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Thread: June Entry: Mennin's Hallow and environs

  1. #1

    Post June Entry: Mennin's Hallow and environs

    Since I have been working on Ascension for a couple of weeks already, that map is disqualified from this month's challenge. I was actually going to skip the June challenge in favor of working on that map, but since I can kill two birds with one stone here, I'll go ahead and submit another site in the campaign I'm brewing up.

    Mennin's Hallow is a hidden village of healthy people living in the Uzuid Mountains above the plague-ridden Tawaren Basin.

    And here's a teeny-tiny image cut out from the larger map.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  2. #2
    Administrator Facebook Connected Robbie's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Dayton, OH
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    You win the award for smallest WIP ever posted...yay you!!!
    All Hail FlappyMap! Long Live MapFeed!

    Robbie Powell - Site Admin

  3. #3


    Woohoo! I won an award! Do I get to design my own badge? I'm thinking a 1px by 1px picture of a sea chart. Here's my wip for that: Pretty good, eh?

    I resampled the tiny image to 800 pixels square and started marking in my sketches. I also visited The Welsh Piper for some demographic information from the online population generator there.

    Mennin's Hallow occupies about 20 square miles, mostly barren and rocky, and quite cold due to its elevation. It's been inhabited for about 80 years, since the plague casualties began to become significant. There are about 1200 acres of arable land, but much of the rest is suitable for herding goats, which are the economic base of the village.

    The total population is about 280, or 60 - 70 families. The population generator indicates the following tradespeople are probably present:
    Chandler, charcoaler, cobblers (3), furrier, jeweler, mason, metalsmiths (2), miller/baker, ostler, physician, tailors (2), tavern, weaver, woodcrafters (2), and yeoman. After several rerolls to get the number down, it also indicates 6 nobles, whom I have decided are Mennin's children, with 2 servants. The village's officers include a reeve, messor, woodward, and 3 law enforcement. Finally, there are 3 clerics.

    Based on those numbers, the generator suggests 66 buildings: a mansion, a church, 24 businesses, a municipal building, and 39 homes. (Many of the tradespeople live in apartments attached to their businesses.)

    Given that this is a hidden mountain settlement, I may place some or many of these dwellings in caves in order to reduce the footprint of the visible village. I will likely refine those numbers as I build the village and determine which trades may not actually be present (I don't foresee a whole lot of business for a jeweler, for instance).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	4152  
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  4. #4
    Community Leader Torq's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Cape Town, South Africa


    You're astounding Mid. Give it horns! I look forward to seeing what you come up wit, as always.

    The internet! It\'ll never catch on.

    Software Used: Terranoise, Wilbur, Terragen, The Gimp, Inkscape, Mojoworld

  5. #5


    "Give it horns?" Sorry, I'm not familiar with that expression. What does it mean? Thanks, in any case. Here's an actual WIP image.

    First of all, I am again working entirely in Photoshop 7, and I'm going to provide some details of my process. If anyone has any suggestions on places to improve, feel free to speak up.

    I started by extracting the height map behind that tiny square from my Tawaren Basin map, blurring it, and playing with the levels, pulling as much information out of it as I could. There's some distinctive banding there as a result of the limited dynamic range of the height map, so I briefly considered doing a contour map. I decided against that, though, since I really would like to get a more painterly look to match my plans for Ascension.

    I pasted the grayscale height map into a new image and used a gradient map on it (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map) to make the lowest (darkest) parts a nice, rich green and the upper areas a light brown. I then pasted the new gradient image back into my main document.

    I put a solid green layer beneath it and played with some opacity and blend modes until it had the look I wanted. I ran the lighting effects filter (Filter > Render > Lighting Effects) on a gray layer so I could get some shadows and bring some depth to the image. I used those shadows as a guide for a large, low flow, low opacity black airbrush, and I painted in some relief on the north eastern parts of the ridge.

    The next three layers are rock overlays. I used the select by color tool on the height field to select three levels of the mountain, and filled each with a different rocky color. I ran the lighting effects filter on each one, then blurred it, reduced the opacity, and set its blend mode to either hard or soft light, depending on which looked better.

    The layer above that has some additional shadows, and I'll probably use it to sharpen up the ridgeline, since the image doesn't look properly scaled at the moment.

    And above that is the mountain spring, which is too large by far right now. That'll take some work.

    ### Latest WIP ###
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Name:	menninshallow006.jpg 
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ID:	4174  
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  6. #6


    Repainted the river at a more reasonable scale and added the preliminary inset of the village site. I also added some highlights and more shadows.

    I haven't decided how I want to approach texturing the treetops and rock. And I'm thinking this is probably close to the treeline, so I'll need to address that, and maybe add some snow as well. That'll be work for down the road, though, after I've done some work on the village itself.

    ### Latest WIP ###
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	menninshallow009.jpg 
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ID:	4229  
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  7. #7


    I've finally begun on the town. It's tiny, and getting results with so few pixels to work with is tough. So far, I have the manor house / civic building, a water mill, and a farm. I'm thinking some noise and a little bit of feathering around the edges will improve the fields quite a bit. I haven't decided if I want to try to indicate plow rows at this scale.

    The mill is problematic because there really isn't enough flow from my water to power it, so I may put it at the bottom of a small enscarpment, so it's powered by a waterfall instead of the stream. Obviously, though, waterfalls are difficult... Maybe Mennin & Co devised a way to narrow the stream there. That would be easier.

    ### Latest WIP ###
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	menninshallow012.jpg 
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ID:	4354  
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  8. #8


    What about adding a mill pond and\or dam?

  9. #9


    Good thinking. I might have to rearrange some things, but I might as well make the entire pond/lake a mill pond in that case, and I can attach the bridge to the mill while I'm at it.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  10. #10


    The dam works well, I think. Here are a few more buildings, and a slight enhancement of the crop fields.

    ### Latest WIP ###
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	menninshallow013.jpg 
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Size:	428.7 KB 
ID:	4370  
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

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