View Full Version : March Challenge Entry: Iwaizumi

03-02-2010, 05:32 PM
Whats this a terrain challenge - at least in part, count me in !

This looks like a great challenge for a number of reasons. Firstly its got prizes, secondly its a commission piece so has stricter scope than just a pretty map (which is not my forte anyway...), and its a terrain, a regional map, a town map and a battle map all in one. Also, for most of us at least, an unusual setting. My only worry is that I will not have enough time to make as much of it as it deserves - still hardest part of any journey is the first step...

I didn't immediately realize that this was a real place so this is a historical / FRPG piece then and so I think that the mountains would be a constant. I went off and got some height map data which I found was a lot harder than I thought it ought to be. Its not a huge area so I got some SRTM 3 arc second data which is public domain from NASA. I had to modify my DEM converter to read it properly and then got it into my GTS and hacked down the extents to the area shown which is the area around the town. There are some holes in the data where the shuttle must have failed to get a reading for whatever reason so ill have to manually patch that up. Its not terribly high res and there is better data out there but I don't have the google fu or at least the will to get it. This will be fine for me as a starting point. In any case GTS was built to improve height map data so we will see if anything better can be made from it.

I also was scouting for images and there's loads out there for the caves but only a handful for the town and most of that is modern so I think there's gonna be a lot of guesswork from me for what the regional landscape looks like, never having visited Japan.

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03-02-2010, 05:41 PM
Same for me RR, I hadn't realized it was real place until I googled Iwaizumi Japan - and got a result, saw the reference to the caves and everything. So I just stole your thumbnail because I recognized the terrain from the Google Maps I've seen of the area and will use that for reference.

My plan is to focus more on the village and its immediate surroundings, then as Torstan suggested place an inset showing the wider region, including the mentioned mountain to the southwest and the caves to the north. That's my plan anyway.

Glad to see you starting early for a change! I'll get something posted today or tomorrow, once I finish the pain-in-the-ass day job that's so big its going into my evenings to finish and taking away good mapping time.


03-02-2010, 05:55 PM
Hey you cant steal my thumb - this is a compo ! Your welcome to it after of course but ye gods were supposed to be making a map using your own work or publicly obtainable stuff.

LOL - ripped after 9 mins... hah heh, thats gotta be a new record. I'm getting too old for this :D

Oh and emoticons still not working it seem... ::sigh:: :D
edit:edit typed emoticons working, clicky clicky ones on the right not.

03-02-2010, 06:06 PM
Well you know I'm not going to actually use the map for much more than a quick reference - since as all my recent work, my compo will be hand-drawn. 3D terrain maps don't mesh well with hand-drawn work. I'll use it like I use photographs as pointers for accuracy and nothing more...


03-02-2010, 06:16 PM
Hey its alright - I just found it funny. But I thought in the good Samaritan interests I should post the link to the data to save everyone an hour or two it took me to find it.

You can get the data from USGS seamless server but they must have changed it and now you have to log in for whatever reason I cant figure. Then there was this collab with Nasa and Japan with the ASTER data but I cant seem to get that either without jumping through hoops too small for my liking. But the shuttle data you can get from here:
I don't know what people would use to knock it into whatever form you need (Wilbur probably I'm guessing) but the file format is just raw 16 bit numbers - its all in the docs on that page.

03-14-2010, 12:45 PM
I have been doing a little more here and there but with so many days in and so little done I dont think my efforts are going to come up to the level required. I have an hour or two now so ill do some more and post where I am up to.

What I tried to do was isolate the town terrain so as to get a base but it didn't go all that well. My aim is to make one of those maps like you get in the tourist parts of Switzerland. They are like aerial photos taken from an angle - like ISO but not quite and they are usually hand painted. I think Ravs one so far is sorta like it. I was going to build up the sides of the mountain more than the entries so far tho and just put the town square down at the foot of the mountains.

Anyhoo - less chat and more map.

03-14-2010, 03:50 PM
Todays efforts...

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03-14-2010, 04:27 PM
wow, thats pretty impressive RR! especially the mountains came out very nice!

Steel General
03-15-2010, 08:24 AM
Cool stuff here Redrobes!

03-15-2010, 08:34 AM
that looks damn good, love the mountains. Looking forward to see the finished map :)

03-18-2010, 04:49 PM
Thanks, this is yesterday evenings efforts. I think there's still some more to do tho. Gotta get in that inset regional view somewhere as well.

I have tried to match up some of the colors to the reference image and also tried to match up the time age of the piece since its about 1200 AD or whatever. I.e. lost the computery feel to any of it and gone for something which is supposed to be like a water color piece with ink on top. I cant decide at this point whether to have an inset regional map or not. Part of me says that what I have on the main map is enough.

Its a bit of a problem with this map spec in that it sort of wants to be a town battle map and also a regional map as well. Hard to know what scale to set it at. So for that reason my map is more of a diagramatic thing with houses represented more than being actual renders of the real things.

Knowing that a tannery uses copious quantities of urine to soften the leather then I think that should be the farthest downstream !

For the same but less severe reason I put the mill next up and then the houses can all have clear water :)

I made the shrine over the river where the two come together. I thought that maybe the joining of the two flows could be significant to them for some reason. Ok so my oriental spiritual knowledge is pretty thin and based on stuff like Monkey Magic where they have elemental spirits etc etc. (Call me a sad case - cos I am !)

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03-18-2010, 04:53 PM
WOW! Redrobes....that's terrific!!!! It just has that.....umph (can't describe it) where all the elements and the feel are just right.

03-18-2010, 05:08 PM
Thanks Ravs. I was a little unsure when I first hammered the color controls but I have grown to like it. The map is nothing at all like what I had in mind when I started but I like the feel of it now as well.

03-18-2010, 05:18 PM
This is way better than any 3d terrain map, very artsy and fits the theme. I'd say add a few more buildings and call it done...looks kinda empty.

03-18-2010, 06:00 PM
Thanks Ascension and I think your right. We have 250 people to house and with something like 3 to 4 per house thats between 60-80 houses less a few given that the governors house probably has something like 20+ in it. I have about 50 so far so about 20 more should be about right. Probably able to do more tomorrow now. Looks like I will have plenty enough time to tweak it a bit more yet.

03-18-2010, 07:26 PM
I wouldn't get too hung up on the specifics of the number of houses etc when using this style. The imagination can paint the rest of them in. Don't ruin the feel of it for the sake of mathematical accuracy.

03-25-2010, 03:01 PM
Well I added a few more houses. I thought Ascension was probably right in that there should be a few more. A couple more tweaks and this attachment is bigger at quarter size original as its my final WIP with only two days to go. See y'all at the vote.

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03-29-2010, 02:18 PM
Mneh - here's another slightly more marked up version for what good it will do me - and all those would could not locate the town square before.

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