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    • CommentAuthorclithgow
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2018 edited
     
    Morning all!

    So I'm in the middle of this CD map that represents just over a 1/4 mile square. I think I would have preferred to use an overland CC style but I had trouble getting fractional overall scale to play nice. In any case.....

    This is the southern end of The Long Lake in Middle Earth. The few houses are a couple of families worth of boat tenders who work the Stairs. The snakey cobblestones there are intended to represent a switchback road descending a couple hundred feet that the workers use to portage boats past the falls to the Celduin River below.

    Any thoughts on how I might represent the gradual decent of the topography? I intend to root through some overland map styles and see about swiping some tools out of them but would love to hear your thoughts - about both the topography and any other things!
    • CommentAuthorclithgow
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2018
     
    Ooops! Here's the intended attachment.
      Stairs.JPG
    • CommentAuthorclithgow
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2018
     
    And here is a version where I tried a cliff tutorial I found on these forums. Wound up being a too severe for me but I may go back to it.
      clilffs.jpg
    • CommentAuthorLorelei
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2018
     
    I think your best best would be to create some shadows.....Sue (@LoopySue) would be the BEST to offer advice on that. She has an uncanny artist's eye for perspective
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2018
     
    Its looking good, clithgow :)

    Thanks Lorelei. I'm not sure I would really know what to do with someone else's map. Most of the shadow effects I've done on my own maps have been trial and error exercises, and all are different. That's why I've never done an actual tutorial on how to do it. There's no definitive 'best solution'. The only thing I can do is ask the same series of questions that I would ask myself.

    First, what does it look like if you add a Directional Wall Shadow to the rocks sheet - quite a long one as if its being cast by a cliff?

    If that doesn't work or looks all wrong I would then consider drawing shadow shaped polygons in solid black on a new sheet called SHADOWS on top of everything else. This SHADOWS sheet would have an Edge Fade Inner sheet effect on it, and also a Blend Mode set to Multiply with an opacity of about 15%. There would also be a Magenta Colour Key effect under the EFI, but above the Blend Mode, so that I could draw magenta polygons to cut a sharp top edge to the shadows along the line of the cliff. Its a bit difficult to describe, but try it and see. (I'm a little tied up with drawing buildings at the moment to do an example, but if it doesn't work out for you I can probably do one sometime next week.)
    • CommentAuthorclithgow
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2018 edited
     
    As always I appreciate your input, Sue!

    I did try the Wall Shadow on those rocks - but I think I ultimately want to move away from the rocks cliffs and make it more of subtle thing.

    I think I'm on board with your SHADOWS sheet idea - check out the image below. Only thing I'm not getting is the point of the magenta poly. I'll keep playing with it.

    *EDIT* Ah! Got it....lost the Color Key effect of the line because it got lost beneath road effect. When extending the effect out across the basic green space I see it. I'll keep working with this.
      combo.jpg
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2018 edited
     
    You're nearly there.

    It's a bit complicated to visualize, but the magenta shape needs to be at least as thick as the EFI effect so that it doesn't completely disappear. The point is to still have the line where the two shapes overlap visible when the colour key comes into play. I've never been good at trying to describe this!

    I have found an example file I uploaded some time ago for Quenten and adapted it to suit the current situation here. Its on a City template. I hope you have CD3, but even if you don't you should still be able to see the shadow.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2018
     
    If you have a series of cliffs that are quite close to each other it may be necessary to have several SHADOW sheets so that you have room to use the magenta polygons without bumping into the edge of the shadow from the cliff above.

    Also, you don't have to use Multiply as the Blend Mode setting. Its not a case of multiply or die. The example FCW above uses Overlay.
    • CommentAuthorclithgow
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2018
     
    Thanks Sue, this is great. I see that some of my problem before was trying to be too subtle with the shape & depth of the black polygon as well as with the "carving" shape of the magenta polygon. Going to dive into this more this morning.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2018
     
    The only aspect of this technique that tends to put people off is that they think you have to have a clear vision of where the shadow falls. This is not the case, since it is easy enough to adjust the shape of both the polygons if you get shadow or light where you weren't expecting it. Just slap the polygons down and modify them at your leisure.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2018
     
    The other thing is that it needs to go on top of absolutely everything - symbols included. Anything above the relief shading will look as it if is floating in mid-air.
    • CommentAuthorclithgow
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2018
     
    This is definitely the look I was going for. Now to get some more symbols on those grass surfaces and I should be in business. Thanks again!
      good contours.jpg
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2018
     
    That's quite a lot clearer, certainly. The road is looking a bit floaty, however. Have you tried putting the relief shading on top of everything (the whole map)?
    • CommentAuthorclithgow
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2018
     
    It is actually on top of everything...I think I may have to kill the glow effect on the road. I wonder if you can use a color key effect to kill the glow when its in the shadow area?
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2018
     
    It may be the particular effect you are using on the SHADOW sheet Blend Mode. Overlay will darken things, but if something is very bright like the road there will be hardly any difference. Before you mess with the glow on the road (I don't think a colour key will work on that because the magenta polygons will themselves have a glow and fail to become transparent), try using different Blend Modes. Multiply will probably work, but it does make everything look quite grey.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2018
     
    When I suggest to put it on top of everything, I mean near the bottom of the sheet list. The only things that should be lower on that list than the SHADOW sheet are the FRAME/BORDER, TEXT and the CARTOUCHES sheets.
    • CommentAuthorclithgow
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2018
     
    Doh! Yeah I definitely ordered the sheets wrong and put the shadows way low. The road looks a ton better and now properly shades the road sections that are in shadow. After I finish this up I'll post it up to show how it turned out.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2018
     
    Well... it wasn't really obvious. The glowing roads could have been down to the fact that overlay doesn't really do the job on very pale colours ;)
    • CommentAuthorclithgow
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2018
     
    Still gotta get some labels on here - this will be the gist of it before the game.
      Stairs Of Girion.PNG
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2018
     
    Oh yes, that's a handsome map you've made there :)

    Maybe I should write that tutorial and go into all the little details about how to use this technique...
    •  
      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2018
     
    Yes Sue, please. Great map clithgow.
    • CommentAuthorpvernon
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2018
     
    I second that!!!
    • CommentAuthorLorelei
    • CommentTimeJan 1st 2019
     
    See there? I told you Sue's input would be invaluable :) Great map!
    • CommentAuthorclithgow
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2019
     
    You're right Lorelei, I always appreciate Loopysue's advice!

    So here's where I'm going to leave it, game is in the morning. Funny thing is, they'll likely spend less than 30 minutes of game time here. Oh well.

    Thanks for the compliments, all!
      Stairs Of Girion.jpg