View Full Version : [CC3/DD3] How to do a cave waterfall?

10-21-2013, 11:31 PM
In order to get some practice and experience with making CC3/DD3 dungeon maps, I started doing all of the encounter maps from Reavers of Harkenwold (4EE DM's Kit) in DD3. I'm up to Toadwallow Marsh, and things started out well; I did the following:

1. Draw a 1ft thick red line for the "outer wall" of the caves.
2. Copy that line and move it aside, then draw a rectangle the size of the map on the WALLS sheet and multi-poly. Now I've got my "cut-out" style walls.
3. Convert my red line into a poly on the FLOORS sheet, and now I have my cave floor.
4. Next I added a stream (fractal poly) on the WATER sheet, which flows through the cave and out the mouth.
5. Now I can tinker with the texture and effects for the water, that's not my concern--what I can't figure out is how to make it look like there's a short waterfall at the mouth of the cave!

Can anyone offer any help with doing this in CC3/DD3?

10-22-2013, 10:29 AM

I've attached a quick sample of what I'm talking about. This is just quickly thrown together of course. There's a WALLS sheet, a FLOOR sheet (cave floor), and a SUBFLOOR sheet (the grass). I've just got some inner/outer glows on the floors, and a drop shadow on the FLOOR to give the effect of a drop-off. The WATER sheet is my fractal water texture, with an Edge Fade on it (25-50% opacity). The shadows need to be tweaked, especially on the ledge, but I just through this quick sample together while I was at work; the points from the fractals are horrible, too--the real map isn't so rough looking. I like this texture style though (Jon Roberts Dungeon Style Pack), and I'm not looking to change that. I just want it to look like a waterfall.

I've tried sticking some skinny fractal lines all over the edge of the falls, and then blur/transparency them a little, but it just doesn't feel like it's coming together. So I'm hoping someone here has some better advice.

10-22-2013, 11:15 AM

Okay, so instead of working (who does that?) I fiddled around with it some more.

I moved the grass down to a SUBLOOR sheet, and split the water into a WATER sheet and SUBWATER sheet (below the FLOOR sheet) then added a drop shadow to the FLOOR sheet, which really gives the appearance of depth. I added a two Glow (inner) effects to the water, one white with 0 strength, 2 blur, and a black one with 1 strength and 1 blur, so it looks cut out from the floor. I added a slight Bevel to the FLOOR sheet as well to make a lip.

I'm liking it more now--but I still can't figure out a good way to do a "white water" effect of the falls and landing. (It's only supposed to be a 10 foot drop or so.)

10-22-2013, 01:53 PM

Okay, so... awkward. I kept tinkering with this and I'm actually really happy with the result. I think it fits the style of the map, and most definitely conveys there is a waterfall there. Changes:

I made two more sheets: RIPPLES and SUBRIPPLES; ripples was on top of WATER and subripples is on top of SUBWATER. I killed the drop shadow from FLOORS and changed the two Glow effects to match WALLS (outer, black, 1, 0.5 and outer, black, 0, 3) so they have about the same depth now. I literally found the technique that worked by accident:

On the RIPPLES sheet I drew a 0.1 width fractal path (white) along the contour of the ledge (on the water), then drew another one farther back, and another, increasing the spacing, and making dashed lines by the 4th or 5th line. Then I added a Transparency (20%) effect to RIPPLES, which faded them out nicely to match the existing ripples in the texture. Then... I put a Glow (outer, white, 2, 2) on RIPPLES, and BAM! They popped with the beautiful hazy effect. You have to make sure the Glow is above the Transparency though, or it gets killed by it.

After that I repeated the process on the SUBRIPPLES sheet, spacing my contour lines out even farther, to where eventually their glow effect doesn't stack up and you can actually see the lines clearly. Because they are below the FLOORS sheet they still get shadowed, as well. I'm sure I'll end up tinkering with this even more, but I am so happy that I got it looking this good!

I'd still like to hear any tips anyone else might have though, because I literally stumbled up this effect on accident. If I hadn't drawn my first batch of contour lines so close together on accident, I probably wouldn't even have found this.

10-22-2013, 02:00 PM

Yup, already changed it again. On the SUBRIPPLES sheet, I changed the effect to Glow (outer, white, 1, 1) instead of 2, 2. Because it's not a crashing waterfall, I don't want the bottom to be cloudy, just hazy. I think I'm ready to make a finished map with this technique now, though! Which do you think looks better?

10-23-2013, 01:03 AM
Hmm .. in my eyes both of them look odd .. both for the same reason: the "foot" of the waterfall:

The lower one looks as if water falls down, but does not have any kind of impact on the water below.. Almost, as if the water vanishes between top and bottom.

While the upper one looks more realistic, there is one detail missing, though:
When the water hits the lower ground, you can see "beams" of white instead of just a white hue .. You might want to look at these pictures to get a grasp of what I'm saying:

Aside from that: very nice :)

Kind regards,

10-23-2013, 07:03 AM
Yeah I got some local feedback about that too. Didn't occur to me that I need the white at the landing, not the top. I reversed it on my final map and I think it looks a lot better.

04-18-2014, 02:49 PM
I am about a year late to the game on this thread. But I started using The Slaying Stone Maps that another user did with my group last night. I really like them and wanted to mess around with making my own a bit.

Thought I would do a small test to see how it went. This is mostly a mix of overlaying different textures on Xorne's Already wonderful map. I also added a light source. Although it may be too dark for actual use.

I love the work you have done so far Xorne!


04-18-2014, 02:54 PM
Also, I am fairly new to pre existing D&D campaigns and I think it would be fun to do a whole set of maps for one.

As a new user I cannot start a new thread yet so You can post here, or maybe someone can start one.

Basically I would like to put of a request thread to see which campaign you would all like me to do first.