WIP: First BattleMap: Ice Caves

Hey all!

I'm working on a map for my FG MERP starting up this Wednesday. It was inspired by the map in the adventure module. I really need some help. I'm going to try and post it correctly along with the FCW.

Please help me out on this. Here is what I'm having issues with:

1: indicating that the outer part of the caves is actually rock, not ice (or frost in this case)

2: frost. Trying to get a better, more obvious 'ice' fill heh.

3: bevel lighting is dull grey...can't seem to fix.

4: water...ugh. Could use some major critique/advise on that.

thankee!

Cal

PS: Oh, suppose I should explain I like drawing outside the border/screen so I don't get wonky effects right at the border/screen. I really just prefer an outlined rectangle for a border---when I can figure out how to do that, that is heh.


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Comments

  • Oh, almost forgot:

    The original map had the far right cave go off panel. Trying to stay with it as best I can, I just followed suit. It need not stay that way.

    thanks again

  • Hey all,

    Did I post in wrong forum for help? Apologies, if so. I really could use some help with this map.


    thanks

    Cal

  • No, it's the right place. I'm just having trouble figuring out what to say (besides "it looks nice" of course which it does). It might be helpful if there was a grid on the cave floor to give me some idea of the scale. I'm also curious about the larger setting: is this the edge of a glacier? Usually when I think of "ice caves" I imagine them in a arctic setting opening up to a snow field. I like the fractal cave walls though, very nice.
  • Thanks!

    The grid is provided by Fantasy Grounds. I've loaded it in and it's useable.


    Yeah, was hoping someone could advise me on how to show the outside of the caves as rock...well, there are various ways, just looking for the easier and 'right' way.

    As for size: I used the one Ralf used on his recent most video: 16 x 11 with 80' wide and 55' high settings.


    thanks

    Cal

  • I've never heard of ice caves inside a mountain although with magic anything is possible. Now a glacier flowing between two mountains is something I can imagine, but that would have to be a much larger map.
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy
    edited December 2020

    I would love to help, but I don't really understand what you mean. It looks good to me, but you seem to think there is a problem with it and I'm not sure why.

    Maybe an annotated shot might help - pointing out the bits you don't like?

  • edited December 2020
    I think that your map looks great @Calibre, but I do think that I know what you mean, I'm also never quite sure how to handle different materials for cave interiors / exteriors.

    I'd recommend having a look at how Christina (@Lorelei) did her Vault of the Blue Wizard map in this blog post: All the Annuals: Curse of the Lich King (March 2018) (profantasy.com) - specifically the Platform Trap area in the top left corner.

    You could perhaps draw the "cutaway hill" part of your map using a rock fill, and then use varicolour mountain symbols for the ice walls, like that room in Chirstina's map. It depends on which symbols you've got access to though, whether there are mountains suitable to misuse in such a way.


    Lorelei
  • CalibreCalibre Traveler
    edited December 2020

    Thanks all! I appreciate the feedback.

    @Loopysue thank you so much for the help! Could you advise on how I could have the outer wall (outside the cave) appear as rock? I've been wracking my brain for a method heh.

    @Raiko Hey, thanks indeed. I checked that out. Nice work! I see what she did, but I think I'm beyond the point of adding those techniques without starting all over heh.


    Cal

  • Please can you show me which walls are considered to be outside? My answer might vary depending on which ones you mean. My mind is reading this map as a series of tunnels through the ice to the actual cave, but I might be wrong.

  • CalibreCalibre Traveler
    edited December 2020

    Guys, really appreciate the help! While I have you experts here, please, may I ask a tangential question?

    I need an area map that is 50 miles wide and 35 miles high. I'm struggling trying to pick a good 'style' for it. One of them seems very cartoonish to me and I can't abide it (sorry can't remember which atm). How would you tackle that? If it involves an annual I don't have, I'll get (especially with sale going on)---at a loss which to get or use. Basically, it would be the area outside this cave which is in nearby mountains near rivers and a small village. I've got the regional map done (thanks to whit2468), but I need to do an area map of well, the area near this ice cave.

    As for the logic of this ice cave, well, it's in Middle-earth, low magick. So, I'm supposing it's caves in the mountains which apparently opens up into a glacier. I didn't write it, it's an adventure module written by ICE.


    thanks sooooo much, guys!

    Cal

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy
    edited December 2020

    Re - the map above.

    To make only those edges appear as if they are made of rock I would create a new sheet for the rock above the ice, and add an Edge Fade Inner and a Color Key sheet effect to it.

    I would then pick a nice rock texture and draw a large patch of stone texture generally down that wall line with the approximate centre line of the patch lying along the wall - all the way from top to bottom of the map and probably a fair distance beyond them to balance the effect of the EFI, which I would then adjust so that I had a very fuzzy wall of rock where I want it, even though the front face would overlap the extent of the ice quite a way until I've drawn the magenta patch for the color key.

    I would need to make myself a very simple drawing tool that drew solid polygons of magenta on the very same sheet as the new rock, (magenta is the default colour of the Color Key effect). Then I would use that drawing tool to cover the outside extent of the fuzzy wall completely with a magenta patch, using the tracing capabilities built into all drawing tools to follow the line of the rock face from the existing ice extent. This would trim the edge of the outer face of the wall to a nice sharp line on the outside, while leaving the stone fading into the ice on the inside.

    Is that how you imagine it looking?

  • Yes! :)


    Hmm. That will take me some time to do heh.

    thanks

    Cal

  • I'm afraid what you are recommending is beyond my abilities. But I do thank you for your time, Sue.



    Cal

  • I'm sorry, Calibre.

    The only other solution I can think of that doesn't involve doing some kind of alternative to that is to change all the ice to stone and then draw ice textured walls around the inside of the cave.

  • Ahhhh.


    Now that I can do! Thanks :)

    Cal

  • What about just adding a new layer, call it rock, and then tracing over it with a bitmap image or rock. I saw a video Joe Sweeney did with parot island, he was basically making a mask over existing terrain, to make new terrain. At least that was what it looked like to me. Also if you trace it will match perfecting to what you have already constructed. Nice map btw!

    Hope this helps

  • CalibreCalibre Traveler
    edited December 2020

    @Aramisdante

    Thanks for the suggestion. However, I now know what to do. I merely checked out one of Ralf's vids on youtube and have discovered which is exactly what you just suggested:

    wall mask

    heheheheheh

    @Loopysue

    Ms.Sue, thanks for all the suggestions. I really hope one day I can do the process you mentioned above. I wonder, would YOU be interested in doing youtube vid on that process? ducks 😁

    thanks!

    Cal

    Loopysue
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy
    edited December 2020

    You're welcome, Calibre :)

    Hmmm, let me see....

    I think I have a free spot in the early part of 2022?

    Quenten
  • 1 month later
  • CalibreCalibre Traveler

    Ok, late to update, guys! Here's my final on my Ice Caves Battlemap. Critique is demanded! 😝

    heh

    Seriously, any suggestions would be most welcome


    thanks

    Cal


    LoopysueQuentenDak
  • MedioMedio Surveyor

    I find it very pretty, just don't get it.. Are the caves opened to air, roofless? As I can see sun shadows inside.

    Calibre
  • CalibreCalibre Traveler
    edited January 4

    Oh, I was thinking sunlight shining into the cave thru the ice, sorta---like that tree right outside that casts a shadow through the wall. I could quite easily alter all shadows, though.


    hmmm

    Cal


    PS: LOL! one of my best players, upon looking at the map and hearing my explanation of these shadows said: 'No. Reality doesn't work that way. There is NO WAY sunlight would cast shadows like that inside a glacier. heheheheh Oh well, I'll see what I can do to fix 😛

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy

    I really like it :)

    Calibre
  • jslaytonjslayton Surveyor Moderator, ProFantasy

    Sunlight would work quite a bit differently because the ice is what's called a participating medium (that means that it does things to the light as it passes through). The light would strongly shift to blue and be scattered in all directions, causing illumination to be similar to a cloudy day (no directional shadows). The light would also pretty much disappear after passing through a dozen or so meters of ice. There would be a fairly strong component of light bouncing in from the cave entry, but it would be more aligned with the cave entrance than the outside sun.

    Calibre
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy

    I still like it ;)

  • CalibreCalibre Traveler

    Thanks, Sue :)


    I will work on it, @jslayton. Thanks indeed.


    Cal

  • CalibreCalibre Traveler

    Issues With Light!

    I'm using the settings Ralf used in his video on 'Lighted Dungeons' and the results are problematic 😔

    I'm getting light shining over walls, shadows going over walls, etc. I've checked 'LIST' on my walls and they are, in fact, on the correct sheet. If someone has advice on how to properly light this map please don't hesitate heh. As you may note, I also have an 'outside' and placing a light there strange indeed.

    PS: BTW: I resized the drawing, but though the SCREEN resized, the MAP BORDER did not. How do I fix? 😁

    thanks

    Cal

  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 43 images Mapmaker Administrator

    Note that lights ends at the FAR SIDE of objects blocking them, this means that the wall around the lighted area will always be lighted. Generally, this makes for much better visuals otherwise you wouldn't be able to see the walls at all which looks weird, but it results in an undesirable effects when your wall si the entire area outside the path, like typically in caves. The way to fix this is to use a set of thin walls on a dedicated light blocker sheet. I usually draw these slightly inside the cave walls, allowing for the light to illuminate the edge of the cave wall. Note that the lighting is also computed on a raster rendering of the map, which means it needs to deal with pixles. This makes very thin lines unsuitable, as light can shine through gaps, so make sure such blocker lines have a certain amount of thickness.

    For the map border, just erase and redraw it. The technical map border is just four lines outlining the map on the MAP BORDER layer.

    CalibreLoopysue
  • CalibreCalibre Traveler
    edited January 5

    Thanks, Remy

    I'll get to work on those light blocker walls.

    As for the outline, thanks very much! A thin black line is all I want. That's from my Art/Graphic Arts days when the instructor demanded that all 'artwork WILL be in an inked border! Here, at the start of my course, I'll allow you be off on the measurement by as much as an eighth of an inch. By the end of the semester, I allow NO errors!" Heh. 😁


    thanks

    Cal

  • CalibreCalibre Traveler

    Greets!

    Mr. Remy, I can't seem to figure out how to make these light blocker walls/lines. No matter what I draw, they do not block the light. I've put them on their own sheet with no effects and still they will not block. What am I missing please? 😁

    thanks

    Cal

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