WiP - BlackStar Studios commission battlemaps
I'm getting started on several commissioned maps for BlackStar Studios:
BlackStar Studios – (Facebook: BlackStar Studios and Twitter: @BlackStarGames)
Three of these are battle maps and, as I'm working on them, I'll post my progress to this thread for feedback...and simply to come out of my cave once in a while. I'm going to attempt to do these in a textured, semi-realistic style. FYI, the two others maps are a city map and a regional map.
There's too much back story to post but these works will center around a human city (Greco-Roman influence) built on the ruins of a city from a much older Elven culture. The predominant terrain is jungle and, yes, there are dinosaurs.
Here are the basics of the three maps (I'll post more specifics when I get to them):
1) A ruined bridge (Elven design) over a river, where the PCs are ambushed by velociraptors.
2) A portion of a ruined city where the PCs rescue someone from an attack.
3) The home of a crime lord.
First up is the river crossing.
And, here's my first rough sketch of map #1. It's just the basic layout so far. There's a dearth of jungle-like vegetation and I'll sketch that in shortly. The bridge needs some work too. I think it'll be more slender in the middle...more graceful. Picture, I think, the ruins in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion if you know it. If not, then the elven stuff in the Peter Jackson LotR movies will stand in. You know, typical fantasy fare. I'll try to make it pop, though.
Edit: Yeah. Those "logs" across the top are my poor attempt to sketch some sort of arches. I think a bit of architectural design is in order before I work on the sketch anymore. See if I can whip something up and post a sketch.
Last edited by mearrin69; 12-24-2010 at 12:43 AM.
Here are the rough "layout drafts" for two others in this series:
* First is an encounter that takes place in the ruins of an ancient elven city. I've only rendered a portion of one of the buildings, to sort of give a sense of the style of the place and the devastation caused by long abandonment. The other buildings will be similiar and the whole area except the center will be very overgrown by jungle vegetation. Again, this will be done (if I can pull it off) in a semi-realistic textured style similar to other maps I've posted.
* Second is an encounter that takes place in a crime lord's home in the city of Tarina. I want to show the interior of the home and the surrounding areas, so this is the basic idea. Again, just mock-ups to show the general idea.
I'm working on maps for the city and its surrounding areas as well. Will post a link to that thread in a bit.
Looking good so far! I'm thinking if you want to work on those arches you might want to have the light coming from the north or south of the map so you can show the arch's shadows on the ground. I haven't done this yet myself but I've seen others do it to good effect. I'm excited to see more.
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Thanks. I should have mentioned that, in discussion with the client, we've decided to widen the river and make the bridge almost completely destroyed. So, the arches are going away...we'll mostly end up with some supports sticking out of the river with slabs and such laying in the riverbed.
Thought I had posted some intermediate stages but I guess not. I pulled a "do-over" on the river crossing map. Here's the progress so far. The river is a placeholder and there'll be lots of more intact ruins (bridge supports and some miscellaneous leftovers of buildings) and more piles of rubble and paving. Over that there'll be some more, higher-level vegetation.
The crumbling path and foliage look sweet, man.
If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
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Thank you, sir! Here's a little work I've been doing towards getting the ruins to "read" as such. I feel like it's getting there.
The rubble piles are basically three stacked layers of stone texture, masked with shapes painted in and a bevel, shadow, and outline. The larger ruins are masked textured shapes with no layer effects. The covering vegetation is painted on top with a photographic texture of some moss using the pattern stamp tool (I'll tone down the bright green when it's done). On top of everything are a light and shadow layer (layers painted with white and black on screen and multiply, respectively).
So. Yeah. Kind of a pain in the backside but I sort of like the effect I'm getting...and it's not too much work now that I've got it figured out.
C&C and ideas appreciated!
Edit: I should note that these are *really* ancient ruins...there's not supposed to be much left. Over all of this will be some additional vegetation...so it's going to be like looking at some of the old temples in SE Asia (the ones not as well-kept as Angkor Wat).
Last edited by mearrin69; 03-04-2011 at 12:41 PM.
This is looking really cool, mearrin!
Thanks! I'm getting the hang of this now, I think. The technique will come in handy for the ruins encounter mentioned above.