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torstan
06-28-2008, 01:34 PM
So in homage to the new edition of D&D I am putting together an adventure for my group using 4e. I thought we'd keep the first one simple so I fell back on the old disused mine full of goblins. A short while after deciding that and I have a series of map layouts. As with the other ones I've put up today, these are really rough (with the first being the roughest of all).

Entrance to the mines:
4728

Upper Mine level:
4730

Lower Mine level:
4729

delgondahntelius
06-28-2008, 04:58 PM
watch out on those goblins ... that party from Wolfdell.... my first 4e TPK .... and it was goblins ... and it was the standard lvl 3 encounter... but I admit they had some bad rolls that night ... and I had some exceptional rolls.... so much in fact that if I had fudged anymore it would have been obvious that I was going to considerable lengths to keep them alive... but they had fun.. I had fun... and that's what its all about .. :)

I'm not sure what that first map is... but the other two look good... Scale.... would be nice :D

torstan
06-28-2008, 05:12 PM
Yep. I admit that first one is a bit of a 'note to self...' map rather than something anyone else could understand. all will become clear in time.

These ones have a scale - 1 square=5'

delgondahntelius
06-28-2008, 08:55 PM
Torstan... you are by far one of my favorite mappers on here.... keep up the good work... :D

torstan
07-09-2008, 09:14 AM
Okay, so I have the next instalment in my 4e game this evening so I am trying to get some maps out for it. Here's the mine entrance in line form:

5057

jfrazierjr
07-09-2008, 09:59 AM
Okay, so I have the next instalment in my 4e game this evening so I am trying to get some maps out for it. Here's the mine entrance in line form:

5057


It is amazing how you can take something that I have NO CLUE what it is in a sketch and turn it into such an incredible piece of art... Looking forward to how this comes out.

Joe

torstan
07-09-2008, 10:14 AM
Well, I changed the layout a lot from the sketch as a few things didn't really fit together. I'm having to change the mine layour as well. The lines for that will be posted next.

torstan
07-09-2008, 11:52 AM
Right, some basic lines for the inside of the mines. This is going to be a very basic set of maps tonight as I really have no time to colour these.

5062

torstan
07-09-2008, 12:03 PM
... and here's the lower level - accessed through a hole in the 'throne room' floor. It'll be more obvious when it's a little further along.

5063

Ghalev
07-09-2008, 01:12 PM
Groovy. I've been needing some raw dungeon maps to test out some of my revised dungeon-ink playground routines in Photoshop, so I snagged your first level to see how it would come out (since I hadn't really tested the routine on lines quite like these yet). Came out kinda nice! If it wouldn't be rude to do so, let me know and I'll post it here for your amusement.

torstan
07-09-2008, 01:17 PM
Please do!

Ghalev
07-09-2008, 01:23 PM
Okeydoke. Bear in mind that these patterns are optimized for print rather than screen, but here's a downsampled (144dpi) .GIF file that shows it pretty clearly on the screen, accompanied by a full-resolution 600dpi PDF version for print.

The method is pretty simple stuff:

(A) Convert dungeon map into a simple white-on-black map (white for open space, black for solid earth).
(B) Run a routine to blur out the edges and mark off the griddable areas (one-click Action).
(C) Drop it through a pattern, in this case a little home-jobby I keep around for Uresia projects (which is what this particular routine was built for).

So, very similar to how I do my island maps and such ... the main difference is the nature of the edge-blur, which I'm randomizing more heavily for the dungeons, and the grid.

Thanks for not minding me playing with your map. It's a good way for me to wake up (had a long night ...) :)

(Obviously, it still needs the full treatment: labels, perhaps a spiffy logo, etc - but even as a raw conversion of the map lines, it's still kinda nice) ...

torstan
07-09-2008, 02:36 PM
Well that's a lot prettier than my quick attempt:

5067

torstan
07-09-2008, 04:29 PM
Okay, and here's a very quick colour and dodge/burn on the outdoor map.

5068

... and here's a screenshot of it in use. The cliff was a skill challenge ... and they have just failed and caught the attention of the goblin sentry. The ranger is now hanging on 15 feet of rope above a 45 foot drop until next week when they get to roll initiative :)

Turgenev
07-10-2008, 01:58 AM
Ohh, nice work all around. This thread is inspiring some ideas of my own. Keep up the great work.

jfrazierjr
07-10-2008, 07:55 AM
Okay, and here's a very quick colour and dodge/burn on the outdoor map.

5068

... and here's a screenshot of it in use. The cliff was a skill challenge ... and they have just failed and caught the attention of the goblin sentry. The ranger is now hanging on 15 feet of rope above a 45 foot drop until next week when they get to roll initiative :)


Very cool. I assume this is three elevations from the shading? bottom and right at ground level, the cave opening on a small shelf level, and then up from the cave to the top of the "mesa" in the upper right corner right?

Joe

torstan
07-10-2008, 08:19 AM
Looks like the quick dodge/burn did the trick. That's exactly right.

jfrazierjr
07-10-2008, 09:01 AM
Looks like the quick dodge/burn did the trick. That's exactly right.


Ok, so one question: how far is it down to from the cave ledge to the ground level? Something about the waterfall and the size of the "island" in the middle of the river on the ground level strike me as off scale wise. My head just can't seem to wrap around it.

Joe

torstan
07-10-2008, 09:19 AM
Well, the 'island' is just a rock so the scale isn't that squiffy. However the cliff to the ledge with the mine entrance on it is 70'. Yes, that is a little high I know for a 1st level party (7d10 damage if they fall!) but they're surviving okay so far.

torstan
07-21-2008, 06:35 PM
I finally got a chance to go over this more carefully with cliff colours and a dodge/burn layer. I'm not 100% happy with the results, but here it is:

5397

C&C welcome as ever.

jfrazierjr
07-21-2008, 06:45 PM
I finally got a chance to go over this more carefully with cliff colours and a dodge/burn layer. I'm not 100% happy with the results, but here it is:

5397

C&C welcome as ever.

Acckk... Torstan, you got some madd skillz with da pen... I think my next(or perhaps second to next) map I will be trying to emulate your Dreestan(sp?) map style for the CWBP map that I have yet to touch. So that means you will have to be sure to give me plenty of pointers....

Joe

Redrobes
07-21-2008, 07:22 PM
Yeah thats looking nice. If I may suggest a few things. I think the snow is a little too smooth all over. It seems that when snow goes into a gradient it starts to break up and get little ridges over it. This looks like the sort of place where that would happen. Also I think lots of little icicles around the stream would be authentic too.

I was reading Ghalevs post too about how he uses these black and white versions and thats pretty similar to how I have been using stuff. What I do is blur B&W stuff up and then use the gray value to determine which and how much of each texture to apply - a lot like the map he posted. I think its a powerful technique.

Anyway, always enjoy looking at your maps. I find drawing snow scenes immensely hard work.

torstan
07-22-2008, 09:39 AM
I agree that the b&w stuff is very nice. I think I might have a shot at that for the mines area as I could do with trying some different styles.

I see what you mean about the snow. I'm not going to worry about the icicles though - top down icicles, how the hell do you draw that :) ?! I may come back and put some ridges in the snow to break up the blanket of white.

I've had quite a learning experience tackling these maps. The snow doesn't respond to dodge/burn at all so I've ende dup using one transparent layer set to multiply with black and a large soft airbrush to get the overall shadows in place. Then I do a detailed dodge burn layer over the top. With the shadows already in place it gives the dodge/burn overlay laye something to get its teeth into. It's the more broken cliffs here that caused the real headache. Not sure I really nailed it, but I'm going to set it to one side for a little while now while I do the internal mine maps.

@Joe: Happy to provide pointers. Ask away when you get onto it.

torstan
07-22-2008, 11:00 AM
Okay, took a slightly different tack with the abandoned mines interior. Please chip in with comments on the style.

5402

torstan
07-22-2008, 12:01 PM
Right, didn't like that so I decided to go the other way and to go a bit more hand-drawn again. Here's this version so far:

5403

ravells
07-22-2008, 12:09 PM
I love them both! I can't choose.....arrrrgh!

Steel General
07-22-2008, 12:53 PM
Though both are good, I like the second one better, looks more "parchmenty" :D

torstan
07-22-2008, 01:23 PM
Right then, try this one on for size.

5407

I went for a more desaturated rock colour and I'm now experimenting with the detailing.

Ghalev
07-22-2008, 02:40 PM
I was reading Ghalevs post too about how he uses these black and white versions and thats pretty similar to how I have been using stuff. What I do is blur B&W stuff up and then use the gray value to determine which and how much of each texture to apply - a lot like the map he posted. I think its a powerful technique.

Yeah, exactly so. I started doing it for a book I did for GoO back in 2000/2001 (long eons ago when there was a GoO to do maps for), and I don't think I'll ever be able to shake the habit. The most labor-intensive part (for me) is developing and perfecting the base gradients and patterns ... I get extra-finicky about it. the gradient method I'm currently using for dungeons took me over a year of fiddling to get it exactly how I wanted it, constantly tweaking the process by a pixel here, a pixel there.

Holy crud has it really been 8 years since I wrote that thing? Aieee. I am old ... ooooold ...

Anyway, since my specific target medium is the home laser printer, black and white offers a lot of advantages in both file-size and printer-friendliness, in addition to being the look I prefer for my own gaming.

torstan
07-22-2008, 04:56 PM
I'm definitely going to bother you for that technique in a bit. I can see the basic principles of how it's done, and I'll have a shot at it, but there's some subtleties I may need to ask you about. I never print my maps, so it's less of an issue for my own use, but definitely an issue for commissions.

Here's an update. I think I've settled on a style (more or less). The next stage will be to do some detailing of the contents, most of which will be placeable objects, but some of which will be part of the map itself.

5410

jfrazierjr
07-22-2008, 05:21 PM
I'm definitely going to bother you for that technique in a bit. I can see the basic principles of how it's done, and I'll have a shot at it, but there's some subtleties I may need to ask you about. I never print my maps, so it's less of an issue for my own use, but definitely an issue for commissions.

Here's an update. I think I've settled on a style (more or less). The next stage will be to do some detailing of the contents, most of which will be placeable objects, but some of which will be part of the map itself.

5410

Torstan, do you have the rubble lines on a seperate layer from the main walls outline? If so, I would like to see if you would upload the GIMP file as I want to give something a bit of a try.

How do you do the darkness around the outside (solid earth) of the walls? Are you using just a straight dodge brush?

Joe

torstan
07-22-2008, 05:39 PM
Its a dodge brush onto a 50% grey layer set to overlay. It's not quite finished yet. It's still a bit rough and needs some work. Here's the xcf (shrunk to 1000x1000 to get under the filesize limits)

5411

If that isn't the bit you need, the image layer that is listed as 'background' in this one is broken out into layers in a separate image file. It was getting a bit hefty so I had to flatten it before carrying on.

torstan
07-22-2008, 06:06 PM
Okay. I have stopped tinkering with the detail now. This is the base for the contents of the map and can serve as a basic deserted mine map before I go on to personalise it to the campaign I'm running (basically the next step is to throw goblins at it :) )

5412

jfrazierjr
07-22-2008, 08:44 PM
Its a dodge brush onto a 50% grey layer set to overlay. It's not quite finished yet. It's still a bit rough and needs some work. Here's the xcf (shrunk to 1000x1000 to get under the filesize limits)

5411

If that isn't the bit you need, the image layer that is listed as 'background' in this one is broken out into layers in a separate image file. It was getting a bit hefty so I had to flatten it before carrying on.

Bummer... You have probably tried what I am thinking about before, but in a nutshell, I was hoping to be able to get just the outline of the halls. What i was thinking of was selecting the "rock parts surrounding the cut out walls. Then turn that into a path and play with different stroke techniques. On one of the maps I did toward the end of the playing with mountains thread a few weeks ago, I did that on my ocean with a large fuzzy brush with high jitter to make my shallow water bits over top of the darker blue base and it turned out quite nice. Now that I have a few more brushes, I am going to play with some other techniques, including using smear and dodge/burn on a selection path to see how that comes out. Basically, I am wondering if the extra work of creating the path might give some more options further down the line of work...

Joe

torstan
07-23-2008, 04:20 AM
I see what you mean. No, that's really easy. I do indeed have the lines on a separate layer as that really helps to set up layer masks which are crucial for doing the shading.

I'd forgot about turning it into a path and stroking it. Good thought.

torstan
07-23-2008, 07:00 AM
Okay, I pulled out the rock area, selected it and stroked it with Gimp's default pencil sketch#2 brush with a .4 jitter. I used the selection to cut out the strokes that fell within the tunnels and set the whole layer to overlay. Got this result:

5415

Similarly with the same procedure and the galaxy brush with a jitter of .7 and reduced spacing, gives this:

5417

Both quite nice actually. I'm not sure I'll keep them, but its a technique I'll work with in the future I think.

jfrazierjr
07-23-2008, 08:16 AM
Okay, I pulled out the rock area, selected it and stroked it with Gimp's default pencil sketch#2 brush with a .4 jitter. I used the selection to cut out the strokes that fell within the tunnels and set the whole layer to overlay. Got this result:

5415

Similarly with the same procedure and the galaxy brush with a jitter of .7 and reduced spacing, gives this:

5417

Both quite nice actually. I'm not sure I'll keep them, but its a technique I'll work with in the future I think.

Cool! Glad you liked it. Like I said, I used it on a coastline one day. Here is the original:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=23293&postcount=9

And the one with more stuff done and where I stroked the coastline:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=23450&postcount=19

I know had I had the jitter set really high, but I am not sure what tool I used, I "think" I used the smear tool. I did this on a copy of the land layer, set it to overlay or soft light(I think??) and put it between the water layer and the land layer in a nice sandwich. I ended up really liking the wispy effect it made with the lighter shallows quite a bit, so will be playing with that technique some more.

Joe

jfrazierjr
07-23-2008, 08:17 AM
Okay, I pulled out the rock area, selected it and stroked it with Gimp's default pencil sketch#2 brush with a .4 jitter. I used the selection to cut out the strokes that fell within the tunnels and set the whole layer to overlay. Got this result:

5415

Similarly with the same procedure and the galaxy brush with a jitter of .7 and reduced spacing, gives this:

5417

Both quite nice actually. I'm not sure I'll keep them, but its a technique I'll work with in the future I think.


The galaxy brush one is really cool, but the pencil one at the top ROCKS.

nolgroth
07-23-2008, 09:15 AM
Haven't been keeping up like I should. Those maps absolutely rock Torstan! I love to watch how a map evolves with each iteration.

Steel General
07-23-2008, 09:19 AM
I actually prefer the one done with the galaxy brush (though both are really good), the pencil mark one tend to distract my eyes to much. But that's just me :)

RobA
07-23-2008, 11:59 AM
Okay, I pulled out the rock area, selected it and stroked it with Gimp's default pencil sketch#2 brush with a .4 jitter. I used the selection to cut out the strokes that fell within the tunnels and set the whole layer to overlay.

As a quick suggestion - instead of stroking the selection, turn the selection into a path and stroke the path.

I have discovered that this seems to give significantly better results. (The conversion to a path does some bezier interpolations around the selection that seem to prevent some "jaggie" artifacts that stroking a selection seems to have.) Now this might not matter when the jitter is high, but try it and see if there is a difference.

-Rob A>

nolgroth
07-24-2008, 05:05 AM
As a quick suggestion - instead of stroking the selection, turn the selection into a path and stroke the path.

I have discovered that this seems to give significantly better results. (The conversion to a path does some bezier interpolations around the selection that seem to prevent some "jaggie" artifacts that stroking a selection seems to have.) Now this might not matter when the jitter is high, but try it and see if there is a difference.

-Rob A>Nifty advice. I think I'll try that myself soon.

jfrazierjr
07-24-2008, 10:02 AM
As a quick suggestion - instead of stroking the selection, turn the selection into a path and stroke the path.

I have discovered that this seems to give significantly better results. (The conversion to a path does some bezier interpolations around the selection that seem to prevent some "jaggie" artifacts that stroking a selection seems to have.) Now this might not matter when the jitter is high, but try it and see if there is a difference.

-Rob A>


Ah... yea, thats what I meant and left out. I create a path so I have it for later use in case I need it for something else I don't have to go try to get the selection right again. Did not know about some of the problems of just stroking the raw selection though, so thats good to know.

torstan
07-30-2008, 05:27 PM
Good tip. Sadly the xcf is now on a defunct laptop so, barring resurrection, this WIP is no more. I'll have a shot at those tips over the weekend when I have roped in the work computer to mapping duty.

jfrazierjr
07-30-2008, 05:41 PM
Good tip. Sadly the xcf is now on a defunct laptop so, barring resurrection, this WIP is no more. I'll have a shot at those tips over the weekend when I have roped in the work computer to mapping duty.


make good use of your dropbox account....:)

torstan
07-30-2008, 06:00 PM
Thankfully that saved the paper I was writing, but not my maps. Priorities eh?