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Thread: Eyar Madhri Island Nation by Greason Wolfe

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    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
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    Wip Eyar Madhri Island Nation by Greason Wolfe

    This is the first of four islands that make up the Eyar Madhri nation. It took me about a day (using a modification of the techniques outlined by waldronate in this tutorial) to build the base terrain for this initial render in Terragen. At first, I was going to build all the islands as a single file for rendering in Terragen, but ultimately opted to build each island individually for maximum detail. Eventually, once Iíve done a final render of each island, Iíll bring them together in a single map that will ultimately become part of a world map.

    Iíve still got quite a bit of work to do with this specific map (i.e. finalizing rivers and lakes, adding forests and other significant terrain features, tweaking the elevation file), but I expect that things will move along at a fairly good pace until Iím ready to start working on the other islands.

    As a bit of background, the Eyar Madhri nation is based on a mixture of Amazonian and Norse (Valkyrie) mythologies with a little bit of Descolada Virus (Orson Scott Cardís ďSpeaker for the DeadĒ) stirred in to complete the underlying religious beliefs and cultural structure of the inhabitants. Iíll save the details of those beliefs and the cultural structure for another time, but if you are familiar with the afore mentioned mythologies and Orsonís book, it will, hopefully, give you an idea of where things are headed.

    On a side note, itís good to be feeling productive again. Itís been over a year since the last time I posted anything other than an occasional comment here or there. Much of that year has been taken up by work, and, to be honest, a lack of motivation and/or drive to do any mapping work. Hopefully Iíll be able to maintain both the motivation and drive to see this project through to the end.

    GW
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    Community Leader Korash's Avatar
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    Great to see that you are back in the saddle again GW.

    I have been in that slump for about 4 years now and still struggling to shake it...

    Looking interesting, esp. the rivers in the central valley pretty straight to my eye, and got me thinking of all kinds of stuff...... Out of curiousity, what sort of scale are we looking at here? looks like a LARGE island with the way the mountains look.
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    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
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    Yes, a large island comprising an area of almost 2000 square miles, and born of volcanic activity. As far as the existing rivers go, they are far from being finalized, just wanted to test the distribution mask and coloring while I had a chance. My main work for tonight is going to be tweaking the mountains as I am not quite satisfied with them just yet.

    In terms of the slump . . . The thing that broke me out of it was going through some old Table-top RP notes I had from several years ago. I'd started putting a campaign/world together, but hadn't detailed much of it. Once I started reading those old notes and what not, I started to feel the urge. Again, though, I'm going to hope that it doesn't fade too quickly and will let me get through this project.

    Edit : I should have mentioned that the mountains aren't towering monstrosities, they only range somewhere between 2 and 3 thousand feet at their highest. For the most part, on this map in particular, they are meant to separate a few areas set aside for specific terrain features.

    GW
    Last edited by Greason Wolfe; 02-04-2013 at 09:43 PM.
    When nothing is going right and you can't find someone else to blame, start beating your head against the wall, 'cause it'll feel so much better when you stop.

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    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
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    So, tweaking the mountains has turned out to be a longer project than I thought it would be, mostly because I'm trying a slightly different approach. Rather than working on them as a part of the entire terrain, I'm working on them separately with the intent to add them back into the full terrain once I'm satisfied with the way they look. Hopefully I'll have something to post within a day or two.

    GW
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    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
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    So, a brief update. I'm still deeply entrenched in my battle with the mountains. I've tried a few different things so far and still haven't quite got the look I want. I'm on a slightly new track now, and it looks like I might finally get something close to what I want, just have to wait out the erosion process and see what the final results look like. Hopefully I'll be able to post a preliminary render from Terragen later today.

    GW
    When nothing is going right and you can't find someone else to blame, start beating your head against the wall, 'cause it'll feel so much better when you stop.

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    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
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    Wip

    Still not totally satisfied with the results. The texture is a bit better now, but the sense of elevation isn't as evident as I would like, not to mention that the slope angles aren't quite where I want them to be. Maybe it's just me, but they look a little bubbly. I've started a second render, which should be done in a few hours, after running an exponent on the slopes, and will post it for comparison when it's ready to go.

    GW
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    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
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    Been working/tweaking the mountain building process, and things are starting to get close to what I'm looking for. I still have a few more tweaks to test before I finalize the process. Along with that, I've been looking at the rendering process (in Terragen) a bit more closely. The "bird's eye" (or nearly so anyhow) wasn't working out very well, so I played with the settings. The image below shows two of those results, the left hand side being rendered at a 45 degree angle while the right hand side was rendered at a 30 degree angle. Both have their pros and cons, and I'm kind of waffling between the two, so I'm tossing them up here for opinions while I continue tweaking the build process.

    Thoughts?

    Suggestions?

    GW
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    Guild Adept Naeddyr's Avatar
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    I really like those mountains, but because they look so realistic, I would also expect the map itself to be tilted, not a top-down map. That would look gorgeous, but it would also be more work...

    EDIT:

    I also think that in the earlier image with the mountains on the map, there is too much separation between mountain areas and lowlands: I think it could look better if you joined them together into a single hmap > relief render (or whatever Terragen has).

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    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
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    @Naeddyr - The earlier maps were single renders, I just hadn't added anything in except the mountains (which weren't working out well at the time) and some temporary rivers. I think what was throwing things off in those renders was the near top-down angle that I was using during the renders. I'm going to try to set up a render at a shallower angle and see how that comes out.

    In other news, today was a long day at work, and tomorrow will be even longer, so I don't expect to get a chance to work on this until Thursday or Friday at best.

    GW
    When nothing is going right and you can't find someone else to blame, start beating your head against the wall, 'cause it'll feel so much better when you stop.

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    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    Though I like the renders, I quite like the original map you posted. What was wrong with that one that you decided to "fix"?
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    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
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