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    After asking for help on a few issues in the last 8 months and going playing around on and off I have finally embarked on my first map that i'm going to pour hours into doing really good and I thought i'd share it and ask for the opinions of everyone. I am still struggling with some things like pit's an ledges but it's a work in progress. This is what I have so far. This is going to eventually be a map for a random encounter for level 9 characters in the wilds of the underdark in the Out of The Abyss Campaign.
      Chitine Colony.JPG
    • CommentAuthorLadieStorm
    • CommentTimeOct 15th 2017
    interesting! I'm curious to see where you go with it.
    • CommentAuthorScottA
    • CommentTimeOct 15th 2017
    You have a great start! If you apply a mask to the outside walls it will cover shadows that spill out and give the caves depths.
    I am not sure how but I'd like to figure out how to show that those are ledges in a more defined way... I have tried to draw another wall and fill the space between with black but it doesn't look right.
    • CommentAuthorScottA
    • CommentTimeOct 15th 2017
    Well, if you take out those thin walls between the brown dirt floor and dark pits and then add a bevel to your brown floor, it might look more like a dropoff. Plus it would get rid of the shadows on the floor cast by those thin walls, and that would help, too. A dark inside glow on the pits would also help establish that they are lower than the dirt floor.
    Thank you for the advice, i added a floor mask and made the other adjustments you recommended. I really like it, I appreciate the advice, I personally still have trouble differentiating between a pit and a ledge. What is your opinion?

    Those are both pits but I saw a few maps. Where they had a ledge or elevated area but I haven't quite. Worked that out yet
      Chitine Colony backup.JPG
    • CommentAuthorJosh.P.
    • CommentTimeOct 16th 2017
    What about if you did a similar effect on the floor edge so that it looked bevelled but ensuring that you can only see it at the edge of the pits.
    Forgive my newness daplunk but I'm not not sure how to do that.
    These are the current settings i'm working with.
    • CommentAuthorScottA
    • CommentTimeOct 16th 2017
    You have a bevel on the floor already? Okay. Does the brown dirt floor end where the pit begins or did you draw the pit over top of the dirt floor? If so you won't see the beveled edge as the pit will cover it. Also, move the bevel effect above the glow effect. You want to increase the Strength of the bevel. The 3 units Length is probably good enough -- the larger the number the bigger the bevel and the thicker your floor will look. Play with the Strength number until you get a nice solid bevel. Start at 10 and work up and down until you are happy with it. The Fade will smooth the edges, so if you want it to look like a rough, broken area keep it at a low number. Also make sure your pits are on your SUNKEN FLOOR sheet and not the dirt floor, too. Probably have to adjust the Brightness and Blur down, too. I don't know what your map size is, so maybe Blur size of 50 units is okay, but it sounds high. A blur too large will cover the whole area, where you just want to give the illusion of depths with the darkness around the walls of the pits.

    It's looking really good, though. The mask did the trick to sink the cave into the ground. Now you just need to work on sinking your spiderwebby pits.
    I have to go look at some wedding venues today but i work the midshift tonight so I will do ALL of that tonight and share the result tomorrow and I really appreciate the help. One last question....any suggestions on a central feature in the center there? I played with maybe a sludgy water with rocks but it looks.....too happy for what i have so far. I have a deep pit to a lower level of tunnels further up the that top tunnel the right and a lava pit down the 2nd tunnel on the right. If not no worries. just curious for opinions.
    • CommentAuthorScottA
    • CommentTimeOct 16th 2017
    Sludgy water and rocks look too happy?!?! LOL! Hm.... Well, there is a blood fill that might be creepier. Or try layering a couple fills with varying opacity (on different sheets, obviously). You sometimes get some great looks by playing around with different fills and effects. Nothing particular springs to mind, but look through the different fills and see if any combinations work for what you are looking for.

    And don't worry about "one last question." Ask all you want. This forum is very helpful and the people are friendly, patient and knowledgeable.
    • CommentAuthorLadieStorm
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2017
    I'm probably coming in a little late for what you have done so far... but there is another way that you could get the effect you are looking for, and it might be a little easier, in the long run.

    I'm assuming the dark brown areas with the spiderwebs are the pits. If it had been me, I would have drawn those areas first. Or have that dark brown be the 'floor' and making the lighter brown be a 'subfloor' that sits on top of the pits. You would put the subfloor on the sheet below the floor, and then as you are drawing the subfloor, you 'cut away' from where the pits are. You could do all this by hiding your walls sheet, then drawing the subfloor. Then you add the bevel and effects to the subfloor, and the glow, blur and wall shadows to the floor, and that will give your pits definition.
    It's very similar to the way I drew my cave walls here:

    It's the second or third in that thread. But I think could create the look you are going for.
    LadieStorm I greatly appreciate your input and i really like that style of map, i want to learn how to do that for my next map, i think it creates great dynamics in a map. I haven't tried to do it yet but i really want to learn that next. Is there a step by step description on how to create such a style?

    Thank you also to Scott and everyone else who helped me out. I have the style for this map down to what i'd like it to be, it's not perfect but it's the best I think i can pull off within the time I have before this map goes into play. Here is the final result of that room, please feel free to throw any tips, pointers, or constructive criticism because I will absolutely take it and incorporate it into my new map. The intention for this room is to have a two pits that are lower than the central floor where spider-like creatures inhabit.
      Chitine Colony Central Chamber.JPG