The full-res version is 27MB, and that's jpeg compressed. It's beyond the limits of the CG. So, not going to happen :-) Besides, I really want to finish version 2, because I think it *will* be better overall. Ah, well...
Just because one understands something may not mean one can also manipulate it. Some things may simply be fixed, others might be changable but practical limitations are forbidding. Energies involved in doing anything at very large scales are insane. That's one reason I went with a hyperdrive - I can always pretend that the energy needed to jump to that alternate dimension aren't all that phantastic because it's "just there" anyway, just a slight phase shift away. Still needs a crapload of electricity coming from large banks of ultra-hightech capacitors, but I can pretend that it's practical.
But yes, since this is a setting about the conquest of the galaxy/universe, I am also assuming that at -very- high tech, pretty much anything becomes possible. Ringworlds and Dyson spheres? Commodities. Engineered galaxies? Sure, why not. Custom universes? Want fries with that? - Just not what humans will be able to do during the time of the main setting.
I just started reading through this. I have never tried anything like this before and you've made me realize I need to expand my parameters. Fantastically interesting, and thank you for sharing it.
That's some seriously phenomenal work. I've been busting my bum trying to replicate part of your process, but I'm not super familiar with the workings of GIMP and Inkscape (I've usually relied on an archaic version of PSE). I'm a bit new to use the PM system, so I was wondering if you could break down a few parts of your process for me, if that's at all feasible. I'd really appreciate it.
- Firstly, how did you go from your initial B&W Milky Way map to this? The cropping is child's play, but I'm at a loss as to what you did to create the new more detailed background here: Milky Way Galaxy, Revisited. Noise? Blur?
- How did you make your way to this here http://www.cartographersguild.com/at...les7-small.png from the B&W detailed background? You wrote of using new brushes from what seemed to be a color palette. Did you do a palette replacement? Did you color over?
I appreciate any help. I know I'm asking some basic questions, but I've been looking around and I just can't figure out how you're pulling this off. If this information is actually readily available somewhere, I'll soak up the "I'm an idiot" points happily if you could point me that direction. Thanks in advance.
Thanks for replying so quickly! I much appreciate the help you've so kindly proffered.
So far - Imgur
I like where I'm going with some of the blur + using the orion layer as a mask, but at that point, the similarities with your end product seem so disparate as to imply that something's gone wrong in my process (or what I'm doing is insufficient). I've saved my work in two states here, and at this point I'm not sure, even with your much-appreciated help, how to make the jump from an unrefined arm to the much softer and even product of yours. The incremental changes I'm seeing with blur and noise don't appear to be contributing to that eventual state. Of course, I understand if this project is too far in the past for you to recall any of those more minute details. Thanks anyways.
Alright, I did some digging. You're actually not far off - it's my memory that's sucky. I found a gimp file which I used to create the basic B&W image. Resolution I worked at, by the way, was 6622x4677 pixels. Also, for the sake of this post, I will refer to layers by number where 1=topmost and 5=lowest layer in this particular gimp file.
Anyway, after the resizing and cropping I started out with this:
Looks pretty close to what you have, doesn't it? This is layer 4 in the file, and indeed is turned off completely.
Above it, at layer 3 I have this. Now, this LOOKS an awful lot like I simply took my wacom tablet and plopped down something that resembles the original image. My memory was that I got there with tons of transformations, blurs, and whatnot and then just fine-tuned the result. Might be, but looking at this, the easiest way is to draw something freehand. The layer is transparent but I think it doesn't really matter - it's just easier to work that way because you can see through to layer 4, the original, of course.
Layer 2 looks like following screenshot.
It's the fractal cloud I mentioned. I have no idea what I used, but it was generated with GIMP. It uses fairly fine detail and looks like I blurred/smoothed it. Here's a 100% zoom view of a section:
Note that this layer is slightly transparent (I used a value of 88.6 in Gimp) and is set to Mode=Lighten only.
Enabling them together gives us this:
Now, layer 1 - topmost - is a pure black layer which is set to mode=saturation. In addition to that, enabling a completely white layer 5, gives me this end result:
I have no idea if this is helpful.... Let me know if I can help in any other way... And definitely post your progress and your end result please!
PS: To get to a blue color base image, I seem to have added the following layers (going into negative numbers as they are above what I described in the previous post).
Layer 0: Completely white, set to mode=difference (seems to just invert it all)
Layer -1: A blue hue, mode=overlay. I used #5860ff.
...and that's it.
Layer -2 is "Stars" (indeed there are four layers of stars; I separated them by color so it'll be easier to make changes later). These are disabled in the above screenshot.
I did do some changes to that, for example I think there's a lot of noise in the final map to give the illusion of fine detail:
(Zoom into the above crop, it's at 1:1 zoom - you'll see what I mean.)
Also, though I think I mentioned this in older posts, all lettering, the trade routes, colonies and their labels, and the "fluff" around the map were all added in Inkscape.
Last edited by bartmoss; 07-14-2014 at 07:57 PM.
No bien - Imgur
I know my level 3 isn't as pretty as yours (I don't have a tablet), but I don't think that explains how off I am. The main issues I seem to be encountering are the following:
- Cloud layer is BW (not sure if this actually changes anything)
- When viewing level 3, I see much less alpha than you do.
- End result is not smooth and cloudy, but seems to be a solid grey with cloudy wisps over it.
- No recognizable shapes present themselves aside from what I clumsily painted in
If none of my issues seem immediately simple to fix, could I see your layers? Also, let me know if there's anything in my file that you want to look at/check. Thanks again.
Try to put some massive, massive blurs on your layer 3, and use a much lighter cloud (inverting it may work). I am not sure the cloud has enough detail, it's very... foggy.
Edit: In Gimp, what I used was definitely the plasma, with the turbulence set to max. It looks very much like my screenshot. The plasma gimp generates is darker though, so I must have played with the color levels.
(Hah, this is amusing - I am reverse engineering my own graphics.)
PS: You've pretty much seen my layers, there aren't any secret settings I am aware of, and my file doesn't have any layers I did not post about, above.
Last edited by bartmoss; 07-15-2014 at 01:22 PM.
Success! - Imgur
Success. I have extra bright spots and a bit less detail, and I don't know why, but I'm really not too rustled at that. THe outcome is something I'm very happy with, and I have you to thank for it. Much appreciate you breaking down your process for me!
Just some ancillary questions,
Are the stars made with a specific kind of brush + a fill pattern? I'm guessing that your four star layers represent size and intensity; -2 would be like the class G main sequence yellow, then maybe -5 would be the faint stars that blend a bit more with the background. Am I on the right path with that? To be honest, stars aren't even a make or break for me in the end, but I'm still curious, because that's a darn fine effect.