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icosahedron
03-09-2009, 07:17 AM
Ok, here's some WIP. I haven't posted it before because I've been juggling this stuff between computers, but I've finally got there.


The first pictures are drafts of a map I posted in the requests forum. I haven't done any more with it because the guy hasn't got back to me yet to say if it was any good to him.

The first draft looked a bit 'square' and obviously tiled, so I tried to make some of the edges between objects a bit more natural - rounded them off, covered them up with smaller patches and objects, etc.


The next pictures are of a fantasy castle/tower that I'm intending to floorplan out. It's located in the frozen north. Redrobes kindly created some snow patches for me and I've used them to transform a basic castle into a snow-laden one. I'm quite pleased with the results, but I have a naive beginners eye. I'm sure the experts will see a few potential improvements. :)

I particularly like the way the 'blizzard' overlay works, the way the snow seems to 'soften' the picture, and the way the snow patches, when reduced down and pathed, give a trodden trail effect across the larger snow patches. That was an unexpected bonus.

I still need to get a better effect of snow on the rock the castle is built on. I have some ideas for that, but since my only tools at present are Viewingdale and MS Paint, I'm struggling a bit. There's plenty of time though, I've had this castle in my mind's eye for over twenty years, and never had the skill or software to reproduce it.

I'm going to search around here a bit for info on something one step but no more above Paint. I really don't have time to learn the likes of PS, Gimp or CC3!

I'm also doing a Traveller starmap for my upcoming Pocket Empires campaign. http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=53213&postcount=1
This is also early WIP.

Steel General
03-09-2009, 07:20 AM
I think your 'winterized' maps are coming along very nicely.

Ascension
03-09-2009, 08:40 AM
RR did a great job on that snow indeed. Smokin.

RobA
03-09-2009, 10:23 AM
I'm going to search around here a bit for info on something one step but no more above Paint. I really don't have time to learn the likes of PS, Gimp or CC3!

How about Paint.Net (http://www.getpaint.net/)?

-Rob A>

Hoel
03-09-2009, 10:50 AM
Very nice snow.
FOr the rocks, they could be quite bare, snow doesn't settle well on vertical surfaces. You could have ice thou.

Thought
03-09-2009, 02:20 PM
Both look quite nice.

Though, I am a little confused on that first one; is the building raised up or surrounded by a mound of dirt? I ask because the road seems to behave a little strangely; I'm refering to that kink in the middle. It makes sense if the lighter tan area around the building is a mound, but if everything is essentially flat, then that kink seems out of place.

I particularly like the path in the snow for the castle. Something that you may have already considered is other foot-paths. Specifically, if there are any guards walking patrol, there'd be paths from that (and if this is for a game, as it sort of looks like it might be, clever players could use that information to determine patrol routes).

Redrobes
03-09-2009, 03:13 PM
The snowy castle does look good. I find snow hard work probably because I dont get to see it all that often to know what its supposed to look like.

After some immense digging and google fu I dug up one of Vry's maps. Hes a great artists and has been over here once or twice. Anyway I remember he had a great snow scene so [url=http://magist.com/vry/v/misc/MapPreviews/StandAlone/Kaltiar+Revisted.jpg.html]heres a link[/url to that.

He seems to be able to get snow looking right. So see if you can take some tips from him. He uses Photoshop and has said a map can take weeks so don't think this is a normal standard - this is pretty exceptional.

The other thing is to tell us what it is your after with the castle cliff. I could try to get my terrain prog to gen up some rough cliff with snow on it. Its pretty good at that. In fact most terrain apps seem to be ok with snowscapes but that might again be more to do with the fact that I don't have the familiarity to see the issues in them.

If it comes out ok ill post it.

icosahedron
03-09-2009, 05:30 PM
The snowy castle does look good. I find snow hard work probably because I dont get to see it all that often to know what its supposed to look like.

After some immense digging and google fu I dug up one of Vry's maps. Hes a great artists and has been over here once or twice. Anyway I remember he had a great snow scene so heres a link (http://magist.com/vry/v/misc/MapPreviews/StandAlone/Kaltiar+Revisted.jpg.html) to that.

He seems to be able to get snow looking right. So see if you can take some tips from him. He uses Photoshop and has said a map can take weeks so don't think this is a normal standard - this is pretty exceptional.

The other thing is to tell us what it is your after with the castle cliff. I could try to get my terrain prog to gen up some rough cliff with snow on it. Its pretty good at that. In fact most terrain apps seem to be ok with snowscapes but that might again be more to do with the fact that I don't have the familiarity to see the issues in them.

If it comes out ok ill post it.

Hmm, that url wasn't working, I've closed the final bracket, so let's see if this works...

Edit: yes, that's better.

That looks like the effect I'm after, thanks for the link. I want a few more black rocks protruding like that. I'll have to see if I can get a really hi-def image of that map so I can examine the 'brush strokes' and learn from the master.

As for the cliffs, like you, I don't see enough snow to be sure, but I'll know it when I see it. :)
I feel that when snow falls on sharp rock, it will tend to calf off abruptly, taking the edgy shape of the rock, whereas the current snow patches are roundeed and faded out and are ideal for larger expanses of snow. That's why I suggested that your 'scattered snow' effect might be good if it could be scaled up over small objects.

For someone who doesn't see much snow, I'd say you've done a great job there, Redrobes, all I've done is plonked it down on top of a castle. :)

icosahedron
03-09-2009, 06:01 PM
Both look quite nice.

Though, I am a little confused on that first one; is the building raised up or surrounded by a mound of dirt? I ask because the road seems to behave a little strangely; I'm refering to that kink in the middle. It makes sense if the lighter tan area around the building is a mound, but if everything is essentially flat, then that kink seems out of place.

I particularly like the path in the snow for the castle. Something that you may have already considered is other foot-paths. Specifically, if there are any guards walking patrol, there'd be paths from that (and if this is for a game, as it sort of looks like it might be, clever players could use that information to determine patrol routes).

The building is raised up. The kink is just a kink. This was a first experiment with the software and I just wanted to make the path 'not straight'. :)

Yes, when I expand the map I might put some more paths in the snow.

Redrobes
03-09-2009, 08:57 PM
I tried to get it tonight though I didn't have a lot of time. I don't think I got it tho. Its not right and could have had better cliffs. Was having a bit of a fight with GTS tonight and I think it won this time. I'll get it next time tho ;) Anyways, see what you think.

Thought
03-10-2009, 01:39 PM
Wow, Redrobes, that map of Vry's is quite impressive. Something that he used that I believe would be a good guiding principle to help Icos' map is prevailing winds.

You'll notice that on Vry's map it appears that the wind (and hence, snow) blows from the North West to the South East. This results in the north west facing surfaces being covered in snow, and having increased mounds of snow next to them, while the south east sides have less snow and even snowless "shadows" (most noticeable on towers, a boulder in the top left corner, and the structure in the bottom right corner). This seems to help add depth to the map; it could be implemented even while keeping the top-down illumination of Icos' map.

Heavy snow in some areas followed by a sharp contrast of snowless areas (such as on parts of the cliff) would add depth and help convey the feel of a cliff (well, it looks like you are going more for a butte or an acropolis than a cliff proper, but that’s just semantics).

Icosahedron, while of course you should do what works best for you, I'd recommend revisiting the road kink. Roads are sort of like rivers; they tend to take the shortest and easiest route between two places. This does not mean a straight line, but it is very strange for a road to kink for no reason. Of course, you do have a reason; the path leading up to the temple is a direct approach (though that would be a steep incline), sort of like the pyramids at Chichen Itza. But if your software and tools allows it, I'd recommend softer curves; harsh kinks like that are a product of cities, and even then they usually have reasons.

icosahedron
03-10-2009, 06:25 PM
Thanks for those thoughts, Thought.

I might have a go at doing something with prevailing wind once I've got the basics sorted. I'm learning as I go, here.

As for the building in the woods, I'm not intending to do anything more with it unless the guy I drew it for wants it. You're right, of course, people make paths very lazily. :)