Cliffside Fortress - WIP
A cliff-side fortress, long abandoned with a fast flowing river running through a gorge. This thing is crashing my copy of Photoshop, I may have to abandon it for real!
Rather than use Fill patterns for the mountains, I'm trying to use smart-objects so I can warp the terrain as I want. The textures are still tileable, so they blend okay. I like the warping / liquefy method for terrain, because it lets me direct the "tectonic" forces somewhat. It does tend to push your machine to the limits through. Gah.
It's amazingly difficult to get aerial views of fast moving water. I wound up building the texture from a really wimpy white-water image into a raging torrent using "fractal" techniques. Use Fill patterns at several scales set to Overlay to add additional fine-grained detail. Use it carefully, because it's easy to over do the effect. This effect works well for foamy whitewater ocean, I suspect.
Now, the plan is to have this be a battle-mat by itself and then map the castle in the off chance the players want to seek shelter inside.
Wow. PT, I dub you the king of the photorealistic. I clicked the picture first, then read your post, fully expecting to see "I photoshopped the walls onto a photo of a cliff overlooking ...."
This is amazing.
Holy (watch your mouth) I mean WOW that is incredible. :)
Thanks guys. I want it to look like a miniature battle-set or model put out by one of those pro-modeling teams, with detail but enough abstraction to be useful for anyone. I would paint the textures but I can never get them "right" without some sort of reference to work with, so I try and find free or royalty free textures of real-life materials to visualize with.
Originally Posted by Gidde
Personally, I love the hand-drawn maps some of you guys can put out, I really want to work on my sketching and hand-painting as a long term goal.
This looks awesome so far. You may have to save off the layers while you work on other areas and then put them altogether at the end. Definitely love your texture work.
This is really nice so far, hope you don't have to abandon it.
Finally added in the foundations for the front bridge which spans the gorge, hinting in detail that they are cracked and about to be washed away by the river. Match color saved my rear end here, my rubble isn't quite the same color as my walls, so I fixed that.
If you look close you can see the trouble I'm in memory wise. It tends to crash when I'm at about 1.2G of utilization. I'm going to try and make a layers smart-objects so I can export them, and then place them back in the scene when I'm ready for them.
Eek! I pretty regularly run at about 3G of memory usage. It would drive me bananas to have to be that frugal, you have my sympathies.
So, here I'm trying to do massing on the internal structure of the castle. I beefed up the walls, as I assume masonry buildings of that era were at least 10 feet thick for the exterior walls. The grey is a refined sketch of the massing, the red was the original mass. The shaft to the SouthEast is going to lead down to an alchemical lab or something, the western half of the fortress is the "inner keep" with a well and an secret exit down to the river.
Here's the first level roughed in with walls and collapsed sections. Need to do floors, elevation changes, etc. This area here is a sloping hallway to an alchemists lab on a level below. There is supposed to be a shaft which catches light at precisely a certain time of day for +/- 5 minutes for some experiment or time-lock-door or something. Do the hand-done walls blend well with the "photo-real rock texture? I don't know. I need more work on them, I think. Advice on how to blend the two looks would be appreciated. The back half of the walls re supposed to be "carved" out of the rocks then layered over with smaller rocks and roman style cement-mortar.
I want to add more color contrast to the battlemat but leave the hue natural. I want to add in more things elsewhere on the battlemat so there are other interesting areas besides just the cliffside fortress to work with as well, which means I'm going to want to have a "outside view of the fortress upper levels as well.