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Gamerprinter
07-03-2008, 03:03 AM
Having learned some new techniques on my commission map, Edara, I decided to start working on my own fantasy campaign world.

This world (unnamed yet) had a collision with a temporal comet - debris from a parallel plane (or plane of time) and ripped through this world's planar fabric colliding with this particular world.

The map shows a canyon rift created in the wake of the comet as it skimmed the surface of this planet, until it reached a high mountain range and exploded - crater can be seen as well as rift.

This world suffers temporal anamolies, actions by time-travelers, anachronisms and people from different places on the timeline coexisting in the current temporally damaged world.

The rift valley is near the equator, filled with jungle and Jurrasic lifeforms - dinosaurs.

Although I have created the basics for the entire continent, the only detailing so far is here at the equator with rift and crater area for starters. The dark green is a place holder for mountains, the brown beyond that is desert. I'm thinking of filling the crater bottom with a round lake.

Note despite the comet strike this world didn't suffer the consequences had this been a true comet strike if such hit our world, most of the damage is temporal (time-affecting) though the rift, crater and rim debris was catastrophic, just not "ice age" causing like a real comet strike...

WIP so far... 8)

Ghalev
07-03-2008, 05:36 AM
I have a fondness for fantasy worlds where you can see the scars of calamity right there on the map ;)

It's a promising start, nice and dramatic. Looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.

torstan
07-03-2008, 05:48 AM
That's a great idea for a world map. It's looking really good so far. My only suggestion would be to tone down the brown at the end of the meteor's path. At the moment its sitting over the river source and altering the water colour there, which looks a little strange. Perhaps switching the brown to a multiply or overlay blend would integrate it with the map a little more.

Looking good!

Naeddyr
07-03-2008, 06:34 AM
What can I say other than looking good there?

Some of the bump-mapping/embossing/height-mapping seems a bit extreme, maybe those could be toned down a bit?

ravells
07-03-2008, 07:22 AM
I really like the forest and the 'cracked earth' textures. Marvellous work as usual!

Ascension
07-03-2008, 02:52 PM
I, too, am liking the tree fill and cracks fill...adds that lil bit of character. Nice start.

Gamerprinter
07-03-2008, 07:38 PM
An update on the map, showing a wider area around the equatorial zone. I filled the crater with a lake, placed to shattered ground ripples in the desert beyond the mountain range from the crater area. More mountains, shattered the mountains too. The darker green forests around the rift waterway are swampy regions. Got a bunch of 1 pixel wide rivers and some .5 pixel tributaries. Note some jungle in the mountains too.

Update so far... 8)

GP

Turgenev
07-03-2008, 08:34 PM
Wow! That's pretty cool. Nice work.

Gamerprinter
07-04-2008, 05:32 AM
When I complete this map, I think I am going to create another Xara Xtreme tutorial - the techniques I use to create regional/continental maps, including forest texturing and layering, mountain creation, canyons, cut rivers and more.

Again, I know the number of users for Xara here is 1, maybe two if you count Ravs using Serif DrawPlus, which is the closet app to Xara Xtreme, but there might be some techniques that can cross into other apps - GIMP, Illustrator...

I really am trying to convert more users to apps like Xara Xtreme. >:)

GP

delgondahntelius
07-04-2008, 07:27 AM
FINE!!!! I'm downloading it ...

But if it don't have a magic "Instant Map" button .... I'm going to be VERRRYY Disappointed!!!

:D

delgondahntelius
07-04-2008, 05:04 PM
Well.. there isn't an "Instant Map" button, but I do like the speed with which it handles itself... but... what exactly are the advantages of this over say ... Illustrator?

RPMiller
07-05-2008, 02:07 PM
It came together nicely GP. Although the rivers look a little "hacked" in, but I imagine you are going to clean those up. How in the world do you do .5 pixel??? I didn't think that was even possible since a pixel is the smallest display unit.

waldronate
07-05-2008, 05:42 PM
ftp://ftp.alvyray.com/Acrobat/6_Pixel.pdf

RPMiller
07-05-2008, 08:21 PM
ftp://ftp.alvyray.com/Acrobat/6_Pixel.pdf
Thanks for the doc waldronate, but it didn't answer my question and in fact showed me that I was correct in asking the question. I learned computer technology and how they work before I ever saw raster and vector programs, or rather before I learned how to use them so I always come from the more exacting definitions of things. Thus I already knew that a pixel wasn't a square. Therefore the reason why I asked the question. If Xara is able to produce a half pixel line, that to me, means that it is doing some really interesting math internally or it is fudging what it says is a pixel and thus it prompted my question.

That all said, I really liked that article so thank you. I will definitely sock that away for a future debate I'm certain will come up at some point. Point, get it. :lol:

waldronate
07-06-2008, 12:12 AM
It's done the same way that antialiased lines are done. There are many algorithms for doing this task with the simplest being to rasterize the image at higher resolution then sampling down (which is what most graphics cards do for their full-screen AA). There are also algorithms for directly performing antialiasing, with the quick google search http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=antialiased+weighted-area+sample turning up a number of good discussions.

My point on the document was that the screen/image representation samples a continuous function and the sampling function determines the minimum visible item.

Gamerprinter
07-06-2008, 12:35 AM
Interesting discussion and document, but I'm afraid I goofed when I said, 1 pixel wide rivers, I meant 1 "point" size rivers and .5 point tributaries.

A "point" is a standard measurement for lines and fonts.

I used the wrong word and created a wonderful discussion on what a pixel really is. Sorry for the goof! :?

GP

RPMiller
07-06-2008, 01:32 AM
My point on the document was that the screen/image representation samples a continuous function and the sampling function determines the minimum visible item.

Right, so in the end it still isn't .5 pixel it is actually 1 pixel but set relative to what 'was' "1 pixel". However, I am glad to see that the issue was clarified and makes a whole lot more sense as we look at...


Interesting discussion and document, but I'm afraid I goofed when I said, 1 pixel wide rivers, I meant 1 "point" size rivers and .5 point tributaries.

A "point" is a standard measurement for lines and fonts.

I used the wrong word and created a wonderful discussion on what a pixel really is. Sorry for the goof! :?

GP

Ah ha! Yes, .5 point (1/144") makes a whole lot more sense to me. It also equates much better with what I was seeing in the map. Those were some seriously big 1 pixel rivers. ;) It's good to know we are dealing with points and not pixels as that makes a whole lot more sense to me. Thanks for the clarification GP. Oh, and to get this back on topic...

I like the creativity of this map and where it is headed. Very cool background story and it sounds like it would be a blast to play in it.

waldronate
07-06-2008, 02:23 AM
Right, so in the end it still isn't .5 pixel it is actually 1 pixel but set relative to what 'was' "1 pixel".

A line half a pixel wide that is correctly rasterized will cover up to 2 pixels perpendicular to the line with an alpha value that is much less than full opacity. Anyhow, onward to more mapping or gaming or whatever I'm doing instead of what I should be doing, which is upgrading software capabilities.

Gamerprinter
07-08-2008, 03:31 AM
Its too late now, I'm going to bed, but I had an epiphany how to fix the rivers.

The problem with the rivers is I want the scale of this map, even the view of the region say 400 to 600 miles (haven't decided.) So the channel of water reaching the crater is an arm of the sea that's 20 to 50 miles across, this is not a river. Rivers do flow into it, and as RP mentioned, "I sort of hacked them in."

I chose to use single 2 point, 1 point and half point lines to create them. Xara does have the capability of forcing a line to taper like a brush or in the case of a river the point size setting at start of line and 1/4 point or smaller at the end. Interesting, but not the way I will go.

Xara Xtreme is a hybrid raster/vector app, more vector though. That means I can create a river object (enclosed shape with freehand drawing tool) at a much larger scale. Once created I can just rescale it down and place where the current rivers are. They wouldn't look hacked in.

By using the "Arrange/Combine/Subtract" operation with "Copy Object" then "Paste in Place" I can cut my way down to the sea - see my Region Map with Xara tutorial to understand what I'm talking about :)

Because the forests, for instance have a "Feather" applied, when I subtract the river object, the "Feathering" is applied to the new channel cut through. I work my way down to the shallow water level, and each layers "effects" are applied to the cut.

In the end the rivers should look like I included them from the start, as if I planned it all along. Vector apps are very forgiving that way. ;)

GP

Gamerprinter
07-09-2008, 02:44 AM
Now for a much wider view of the map, a bit better quality. I fixed the rivers and did mostly what I said in my last post. In some cases I just created a river shape/object, then applied a "halo" shadow in dark green or gold depending on background.

I also stuck in an active volcano with smoke, just northeast of the crater.

Where that river meets the sea at the foot of that volcano, I plan to place a city that is facing a "Pompeii" situation. An oddessey of refugees will try to escape by sea to the north, but a storm will blow them to that bay south of the Shattered Desert. And the start of the campaign begins there.

Next I'll begin creating cities, roads and national boundries. I'm also thinking of creating nation maps, city maps of this entire region.

Though the continent continues far to the north, and not much farther south, I think I spend my efforts in this region only, for now.

More than likely I'll create a WIKI for this over at the CBG.

WIP so far... (looks like I have to fix an error in the lake south of the rift...)

ravells
07-09-2008, 07:06 AM
And this is all done in Xara only? I'm super impressed.

Gamerprinter
07-09-2008, 10:41 AM
And this is all done in Xara only? I'm super impressed.

Using only the techniques I use in my Regional Map with Xara tutorial - though perhaps a bit more refined! :D

GP

Gamerprinter
07-10-2008, 02:59 AM
Map update, showing the entire southern reaches of the continent. I am starting to label the regions and various larger cities, place roads, throw in some Ravs/Torq farmland to feed these people.

I tried to deliniate temporal anamolous regions by Font style as an idea. Notice that the Shattered Desert is actually a remnant piece of a post-apoc world in the far future.

I forgot to place a date on the timeline for Ceran Empire, which is current place on the timeline, from the players point of view. Thus the dark age lands to the south as well as the desert is possible future. One greater goal, aside from repairing the temporal damage, is to somehow prevent the fall of the empire and catastrophic end in the far future.

WIP so far... 8)

GP

Karro
07-11-2008, 12:49 AM
I want to say, I dig the (story-historical) background on this map, and it gives a great reason other than some of the older and well-used ones for why different, seemingly incongruous or anachronistic and fantastical things can exist in the same world together.

Gamerprinter
07-11-2008, 03:51 AM
I think the whole font thing and timeline caption was a bit heavy handed and making things too anachronistic. Despite the temporal issues this continent is intended for, I still want to make it useable for others that might like the map but not the backstory.

I dropped the mixed fonts, and the timeline captions.

So I changed it up a bit. More labeling to do, as well as more rivers, lakes, roads, cities yet to place. I'll place a custom compass rose and some more heraldic capital city devices. A few more islands to add as well.

I decided to show you the whole continent (finished mapping the north.)

Oh, I finally named the continent, Celanta (the name I suggested for the CWBG when it first started.)

GP

WIP so far... long way to go! 8)

ravells
07-11-2008, 09:42 AM
It looks great GP, but it may be an idea to make the farmland a little bit transparent to avoid the collage effect. Also might be worth 'cutting out' some of the fields on the edges to make the outline look more natural and to find some natural borders against which the fields terminate. Maybe worth a little Google Earth-fu for references?

RPMiller
07-11-2008, 12:11 PM
I concur, not sure of the scale I'm looking at, but at any considerable elevation you wouldn't really see that level of detail. That said, I like the idea and think you are definitely onto something.

Gamerprinter
07-12-2008, 11:48 AM
OK, next rendition, I pulled the offscale farm topography from the map. Named some rivers, placed some cities and roads. More labeling to do. In a couple days I'll post this in the Finished Maps forum.

Though I changed the scale, it already had a scale, beneath the title at bottom right. It was 500 miles on the bar, but changed that to 250 miles.

GP

Tenoch
07-16-2008, 04:49 AM
Wah, I really like the style (using pieces of photos). It looks very different than a lot of maps we see here.

Maybe the deserts are a little bit too simple, though, but I wouldn't know how to make them look anyway.

Congrats !

Gamerprinter
07-17-2008, 02:12 AM
Thanks, Tenoch! I've got a tutorial for this style using Xara Xtreme 4.0 in the tutorials forum.

There's only 2 regions of desert in the map. The Shattered Desert being the most prominent one, the other is on the southern penisular tip.

Those yellowish regions are simply more arid grasslands, where as the green is has more lush vegetation, still largely plains, however. The yellow does not represent desert, rather the light brown areas do.

GP

RPMiller
07-17-2008, 04:01 PM
Couldn't you use the same method as you did with the farm land and grab some Google sat photos of the Sahara or Mohave or something?