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    Hi Everyone,

    I am trying to make a hilly area with a few trails for a D&D battle map. I am using the Dungeon SS 2a style and I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to make a hill?

    Thanks in advance for any help.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2018
    The best way I know is to use hill shading.

    I have no idea if this will work properly with the SS 2a style, since I don't currently have that style myself, but if you create a new sheet called RELIEF SHADING over the top of everything else (at the bottom of the list of sheets just above the BORDER and FRAME sheets), and add the following Sheet effects:

    Blur, set to map units (as many as provide a smooth transition)
    Blend Mode, set to Multiply and approximately 20% opacity

    Then draw smooth polygons of solid black fill where the slope is away from the sunlight. In its most primitive form a simple round hill might have an equally simple crescent of shadow on the shaded side.
    Thanks for taking the time to reply! Am I correctly reading that I’d create the hills and then separately create the shadows for them?
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2018 edited
    No. The shading causes the illusion of the hill, in exactly the same way that relief shading on an OS map makes the surface look like it actually bumpy.

    Here is a small extract from a map I did some time ago showing how the shading works.

    (I will find it in a minute and upload it for you here)

    This is taking longer than I thought. Merelan City is a very big file with 135 sheets and approximately 400 sheet effects. But if you will bear with me I will get you a series of three screen shots to show you what I mean.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2018 edited
    Ok, I'm not sure this is possibly the best example, since the detail is very intricate and might put you off trying. Drawing the relief shading for Merelan City took absolutely ages, and I cheated by using a 3D model in Bryce to get it right. Even so, its possible to get a very comparable result using very much more simple shapes and leaving out the finer detail.

    This is the map without any relief shading. As you can see there is a small amount of relief generated by the bevel effect I have on the land terraces, but its nothing much.


    These are the black shapes I drew on my RELIEF SHADING sheet


    And this is the same sheet with the blur and the blend mode I described above


    I hope you can see the hills there - lit from the south east.
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2018
    There's a similar discussion here, with simpler, if less impressive, examples. I didn't use the exact same sheets or settings in my examples that Loopysue mentions here, but I did mine quickly for the sake of getting something up on the forum. Hopefully, it can help visualize what she's saying here.

    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2018
    That crescent shape in the last image was what I was trying to describe - yes :)
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2018
    Another method is using the Natalya Faden bitmap fills. Of course, this wouldn't work for the Atlas.

    I came up with my own template for contours. I used a different color, or bitmap fill, to designate a range of heights above and below sea level.

    The template, and the color chart are here. This below article link has links to the Natlaya Faden example maps made with these fills.

    color chart url updated June 14, 2018.

    To add new ones to a template: click on FS for Fill Style, upper right top of CC3.

    Then click on Bitmap Fills. Click New. Name it, and browse to the buitmap fill you want. Click okay.

    Then 'Save As' a new template, name it.

    All set.
    • CommentAuthorTimicus2000
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2018 edited
    Thanks for all the help! Those maps look amazing :)