If you would like to add some depth to your rocks so they don't look so much like flat slabs of stone you can use the Dodge/Burn tool. Just burn around the edges and a little toward the center of rock, then use the Dodge to lighten the center and blend things in so they look right.
Here is an example of what I'm talking about. It requires a bit of painting but it's just a rock so it's not like it has to be perfect. In the example, I used your image and just burned/dodged around the rock. Things are darker towards the edges and lighter towards the middle. Maybe I shouldn't have used such a round rock but I think you get the idea. It seems almost like the shadow is too circular to me but that's for another conversation.
Hope it helps, keep up the good work.
If you don't mind me asking are you doing an interpretation of their map or a relatively accurate replica?
@Jaxilon: I was wondering how to give some depth to the rocks so I'll try it out and see what happens even though I'm almost sure that it would look better that way.
@geamon: To answer your question I'm doing "a relatively accurate replica".I decided to add rubble to the northern and west sides of the map because in the encounter's flavor text it said that those sides "are impassable due to high piles of unstable rubble".
For some reason wizards decided not to map those those sides (possibly because they didn't have the right Dungeon Tiles)so instead of having to explain to the player's what's surrounding them I decided to show it to them.
I redid the rocks using Jaxilon's method for depth. A big improvement.Thanks again.
Also after a lot of playing around and thinking I was able to find a way to make the fences. I'm happy enough with them even though they are a bit small.My excuse is that I'm looking lokking at the map in a top-down view:).
Now comes the pit in the center.
P.S. I have a feeling that the fence looks like ice cream cones or small trees put in a row.lol.
Edit 1:I just noticed that the grid is barely noticable with that color.In the next post I'll have that fixed.
I did some work on the map.
The layout for the pit area is done and so are the fences that surround it,the stairs are also done too, I think I redid them three times until they finally came to this form and I've played with the brightness so that I can show that the pit is in on lower elevation than the rest.I have to flesh out a few details in the pit and them I'm going to proceed to the next map.
I'm calling this map finished.I'm quite happy with it and I guess it was my learning project with gimp.
Even though I say it's finished I might someday go back to it so feel free to post C&C.
Thanks to everyone for their useful tips.
Next up is encounter 1-2 The Hall of Ancestors
Also I'm wondering should I post all three maps together in the finished maps forum or should I post them one by one?
BIG tip, Always do bump maps and dodge/burn on a new layer set to 50% grey(or more than one layer if needed). This will keep your underlying objects from being directly modified and make it MUCH easier if you wish to add/change shadows in the future. For me, I always pick a light direction and use dodge on the direction the light is coming from and burn on the opposite side. I also think it would be a lot more consistent if all the objects have an outer glow, with the height of the object being being the basis for your size of the glow(ie, an football sized rock would have a smaller outer glow and a file cabinet would have a larger one. However, be careful with this so that you don't get the glow "to" big. Likewise, with your burn (again, on a 50% grey layer) it's nice to provide shadows away from the light source. Lot's a ways to deal with this, some more time consuming than others.
Originally Posted by Avengeil
jfrazierjr thanks for the comment which I think is going to be a big help but after reading it a few(read: quite enough) times I still haven't understood some parts of it. About the layer with the 50% grey I see that it would be soooo functional but is that layer supposed to be above the object that I want to dodge/burn or below it? And also, how will I not allow the rest of the grey layer to be seen?
Now about my map, I see now that I should have done many things different and that makes me happy because it means I'm improving. Actually I got carried away trying to show the different elevation levels on this map and stopped thinking completely about how the shadows should look.I'll have to pay more attention next time and I imagine that somebody could find in my map many different light sources.
About all the objects having outer glow I think that that would not look nice and I believe that if I were remaking the map I would have tried out applying bevels to the "elevated" rocks and pillars(although when I was doing them I had no idea what bevel was, I first heard about in a post of a dungeon wip that I was reading by accident).
And finally coming to a conclusion and trying to end my writing spree I am wondering about the difficult terrain triangles, if I should include them in the final version or not.Any ideas?
What you do for the 50% grey is create a new layer (I like to call it Shadows or something like that). Place this over the one you are working on. Fill it with hex color 808080 (I think that's the right one) and set this layer to OVERLAY mode. Now, if you use the burn tool on it the image will darken and vice versa if you dodge. It is the best way to do it - I just gave you the quick and dirty method.
Ummm yea... DUH!! I kind of forgot the most important part! Thanks for the assist Jax. And yes, it IS the bet way to go since it means you never break your original objects. If you mess up, just paint the messed up area with 50% grey and it's fixed. As much as possible, try to avoid doing things that actually alter an underlying object. This also helps in cases where you want "just a little more" where you can duplicate the overlay layer and adjust the opacity downward if it's "too" much.
Originally Posted by Jaxilon