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Thread: Need help Plz

  1. #1

    Map Need help Plz

    I am trying to do two different maps, so I'll ask the questions one at a time.

    First: I am trying to create a Temple of a Forgotten Goddess. I have the layout I want, and the tiles are right, but the walls are stumping me. I know this sound really silly in some ways, but I just can't get the walls to feel right. I'm looking for a way to walls nicely. I have been laying the map out in a program called MapTool (not the best for building it, perhaps, and I may switch to inkscape or the GIMP if I need to, but MapTool is where I'll be using the map) for my campaign that I'm running (D&D), and I just can't get the walls (especially corners) to look good. Every time I turn a corner, things just end up funky (nice technical term). I can't post a screenshot right now, but I will later so you can see what I'm talking about. If anyone can either post advice on how to handle building wall tiles in inkscape (or the GIMP, but I'm MUCH more proficient with inkscape) or post some good wall tiles, I'd much appreciate it.

    The other challenge I'm having is this: I'm creating a map where the players run up against a massive 300' cliff with a waterfall and trees. From a perspective point of view, I can't decide how much of this cliff they need to see, and I just can't get the waterfall to look right. I've decided what I need is a waterfall tile, but for some reason I haven't found one I like (imagine that). The scenario is something like this: the players are traveling north along a wide river (about 1/4 mile wide at this point, so big) through heavily rocky and mountainous forest terrain (think yellowstone type stuff, or the Rockies--lots of rapids, fast moving, dangerous deep and not something you want to swim in) and they run into a massive cliff: 300' tall, with a massive waterfall. There is a pool of water on their side of the river. The cliff is smooth from centuries of water running down it, and difficult to climb. The trees are massive here (it's a warm mountain forest, and there are fire-giants nearby). From a map-creating perspective, it's kicking my but, though. I could hand draw this, but to create a digital map, which I absolutely need, I am only getting a crude approximation. Halp? I'll upload a crude sketch later.

    Thanks for the discussion. If this is the wrong place to post, I'm sorry. Maybe the moderators will be kind to me and swap it over.

  2. #2
    Administrator RobA's Avatar
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    Hi Ben.

    It would be much easier to get an idea of what you are trying to accomplish, or having problems with with an image or two.

    Once you get them up you should get a few more responses.

    -Rob A>

  3. #3
    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    Wall tiles for maptool are pretty tricky so I'm not surprised you are having a few problems. Can you post the tiles you have and a screenshot of them in use? That should give us something to work with.
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  4. #4

    Map Cliff battle

    This is the shot I've had at making the cliff--I realize that it's not so great, and that's why I'm here begging for mercy (er, help). I hope it illustrates what I'm after.

    http://timemachineofguam.com/waterfallandclifftrial.png

    I'm just linking to the image, because I find that easiest .

    Hopefully that will illustrate what I'm after. I need the cliff to be a better perspective (which I'm really not achieving with that drawing) and I need the waterfall. The problem is this: scale. The cliff is meant to be over 300' tall and the river is supposed to be deep and rapid, and quite wide. The area is densely forested and rocky, and there is not real path. Overall, this is a nasty place for an encounter, but I've chosen it because I find it interesting and precisely because it provides so much potential for an interesting situation.

    The cliffs really should run off more than a mile in either direction, which means that if I get an appropriately tiling image, I can create one in MapTool. I've tried creating one in GIMP, but the truth is that I stink with the GIMP. I'd like to get better, but I need help to do that.

    Thank you.


    Now the wallshots are here:
    http://timemachineofguam.com/Wallshot1.png

    with the tile I'm using here:
    http://timemachineofguam.com/BrownStoneChecker_SR.png

    And the lower level, which is the one I currently hate the most, and the walls that I really want to replace:

    http://timemachineofguam.com/wallshot2.png

    The background tile for this one is actually a set of tiles--available here in a zip--and are achieved by mirroring in both directions.
    http://timemachineofguam.com/tilezip.zip

    Some consistency between upper and lower walls would be nice, but mostly I'm really just concerned in making the entire setup work.
    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjamin.orchard View Post
    This is the shot I've had at making the cliff--I realize that it's not so great, and that's why I'm here begging for mercy (er, help). I hope it illustrates what I'm after.

    http://timemachineofguam.com/waterfallandclifftrial.png

    I'm just linking to the image, because I find that easiest .

    Hopefully that will illustrate what I'm after. I need the cliff to be a better perspective (which I'm really not achieving with that drawing) and I need the waterfall. The problem is this: scale. The cliff is meant to be over 300' tall and the river is supposed to be deep and rapid, and quite wide. The area is densely forested and rocky, and there is not real path. Overall, this is a nasty place for an encounter, but I've chosen it because I find it interesting and precisely because it provides so much potential for an interesting situation.

    The cliffs really should run off more than a mile in either direction, which means that if I get an appropriately tiling image, I can create one in MapTool. I've tried creating one in GIMP, but the truth is that I stink with the GIMP. I'd like to get better, but I need help to do that.
    Benjamin, you should really consider trying this with GIMP. Instead of using tileable images, you could use the TLS (three layer sandwich) technique to give a lot more variability to the textures and make them look a bit more natural instead of repeated. While I am just learning GIMP myself, I can see some things I would try to duplicate the intended result depending on a few specifics. Also, there are TONS of helpful people in the guild who use GIMP and would be glad to help.

    Now, on to the questions. The most important one for the waterfall in my opinion is what is the point of view supposed to be:
    • Isometric (sky view down at 45 degree angle)
    • top down (as in a D&D battlemap/tile for minis)
    • Human "eyes" from the valley floor looking straight on at the waterfall
    • Human "eyes" from the valley floor looking at the cliffs/waterfall from some angle other than perpendicular.


    Knowing this is critical to getting the map to look right since a top down map would actually show very little of the cliff face and you would have to do some shading to give the illusion of depth. iso is probably the hardest to create.

    Also, depending on your time available, you could do more than one view. I have seen several maps in the guild with both a top down view for a battle map use and a human/iso view as a handout to give the players a better idea of how the scene looks from their viewpoint. One super quick example that just happens to be handy to illustrate: http://www.cartographersguild.com/sh...0778#post20778 Particularly, note post #7 which shows the top down and a (I assume 3d rendered) first person viewpoint as the characters would see from a distance. Of course, you probably won't be able to duplicate this great piece of work your first time (and I will probably never be able to), but it gives you an example of what I mean.

    If you have the time, I would absolutely suggest running through some of the GIMP tutorials by the great guild members. You would be surprised how quickly you pick up GIMP (I have been playing with it for around 2 weeks.)
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  6. #6

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    I would stamp down cliffs found at Dundjinni.com. I have used these many of times. Just stamp them down and overlap them until you get the feeling you want.

    http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/foru...5190&KW=cliffs

    You might want to use a different texture for your water. One thing you will find is that making waterfalls is very challenging and to be completely honest here, anything 3D in a 2D map is very difficult.

    In this case, I would run may game and not worry so much about the map so much. Think of it this way - it is already better than dry erase on a rubber battlemat.

    Oh yeah, but this is a cartographers website...

  7. #7
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    Here is my quick repesentation of a waterfall from a 80 or so degree angle in the sky. I have limited art skills, but hopefully, this will at least give you kind of an idea. I did this in GIMP in about 30 minutes. I am sure others can do a much better job that what I have presented here. Note how the drop shadows, in combination with the blurred "lower" level parts of the terrain give it at least some Illusion of height. I know there are a few parts that don't look right, but like I said, I did it in about 30 minutes and did not go back to clean up some of the mistakes I had made.

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  8. #8
    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
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    Well, I would say that your particular map is kinda tricky because of the angle. If you go top down then its not going to look high. I would just find an image that looks like the cliff you need and show your players and say you are looking at this...

    Still, you can use cliff stamps. Whenever I go near to cliffs, water and rocks and stuff I take photos and chop them up.

    Try these water textures :-
    http://www.cgtextures.com/textures.php?t=browse&q=2194

    then some cliffs...

    http://www.cgtextures.com/textures.php?t=browse&q=2060

    and try to combine them up. This is what I did in about 2 mins with stuff I had lying about.

    Check out all of http://www.cgtextures.com/ as they have lots of stuff that can be clipped together to make some cliffs.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    Well, I would say that your particular map is kinda tricky because of the angle. If you go top down then its not going to look high. I would just find an image that looks like the cliff you need and show your players and say you are looking at this...

    Still, you can use cliff stamps. Whenever I go near to cliffs, water and rocks and stuff I take photos and chop them up.

    Try these water textures :-
    http://www.cgtextures.com/textures.php?t=browse&q=2194

    then some cliffs...

    http://www.cgtextures.com/textures.php?t=browse&q=2060

    and try to combine them up. This is what I did in about 2 mins with stuff I had lying about.

    Check out all of http://www.cgtextures.com/ as they have lots of stuff that can be clipped together to make some cliffs.
    Thanks a bunch! That looks really good.

    I'm not adverse to learning GIMP, but I don't really have a ton of time. I always find raster programs mystifying and vector programs to be very intuitive (GIMP vs. Inkscape; Photoshop vs. Fireworks--I get and can do pretty cool stuff in both Inkscape and Fireworks, but GIMP and Photoshop both mystify me. Go figure.). I'll use what you've got here and go from there.

    Thanks, and if anyone has any ideas about the wall issue, I'd appreciate.

  10. #10
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    This is what I did in about 2 mins with stuff I had lying about.
    heh... see, I told you someone would step up and make a much better example than my pitiful skills allowed.
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