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Thread: August / September 2012 Lite Challenge: Lost City of Ubar

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  1. #1

    Wip August / September 2012 Lite Challenge: Lost City of Ubar

    A few months ago, I saw a documentary on the history channel on "Civilizations Lost" and was struck by the story of Ubar. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etmhB2ZwqJs) The basic story is that it was a thriving Trading Center in the middle of the desert that eventually collapsed on itself as the oasis beneath became depleted. When I got into mapping a few weeks later, I kept thinking how i'd like to eventually recreate it and adapt the story to the Al-Qadim campaign i'm running.

    So - my adaptation of the story is that generations ago desert nomads stumbled on the Oasis, settled there, and made a deal with a genie to construct the fortifications necessary to defend what would become a very prosperous Caravanserai situated between two trading cities.

    Here is my WIP for that part.
    ### LATEST WIP ###
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Lost Citty of Ubar_v2.jpg 
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    Several generations pass without incident as the Sha'ir leader of the city always fulfills his end of the agreement made with the genie by his ancestors. Until one rather arrogant Sha'ir comes to power and decides to renege on the deal and imprison the Genie. When other more powerful Genies catch wind of this - they destroy the city as punishment by making it collapse on itself (same as the original story).

    I don't have much a WIP for this part - but my idea is to create a massive crater in the center of the city and later use everything else as a height map so I can create sand dunes over them. (Not sure exactly how to technically do this...but I've got some time to figure it out...if anyone has any pointers on that process, I'd be very appreciative).

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	After - Lost Citty of Ubar_v2.jpg 
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    I enjoyed doing the challenge last month because it forced me to learn how to use photoshop to some degree...hoping that I can learn even more with this. So any comments, suggestions, criticisms are really welcomed (particularly stuff on the technical aspects of the program).
    *Most of my Maps can be seen in full resolution on my blog*

    *I've made some of my maps into full adventures available for download at DriveThruRPG.com*

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License unless stated otherwise in the thread.

  2. #2

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    Redid the housing in a different style...think it looks better and was equally as time consuming as my first attempt. I've searched the forums for an easier way to do lots of housing without manually rotating each element after you brush it in - but it seems that this is just an area where I'm going to prefer CC3 to photoshop.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Lost Citty of Ubar_v2.jpg 
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ID:	47707

    Did a bit more...redid the roads, added a Stables (top left) and a temple (top right). Think I'm going to redo the fountain.

    ### LATEST WIP ###
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Lost Citty of Ubar_v2.jpg 
Views:	75 
Size:	1.46 MB 
ID:	47708
    Last edited by anomiecoalition; 08-24-2012 at 01:10 AM. Reason: New WIP
    *Most of my Maps can be seen in full resolution on my blog*

    *I've made some of my maps into full adventures available for download at DriveThruRPG.com*

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License unless stated otherwise in the thread.

  3. #3

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    More updates.

    ### LATEST WIP ###
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Lost Citty of Ubar_v2.jpg 
Views:	2250 
Size:	2.16 MB 
ID:	47723
    *Most of my Maps can be seen in full resolution on my blog*

    *I've made some of my maps into full adventures available for download at DriveThruRPG.com*

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License unless stated otherwise in the thread.

  4. #4

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    Redid the Oasis...added some roads...added markets. Think some of the colors might be a bit too bright on the market, might end up playing with the settings again and redoing it. Absent that, I think it just needs some final touches (border, scale, key, maybe a few palm trees here and there, etc.) Comments, suggestions, and criticisms welcomed.

    ### LATEST WIP ###
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Lost Citty of Ubar_v2.jpg 
Views:	176 
Size:	3.63 MB 
ID:	47752
    *Most of my Maps can be seen in full resolution on my blog*

    *I've made some of my maps into full adventures available for download at DriveThruRPG.com*

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License unless stated otherwise in the thread.

  5. #5
    Guild Apprentice gen's Avatar
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    Hello anomiecoalition

    I think it's an intricated work, and nicely done. From the general feel of the colors (sand, mostly), I would say it's dusk. I think, just for the fun of it, I would try a more punched color, to make it glow, like a sunny day in the desert...there's a lot of that overthere. Then, palm tree and market by the oasis would be more alive, like an everyday type of living in Ubar.

    I think I would also add a road, that enter the city and -again, for the fun of it- add a merchant and is cartwheel, a couple of peple (little dots maybe) just to see...since you are interested by the real history, I though you might want to make this one more alive.

    Again, just thoughts
    Congrats for your work,

    gen

  6. #6

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    You beat me to the punch...I was just about to upload a new version with some palm trees added and some tweaks on the colors. Its my first time experimenting with layer adjustments so still not sure what i'm doing, but I think this is better than the original.

    ### LATEST WIP ###
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Lost Citty of Ubar_v2.jpg 
Views:	14971 
Size:	3.84 MB 
ID:	47823
    *Most of my Maps can be seen in full resolution on my blog*

    *I've made some of my maps into full adventures available for download at DriveThruRPG.com*

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License unless stated otherwise in the thread.

  7. #7
    Guild Apprentice gen's Avatar
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    A lot better, and with the scale! I was just checking differents version for my own map
    The color is better also. Are you using photoshop? Is so, and if you want to try a couple of liter tones, you can do it easily like this, though not optimal, it can give you an idear:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm only suggesting since you said you wasn't sure what you where doing

  8. #8

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    I am using photoshop - and thanks for the tip.

    I've been trying to figure out how to do the after map the way it is in my head. I envisioned a black bottomless pit where the oasis was and massive sand dunes covering up what used to be the structures of the city.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Destroyed Citty of Ubar_v2.jpg 
Views:	408 
Size:	1.13 MB 
ID:	47842

    I'll briefly describe my method so that if anyone has any ideas or thoughts about how it could be done better, they can let me know. I added a invert and greyscale layer adjustment to my structures. I then made a layer with bevel, shadow, and texture effects that was slightly expanded and feathered from those shapes (set to multiply). I then repeated that process twice but each time contracted the selection to try to give the image some elevation. I then hid my original structure layers.

    I think the shape of the dunes still looks a little too "defined" or sharp - but i'll save trying to figure out how to fix that for another day.

    Thoughts?
    *Most of my Maps can be seen in full resolution on my blog*

    *I've made some of my maps into full adventures available for download at DriveThruRPG.com*

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License unless stated otherwise in the thread.

  9. #9
    Community Leader Korash's Avatar
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    Actually, I think the buildings are only just a bit more defined than the area around the city, and work quite well. My biggest reservation is the vagueness of the hole itself. I would think that it would be quite distinct, unless the edges are where there is a continual cascade of sand...then I get the vague edge.

    Nice work
    Art Critic = Someone with the Eye of an Artist, Words of a Bard, and the Talent of a Rock.

    Please take my critiques as someone who Wishes he had the Talent

  10. #10

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    Thanks...and yeah, the idea was to have more of a smooth hole rather than a crater (so sand is cascading in rather than stopping at the end of a rocky cliff). I will probably try to mess with it a bit more to try to get more of an appearance of a slope.

    *Here's a version where I changed the shape of the hole to match the oasis from the before pic...not sure why I didn't do that in the first place.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Destroyed Citty of Ubar_v2.jpg 
Views:	249 
Size:	1.14 MB 
ID:	47856
    Last edited by anomiecoalition; 08-28-2012 at 07:12 PM. Reason: added new pic
    *Most of my Maps can be seen in full resolution on my blog*

    *I've made some of my maps into full adventures available for download at DriveThruRPG.com*

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License unless stated otherwise in the thread.

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