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View Full Version : September Entry: The Broken Coast



jfrazierjr
09-06-2008, 03:26 PM
Well, I wanted to go in a totally different direction, but rebounded when what I was trying to do totally hosed up. More than likely, RobA will enter with the idea I could not get from my brain into the computer, but I will leave it up you everyone to speculate as to what the hell I was trying to get done.

Still have quite a ways to go:


Mountains (my satt. style)
Hills
Trees
Towns
Rivers


### Latest WIP ###

jfrazierjr
09-06-2008, 08:38 PM
Tell me it's a big pile of crap. Tell me it's the most incredible thing since sliced bread, but please... someone comment on something!

delgondahntelius
09-06-2008, 08:45 PM
I like the colors of the land and the water... But the bevel around the coast is jamming me up for some reason.. can't quite put my finger on it, but it looks wrong somehow... Try a pillow bevel maybe? ..

hey... something looks eerily familiar about the shape of this map... hmmm :D

Keep going, I want to see the rest!

Gamerprinter
09-07-2008, 05:39 AM
I peeked at your map, earlier yesterday, but I was waiting for you to place one or more of the terrain features - forests, mountains, etc., before I would comment. Not enough here for me to say much, yet.

You do have the coastlines looking proper. You're colors seemed more like placeholders or rough backgrounds at least, until you started placing terrain features - yet the colors are appropriate.

I really need to see more, to make any kind of real response. Looks like a good start.

GP

jfrazierjr
09-11-2008, 01:13 AM
I had to start over on this challenge. I ended up noticing a border about 8 px that I did not like and it was pretty much on all the layers. Soo.. here is take to.. It's only a tiny bit more advanced than the previous one. Note that the

Water
Rivers
Marsh

are meant to be as they are(within reason based on comments).

The Ground colors and the "Mountains" are there as temporary place holders. Of primary concern is any comments on the marsh itself as that is what I have been spending the entire night trying to figure out how to get right. Since marshes are supposed to be shallow and possibly transitory depending on the time of the year, I actually put the light blue shallow underneath the land mass and used a stipple type brush to erase out parts of the actual land mass to let the underlying water show through in some places.

delgondahntelius
09-11-2008, 02:19 AM
wow... that is quite cool.... those swamps look fantastic... The only thing I can think to comment on improving the swamps is maybe a bit darker on hue... but i'm partially colorblind and it might look fine to everyone else...

Up close.. kinda looks like a colorblind test anyways :D .... you put any subliminal 'vote for me' messages?? lol :lol: --- I crack me up...

Anyway, they look great... and the stipple behind the land, genius idea...

jfrazierjr
09-11-2008, 09:09 AM
wow... that is quite cool.... those swamps look fantastic... The only thing I can think to comment on improving the swamps is maybe a bit darker on hue... but i'm partially colorblind and it might look fine to everyone else...

Up close.. kinda looks like a colorblind test anyways :D .... you put any subliminal 'vote for me' messages?? lol :lol: --- I crack me up...


Umm why no! I would NEVER do that..... as far as you know

Steel General
09-11-2008, 09:14 AM
I like it so far, the swamp to me almost looks like a giant-honeycomb/wasp nest in spots. Are they home to some insectoid empire maybe? :D

jfrazierjr
09-11-2008, 02:52 PM
I like it so far, the swamp to me almost looks like a giant-honeycomb/wasp nest in spots. Are they home to some insectoid empire maybe? :D


Umm could be! The idea was kind of the type of reedy marsh you see along the coast before you hit the actual beaches. Many times you see such things abutting the sound on the mainland side before crossing a bridge to an ajoining island. I actually went and looked up the different between swamp and marsh to get a feel. My first try was really dark and after I did some googling, I ended up thinking more along the lines of light = marsh, dark = swamp as swamps "can" be deeper. The idea here is that the water is only a few feet deep in most places, and even those places that appear to be solid land with reeds and such are more than likely clumps of vegetation that are not stable. Things in water that are not compacted tend to disintigrate rather quickly so to speak. I may also do a few more things to let some of the water "pools" be more visible from underneath, perhaps I will select them and cut them out of the marsh vegitaitons and texture layers to make it a bit more obvious and let the underlying water show through really well. just have to be careful when I go to do my shore bevel so that I don't have them selected as I dont WANT them to be distinct borders.


Anyway, thanks for the comments guys... Any more are appreciated. I hope to work on the Hills and Mountains sometime tonight, though I am not sure if I will get to a point where I can post up.

dorpond
09-11-2008, 09:48 PM
Holy Cow! My Daughter went to bed early tonight! That means I can spend time and check out/comment on other works of art up here! YAY! :)

OK,

- I love the texture of the ocean but I think there is far too much glow around the islands. I say glow because it looks like they are glowing instead of it being a shore or sandbar. It just doesn't look natural to me.
- I like the detail of your swamp - it is very crisp and clear. I think it could use some hue adjustments along with lowering the saturation a bit. I think it is a bit too colorful to be a dangerous swamp. I think it could us a bit more dirtying up but perhaps you haven't gotten to that phase yet.
- The mountains are a nice texture but I have a secret hope that you increase the height in different parts of it - just to see how well you do it now that I struggled with my mountains for way too many hours. :)
- It is coming along nicely for the initial phase! Great work!

jfrazierjr
09-11-2008, 10:41 PM
Holy Cow! My Daughter went to bed early tonight! That means I can spend time and check out/comment on other works of art up here! YAY! :)

OK,

- I love the texture of the ocean but I think there is far too much glow around the islands. I say glow because it looks like they are glowing instead of it being a shore or sandbar. It just doesn't look natural to me.


Thanks. I actually think I will be doing a bit more playing with the texture to try to get something a bit less wavy. I was thinking the same thing about the bright parts and was thinking last night after I posted about toning that down a bit my by blurring more of my mid range blue color over top of the base light blue. Isn't it funny how sometimes you like something sooo damn much, and then the more you look after the next day, you really start to think "damn, that's messed up"?




- I like the detail of your swamp - it is very crisp and clear. I think it could use some hue adjustments along with lowering the saturation a bit. I think it is a bit too colorful to be a dangerous swamp. I think it could us a bit more dirtying up but perhaps you haven't gotten to that phase yet.

:) Well.. it's not supposed to be a swamp... it's a marsh (2 marshes actually), which is different. I will be adding a bit more of the base water (again, light blue) color (just a tad) and a tiny bit of darkish green in some spots to kind of mix up the colors a bit more. As for hue and saturation, I have NO idea what type of effects to be aiming for with either of those technique changes, so am not sure I can hit the nail on the head (so to speak) Anyway, thanks for the comments.





- The mountains are a nice texture but I have a secret hope that you increase the height in different parts of it - just to see how well you do it now that I struggled with my mountains for way too many hours.


Heh... well.. those are nothing like my final mountains will be. They were just a quick placeholder I put in to my mind could know where the elements go to some degree. I even said so in my post. If you want to get an idea of how I will be doing the mountains (I hope you like like them!), go here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=23501&postcount=22. Note that the post in the link is NOT a completed version. I only did "parts" of the mountains in the picture up right to show a comparison difference. It has been a while, so I hope I don't have to much trouble remembering how to do that style of mountains.

jfrazierjr
09-18-2008, 11:47 PM
Ok.. Got my mountain peaks done, and etched the coast. Note that the underlying stuff between the mountains (and on the south land mass) will be changing at some point.

Steel General
09-19-2008, 08:40 AM
The mountains are quite nice, can't wait to see the next update.

jezelf
09-19-2008, 08:56 AM
that's coming along really well. I like the mountains too. also the swamp area

ravells
09-19-2008, 03:43 PM
Those mountains are fantastic! How did you do them? Great work!

jfrazierjr
09-19-2008, 04:20 PM
Those mountains are fantastic! How did you do them? Great work!

Thanks,

It's a variation on RobA's mountain tutorial in GIMP (the video one). I have to admit that this probably takes about a good hour. I expect once someone has done it a few times, they can probably get it done in 20-30 minutes dependong how many mountains they do.

I will need to make a tutorial, because honestly, since I did the first time in the Playing with Mountains thread 3-4 months ago, I totally forgot how I did it. I will get something up soon for a real tut, but assuming I did not miss any steps:



Make selections(s) just like in RobA' tutorial. on a 50% grey layer
set the foreground color to white and background color to 50% grey
Use the gradiant tool set to angular gradiant.
This should give you white at the top and fading to grey at the bottom
Solid Noise about 20px (this depends on your original resolution though!)
Gaussian blur around 5-6px
IN this case, I took a med-small white fuzzy brush (using my pen for size and width differences) and "redrew" where I really wanted by ridgeline to show.
The real trick here is to use the smudge tool. You might want to increase the size of your selection by 20px or so to give you room to work.
Using the Smudge tool and a fairly small brush, go wild. I think I used a rate of about 80%. Using a pen makes this 10 times easier as you have a lot more control using the pressure sensitivity. make criss crosses, variuous angles "up the sides of the mountains" and down from the peak. Leave the ridgle line "mostly intact", but in a few places mess it up real good, especially if the messed up areas are a ways apart.
Run another Gaussian Blur of about 3 px
Turn off the selection.
Bump Map the layer against itself (or bump map another layer to this) using very high Elevation (80%+) Depth at Max, Ambient at Max.
Bump Map the layer again, this time changing Elevation downward to the 50-60 range and Ambient to 0. Look at the whole thing.
Set layer mode to Overlay (or, I like Hard Light) right about your ground color (brown usually)
You may have some "rings" from the G Blur, it so, carefully run the blur tool around to softend up the edge.
For a special bit of extra diminsion, you could select the layer below this one and use the Burn tool to lightly(no pun intended) darken up you shadow side, though I have not dont this yet. Ditto with dodge on the other side.


Steps 8-13 are where the try/undo comes into play. It takes a lot of practice getting to the point where they look half way decent. The smudge tool looks bad until you get the bump maps applied and it's hard to tell when you messed up the smudge strokes until you have done the bump maps.

I THINK this is somewhat close to how I did this. When time permits, I will do it up into something resembling a proper tutorial.

ravells
09-19-2008, 04:57 PM
Thanks for such a complete explanation! I'm going to have to give it a try, the results are beautiful!

jfrazierjr
09-19-2008, 09:10 PM
Thanks for such a complete explanation! I'm going to have to give it a try, the results are beautiful!

Glad you like it. I played for quite a while (and you will to) in order to get just the right effect. The smudges are the key to getting something that does not look all plasticy and getting some variation in slope and "cleft" lines down the mountain slopes. One thing I probably should do is try to redo these and get a few more slopes in the same area, tightening it up and not having such wide valleys. Not sure if I will have time to do that or not before the deadline.

jfrazierjr
09-21-2008, 01:54 AM
Ok, added some more to the map.



Shaded the mountains more and blended a bit better.
Added some texture for the hills.
Added some texture to the plains.


Todo:


Soften the glow around the shores
Add Forests
Add towns/city
Scale/Compass
Labels

jfrazierjr
09-21-2008, 07:19 PM
Small Update.



Added some texture to the "plains"
Cut out more water from the land base in the marsh areas
Added some land noise for slight color variation

Still to do:


Forests
Towns/Cities
Labels/Compass
Something more with the water

### Latest WIP ###

jfrazierjr
09-22-2008, 12:23 PM
Hmm.. no replies.... BUMP...

Steel General
09-22-2008, 01:45 PM
Was waiting for you to add the cities and other remianing items, but I think this is really quite good.

*Cracks whip* Better hurry, I wanna see the final product and time is running out. :D

jfrazierjr
09-23-2008, 12:18 AM
Update...


Added Forests (not sure I like them... but they may have to stay due to time constraints.)
Lightened the shore glow
Deepened a the deep ocean color
Changed the ocean texture
Lightened some of the cliffs.


Todo:


Cities/Towns
Labels/Compass

### Latest WIP ###

Steel General
09-23-2008, 10:05 AM
Forests seem OK to me, maybe a little "flat" (for lack of a better word). Like everything else tho. *tick tock tick tock * :D

jfrazierjr
09-23-2008, 11:33 AM
*tick tock tick tock * :D



Bah! I am an arrtiiist! Perfection can't be rushed.Note, the above is said in an awful French accent while wearing a a huge beret.

Ascension
09-23-2008, 06:42 PM
The mountains and hills are lookin really good, I like those a whole heckuva lot.

jfrazierjr
09-24-2008, 12:33 AM
Update:



Found some font symbols for my towns and city
Re did the forests.. I bit better texture I think.


Todo:


Labels
Compass/Scale


### Latest WIP ###

Any comments or criticisms welcome(ie, please comment!)

Steel General
09-24-2008, 07:26 AM
I like that forest texture much more than the other. This is really coming around quite nicely.

Jkaen
09-24-2008, 12:41 PM
My main comment would be that the shallows seem to even a width around all the landmasses to my eye (looking in detail i see thats not the case, but first impression seems that way). I would suggest ever varying the size of them more, or introducing some sort of blending

dorpond
09-24-2008, 02:49 PM
What I love:
The mountains - these mountains really rock!

What I don't love:
The forests - they don't feel above ground but rather sunken into the ground.

My guess is that you are using beveling when making them - switch the direction of the bevel from down to up (or vice versa) to see if that helps any. We need to create that illusion that they are higher instead of lower than the ground.

Looking great though! Good job!

jfrazierjr
09-25-2008, 12:58 AM
I am calling this done.



Redid the forests (again). I noticed that I had applied the bump map to the actual colors instead of the 50% grey overlay AND that half of the forests were bump maped directly and half were bump maped on the overlay layer so they did not match.
Added Labels
Created a simple scale
Created a simple Compass


I hope this is at least passable to everyone...


### Latest WIP ###

mmmmmpig
09-25-2008, 04:04 AM
Great color palette. I love that you "yellowed" it up compared to your first couple of WiP's.

jfrazierjr
09-25-2008, 11:05 AM
A few last minute tweaks. This is probably it.



### Latest WIP ###

dorpond
09-25-2008, 12:26 PM
*Stands up and applauds*
Bravo! Much better forests! Bravo!
Excellent map!

jfrazierjr
09-25-2008, 01:30 PM
*Stands up and applauds*
Bravo! Much better forests! Bravo!
Excellent map!

Thanks! I appreciate the enthusiastic review.

I shall be anticipating your vote.:D

BTW, you liked the original ocean texture, what do you think about the change? I thought the original was just way to stretched out looking and wanted something a bit closer to what I did in my "playing with mountains" posts. Something a bit more subdued so to speak.

jfrazierjr
09-25-2008, 02:26 PM
DOH! I just noticed that my scale was off by some 900 miles... opps:shock:

### Latest WIP ###

Stuart Shaw
09-12-2012, 08:26 AM
Would love to know the steps in GIMP to make your swamp feature.

Cheers :D