An internal view once the roof is put on and the lighting is provided by the candles. (Again, this project has not really been finsihed properly, sorry!)
The candle flames were designed by Trevor Quayle, published at povray.org. My thanks to him!
This is really interesting Crayons. I like how you kept the textures the same as the 2d. It is a really good debate to decide when a Map becomes a picture or in this case, 3 demensions. I like both. I loved the old covers of modules because they gave that glimpse of what it looks like. Some of those cover artists went off on there own tangent though and did not capture it at all. What modeling program did you use?
It's all done in POVRay (http://www.povray.org/) a free rayracing/rendering tool. It's a plain text tool although there are GUI front ends available - I don't use those.
I view the the debate you mention on a number of levels.
One must never forget that a map is a tool, it provides information about the subject matter. As pretty as they may be, nautical navigational charts are just that, a way of staying on the wet bits.
The fact that maps have become "works of art" is essentially an embellishment - and a very welcome one!
In terms of RPG these two extremes of perception are represented as
a) the "tool" a GM needs to tell him when a PC has fallen into said acid trap and
b) the "player hondout" - a "contemporary" map in the style of the campaign being played.
In my gaming I treat these very seperately, for example I might use Fractal Mapper 8 in a "coarse unartistic" manner to produce my GM's "real world view" - which the players never see - and then doctored versions of that in perhaps another tool, for the players handouts. It's important to define what you are creating in this regard before you do it, as I'm sure you realise.
When it comes to using 3D tools, like POVRay, I tend to operate under the same principles. However, I tend to do 3D work with an aim towards "illustration" either for players ("This is what the castle looks like from the mountains") or as illustrations for a scenario - fundamentally as "eye candy".
There are crossovers. I also use POVRay to create furniture pngs to shuffle about in other tools, like Maptool or FM8.
I also tend to ramble and state the obvious! The render above was created partly because I just enjoyed doing it and partly because I am helping out on the graphical aspects of a GURPS scenario pack some friends and I are (very slowly) creating. This scene was a test for an illustration of the "pub meeting" at the start of the scenario - but won't be used as it is, the pub is not contemporaneous enough for the scenario but many of the components will migrate across! I also have Poser 8 which I haven't experimented with, but intend to populate the scene with one day!
However, just as one can create those furniture tiles in POV, one can produce floorplans. The scenario pack concerned involves trains, and rolling stock/carriages, which being mobile can be reproduced rapidly as "large tiles" in differing battlemaps. The pack is being designed for VTT use and it's possible to render with clear backgorunds.
(I haven't published any of the train "stuff" here, they don't really qualify as "Cartographic" - there's a link of an early version here
for I posting I did about it on the Train Forum when I was looking for details.)