Adding to Spectrum Overland

argel1200argel1200 Traveler
edited November 9 in Show and Tell

First test trying to take a DAZ Studio render and pull that in to use with Sue's excellent Spectrum Overland. Think I got the camera angles right. And brute forced thr lighting in Photoshop to get a close match there. Credit: I'm using Faveral's Viking VIllage (

Sue, any chance you could post a Blender file with the light settings or just post what they are? Had to brute force the lighting in Photoshop.

For anyone curious, looks like the camera rotation (using DAZ Studio, where e.g. Y is up/down) is xyz: -35, 45, 0.



  • Have all those symbols (walls, houses) come from Sue's Spectrum style?

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy
    edited November 9

    Wow! :D

    "The uploaded file was too big" Well, it is a 195MB file even though it's only the lighting. I hadn't realised that myself. So now I understand why it got a bit slow with 20 high poly trees floating around the scene :P

    I used Blender v2.79b throughout because I don't get on with the new beastie (v2.91). It's too different to learn in a day, which is all I had at any one time to jump ships while working on Spectrum. You might have to download 2.79c and briefly install it to get the truth of the lights.

    I usually use Blender Render because I always hated the rubbish lights in early versions of Cycles, but with this style I did actually use Cycles. I just couldn't get the transparency on the trees without it.

    Would you like to download it here?

    EDIT: I used Blender for the trees and mountains. The rest is hand drawn in Affinity Photo, though the structures are based on shading models constructed in Sketchup. Hopefully, though, the blender file will give you some clues for your own models.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy

    No, Quenten. They are models in the set Argel linked to in his first comment. The set contains a rather beautiful model stave church very similar to the one I did in Sketchup. My first thought was "Oh, that's a bummer! It took me ages to draw that stave church! LOL!", but... when you are making a style for redistribution the work has to be your own original artwork, so I wouldn't have been able to use it even if I had known it was there ;)

  • If you still want to get the 195 meg file to me, I can tell you my email address. I can then post the file on my web site. I have gigabytes of room.

  • WARNING: Spending $$ at DAZ3D can become addictive!! Also, if you are interested in something that's not on sale and can wait you absolutely should -- almost everything ends up on sale every year at some point.

    @Quenten No Faveral did all the heavy lifting. I used without the extra props (this was just a test). I just loaded the scene up into DAZ Studio and guessed the camera angles and then spent a lot of time zooming out.... ;) Photoshop was more work.

    @Loopysue DAZ has two forms of licensing. The default is similar to ProFantasy's -- loosely you can use the 2D results in commercial projects. They have an additional interactive license if you want to use the 3D assets in a game (as a 3D asset -- you can create 2D sprites under the default license). So that might work for you depending on the contractual requirements.

    And thanks for the Blender file!!! I was wondering why I was so lost in Blender when I installed it again recently. I didn't realize they went through a UI change (I used it to create a simple object a few years ago for Tabletop Simulator). I mainly use DAZ Studio since I have a lot of content from there (see warning above). If you're looking for set pieces Faveral and Stonemason have some good ones.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy
    edited November 9

    I don't use DAZ at all. I got hooked on Blender a while back and just stuck with it. The new interface is a nightmare for me. I was once really quite good with Blender - animations and all. Be aware that they have completely changed the way lights work from the way it used to be, so even though you can open that file in 2.91 the lighting will be all wrong.

    I look at 2.91, and quite apart from the lighting nightmare I can't find anything - nothing (and I meant absolutely nothing) is where it used to be, apart from the menus - er... sometimes... if you're lucky! So, I'm a newbie all over again where the current version is concerned.

    As I said above, one of the prerequisites of creating a new style for Profantasy is that all the artwork is completely original. It's in my general commission contract. So although the licencing terms for the DAZ models are good I still can't use them in the work I do for Profantasy. I create my own models in Gaea, Blender, ngPlant and Sketchup, for which a very kind donor bought me a pro licence a year back. I use the Sketchup models (which are just blocky shapes for the most part) to paint structures in Affinity Photo, or AP for short (Affordable PS substitute) by hand. The rest, if they were not originally sculpted in Blender to start with, are imported to that blank scene I gave you and rendered. These are often processed further in AP - shadows on trees etc. Here is a blender scene with some of the mountains from Spectrum, but seen from a different angle. The mountains are heightmaps exported from Gaea and used to deform planes in Blender.

    Right now there are no immediate plans to grow Spectrum any further, but there's no harm in people making their own stuff to go with it as a set of their own unique symbols :)

    EDIT: There ought to be an addiction warning on ngPlant. I've had hours of fun making all kinds of trees with it - then rendering them in Blender.

  • Yeah, I spent way too much money on DAZ... and my previous computer with a 1 gig video card, and a 3.x GHz cpu, just couldn't do it. So I gave up on DAZ 3D.

    I had another one that worked better for me, but I didn't find the editing to be something I could figure out. Ah, it was Bryce.

    I wanted to make 3d maps for my game worlds, but I find the Iso maps I can make with CC3+ are all I need.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy

    The money was a big brick wall that made my decision between Blender (which is completely free) and DAZ for me.

    I've also used Bryce before now, though I find it a bit limiting compared to something like Gaea. It was what I used to generate the eroded terrain from a GIMP heightmap for Merelan City :) Nowadays I would probably do that kind of thing in Wilbur. I just didn't know about it back then.

    3D maps are nice, but if you are playing a game you need top view cities and dungeons so you can put your minis on the street rather than on top of a building that happens to be obscuring the street in an isometric view.

  • argel1200argel1200 Traveler
    edited November 9

    Yeah, your Sketchup and ngPlant work is impressive! I haven't really done much modeling and not sure I have the patience for it.

    Yeah, I figure if they ProFantasy is unlikely to expand on Spectrum then I might as well. I have some eleven stuff, etc. that I'm sure can be worked in somehow, and is really needed for a fantasy setting.

    Any chance for a Spectrum City?

    Edit1: Knowing light positions alone will be a big help. I can export out to DAZ Studio (e.g. Collada format). I've done that a few times with Unity sets. Unity -> FBX Export -> Blender -> Collada export -> DAZ Studio, then start fixing lights and materials. Lights seem to come in in reverse (brightest light is black), and transparent surfaces often need work (the Star Wars test renders on my dA page use a set I brought over from Unity). Guessing Blender decided to standardize their UI to match one or more of the commercial renderers.

    Edit2: Looks like I have Blender 2.83.3. Sounds like I should read up on what's change in 2.9 before upgrading!

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy
    edited November 9

    Thank you. I try really hard to continually improve my modelling skills, though it does take time and practice. You would be surprised by how much of a model is achieved by displacement, rather than modelling. That is where the surface is displaced by a heightmap or a normal map so that although it is just a smooth plane in the model it instantly becomes gnarly old tree bark, or a totally convincing brick wall. So although some models look complicated, they really aren't that difficult to make.

    One of the great things about CC3 is that it's very easy to make new things for yourself and incorporate them into an existing style. You can even make new templates that combine everything together.

    As to the last part - wait and see ;)

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy

    Regarding Blender versions - the file I shared will only be right for 2.79b. So you might have to download that and examine it there before you convert it to anything higher. The lights are completely different in later versions. It's an annoying habit they've gotten into - changing the lighting setups every time they fiddle with things a bit.

    The lighting is basically a circular array of dim cold lights with one bright sun as the main source of light. Check, also the world settings under indirect lighting. I may have increased that a little. Without the all-around lighting the shadows would be black, or very dark, dead grey.

  • I looked around at several terrain programs a month or so ago. None of them really do what I want. The focus is always on landmasses, not planets. We're left with what feels like really old tech for that. There is something on Steam I found that could be promising:

    But I'm not sure if it's possible to generate a heightmap of the entire world vs. how much procedural generation is done on the fly. Does seem to have enough there to use as concept art for an overland map though. And only has a non-commercial license.

    Guessing FT -> SpaceEngine is probably not possible, and not sure about the opposite.

    I have Vue Infinite 2016 which isn't cheap, so I'm hesitant to spend too much on another terrain engine. Gaea looked interesting, but I might be able to do similar stuff in Vue.

    Here's a planet that started off in FT and was completed in Vue (with some very minor work in Photoshop). I used the altitude map for the texture/diffuse and the 16-bit grayscale height map and then added a sphere for water and a couple more for clouds, etc. But the clouds don't really work if you rotate the planet.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy
    edited November 9

    You can do planets in Blender. It just takes a bit of time and care to set up, but once it is you just change the skin for each new world. I haven't been focussed on planets, though, so I don't have one set up for you already, unfortunately.

    You can then generate the skins in FT3, or any other heightfield editor, though I think you might need to add the actual terrain textures in something like PS.

  • I'm really interested in a simulator that can generate climate systems based on parameters. FT3 comes close with the climate, temperature, and rainfall maps, but that's not much to go on for the atmosphere and clouds, and it's not really that in-depth. Would really like something that let's me run a simulation over time, with shifting continents, wind erosion, etc. Could make for an interesting campaign setting. Go from pre-historic times to the future, and have actual changes taking effect. And to take it further, to have tidal infomation based on the moon(s), etc. Probably nothing out there for consumers like that though. :(

    No need for Photoshop for Vue. Just needed the altitude PNG (8192x4096) and the 16-bit heightmap IIRC). I'll write up a quick tutorial on it.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy

    Those two things are all you need to make a world in Blender too - either a heightmap or a normal map will do. You set up a material that combines them and uses the height map to displace the surface of the sphere, as I described earlier.

    It's the image I'm not sure I could generate very easily in FT3. I know it should be possible, but then you have the problem of everything being 'over time'.

  • Here's the FT to Vue tutorial companion:

    Given odds of a FT4 seem very low, not sure I want to invest too much time in it. Though the export to CC3 options are nice (Traveler style maps). Like, Ihave DAZ Hexagon and know some of the artists tghere like DzFire use it heavily, but DAZ barely touches it (it does get some attention, unlike Bryce). So e.g. learning Blender or Sketchup for modeling makes more sense. Though not sure I really want to spend tons of time creating a model.

    As a side note, Cities Skylines reads in 16-bit grayscale heightmaps. Though you want a 1:1 aspect ratio. I took the heightmap sed above and imported it in as an experiment and it loaded just fine. Beyond the obvious planet scale doesn't work well for a city, the other main issue I noticed was the water level was below the FT water level. Though I haven't use the editor much -- might just be a case of adding some water sources to raise the water higher. It was at roughly the correct height in the Editor, but not when I tested the map. Anyway, possible new use for our expensive terrain/heightmap generating programs.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy

    Yes, thanks. I saw the other thread before I saw your comment here.

    I'm pretty sure that FT4 will happen one day, but maybe not as soon as you would like it to happen ;)

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