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Thread: Ice Tower Floorplans

  1. #21
      Remko1981 is offline
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    Gimp, which i believe you allready use from reading your viewingdale forum post. Has a script for drop shadows which created the shadows in that first example. Can be done in under 2 minutes when you understand the script!

    The bricks is just a tileable texture which can be found at a lot of places that building was made with googles sketchup (shadows with gimp).

    I am working on making the building you saw into an icon set so you can vary its size and composition but still have to iron out some glitches. I made a little example which you (when the set is finished, if ever ) could use to easily soup up the walls. I activated the grid, made the icons 1 metre square and snapped the icons to grid and this is what you get(though the shadows arent correct yet)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ice Tower Floorplans-vd-test-muur.jpg   Ice Tower Floorplans-vd-test-muur2.jpg   Ice Tower Floorplans-vd-test-muur3.jpg  
    Last edited by Remko1981; 08-25-2009 at 03:06 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #22
    Guild Adept icosahedron's Avatar
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    Ah, right, so you didn't draw that brick structure in Viewingdale.

    Hmm, 'use' might be too strong a term. 'poke about with' might be a better description of my relationship with Gimp.

    I think it would be difficult to add shadows to a Viewingdale map (other than by exporting a 'dead' copy to Gimp and using the drop shadow feature to 'finish' it as you suggest.

    Unfortunately, my primary purpose in mapping isn't to create a work of art to publish, but to create a virtual game world in Viewingdale, so if the shadows aren't in the zoomable 'live' copy, they're just wasted effort from my POV. And even if you can get them in a 'live' drawing, I'm just not sure it's worth the effort for my purposes.


    Your adaptation of my drawing is a start, but maybe a discussion of how shadows might be doable in Viewingdale should be taken back to the Viewingdale site to your thread or mine, or at least to a different thread here if it will be of interest to others.

    However, my initial thoughts are:

    You could maybe take a rectangular transparent grey fade and make a fixed size icon of it, but as I understand it from my blog correspondence with Redrobes the other day, you'd need to make separate shadow icons for every wall type. You'll have trouble with walls that meet at anything other than right angles, and you'd need different shadowlengths to suggest different heights of wall and the only way to do that is to make more icons, you can't lengthen a shadow 'in drawing'.

    Maybe Gimp or Inkscape could be used to make a drop shadow around an object (say a grey rectangle, circle, inner and outer corner, etc) then delete the shape, leaving just the shadow. That could then be imported as a png image in Viewingdale, and should be interpreted as a transparency.

    Unfortunately, my first attempt with shadows in Viewingdale was a failure: the dais in the throne room of my castle.
    As I described in my blog somewhere, as you enlarge the steps, you also enlarge the shadow and this looks wrong because the shadow radius is proportional to the dais radius in a drawing, but proportional to the step height in reality. Consequently, the three concentric steps of the dais look like they're different heights as well as different radii.
    (It's too small to see in the picture here, but there's a detail in my blog.)

    You'd get the same problems with wall shadows. Almost every wall would need to have its own shadow icon generated, since they'd differ depending on the wall height.

    It looks like a can of worms to me.
    Mapping a Traveller ATU.

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    Look for Chit Chat, Sandmann's blog. Enjoy.

  3. #23
      Coyotemax is offline
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    I had a thought about the steam-boilers for heating the castle, and the comment about what would be used for fuel - that can easily be solved depending on the underground geology of the area. If there are caverns under the tower (i believe you said there are) then it's possible there could be natural steam vents down there as with geysers and hotsprings. A little bit of geological activity nearby, you might even get a full out lava crevasse or something similar if you're going deep enough. Build a few vents that lead up through the caves, and voila - heating and fuel solved at one stroke. Plus rising heat/steam could be used to pump huge bellows to run the forge, and you'd have forced air heating for the minions, soldiers, and servants.

    That would also have added to the initial appeal of locating the tower at this site - defensible location plus unlimited geothermal energy would certainly sell me on it

    (you'd still need to have firewood and/or coal or whatever for the cooking fires and forge, but hey, what's the point in being a ruler if you can't get your vassals to pay you tribute, right?)

    My finished maps
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  4. #24
    Guild Adept icosahedron's Avatar
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    Cheers Coyotemax. The castle is built on a volcano, so I was figuring it should be extinct. However, it could be just long-term dormant with some geothermal source deep in the recesses of those orc-caverns.

    Yeah, I could see an army of orcs shovelling snow into nature's fire pits to create steam. Maybe even some Saruman-esque steam industry.

    Neat idea.


    Now, another question, guys.

    I've spent a couple of days looking at the possibility of filling in the courtyard, and I've devised a possible new layout - essentially the same structure but with two accommodation areas on each floor instead of one.

    However...

    I can't get the ground floor figured out in my head. My thought was to put the barracks at the rear and the workshop at the front, but I'm worried about my honoured guests.

    If there is an enclosed workshop between the gatehouse and the main door, with the updraft from the stables having no exit, it doesn't have much kerb appeal. Guests have to go through a noisy, smelly workshop before they reach the living quarters, rather than an open courtyard.

    The alternative would be to leave the workshop at the rear and put the barracks at the front. I could even split the barracks into two halves with a corridor between going from the gate to the door. However, that would mean putting the ramp either in the barracks, or in the workshop and have horses going through the main door all the time.

    The ground floor just doesn't seem to work without the courtyard.


    At the moment, guests simply dismount in the yard, their horses are led down the ramp and they enter the door to the living quarters.

    Unless I can figure out the ground floor, I might revert to the current layout but make a few of the rooms smaller so I can get two on each floor whilst retaining the courtyard (which I actually like, even if it is wasteful of space - maybe the Queen likes it too).

    Maybe a smaller dining room and kitchen could share the same floor? I'm not sure how big the rooms should be. Maybe a 50ft square dining hall is fine.

    Perhaps I should try a logical approach and figure out how many people live there before I start, but my mediaeval history/demographics is non-existent.
    Mapping a Traveller ATU.

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    Look for Chit Chat, Sandmann's blog. Enjoy.

  5. #25
      Jake Raven is offline
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    Stairs that raise! You get off your horse in the gatehouse, go up the stairs into the castle. After, the servents raise the stairs giving access to the workshop and stables.

    Also, if the castle is attached, you can limit the access to the living quarters and force invaders to fight thru the workshop to the spiral stairs by raising the stairs.

  6. #26
      Redrobes is offline
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    Been watching this thread and commenting more over in the sandman blog but ill mention shadows.

    Yup they are a bit of a PITA. The main problem is that they involve knowing something about the 3D nature of the object for which we only have a 2D image. So we will always have to botch it up somehow.

    The app can deal with shadow images but not generate its own shadows. You can set it so that the shadows are under the item or on top of the item. Most stamp based apps put a small dark halo about the item to make it look like it stands on top of what its placed on and it can do that no problem. If your looking for long shadows from tall items then you need to draw them up. The best example I can give is the challenge entry I did for the church in Fentor Cross.
    May Entry: Fentor Cross Church

    I also did a main ViewingDale tut here...
    ViewingDale & Fentor Cross Church High Res + CWBP demo (and even more)

    ...which had a movie showing shadows and how they interact with stamps.
    http://www.viewing.ltd.uk/Temp/CG/VD_Demo2/Movie3.avi

    But yeah I know that the app does not deal with shadows as well as a paint app or one where the 3D nature of objects is defined. I always recommend that you avoid strong shadows in stamp based app maps because they can be hard to deal with. If you rotate a stamp then the shadow needs to adjust and you don't have that 3D info to do it.

  7. #27
    Guild Adept icosahedron's Avatar
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    Yeah, your 'small dark halos' or 'drop shadows' would probably be the way to go for me if I decided to do them at all, and as you say, they're not easy to do in stamp-based applications. - as I learned:

    Quote Originally Posted by icosahedron View Post
    Unfortunately, my first attempt with shadows in Viewingdale was a failure: the dais in the throne room of my castle.
    As I described in my blog somewhere, as you enlarge the steps, you also enlarge the shadow and this looks wrong because the shadow radius is proportional to the dais radius in a drawing, but proportional to the step height in reality. Consequently, the three concentric steps of the dais look like they're different heights as well as different radii.
    (It's too small to see in the picture here, but there's a detail in my blog.)
    Even a simple drop-shadow needs re-working for every permutation of the icon's use. I'd need 3 different circles with 3 different shadows in order to do the dais properly, depicting steps of equal height.

    The dais example I mentioned in the quote is here:
    http://www.viewing.ltd.uk/yabbfiles/...m_for_blog.jpg

    Hence, as I also said:

    You'd get the same problems with wall shadows. Almost every wall would need to have its own shadow icon generated, since they'd differ depending on the wall height.

    It looks like a can of worms to me.
    If I were creating a work of art - a map to be published or framed on a wall, I might go to the trouble of adding shadows (though even then, it might be easier to export the picture into Gimp and do all the shadows there), but for the purposes of creating my virtual world in Viewingdale, I can do without the hassle, so I don't think they'll be appearing on any of my WIP, though I might add them to an occasional 'Viewingdale-derived artwork' that I wanted to show off as a book illustration or something.
    Mapping a Traveller ATU.

    See my (fantasy-based) apprenticeship blog at:

    http://www.viewing.ltd.uk/cgi-bin/vi...forums&sx=1024

    Look for Chit Chat, Sandmann's blog. Enjoy.

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