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    Default Compound Interest

    Original Thread:

    The Lite Challenge for May/June '11 was to do a planetary survey. I hadn't really planned on entering, until I saw this comment in the main thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by ravells View Post
    It's interesting how everyone has gone 'SF' on this challenge (which is the natural thought). No steampunk, no fantasy (refreshing!) although it would be hard to see how you could do a fantasy planetary survey unless... it was some planet as seen through the crystal ball of a wizard or such like.
    And then I had an idea. (Once you all get to know me better, you will realize that when I start having an idea is the *perfect* time to run away)

    What would a planetary survey look like to a completely alien species, say one with compound eyes? So yes, you may blame Ravells for your eyes going all 'splodey after looking at this map.

    The original idea was that I would try to show different information in different facets of the compound eyes that, if you unfocused your eyes kind of like one of those 3D images, would merge together into a single image with all the relevant information right there.

    Needless to say, this is not quite how the map turned out.

    I built the world using Fractal Terrains, and exported 4 layers of information:
    • the Visible light spectrum, using Image Climates
    • average temperature (shaded red)
    • average rainfall (shaded blue)
    • elevation (shaded white)

    I combined those last 3 layers in Photoshop and overlayed them with one another to highlight the areas of the planet with the most rain, lowest elevation, and highest temperature, on the theory that those areas would have the highest abundance of life for the alien race to eat. This layer was colored in green, and was the supposed target of the 'planetary survey'.

    I finished off the visible light view of the planet with clouds and a starfield, then split up the colored layers into hexes and spread them out so they didn't overlap, but were still laid out in a recognizable pattern. If you focus your eyes on a single layer of the info, theoretically you can see just that single layer with the others fading out. In reality, it doesn't quite work out right - the red and blue layers in particular tend to fade out over the visible continent.

    After all that, the only thing left to do was warp it into a bent compound eye shape, which took 8 different Spherize filters to do right.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    There is a rather long backstory attached to the image as well that I came up with after the fact. It is here:
    Last edited by Master TMO; 07-26-2011 at 02:25 PM.
    My Finished Maps | My Planet Maps | My Challenge Entries | Album: Pre-generated Worlds

    Assuming I stick with fantasy cartography, I'd like to become a World Builder, laying out not only a realistic topography, but also the geopolitical boundaries and at least rough descriptions of the countries and societies.

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