Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24

Thread: Hearthstone Saga - WIP

  1. #1
    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Tigard (and Florence) Oregon
    Posts
    722

    Wip Hearthstone Saga - WIP

    As I mentioned in the "Bad News and More Bad News" post, I've started work on a new project intended for a Gaming Convention/Saga, and I'm happy to say that progress is moving along nicely. This morning I managed to lay out the coast line and drop in the first mountain chain (The Kreimyr Mountains) and whip-up an initial Terragen render just to see how things were looking. I have to say, at this point, that I am rather pleased with the results.

    The area detailed ranges approximately 175 miles north/south and east/west. It is, I will admit, loosely based on the Northwestern portion of the U.S. and the Southwestern portion of Canada. Rather than simply reproduce said areas, however, I'm taking the liberty of modifying some of the land form and adding in a few offshore islands.

    For this map, I decided to try a slightly different technique that takes advantage, at least in part, of RobA's Regional Map tutorial and touches ever so briefly Torq's Mountain Techniques tutorial. At the heart of it all is a random height field as generated by Terragen (call it Cloud Noise if you want). I made multiple copies of the height field and adjusted the color levels of each copy to represent a variety of elevation groups (i.e. Shores, Lowlands, Hills, etc.). Then, using the original height field, I've applied RobA's Blur/Overlay technique to randomize where these elevation groups appear in the form of masks. The advantage of this approach, as I see it, is that I can place things where I want them and still maintain somewhat of a "natural" look to the overall results. It also lets me control the erosion on a larger scale rather than having to wait through the Precipitation and Incise Flow cycles in Wilbur, although these will come into play when it's time to start working on rivers and lakes.

    When time permits, I might write up a brief tutorial on this process as a potential addendum to both RobA and Torq's tutorials if they don't mind.
    From there, it's off to Wilbur to take advantage of three features; Mathematical>>Offset, Mathematical>>Scale and Save As>>.ter. That last one is a great feature and produces far better results than simply saving from the graphics editor and trying to import as a .bmp file. There's just something about the .bmp import process in Terragen that doesn't work out cleanly, particularly along the coasts and when it comes to scaling. Fortunately Wilbur seems to solve this problem (Thanks Joe!!!!).

    As for the adventure/saga . . .

    It's still in a bare bones stage at the moment (along with the History and Religious aspects), but, in a nutshell, our adventurers/heros will be thrown into a situation where they must recover three unique gem stones and restore the Hearthstone. Although I'm far from finalizing anything yet, I have concluded that knowledge of the Hearthstone's location was lost several centuries ago. However, three particular peaks in the Kreimyr Mountains can be used to reveal the location of a remote "valley" in which the Hearthstone may be found. The adventurers/heros will, of course, have to recover the gem stones, root out the location of the Hearthstone, figure out how the gem stones can be used to restore this ancient relic, and then, if everything goes well, bring about a return of the three original creator divinities.

    Anyhootie, here's the first Terragen render showing the Kreimyr Mountains. It's still pretty rough, color wise, but as far as land form goes, I'm pretty happy with the way it looks. I'll be adding in a coastal range of mountains next which should create a nice large valley in which most of the adventure/saga takes place.

    GW
    When nothing is going right and you can't find someone else to blame, start beating your head against the wall, 'cause it'll feel so much better when you stop.

  2. #2
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Ft. Wayne, IN
    Posts
    9,463

    Default

    Good to see that despite everything going on, you can still find time to work on new projects.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.



  3. #3
    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Tigard (and Florence) Oregon
    Posts
    722

    Wip

    One quick update for now, then it's off to get some rest before hitting the road. Dropped in the coastal mountain range. Haven't settled on a name for them just yet, but, as I had hoped (and planned), they created a nice valley that has a southern break to the coast as well as a narrower northern break. It will be interesting to see where Wilbur decides to place the rivers after the erosion cycles are completed.

    As before, the coloring is still in its rough stages and very basic to keep land forms identifiable. Once everything is placed, land form wise, I'll work out the coloring scheme a bit better and may include a few distribution maps just to highlight certain areas. Still pretty happy with the progress though, and still fairly happy with the results.

    As it stands now, I'm going to have to look at potential locations for other mountainous areas. If anyone has suggestions in this regard, I'm all ears (or eyes, as the case may be).

    GW

    P.S. I did render things a bit larger this time for a little more detail. I'm currently saving the .ter files at a smaller size for speed of rendering. When I'm ready to render the final map, I'll push the .ter file size up to maximum and render at a fairly large scale for maximum detail.

    P.P.S. The only thing I'm not happy with is the beaches. They got expanded in this render, but I think I forgot to adjust my fuzziness setting on their elevation constraints before I rendered. I'll have to look into it when I get the next major edit done.
    Last edited by Greason Wolfe; 08-03-2009 at 06:45 PM.
    When nothing is going right and you can't find someone else to blame, start beating your head against the wall, 'cause it'll feel so much better when you stop.

  4. #4
    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Tigard (and Florence) Oregon
    Posts
    722

    Wip

    Re-Building the Mountains

    Being on the road this last week, and armed with a printed copy of the Hearthstone Saga map as it stood in my last post, gave me some time to think about how things were progressing with the project, and one of the things that was bothering me was the look of the mountains in general. When I originally envisioned the project, I saw the mountains (particularly the Kreimyrs) as having a folded, more ridge-like appearance. Looking at my copy of the map, that just didn't seem to come across very well, so I've been endeavoring to rebuild them such that they reflected the aforementioned appearance.

    Rather than relying wholly upon Gaussian Blurs and Overlay Blends to create the masks used to define the mountains, I started looking at incorporating a bit of Motion Blur as well. The difficult part has been getting a sense of definition to the ridges, and I may need to tweak things just a bit more, but now I feel that although there is still some "chunkiness" to the mountains, I am much closer to the folded look that I was hoping for.

    Beyond that, there are two situations that I'm trying to take a closer look at. One of those situations has to do with the overall land slope. It occurred to me that with a land form that is basically flat with the exception of the mountains and such, I may end up with some odd river runs when I let Wilbur do its erosion thing. I've got a simple solution for that, however, and will implement it a bit later on in the project.

    The second situation has to do with the implementation of a gorge-like area. I haven't decided exactly where it will be just yet, however, I believe that the implementation of the effect won't be overly difficult. My current thought is to create a secondary mask that will be applied to each of the elevation masks used to create the elevation model as a whole. I will, of course, have to experiment with things a bit just to make sure that it "blends in" properly.

    On a side note, I did manage to tweak the surface maps for Terragen a bit and am getting closer to the right look for what I see in my head. There are a few colors though (and "textures" for that matter) that aren't quite where I want them yet. Still, I've only put in maybe four hours of actual work on the map as a whole and have to say that I am still very happy with the progress so far.

    On another side note, I've selected the area where the story/adventures are most likely to begin and am in the process of cutting it out for a more detailed view. The area, Tyrendale, is a small mining/farming town located in the coastal range of mountains. I hope to have a rough version of that map up later this afternoon or, perhaps, tomorrow. Since it will be more of a local/town setting, I'll probably drop it into the City/Town Maps forum and add cross-over links between it's thread and this one.

    In the meantime, here is the latest render. For the sake of detail, I used the full resolution version of the terrain file and rendered it at 33% (16 x 16 inches) of the intended final size, which should be roughly 48 x 48 inches, just to see how things looked on a grand level. There's still a lot of empty space to work with, and I've plans to drop in three exceptional mountain peaks once I've decided where the final "chapter" takes place. Beyond that, I'll probably add in some low mountains and hills in some of those empty spaces and then let Wilbur have its way with the file just to see where the rivers end up. That should give me a better idea of where settlements and forests are.

    As always, comments, criticisms and suggestions are welcome, especially if anyone happens to see something that doesn't quite make sense or the potential for something unusual that could be added in.

    GW

    P.S. Thanks to my crummy dial-up connection, I keep timing out trying to load the 16 x 16 version of the map, so will have to settle for the 12 x 12 version. I really can't wait for FioS to become available in my little corner of the world.
    When nothing is going right and you can't find someone else to blame, start beating your head against the wall, 'cause it'll feel so much better when you stop.

  5. #5
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Ft. Wayne, IN
    Posts
    9,463

    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Greason Wolfe View Post
    I really can't wait for FioS to become available in my little corner of the world.
    Unless they've already scheduled it to be built I wouldn't plan on getting FiOS anytime soon. Verizon is selling all of its properties in Oregon to Frontier Communications.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.



  6. #6
    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Tigard (and Florence) Oregon
    Posts
    722

    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Steel General View Post
    Unless they've already scheduled it to be built I wouldn't plan on getting FiOS anytime soon. Verizon is selling all of its properties in Oregon to Frontier Communications.
    They've already done the install in the complex (along with the router station), we're just waiting on the main lines to be dropped in at this point. There was some kind of delay because of construction in the area, but they are, hopefully, going to be dropped in within the next few weeks.

    GW
    When nothing is going right and you can't find someone else to blame, start beating your head against the wall, 'cause it'll feel so much better when you stop.

  7. #7
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Ft. Wayne, IN
    Posts
    9,463

    Default

    Ahh OK, you should be good then.

    I've had FiOS for a couple of years now (just as an ISP first ,but now land line phone & TV as well and love it). Since I also live in one of the states Verizon is selling off (Indiana), I'm just hoping Frontier doesn't 'drop the ball' with the support.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.



  8. #8
      su_liam is offline
    Guild Artisan su_liam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Port Alberta, Regina(IRL: Eugene, OR)
    Posts
    707

    Default

    That's looking a lot like a mutated Washington/Southern B.C. area. Puget sound is a little dry, and Vancouver Island is a peninsula. My imagination can almost see a Columbia River down toward the bottom.

    EDIT: Oh never mind! I should have read the first post better. BTW, I'm in Eugene. I use Clearwire. Used to be lightning fast, now... not so much... okay, though, I guess...
    Last edited by su_liam; 08-13-2009 at 12:58 AM.

  9. #9
    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Tigard (and Florence) Oregon
    Posts
    722

    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by su_liam View Post
    EDIT: Oh never mind! I should have read the first post better. BTW, I'm in Eugene. I use Clearwire. Used to be lightning fast, now... not so much... okay, though, I guess...
    Ah yes, I just passed through Eugene (well, actually I skirted it along the Beltline) a couple days ago. Grew up out in Florence, so any time we (the family and I) wanted to go anywhere, we passed through there as a matter of habit.

    As for this project, I've been going back to see what I can do to make the mountains a bit crisper. I'm very close to where I want to be, just have to tweak things a tiny bit more and I think I'll be there. I've also been taking a closer look at some aerial photography in hopes of refining the surface maps used by Terragen for a better look. It's a real pain though, as I have to tweak colors by tiny steps, but that, like the mountains, is getting closer and closer to the look I'm aiming for. Hope to have an updated version of the map available in the next day or two.

    GW
    When nothing is going right and you can't find someone else to blame, start beating your head against the wall, 'cause it'll feel so much better when you stop.

  10. #10
    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Tigard (and Florence) Oregon
    Posts
    722

    Post

    As promised, an update.

    Spent most of my spare time today working on the surface maps used by Terragen. With each step, it's getting a bit closer, but still not quite finalized yet. My goal, at the moment, is to get the base coloring down more so than worrying about the textures, as they will be cut in using distribution masks when I'm ready for that part.

    Now that I have the coloring close to where I want it, I'll be going back to re-fabricate the mountains and see if I can get a better look to them. While they aren't necessarily bad at this point, they still aren't quite where I want them.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    GW
    When nothing is going right and you can't find someone else to blame, start beating your head against the wall, 'cause it'll feel so much better when you stop.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •