of-view, its a 3D conical camera view at slightly above the height of the castle itself, therefore the castle is almost viewed at a horizontal perspective.

Creating a map based on true perspective angles, not typical aerial view nor a typical isometric view, in a hand-drawn style was my goal in this entry. 8)

I'm working on the detailing of the mountains and castle tonight, perhaps I'll post tonight, otherwise sometime tomorrow, before close of entry period.

GP

PS: here's a very rough sketch of what I mean by camera angle, this drawing is crude even for me, but it should get the point across. Think of your eye as the camera, and you see what it sees, got it?

jfrazierjr
06-24-2008, 12:20 AM
Thanks for noticing! Fixed it! :D

If I have the time, I do plan a couple more details now that I'm relooking at this map design. The line details in the castle mount, castle and road looks a bit more sketchy than the town below. I plan to tightly place cross-hatch or parallel diagonal lines into the mountain to give some better detail, which should also make the road look better. I will do an equal amount of detailing to the castle itself.

I also think I should add a few stand-alone pine trees. I'll do this tonight and I'll be done with this map for sure!

GP

### Latest WIP ###


This is super nice GP! 2 things:

1) how do the rivers/lake connect on the "back" side? Especially on the right side of the map, the water just seems to "drop off" and it looks a bit odd.

2) any chance of you putting color on the bottom of the map? Those cliffs on the bottom right side of the river look really nice and I would love you see you put a bit of color on them and the rest of the buildings "south" of the town proper.

Also, what Lic are you using for this? Ie, could I use it for personal use?

Joe

Gamerprinter
06-24-2008, 12:30 AM
Yeah, I always forget about the license thingy, consider CC licensed - use it for personal heart's content.

Without making the map wider just to show that this is a fork in the river, the Stirgloi flows from a valley further northeast of Darkovia, while the Bloodstone River flows through the valley seen above, from a cascading waterfall beyond view.

If you look at the first Qashya Mal map, Darkovia is on that map at the fork of the named rivers.

I really wanted this to be a cross between a map and an illustration - perhaps commissioned by the Boyar-Prince, himself, so he could glorify in his own domain and properties - pompous vampire that he is!

I'll square up the end of that river, when I make my final changes tonight.

Oh and in the foreground, I was thinking of inking lines suggesting blowing grass of the steppe and add bit more mottled gold and tan for color. Even thinking of including a merchant's wagon on the road itself.

GP

Gamerprinter
06-24-2008, 07:52 PM
Map of Darkovia is done, for sure this time. I ain't touchin' it no more...

Wind-blown grass was too small for scale, so I didn't include that. I added the pennant flags to the castle to give a touch more color to bring focus back to the castle from the background. 8)

GP

### Latest WIP ###

jfrazierjr
06-24-2008, 09:19 PM
Map of Darkovia is done, for sure this time. I ain't touchin' it no more...

Wind-blown grass was too small for scale, so I didn't include that. I added the pennant flags to the castle to give a touch more color to bring focus back to the castle from the background. 8)

GP

drooollll....

torstan
06-25-2008, 08:53 AM
I love the tree background. It gives a great impression of a small castle stuck out in the middle of a forbidding forest - very Czech or Eastern European. I love the style. Good map.

Gamerprinter
06-25-2008, 07:24 PM
Final version of the map - no changes, just some cleanup. That bit of fog on the right side crossing into the border, some white was peeking where color regions did not line up perfectly, especially around the river. Removed an element from the castle mount drawing that didn't line with the walls of the town below. All better now.

Someone mentioned on another site that the river looks kinda weird. Note its reflecting the sky.

At the start of the month, I didn't think I'd have time to participate. In the last week or so, I found some time and knocked this map out in about 10 hours or so. My Lair of Lhessadrak map was a better map, but I spent a good 30+ hours creating it, it got more face time and it shows.

Still Darkovia map is satisfactory for me, despite this lesser effort involved!

And as far as timing goes, my private mapping project client just got back from his business trip this morning, so I'm back on the clock - we'll see how much time I have available for next month's challenge. Maybe I can squeeze in a few more hours worth of effort.

GP

### Latest WIP ###

jfrazierjr
06-25-2008, 09:11 PM
At the start of the month, I didn't think I'd have time to participate.


And we are so glad you did!

Joe