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Thread: February 2013 Entry: DarkWater

  1. #11
    Publisher Gamerprinter's Avatar
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    Well at least its starting to look like a map - look forward to your progress.
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  3. #13
      Kier is offline
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    Alright. Added the first layer of spikes on the towers. Still have tents or rundown shacks to put over the outer towers. Added the barrel bridge spanning the broken wall section. Still need to spike that area up. and need some sort of barricade, probably spike based on the submerged outer walls, or sort of palisade combination.

    ### LATEST WIP ###
    February 2013 Entry: DarkWater-oldpaper-darkwater12.jpg

    Added some spike barricades but have yet to upload that map. Bridge needs work, damn drop shadow wasnt needed and has blurred the edges, plus when I shrank the bridge its res went berserk. But I think its coming along.
    Last edited by Kier; 02-26-2013 at 08:38 AM. Reason: Forgot my WIP tag

  4. #14
      Kier is offline
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    Beginning to wrap it up. Tonight was an utter failure. Tried for docks around the central tower, but failed miserably, built a palisade on one of the walls and hated it instantly. Put broken down tower roofs to resemble shelter on the towers, hated them.

    The more details I try and put in(wood piles, Kelp drying racks, fishing nets, docks, ladders) it detracts from the atmosphere of the map, which is what I wanted to achieve the most.

    I still think I will give the palisades another try. I think they were a close fit, just off on the log color and shape. And I think some sort of mid-wall on the towers to brace the spikes and tie them in so they don't look like they are just laying there. Still might try a roof of some sort on the main tower if I can build one that fits.

    ### LATEST WIP ###
    February 2013 Entry: DarkWater-oldpaper-darkwater15.jpg

  5. #15
    Guild Artisan Jacktannery's Avatar
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    Kier, I really like your map (again - loved the last challenge's map too).

    What works:
    -the water (brillo!)
    -the lighting of the water.
    -the spikes coming out of the water.
    -the overall composition & colours.
    -the wall and tower elements.

    What's not really working for me:
    -the spikes on the tower roofs - they looks wrong, as if they are too big and too flat. This might be related to the two points below.
    -the (lack of) shadows on the battlements around the towers. Your battlement walkway sections have shadows below the crenelations, but none at the ends where they hit the circular tower. This gives a jarring two-dimensional aspect even though I can tell from the water that the walkways are supposed to be lower.
    -for me, the colour of the lighting is off. I'm not really sure why; it might be that the fires are too orange compared to the miserable-pale-yellow of the actual light; and its certainly that the light seems to surround the base of the towers without creating any shadow. It also brightens the sea with no regard for light and shadow (assuming you are using GIMP, by fiddling with the layer options you should be able to 'lighten' only the bright parts of the waves and keep the black bits black.

    Sorry to post all these criticisms the day before the challenge closes; I'm only so critical because I think its great and I loved the skeleton rays from your last challenge!

  6. #16
      Kier is offline
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    No worries about posting any criticisms Jack. Glad to have them, always looking to improve.

    1)Tower Spikes, yeah, for some reason they are off, two big, or flat, keep thinking a tower roof or similar will help. I like the ones coming out of the water better, same spike treated differently.

    2)Thanks for the reminder on the tower shadows. They got lost somewhere. I had actually strengthened them, but must have started again from a different back-up or lost it. Working file is now over 2 Gigs in GIMP(saving file is 250 Megs) so sometimes it doesnt seem to save. I am just too nervous to merge any layers yet in case i need to tinker with the layer system.

    3)right again. This one has me stuck though, I go from different lighting arrangements. My flaming pots look great, or so I am told in a big photo, down small, they annoy me all the flame details get lost and turn too orangy for the glow as you pointed out. But I hate orange glow, I like the pale yellow so maybe I need to drown out the orange in the pots. I currently keep changing the opacity until upcolse they are see through) I keep thinking of a fire from the distance that you see orange flames but it lights everything up yellowish(or so I believe). I'll try and fiddle with the layers and see about highlighting the white and leaving the others black, I may have trashed that layer by cutting some parts out. Thanks for the suggestions there. I was trying to go for the rays of light being caught in the fog and spreading out thicker in some areas and lighter in others.

    Glad you liked the skeleton sharks from the last challenge. I really wanted to reuse them here, but resisted the urge(so far)

    And do you know off-hand whats the maximum size map I can upload is? I have searched but didnt find it easily. I am hoping to get a little bigger one in, because the layer of fog isnt easily seen cutting in and around the spikes.

    Thanks for the comments.

  7. #17
    Guild Artisan Jacktannery's Avatar
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    Working with big maps can be a real nightmare. One thing I do sometimes is make the various elements in individual files, then flatten them and export them to my final image to reduce the number of individual layers. comissions are especially a pain because they always seem to want a ridiculous level of detail and a huge size. The more I map the more tempting is a bigger, more expensive computer....
    I can't really advise you on the lighting on the water. It's a tricky one, and will be hard to get right. Good luck on it though.

    And do you know off-hand whats the maximum size map I can upload is? I have searched but didnt find it easily. I am hoping to get a little bigger one in, because the layer of fog isnt easily seen cutting in and around the spikes.
    According to the FAQ :
    What files types can I use? How large can attachments be?
    In the attachment window you will find a list of the allowed file types and their maximum sizes. Files that are larger than these sizes will be rejected. There may also be an overall quota limit to the number of attachments you can post to the board.
    I haven't actually noticed that it says this anywhere, but maybe it is there hidden somewhere. The file limit is very large - I have maps of 4.65MB that are attachments here, so that size is under the limit (probably just about under). I assume you already export your maps to upload as .jpgs at c. 80-85% quality?

  8. #18
      Jaxilon is offline
    Community Leader Gracious Donor Jaxilon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacktannery View Post
    Working with big maps can be a real nightmare. One thing I do sometimes is make the various elements in individual files, then flatten them and export them to my final image to reduce the number of individual layers. comissions are especially a pain because they always seem to want a ridiculous level of detail and a huge size. The more I map the more tempting is a bigger, more expensive computer....
    This is exactly the reason I upgraded my machine. I had originally built it to play games but it was nowhere near strong enough to do what I needed to do when I started making maps. Seriously, I'm thinking about upgrading again!

    And this is coming along nicely as well.
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  9. #19
      Kier is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacktannery View Post
    I haven't actually noticed that it says this anywhere, but maybe it is there hidden somewhere. The file limit is very large - I have maps of 4.65MB that are attachments here, so that size is under the limit (probably just about under). I assume you already export your maps to upload as .jpgs at c. 80-85% quality?
    I export into jpg, I currently use max quality though. Right now current map is 1.4 Megs, so I may have more room than I thought there on upload.

    I think I see a better computer in my near future.

  10. #20
      Kier is offline
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    Thanks Jaxilon.

    I think in the next 6 months or so I will look into a new computer. I wasnt really planning on getting into mapping, just got a deal on ebay for CC3 and add-ons for $11. the Profantasy team transferred the licenses over to me. I just wanted to make a couple maps for my own to help flesh out the cities in my writing, and that led to creating my own symbols, then to GIMP and now I am hooked.

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