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Steel General
08-26-2008, 08:40 PM
OK trying something a little different here. Here's a little background...

The Lithdor Wastes was once a lush region filled with numerous small streams and rolling hills covered with small groves of trees. During the Gods Fall Wars a terrific battle took place here between Chyronn (God of Chaos, Storms, Destruction, etc.) and an unknown member of the now fallen Seldarine (Elven Gods). During the course of the battle the landscape was devastated leaving it an area of blasted, barren rock, sandy wastes and crags.

** Because of the scale some of the details are tough to see (even zoomed into 100%), but here's a rundown on what can be found on the map so far. **

1) Fortress of Silent Death - The headquarters for an elite group of assassins (don't have a good name for them at the moment) dedicated to Barakkis (God of Murder, Violent Death, etc.) and led by a dragon. The fortress is located atop a promontory near the center of the map, and is connected to several outpost towers (one located just south of the main fortress - more to be added) via a vast underground network of caverns, etc.

2) Dragon Lair - Located in the northeast portion of the map is the lair of Vyrkrastyvan, a Sand/Yellow/Desert dragon who is a devout follower of Barakkis and controls the assassins. His lair is connected to the caverns below the fortress, but the route is filled with various pitfalls, traps, etc.

3) Neksuta Village - The Neksuta (basically a cross between orcs and sand people from Star Wars) have a small village in the heights to the NW. They are a relatively peaceful people but will defend their territory fiercely. The are subservient to Vyrkrastyvan and his assassins out of fear. The travel the wastes on giant six legged lizards which the breed for numerous purposes.

4) Caravan - In the southeast a small caravan made up of 3 camel-drawn wagons and a group of Bolladon's (a large, reptilian beasts of burden - this is not my creation, I got it from the Dundjinni forums) travels toward the fortress.

So as always C&C is welcomed and any additional ideas for items and/or features that could be added is appreciated.

Ascension
08-26-2008, 09:36 PM
This is so unique and alien to me that I really don't have words for it. The concept, the colors, and the execution are all superb. Reminds me of something I'd see in one of Toff's moons of Saturn. Well done...this needs a whole chapter of a book if not a full blown world...I want some story time.

Steel General
08-27-2008, 05:56 PM
This is so unique and alien to me that I really don't have words for it. The concept, the colors, and the execution are all superb. Reminds me of something I'd see in one of Toff's moons of Saturn. Well done...this needs a whole chapter of a book if not a full blown world...I want some story time.

Thanks Ascension...

A little confession, I really didn't do much to create the terrain myself. It's basically one of the textures from Spiral Graphics rendered at a large size, then I took some of the other textures and using a low opacity airbrush went over various spots on the original, each on its own layer. Lastly I added some black highlights in certain areas to give it a little more 'depth'.

Finally I started adding the features, etc. Using the various textures to try and blend them into the terrain, but at the same time keeping them at least somewhat visible.

I guess if you wanted some more "background/history" I could probably come up with something. Just let me know what you'd like more info on and I'll see what I can do. The gods are from my pantheon, same one which I "donated" to the CWBP.

Steel General
09-01-2008, 09:52 AM
OK, as the title says just a minor update...added a couple more watch towers.

If anyone has any suggestions, etc. for this I'm open to them.

Jkaen
09-04-2008, 09:35 AM
Its a good idea, but at the moment I don't like it as much as most of your work (which in general I love)

A few comments:
I think the height differences need emphasising more (I see it as various rocky outcrops rising in height from SW to NE, if its meant ot be flat then ignore this)

I am not sure what the 3 circles in the NW are, are they buildings for the village the same as the woodmite looking buildings are?

Two of the woodmite buildings (I hope you dont mind me using that description) seem shadowed and well defined, while the others blend in to the background, I would make them all stand out.


The map stalled loaading for me at that point, so I cant comment on anything further south.

Steel General
09-04-2008, 10:52 AM
@Jkaen - Thanks for your comments...

I'm finding it a bit difficult to denote different heights as the terrain is basically a single "image/pattern". I tried to use some light black shadowing in various locations to do this, maybe it needs a bit more. Or maybe I need to try a different way. *shrugs*

The circles in the Northwest are burial mounds for the Neksuta, looks like I forgot to mention they were there.

The 2 buildings in the Neksuta village that seem more well defined are the chief's and the shaman's huts/houses. I wanted them to "stick out a bit more" but maybe I understated the others to much.

Ascension
09-04-2008, 05:04 PM
I know how to help yer mountains get more height, something I've been playing with since my fjord maps, and since I think you use Photoshop this can help ya out some. Take yer original clouds rendering and don't do anything to it, keep it at the bottom and make copies of it to mess around on. What I do to make my mountains look taller is that after I have done the lighting effects filter I then increase the scale of the layer (edit>transform>scale) up 200 or 400% and then crop the bits I want to use. You can most easily see this in my current submission on this month's challenge. You can see the big ole mountains in the SW...these are the same mountains scaled up as were originally on the same layer with the smaller mountains in the eastern landmass and the small islands. You can see that those mountains look quite small in comparison. Since PS treats the layer as a quasi vector when you scale it up it stays fairly unpixellated. It does have some pixellation and you can always use a small blur to fix that if you like.

Anywho, just a tip, give her a try. Still looks pretty good to me.

Steel General
09-04-2008, 07:12 PM
Ascension thanks for the tip, but there are no clouds. The terrain is basically just a Genetica pattern on a layer with some additional stuff layered over the top in spots for some variation.

I can try messing around with the lighting effects to see what that does, maybe it will give me what I think I'm looking for.

Ascension
09-04-2008, 08:24 PM
Clouds...pattern...whatever, run the lighting effects then scale it up.

delgondahntelius
09-05-2008, 01:32 AM
I know how to help yer mountains get more height, something I've been playing with since my fjord maps, and since I think you use Photoshop this can help ya out some. Take yer original clouds rendering and don't do anything to it, keep it at the bottom and make copies of it to mess around on. What I do to make my mountains look taller is that after I have done the lighting effects filter I then increase the scale of the layer (edit>transform>scale) up 200 or 400% and then crop the bits I want to use. You can most easily see this in my current submission on this month's challenge. You can see the big ole mountains in the SW...these are the same mountains scaled up as were originally on the same layer with the smaller mountains in the eastern landmass and the small islands. You can see that those mountains look quite small in comparison. Since PS treats the layer as a quasi vector when you scale it up it stays fairly unpixellated. It does have some pixellation and you can always use a small blur to fix that if you like.

Anywho, just a tip, give her a try. Still looks pretty good to me.

I know your map in the challenge thread is a wip, but are the white spots supposed to be clouds over mountains? ... or the tip tops of the mountains with snow? .... I can also see the blur.. it is at least noticeable that some of the areas had blur applied to it in one form or another... and maybe it's my colorblindness... but I don't see any real height definition that makes them mountains other than the colors themselves... it doesn't seem to have the same effect as say a bevel filter does... where they actually seem to stand up ....

Don't mean to criticsize your work so bluntly or anything, i'm just trying to understand the steps involved to give it this look... and why it is supposed to make them look 'taller' .... cause they don't look taller to me... unlike your fjord map .... which is awesome...

Maybe i'm zooming in too closely .... from back at a distance, they do look like mountains...

sorry for the threadjack SG...

Jkaen
09-05-2008, 03:02 AM
Is it possible to use the genetica pattern itself as a bump map to give the feeling of height?

Steel General
09-05-2008, 02:52 PM
Is it possible to use the genetica pattern itself as a bump map to give the feeling of height?

It might be, I beleive you can have the viewer generate greyscale and or black&white renders. Definitely worth checking into.