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Thread: Commission: Wastelands Encounter...

  1. #1
    Community Leader Gracious Donor mearrin69's Avatar
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    Default Commission: Wastelands Encounter...

    I'm working on an encounter map for an adventure by Silver Crescent Publishing for its Realms of Twilight campaign setting. Basically, the PCs are travelling through some trackless wastes and are ambushed by a tribe of scary barbarian type halflings called "nightlings". They're well hidden in the hills surrounding the PCs and have nasty blowguns. Halfway through the battle a group of shadows, attracted by the combat, burst onto the scene - the area is fairly infused with necromantic energy. It's one of those battles you love to hate as a player.

    I have attached my initial sketch and my current WiP. Still lots to do on it but I feel like it's getting there. Any thoughts on how to get the countours to "read" as being at different levels without having them jump into your lap will be much appreciated. The client doesn't want a bunch of non-map markings (other than grid) on there...so I can't just draw a big white dotted line around them (as I did in the sketch). Any thoughts? Thanks!
    M

    Edit: Oh yeah, it takes place at night (or, rather, I think it's always dark in this world) and there are two moons up. I'm trying to get that silvery moonlight thing going...but I'm not going to try to do shadows from too moons. Oh, no, not me. M O O N, that spells fuggedaboudit.
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    Last edited by mearrin69; 10-23-2010 at 11:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Guild Artisan geamon's Avatar
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    The only advice I think I can give for the height is actually to edit the grid. The weight of the lines is kinda high. Seeing as this is in PS I'm not sure whats the equivalent to layer modes but is there a way to manipulate the opacity so that in blends in a little better and not cover up the actual map? I'm assuming you used bump mapping for the hill?

    I'm assuming it's the clients request to have the title on the map? Kinda covers a lot of it and I find unnecessary.
    Cheers, Julien

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  3. #3
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Depending on the intensity of the light, you may want to consider deepening the shadows...

    It's coming along nicely though.
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  4. #4
    Community Leader Gracious Donor mearrin69's Avatar
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    @geamon: Reducing the grid opacity is a pretty good idea. It's already slightly transparent but I'll back it off some more, because it does obscure some detail. Yeah, the title is a request from the client. It could maybe be smaller though.

    @SG: Definitely could use some more shadows. Thanks.

    The hills are a combination of "bevel and emboss" layer styles applied to the shapes of each of the contours and combined and layers that shade the various levels progressively lighter as they go up in height. I think the bevels are a little too start at this point, so I want to knock them back some and maybe sketch in some details that provide an indication of height change without the neatly beveled edges.

    The brushy areas are a bit too leafy and green so I'm going to work on them some more. I'd like them to be more like the brambles Tolkien described in Mordor in LotR. I think adding additional scattered groundcover will reduce their stark appearance a bit as well.

    I see now, by the cold light of morning, that the riverbed is way too defined...even though I tried to knock it down into the dirt a little bit. I'll have to do some more futzing with the layer mask that I'm using to hide/expose the rocks.

    Thanks for the feedback, guys.
    M

  5. #5
    Guild Artisan geamon's Avatar
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    I'm just happy I'm at the point now that I understand the software enough to give input. Like I'm comfortable enough now that I think I can jump into PS and not drown.
    Cheers, Julien

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  6. #6
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    maybe a small rock texture to flank the large rock river bead, the transition seems alittle stark to me. If you drop you grid layer to under the lighing effects layers but above the texture layer, the lines should "bend" with the terrain... might create the look you are going for.

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    Community Leader Gracious Donor Jaxilon's Avatar
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    That is cool
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  8. #8
    Community Leader Gracious Donor mearrin69's Avatar
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    Little update...mainly to make the undergrowth more "brambly" and to add some scattered growth, bones, etc. to the ground. I used quite a few brushes I got from an issue of ImagineFX magazine. If you've never seen it you should check it out. I think it was like $16 but well worth it, IMHO. Considering a sub but...wow...that's a lot of money for a magazine.
    M
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected tilt's Avatar
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    looking good, the small size, though understandable, makes it hard to give full crititque.. some combat maps show a little triangle for difficult terrain - but it looks like all of your terrain is difficult. What is the ball on the compass? a moon? - cause at first I thought it was north, but then I saw the N ... oh, and nice coloring
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  10. #10
    Community Leader Gracious Donor mearrin69's Avatar
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    Thanks. I can post a larger size, I think (this is 25% of the full-resolution image). Was just trying to conserve space. I'll get a larger sized one up tomorrow. I think the compass center is the company/setting logo...the balls, I think, represent the two moons of the planet.
    M

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