PDA

View Full Version : Council of Five - Floating Castle



Steel General
10-31-2008, 03:04 PM
OK, inspired by the floating castles of DragonLance & Moon's Spawn from the Malazan series I decided to create my own.

Here in it's very early stages is Castle (Insert Name Here), home to the Council of Five - a group of wizards of nearly god-like power who lord over the planet of Animaar.

This is in its very early stages, I used Ascension's asteroid-making tutorial as a base to start from. There are parts I like quite a bit, and some I'm not to happy with at the moment.

I was looking for some very simple creature "icons", as each of the wizards is aspected to a certain kind of creature(s); Feline/Lupine/Ursine, Avian, Insect, Reptilian/Amphibian, Arachnid/Scorpion. So far I haven't found anything I like so I defaulted to some hieroglyphic symbols I got from the Dundjinni forums.

So here you go...

Ascension
10-31-2008, 04:21 PM
Lookin good so far. I'd like to see ya do up a continent or regional map underneath the clouds and maybe put in a floating shadow :) Oh, also you gotta clean up the isolated pixels floating around the outside of the landmass. Waiting with baited breath for the next wip ;)

Steel General
10-31-2008, 06:34 PM
Lookin good so far. I'd like to see ya do up a continent or regional map underneath the clouds and maybe put in a floating shadow :) Oh, also you gotta clean up the isolated pixels floating around the outside of the landmass. Waiting with baited breath for the next wip ;)

Thanks... I may have to redo the sky and clouds to add a landmass as they are all one layer, unless I just do some smaller 'islands' scattered about. Have to play around with that.

I'll get those isolated pixels cleaned up on Monday, as the file is on my work PC.

What do you think of the idea of having each of the satellite towers a different texture? Too much? Or maybe using the same texture with a different hue/saturation settings to give them some individuality. Not sure, just thought I'd throw that out there.

Redrobes
10-31-2008, 07:57 PM
Agreed with ascension about the land below. See Torqs winning challenge entry in the low byte VTT map of May.

I have just finished re-reading chronicles myself and I did enjoy those castles which add an extra dimension of tactics to the party plot.

As for animals etc. There is a copyright expired bestiary with loads of animals in it which might do the trick. Cant remember where I saw it tho but that bestiary word narrows it down a bit in google. If I come across it ill edit it in here.

Looking good tho.

Rovingjack
10-31-2008, 08:06 PM
I'm thinking that it looks a bit like an island in water, but if you wanted to make it seem to be flying that putting a seperate terrain map (or even a partly obscured town or city) under it and blend it so that it looses the focus due to how far away it is...

At least that is what I want to do now that you got me thinking about this. :)

oh and a shadow cast on the ground off to the side.

Ascension
10-31-2008, 09:48 PM
I'm not familiar with the story so if there are reasons to do it that way then do so. My own thoughts (not following ANY story) would be to do them with an elemental tie-in to the animal avatars...like red/fire with the scorpion, green/nature for the bear, etc. But not a bright red that sticks out like a sore thumb but a dark and muted red like the color of bricks and a green that's more mossy/leafy. Of course you could do the hieroglyphics with color and keep the buildings stone and chop up the land to reflect the elements (desert, woods, lakes, etc).

My 2 bits.

Steel General
11-03-2008, 10:44 AM
OK, here are some updates; added real simple 'regional map' below and redid the clouds (may redo them again, not sure I like them). Also did a version with colored towers (the green tower may be too dark).

jfrazierjr
11-03-2008, 11:08 AM
OK, here are some updates; added real simple 'regional map' below and redid the clouds (may redo them again, not sure I like them). Also did a version with colored towers (the green tower may be too dark).


Very nice. The color one looks good. I think you are right about the clouds need a bit more love. Too much pure white in many places, so it needs a bit more color variation than just pure white. Hmm.. might be time for you to play with layer masks(hint hint) along with the white/black colors of the clouds to be able to get some parts of the layers to show through at varying opacities. It is looking very nice except those few spots that are pure white. Can't wait to see more.

Steel General
11-03-2008, 11:24 AM
Thanks... I think part of the problem with the clouds is that the tutorial I used/followed to generate them doesn't work really well at high resolutions. I'll play some more and see if I can't get them to look better.

mmmmmpig
11-03-2008, 12:59 PM
I think the figure/ground relationship might need a bit of help here. In my opinion, the ground below is a bit too crisp and focused. I would Gausssian blur that to get rid of the detail and blur it forcing a more narrow feild of focus onto the floating island.

I would also suggest changing the icon color instead of the tower color. That would tie the seprate structures together a bit more and have them mirrored nicely in the central tower area as well.

Great stuff so far

Steel General
11-03-2008, 02:28 PM
OK yet another slow day at work - god I hate waiting for people to make up their minds about things sometimes - anyway...

- Redid the clouds, I like these much better.
- Put a blur on the terrain below
- Added a shadow of the whole floating mass over the land below

Here's two versions - one "normal" and one with colored 'sigils' as suggested by mmmmmpig.

Redrobes
11-03-2008, 02:45 PM
If the castle is floating really high as it appears to be then the air between the castle and the ground would have a fog or mist about it which would tend to make the floor look slightly gray in tone just like distant mountains across from you might have. So do you think it would be good to blend some light gray into the floor terrain so that it looks more distinct to the castle terrain ? That simple fix up might make it look its floating even higher.

torstan
11-03-2008, 03:04 PM
I'm impressed with how this one is coming along.

Perhaps the clouds would be useful for giving the castle the illusion of flying if they were beneath the castle?

Also, I agree with Redrobes. Distant objects tend to be bluer and lighter. This should be possible by just brightening the ground layer and then shunting the colour balance towards blue.

Steel General
11-03-2008, 03:17 PM
Thanks guys, appreciate the comments/suggestions. I'll give those a try next time I get a chance to work on it.

mmmmmpig
11-03-2008, 03:19 PM
I like the "normal" one better than the one with colored sigals and the colored sigals version more than the colored tower version.

This is coimig along rather nicely. I am rather enjoying watching the process.

CC_JAR
11-03-2008, 03:27 PM
I'm impressed with how this one is coming along.

Perhaps the clouds would be useful for giving the castle the illusion of flying if they were beneath the castle?

Also, I agree with Redrobes. Distant objects tend to be bluer and lighter. This should be possible by just brightening the ground layer and then shunting the colour balance towards blue.

I know this very well, it's atmospheric perspective, it kills me when I try taking long distance photos of mountain ranges and such..

but the further away something is, the more it increases blur and the blueish 'film' effect in photos, so keep that in mind for adding depth.

jfrazierjr
11-03-2008, 05:07 PM
Yep! Clouds rock on now!!! Rep++

Ascension
11-03-2008, 05:19 PM
Adding on to what the others have already said...I think the ground seems to have more detail than the castle ground. Those little blobby things seem to attract my eye too much. If that was a pattern, try making it smaller, or just a layer of olive green with some clouds and noise for variation to break up the green. The mountains look good though but the towers look a lil flat, more like daises, although I'm sure the shadows will come later (they always come last for me). The shadow of the floating ground should be darker though as I can't find it, and it should also be smaller (to lend to the height feeling). Take the base layer and copy it then rescale it down and color it black and lower the opacity.

Steel General
11-03-2008, 08:59 PM
The shadow of the floating ground should be darker though as I can't find it, and it should also be smaller (to lend to the height feeling). Take the base layer and copy it then rescale it down and color it black and lower the opacity.

That's pretty much what I did - just didn't want to over do it so I have the opacity turned way down (around 25% I think). I'll make some adjustments and see what you folks think.

Things to do:

1) Raise 'floating mass' above clouds
2) Blur/'blue' terrain more
3) Lower opacity on 'trees'
4) Improve the shadows on the castle
5) Clean up 'floating pixels'

Steel General
11-04-2008, 08:26 AM
OK, had some time to 'play around' with this some more. Based on the various comments, etc. I have received here's what's changed.

1) Moved the clouds below the 'floating island'
2) Added "bluing" to the terrain and the foliage
3) Fiddled with the shadows, etc. on the castle itself - not sure if I like it yet
4) Tried to remove/clean up the 'floating pixels' but I can't seem to find out which layer they are on :)
5) Adjusted the ground shadow of the 'island', making it smaller and darker, as well as moving it slightly.

Redrobes
11-04-2008, 12:37 PM
Nice one. It certainly looks like you wouldn't want to fall off now !

Karro
11-04-2008, 03:13 PM
Looking great.

But might I suggest a minor addition: that there be cloud both above and below the floating island, to make it look like it is floating through the clouds.

mmmmmpig
11-04-2008, 04:09 PM
wow! That looks great! Much better now

Steel General
11-04-2008, 04:55 PM
Looking great.

But might I suggest a minor addition: that there be cloud both above and below the floating island, to make it look like it is floating through the clouds.

Thanks...One of the earlier versions had both, but popular consensus seemed to be to have the 'island' above the clouds.

Map Vandal
11-04-2008, 05:16 PM
This looks absolutely wonderful. I really like the way you muted the ground. It looks great.

Ascension
11-04-2008, 05:27 PM
Agreed, that bluing/hazing looks fan-freakin-tastic! Awesome job SG! I bonk thee +2

Karro
11-04-2008, 05:37 PM
Thanks...One of the earlier versions had both, but popular consensus seemed to be to have the 'island' above the clouds.

Ahh... oh well. It does look great, regardless!

Steel General
11-04-2008, 07:41 PM
Thanks people...it wouldn't be where it is without your comments/suggestions/etc.

Now I just need a good name for the castle...maybe Castle Anthrax! (just kidding :D)

jfrazierjr
11-04-2008, 08:33 PM
Thanks people...it wouldn't be where it is without your comments/suggestions/etc.

Now I just need a good name for the castle...maybe Castle Anthrax! (just kidding :D)


Heh.... bad Zoot!

Steel General
11-06-2008, 01:17 PM
OK, still looking for a good name for the castle itself. I was leaning toward something that referenced '5', for example Castle Pentax. But the more I thought about it the less I wanted to limit my self to the whole "quin/pent" kinda name.

So if anybody wants to throw out some ideas I'd appreciate it. Maybe if we get several really good ones we can set up a poll and let the community pick the name.

Oh, also looking for some ideas for borders around the map, not something I normally do, but I think this one calls for one.

mmmmmpig
11-06-2008, 11:35 PM
The Magistrum Perilous

or something along those lines

colloquially known as the Floating Five

Steel General
11-10-2008, 11:53 AM
*bump*

Hmmm...no other suggestions so far. Welp, I'll give it one more day and if I don't receive any more suggestions for the castle name then mmmmmpig's idea will "win".

Ascension
11-10-2008, 06:20 PM
I actually spent some time thinking about this but couldn't come up with anything sufficiently dramatic-sounding. My brain has been in the stars lately rather than in the clouds where it usually is :)

Steel General
11-11-2008, 06:48 AM
I actually spent some time thinking about this but couldn't come up with anything sufficiently dramatic-sounding. My brain has been in the stars lately rather than in the clouds where it usually is :)

Neither could I, that's why I figured I'd ask for input since we are a bunch of "somewhat creative misfits" :D

torstan
11-11-2008, 12:31 PM
Lord Holgrom's Aerie?

The Dread Fortress of Viscount Roth?

(I just wanted to use the word viscount - like vizier, it seems like a word that oozes sly malice)

Steel General
11-11-2008, 02:40 PM
Woohoo! More ideas... a couple more and I may actually put up a survey.

Karro
11-11-2008, 04:36 PM
Lord Holgrom's Aerie?

The Dread Fortress of Viscount Roth?

(I just wanted to use the word viscount - like vizier, it seems like a word that oozes sly malice)

I like something with "Aerie"


Woohoo! More ideas... a couple more and I may actually put up a survey.

"The Ace of Pentacles" or something else with "pentacle"

Steel General
11-11-2008, 04:46 PM
Good, good, good...give me more - the more the better. :)