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Hoel
12-22-2008, 12:02 PM
This it the city of St. Espene in my current PbIRC RPG campaign. The group is currently exploring a cave/tomb system under the cliff. I needed a map since they'll be returning.
I've tried a few tips from the forums but I'm not happy with the result. The terrain came out looking pretty flat when wanted to show that the northern part of the city sits on a cliff over the bay.
If I were to work more on this project, I'd probably add more terrain elements, a few farms, more roads and buildings outside the city and a ruin

http://i263.photobucket.com/albums/ii146/ChristianHoel/StEspeneNoLable.jpg

Gandwarf
12-22-2008, 01:50 PM
Hoel, this is a very decent city map, thanks for sharing. Doing a cliff is hard and I think yours turned out all right. I like the fact that the city is walled into different areas.

I agree that the map would look better if there were some more terrain elements. Do I understand correctly you are going to leave it this way?

Steel General
12-22-2008, 02:02 PM
I'm wondering if maybe some kind of crashing wave effect at the base of the cliff would help. *shrugs* Just a thought.

jfrazierjr
12-22-2008, 02:05 PM
Very nice... The cliff is fairly good. I love the water texture... Not sure if the grass is a bit to distinct though.... I would probably put just a 1 px blur on the grass myself to give it a bit more of the watercolor look as the water. What did you use to make this? Did you hand "paint" those buildings one at a time or did you use some type of symbol/brush, or some type of filter? There are a couple of places where the buildings are outlined with a hard black brush but not others, so you may want to take a look at that unless there is some reason for that.

All in all, a VERY nice map. I guess one of these days, I will have to try to make a city map...

Gandwarf
12-22-2008, 02:27 PM
All in all, a VERY nice map. I guess one of these days, I will have to try to make a city map...

Yes, please! We need more city maps, so that I can ste... eh borrow stuff from you guys.

ravells
12-22-2008, 03:34 PM
Great and convincing positive and negative space in the city! It makes it instantly believable!

Ascension
12-22-2008, 04:40 PM
I think the land turned out great. I didn't know what the shadow was for until I read that it was supposed to be a cliff then I got it. The water could use some help to fit the style of the land (satellite realism) but I might just be overly critical so don't mind me too much there. Overall, I think this is a pretty nice map and would definitely like to see more so that I can, uh, borrow yeah, that's it. :) Nice job.

Sigurd
12-22-2008, 05:23 PM
The land has great colour and texture but its only slightly too uniform in brightness.

I put a grey layer above it 127,127,127 and then burned\dodged it to emphasize your mountains.

Does this look better?

Sigurd

Gandwarf
12-22-2008, 05:33 PM
I think it does.
But hey, who am I?

ravells
12-22-2008, 06:41 PM
I must be colour blind, I can't tell the difference between the two!

Gandwarf
12-22-2008, 06:45 PM
I must be colour blind, I can't tell the difference between the two!

Time for a new monitor perhaps? :)

Sigurd
12-22-2008, 08:19 PM
Its not a colour change. Hoel has already done all the work.


All I did was put a gray layer over top and adjust the light values a little. Here's another modified version and the gray overlay map beside it.

Personally, I like to add a little noise to maps so that I escape the sense that everything in it is planned. In my own works I find a little chaos artistically applied is usually a good thing.

Here's another version of the map with the modification layer beside it. Its not about colour, its about light. The differences are sometimes really subtle. Its much cleaner to add them as a layer gray tones rather than darken\lighten the original.

This is far from perfect. Just a quick thing to deepen the surrounding country.




Sigurd

jfrazierjr
12-22-2008, 10:48 PM
Here's another version of the map with the modification layer beside it. Its not about colour, its about light. The differences are sometimes really subtle. Its much cleaner to add them as a layer gray tones rather than darken\lighten the original.
Sigurd

I concur 100%! Likewise, my standard practice fo bump maps is to always bump map a 50% grey set to overlay so that if I decide the change colors, I can do so without having to regenerate the bump map.

ravells
12-24-2008, 12:22 PM
Sigurd, would you mind posting the before and after side by side as a single image? I can use it to caliberate my monitor (which I had spent about an hour caliberating but I still can't see any difference between the two pictures).

Sigurd
12-24-2008, 01:29 PM
Happy to post some before and afters. Here is the original (top left) and the gray scale (bttm rght). The other are lighting effects changes.

None of these actually change the original base layer.

Ravells - Here they are but personally I'd suggest you find some sort of standard for calibrating against.

Sigurd

Midgardsormr
12-25-2008, 11:42 AM
I like to use Ascension's Snagglefjord and the Flash map that Gowienczyk posted in his intro thread for calibration. If I can see details in both, then I know I'm good.

ravells
12-25-2008, 07:45 PM
Thanks Sigurd! Funny, when the maps are side by side the difference is outstandingly clear but when I compared them above, I couldn't see it! Don't worry I won't use your images to recaliberate the monitor (sorry I was expressing myself badly in the last post), but wanted to check to see if it needed recalibarating.

Hoel
12-26-2008, 07:18 PM
Thanks for all the comments. I've been away for christmas so I haven't been able to reply.

Gandwarf, I'm planning on leaving it like it is. It's really not the most important town, more a warm up for mapping the campaigns real main city. I'm getting on that right after I'm finished posting. The map should be up by monday.

Jfrazierjr, The map is hand painted in photoshop. I've used lighting effects, clouds and ocean ripple filter, but other than that it's all by hand. I would say it's impossible without a tablet thou. The houses were drawn with a small square brush with size, roundness, angle and scatter on 70-80%, then beveld and stroked. The stroke may have caused some wierdness, I'll look in to it on the next project.

Sigurd, that really did it! Thanks a bunch. I'm not that good with natural shading on flat surfaces, and the angle of the slope made it even more difficult, but I'll give it a shot. The next map will have more contour and easier shading.

If anyone can give me tips on making the walls more realistic I'd appreciate it.

Stay tuned for Burgenoss, the regional capital. Lots of walls, a harbour and more detailed buildnings
Cheers