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Thread: [Award Winner] Step by Step workflow: Saventh-Yhi, City of the Seven Spears

  1. #41
      Dain is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Solis View Post
    BTW: Sorry I "dissappeared" for a while, dayjob has been terryfingly busy this week...
    Thanks for coming back so quickly. It's great to see you really involved in sharing your techniques. Very appreciated

    I think many of us will start to try that out very soon.
    Great job!

  2. #42
      Hugo Solis is offline
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    Now, Vegetation.

    For me, these details are what brings alive a map, thou fantasy maping may not need this kind of details for most of them are/should be potrayed as literal illustrations, unlike this one that looks like an aerial "photography" of the area. In my case I went more for a "video game-like" map, where you can zoom in and actually use the place as the gaming area... Not necesarely bad but not a common approach.

    First, I throw the general green shades over the areas to be "forested". This is a jungle city so I'm going for dark lush green. This layer is set with a little transparency so that it does not completely cover the background and get some of it color, thus integrating this layer of vegetation directly with its backgroud. You may notice that the base is also slightly texturized not to make it a plain color (also apparently I added a bit of lights to the rivers in this phase, messy me ).
    This vegetation is not supposed to be the actual trees and bushes, more like the foliage and general color/feel of these areas.
    [Award Winner] Step by Step workflow: Saventh-Yhi, City of the Seven Spears-syst-3-jungle-b1.jpg

    Next, I threw in the actual "trees and bushes". Again, I cheated a bit and used a pregenerated brush which pretty much did 90% of the job for me (bad cartographer, BAD!). I think using this kind of brushes isn't entirely "bad" but try and create your own brushes so that your work is original. This brush is you typical random scattering one. This layer ain't transparent like the first one so that it actually covers the background and brings a better sense of depth and actual "3d" vegetation. You can compare the opacity of this layer with the transparency of the previous one and see the difference (and usefulness) between the two of them.
    [Award Winner] Step by Step workflow: Saventh-Yhi, City of the Seven Spears-syst-3-jungle-b2a.jpg

    Next, I added the cursed bevel effect to the layer so that the trees pop up and get some fast n' easy volume. I left this simple step separated so that you could see the HUGE difference between flat trees and "beveled" ones. I think this is an excellent use of this effect and it doesn't actually feels so "plastic" if you throw a slight texture over it.
    [Award Winner] Step by Step workflow: Saventh-Yhi, City of the Seven Spears-syst-3-jungle-b2b.jpg

    Last, I added a second color to the vegetation so that it doesn't look so flat. This color "flatness" ain't bad, but you can see how it improves if you throw a second color shade over it. It can work to "separate" areas to hint different kinds of vegetation. Try to go light on this kind of extra shades, for too much can ruin the whole thing. This is a simple transparent layer. Try playing with the transparency/overlay effects on the layers on this one, you can get different kinds of textures/contrast with a few clickings on these.
    [Award Winner] Step by Step workflow: Saventh-Yhi, City of the Seven Spears-syst-3-jungle-b3.jpg

    Again, this is a simple and fast step but I believe this one brings considerable life to the map.

    Next: Shading and lighting. I'll wrap this step by step tutorial this monday, it is almost finished already anyways
    Last edited by Hugo Solis; 10-22-2011 at 10:55 AM.

  3. #43
      Needamedic is offline
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    Thanks for this step by step. It is very inspirational.

    Repped.
    "The only things that will be left after the Apocalypse will be Twitter and cockroaches. So prepare carefully!" ~ Needamedic

  4. #44
      Hugo Solis is offline
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    And finally, another extra step to add "realism" to the map. Harder lights and shadows. This effect is good for 3d maps that are aimed towards "realism", illustration-like maps may not require this effect because illustration is supposed to be 2d. Normally illustration shadows are drawn solid or as consecutive lines, thus making the shadow itself part of the illustration.

    Normally is easier to add the shadows first and then light up the map. Is easier to map the light after the shadows are set down, thou with a little prctice its exactly the same in both ways. Remember that darker shadows mean deeper places and also harder edged shadows mean sharper edges.
    I'm attaching the past jungle image so that its easier to compare the difference the shadow effect brings on the map.
    [Award Winner] Step by Step workflow: Saventh-Yhi, City of the Seven Spears-syst-3-jungle-b3.jpg[Award Winner] Step by Step workflow: Saventh-Yhi, City of the Seven Spears-syst-4-light-b1.jpg

    After the shadows are set, its easier to add the light. Remember that this light are supposed to be added on the taller places as a height effect. Also you can throw some non-edged light with a faded brush on those areas you want to jump up, like the main buildings. If you look closer you'll see some light on the biggest pyramids
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SYSt 4 Light B1.jpg 
Views:	177 
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ID:	39458[Award Winner] Step by Step workflow: Saventh-Yhi, City of the Seven Spears-syst-4-light-b2.jpg

    Many of these steps are very "discrete" but the tiny bits of difference they add is what can take a map from nice to great.

    If you have any questions, please do ask!

    Well, this is it, I hope you find this step-by-step thread useful!

    PS: I added a couple images on the Bevel mountains step (page 4) to make the effects used in there a bit more clear.
    Last edited by Hugo Solis; 10-25-2011 at 11:15 AM.

  5. #45
      Immolate is offline
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    This is a stunning piece of work! My only question is how does one get in or out of the city? I haven't read through all of the text yet, so sorry if that's already been stated.
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  6. #46
      Hugo Solis is offline
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    This city is supposed to be the Pathfinder's RPG version of El Dorado. Its been "abandoned" for a few hunderd (thousand?) years and it was also build to be secretive, so the official ways in are through caves, mainly on the river entrances at the northwest and southeast. There is no actual visible road in, but one inside the city you can see a couple of may roadways that leat into the mountains.

  7. #47
      ravells is offline
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    Ah Hugo...it gives me so much pleasure when people like you turn up here and just blow us away with beautiful techniques! It's been great reading through your tutorial.

  8. #48
      Hugo Solis is offline
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    Thanks Ravells.

    I never thou I'd do this kind of "tutorial/step-by-step" thread but somehow it poped up very naturally after posting the first sketch of the map. I only wish there would had been more questions but there not much science on how I did this one

    I hope folks find this useful and rate this thread!

  9. #49
      ravells is offline
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    I've exercised CL's fiat and have given you a tutorial award for this. It's too good not to.

    We need to find a way to encourage people to rate tutorials more than is presently the case.

    Congrats!

    Ravs

  10. #50
      Hugo Solis is offline
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    Thank you very much guys, it is much appreciated

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