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Thread: [WIP] - Dorasharn - The Forgotten Forge - Advice

  1. #1
      Kennyt is offline
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    Default [WIP] - Dorasharn - The Forgotten Forge - Advice

    Hey all! was hoping to snatch a bit of advice on a few items on this map - of course its going to fill up alot more with more rubble and ruins in such but dont want to get to ahead of myself before i fix some of the stuff i don't like about it. This is a ruined little workshop dug into the sandstone underneath a metropolis.

    1. How can i make my wall edges look more "rounded" i through on a 15 pixel bevel - what else can i do? So burn/dodging? would the edge be burnt or would the edge be dodged?
    2. Shadows? to much or to little?
    3. texture palate? does my cave wall NOT fit with my floor?
    4. Anything i can do to improve my stone wall? (besides adding a few broken stones around it)
    5. Gimp question. why when i use the free form selecter tool to select an area of my cave texture to "cut out" does the "cut become very pixilated (the wall on the northern exit)? my only solution so far is to use the free-selecter, then apply a minor distort to make it more smooth. can i get around this added step when cutting out unwanted portions of my texture?


    Thanks for any advice!

    [WIP] - Dorasharn - The Forgotten Forge - Advice-dorasharn.jpg

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      madcowchef is offline
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    The shadows look fine to me and the texturing seems adequate (I think the slight repetition will disappear once you add more on the floor). Not sure if gimp has the option to use a texture as a bump map, but if it does you might try that for your stone wall, over a more flat stone texture.

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      Kennyt is offline
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    Thanks MCC! took some your advice i think my walls look better now - still a bit of work to do on this - rubble making, blah.

    latest update.

    [WIP] - Dorasharn - The Forgotten Forge - Advice-dorasharn.jpg

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      Kennyt is offline
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    Maybe the final product. Any other tips floating around out there?

    [WIP] - Dorasharn - The Forgotten Forge - Advice-dorasharn.jpg
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      madcowchef is offline
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    Love the area where you have the tiles poking through and over the sand. The only thing that isn't working for me are the edges of the stone wall, but I'm not sure how to improve them short of going in by hand and trying to align the edge to the rocks and that way lies madness. As its a repeating texture you might be able to get away with making some templates along any repeated section and then slide them along deleting everything outside of them as needed but that's only a few degrees off from just doing it all by hand. Perhaps just a gradient like inner shadow on the wall to help conceal the join between edges of the stone wall and the floor shadows would be the most reasonable solution?

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      Askren is offline
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    I actually like a lot of the stone wall areas, they're interesting and could actually be really natural looking in a lot of areas, if not for the really hard edges you've got going on, and the bevel and emboss doesn't help much. The drop shadow too, I'd avoid that since coming from under the rock makes it look as if it's floating. Remember that natural shadows don't come from under a wall, they go on top of the wall and floor together.

    The big rock in the center is really nice, but still has some nasty hard edges that make it stand out a lot. My tip? Blend those edges, and use some soft brushes on top of it to make it really look like the edges flow under the sand. Also I'd say darken up those little white glow-y areas along the edges. Toss a nice, long shadow coming off of it to show light direction and height (hand drawn, not a drop shadow) and it could look great.

    The building walls are the weakest area, I think, I'm not feeling the texture there.The effort in a lot of places to cut around the texture to make it look more natural is a good idea, but the texture just does you no favors, and repeats too much. I never use a repeating pattern overlay if I can avoid it, I prefer to lay down textures manually so I can vary it up when I need to and fix issues. It's time consuming, but the result is much more controllable.

    The floor tiles are also another thing I'm not crazy about. I don't know, they just strike me as too detailed, they draw the eye too much. If you're sold on using them, that's fine, but what I would suggest is you drop some easy tile pattern under them and then lower the opacity of the pattern you're using so you can still see it, but it's more faint and less jarring. Or just find something simpler altogether.

    The ground texture though, I'm really digging. It's got lots of depth and I think it looks great. The little rocks around the building walls are nice too. Some shadows on those (directional, not just a black outer glow like the broken pottery) would sell them a lot more.

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      Kennyt is offline
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    Askren - thanks for the great tips :-) you've given me a lot of homework to do :-D I am re-running this adventure this week so probably won't have time to make all the changes (particularly the walls, though i agree with you 100%) but will def try and address all the critiques you have made.

    i took a quick 30 minutes before and tried out your tips on the walls - it does look better though i think i over-did it a bit. but def got me moving in the right direction!

    [WIP] - Dorasharn - The Forgotten Forge - Advice-dorasharn-new.jpg
    Last edited by Kennyt; 07-31-2014 at 03:07 AM.

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      Kennyt is offline
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    @Askren - What do you mean by "lay down textures manually " ? I'm looking for a better technique than just fusing textures together and just using a cutting tool to just "carve" out walls.

    EDIT - ahh - think you "cut" out a line of bricks then "hodgepodge" them together. yeah that method is probably best. It always boils down to how "long" should one spend on a map. with the advent of 5e where "theater of the mind" simplicity is the golden child and detailed maps seem so "yesteryear"; i've kinda up in the air if i should keep making maps for my group or just sketch as we go sorta thing.
    Last edited by Kennyt; 07-31-2014 at 11:42 AM.
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      Avengeil is offline
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    The same question is also in my mind these days. If I was in your group I'd vote for keeping the maps. Other than than their aesthetic value in my opinion they allow for many specific tactics.

    edit: I did not mean to hijack the thread in a different direction. I just like d&d ;d

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      Kennyt is offline
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    no worries avengeil - its been on my thoughts lately.

    I am thinking - yes- the old school "theater of the mind" is awesome - thats how i started playing and it has a million and one merits to it. HOWEVER - with programs, like gimp, can make it possible for amateurs, like me, to knock out a cool map in less time than it takes to play on said map - not to mention that this is the video game generation, if WOTC wants to keep the up and coming masses entertained - then they may need to stay up to date with technology. of course i may be biased since i play 90% on a virtual tabletop vs RL. I think maybe in the next couple years this whole "back to the golden age of RPG'ing" may lose a bit of its glamour and they'll be producing maps, tiles, and miniatures as they did with 4th. only time will tell :-D
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