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Thread: Greyhawk: Atlas of the Flanaess

  1. #1
      Anna is offline
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    Wip Greyhawk: Atlas of the Flanaess

    Hi Everyone

    I’m making this post to show you what I’m currently working on. Right now it’s the plains of Furyondy and the Evil Horned Lands. Only a rough rendering of the new parts yet, and not even finished with rendering.
    So I’ll try and put new screens to show my progress.

    //Anna
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Greyhawk: Atlas of the Flanaess-46prev.jpg  

  2. #2
    Publisher Gamerprinter's Avatar
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    Post Its nice to see the methodology!

    That's great Anna! Being a fan of your work - having printed a dozen or so of your map for my clients, I've seen them up close on paper, all the more impressive let me say.

    I'd never have thought you did this in patches - its nice to really see the methodology. Though still beyond my capability!

    Great work.
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      Redrobes is offline
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    Anna, this looks very cool. Theres lots of little squares of bits of map at the edges. Do I take it that this is a very high res map that your putting together in sections ? If that is true then how do you get consistency between the bits. Do the grid lines indicate that its all georeffed too ? Do you have any tech details about this map - like what are you using to make it ?

  4. #4
      Anna is offline
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    Hi
    Here are some insights into how I made this map.

    To construct the terrain I use Bryce 5.5. In order to achieve the detail I want of an area this big the terrain must be made of small pieces. Picture 1 (Bryce1.jpg) shows my Atlas terrain made up of 435 pieces with 751 115 943 polygons! The second picture shows the detail of a terrain piece (Bryce2.jpg)

    To render it in the resolution I need I have to zoom in and render it in parts, each 2400 x 1450 pixels, so far I have made 516 renderings.

    I use Corel PhotoPaint to put the rendered pieces together exactly as you guessed Redrobes. I adjust each piece manually and then do a lot of touch up work to improve the looks. My terrain file is 28 550 x 22 440 pixels and is 2.05 GB in size

    To make my final maps I use CorelDraw to add symbols, text heraldry etc.

    To be able to work like this I use a really fast computer with 4GB RAM, and a desktop resolution of 2560 x 1600 on a 30” monitor. So far I’ve been able to upgrade my hardware to match my progress. My planned investment is to move to 64bit Vista to be able to use more RAM, and a faster QuadCore CPU.

    //Anna
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Greyhawk: Atlas of the Flanaess-bryce1.jpg   Greyhawk: Atlas of the Flanaess-bryce2.jpg  

  5. #5
      Redrobes is offline
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    This is fascinating and it seems we share a great deal of ideas here.

    So you get your basic consistency through using Bryce and rendering the terrain with a similar texture set. I am guessing then that you must model the terrain by hand based on some reference maps.

    Your final size of 28Kx22K must be close to the limit of what your able to work with. My experience is that even if you had unlimited ram the basic image file formats tend to break down at about the 32K. My PSP start dying at 14K so its of limited use at these resolutions. Im guessing that you must have to turn off any undo buffers or any layer controls.

    I am an admin on the Me-Dem site :- "www.me-dem.org". Were making a map of middle earth at an extrordinary resolution. I think the plan is 160K x 160K. Its nuts actually and we might not be able to go quite that high but thats the current plan. I am attaching an image of our base map which is also 3D contoured set. Its 10x10 tiles of 2048x2048 so its of similar size. This is the base DEM because it gets chopped into 256x256 tiles and then procedurally boosted up to 2048 each tile.

    Most of us are running 64 bit XP and I am unusual in that I have a mere dual core as most of the others have quaddies. I would recommend getting 64 bit but you need to check if your apps are available in 64 bit or else it does make much difference.

    One thing I must also ask. On another forum there was a chap putting together a new machine and thinking of getting 4Gb for XP 32 bit. I was very skeptical that you could get 4Gb out of it. Tell me, if you right click on My Computer and properties, what RAM does it tell you that you have installed. How much of your 4Gb do you think you have access to ?

    Is your map an open shared thing or a commercial type ? The Me-Dem is open. I think the general rule is that if you register on the site then you can download the work in progress. You can get that 20K middle earth if you want it. If your map is open then I can suggest some more chewy stuff to help you out on it - especially if you find that your machine is practiucally dying under the load of it.

    You map is very cool. Mucho kudos !

  6. #6
      Anna is offline
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    Wow, that is cool!

    And what you do at www.me-dem.org is what I知 aiming for with my work. So far I have reached the treetops and you are on your way to the stars Great to see what some combined effort can accomplish, I知 a solo effort so far.

    My machine has 3GB of physically addressable RAM, which max for a 32bit OS, and yes it is straining under the load. I mask of all the parts I知 not working under and it helps a lot. I think Corel uses memory more efficient, but it痴 just a hunch, not a fact. Vista 32bit is in fact better than XP 32bit in handling my large files. Hopefully Vista 64bit with 8GB of RAM will be a lot better.

    Your projects with ViewinDale and GeoTerSys looks really interesting. Your samples of Middle-Earth are certainly the most inspiring things I have seen on the net so far, and I have seen a lot!

    My plan is to make a Flanaess Atlas using this technique and refine it as much as I can without having to remake the old parts, it will probably take 2 years or so. Then I値l try and continue my work on Greyhawk with whatever improvements in software and knowledge there is.

    There are cities and underdark and so much more to map and illustrate

    Thanks to you Game-Printer I now know that my maps are used :-)

    Anna

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      Publius is offline
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    What gorgeous work!

    Just to add another perspective on the larger map projects -- and it really is peewee compared to what you folks are doing -- when did Tuala Morn (in Illustrator on 2gb system) there was no way could get all those objects on a single space. The system was groaning with what I was doing and I had several near crashes when I did saves and whatnot.

    My approach was top down similar to Redrobes', I started with a larger map and then panned down and did everything in sections. I would have loved to do it all in one shot so I could get the names and all the features in one spot but it just wasn't feasible, and I am often dealing with deadlines that are measured in weeks. If I were to do it again today, I think I would have to consider very carefully what sort of approach to make and plan ahead. The sort of things that I did do (like create reference points so that I could transfer things from one map to the other) helped immensely, but there were other things that I coud have done (like keep everything in the same exact location from one map to another so that I could cut and past more easily between maps using the "paste in place" command) that would have been better in the long run. We always say that we'll come up with a better plan next time, but when doing maps for someone else, you don;t always have the time to develop that plan fully.

    Live and learn, but I am taking notes from your excellent examples. Thanks!

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      Redrobes is offline
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    I was just sending a PM about that sort of stuff to Anna. We use tiles of 2K max so that we can easily fit it into 2Gb. Although most of us have 4Gb+ we don't want to restrict it to cut out some of the members.

    Its a chap called Monks who does the mapping. Hes very particular about things and a ME nut. So he has lots of ref maps and has overlaid them all into one giant map and is working off of that to create it in 3D. I believe its all georeffed so its physically accurate to the globe too. I'm just the dev creating the tools and stuff that might get us there. We have others who are also doing some sterling work too.

    I would really strongly advise going to tiles. There comes a point where the machine cant cope with such large images easily. As soon as you go to tiles then the memory footprint drops tremendously. You can even use the graphics card processing. Things get faster and you can take the handbrake off.

    BTW. Publius if you need a map in a few weeks thats very large take a peek at L3DT. It has some advantages and some disadvantages over other tools but its very easy and quick to get a large terrain out of it. I really like it but accept that it has some limitations that would have not worked well for MeDem. However it may be fine for what you need. A few weeks is a drop in the ocean for large scale high def mapping tho.

  9. #9
      NeonKnight is offline
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    Anna; Your first map I would LOVE to see at a much Higher RES, especially the area of the Duchy of Urnst. I wrote a few mods and did a few maps in CC2 for the Duchy of Unrst back in the early years of Living Greyhawk, and so would loe to see that area.
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  10. #10
      Anna is offline
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    I split my terrain bitmap in half a while ago because it was becoming too big, only joined it again to make the overlapping areas easer. Now I will split it in half again and continue working on each half.

    I値l run into the problem again when I知 expanding north but I値l deal with that then, it will not be until 2009 anyway I think, so there will be at least one upgrade in hardware and probably software too before then.

    Hopefully the attached map can fulfill your desire for a map of the Duchy of Urnst. Here is a link to my webstorage where you can find highres copies of all my Atlas maps I have done to date:
    https://lagring.storegate.se/user/Fi...&Folder=753149

    It is thanks to you and others who researched the area before me that I could have made the map the way I did.

    Anna
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Greyhawk: Atlas of the Flanaess-sq60_20071029.jpg  
    Last edited by Anna; 12-11-2007 at 01:53 AM.

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