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    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    I'm starting to mess around with the idea of a new overland style with lots of nice rich colours. I was working on something similar some time ago, but that was a top view overland that ran out of steam when my real life got slightly more complicated than usual, so this time I thought I'd have a fresh start with a more traditional isometric overland style.

    I've done half the textures so far. Some I'm happy with, while others still need a lot of work.

    Today I sketched out the first mountain and I was wondering what you would think of it, so I posted it here for comments.

    The textures in the shot from left to right are the lightest shade of grassland, a rather overcooked mountain background, and the two darkest shades of desert.
      Spectrum mountains.png
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTime7 days ago edited
     
    Everything look really nice, but the mountains doesn't quite fit with the fills. Maybe the thick lines make them look more cartoony than the fill, which causes the clash. Oh, and the mountains are smiling.

    Thing may give a different impression when not zoomed so close though, that isn't always the best way of viewing a map.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    Oh no!

    LOL!

    I nearly drowned my keyboard in hot chocolate (its a cold blustery day here in the UK)

    And now its seen, I can't un-see it!

    I can see what you mean about the cartoony style. I was trying to stop them merging into the background, but I think I will have to paint them a little more realistically with more detail, add directional shadows, and maybe tame that rather outrageously exuberant background texture a bit.

    I hadn't realised just how difficult it was to make everything work together. First there's the colours, then there's the level of detail and basic texture, and as if that isn't enough every single thing has to be assessed against everything else in the set, and everything has to work well together. The more textures you have, the harder it gets. And that's before the symbols.

    Not that I'm complaining. I'm finding this project really interesting. So many new things to think about.
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    Looks okay to me.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    Thank you, Jim :)
  1.  
    I love your "happy little mountains" Sue!

    Nice colors. That mountains fill is a little psychedelic... ;-)
  2.  
    I think maybe if the lines for the mountains and hills weren't so pronounced... that would help, maybe?
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    Well, okay. You could reduce the lines 'obviousness' if thats a word, but its up to you.

    If the mountains ands hills were in the same style as the fills, they could be used for certan types of worlds. I would certainly love to make continents that way.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    You no like my lines!?

    That's ok.

    Neither do I ;)

    I'm in the middle of a slightly different approach with the same mountain. Nothing to show just yet, but I have already tamed that rather wild mountain background.
    •  
      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    The desert and grasslands = Aussie - how great. I hope for some more Aussie scrub trees and eucalypts, acacias and callistemons. (sez he, in hope rather than expectation). And koalas, to remind us what they looked like before their extinction :(
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime7 days ago edited
     
    Not so much "Aussie" as darker, and richer. I hope, anyway ;)

    This version went very dark, and a bit disappointingly dull, but that's the way with brown. I think I went a bit too far with taming the mountain background. More colour in both that and the mountain.

    But do you like my lines a little better in this version, perhaps? I'm still not happy with them. I think my Wacom may be broken. I get these weird dogleg kinks in lines that were drawn perfectly smooth. It took me nearly forever to match the skyline thickness of the hills and the mountains where the hills are so smooth.

    I tamed the background texture, but I think I went too far with it. So the mountain has gone even more dull in colour.
      Spectrum mountains2.png
  3.  
    Sue,

    I don't know if you're using Photoshop, but if so, something that may help smooth out those doglegs is a plugin called Lazy Nezumi Pro. My wife uses it and she raves about it.

    (I hope it's not your Wacom, those things are expensive!)

    In the case of your mountain symbols, those are awesome looking! I liked the smiley faces too but like you said, once you see them you can't unsee them.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    Thanks Daisho :)

    I don't use PS. I don't agree with the rental system ;) Instead I use Krita, which a surprising number of professional mappers seem to use. Krita is free.

    I think it might be my Wacom. Electronic fault, I think. I've changed the nib and examined the surface of the pad. I can't see any physical damage, but the line still jinks when it passes near the middle of the tablet. If it was a larger tablet I would simply move the drawing and use around the edges, but its the smallest model, so it's already a bit like drawing on a postcard :P

    Don't worry. As long as the tax man doesn't take too much from me I will use my ill-gotten gains from the last annual I did to get a new one. It just won't be for a month or two until I'm certain I'm not about to get a nasty bill.
  4.  
    I’ve recently downloaded Krita as well, although I’m no artist. I was using GIMP, but my wife sold me on Krita instead.

    Speaking of her, she had a similar problem with an older tablet of hers, and it turned out to be some kind of pressure damage to the under layer of the tablet surface, due probably to overuse. She likes her new tablet much better. ;-)
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    What kind of tablet does she use these days? Is it still a Wacom. or something else? I've only had this one for a couple of years.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    Oh, and on the Krita v GIMP front - as with all software I use each app to the best of it's abilities. So while you can work on seamless tiles 'live' in Krita, and Krita has much better drawing tools and leaves GIMP standing in terms of tablet response, GIMP is the only one of the two apps that allows me to sharpen a mask and get rid of semi-transparent pixels for a nice clean background. It's also easier to scale and crop things in GIMP. That's a huge simplification of the differences between those two free apps, but this is how I use them in tandem when I'm working on stuff like this.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMedio
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    Love the textures :)
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    Thank you, Medio :)
  5.  
    Sue,

    Thanks for the breakdown on Krita vs GIMP.

    As for my wife’s tablet, it’s a Huion, stand-up model that doubles as a monitor. It was $500, but has been a pretty good buy so-far.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    LOL! Gulp. As soon as you throw a screen into the mix it quadruples the price. I think that might have to wait till I'm a famous artist :P

    I'm looking at another Huion right now - the largest one available. I'm very grateful for the Wacom One I've got, which was a present from my mum a couple of years ago, but since it's broken now I might as well take the opportunity to get a much larger one. This one seems to fit the bill.

    Huion Giano WH1409

    Wacom have a fantastic customer service. You can Chat with tech support on the webpage, and sort out any driver problems (usually caused by every last Win 10 update there's ever been) in a matter of minutes. Is the Huion support as hot as that?
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    I like the first maps fills, and the second map's symbols.

    Maybe all could be in the final item ?

    Pllleeeaaassse ?
    ( That was my bestest Roger Rabbit. He talks like that. )
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    Aw, thank you, Jim :)

    I'm working on it, but there's a heck of a long way to go yet ;)

    The first mountain background was a bit too jazzy. It was difficult to see the mountains against it. The second one was too dowdy and brownish. So I'm still working on it.

    The first mountain was too cartoony and the lines too thick. The second... I just think that there must be better colours for a mountain than brown. So I'm still working in them too.

    Don't worry - the desert and grass fills are finished, so they won't be changing in the slightest.
  6.  
    I can't tell you about Huion support, as we've never tried to call them. Drivers weren't much of an issue, and the thing has "just worked" ever since, so no complaint there.

    Looking forward to seeing more of this set! ;-)

    (RIP, cute smiley mountains!)
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    Thanks, Daisho :)

    I have a few weeks yet to think about it all, but it is reassuring to know that Huion are probably just as reliable as Wacom.

    And I am glad that Remy pointed out the smile. I usually see animal shapes in other people's maps, but in my own I am strangely blind to it.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime6 days ago edited
     
    Prototype mesas :)

    Or they might be buttes.

    I'm not sure any more.

    (The lines are jiggly because this is a screen shot)

    mesas.png
  7.  
    When I lived in Denver, the Rocky Mountains from the backyard looked blue or purpose. FWIW.
    •  
      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    Pancake day - yeah
    •  
      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTime6 days ago edited
     
    I think the tops don't look right. here are a few pics - the mesa arises straight out of the base, and doesn't look like a hat on a cone. 2 of the pics are from Australia - the last is Mt Connor, only about 100 km from Uluru - very bumpy 4 wheel drive.
    Sorry to be harsh - I am allowed to be every 3rd January.
      Edgar Ranges, Australia (2).jpg
      Monument Valley - 1.jpg
      Mesa - Autama tepui.jpg
      Mt Connor.jpg
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    I've been repeatedly informed on the FB page that my mesas are buttes. So I went to investigate the difference.

    There seems to be a lot of confusion here. Typically I can't find it this morning, but I found a webpage last night that described mesas as being up to 4 miles wide, and butts less than a mile wide. Otherwise they are one and the same. By that definition, though, only the things in the background of the second picture, and the one in the last picture, are mesas and not buttes. However, I am beginning to think that this may be more of a regional thing than a geographical definition. It seems that American's are more likely to call flat-topped mountains buttes, while everyone else calls them mesas. I might be wrong ;)

    I purposefully haven't added vegetation because that would blur the definition of the symbol. If these were city scale elements I probably would add a bit of scrub here and there.

    Well, I suppose I can say that I'm pleased by how close I've got the colour of the sand :)
    •  
      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    I did say it was Australian.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    I hope I haven't just started a major butte/mesa conflict of opinions! LOL!

    Maybe I should call them muttes, or besas?

    I'm also thinking now of doing grassland and jungle versions...

    But these will be in separate sets, so people don't go pasting jungle muttes in the middle of the desert.

    Ah... butte... but... I once did that very thing in a map and won a Cartographer's Guild Challenge with it.

    Colour me confused in a general sort of way! LOL!
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    Quite a different thing has occurred to me now.

    The perspective issue.

    Have you ever noticed how mountains, hills and trees are usually done side-view, while settlements, bridges and ships are done more isometrically?

    I think mesas vary from style to style, but these don't half look odd in comparison with my side-view mountains and hills.

    I need to have a careful think about whether to opt for side or isometric view and make the symbols agree with each other.

    But then I think of existing sets and realise that perspective isn't always the same between the symbols of the same set. There are often side-view mountains with isometric towns and cities.
    •  
      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    Mesa seems the general term; and is used in a little programme i think is called CC3+
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    I've always called them mesas, and it seems that Americans have generally always called them buttes.

    Since I am European I'm more convinced than ever that this is a regional or cultural difference, and its only by chance that these things were called mesas in earlier overland symbol sets.

    Maybe I will just call them "Mountain flat-top 01" etc :P
    •  
      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    Call 'em mesas. The USA needs no mollycoddling at this juncture
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    If you go by Wikipedia, they have a simple definition:

    "In differentiating mesas and buttes, geographers use the rule of thumb that a mesa has a top that is wider than its height, while a butte has a top that is narrower than its height."
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    Then they really are mesas :D

    Thank you, Remy. For some reason I hadn't come across that. The one mile and four mile rule I came across did seem a bit ridiculous.
    • CommentAuthorjslayton
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    I say that you should call them all tepui and increase the confusion!
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    I could use tepui to divide the dryland mesas from the wetland mesas - mesas and tepui.

    I had started to divide mesa and butte drawings, but I think that's a division too far, so there will just be mesas and tepui.

    Thanks for that, Joe :D
    • CommentAuthorScottA
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Dang it!!! I was going to throw "tepui" in there but Joe beat me to it!

    Mesa, butte, tepui... might just depend upon where you are..?
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Ah, Scott. The truth is it doesn't matter to me what they are called as long as they are grouped conveniently and resemble at least some kind of land form that might be useful in a fantasy map. I've seen these mushroom-style forms being used in lots of PS style maps. I think we need more large craters as well. They're on the list. I was thinking about them earlier when I realised I needed to make the edge of a plateau that would go with these mesas... buttes... tepui. I think there may need to be a way of collecting these rock-capped land forms together, separate from the regular cliffs and such things. Maybe I will just Prefix them "RC" for rock capped and have two sets of mountains, cliffs, ravines... etc.

    Sorry if that's a bit of a muddle. That's the way my brain works. I think sideways or something. I know its different to normal because normal people give me strange looks when I start to ramble on like that :)
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime5 days ago edited
     
    I did a few more.

    These are not intended to be photorealistic. They are what they are. Overland symbols.

    mesas2.png

    And this is how big they would be in a standard 1000 x 800 Overland map exported at 2000 pixels on the long side.

    mesas 2.png
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTime5 days ago edited
     
    Looks a bit weird with the top extending so much on them all. While the top is often flat with vertical edges, that part is still smaller than the top of the hill below it on all the images I could find, such as Quenten's pictures above.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    The overhanging top?

    I can sort that out, don't worry :)

    Back in about an hour...
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Do they look better without the mushroom hangover?
      mesas 3.png
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Yes.

    Looking at pictures, the height of the plateau on the top do vary quite a bit, some are quite tall, so that would be a suggestion for additional variations. And many seem to have a more broke shape on the top, and not just a "disc". (This is the way of things. You draw something nice, people will demand countless variations. I intend to continue that tradition)
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    I still need to do more work on them. The join line between the rock and the scree is still wrong. It shouldn't be as straight as that.

    Do you mean I should make these all the same height, and do more at a different height? I'm not sure what you mean. I was going to do another 5 that were taller and thinner - more like the pillars in some of the photos Quenten shared.
    • CommentAuthorScottA
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    I like these latest version best so far.
    •  
      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTime5 days ago edited
     
    Still a bit mushroomy - mesas et al do not have overhanging tops at all - in fact, the tops tend to be quite flat. In general, there is a base of sedimentary rock, or softer igneous rock with a 30-45 deg slope, then the "butte' of hard igneous rock, from which the softer rock has eroded, rising 75-90 deg to varying heights which does not overlap the base, then a flat top, maybe with a rise or dip in the middle, but definitely no overhang in most.

    In addition, the lines' on the 'butte part are often vertical rather than horizontal as you have shown though both types do exist. The reason is that the butte is an igneous core, and not layers of sedimentary rock or lava flows, which of course gives horizontal layers. However there can be variations, but they are more the exception than the rule. Also, it is because the 'butte' part of the mesa is hard igneous rock that there is usually no vegetation on the sides, but there can be scrub on the top - though generally the top soil is absent or too thin for all but the hardiest plants.

    Here are some pics of variants from Wikipaedia.
      Mesa Utah IslandInTheSky.jpg
      Mesa Monument Valley Navajo_Nation.jpg
      Mesa HarQatum.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    You can also get sloped 'mesas' like this - generally with vegetation, and a sloping 'top'
      Screenshot (1)2.png