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    • CommentAuthorAvotas
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2013 edited
     
    Created with DD3 + Photoshop



    Oddly difficult, who would have guessed that caves would be such a pain?

    -Avotas
    • CommentAuthorAvotas
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2013
     
    Any comments? Some people are telling me it's hard to look at ... opinions? Suggestions?

    -Avotas
    • CommentAuthorDogtag
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2013 edited
     
    Hi Avotas,

    I like the 3D-ish cave walls you added and the striated look they have. I also like the stone henge or fane, or whatever that is in the upper chamber. What is that, exactly? I think the overall layout lends itself well to some fun combat. That said, I think I can understand why some people find it disorienting.

    The perspective changes halfway through the map, as though we are looking down at something that spans our field of vision. So, when looking at the top of the map, we see the walls along the top and when we look at the bottom of the map, we see the walls along the bottom. That's a bold move and a neat idea, in theory. I think the problem is that the image is much, much smaller than our field of vision so we see both the top and bottom walls at a glance.

    An alternative would be to use a more isometric approach, so that we see the "top" walls in every room instead of only at the top of the map. The disadvantage of such a perspective is that the cave entrance is at the bottom, but that could be easily solved by inverting the map and adding a compass to indicate the correct orientation.

    Since you plan to use this as a battle map, you might consider adding a grid. Though, if you're using a virtual tabletop, a lot of those can produce grid overlays. I'm also curious about the shadows. While they look pretty neat, I don't see any visible source of light in the caverns.

    One thing that I really, really like is the ground texture and, especially, the spider-web cracks in the ground. Did you add those post, in PhotoShop?

    Cheers,
    ~Dogtag
    • CommentAuthorAvotas
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2013
     
    Hi Dogtag,

    Thanks for your reply. The ground texture is added in post, it consists of a seamless tiled "Dry Mud" texture, a few layers of cracks, and some gradients for shadowing. The cracks originated from a broken window pane. The shadows are purely there for artistic aesthetics, it helps the elements blend into the scene, and I will add sources of light in another draft version. This still has a few revisions to go.

    The perceptive is actually uniform, what you see is the warping effect commonly caused by a camera lens. A something moves to the edges of the field of view, things start to appear more rounded, and edges of objects start appearing as well as the top. You can see this effect with a cell phone if you point it down and slide a cup around in its field of vision.

    The problem is I am running into an optical illusion, depending on how you look at the picture the image appears to be an island floating in a black sea, or a recessed cave in a mountain. That's the real problem, and I don't know how to fix it.

    Suggestions?

    -Avotas
    • CommentAuthorpdj
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2013
     
    Have to say my eyes work just like Dogtag's - the cave at top right looks recessed, the one at bottom left looks floating.

    I think the problem stems from the lighting - the cave walls bottom left are illuminated, those top-right are in shadow. Presumably moving the light source from outside the cave to inside would fix it. Worth a try, anyway.
    • CommentAuthorDogtag
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2013 edited
     
    I realize the perspective is realistic but I think the problem is that the map is a two-dimensional object. For a three-dimensional object, the perspective would shift along it's length (and sizes would appear to shift as well) but on an image, it's constant. Thus, I think our brains subconsciously expect a constant perspective. The optical illusion you (and the rest of us) are experiencing is almost certainly due to the fact that our brains have "recorded" the perspective from one point of the map and then "project" it to the rest. When we see the wall representing a vertical surface to the north, I think our brains translate that as wall = vertical-surface-to-the-north, even when the intended perspective has shifted to the southern vertical surface.

    Oddly enough — and opposite to how most optical illusions affect me — when I look at the map as a whole, without focusing on any single part of it, the fish-eye perspective kind of works. The confusion and illusion set in when I focus in on part of the map.

    I see two ways to fix it, neither of which will sound appealing, I'm afraid.
    1. Remove the 3D effect. Certainly takes away from your work and your vision.
    2. Change the perspective to a more isometric view. Likely requires you to apply a transform of the map image (sans walls) to achieve a more isometric view. If you want to go all out, apply multi-point perspective too.

    I think it depends on how much work you want to put into a battle map, I guess.

    Good luck. Whatever you decide to do, I hope you'll share the results with us!

    Cheers,
    ~Dogtag
    • CommentAuthorAvotas
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2013
     


    So after a little more playing, I added some ground shadows and added a darker line where the floor meets the wall. How does it look now?

    Best Regards,
    Avotas
    • CommentAuthorDogtag
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2013 edited
     
    Actually, that looks a lot better to me. It doesn't eliminate the "island" illusion completely (where the lower part appears to be an island in a sea of black) but it does reduce it a lot. I don't see the illusory effect right away. I see the cave. Congrats on finding another approach!

    Bravo!!!
    ~Dogtag
    • CommentAuthorAvotas
    • CommentTimeDec 23rd 2013
     
    Thanks for your help Dogtag, you too PDJ. I'm going to keep working on, and keep this post updated.

    -Avotas
    •  
      CommentAuthorRalf
    • CommentTimeDec 23rd 2013
     
    Great work, and I don't see the lower part of the latest map as an island. It looks correctly recessed to me, no matter how long I stare at it (but then I've never been able to see those pop-up 3d images either).
    • CommentAuthorDogtag
    • CommentTimeDec 23rd 2013
     
    Posted By: AvotasI'm going to keep working on, and keep this post updated.

    Sweet! I'm eager to see where you go with this.

    One question, though. The original image post was clean, but lately I've been seeing a whole mess of distracting watermarks across the image. Is that from wherever you're hosting it?

    Cheers,
    ~Dogtag
    • CommentAuthorAvotas
    • CommentTimeDec 23rd 2013
     
    Thanks Ralf ^^

    Dogtag,

    This map, and others like it, will be part of a collection that will be sold as a supplement to D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder. The text overlay is designed protect the image, in case someone attempts to steal it. I'm not worried about the specialized ProFantasy folks, but I did make a post on Adobe and those forums get a lot more traffic. When the map is finished I will send you over a copy (you too pdj) for your assistance. The source resolution is 50x50 inches, so you can print it pretty big or use it online. Just leave your email below.

    -Avotas