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View Full Version : February/March Entry: The Tower of Heaven



moutarde
02-18-2010, 06:02 PM
This entry is based on the creation myth of the world I'm currently building (and mapping! (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?8425-[WIP]-Antique-Style-World-Map)). It is heavily influenced by both the Tower of Babel, and Yggdrasil (the Tree of Life). The final map will consist of an old book detailing the creation myth, the birth of the gods and the role of the tower of heaven, there will be a very ancient scroll below that with a map of the Tower, annotated in an ancient language, and there will be a parchment with notes being written by a 19th century historian with his beliefs of what the scroll is representing and his translations.

Starting off with just a sketch of the whole thing:

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torstan
02-19-2010, 01:48 PM
Nice layout and sounds like an interesting amalgam as the driving force behind the creation myth.

moutarde
02-19-2010, 07:00 PM
Finished the underlaying pages of the book. Still going to put another page on top of these with the text on it, but used these ones for experimentation on aging the paper ;)

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moutarde
02-20-2010, 03:11 PM
And perfectionism rears its ugly head! Changed the book from 8 pages to 50-something pages. Sigh. It's going to look a lot better for it though ;) Just need to add the text to the top pages now, age them, and rotate the whole book a little bit, and the first part is done. Yay!

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Rythal
02-20-2010, 05:58 PM
Darn. looks like this is goin to be some tough competition ;)

moutarde
02-20-2010, 06:38 PM
I might still be in over my head here, I'm figuring this all out as I go, with help from many many different tutorials :o I might still muck it all up :D

moutarde
02-22-2010, 08:12 PM
The book section is nearly finished! But I've realized that I need to keep writing more myth-y type stuff to fill out the second page. Oh well ;) The big black square is going to be a large decorative T, and after those two bits are done, its on to the actual map!!!


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moutarde
02-23-2010, 04:17 PM
Woohoo!! The book section is finished! Well, finished enough for what I need anyways, if I have enough time left after finishing the rest, there's a few more touches I'd like to add to it, but nothing that's really necessary. But for now, on to the actual map! :P

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Al. I. Cuza
02-23-2010, 04:56 PM
Nice story, I mean it. I have one criticism regarding the fonts you use: Why are you using the fraktur long s? It's the only letter you are using fraktur for.

moutarde
02-23-2010, 05:54 PM
Thanks! :D

The long s is actually just a baskerville f with the bar removed, I don't have any fraktur fonts installed ;) But as for the usage, English used the long s as a standard part of their printed material. I used this book (http://books.google.ca/books?id=ozM3AAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=the&lr=&as_drrb_is=b&as_minm_is=1&as_miny_is=1600&as_maxm_is=1&as_maxy_is=1750&num=100&as_brr=0&cd=7#v=onepage&q=&f=false) from google books as a reference as to what a 17th century book looks like. The c with a hook confused me a bit at first, since I couldn't find anything that really told me anything about it, so I only used it for the c's that precede a t. I'm not really sure what the actual rules for the c with a hook were. :o

moutarde
02-23-2010, 06:37 PM
Nice story, I mean it. I have one criticism regarding the fonts you use: Why are you using the fraktur long s? It's the only letter you are using fraktur for.

Your comment inspired me to do a little more research into antique typefaces, and with very little effort, I discovered that 17th century English printers mostly used Fell typefaces. From there, it didn't take long to find this website http://iginomarini.com/fell/ which has quite a few Fell Type Fonts available for download. So now I'm going to dive back in and change the font in the book ;)

moutarde
02-23-2010, 08:46 PM
Changed the font to Fell type and it looks 50 million times better!! The decorative t isn't authentic, but I don't think I care, and the flowers are made of wingdings, but I like how they turned out ;)

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Al. I. Cuza
02-24-2010, 01:44 AM
It looks certainly better. But the long s still confuses me sometimes. :D

mearrin69
02-24-2010, 02:00 AM
I think the book looks totally awesome.
M

moutarde
02-24-2010, 02:53 AM
Thanks guys :) The long still catches me off-guard sometimes too, especially in this font, with the half-bar on them!

Redrobes
02-24-2010, 07:27 PM
Wonderful book - it's still going to turn into a map tho eh ?

moutarde
02-24-2010, 07:29 PM
Of course ;) That's what all the empty space below is for. Gotta do the hard parts first 8)

Redrobes
02-24-2010, 07:36 PM
Well the hard part was certainly done very well - ill prob rep you later on just for the book. If the map standard is up to that then your gonna have something pretty great going.

moutarde
02-24-2010, 07:50 PM
Just for you Redrobes ;) I've only just started on the actual map, but the side view is starting to come along. I'm probably going to flip the cross-section & tree down to the bottom - I don't think I like having the cross-section partially obscured by the book....

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moutarde
02-26-2010, 06:26 PM
Spirals suck. ;) Slow going with this section so far, as I keep having to draw and re-draw parts of it. Going to be putting pillars in all the way around the narrow parts, but still having trouble trying to figure how to keep them evenly spaced as they travel up the spiral. The angel over the doorway is of course, still just in sketch form ;) I probably need to pick up the pace a little bit, now that it's almost the end of feb and I'm still not even halfway done :o

The doorway is over-sized. No scale yet there, but the tower is just over 1000 feet tall.

Jaxilon
02-27-2010, 12:21 AM
Hey I haven't even started mine yet so you are miles ahead of me. Looking good so far though.

moutarde
02-27-2010, 11:22 PM
Oh god the pillars are killing me!! Placing them turned out to be really easy after drawing the plan view, but rounding the visible tops and bottoms is turning out to be very, very tedious. Shading is only going to be on the pillars until the pillars are finished, then I'll be painting the rest of it afterwards...

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Salathor
02-28-2010, 11:11 AM
Great job! First time poster, long time lurker. My only suggestion--and I apologize if you're going to do it anyway--is that you flare the bottom of the stairs in the forward-facing shot to add some perspective. Right now, I can't tell whether it's a ladder or a staircase until I look at the top-down map.

But this is looking excellent, especially with the book/table pic!

Rythal
02-28-2010, 11:11 PM
Yes i'd agree with salathor about the stairs.

moutarde
03-01-2010, 12:51 AM
Thanks guys, but I think I'm going to leave it as is. I've more been drafting it than actuallly drawing it, and if I start adding in perspective to even just a small part of it, I wouldn't be able to leave it at that without changing the whole thing ;)

moutarde
03-08-2010, 01:57 PM
Got frustrated trying to draw nicely with the touchpad on my laptop, so I went out and bought a shiny new tablet. Yay! Now hopefully I can just keep myself motivated enough to blast through this and get it finished by wednesday :)

moutarde
03-08-2010, 05:46 PM
Yay! Actual progress! I know, the statue looks like something a fifth grader would draw, but it's staying as is unless I (not likely!) have time to refine it after everything else is done. Not entirely happy with the shadows right now either. The layer mask effects I used for the outline didn't work nearly as well with the shadows. Hmph.

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Al. I. Cuza
03-08-2010, 05:55 PM
Looks fine. Except for the fact, that I can barely see the tower.

moutarde
03-08-2010, 06:01 PM
Thousands of years old parchment! Can't have it too visible ;) Though I suppose it wouldn't hurt to darken it a little...

tilt
03-09-2010, 02:09 AM
Looking really good - but I agree with AIC, the tower could use some darkening :)

moutarde
03-09-2010, 12:31 PM
I believe I've finished most of the drawing. Now it should really just be filters and text, and if I still have time I'll try to get that quill and inkwell in there too.


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Rythal
03-09-2010, 03:54 PM
the drawing is kinda hard to make out, I think it could do with darker lines

moutarde
03-09-2010, 04:33 PM
Is there a specific part of it that you're all having trouble making out? Are all three pictures too light? It seems dark enough on my display, and on a test I printed out. Keep in mind that this particular page is supposed to look like it's thousands of years old. The ink is probably going to be somewhat faded after that length of time, but I don't want to be so faded that it can't be made out at all.

On a side note, watch with glee as I horribly mangle the arabic language!! ;)

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Rythal
03-09-2010, 09:28 PM
Oh I can definitely understand the style you are going for, but it is more reminiscent of a pencil sketch then an ink drawing. The hatching on the tree stands out strong, but the tree's outline is very difficult to make out in comparison, making it not instantly recognizable as a tree. The side veiw of the tower faces similar problems, with the pillars standing out nicely, but the outline seemingly incomplete and preliminary. In fact, without zooming in, I cannot tell that I am looking at a tree.

The main point is that it is difficult to determine what is in the foreground and what is in the background. hope that gives you some room for improvement.

moutarde
03-09-2010, 10:09 PM
That does help a lot actually, thank you Rythal :)

moutarde
03-09-2010, 11:43 PM
Still havn't decided on what I'm going to do with the drawings exactly, yet, but I've finished writing the arabic text (if you can arabic... Please! Be gentle!!) and started aging the paper. Still lots to do before tomorrow's deadline. Yikes.

EDIT: Tried using just some plain old layer masks with clouds. Looks half-decent I think....

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moutarde
03-10-2010, 02:07 AM
Getting there! Still need to do more work on the edges and folds in the scroll. They're just not ancient enough yet. And unfortunately, I don't have time to carry a piece of paper around in my pocket for a year or two and use that as a base image ;)

But once I get those edges fixed up, I only have to worry about drawing in the historian's translations! So close I can smell it!

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moutarde
03-10-2010, 02:46 AM
So I took my creased and crumpled piece of paper and soaked it with water, then creased and crumpled it some more, taking care to 'accidentally' make some rips in it, then dried it out by tossing it in the oven for a minute, then creased and crumpled it some more. Very, very happy with how this experiment turned out. Special thanks to keithcurtis, who posted in a tutorial thread back in 2007, for the idea of using a real piece of paper for this!

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tilt
03-10-2010, 03:35 AM
that looks realy good now - and the drawing is showing nicely too :)

moutarde
03-10-2010, 03:51 PM
Whew! With the addition of the historian's notes to the image, I can actually consider this a complete work, though there's still more I want to do to it, if I can work up the energy ;) I don't know if I'll actually be able to get the quill and inkwell in there... Not even really sure where to start with that. Oh well.

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Al. I. Cuza
03-10-2010, 06:56 PM
This looks awesome. Great work!

PS: Did you actually use a real sheet of paper? What did you do with it? Scan it? Or photograph it?

moutarde
03-10-2010, 07:19 PM
I took a photo of it and adjusted the brightness and contrast on it so that the creases really stood out, and used that as both a layer mask for the original sheet with all the aging effects, and used it as a layer on top of the whole thing with its blending mode set to multiply. Pretty easy actually :)

moutarde
03-13-2010, 12:56 AM
Started trying to draw in an inkwell, but I'm not feeling it so far. It's missing something, but I'm struggling to figure out what it needs to make it actually look good. Any ideas?

tilt
03-13-2010, 12:59 AM
It looks a little blurry, and maybe a splotch of ink on the side would be nice :)

Najmir
03-13-2010, 03:15 AM
I think it is the angle throwing you off. Maybe make it a little closer to to down or moving it up a light higher in the image. I agree with tilt as some mess to it.

Al. I. Cuza
03-13-2010, 04:50 AM
It is kind of blurry and the material doesn't seem to be glass. The angle is a little wrong too.

moutarde
03-13-2010, 12:05 PM
Thanks guys :) I was kind of iffy about the angle, just going off the book for perspective was kind of difficult. And we'll have to wait and see on an inksplotch... I think that could possibly drive me insane :lol: