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Thread: Castle Venatris

  1. #1
      wdmartin is offline
    Guild Apprentice Gracious Donor
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Wip Castle Venatris

    My soloist PC is rapidly approaching Castle Venatris, home to the ruler of the shadowed land of Undrendal, and currently overrun with werewolves. There's going to be a pretty big battle, so something special was called for. Here's what I've come up with so far:

    Castle Venatris-castle-venatris-small.jpg

    This is very much a work in progress. The floor plan is based on that of Castle Warwick, in England, a beautifully preserved castle that was an active military fortification from the (I believe) 11th century through the end of the middle ages, with the bulk of the work done in the 13th century. I've got the walls and terrain in place, plus some shadows, but there is LOTS to be done yet. Todo:

    • It needs vegetation (besides grass)
    • Most of the furniture is missing
    • The shadows are wonky in places, especially where they overlap
    • The windows need glass
    • There needs to be light coming in the windows
    • Fireplaces need firewood, not just ashes (haven't found suitable imagery yet)
    • The bailey on the motte needs windows, stairs, and a door.
    • I put in an experimental spiral staircase in the north west gate tower, but it's not right. It looks like it's going down, when it needs to go up. I haven't found a really good "up" spiral staircase overlay that can be made to fit in that spot yet.

    The scale of this copy is 50px to the 5-foot-square, and 7,000 x 5,000 pixels. But that's considerably reduced. The original is 100px per square, with a total size of 140 by 100 inches (14,000 x 10,000 pixels). I also had to compress it pretty aggressively to get it under the size limit for attachments. This version is 4.47 MB as a 65% quality JPG; the original Photoshop file is a little over 3 GB.

    I'm open to any feedback you all might have. Do note, however, that I'm trying not to go TOO crazy with the details. Making a good, finished map is way better than never finishing a perfect one.
    Last edited by wdmartin; 10-09-2014 at 02:10 AM.
    Torgaard, madcowchef, Larb and 1 others like this.

  2. #2
      madcowchef is offline
    Guild Artisan madcowchef's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Pacific Northwest USA


    Wonderful start! Aside from your hit list, the only comment I have is the interior walls could use more contrast against the floor, either from shadows or some other trick of your choosing.

  3. #3
      wdmartin is offline
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    Feb 2014


    Here's an update.. It's not done by any means, but ... progress!

    Castle Venatris-castle-venatris-small.jpg


    - Added more pathways in the courtyard.

    - Added some definition to the edge of those pathways with some white/black brushing. Not entirely sure about this -- I like the effect, but it may be too pronounced. Perhaps I should turn the opacity down a notch?

    - Decided it was silly to have tiled stone floors inside the east gatehouse, and made it dirt. Ditto for the west gatehouse.

    - Added glass to all the windows.

    - Took out the spiral stair overlay in the north gate. Still not sure what to do about this -- I may need to make my own asset, or go with a ladder.

    - Spent some more time working on the shadows of the towers. They're still not perfect, but I think I've at least smoothed out the interference at the edges.

    - Added door openings in places that previously lacked them, e.g. the bailey, the northeast tower, and the den.

    - Added a little more in the way of furnishings. I'm trying to add just enough to suggest the purpose of the room without going overboard. The kitchen does need clutter on the tables, though.

    - Cleaned up some ashes that had accidentally gotten on the floor, and added light from fires. Still no actual firewood or fires, though.

    - Made a city for the castle to loom over:

    Castle Venatris-city-venatris.jpg

    This came out tolerably decent, though I now notice that a few of the buildings in the richer district overlap the road a good bit. Err ... maybe they have ornate balconies? Anyway, the castle on the city map is actually the castle itself, with most of the interior assets and underlying grass turned off, merged, and shrunk to a tiny portion of its former size.


    • Vegetation!
    • More furniture!
    • Windows still need light
    • Fire to supply that light!
    • Doors!
    • The spiral stairs in the north gate!

    Got to get this knocked out ... my player reached Venatris today. Barring unforeseen circumstances, I'll need this castle on our next session.
    Falconius and madcowchef like this.

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