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    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2018
     
    The pagoda is the building on the left.

    The swastika, by the way, is the standard symbol for a Buddhist temple in Japan, and is not intended as an insult to anyone. They've been using it for hundreds of years.
    • CommentAuthorWyvern
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2018
     
    Sue, I really hate to say this, as it may be just me, but I'm getting the impression the pagodas are actually stepped, flat, platforms with a cross-arch suspended some way above them. I'm not sure if it's the different colouring for the ridge tiles, or the way the shadows lie on the rooftop, and I'm not sure why the building drop-shadow isn't working well enough to convince me this is a roof (hence the "may be just me" comment above). If I concentrate, I can get it to the point where this becomes a flat, stepped roof with a cross-arch over it on a moderately tall, square building, but that's about it.

    Comparing the drawn version with your Buddhist Temple image suggests maybe the ridge- and tile-line shadows need to be stronger (though that could mean making the actual tiles about twice their current width, if so), but I don't think that will work using the shadowing effects, unfortunately. It would probably have to be drawn on the actual symbol, which I appreciate makes it less useful. Or it might mean creating an appallingly complex shadow mask, which is probably equally undesirable.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2018
     
    You don't ever need to worry about saying things the way they are, Wyvern. I value honest opinions ;)

    Unfortunately none of the symbols can have any kind of roof shading drawn into them, so that they look ok when rotated... if you see what I mean. The pagodas are made up of 5 separate symbols on separate sheets - each with a slightly different drop shadow effect to create a pyramidal cast shadow, but even if I were to make the entire building as one symbol I could only draw a general shadow within the symbol itself (all round the same) between levels, so that wouldn't really help with the illusion problem.

    Today, I've been working on curving the edges by distorting the exported bitmaps in GIMP (which to me seems to have enhanced the turned up corners quite a lot), replaced the square roof decoration with a tiny onion dome (apparently a common decoration on Shinto shrines), and adjusted the sheet effects on each of those 5 sheets to see if I couldn't come up with a better all-round solution. I think the sheet effects in the image above were a bit too harsh. I'm hoping the highlights I've put along the ridges and particularly right at the ends of them will help to define the levels as well.

    Here's how they look now.
      pagodas2.jpg
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2018 edited
     
    Three levels, and slightly jiggled as if they are 1000 year-old buildings (as some in Japan are).
      pagodas3.jpg
    • CommentAuthorGThiel
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2018
     
    I like the latter ones the best, it's a case where less is more. I like the slight curve effect, does seem to raise the corner tips. :-)
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2018
     
    Thanks, Jerry :)

    They are the same symbols. Each pagoda is made up of 5 separate symbols stacked on top of one another. All I have done between the two images is hide sheets 2 and 4 of the set of 5. That, and jiggle the symbols slightly. I think most buildings are imperfect, so perfect alignment of the different layers makes it feel too artificial.
    • CommentAuthorpvernon
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2018
     
    I agree, the second screen shot. And yes, perfection in the alignments of walls and layers etc should be avoided. (That really bothers my inner draftsman.)
    • CommentAuthorScottA
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2018
     
    I think the versions with the fewer layers look better, but that's just my two cents. Whatever the artist thinks best is what it should be.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2018
     
    Thank you all :)

    The difference between levels is only relatively small because real pagodas tend to be vertical, rather than pyramidal. I have already exaggerated the difference in size so that people can see its a pagoda, and not just a single roofed entity of some kind.

    Does it bother anyone that this is a 'build it yourself' pagoda? It comes in 5 separate pieces, so you can choose how many levels you use (and, for that matter, exactly how jiggled and twisted around it is) ;)

    The undesirable alignment issue is something that will actually save a lot of MB, since right now they are all centralised in the same size files. That was purely to allow perfect alignment using the snap grid, but I can seriously reduce the size of the image files on the top 4 levels if they actually look better without the alignment :)

    I am looking to reduce the size of everything wherever I can, you see. So far I have uploaded over 500 MB of artwork to my OneDrive account, ready for collection by PF when its finished, but I know that's already a lot of stuff - considering all the parts of last years annual together was only 1GB to download. Mind you, I have provided the textures at 1500 pi square, instead of a more normal 500-1000 pi square. I could reduce them as well without all that much loss in the quality ;)

    Ignore me... I'm just thinking out loud here :P
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2018
     
    Making it out of parts is fine with me. That way I can adjust to what I want.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2018
     
    That's partly why I made them that way, Jim.

    Also the shadow effects work better if the levels are on separate sheets.

    It does mean that you have a full set of 5 extra sheets over and above all the others you might use, but I think its worth it - I hope it is :)
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2018
     
    One of the alternate Traveller universe empires on my site is based on Medievel Japan. So this will be great for me to be able to use.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2018
     
    I'll have to get my skates on then, and hope there's room for a load of village buildings to go with all the temple ones ;)
    • CommentAuthorWyvern
    • CommentTimeAug 2nd 2018
     
    At least Japanese-style village buildings have much simpler roofs...
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeAug 2nd 2018
     
    Some of them are, but the merchant and samurai houses are almost as complicated as the temples and shrines. The 'dutch gable' and flying eaves shape is very similar, but with less ornate roof decorations.

    There is a mixture of thatched and tiled as well.

    This is one of the sheets I've found online that's feeding my ideas right now.

    (I think I've probably uploaded it before, but not on this page)
      House styles.png
    • CommentAuthorWyvern
    • CommentTimeAug 2nd 2018 edited
     
    Yeah, I was thinking of the common village "peasant"-style structures, rather than the more specialised/higher-class ones. I suspect you'll know this image already (as it's on a Japanese architecture page with "your" illustration), but really just to clarify what I intended!

    20090808-architecture JNTO a_03.gif

    [Edit: Oh rats! I see you'd already posted this, and your image here, on an earlier page on this topic already... Oh well, they're both available on this page too now ;)]
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeAug 2nd 2018
     
    Its easier talking about stuff you don't have to change pages to see ;)

    Yes, I have that one too, but for some reason mislaid it.

    The truth is that with 2000 years of architecture to choose from, I think I will have to narrow it down a bit and do the more 'stereotypical' Japanese buildings. To try and include them all will end up with a crazy hotch potch ranging from stone age pit dwellings to relatively modern tiled merchant houses of the 15th and 16th century, that is barely a proper set of buildings that relate to one another. Having said that, though, I will be looking to vary things just a bit, so that they don't all look the same. Its quite apparent that the Japanese didn't go a bundle on having extensions and L, T or X shaped buildings. I guess that's because the internal structure was mostly screens, which could be rearranged to suit the situation. Rectangular buildings lend themselves to that kind of rearrangement far more than odd shaped ones do.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2018
     
    Totally off the subject comment here, but I've just discovered something about pagodas that seriously impressed me.

    The basic structure of these tall buildings, some of which are a thousand years old, consists of a very large central pole that is in fact only anchored to the ground floor level. The rest of the floors above that are built around it, but not attached to it, leaving a square hole to accommodate its presence. When an earthquake happens (and there are 1800 tremors in Japan every year) the entire building shimmies like a vertical snake, but is held upright by this central pole - the levels leaning against it differentially all the way up (some pressing against it in opposite direction to others). This has the effect of stabilising the wobble, and is the origin of the pricinciple that keeps many modern skyscrapers standing in other earthquake zones around the world.

    So the Japanese designed skyscraper technology a thousand years ago.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2018 edited
     
    When people say 'we need more trees', do you mean things like this Japanese maple?

    Maple.jpg
    • CommentAuthorScottA
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2018
     
    Yes, please!!!
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2018
     
    Yes ! And Japanese cherry trees.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2018
     
    Oh gosh!

    Well, I guess I'd better do a couple more then :)
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2018
     
    That is a lovely Zen garden.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2018
     
    Zen garden?

    Do you mean the raked gravel?

    Thanks - that's one of the textures I've made for the set :)
    • CommentAuthorWyvern
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2018 edited
     
    The rooftops changing over time problem is of course common with cultures across the world - witness Scott's recent foray into roundhouses elsewhere on the Forum, for instance. Some of these basic rectangular building styles are essentially already available in CC3+/CD3, so it probably comes down to what variants seem more interesting. I know some Japanese buildings often had quite elaborate ridge features, so that might be one possible extra option.

    For the pagoda poles, necessity is, as they say, the mother of invention, so it's maybe not so surprising how many Japanese buildings were built to cope with regular earthquakes, not just pagodas. I agree it's a fascinating concept, but maybe they just reused the example of pine trees?

    And speaking of trees. More? Oh yes please! Cherries too, naturally, as Jim said, plus bonsai-style "controlled" tree shapes mayhap?
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2018
     
    I think the only identical rectangular buildings I've ever seen in real life are those built on social housing estates, and even then they all have variously different chimneys and patterns of lichen growth on the tiles. Different gardens, access points, extensions, sheds, etc.

    When mapping, I don't think it is always necessary to show a pretty roof. A rectangular box is enough for most OS type maps, but where a lot of fantasy mappers prefer to show the actual rooftop that automatically opens up the field for many slightly different little boxes. The problem then becomes one of repetition if the complete collection in your personal set is only really big enough to do a small town, when what you really want to do is a major city. You can do as I started to do with Sanctuary, and get inventive with shaded polygons, but on a machine with limited RAM that soon becomes rather cumbersome. So - I'm making more little boxes to go with the temples, and none of them will be exactly the same. Plus I'm also adding new variants on the themes of tile and thatch - new roof textures to make those shaded polys with.

    Do you mean the way that close growing pine trees don't fall over quite so often because they bounce back off one another?

    And the trees are under development. I'm typing this in one of my 5 minute breaks from painting leaves. I don't want to flood the set with nothing but trees, however, so I'll let Ralf choose the best ones when he gets back, and maybe post the others... er… somewhere.
    • CommentAuthorWyvern
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2018
     
    I was thinking more of pine trees being upright, tall and vaguely pagoda-shaped, plus not falling down when the earth shakes a bit, as well as their overall flexibility (so withstanding strong winds too). However, a quick search suggests this, though long thought a strong possibility, isn't the case. Flexibility is key, but not in quite the way I'd thought. This page from The Economist magazine has an interesting illustrated discussion of the topic, should you need yet another distractive side-track...
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeAug 4th 2018
     
    Thank you, Wyvern :)

    I will look at it in the next break.

    Its the best way to deal with a distractible mind - one that keeps saying "What if...?" as often as a curious 2 year old repeating the word "Why?" :P
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeAug 4th 2018
     
    Posted By: LoopysueZen garden?

    Do you mean the raked gravel?

    Thanks - that's one of the textures I've made for the set :)


    Yes, the raked gravel.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    I hadn't really ever put raked gravel and Zen together in my mind, but I do now ;)

    Well, for better or worse I spent the morning drawing a water wheel. I wasn't sure about whether to include it in the set, but it could be generally useful if I did.

    Comments and suggestions welcome :)

    (the rock outcrops need a bit more work yet, and if I keep the water wheel in the set I need to do a bit of ruffled water for the downstream side of it)
      water wheel.jpg
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime7 days ago edited
     
    I think I prefer doing rocks the old fashioned way - with a polygon of rock texture and a bevel like this. I also think this is a better rock texture than the other one - less... 'porridge-like' :P

    But I will also draw a couple of new outcrops in the new rock texture for people who don't have the time to draw each rock this way.
      water wheel2.jpg
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    Ooooh ! Great stuff !
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    Thank you! :)

    I'm beginning to think that I might need to do a dungeon scale one as well as a city scale one - I think people liking it over on the FB page are perhaps envisaging a use for this in their dungeon maps... reading between the lines of the comments (dungeon scale is usually 2.5 times the resolution of city scale - for the same size of symbol). But that would mean I would need to do a whole load more stuff to go with it! :O LOL!
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    People will always want everything (applies to me and my cat too). My advice is to stay focused, you can't fulfill all wishes (at least not at once anyway). City symbols are usually detailed enough to use in dungeon maps anyway, it is only for the extremely deep zoom the difference in resolution is going to be a difference.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    I'm the same!

    With me, its always "I wish this symbol set had more than 5 mountains", or some other such desire. But I do understand what you are saying - and agree ;)

    It seems to be that the human condition is to constantly want more than that which currently exists, whether we are talking about apples, pears, pieces of chocolate cake... or symbols in a set! LOL!
    •  
      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    I agree with Monsen, you should definitely limit yourself to about 100,000 complex symbols - hopefully by later tonight.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    Cheeky! LOL!
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Here's another margin doodle (you can tell because its falling off the bottom of the map - hence the white strip).

    I'm just pasting things next to each other in a very slapstick fashion - just trying to work out if I need to scale up the rocky outcrops to match the scale of other key symbols that will probably appear with it most frequently.

    What do you reckon - bigger rocks to match the scale of the waterfall and bridge?
      margin map.JPG
    •  
      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    99,999 to go. looks great sue
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    I don't think I have enough time left in the rest of my lifetime to do that many! LOL!

    Thanks :)
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Here's a version with bigger rocks.
      margin map 2.JPG
    • CommentAuthorGThiel
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    I really like the bridge!! the rocks tho seem rather flat, but that might be me just being
    picky." :-)
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime4 days ago
     
    That's the road bridge. The road part of it is... er… 20 feet wide. Maybe that will give some scale to the rest of it.

    When you say 'flat', do you mean the ones at the bottom of the cliff, or the cliff itself?
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime4 days ago
     
    This is the last shot today of the evolution of the rocky outcrop (cliff).

    Not sure what you meant about the rocks being a bit flat - unless its that they are generally rounded rather than spiky :)

    I can do spiky rocks another time. There's just so much water in this theme I decided rounded rocks and boulders were more the ticket.
      margin map 3.JPG
    • CommentAuthorGThiel
    • CommentTime4 days ago
     
    In the last image, the rocks in the stream/river have more of a 3D appearance than the ones in the image above it, Looks like you might have added a glow to them??

    I've attached a pic of some rocks in a stream, they have differing heights and varying "roundness."
      stream-with-trees-and-rocks-ty-savell.jpg
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime4 days ago
     
    Thanks for clarifying that, Jerry :)

    I've done 2 outcrop versions now. One as you see it above with boulders in the river, and one without any boulders at the bottom, so people can add their own rocks to taste :)

    Apart from the background stone texture (which is completely flat) the rest is hand drawn with multiple layers of hand shading and one ink drawing (heavily smudged). I find that glows are too even and don't take account of the 3D form of a thing.

    GIMP doesn't respond to my tablet properly, so I draw in Krita, where its like drawing on paper with the actual drawing tools if you use a tablet. In this shot you can see the enlarged thumbnail of the rock texture background I used, which is also the rock texture fill for the annual, so it should match up nicely if you have a flat rock plain that drops away over a cliff.
      Outcrop snapshot.jpg