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Ascension
01-31-2009, 05:29 PM
I wanted to do a regional map with some sort of "dead lands" kind of thing and the more I played with a river bevel the more some elevation began to take shape. So I played around with that some more and am pretty happy with it, not 100% as this is more of a Bob Ross happy accident but I will work with this some more in future maps and it will evolve. Anyhow, here's the region as it is right now. Not sure where it will go or what I really want to do, just playing around mostly.

Rahva
01-31-2009, 07:02 PM
Wow. It's nice to see an Ascension style map close up like this. I'm not a huge fan of this style for world maps but it workd really really well like this, I think.
I'm not sure if it's intended, but I like how the corruption/deadness carries into the water.

I'll be watching to see where this is going :)

crackerjake
01-31-2009, 08:44 PM
Wooooow, this is great!!
I think it's awesome what you've done with the shores!

Mako
01-31-2009, 09:45 PM
Looks great.

Hoel
01-31-2009, 10:56 PM
The sweet touch of ascension...
There's a small dip between the islands and the subsurface countour that doesn't fit right
Keep playing, looks very good

Steel General
01-31-2009, 11:08 PM
Nice work my friend, looking forward to watching this develop.

Ascension
01-31-2009, 11:21 PM
A bit more refining...touched up the shelf cuz the colors were creating a dark ring that I didn't like so I rounded off the top of the contour of the bevel, completely redid the ridge lines, added some more brooding colors to the dead lands, added a forest and a swamp, and some minor tweaks on the rivers. The second image is the base (pre-layer styles) of the ridge lines. For the ridge lines or folded hills (or whatever) I just added a contoured outer bevel and set the fill to zero. My philosophy for drawing them was as "rivers that flow from the mountains" hence, they look like rivers until styled. I also smudged the ends and blurred some of the ones that I wanted to be more rounded. I think I'm ready to start on the other stuff like cites, roads, icons, borders, etc.

hunab.cu
02-01-2009, 04:34 AM
Awesome. Looks more like a photo taken from space, than a map.
Makes me crazy to see what will be the final result.

Bohunk
02-01-2009, 07:56 AM
Truly, a beautiful piece of art.

Hoel
02-01-2009, 08:02 AM
I just noticed the incredible coloring and texturing of the northern forest. Very impressive, looks very realistic.
I think the mountains are a bit to lumpy thou...

torstan
02-01-2009, 10:25 AM
Looking good.

I think your texture bump map is swamping your mountain shadows a bit. Have a look at this area as an example:
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The shadows make it lok like the river is running over hills rather than between them. To sort this out you might want to really emphasise the mountain shadows. I took the liberty of doing a quick overlay to see what it looks like (hope you don't mind!) to get this:
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Here's the overlay - as you can see it's really not very smooth or carefully done!
9829

Hope that is useful.

This is a great map - I'm glad to see your style continue to get better. Great stuff.

Ascension
02-01-2009, 11:53 AM
Oh, hey good idea. I hardly ever go back and do that bump mapping stuff with dodge/burn but you're totally right. I'll get on that right away.

Ascension
02-01-2009, 12:54 PM
How's this look? Added some towns and roads, walls and docks, and did the dodge/burn on a gray overlay bump map thing. I'm not thrilled with the city so I'll keep workin on that as well as the towns in the desert.

torstan
02-01-2009, 01:38 PM
Hmm, I still think it could go further. Here's a satellite image to show what I mean:

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The mountains are defined by the sharp shadows, and the smaller shadows that show terrain are secondary to those. You can go pretty extreme with the overall mountain shadows.

Otherwise, I like it. I agree with the city, but I've never been able to get good city results on these kind of maps. Interested to see what you end up with though.

Ascension
02-01-2009, 03:23 PM
Tor- yeah, the first iteration of this map had that sharp look and I wasn't feelin it (I thought I'd get bashed for it) so I deleted those ridges and redid them softer before I ever even started a thread. As to the bumping that I did do, well, it was getting quite dark and I get bashed enough for that, so I didn't go as hard as I might like to. I could use some smaller brushes and put in some gulleys and more definition but I don't wanna get carried away just yet and make it look like a DEM...not quite ready for that much realism yet :) I tried to rep ya for the advice but I gotta spread some around it appears.

torstan
02-01-2009, 05:59 PM
No worries. It looks good as it is. I'd be interested to see the sharp one you threw away!

Ascension
02-01-2009, 09:16 PM
Here's a halfway measure between soft and sharp on the terrain, plus I fixed that gray city and the desert towns, and some minor tweaks on the roads. I took a copy of the terrain and grayscaled it then hit it with unsharp mask which brought out the highest of the high whites, then a slight blur and set to overlay and I pumped up the bevel on the ridges, then some more dodge/burn on the bump layer. Anyway, it's all good, just messin around. Now back to the game. Crap uploaded the wrong pic. OK, here's the right one.

XiaoTie
02-01-2009, 09:23 PM
Thats a damn awesome map, the land texture is pure awesome.

Ascension
02-01-2009, 09:28 PM
Thanks Xiao. I'll be adding this technique into the continent tut I have sometime this week so that you can give it a try if you want.

Dracontes
02-02-2009, 06:48 AM
I think the only thing that throws me off here are the snowy bits. I find it odd that they have no steep slopes whatsoever: something I would expect from areas high enough to snow on.

I'm with torstan: sharp shading FTW ;)

Ascension
02-03-2009, 01:34 AM
More updates. Went a lil crisper on the ridges but still can't bring myself to go all the way as my method doesn't have as much info as a DEM or GIS map would, started labeling towns, put in some dungeon markers (one of these is where the plague was unleashed from), and a tentative map title. The fonts are arial, angry blue, and angry blue condensed all with 75% verticality.

Steel General
02-03-2009, 07:33 AM
Nice job my friend...love that Angry Blue font - it works well for this.

woekan
02-03-2009, 07:46 AM
Very pretty. I like the dirty look.

NymTevlyn
02-03-2009, 09:32 PM
The rivers would look better if you go rid of the bumpy texture.

Ascension
02-03-2009, 10:39 PM
This was originally meant to be a region, then it morphed into a terrain elevation experiment, so before it gets way out of hand I'm about ready to call this done and move on to something new. Let me know if there's something I missed/overlooked or need to revisit/tweak/fix. I didn't really feel like going all out with a border, frame, fancy graphics and whatnot but can if people think I should...otherwise I'll call it a successful experiment and leave it at that. Fixed those bumps Nym, I left in before cuz I thought they broke up the rivers a bit.

torstan
02-03-2009, 11:15 PM
That looks great - good work. Like how this one turned out.

Karro
02-04-2009, 11:00 AM
Besides the map being very awesome (par for the Ascension course) I love that cartouche! How did you do that?

Steel General
02-04-2009, 02:44 PM
Besides the map being very awesome (par for the Ascension course) I love that cartouche! How did you do that?

Without knowing his exact steps - it looks to me like a beveled shape with a "wind" filter and a wood/brick texture applied, and I would guess lots of "burn" applied to the lettering.

The compass rose & the "Stay Out' like like they were drawn with a mouse (could be wrong on that tho)...

Ascension
02-04-2009, 05:57 PM
The phorce is strong with the Steel one. Exactly spot on except I added a little bit of white overlay to the wood pattern (which I think I found on some country/western "Rolling Stone"-equivalent music page while looking for pics of the goddess Shania...even tho I hate country/western she can come live with me now that she's single again). I wanted it to look like a sign that someone had carved with a knife and then gotten slightly burnt...like a warning sign someone might see when entering a plagued city. I might go back and make the shape fit the boards better though, it looks kinda rough. Oh and the bevel has a texture that is the same as the pattern.

Steel General
02-04-2009, 06:44 PM
I'm with ya on Shania my friend...

jfrazierjr
02-04-2009, 08:24 PM
Very nice! Only thing I see that throws me is the travel routes. The one in the NE, it's hard to tell if it goes through valleys or not, but if it does, thats fine.

The one over on the NW side though...you have the path going over a ridgeline....Not sure it it's a mountain or just a hill, but something to think about. People almost always take the easier route instead of the shortest, of course, the technology or magic level may make this a moot point.)

NymTevlyn
02-04-2009, 11:07 PM
I like the rivers better now. The bump mapping in them didn't work because of how narrow they are.

Asharad
02-05-2009, 12:08 AM
This looks awesome

Towser
02-13-2009, 08:30 PM
The phorce is strong with the Steel one. Exactly spot on except I added a little bit of white overlay to the wood pattern (which I think I found on some country/western "Rolling Stone"-equivalent music page while looking for pics of the goddess Shania...even tho I hate country/western she can come live with me now that she's single again). I wanted it to look like a sign that someone had carved with a knife and then gotten slightly burnt...like a warning sign someone might see when entering a plagued city. I might go back and make the shape fit the boards better though, it looks kinda rough. Oh and the bevel has a texture that is the same as the pattern.

Man! She feels like a women! Sorry..I couldn't help myself!