View Full Version : Black Coral - From Malazan Book of the Fallen Series

Steel General
01-29-2009, 03:03 PM
This is based off of the map at the front of the book, "Toll The Hounds" - with my own mapping "style" applied to it.

For those not familiar with the series, the city and some of the outlying countryside is engulfed in magical darkness - thus the cloud area over the city itself. The great barrow is a tomb/shrine of a special soldier, it was originally made from various armor/weapons, coins, etc. but since has continued to grow as more and more items are piled onto it.

Pretty happy with the overall piece though I'm not entirely happy with the water, and I may redo the hills/mountains.

Feel free to make comments, suggestions, etc.

01-29-2009, 03:19 PM
Pretty nice... I have to say that my initial thought was that those were cliffs from an ISO view point until I looked closely at the city layout and read your post.

01-29-2009, 04:20 PM
I thought it was iso too, but it's nice anyway

Steel General
01-29-2009, 05:13 PM
Thanks... Since you both thought the same thing, I think I definitely need to redo the hills/mountains.

01-29-2009, 10:32 PM
I have to say that I thought the same thing. On the plus side though, if they were ISO cliffs, then they would be great!

Steel General
01-30-2009, 08:21 AM
OK, redid the hills/mountains, changed the font and added a few more labels.

01-30-2009, 08:21 AM
I think it's the orientation of the texture. If you rotate it 90 degrees it'll be good.

Steel General
01-30-2009, 08:30 AM
I think it's the orientation of the texture. If you rotate it 90 degrees it'll be good.

I don't think that'll solve it, the texture has lines going in all different directions - always worth a try though. Maybe I need to try a completely different texture or a different rendering of that one. *shrugs*

01-30-2009, 08:59 AM
I don't know.. might be the shadowing.
What technique have you been using?

Steel General
01-30-2009, 09:07 AM
Same thing I always use, stacked layers with different textures, with blurring to help blend the different layers - I try to keep the shadowing to a minimum.

Here's another version where I tweaked the textures a bit.

01-30-2009, 09:21 AM
I think i got it. You've beveld the layer haven't you?! Combined with the shadowing on the texture it gives the impression of a cliff face...
I think the iso like texture of the forest adds to the effect.

Steel General
01-30-2009, 09:46 AM
That may be it, and it's not my usual forest texture - I'll take another look at it later. I'm supposed to be doing work. :D

Steel General
01-30-2009, 10:22 AM
OK - replaced the forest texture (went back to the one of the ones I usually use), and replaced/played around with the hill and mountain textures so that they match what I put in the mini-tut I created.

01-30-2009, 05:33 PM
It still looks like cliffs to me and I think the problem is the pattern itself (that's the problem with relying on patterns) and that doesn't really look "mountainey" to me, it looks like something you'd see in a rocky canyon or cliff...all cracked like that. What I'd suggest is maybe shrink the size of the pattern so that the cracks aren't so large and dominating and use something different on the top layers (in your method) with more emphasis on gray or white.

But in reality, there are many places on earth where the various strata of earth have been pushed and folded and turned sideways like this, especially in Scotland (I think) where the science of geology was basically started with some farmer dude back in the late 1700s (or 1800s, I can't remember) who had rock formations like this on his farm near the coast...saw this on the Science Channel, a show called "How the Earth Was Made". The problem is that this place wasn't a mountain, it was on a flat and rocky coast, but it has an interesting look nonetheless.

Nevertheless, I had a go with my usual mountain style but set the layer's mode to linear light (instead of the usual hard light) to preserve some of your pattern but give it a lil push...hope you don't mind. Think I might try this on some of my own stuff :)

Steel General
01-30-2009, 06:23 PM
No, I don't mind at all - if something I've done is useful in any way (even just as a stepping stone, etc.) then great.

It's the same basic patterns I've been using though I normally add a couple more layers. I think the real problem is that my "style" doesn't really work all that great on long narrow strips, where the pattern is more obvious. It seems to work better on smaller, rounder areas.

I could actually get rid of the entire left side of the image. The city and the barrows are the most important things.

Steel General
02-03-2009, 07:50 AM
Ok, played around with the hills some more, pretty happy with the way it turned out. Gonna call this puppy done and move it over to the finished maps thread.