View Full Version : Cen Heddan

Blaidd Drwg
01-23-2010, 01:30 PM
Haven't visited in a long time (work has kept me way too busy), but I finally got around to doing some drawing.

This is the village of Cen Heddan, which I intended to use for my prematurely deceased D&D campaign. It's situated on top of a volcanic plug (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcanic_plug). It has a large tower on its highest point. Terraces used for agriculture have gradually been replaced by houses.

I've tried to "fake" perspective by using an increasingly finer line for the lower parts and by drawing smaller houses. I think I sort of screwed up, though, by giving those smaller houses too dark a tone on the roofs.
On the whole, I'm fairly satisfied, but it looks a bit too messy now it's finished.

Love to hear what you think of it. Praise is good for my ego, but (constructive) criticism is equally welcome ;)

01-23-2010, 02:27 PM
First the praise, the roofs and hedges and rockiness are done quite well, I certainly can't do that, and I think that I see three levels...I can see two for sure. Thinner lines and smaller houses is good but you might want to erase some detail the lower things get...farther away = less detail so exaggerate that. A good cue for the eye would be to add some shadows, bigger shadows at top smaller shadows lower...that might help fool the eye into enhancing the perspective. Some subtle gray tones in the rocks might also go a long way without having to do hatching and cross-hatching...darker tones and more detail for things close and lighter tones less detail further away. This could be something stellar if you work it a little bit more, quite nice as is, though.

01-23-2010, 05:47 PM
This looks great. Kinda reminds me of that Tibetan village in Uncharted 2, which I've played recently.

01-23-2010, 07:51 PM
Cool town , im gonna snag a copy if ya dont mind for my DnD campaign :)

01-24-2010, 06:03 AM
I think the difference betwen the top level and the middle level are decent enough. the lower level looks to have the same lineweight of the middle level. Perhaps you could "fade" them out a bit, to serve as atmospheric haze?

01-24-2010, 07:03 AM
Welcome back Blaidd!
I love the map. It reminds me of the maps of some of the older D&D modules.

01-24-2010, 08:36 AM
Pretty off-topic: Blaidd Drwg, I noticed your nom de plume is welsh, are you?

Also, your village name appears to be elsh also. Cen has something to-do with the skin or scales of an animal, and the root of Heddan (Hedd) has something to do with Peace. Whats the translation?

01-24-2010, 10:28 AM
I think it looks awesome. The depth cues are subtle but work to some extent so it's not completely lost on the viewer. Repped.

I, for one, would love to see this colored.

Blaidd Drwg
01-25-2010, 10:14 AM
@everyone: thanks for the comments!

@Ascension: there are indeed three levels (in terms of lineweight). I agree on the detail, but I'm afraid there's not much I can do about it now since I've drawn it on paper. I am trying to do some shading on the cliffs (see below). I'm having a hell of a struggle getting them right (which I think I haven't yet). The problem is that I took a picture of the drawing in stead of scanning it (I'm still scanner-less) and the lower left corner of the paper turned out much darker than the rest.

@Vorhees: go right ahead :)

@The-golem: fading. Yeah I'll try that, thanks! :) As soon as I've figured out a way to do that. I'm not that Photosoup-savvy, I'm afraid ;)
I'm not Welsh but Dutch, by the way. I did take a few courses in Middle Welsh during my bachelor (translating Pwyll and Branwen mostly) and I pretty much fell in love with the language. Cen Heddan isn't Welsh, though. It's "Irduron", that's what I call my conlang, for Hedda's Head. It does look a bit like Welsh, doesn't it? It's unintentional, but probably no coincidence, since I subconsciously nick a lot of word and syllables for my conlangs from real languages that I like without knowing it.

@Mearrin69: thanks! A bit too subtle perhaps. I've posted this drawing on another forum as well, and most comments say that they "didn't notice the thinner lineweight the first time, but like it now they know it's there." I really want people to notice right away! :P

So, here's some WIP, after some mucking about in Photoshop.
I think the shading pushes the plateau up more, messy though it is. Once I get it right, I might try it in watercolour on paper. I still feel the different levels could be done better. So I'll try 'fading out' the lower levels as the-golem suggested and perhaps apply darker shadow at the highest cliffs for atmospheric perspective.

Thanks again for the advice!

EDIT: did some fading on the lower areas, corrected some of the bad lighting in the lower left corner and touched up a few minor mistakes that I hope nobody saw ;)

01-25-2010, 12:55 PM
The linework is excellent! But the application of that linework (specifically in the roof shading) has me a bit confused. The light and dark sides of rooftops aren't all facing as I would expect for a true light source. This is a common problem with symbol-based systems that have lighting baked into the textures so I can understand how that sort of thing happens. But it's one of my pet peeves (I have a peeve farm and the harvests have been excellent for those of you keeping track) that the lighting faces in all directions. If the people do in fact paint the rooftops in different colors then that's something else, but my eyes want to wander in all directions based on the rooftop shading. It's a minor thing that most folks won't notice, though.

01-25-2010, 04:02 PM
I love this map, it has some really nice details and lots of character. I second the suggestions of a coloured version and fading the lower levels (or if it's coloured, adding a slightly white haze or something). But it's also fantastic uncoloured anyway.

01-26-2010, 04:45 PM
I love the crisp and clean linework of this map! My comment would be the same as waldronate, the shading (of the roofs) is inconsistent. Also adding casted shades (on ground and cliffs) may help get more depth ni the different levels. But this is already looking very nice!

01-26-2010, 07:12 PM
What did you use to make this? I love it. If it was something like photoshop or illustrator, and picking up on Waldronate's comments about roof shading, it would be worth having the shading on another layer that you could rotate and drop on top of a layer of unshaded buildings....hey that's a really good idea. I might use it!

Blaidd Drwg
02-03-2010, 09:41 AM
Ah well, I must disagree with you guys on the rooftops (ehm... that sounds kinda funny, but you know what I mean, right?) but I can see why you all think the shading is inconsistent. The light is coming from the south-west corner. I've only used two levels of shading, though: light side and dark side. There is no level in between, so what you get is this:
I guess that's laziness on my part :P
I am now working on a coloured version of the map and I'm trying to change the roofs' shading by using lighter and darker colours in combination with the hatching that's already there to fix the problem. I'm not sure if I'll put in cast shadows as well. I'm afraid it'll be too cluttered. When I started out I wanted to make a simple map, not the almost-realistic areal view monster it is becoming! :P

Thanks for your suggestions =)

EDIT: update.

02-04-2010, 08:08 PM
This is getting better and better... and you are so right on the shadows on the roofs, it IS consistent (my bad indeed). But can't help but somehow it "looks inconsistent" and I think (not sure tho) that's because its hard for the eye to find the source of light because there's no shades. Stiil, i really like the map and you're probably right about it getting too cluttered. cheers

02-04-2010, 08:18 PM
Looking good!
Rep to thee.

02-08-2010, 05:06 AM
Really cool!
I love the combination of old school and digital color/texture.
I should probably go for the same thing. Mine are usually B/W

I would probably try to use more texture if I were you, they are great improvements ;)

Blaidd Drwg
02-14-2010, 04:13 AM
Probably the final update.
I've tried colouring it, and I think it failed miserably. What bothers me most of all is the crappy picture I took; the lighting makes it very hard to apply the right colour.
Here's what I have now, without any changes made to saturation or anything (so the roofs in particular look a bit too garish, imo). I think I'll start over once I've got that sweet, sweet scanner I'm saving up for :P

Thanks for all the advice :)

02-14-2010, 08:23 AM
I think the coloring looks fine, shrug. Nice work.

02-14-2010, 09:31 AM
I like it, inspires me to make a similar hill/mountain top settlement map of my own. I think the colouring is fine.

Steel General
02-14-2010, 11:50 AM
I agree with Ascension, I think the coloring is fine the way it is. Good job...