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Thread: The world on a cog

  1. #1
    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    Post The world on a cog

    So this has been keeping me out of trouble for a while. I was commissioned to produce a world map for a world on a cog, with the elemental planes surrounding it also made of cogs. The elemental planes define the seasons. The map is for a new rpg that is in development. It won't be out for a while, but the developers allowed me to post this now that it is finished. This map remains rights reserved.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I've posted a small version at web resolution. The full size one has three times this resolution and will print at A1.

    If anyone has C&C I'd be more than happy to hear them. This was my first attempt at a world map, and my first attempt at any image of this scale. There are certainly things I will do differently the next time I do this and I'd be grateful for any advice from the people here.

    This was created for Jiwei Games: www.jwgames.com
    Last edited by torstan; 05-21-2009 at 12:05 AM.
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    I think it looks really good.

    The only thing (after a fairly quick look) I think needs to be changed would be to reduce the highlight on the mountains (it's very white and bright). Maybe lower the opacity a bit or change the color slightly.

    Another thought... I would think that the 'elemental cogs' would be more more Earth, Air, Fire, Water related than what they currently are. Or is it supposed to be Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter?
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  3. #3
    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    The really white mountains are snowy, but that may not have come across properly. I'll have a look at that. The elemental planes are actually physical planes so couldn't be a ball of fire, globe of water or similar. So the order is Air (top left), water (top right), earth (bottom right), fire (bottom left). They correspond to spring (air), summer (fire), autumn (earth) and winter (water). These planes are considered to be more representational than actual maps.

    Thanks for the comments.
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    Community Leader NeonKnight's Avatar
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    Mucho Cool!
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    The only thing I might think about changing is the black compass lines to a low opacity white due to the overall darkness (which I love by the way). My brain isn't working right now (spent the day listening to my coworkers talking pop culture, actors, hip hop, and other such frivolity) so maybe the white wouldn't work, I dunno. Looks way cool, excellent job.
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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    I love how "web resolution" is >2000 px square for us.

    I concur with Ascension--the graticule gets lost in that dark, dark ocean. Lightening that would help it to be more visible over the water.

    I am given to wonder now: does the world drive the elemental planes, or do the planes drive the world?
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  7. #7
    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    @Neon - Thanks! It was fun to do.

    @Midgarsomr - I love the sig comment - I really didn't expect that starvation motivated comment to come back and bite me everyday

    As I understand it, the cog moves the outer planes. There are three lower cogs beneath that the particularly enthusiastic viewer should be just about able to pick out. I put them in, but didn't want them to be a major feature so they are subtle. Perhaps too subtle.

    As for the resolution, the full size version is ~9000 by 7000. I had to borrow a colleagues quad core power mac to do this in Gimp. The time may well have come to upgrade my hardware. As the screen of my (fixed!) laptop has started flickering today, I might be upgrading sooner than I might otherwise hope for.

    @Ascension - yep, it's dark alright, but I'm hearing that from quite a few people so I may lighten it a little (including GP who I'm talking to about a print out of this). The commission was for dark and gritty, so I turned my normal levels way down. I wanted the lines to be very subtle, so they are black lines at low opacity set to multiply. This does get a bit lost in the sea, but I'm not sure if that bothers me at all. I might play with a version with white lines set to overlay over the weekend.

    The labels are going to be low opacity black with a white overlay glow so they will lighten the map quite a lot. I'll play around and see.
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    Yeah, I think it looks good, and is a pretty good concept.

    Although, I'm pretty sure there is already a novel based on this concept (though I've not read it) where the world is actually a piece in a giant clockwork universe or orrery.

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    Last edited by Karro; 02-26-2009 at 12:33 PM.
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    Professional Artist West2's Avatar
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    Honestly, I'm shocked how sparing the praise here has been. This is truly beautiful work, just went through every finished map on the forum, and this is easily my favorite. Well done. The attention to detail is great too, with the wisps of ash even spinning with the cog and such...

  10. #10
    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    Thanks! I had a lot of fun doing this, and the touches with the volcano ash were very enjoyable. The drifting cascades from the waterfall were good too. I was even tempted to animate it through 1 year....

    The original is *really* big. The game developer got one printed out and laminated and I'm told they use it with whiteboard markers to block out the game setting. That I would love to see
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