View Full Version : September Entry : Buncklebury

09-13-2008, 11:26 PM
Hi there.

This is my entry for this month's challenge. First time entering a challenge, so apologies for not posting a WIP. I missed that bit until now. I was just keen to get on with it.

I've not quite settled on a style as it's still evolving, so my entry is more for me to develop my skills. I don't like the way I've done the forests, and all the names are picked out of thin air. Not sure if it shows the right scale either.

I'm more or less done, though I might add more detail with place names and such - so it could still be WIP. Taken about 19hrs of work it's now 4am and I'm tired :) So I'll check it out in a few days when I get a fresh view, might do a bit more work sometime before the deadline.

Software used: Photoshop and Wilbur.
Fonts from dafont.com

I'll put up a link to the master file size soon - it's big -2048x2048pixels. For now, here's a 50% reduced version - which I guess will be about the size for the submission?


09-14-2008, 06:57 AM
Great map jezelf, and with it we have a new record of 26 entries this month. The last and only time we got near this kind of figure there were real prizes to be had for the winners. Oh and you must tell us how you made the 3D map to run wilbur on it.

09-14-2008, 08:31 AM

glad you like it. Cheers.

It's a great challenge, for me particuarly because the stuff I've done before as really just been exploring techniques and this is the first time I've had to use all that to a practical end.

Wilbur helps make this map really. A great program! I'm still stumbling around it a bit. For this map, I furthered my methods from my tutorial - but the key is in the height map. I must have spent about 8 hours working on that (my 'puters a bit old and slow too ) and still not quite happy with it - don't think the hills show up much and they should be a bit softer, but something learnt for next time.

It was a bit tricky 'coz Wilbur's errosion created some unwanted rivers heading out from inland towards the ones already there, and I've seen the river police on patrol and wanted to be a law abiding citizen :) even though it meant scraping the first one. Actually, it bugged me too and wanted to make it look more natural.

Previously, I used whatever output Wilbur gave me for the entire map, which was fine for playing about with techniques as the tutorial maps don't have any other purpose. For a map that has specific details, I couldn't get exactly what I wanted so I adapted my workflow and concentrated on using Wilbur to detail various areas of the map for what I was after.

So what's changed from the tutorials I've done, is after creating a general height map using Photoshop, I rendered out numerous stages (gray height maps)from Wilbur as I added errosion - one also just for the mountians only with more errsion. From Wilbur back into Photoshop and blend all the various height maps to make a more custom one to be as close to the sketch, using layers and a soft eraser then flatterned that height map to make a master height map. It's partly because I dont know Wilbur beyond the first 'fun with wilbur' tutorial, but this way I had more control for what I was after.

This went back into Wilbur again for a little more noise and errosion to unify any dodgy blending I might have done in PS - but also because Wilbur's great at making it all look natural.

I also thought that Wilbur's Lighiting render that you see when you open up a file was much better than any I previously had done in photoshop, which can be too harsh or strong. So when I was done in Wilbur I save that colour lighting map out and desaturated it back in PS for my base render (rather than go through Render Lighting and Emboss )

Another change to my previous method is that with the master height map once in PS. I created a couple of colour height gradients and blended them into the file. This worked nicely with the final render with wilbur.

When I'm done, I hope to put up an overview of all this on my site, including the a link to the gradients for download if anyone would like to use them. probably next month. For now, I hope the above helps explain things a bit if anyone wants a go.



09-14-2008, 08:50 AM
This is one nice map Jez,

I agree that the forest need a bit of work and land feaures need to stand out more. I always try to make important information on a map stand out so the user don't need to shrink his eyes to see what is important to se. A map is not just a piece of art that looks nice, it has to easy to understand and read :)


09-14-2008, 10:40 AM
If you keep playing with gradient maps, you might want to look over this article about hypsometric tints (http://www.shadedrelief.com/hypso/hypso.html).

It's an approach I'd like to explore eventually, but I haven't found the time to play with it or had a map project to use it on.

09-14-2008, 11:23 AM
Great first challenge entry jezelf. I love your river erosion. Its some of the best I've seen, particulalry in the swampy areas. I also love Wilbur but I can never get it to behave in a controlled manner like that. Well done and may this be the first of many challenges for you.


09-14-2008, 12:57 PM
That is a FANTABULOUS map! Really!

I know I would love to see a more detailed tut on how to do it, especially the initial wokr to bring it INTO Wilbur.

Good Job. Have some rep!

09-14-2008, 06:34 PM
hey there.

thanks for the feedback!

Pat: Yep, thats right. It's all very well having a pretty picture but it needs to deliver the information as it's meant to be an document of such. So tha'ts my next personal challenge and I've been studying the work of others here at the guild - in the Featured maps section. Particualry the work of Torq, HandsomeRob and of course, Anna.

I did some testing tonight with rendering Effects in PS to bring back some shaded relief shadows so it doesnt look as flat, so I'll update soon with that done.

Midgardsormr : thanks, yes I ave seent that article, but as with a lot of interesting stuff I dont normally have time to read and try it all out either. I'll probably look into it more when I do larger a map

Torq: hey - just talking about you above :) - Thanks. Yeah Wilbur's a great tool. there's a lot of scope. The errosion is done by going through the 'fun with wilbur' tutorial and adapting the settings. while doing that, just concentrate on the mountains and what you would expect to see. Then save it out as a height map and cut out the mountians area onto the rest of the land heightmap. otherwise I end up with millions of rivers and streams, so I thought I'll have a go by doing the above. seemed to work.

Neonknight: wow, thanks. The height map before wilbur was as much I could do using greyscale in PS. I'll post up a before wilbur height map and the result of multiple exported gray scales from wilbur blended together for the final heightmap via photoshop so you can see the difference. Hopefully do that tomorrow.

thanks for the feed back, everyone!


09-14-2008, 08:46 PM
That is one sweet map! I love the colors and how everything fits together and looks like it belongs. The tapered rivers are great.
I think the mountains could use a little directional light to give them some eight because they look a little flat and I think the slight bevel around the landmasses could be softened as it looks less 'real' than everything else. but otherwise, great map.

Steel General
09-15-2008, 06:43 AM
Great job Jezelf! I really like the detail of the coast, something that I still have problems with (along with a whole bunch of other things :D)

Would love to see a higher rez version to make out more of the details, etc.

09-15-2008, 01:24 PM
Thanks guys.

There's been a bit of interest in my height maps so I've thrown together a rough overview for those interested in how I've been doing this. Of course, the PSD file has many more layers that have tweaks and other things as I worked into it all, and the map is still in progress, but this is the general flow of things...


09-15-2008, 01:27 PM
here's a full resolution of the final height map...


09-15-2008, 01:33 PM
...and the current version of the finished land before detailing with cities and roads and such.

I've put in some more relief definition with the mountains. I might work on this some more before the challenge deadline. This challenge is really helping me learn more stuff.


09-15-2008, 02:32 PM
Good Job, Good job!

09-16-2008, 08:42 AM
Latest work as of the date of this post.

Added more relief shading for the mountains
Added drop shadows for the major names of places

Still need to

add in a few more sea routes
some more trails
maybe some location features on the overlay info like ruins, forts, villiages what have you.

### Latest WIP ###

09-17-2008, 08:44 AM
OK - this is as far as I'm taking it. Learn a bunch of stuff doing this and it also turned up things I need to work on for the next map - Fonts, Hills, Forests Naming of stuff and generally the information displayed.

Well, probably took about 30hrs and time to submit it as final...

Thanks for looking and of course your valued input and opinions.

(2.12MB 2048x2048 pixels)
### Latest WIP ###

Steel General
09-17-2008, 10:06 AM
This is really quite spectacular Jezelf, well done.

09-17-2008, 11:34 AM
I'm with The General, it looks fantastic, even the labels and roads and misc graphic work fit into place. I would say that you don't really have anything to work on/improve. Excellent job! And I shall now beat thee about the head and shoulders with my Club of Repping (+1 to hit).

09-18-2008, 08:36 AM
Thanks for the comments!

after a bit of a break from it, I thought the whole map was looking a bit dark - so brightened it up a bit...so hopefully this is it. (though I might review it again in a few days!) I am actually now a bit sick of this map :) - but I keep wanting to make sure it's as best as I can get it - I must stop fiddling with it (ooh-err missus) or I'll over work it.

Do intend to put up a 'making of' on my site (not a tutorial just an more detailed overview) for any interested parties. Though I might go off any do another map with my new box of tricks I learnt on this one, first

### Latest WIP ###

09-25-2008, 02:48 AM
each version just got better and better... I am going to have to really look through that step by step that you showed.