View Full Version : Testing Cave designs. How is this for an overhead cave?

12-07-2008, 06:11 PM
Hey guys,

Im working out some kinks in cave designs.

This is a simple setup I have trying to give the cave some form.

What im looking for;
I want a definite depiction that its a cave WITH walls. Also, I want the walls to have a little bit of shape at least too.

I dont like the whole battlemap thing with all the squares or hexes.

Im going for lots of detail, this style or an evolution of it being the base of it all, to be added to later.

I am aware it doesnt have jaggy walls or anything im going for shapliness first.

So on that note what do you think of this and do you have any other techniques I can use to get more wall.

Im imagining it being able to see ALL the walls with the floor in the distance a little. Like a perspective drawing of the cave.. Does anyone know how to do this in gimp?

I would liek to eliminate as many shadows as i can at this stage and just have the walls and thier detail, this way when I add torchlight later It will generate its own shadows then, or paint them on as i want. ya know?


12-07-2008, 11:09 PM
Here is another one that im trying out.

12-07-2008, 11:18 PM
Honestly.. It looks good as far as I can tell. As a personal preference, i think the walls are very good and the shadow is just right. I like the second style a little bit more, though you could try toning the red down just a little bit more to a more even brown.

I don't know how this would look, but what if you put some type of pattern over the top of the rock. Maybe 20-100 pixels in (depending), so that the gaps between the tunnels will have something else to fill them.

Don't know if that makes sense to you :)

12-07-2008, 11:30 PM
Thanks for the advice I like the second one too. Those are just the colors I was working with at this point.

Im working on a more refined version now that im going to put into a macro.



p.s. there doesnt seem to be any way to show depth without the shadows.. been working with a few gradient combos to make a fake bump map to shade it the way i want without any prominent shadows.. that way i can still add my stronger shadows later.

12-08-2008, 07:16 AM
Nick those tiles are both really cool. We had a challenge in August for something like this. Check them all out and you can see my version too which went along similar lines.
post #39 is where it goes into dungeon. RobA's dungeon script is similar too in that same month.

12-08-2008, 09:45 AM
Nick, I've done a couple of maps that had to show depth with something more interesting than shadows. The Living Airship maps here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2727) have a great big shaft in them that I did some forced perspective on. I'm not sure how to go about creating something like this in a procedural fashion in Gimp, but maybe it'll give you some ideas.

12-08-2008, 09:59 PM

Thank you very much, your definitly leading me in the right direction. I think Torstan hit it on the nose! BTW those are WONDERFUL tiles!


Essentially, thats exactly what im going for, picture number 3, 4, 5!!!

It looks like you hand drew that in..

But man wouldnt that look great for a cave or dungeonmap.. ohh im drooling.. thats the style im going for..

We may need to draw on the power of robA to make that procedural..

I wish we had more options on those gradient fills, not just the angular, dimpled or spherical.

Ill post some tonight see if i can get it.

Thanks thanks!


12-08-2008, 11:01 PM

Are you trying for something other than a standard "soft bevel" effect? (I believe this is what Dundjinni uses).

Here is my gimp version using the layer effects python script:

-Rob A>

12-08-2008, 11:44 PM
Yes essentially Rob, but without the shadows from the azimuth.

And a gradient of sorts from the floor to the ceiling. Trying to show some more depth still.

Anything like Torstans with the actual cave walls?

12-09-2008, 12:17 AM
Programatically, Redrobe's thatch thingy (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1932) should be able to create a similar effect using a perspective foreshortened piece of wall...

Maybe he could run a sample to see?

-Rob A>

12-09-2008, 12:58 AM
yeah that would be awesome!

still working on mine too lol


12-09-2008, 04:07 AM

I took your advice and looked at redrobes thatch thingy.. still way to slow, but along the lines I needed..

So what i did, was made a GIH, using your script for making brushes, I made some with cracks in a wall. I made 2 of them, one, the cracks have a black to white gradient, and the other is just black.

I then stroked a path all the way around the cave where I wanted the cracks.

After that i did my normal shading and stuff following my techniques above for the red cave.

I also made a Bump Map of the cracks and added that as an overlay.

and walaH -- Mostly procedural cracks in the wall!!! showing perspective in a cave!!!

I want to improve the cracked walls a little more, maybe space them out or so. Any suggestions, and help? Anyone make a real fancy cracked wall brush? LOLLOLLOL

Thanks Guys

p.s. RobA, would you be willing to make that script for the brushes a little different.

1, Could you make it, 18 12deg rotation images and not 12 18deg images? Maybe make for smoother rounding of corners.

2, Is there ANY possible way to let it make bigger ones? for example 100x100px??

If not its cool, I just figured I would ask! LOL

Thanks for the script regardless!!!


12-09-2008, 06:32 AM
Looking good so far, but the repeated pattern is a bit obvious though...

12-09-2008, 02:30 PM
Im not worried about the pattern, just the shapeliness of the walls.

This is nothing official, its my attempt to hammer down my technique b4 I start on my cave.


12-09-2008, 03:41 PM
On thing that I can think of would be to use a layer mask on your "top" rocky layer to introduce the cracked wall illusion down to the "floor". This is not a procedural(or even fast) way to do it, but.... you could get as much control as your artistic skill will allow, ie, variable "heights" by making different length strokes.

12-09-2008, 04:12 PM
I like all of those little notches or cracks or whatever but I'd lighten up on the black ring. Nice though.

12-09-2008, 04:19 PM
Well these were all done with Gimp filters - really just a cropped shaped angular gradient with an heavy sharp mask applied - and here's the result.



It's not the greatest filter to use as the lines are pretty much horizontal or vertical around the wall edges. I really wanted them to angled as tangents to the wall.

12-10-2008, 02:24 AM
Here is another one with better cracks for the walls.

I know this is in cave areas, but I was getting bored of using those same textures over and over so its a grassy area with a pit!

I have those shadows reduced more.

I think im just about there!


12-10-2008, 06:07 PM
Useful, I might have to stea...er, incorporate this idea into something.

12-10-2008, 06:44 PM
Here is another one with better cracks for the walls.

I know this is in cave areas, but I was getting bored of using those same textures over and over so its a grassy area with a pit!

I have those shadows reduced more.

I think im just about there!


This Pit rocks on toast! Rep++