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Thread: Round, varied height roofs - (Mapping my Temple/council building/grounds)

  1. #11
      Jalyha is offline
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    Thanks THW

    My problem with isometric "mapping" is that all my "maps" end up looking more like my landscape paintings than anything (and I'm AWFUL with manmade structures, lol). What I need most is a map that can go in to a novel (if I ever finish it) So I keep shying away from that. But maybe I do need an isometric view in order to properly visualize what I'm mapping, anyway


    And I've been meaning to check out CG Textures (since first seeing Bogie's mapping elements thread) and this just confirms that I should. I think I will do so now.

    (Awesome building, by the way, and very similar to the style I'm going for .... must be that byzantine influence )
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  2. #12
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    From my research, the key to getting a Byzantine look is the shallow dome, with the slightly flared lip, and the church-like aisles with a central nave. The semicircular apses at the front and back, and occasionally overlapping roof elements also help.

    If your good at landscape painting, use that to your advantage. You can incorporate those elements into your maps (that is kinda what I meant when I said abstract -- a map doesn't have to look like maps you've seen elsewhere; make the map in your own style, and play to your strengths while your at it). The best maps I've seen (and tried to emulate) are ones where the central mappy section is complimented with nearby doodles, sketches, building plans, notes, etc. It makes it look like the cartographer is not only trying to show a place, but give the viewer some of the flavour of that place, too. And as far as I know, there's no reason that shouldn't be appropriate for a novel.

    THW
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  3. #13
      Jalyha is offline
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    You're right of course. From a creative standpoint, at least editors are (*with a few exceptions*) notoriously CS (let's just say, so I don't have to explain what that means on the forums and get in trouble - that they are afraid of new things). They don't want to do anything unless they're sure it will sell.

    BUT as I haven't even finished my novel, you're probably right I should worry about MAKING my temple/maps first and worry about changing it for cry-baby editors if I ever finish the book

    I'll keep trying this bird's eye thing though.. not your bird's eye.. but... yeah

    Meanwhile, here's what I have so far, with and without the outline on top:

    Without:

    Round, varied height roofs - (Mapping my Temple/council building/grounds)-temple-tentative.jpg

    AAND With:

    Round, varied height roofs - (Mapping my Temple/council building/grounds)-temple-tentative.jpg


    Edit: Uhhhh ignore the giaant white space at the bottom of the first image. kthx
    Last edited by Jalyha; 02-02-2014 at 07:31 PM. Reason: oops
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    I made pretty picture!

    Not really... but I'll post it anyway.

    I'm notoriously bad at buildings of any type, so I tried a sketch of a real-life temple/church similar in shape and style to what I want for mine.

    Then I started trying to draw what would be on the columns on goat island. Then I remembered people in the goat island thread want satyrs, so I drew a picture explaining why there are none on the island anymore.

    See, there was a beautiful, beloved young princess, heir to a vast kingdom, filled with goats AND satyrs. One of the satyrs was her tutor. Now the princess was reading quietly in the garden... a boring tome on the heads of baronies and such, as her tutor watched over her, and her brother (1 year younger, and second in line for the throne) sat near the quietly near the pond.

    Somehow, the princess lost her head.

    The prince tearfully swore the satyr tutor meandered up behind her and pulled a sword he didn't carry from behind his back, and, as his pet serpent (which he never had) watched on, hissing, he lopped off the head of the princess.

    The tutor stated that the prince took his own sword and viciously hacked away at the neck of the princess, as he (the tutor) came running from nearby to try and stop him.

    Although the prince was covered in blood, and the tutor was fastidiously clean as always, and although the prince's story made no sense whatsoever, and although the tutor had no reason to want to harm the princess, and the prince was next in line for the throne, the King, of course, believed his poor sweet son, and slew the tutor himself.

    He then ordered the slaughter of all the satyr's.

    The sketch is the "historically accurate" version of the story.

    Then I took pics of all my little sketches with my webcam since I'm the last person on the planet without a digital camera (nope, not even a cell phone) and pasted them together.

    Then I doodled some stuff.

    And THIS is why we don't let Jalyha work unsupervised, or ever EVER suggest she shows her process.

    Round, varied height roofs - (Mapping my Temple/council building/grounds)-goat-temple-stuff.jpg

    Unless you like that sort of random idiocy...
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  5. #15
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    By Falconius
    There is also Blender, but it is a tough learn, though there are a lot of good tutorials.
    Could not have said better! I did not truly practice Blender, but that was my feeling about it.

    @ Jalyha : so, no satyrs anymore ? Satyrs are misunderstood ones. Everybody takes them for lubric, lazy, hedonist guys... And to put it short, I'd just say that I like your story! A kinda of an old greek story revisited

    Oh, and I almost forgotten : you should try the Xach effect I use for the shadows of Argona. It's quite surprising and I thing it could be a good tool for a kind of 3D render of buildings. Even if your own talent of painter is probably more original to use.
    Last edited by Ilanthar; 02-03-2014 at 04:10 AM. Reason: Forgot my advice
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  6. #16
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    Xach effect? D:

    I'm glad you like the story. There are Satyrs, just not anywhere near goat Island anymore Poor satyrs...

    I fell asleep early last night so didn't do any more work yet :/
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  7. #17
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    Honestly I don't think you need to go to such great lengths as Gamer and recreating your image in 3D (as impressive as it is) as this starts to become impractical once you have multiple buildings because quite frankly you're not going to create them all, so really you're better off just training your eye anyway.

    Shadows, as ever, are going to rely on a couple of things but most importantly is going to be the direction of your light source (probably your sun) and the height. The higher the sun, the shorter your shadows and if determining height is particularly important for you then you're always going to be better going for any time a few hours either side of high noon when the sun would be shinning directly down on top of your building.

    Couple of examples on how to go about it:

    Round, varied height roofs - (Mapping my Temple/council building/grounds)-shadows.png

    First pic highlights where your light source is coming from and then the second shows a more accurate representation on how a shadow should be cast. Now this is a rough and dirty method so still isn't absolutely accurate (you'd only notice such a varied angled shadow if the light source was really close). So with the sun typically you can go with just one angle for your shadows, ie. the first image on the bottom line. Now this is a rough and ready shadow going off what I think the rough heights of the buildings might be (with a shadow the further away from the object the shadow is cast the lighter it will be, but we're getting into more advanced shadow casting here and it's probably unnecessary).

    The second image on line 2 is a more fuzzy less accurate shadow (this is all a style thing) which is just to quickly demonstrate that you dont need absolute accuracy to make a shadow believable. The angles are different to pic 1 and the shadow is rougher.

    The most important aspect, imo, to creating believable shadows are the shadow that they cast onto other objects. The middle of your temple will cast a shadow on top of the building next to it, the tower at the back only casts on the floor, but if there are trees on the garden or other buildings behind it then it needs to hit these as well for the whole thing to come together.

    A high noon example is given in the last image, the sun being directly overhead, which as you can tell is pretty difficult to show height. The only real way to do it is by representing the highest buildings being brighter than the lowest buildings, which is more easily done in a crowded city area where some of the smaller buildings are blocked out almost, whilst your spires and towers rise up out of the city. A lone building makes it hard to represent as really you're only going to get subtle differences with the shadows.


    As with anything when it comes to a new skill, in this case cartography, it's all practice. Very soon you'll just be able to rely on your eye. Right now you'll know when something doesn't look right, but you might not always be able to tell what it is that makes it look that way

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    oh. well that's just how they work from ground level, too. Just... distorted a bit more

    Am I overcomplicating things?
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunning Cartographer View Post
    Honestly I don't think you need to go to such great lengths as Gamer and recreating your image in 3D (as impressive as it is) as this starts to become impractical once you have multiple buildings because quite frankly you're not going to create them all, so really you're better off just training your eye anyway.
    When I create city maps, almost all the shadows are simple drop shadows, especially for single story or 2 story square/rectangular buildings with fairly generic roofs. I only apply 3D based shadowing on the most complex of structures: temples, cathedrals, castles, unique towers, town walls, gates, etc. And yes, I will create 3D based shadows for them all. I am creating the 3D shadows so I can help show the unique structural design of large complex buildings and to infer greater height differences.

    Whether something is impractical depends upon the person doing the activity, and the needs once the map is competed. I created the City of Kasai for the Paizo Publishing Jade Regent adventure path in 16 hours with a total of over 8500 buildings, although I wasn't required to finish it with color and shadow, had I done so, that would have been another 8 hours or so of work. Is it practical to complete a city map for publication in under 24 hours total - I think it is.

    Maybe its not practical for everyone, but I can't measure what is practical for me and not practical for you.
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  10. #20
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    Definitely not practical for me, and I would imagine equally as impractical for Jalyha given that (like me) she doesn't know how to use the software to render 3D shapes. I guess it's a tool like anything else and once you get to grips with it can knock up buildings easy enough with a few short cuts and tricks, and you're obviously pretty capable with it so fair play

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