Treehouse ideas

I'm GM'ing a game in the Humblewood 5e setting, which features a lot of houses built into parts of trees, either within their hollows for the very large ones or as what we would think of as treehouses more akin to Robinson Crusoe. Since the default tree houses included with CD3 look a bit too neon for my tastes, I'm trying to figure out a way to make treehouses. I'm messing around with multiple vegetation layers and the Celtic Bitmap A style houses, but have yet to figure out how to make it work. Any ideas or examples of someone doing this themselves? Thanks!


  • Have you tried a wood floor, then put a tree symbol in a hollow area of it ?

  • DriechelDriechel Traveler

    That could work for individual houses, but not as well for trying to make small towns or villages.

  • I did something like this a few years back

  • DriechelDriechel Traveler

    That's amazing! How did you get the trees to look so good?

  • Thank you :) Well, i put the trees (many different photorealistic trees from various sites and artists) on various sheets with differing shadow heights, as well as separate sheets for the buildings on said trees. I also played around with a glow (outer) on the trees so they "pop". Lastly, I made the forest floor a bit blurry to give the impression of height for the trees

  • DriechelDriechel Traveler

    So you built the houses, then used multiple sheets of "tree" in order to simulate them being between the boughs and the canopies? That's pretty genius.

    Did you pay for the pngs used for the trees? I'm a bit on the broke side, but most of what I'm finding with a quick google search has watermarks on it. (I know I could use something like the Trove, but I'd rather develop skills on how to do this without stomping on copyright if I ever plan on making my own maps commercially.)

    Also, did you build this in CD or DD? I think DD might work better for a small village like I've got in mind if I mess with the scale of things well enough.

  • edited April 7

    I usually build most of my maps, even villages, in DD3+. I've even done a modified overland in DD3+, but i've always operated outside the box as a freelance contributor to ProFantasy. Often I think many of my techniques are longer ways to do things, but I self taught by trial and error as reading tech mumbo jumbo confuddles my creative mind, lol.

    Some of the trees were free from the CSUAC2 and Dundjinni, some a very talented artist friend created specially for me and a few i've got from my own personal collections i've gathered over the years some free, some paid for.

    So What I did was put my first level of trees up - just a few as these are the smaller trees. Then a sheet for medium trees (these are the trees that will form the bases of the tree houses). Above the houses on the medium height level I created a sheet for the planks and treewalk first, then another sheet for the buildings - all of which i also obtained through means mentioned above. Then a sheet for high level trees for shade above all the others and again the same two sheets planks and buildings for the higher level queen's hut. I then did one last tree sheet for trees i wanted to be above the Queens hut.

    It took me FOREVER to sort out what i wanted to do here because i had this tree village of this race of Amazonian Elves known as Elvian that terrorized the "Witchwood" and hunted, captured and either subjugated or traded through the slave trade, mostly though not exclusively, male travelers foolish enough to try to take the week's long shortened journey through the wood, rather than around it all fleshed out and imagined in my mind for MONTHS. It was so hard to sort out...but once i got it, i have to say, this is STILL one of my favorite maps and locations in my homebrew world :)

    Honestly, i'd be more than happy to share the map with you, but due to the EULA and my respect for my fellow artists, i just couldn't, unfortunately. Hopefully this will help you figure something close to this, or even better :)

  • zemonzemon Newcomer

    Awesome map, Lorelei! If you wouldn't mind, could you please tell me how you made such realistic shadows for the trees so they show individual leaves and branches? I've always wanted to do that but have no idea how.

  • Thanks, Zemon. That's the "drop shadow" option if Effects

  • zemonzemon Newcomer

    Thank you

  • DriechelDriechel Traveler

    How did you get the bridges to have their own unique shadows that gave a sense of having space beneath them? Was it a drop shadow, or a clever bit of work with the regular kind of shadow?

  • It was a drop shadow 😉

  • I would like to see a tree house style for an annual.

  • DriechelDriechel Traveler

    Oh! Helps when you have things on the right sheets.

    Is there a way to lock the angle of a texture? I am using the horizontal floorboards for part of the treehouse, and it doesn't turn with the model when I rotate it.

    Same texture on those two, they're basically just copies I rotated, but the one on the right keeps the floorboards strictly horizontal. Any thoughts?

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 24 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    You can align the fill.

    It's a two stage process, but it doesn't take tat long, and only works on polygons, not lines.

    1. Right click the Polygon tool on the right hand toolbar and pick "Shaded Polygon (Angle by Edge)", and use it to click the edge of the fill you want your boards to align with. This will rotate the fill accordingly, but it will also give it a pitch as if it is a roof.
    2. Type EDITSHADING and press enter, then pick the newly rotated part and check the checkbox called "Shade only copy". Then OK.

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