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KeithC
07-27-2009, 06:29 PM
After posting this in response to a question from a user on the Profantasy Forum, Gandwarf suggested that I post it here as well.

Here's a quick and easy way to generate a floating landmass using simple sheet effects in CC3. This is very rough and basic and is only to be used as starting settings for anyone trying to accomplish this effect.

Floating Landmasses can best be acheived through the use of SHEET EFFECTS. Regardless of which style pack you choose, you'll need to create a SHEET EFFECT that produces the result you're looking for. The 'Drop Shadow' effect will produce a shadow under your continents to give the appearance of floating. You'll need to experiment with the settings to get the right distance under your landmasses.

If you want every Landmass to be floating at the same elevation then I would suggest using any of the map templates that start with an Ocean Background color and then adding the 'Drop Shadow' effect to the LAND SHEET. I would also apply a 'Blur' to the Background SHEET to make it look less like water. I used the Ice.bmp fill style with a Blur of 20 for my example map.

If you want the Landmasses to be floating at different elevations then you simply Add SHEETS called anything like "Landmass Low", "... Mid", "... High" or "...1", "...2", "...3" whatever makes sense to you and then use the "Move Up" button to position them directly under the BACKGROUND SHEET in the SHEET order list.

I.e.
BACKGROUND
LANDMASS 1
LANDMASS 2
LANDMASS 3

You can add as many as you wish, however it's VERY important to remember a few things. First is that CC3 draws things in your map in SHEET order from the TOP of the LIST to the BOTTOM. In our example above, everything on the BACKGROUND SHEET is drawn first. Everything on the LANDMASS 1 SHEET is drawn next. Then comes "...2" and "...3". IF I were to put a Square on my Background, a Circle on Landmass 1, a Triangle on Landmass 2, and some text on Landmass 3 the result would be Text on top of a Triangle on top of a Circle on top of a Square.

Here's a great thread that may help you to understand the way CC3 utilizes SHEETS (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2549)

The second thing to remember is that SHEETS with nothing on them are deleted when you Save your map. If you erase a landmass from LANDMASS 2 (and there's nothing else on that SHEET) then the next time you Save your map, the LANDMASS 2 SHEET will be erased from your list resulting in a SHEET ORDER that looks like;

BACKGROUND
LANDMASS 1
LANDMASS 3

This has happened to me on many occasions after spending quite a bit of time getting my SHEET EFFECTS just right and then deleting the objects on the sheet right before a save.

For the landmass examples below I used 5 different LANDMASS SHEETS and varied the x,y DROP SHADOW effect 10,20,30,40 and 50 for each sheet.

Gandwarf
07-27-2009, 06:31 PM
Thanks for posting Keith. Have some rep :)

zenram
07-27-2009, 06:43 PM
I havent thought to do so, but now im gonna have some floating islands in my map XD Thanks

Steel General
07-27-2009, 06:47 PM
Not that there's anything wrong with what you came up with, but as a suggestion you might consider changing the background to a darker blue.

I created a floating island awhile ago (in Photoshop), it was pointed out to me that as you increase in altitude things tend to take on a blu-ish cast.

Gandwarf
07-27-2009, 06:49 PM
I havent thought to do so, but now im gonna have some floating islands in my map XD Thanks

Ha, you are inspiring people already Keith. :D
Don't forget to give him reputation!

KeithC
07-27-2009, 07:10 PM
I havent thought to do so, but now im gonna have some floating islands in my map XD Thanks

:) Glad I could help out! These settings are really just basic settings so I'm curious to see what you come up with in your map.

KeithC
07-27-2009, 07:19 PM
... as you increase in altitude things tend to take on a blu-ish cast.

That's actually really good to know! This isn't a map that I'm working on. It was just my attempt at answering a new poster over at Profantasy about how to create the effect. Hopefully he'll make it over here and get to read your comments.

CC3 is a very powerful application (based on the Fast Cad platform) but it's also very limited in certain aspects. There are a lot of things I would change about the map if it were my own project. Shadows would fall differently based on elevation of both the landmass creating the shadow and anything it hits on it's path to the vanishing point. Differing levels of blur based upon proximity of obstacle being one of the first changes.

The style above works really well for floating landmasses over a static background like an ocean or even another landmass. For floating over clouds or any varying elevation CC3 either doesn't have or I don't know how to use the tools necessary for placing shadows over a rolling substance such as clouds i.e. Bump Mapping or Height mapping, etc.

Steel General
07-27-2009, 07:29 PM
Here's the link (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3296) to the development thread for the island I mentioned in my earlier post.

NeonKnight
07-27-2009, 09:32 PM
Good Work Keith!

KeithC
07-27-2009, 11:37 PM
WOW! After following SG's link to the thread on his floating castle (and being completely blown away) I decided to play around with some more settings in CC3. Bearing in mind that CC3 simply isn't a graphics manipulation package and will never be able to do what programs like PS and GIMP among others can do, I came up with the following that incorporates the distance blur and the bluing of the background to give the impression of altitude and incorporate the atmospheric distortion.

And for those of you who are non CC3 users believe me when I say that drawing light wispy clouds is not something that CC3 excels at.

I'm done with this for now. It was really just a time sink while my nieces were visiting. In fact, just for fun, I posted the same image without the effects turned on just so you can see the difference. It's a mess.

Nomadic
07-28-2009, 01:51 AM
I created a floating island awhile ago (in Photoshop), it was pointed out to me that as you increase in altitude things tend to take on a blu-ish cast.

It's called atmospheric perspective and it doesn't have to do with height, but distance in general. The more air between you and something the more it fades to blue (take a look at a mountain off in the distance).

Steel General
07-28-2009, 07:42 AM
It's called atmospheric perspective and it doesn't have to do with height, but distance in general. The more air between you and something the more it fades to blue (take a look at a mountain off in the distance).

I stand corrected... :)

Gandwarf
07-28-2009, 09:28 AM
There's also some floating landmass symbols offered here:
http://www.mapsandmore.com/maps/floating.html

(someone posted this on the Profantasy forum)