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Thread: [WIP] Ascension style continent

  1. #1

    Wip [WIP] Ascension style continent

    Hey all. Here's a a new one. I'm kitbashing a new release from Catalyst Game Labs that covers the Draconis Combine capital Luthien. I've been fumbling around for a technique or a workflow that will re-create the planets to my taste using Blue Marble style artwork.




    Much work to continue, but I've finally made the switch from CorelDraw to Illustrator and I like some of the changes, don't like others (can anyone tell me how to automatically snap objects to other objects? I need that capability to align things quickly and vertical/horizontal guides take too long).

    I followed Ascension's tutorial with a few tweaks. Some of the gradient colors were changed to taste, I used a different mountain color, only used the ocean layer to create reefs, and used the reef layer for other landscape features.

    I'll post exactly what I did in Ascension's tutorial thread.

    Suggestions welcome, especially on how to get the mountains a little more white and sharp. Contrast?

  2. #2

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    Looks very pretty.


    Nice to see an SF type map for a change.


    Sigurd

  3. #3
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Appears you have made good use of Ascensions tutorial, keep up the good work.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.



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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    For the mountains to get whiter/sharper here's my initial thought: Make a new layer above the mountains, repeat the steps for doing the mountains but add many more difference clouds, then crop and color/blend to suit. The additional diff clouds creates many more ridges and much more contrast between black and white at a smaller scale.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


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  5. #5

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    I'll keep experimenting, but I did realize I could just lower the light source altitude of the bevel style (I'd been using global light). It doesn't make em white, but it does make the relief stand out.

  6. #6

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    Here's another update. I redid the background and a good bit of the foreground. I've got more planets to make and about 3 more continents, but the workflow is beginning to come together.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    Those mountains look real nice.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  8. #8

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    How do the nebula colors grab you?

  9. #9
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    The teal one in the lower right looks great...the others seem like candy-- too many colors. That is by no means a criticism, just a personal taste So maybe just use like 1 color per nebula since there are enough nebulae to have numerous colors. It's nice as it is so it's not even necessary.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  10. #10

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    Well, something still isn't working right for me and I can't quite place it. The old map (my introduction) was too bright and cartoony; I also went way overboard on brushing cottonballs into the nebula. This one is nearly the same image reconstructed from scratch, but much subdued. Though stars have glow, they no longer have twinkle trails like from a bad soft focus photo of a christmas tree. Heh, so it's more like what a guy with bad LASIK would see.

    If I were to start over, what do you think thematically would work? We've got

    1) a pseudo blue-marble style I'm more than satisfied with. Not completely realistic, but not cartoony either.
    2) The fictional Inner Sphere forms a 2-d blob of space on our arm of the Milky Way (a fraction of the Star Trek alpha quadrant if you will).
    3) This map is of the Draconis Combine capital; a neo-feudal society with heavy Japanese influences (they're big on Bushido... cheesy but, hey, that's the world MechWarrior occupies).

    I'm looking for something 60-80% realistic. Fantastic and striking, yet subdued enough to stay in the background behind the map hexes. Very high quality "artist's interpretation" is what I'm shooting for.

    Also it should suffice for any future maps I do. Ideally, I'd just be switching out continents, planets, and jump point locations.


    edit: This looks intriguing but may be too much for a background... dunno I like the idea: http://blog.hexagonstar.com/galaxy-tutorial/#

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