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Thread: The start of something big...

  1. #11
      jtougas is offline
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    I can also be my own worst critic as I often think my work isn't coming out the way I "see" it in my head. The one thing I can tell you is that having other people look at your stuff can help immensely As you said sometimes it just takes someone being "outside of your head" Don't give up
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  2. #12
      ravells is offline
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    I can also be my own worst critic as I often think my work isn't coming out the way I "see" it in my head.
    Yeah, me too.

  3. #13
      Preypacer is offline
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    Hey all... Thanks for the words of support/encouragement.

    I think what's holding me up is the same thing I mentioned in a previous post in this thread... the sense of "scale" and proportion. I keep looking at the map after I've laid down mountains and think "man, that's way too much mountain space, compared to everything else...". I don't want to go with what I do, only to find later that I've painted myself into a corner and have run out of room to place important locales that I intended to place. It seems to me that, while you're "safe" enough early on, before things are filled in too much, it's easy enough to make corrections. But when you get into the latter stages, it seems it can be more difficult to "uproot" established locales to make room for others... Not sure if that makes sense.

    What I'm thinking of doing is getting the blank map printed out in a large enough size to work with (maybe 2" x 2" or something) and then find a way to laminate it with a dry-erasable surface. This way I can "sketch" things out and quickly make changes where/when they're necessary. Not sure why but my brain almost always works better when I'm not on the computer. I can focus better. So that approach might just work. Anyone here who can maybe recommend a good approach to something like this, that's as economical as possible? I've seen such map sold in gaming shops, so it seems like it would be pretty common in tabletop gaming (though we never used it in my time playing them).

    In the meantime, I've turned my focus to working on assets for the prototype of the game I'm working on (which I'll use to hopefully get interest in the project). Here's a couple shots of recent work; merchant stands for the market area of the town the prototype will focus around.

    Everything in these shots is my own work, the modeling and texturing. It's done in Blender3D (though I'm sure most here will recognize the software ;-p).

    The first shot is a test render of the first stand I've made. The textures are place-holder and, by no means, final. Far more weathering and detail is needed. I created a sort of "backdrop" to place the objects in. I have trouble envisioning things "in a vacuum" (which may also be part of my mapping issue), and so seeing the objects in a scene that resembles the environment they'll ultimately be in really helps give me feedback of how well they "blend" (I'm a consistency freak). In this case, the environment is going to be a coastal forest region, so of course wood is going to be a core component in a lot of their architecture. The sign isn't textured because I'm not 100% on using that style for it.


    And here's the latest I'm working on... for a larger, more ornate merchant stand (I intend to have 3 different types and sizes, for variety, etc).


    Anyway! Sorry to go off on a long post there... kinda hijacking my own thread, but figured I'd share something I am happy with :-p.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Preypacer; 02-26-2011 at 11:44 PM.

  4. #14
      jtougas is offline
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    Wow those are awesome..
    I am the breath of Dragons...The Song of Mountains...The Stories of Rivers....The Heart of Cities.... I am A Cartographer....

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    Kingdom Of Shendenflar Campaign Setting (WIP)

    Everything I post is free for use and redistribution under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 licence, except where noted otherwise in the thread.

  5. #15
      Diamond is offline
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    For printing out stuff, you could go the easy route and just save it to disc etc, take it down to your local copy shop and have 'em print it out at the size you want. They'll probably laminate it too. If you live in the US, Kinko's/FedEx does a good job for a reasonable price. Also, there's our member Gamerprinter, who does it for a living. You might PM him and see what he'll charge ya.

    As for getting discouraged... well, I look at those 3D models you've done and want to weep, because I know I could never accomplish anything that cool. So there.
    "I like a look of agony, because I know it's true."

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  6. #16
      Preypacer is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtougas View Post
    Wow those are awesome..
    Thanks! .

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond View Post
    For printing out stuff, you could go the easy route and just save it to disc etc, take it down to your local copy shop and have 'em print it out at the size you want. They'll probably laminate it too. If you live in the US, Kinko's/FedEx does a good job for a reasonable price. Also, there's our member Gamerprinter, who does it for a living. You might PM him and see what he'll charge ya.

    As for getting discouraged... well, I look at those 3D models you've done and want to weep, because I know I could never accomplish anything that cool. So there.
    Thanks for the suggestion with Kinkos/Fedex... I was thinking along those lines myself, only I remember them being a bit on the pricey side for things (compared to what, I don't know). I'll look into it, though.

    As for doing the 3D stuff... really, it's not all that difficult. Once you learn the tools, and as long as you have some reference pics to work with - hand-drawn or otherwise - it's mostly just the tedium. For example, the most "difficult" (as in, tedious) part of that first merchant stand to make was the canopy. Why? Because it's thin and has to contour as closely as possible to the shape of the supports below it, without overlapping. Took me 3 different approaches before I got the one that worked best. Now, when it comes to things like modeling 3D characters and such... whole different ballpark for me. I'm horrible at that stuff. Trees, boulders, buildings... otherwise "non-living things"... I'm fine. Anything that needs to look, move and appear alive? Forget it. Well, trees are living, but you know what I mean :-p.

  7. #17
      Ascension is offline
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    When doing hand-drawn style I always have the same tendency to cover up every bit of land with some sort of terrain marker like trees and hills. Over time I learned that empty space is good space since I can stick words in there and not have them cover up all of my carefully crafted hills and trees. Just throw up a screenshot so you can get some feedback and see if others agree with your vision.
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  8. #18
      Preypacer is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    When doing hand-drawn style I always have the same tendency to cover up every bit of land with some sort of terrain marker like trees and hills. Over time I learned that empty space is good space since I can stick words in there and not have them cover up all of my carefully crafted hills and trees. Just throw up a screenshot so you can get some feedback and see if others agree with your vision.
    Indeed, that's basically my concern - covering things up too much. Considering that I intend to have mountains, hills, canyon areas, grasslands, highlands, swampland, etc... a number of different environments, it's really important that I don't cover things up too much.

    Mountains, I find, tend to become the "barriers" between biomes. For that purpose, they're very useful, especially in a real-time 3D environment where you need to cover different environment types, but want to avoid harsh and unnatural transitions as much as possible. And of course, mountains are a biome of their own. The trick, then, is to make sure they're laid out sufficient to serve that purpose, but still appear natural and not contrived. Again, the "not contrived" part is what I'm having trouble with, along with having enough coverage... but not too much.'

    Anyhoo... I'll give the mapping another go - since I definitely need to get that done - and then post what I come up with for some feedback.

    Thanks again!

  9. #19
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    Also, rain occurs when a warm, moist wind is forced up into higher altitudes by the mountains. This makes one side of the mountains wetter (forest) and the other side drier (desert)

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lalaithion View Post
    Also, rain occurs when a warm, moist wind is forced up into higher altitudes by the mountains. This makes one side of the mountains wetter (forest) and the other side drier (desert)
    That's very useful information to have, esp. as I get to completing this map.

    I have rough ideas of where I definitely know mountain ranges are needed.. but having a better grasp on how they "work" in terms of affecting climate will be a good guideline to follow, too.

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