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Thread: Better Rivers?

  1. #1

    Wip Better Rivers?

    I have created a map using Herwin Wielink's symbols in CC3. I love the map, and think it's perfect...except the rivers. I am having a lot of trouble finding a map with rivers that don't look bad. Maybe CC3 just doesn't do rivers very well? Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's the people saying the rivers don't look good. I don't know, but I do know I need help, I need input.

    Here is what I currently have:

    Attachment 58405

    After messing with various "glows", especially with a sandy color, I thought it looked too out of place, or too "magical" to glow so much.
    So just like every other terrain piece that looks great with this effect, I decided to use edge fade, inner.

    I submitted it for critique here, and was told the rivers look out of place compared to everything else. Unfortunate, because that is what I was trying to fix.

    Do any of these look better? I really could use some tips on making my rivers look like they fit with the rest of the map.

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    Last edited by RonnyRulz; 10-17-2013 at 04:10 AM.

  2. #2

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    I think I fixed it. Here is my final result, which I've decided on. Please critique it if you think it isn't the best, or still sucks.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    Guild Adept Neyjour's Avatar
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    That's a very pretty map! Excellent job on the colours/textures, and I really like your style. Those hills in particular look really fantastic!

    But yes, the rivers don't look right and don't match the style of the rest of the map.

    The inner texture of the water looks good, but the white (almost glowing edge) doesn't look right, and makes them look like they're pasted on top of the terrain instead of recessed into the ground. What you might try is to actually cut them out of the base map (after saving the original, of course!) and then adding a very small black drop shadow on another layer. That way you can lower the opacity if need be, in case it's too dark. And your water texture would go underneath the drop shadow on it's own layer.

    Also, one thing that really jumps out at me as looking wrong is that they're all too consistent with width. Try making them much more irregular in shape/width, for a more natural look. And they also don't seem to follow the lay of the land either. Maybe try drawing them with more switchbacks, as though following the angles on an isometric map.

    I have no experience at all with rivers on this type of map, so I'm sure others will probably have much better advice for you, but that's just a few things I can suggest, from observing how others have done their rivers.

  4. #4
    Guild Adept Neyjour's Avatar
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    Here's a quick example of what I'm talking about.
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  5. #5
    Guild Expert Ilanthar's Avatar
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    I agree with Neyjour about your white borders. You have a wonderful "cartoon" style for the rest and not for the rivers. So maybe just a dark line border and a more "hand drawn and colored" river would work.

  6. #6
    Community Leader Gracious Donor - Max -'s Avatar
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    I think since this CC3 drawing style is iso style, so your rivers should be drawn this way aswell (with more stretched curves, carefully following the hills/plains shapes). So I pretty much agree with Neyjour. I also agree that the white outline isn't appropriate there. A thin dark green/dark brown outline would fit better. I would also go for some hand drawn white inner lines on the borders of the rivers to match the hand drawn CC3 style.

  7. #7
    Guild Expert Azelor's Avatar
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    Overall it still need some improvement but it's looking good.

  8. #8

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    Thank you everyone for your feedback. I grateful appreciate the constructive criticism and honesty! I am glad to know I am not the only one who think my rivers suck, lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neyjour View Post
    Here's a quick example of what I'm talking about.
    Wow, your much darker river looks infinitely better and more cohesive for my map!

    How did you achieve this? What drawing tool did you use, if you used an art program?

    I might just try and create my own rivers and ignore the CC3 rivers.

    Seeing this, I am going to first try to switch over to the darker water texture for my rivers. Reserve the brighter area for the ocean, possibly. Then replace the white border with a black one.
    I will see if that looks any better.

    I don't have a problem redrawing them to look more realistic and less uniform. I am thrilled that you all have helped me so much. And thank you so so so much Neyjour, for the example. Seeing that, makes me understand how well you know what you're talking about, and how advanced you on on the matter.
    Last edited by RonnyRulz; 10-17-2013 at 12:32 AM.

  9. #9

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    Wow, what an immediate change.
    I am working on the effects right now, but I think the darker color fits with the grittier environment.

    I will work to make them more realistic by redrawing the flow after I figure out how they should look. I might use the current rivers as a "sketch" to build the surrounding terrain, and then delete them afterwards to make them flow better with the terrain, and finally polish the area.
    In this way, I let the sketch of the terrain define the major rivers, then let the rivers define the details of the terrain, then the details of the terrain redefine the rivers. This process is surely going to result in a lot of the guesswork and creativity lifting off of my back. It's easier to let the terrain and rivers take control, than to decide placement myself, lol.

    The coolest part of making rivers, after reading the guide on how rivers work? They flow naturally. It all makes so much sense, logically. So much so, the rivers literally create themselves. I feel like I am just a method for the rivers to flow, not the designer who decides where they go.
    Last edited by RonnyRulz; 10-17-2013 at 03:36 AM.

  10. #10

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    I might have achieved somewhat of what you all advised.

    I also messed with different depths of the inner pure black glow:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Unless I misunderstood the goal, and unless you think otherwise, I am going to choose 1 of the 3 above. I think they look better? The 3 pictures above range in 1 mile more/less of the pure black inner glow.
    Last edited by RonnyRulz; 10-18-2013 at 11:09 PM.

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