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View Full Version : Aug/Sep Lite Entry - A Wondrous Treasure _or_ The King's Gift



Amazon_warrior
09-15-2009, 08:24 AM
M'kay, well, there's nothing like doing things at the last minute, it's what I'm good at, lazy disorganised so-and-so that I am. This very well might not get finished on time, what with me moving and my Mum flying out to help me on Friday, but I like a challenge!

The Concept:

There was once a King who ruled for many years over a fair and bounteous land. His rule was just and the people loved him. One evening, he sat in the tallest tower of his palace, which was sited on a hill above the principle city. He looked North over crystal seas; he looked South towards tall mountains; he looked East towards fertile farms; he looked West towards dense forests. He marvelled at the beauty of his realm, but was almost instantly saddened upon realising that only he could see it in this manner; the common people wandered blindly through the land, knowing neither it nor their place within it. Calling the finest craftsmen to him, he commanded them to create a wondrous treasure, a map fashioned from the finest and most precious materials available. It would be sited in the largest public courtyard for all to behold and marvel at, the King's gift to his people so that they would always know where they were.


The Execution:

For my sins, I'm doing this in POVray. I have created an initial isosurface object I'm pretty happy with, and I've set textures for the land, sea and sky (see attached). I'm going to build a 'box' to contain the whole thing - it will (hopefully) be decorated and have some manner of compass rose and legend on it. For everything else - ack! I'm going to have to learn to use the trace function properly, or this could be epic fail. The idea is to pick out features by using gems, precious metals etc. Placing cities and towns shouldn't be too hard (I have some gem-type objects already made up from other projects), but roads, rivers and forests are giving me nightmares, even without the possibility of offending the River Police! Obviously, it all needs to be set on something more interesting than a flat grey plane too, but that's the _least_ of my concerns. ;)

So.... when are the men in white coats arriving? :lol:

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Alfar
09-15-2009, 08:36 AM
A brave endeavour! Good luck.

Looking pretty nice already, actually.

Amazon_warrior
09-15-2009, 09:07 AM
A brave endeavour! Good luck.

Looking pretty nice already, actually.

Thanks for your kind words! :)

Alfar
09-15-2009, 09:31 AM
If you can, that's probably a good idea... or get a CL to do it, if you can't.

Also, you may want to include that latest WIP marker to have your image register for the thumbnail system. Described here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=5885

Amazon_warrior
09-15-2009, 09:49 AM
If you can, that's probably a good idea... or get a CL to do it, if you can't.

Also, you may want to include that latest WIP marker to have your image register for the thumbnail system. Described here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=5885

Hum, I thought I'd changed it, but it doesn't show up in the sub-forum, only in the thread itself. Thanks for pointing out the thumbnail thing too; I hope I did it correctly - my brain is somewhat dead right now and isn't engaging very well!

Alfar
09-15-2009, 09:55 AM
Looks about right to me ;)

Steel General
09-15-2009, 10:47 AM
Thread title updated, and good luck with your entry.

Amazon_warrior
09-15-2009, 10:52 AM
Thread title updated, and good luck with your entry.

Thanks very much! :)

Amazon_warrior
09-15-2009, 06:13 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have the technology!!! Or I do, anyway. ;) :lol: I've finally figured out how to get the trace function to (within reason) do my bidding. I'm quite excited; it's a bit of a Rubicon for me given that I've failed to make it work on numerous occasions before. Here's a quick update with the frame and some example "icons" in place. I was going to put a compass rose on a circular block of wood embedded in the top left-hand corner, but on reflection I think that it would be better to use the gold ring on the marble - make it a bit smaller and add some pointers and lettering. The legend will probably run on a circular path on the marble too.


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Amazon_warrior
09-16-2009, 10:57 AM
Well, I hated them in this, anyway! Initially, I imagined having rivers and roads picked out with "stones" but that idea got scotched when I realised a) how naff the rivers would look, b) how much rendering time it would consume and c) how much of my time it would consume. Then I tried using a combination of two different functions to try and model river-like depressions in one isosurface and "fill" them with another isosurface underneath. It kinda worked, but it looked pants - the "rivers" just plain didn't go where I wanted and there were noise issues along the edges. So, back to the drawing board and a new toy - heightfields. Why on Earth didn't I do it this way before? *slaps forehead* I made a basic textured greyscale image in POVray and then tweaked it with dodge and burn in PS. Once I was happy with the layout, I made a copy and overlaid "rivers" on it with an airbrush. Rendering the two heightfields with the rivers version (in gold) slightly offset above the plain version (in blue) gave the attached picture. I now eagerly await the arrival of the river police. ;)


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Amazon_warrior
09-17-2009, 12:54 AM
...And so the craftsmen set to work; beating gold and fashioning wood and stone to match the King's will. They scattered the map with precious pearls and set a vast, flawless amethyst to mark the Capital City. King Amnaras looked upon their work and was pleased. The map was set in the courtyard and visitors travelled from far and wide to view the wondrous map and know their place in the world....



Eh, I think it's done. Or at least, it better be because I have no more time to work on it now. It's not perfect, but as a proof-of-concept I think it's ok. I learnt a lot anyway, which is _never_ a bad thing! :D

All comments gratefully received. :)

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