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jaerdaph
09-07-2007, 03:07 PM
I'm posting these in finished maps because they are just some things I was goofing around with in CC3, mostly to explore what could be done with various bitmap fills and sheet effects. I doubt they are anything I would go back to except to use the things I learned in other projects.

Here is a cavern complex I did, mostly to experiment with sheet effects and shadows:

http://www.chillingtales.com/images/caverns.jpg

Here is an experiment to create a cobblestone street complete with gaslight (and somebody who escaped from the British Museum). I got the gaslight street lamps from the Dundjini users' forum, and the walls are from CSUAC:

http://www.chillingtales.com/images/cobbles2.jpg

Here's some more cobblestone streets:

http://www.chillingtales.com/images/cobbles.jpg

Finally, here is an attempt to reproduce the maps found in the Forgotten Realms Ruins of Undermountain boxed set (2e AD&D version):

http://www.chillingtales.com/images/undercity01.jpg

As always, any C&C is welcome, and if any CC3 users have any questions on how to do some of these things, please feel free to ask.

NeonKnight
09-07-2007, 07:30 PM
I love your Undermountain Map, and before I even read your comment I said, "Hey that looks like Undermountain!"

Good Job!

ravells
09-08-2007, 06:56 AM
Wow, CC3 has definitely come of age! Great work. Just one comment about the cavern complex though. The shadows make it look like the complex is convex and standing proud of the background. Maybe one of those optical illusion things. This may be a repeating problem as I'm sure there's another thread where we've discussed this shadow problem before.

Ravs

jaerdaph
09-08-2007, 02:36 PM
I love your Undermountain Map, and before I even read your comment I said, "Hey that looks like Undermountain!"

Good Job!

Thanks - I always loved the maps in that boxed set, even if they are considered "old school" now. :)

jaerdaph
09-08-2007, 02:44 PM
Wow, CC3 has definitely come of age! Great work. Just one comment about the cavern complex though. The shadows make it look like the complex is convex and standing proud of the background. Maybe one of those optical illusion things. This may be a repeating problem as I'm sure there's another thread where we've discussed this shadow problem before.

Yes! LOL - we had this discussion on the CC3 mailing list too. Honestly, I can't see it (perhaps because my brain knows what I intended when I drew it), but others have pointed this out too. I decided not to say anything because I wanted to hear how others interpreted it. It sounds like it's similar to what's going on in that famous drawing - is it a vase or two faces? (Edit: I removed the vase/face picture.)

Obviously, it's not very useful as a map if only I can see it the way I intended. :)

ravells
09-08-2007, 05:58 PM
What confuses the eye (for me) is this: I assume that there is only one light source, and that it is at the bottom right hand side of the drawing. If that were the case, then that would be consistent with the convex shape. If you put the light source top left, then the walls would cast a shadow consistent with a concave shape, but - you just wouldn't see a light source work that way through solid rock which is why (my mind) 'prefers' to see it as standing proud with convex edges.

Try using a dark inner glow rather than a drop shadow so the shadow is all around the walls. That would make the eye think that the light source was inside the rooms which would make sense....I think!

Ravs

jaerdaph
09-09-2007, 01:51 PM
What confuses the eye (for me) is this: I assume that there is only one light source, and that it is at the bottom right hand side of the drawing. If that were the case, then that would be consistent with the convex shape. If you put the light source top left, then the walls would cast a shadow consistent with a concave shape, but - you just wouldn't see a light source work that way through solid rock which is why (my mind) 'prefers' to see it as standing proud with convex edges.

Try using a dark inner glow rather than a drop shadow so the shadow is all around the walls. That would make the eye think that the light source was inside the rooms which would make sense....I think!

That makes perfect sense. As it stands now, the shadow pattern is more like it's open to the air - that's the default shadow effect setting for overland/outside areas in CC3 - light source coming from the upper left corner. That can be changed with the Wall Shadow, Directional effect. There is also a Wall Shadow, Point Light for interiors, but for the life of me I can't get it to work or give me anything but a solid black map, and there's no documentation on it yet. I'll ask the Profantasy guys on the CC mailing list about that.

I think I'm going to give two things a try - first, change the light source direction to the bottom right and see how that looks, then I'm going to drop the wall shadow entirely and just tweak the Glow effect. I really wish Glow in CC3 had an opacity setting for more of a shadow look though. Will post results here later.


Edit: Here is what I came up with. What I did was add a *second* Shadow effect, this one with a light source at the opposite side of the first one:

http://www.chillingtales.com/images/caverns2.jpg

jaerdaph
09-10-2007, 12:20 PM
Okay, one last cavern sample, because this has morphed into WIP. :)

On this one, I added a second bevel effect to the one above, this one with the colors inverted and that makes the cavern walls all the same darker grey color:

http://www.chillingtales.com/images/caverns3.jpg

ravells
09-12-2007, 01:06 PM
It is just like the vase/two faces thing. I can see it both ways, but I have to work harder to see it as concave (could just be because my brain now has convex as the expectation). Are the lighter border areas meant to be cave walls?

I wonder if you could put in a pointer which will help the brain work to see it as concave, by having a sconce in the wall for example?

jaerdaph
09-14-2007, 12:30 PM
Thanks again ravells for your help with this. :)

The lighted borders (from the bevel effect) are the cave walls. I added some torch sconces in one of the caverns to help with the visualization (I didn't use the symbols with lit torches because the addition of light would probably throw off the shadows etc.). They are aproximately in the middle of a cavern wall.

http://www.chillingtales.com/images/caverns3c.jpg

I decided to take some advice from writers and "kill my darlings". In this image, I've removed the bevel effect completely, and I think it makes things a lot more clear:

http://www.chillingtales.com/images/caverns4.jpg

RPMiller
09-14-2007, 01:34 PM
Actually, now I'm getting the convex/cave effect... I hadn't been earlier. Put something in the cave to indicate walls and maybe my eyes will see it correctly again.

jaerdaph
09-14-2007, 02:11 PM
I think you're right - the map does need some more visual cues.

Does this help?

Bevel off:

http://www.chillingtales.com/images/caverns3d.jpg

Bevel on:

http://www.chillingtales.com/images/caverns3e.jpg

The bevel is actually a pain in the butt because you have to move the symbols so they look like they're on the wall the bevel is creating.

RPMiller
09-14-2007, 03:19 PM
That is an improvement, but my eye still slips a bit on the non-beveled one, but I'm not real pleased with the beveled one. Yea, this is a really tough call. Maybe it is because the colors are all grays. What happens if the floor were brown or the walls were?

jaerdaph
09-15-2007, 03:20 PM
That is an improvement, but my eye still slips a bit on the non-beveled one, but I'm not real pleased with the beveled one. Yea, this is a really tough call. Maybe it is because the colors are all grays. What happens if the floor were brown or the walls were?

I think you may have hit the nail on the head - the similarity in the grays may be causing the optical issues. I'm going to search for some brown (and black) stone or rock tiles to see if I can get something that eliminates that.

More to come... :)

NeonKnight
09-15-2007, 03:53 PM
I think you may have hit the nail on the head - the similarity in the grays may be causing the optical issues. I'm going to search for some brown (and black) stone or rock tiles to see if I can get something that eliminates that.

More to come... :)

I found this site has tons of cool BMP images for maps and stuff:

http://www.grsites.com/textures/

Also, reduce the size of your bevel. It makes it more sharp and helps to reduce how it looks

jaerdaph
09-15-2007, 11:40 PM
I found this site has tons of cool BMP images for maps and stuff:

http://www.grsites.com/textures/

I love that site - I got the cobblestones from earlier in this thread there. :)


Also, reduce the size of your bevel. It makes it more sharp and helps to reduce how it looks

That does make a difference - thanks. :)

Here's what I did. I changed the rock bitmap fill that the caverns are cut out from and reduced the bevel:

http://www.chillingtales.com/images/caverns5.jpg

http://www.chillingtales.com/images/caverns5a.jpg

I like the newer bitmap I'm using - I think using something that looks like real rock works better than the texture I was using before. Is the faces/vase thing still happening?

NeonKnight
09-16-2007, 03:20 PM
It looks like you have two shadows going there.

Do you have a glow going for your walls? I always put a glow in on my walls, to make them 'stand out", and put only a single directional shadow. Also maybe put a drop shadow on the troll and prisonar to indicate the light direction as well. Could help the visual clues.

RPMiller
09-17-2007, 12:07 AM
This is an improvement, and the grid helps as well.

jaerdaph
09-17-2007, 01:24 PM
Thanks everybody. :)

Yeah, the double shadow is to simulate light sources inside the cavern, possibly from multiple sources. There's an outer glow on the walls (in black) to hide them in darker shadow. The troll and prisoner definitely need some sort of shadowing though.

I think I'm going to walk away from this one for awhile. If anyone still sees the face/vase thing going on, let me know.

As always, thank you so much for the invaluable input and suggestions. This is why I really love this place!

jaerdaph
02-02-2008, 10:09 AM
I thought I'd resurrect this thread and add these latest experiments here. If you hang out at EN World, you may have seen these already.

This is a quick mockup of a castle, using bitmap fills and sheet effects on the left and traditional "old school" mapping on the right. I made the "scientific" graph paper using sheet effects as well:

http://chillingtales.com/images/dsample3.jpg

jaerdaph
02-02-2008, 10:10 AM
Here's a dungeon style I'm experimenting with, plus some more experimentation with the graph paper look. I made the dungeon floor bitmap fill style from an image I found at Will's Hand Made Dungeon Floorplans (http://freespace.virgin.net/william.meddis/floorplans/lrgrm.htm) and adjusted in GIMP:

http://chillingtales.com/images/dsample1.jpg


I recolored that dungeon floor image in GIMP for some variations on this style:

http://www.chillingtales.com/images/dsample1a.jpg


http://www.chillingtales.com/images/dsample1b.jpg

jaerdaph
02-02-2008, 10:11 AM
Here's a dungeon inspired by the maps found in Expedition to Undermountain (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4map/20070627a). I really didn't like that map style at all (especially compared to the original 2e Undermountain boxed set maps which I love), but like a train wreck, I just can't seem to look away... :)

http://chillingtales.com/images/3Edungeon.jpg



And here's another take on that same map with different bitmap fills:

http://www.chillingtales.com/images/3Edungeon1.jpg


The dungeon map above is based on the room layout in this one at WotC:

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/mapofweek/1102_Dungeon1_hkjes.jpg

Here's another level in that 3e Undermountain style, this time featuring caverns. I played around with the commands fractal path, explode, line to path, combine path, path to poly and multipoly to make this.

http://www.chillingtales.com/images/3Edungeon2.jpg

ravells
02-02-2008, 12:08 PM
I really like the one at the bottom - it has a lovely illustrative hand drawn feel to it. Nice work!

NeonKnight
02-02-2008, 03:20 PM
I'd love a copy of that floor bitmap style.

jaerdaph
02-02-2008, 05:23 PM
Thanks guys. :)

I think this is the one you mean, NeonKnight. I did not create the original but pulled it from this thread (post #3), then cropped it in GIMP to get it to tile properly:

http://forums.rpghost.com/showthread.php?t=42788

ravells
02-02-2008, 08:46 PM
Ohhhh! Could you post a copy of the wall fill you used with that one, it's lovely!

pyrandon
02-02-2008, 10:44 PM
Great stuff here!

jaerdaph
02-03-2008, 01:45 AM
Ohhhh! Could you post a copy of the wall fill you used with that one, it's lovely!

Here it is. I didn't create this image, and I can't seem to find the source where I originally found it. I'm usually pretty good about cataloging which Web site I found an image on, but this one must have slipped through the cracks (no pun intended).

ravells
02-03-2008, 05:31 AM
Thanks Jaerdaph

LOL! I know where you got it from. I saved the image to put into Serif Drawplus as a saved fill, and there it was, with the same file name too. What I really like about this fill pattern is that it looks like it has been drawn rather than photographed.

jaerdaph
02-03-2008, 09:18 AM
LOL! I know where you got it from. I saved the image to put into Serif Drawplus as a saved fill, and there it was, with the same file name too. What I really like about this fill pattern is that it looks like it has been drawn rather than photographed.

That's exactly what I like about it too. :) I'd really like to find the exact source I pulled that off the web from - I feel funny not giving credit where credit is due, especially considering the generosity of the image creator sharing his or her work online for all to use. You can get onto some slippery slopes, so I try to credit every image at the source when I share what I've done.

I've pulled images from commercial products I own like Skeletonkey Games eAdventure Tiles to use in CC3 for personal use, but I would never share those publicly, either the images I've manipulated or the final drawing, because it wouldn't be right.

ravells
02-03-2008, 10:10 AM
It is from Serif, it was one of the standard fills that comes with Drawplus.

jaerdaph
02-03-2008, 01:21 PM
It is from Serif, it was one of the standard fills that comes with Drawplus.

Uh oh. I don't own that program - I found it online at one of those free tiles Web sites. I've removed it here for copyright reasons.