View Full Version : Water-Side Cave

03-14-2014, 01:48 PM
Well, I'm back into caves again and wanted to post a project that I'm sort-of finished with but I think could be improved.

I've tried to do a water-effect within a cave a few times and this time I think I pulled it off, at least the water part looks good to me (see below). The problem I'm still running into is showing elevations within the cave. Each one of the 'arms' of this cave complex could easily be a different elevation. I would like to learn how to use elevation 'steps' to raise a chamber up or drop it below the 'base' level of the map but I'm not sure how.

I've tried adding another shading layer over it (as a soft-light layer) to make the lower elevations darker but I think there needs to be some contour lines in there somewhere.

Does anyone have any suggestions?



03-14-2014, 03:14 PM
You did a nice job with the depth in the water, I would try the same technique in the tunnels between caves. You don't need the shade the caves, just the tunnels.

03-14-2014, 09:54 PM
Ok, so here's a stab at using the same techniques for water on the lower elevations in the cave.
And here's a full version with the other lower elevations. I've also added lines within the tunnels themselves and that seemed to help my eyes understand that the tunnels were of one elevation and the passages (darker) were lower.

Any other comments? Feedback?


03-14-2014, 11:33 PM
This is always a problem I think. One thing that helps is multiple lines to show changing elevation, you can even make them get wider at the top and thinner near the bottom in homage to the old school icons used on D&D maps. I did some of that with this (http://www.cartographersguild.com/dungeon-subterranean-mapping/26013-wack-dire-mole.html) map I don't know that I succeeded any more than you but you can at least compare what you like more or less about it. Your water definitely gets the idea across and I like the hand drawn lines you've done on sections of the map.

03-15-2014, 10:31 PM

Ok, here's an updated scrap from the above map with additional shadows to hopefully illustrate the difference in elevations.