View Full Version : WIP Ledge into a cavern. Suggestions welcome.

01-20-2014, 09:05 PM
I could really use some help with this one. Its a battlemap for an upcoming encounter in my campaign. In it the party is descending along a narrow ledge that leads down a shaft into a deeper cavern. There is still a fair amount of detail work to be done but I would love suggestions on how to create the illusion of a ledge spiraling down into the darkness.

Attached is the image of what I have come up with so far. Suggestions welcome!60484

01-20-2014, 10:59 PM
You mean that's not finished already? :o

It already looks like a ledge spiraling into darkness :)

Hmm... well... the only way to improve it would be to get really nit-picky. Like...

It does look like there's a bit more shadow on the second ring of the actual ledge, in the top left corner. There's no overhang in that spot, and the darkest bits further down are on the right side and on the bottom right.



The uneven shading makes it look flatter than it normally would. If you don't want to mess with your cavern, I'd just try some layers of transparency with black to one size (play with the opacity a bit, something like:


You're also adding most of your depth by darkening the path as you go down. But the Ground at the top is darker than your first level of the "path"... so... it kind of throws it off a bit. I'd reverse those shades, if possible... lighten the ground at the top if not. (Red circles below)

And finally...

Your rocks are really even in some places... the shape of the rock would change a lot as you get further down. (Green areas ADD to your perception of depth, purple areas DETRACT from it.)


Of course, this is all: 1) Personal opinion, and 2) REALLY nitpicky, because you asked how to do something you'd already done really well :D

It looks really great as is. :)

01-24-2014, 01:22 PM
Went ahead and made some changes to try and make the cavern a little more natural seeming. I also tried to incorporate your suggestions as best I knew how so thank you for the advice!

Would love any other suggestions people might have (also could use some help on the waterfall I added if anyone has suggestions there)


01-24-2014, 02:31 PM
What program are you using.It helps to tailor the advice to whatever you are using!

01-24-2014, 03:05 PM
Sarcasm, I think your map is very good as it is; I'm not sure why you are unsatisfied with it. It's very hard to do a map like this but I think you nailed it.

You waterfall has a problem with the waves of your water texture: (i) it probably shouldn't really have waves in the first place, but more seriously (ii) if we take the waves to indicate the flow of the water, they are heading the wrong direction. You can keep the top part of the water texture as it is, but you need to rotate the lower two-thirds of the water texture so that the 'waves' point downwards. Having said that the colour and lighting of your water is very very nice - so great job on that.

Also: is the top red and green part also a path, or is that the rocky edge of the cavern? The fact that I'm even asking this suggests you might want to clarify it; which is a shame in a way because I really like it just the way it is - it works very well with the map overall. Also I want to say that I really like the lack of fussiness and the muted palette of your map, which gives it an elegant look.

01-24-2014, 03:29 PM
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I am not thrilled with the wave texture myself, I need to find an alternate one that will still look like water but wont look like its part of a lake. The red and green is supposed to be the edge / cavern walls, Do you have any suggestions on how I might clarify it?

I am pretty happy with the map so far but I figure there is always room for improvement and having people breakdown something that you already think is decent can help you learn details / techniques to elevate it to the next level.

I pretty much use photoshop exclusively. Occasionally I use illustrator to create placeable items.

01-24-2014, 04:57 PM
It was much better than "decent" to start with.. it was extremely good! Now it's fantastic.

The only thing throwing me off is the waterfall. The water looks like it's crossing itself :s I don't know how to explain that...

Also, where it fades to black at the bottom looks a bit off.

Other than that, I can't really find anything wrong!

01-28-2014, 06:42 AM
This is really good, I like the original a lot.