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Thread: Feeding Hills - (post-challenge) WIP

  1. #11
      Coyotemax is offline
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    Nice move with the opacity, the labels are still very much there but not so in your face

    Not sure what to suggest in regards with which font to use.. I kind of just go through my collection and eyeball it as i go for each map, I rarely remember the names.

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  2. #12
      Gidde is offline
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    I like the opacity, but I'm agreeing with you on the font. It looks a little too ... I don't know, formal? Maybe something nicely handwritten.

  3. #13
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    The opacity change on the font is great, but I think it's still to large.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

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  4. #14
      Ashenvale is offline
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    Smaller, subtler, less-formal tags.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Feeding Hills - (post-challenge) WIP-combined-maps-04-top-only-.jpg  
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  5. #15
      Gandwarf is offline
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    This is better. I think subtle labels work best for this map.
    Still no waterwheel?
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  6. #16
      Gidde is offline
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    Ahh, that feels right. It's always looked awesome, but now the labels make it even better. The only thing I'd do at this point is maybe add a tiny drop shadow; there's one or two that are a bit tough to read (in particular the Grist Mill and the Carding Barn).

  7. #17
      Ashenvale is offline
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    Here are all the tags (at least until the author or publisher changes them). Now it's back to the drawing board, quite literally. I need to add four entire buildings to the lower map (I ran out of time to begin those for the Challenge), alter one of them that I demolished too much (and perhaps more than one), and add features to the upper map buildings (notably two water wheels, plus other stuff).

    Rather than adding a drop shadow to bring out text that's too faint against background elements, I can repaint those background elements to support the text. That should look more natural.

    I also need to convince the author to let me add some kind of a haunting light source to a building or two in the bottom map.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Feeding Hills - (post-challenge) WIP-combined-maps-05-all-tags-.jpg  
    Last edited by Ashenvale; 10-03-2009 at 05:00 PM.

  8. #18
      Gidde is offline
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    I like the haunting light idea, can't wait to see it. Also, I noticed this long before the challenge ended but never said anything ... I really like that compass.

  9. #19
      selden is offline
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    While admiring the map (which I like a lot!), I noticed something strange about the shadows in the "top" image. The shadows of the uppermost buildings are cast toward the upper right, while the shadows of the lowermost ones are cast toward the lower right. It's as if the illumination source were quite low and near the ground.

    If the shadows were being cast by the Sun, shouldn't they all point in the same direction?
    Selden

  10. #20
      Ashenvale is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by selden View Post
    If the shadows were being cast by the Sun, shouldn't they all point in the same direction?
    Great question! The answer is, not unless the area within which the objects and their shadows fall is narrow.

    [Puts on landscape-painter hat.] Outdoors, when depicting large areas from up close to the horizon, shadows seem to change their orientation as they move away from the viewer. The shadow angles are actually uniform. If the viewer stood the same distance away from each object in turn, each object’s shadow would have the same angle. But the viewer, in a big outdoor scene with considerable depth, is not the same distance from each object. The laws of linear perspective that govern how things look from the viewer's vantage point come into play. The effect for a light streaming from somewhat behind a series of objects (creating something like a 35-degree angle shadow for objects up close) is that shadows seem stand at a raked angle for close objects but at an almost flat angle for objects at the horizon. The more the artist depicts an object as beneath him from his vantage point, the steeper the object’s shadow angle will be (and the deeper top-to-bottom the shadow’s area will be as well).

    Where shadows are cast at something like a 35-degree angle, as they are in my image, they'll look that way only for objects close up, for the ones almost beneath the viewer's feet. Perspective makes the shadows seem to get flatter ( become more horizontal) and thinner (top-to-bottom) as they move away from the viewer towards the horizon.

    Here’s a quick sketch (full and detail) illustrating the principle. And here are a couple of photograph showing how shadow angles change. They're not great photos -- I only spent a few minutes looking for illustrations on the web -- but they make the point.

    In the photo of the pillars’ shadows running down the portico, the light comes from the front right of the pillars rather than from behind them, so their shadows' angles lean away from the viewer. Moreover, the viewer’s vantage is narrow; it doesn’t widen out to show the shadows close to the viewer’s feet, which would make the angle of the closest shadows steeper9. Even so, you can see the angle of the shadows gradually flattening as they move away from the viewer.

    Having said all of that, I eyeballed my shadows rather than sketching out all of their vanishing lines to the shadow vanishing point. It's possible some of my top shadows don't just lie flat but accidently tip upward. I'll have to check them all.

    The bigger issue for my map is that I eyeballed all of my buildings' perspective and, most importantly, didn't bother to use three-point perspective. I stuck to two-point perspective, which diminishes the three-dimensional character of the map tremendously. I'd originally planned to draw out all of the three-point-perspective vanishing lines with care, but used the excuse of the Challenge's deadline to abandon that exceptionally time-consuming task. I'd already made the task particularly daunting by chosing to include such a gargantuan number of buildings all at different angles (so all with different vanishing points).

    Perspective is a consistent problem with isometric maps. Cartographers routinely use only two point perspective in isometric maps and don't have objects diminish in size and flatten (and their shadows flatten their angles) as they move back in space. Hence, as a landscape painter, isometric maps always look disturbingly unnatural. They're fun and very informative, but their deliberate decision to discard half of the perspective rules always makes them smell . . . odd.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Feeding Hills - (post-challenge) WIP-detail-multiple-shadows-perspective.jpg   Feeding Hills - (post-challenge) WIP-multiple-shadows-perspective.jpg   Feeding Hills - (post-challenge) WIP-linear-perspective-shadows.jpg   Feeding Hills - (post-challenge) WIP-long_shadows_long_day.jpg  
    Last edited by Ashenvale; 10-04-2009 at 01:15 PM.

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