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

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      Jalyha is offline
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    Wip Round, varied height roofs - (Mapping my Temple/council building/grounds)

    I've decided that my other WIP (Goat island) will be, when finished, the locale of the Council building (very temple/monastery-ish) for the rulers of my novel.

    My problem is... height.

    Height's never been an issue for me. I paint the world from the horizon... everything flows to the center of the page, and high things are above you.

    So.. height with a top-down view is hard. Shadows fall differently. Nothing is above or below the horizon, because there is no horizon. My temple is built, like many buildings, in different stories.. each higher than the last.

    My experiment with layers of shadows on my lite challenge project did not turn out very well. I want this to be better.

    I tried the creating a medieval city with gimp mosaics tutorial, and it showed me a little about bump maps, and the dodge/burn tools creating light and shadow, which is a big help.

    But I still don't know much about GIMP, or its' tools... and digital painting is an entirely different matter than physical painting... the brushes and colors don't work the same. You need 30-step tutorials to show you how to do something that takes ten seconds with a brush and oils.

    It's very frustrating. So this thread will probably be a lot of trial and error.

    I'm starting, for accuracy's sake, with a highly cobbled-together rough outline based on 1) Specific examples of medieval/byzantine/roman/greek architectural examples and 2) My own needs, story-wise.

    There will be other buildings outside this main building, but I want to take it one step at a time.

    Okay so... here's the rough outline:

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

    There's no order to the color variation... I just didn't want two veery different heights touching. in general, the building gets higher to the north, and lower to the south (and away from the central, longer part of the building, to the sides. In general, domes (the round ones ) will be higher than whatever they are sitting on.

    And in general, with concentric, or semi concentric areas, the center will be higher than the rest.

    Now I just have to figure out a way to make that look plausible...

    If anyone knows how, please do share.
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    When I really want to emphasize height, I create a simplified version of my intended structure in 3D with shadows and render the image to show me how the shadows are cast. Then line up the rendered image with my mapped version of the structure and duplicate the shadows as transparent dark shapes. On my second challenge map in October 2007, I was creating a temple with onion style turrets on the towers like on Russian Orthodox or Muslim temples. I didn't know what an onion turret might look like as a shadow. I did this exact technique to figure that out - it worked.

    Since you're a free software kind of gal, Sketchup would be the free 3D app for you - note 3D isn't so easy to learn, though.
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    How do i make it in 3D?
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    Well you'd have to download Sketchup, read the help files and intro steps. You'd be learning to do extrusions, insets, x-y-z axis and directions - there is stuff to learn.

    Since I don't really know what your structure looks like in height, I created a castle in 3D, both an isometric view and a top down view. I made the castle brown in the top down view so you can more easily differentiate the shadows. But this is how I'd do it.

    Round, varied height roofs - (Mapping my Temple/council building/grounds)-keep1.jpgRound, varied height roofs - (Mapping my Temple/council building/grounds)-keep2.jpg

    Incidentally, I created the castle model in Nichimen Nendo, and rendered the final images in Raydream Studio (both old software, but its what I got.)

    Note: I created this 3D model and rendering in the time that you posted, and I responded to the post (about a half hour) - so once you learn 3D it can be fast and easy.
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 02-02-2014 at 02:36 PM.
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    Oh dear, I'll have to look into getting one of those then


    In the meantime, I'm trying an experiment in gimp with layering bump maps.

    I've got this dome so far:

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

    I figure, if I keep that area as white, and do the next level down the same way, in shades of gray to black, without the current dome, that should give me extra height, right? Like a stacked effect?
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    It should.
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    There is also Blender, but it is a tough learn, though there are a lot of good tutorials. Not having experience with Sketch-up (when I went for it it had recently been transfered ownership and I just ignored it) I assume it's more newb friendly?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconius View Post
    There is also Blender, but it is a tough learn, though there are a lot of good tutorials. Not having experience with Sketch-up (when I went for it it had recently been transfered ownership and I just ignored it) I assume it's more newb friendly?
    I don't think its necessarily more newb friendly, rather its the current popular free 3D app. As I said on other posts, I usually pay for software. Nichimen Nendo is a fast easy to use subdivisional surface modeler, like Wing3D, I paid $25 for Nendo, 12 years ago. Raydream is a low end 3D package. I don't care to model in it - its a poor modeler, instead create stuff in Nendo export to 3DS then import to Raydream for rendering only. Not that the Raydream render is especially good, rather fast and easy.
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    I can only, unfortunately, afford stuff that doesn't cost anything at the moment


    Maybe I will try to find this blender thing?

    This is what I get when I made seperate layers of the bump thing:

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

    It's not quite what I wanted, but much better than I thought I could do

    The next height levels down are away from the dome section, and I don't want to have to redo each one when I find the right colors and textures (you didn't think I was going to stick with the ugly, gimp-y pink marble, did you?)

    So I'm on a color/texture hunt at the moment.

    Something I noticed.. the separation at the edge... where I put in the drop shadow filter thingy, looks a little awkward.. without a shadow it looks to be all one roof, and with a thinner shadow, it looks like it's resting on air on top so... I think a bigger shadow will have a raised-platform type effect that could be really useful for domes on towers?
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    A completely different approach would be to 'abstract' the building somewhat. From your description, and the work I've seen by you, you must be pretty good at drawing. You could have an elevation or isometric image of your building alongside the Goat Island map (did I assume correctly that you plan to insert this building into that map?) That would also help to make your map more original.

    EDIT: you can get some very good textures at CGTextures.com (you have to register, but it is free). The image below is from my Birdseye map/model (forgive the shameless self-promoting), and it was heavily inspired by Byzantine architecture, and uses only CGTextures images (and was made in SketchUp).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Round, varied height roofs - (Mapping my Temple/council building/grounds)-byzantine-building.jpg  
    Last edited by TheHoarseWhisperer; 02-02-2014 at 06:13 PM.
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