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Thread: First Effort (Advice Welcomed!)

  1. #1
    Guild Journeyer Alecthar's Avatar
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    Wip First Effort (Advice Welcomed!)

    Alright, so I just got started putting some maps together, and I'm learning approximately a billion things a second about GIMP that I never knew. That said, I'm still having a tough time with a few things, right now what's bugging me is how to make pillars/columns for a dungeon that players won't mistake for holes in the floor.

    Here's what I'm working on at the moment, just something super basic to try out stuff and make sure I know roughly what I'm doing. The second image is pretty much what I plan to have in the top room. The second image also features a few of those holes masquerading as pillars I mentioned.
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  2. #2
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    Hm, I don't use GIMP so this is an iffy reply, buuuuut, for the pillars:

    1) I noticed in the picture that the edges of the pillar/holes look a bit feathered. This adds a bit to making them look like holes, because it looks like the ground slopes down before it drops out completely. If you can get them to look a bit more defined, like the other room features, I think that'd help.

    2) You could just say in the campaign that there are holes covered by illusory pillars (but don't warn the players), so when characters lean against them they fall down? It'd be good for a few chuckles, at least.

    Beyond that I can't help you, but this looks really good, so if it's only your first I'd say your second will be amazing.

  3. #3
    Guild Journeyer Alecthar's Avatar
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    Thanks! I spent some time fiddling around for a while before I put the 2 you see there together, but these were pretty much the first 2 where I found Bump Map settings that I liked and so forth.

    I pretty much settled on using a column object I found on the Dundjinni forums for my columnal needs. I'll probably figure out how to make respectable ones myself in the future, but for now I'll use this one till my guys on MapTools get "column fatigue".

    Some significant stuff I completely failed to mention in the OP:
    The map is for a MapTools 4e Dungeon Delve (4 encounters, 1 in the entryway area, 1 in each of the side rooms, 1 at the end). Before now I made do with basic textures and cobbling them together in MapTools, but I figured being able to make a map or two would be useful. I'm going for a kind of "Demonic Cathedral" feel.

    WIll probably finish things up for the most part later today.
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  4. #4
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    Since you've blazed on through, this is probably late but in order to prevent the "hole" you need to add a shadow to a column. A nice long dark shadow will give the eye a visual cue that the object has some height. Also make the object itself a little bit lighter then the floor color.
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  5. #5
    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    As you are using maptool you can always just place VBL on the pillar. The players will see that it blocks their vision and so will realise its a pillar rather than a hole.

    Equally, giving the whole pillar a drop shadow will make it clear that it comes out towards the viewer rather than into the page and it will allow you to re-use your pillar. If you're drawing it in place then a nice long directional shadow as Ascension suggested would certainly make it clear that the feature was a pillar.

    Otherwise, these look like good first maps for a dungeon crawl. Keep posting them up!
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  6. #6
    Guild Journeyer Alecthar's Avatar
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    Here's the finished project. I"m not entirely satisfied with the blood trail type stuff, but overall I think it looks pretty good. Tell me what you think.
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  7. #7
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    Please do not take this the wrong way but, it always give me a chuckle when I see lil dead dudes in giant pools of blood...maybe I'm a bit warped but I like it.
    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
    Guild Journeyer Alecthar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    Please do not take this the wrong way but, it always give me a chuckle when I see lil dead dudes in giant pools of blood...maybe I'm a bit warped but I like it.
    As far as I'm concerned, the human body contains a truly ridiculous amount of blood. It's less fun to have lil dead dudes if you can't have big ol' pools of blood for them to lie in.

  9. #9

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    I think you're probably right about the amount of blood.


    If you want to nit pick you could mess up the pools a bit with tracks or foot prints. You might also want to paint the cloaks of some of the dead minis. Repeating the same colour, clean and in the same shape makes it look more like a mini.


    Course that is nitpicking.

    Good game map.


    Nice font for your magic circle in the north - what is it?


    Dollhouse Syndrome = The temptation to turn a map into a picture, obscuring the goal of the image with the appeal of cute, or simply available, parts. Maps have clarity through simplification.

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  10. #10
    Guild Journeyer Alecthar's Avatar
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    Sigurd, could you give me any tips on how exactly to alter the color of the cloaks? I'm still a GIMP newbie, so any insight you have about the best way to recolor stuff like that would be fantastic.

    The magic circle at the top I found on RPTools Galleries (link). I just color selected the black, inverted the selection, then copy-pasted it.

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