Ardenvale WIP

So I am now creating the deceptively sleepy little town of Ardenvale, the gathering place/home base for my players in the Larysia campaign. I love Shessar's 3D battle maps so much that I am working to implement some of her 'style' in this map. Right now, it doesn't look like much, as I am working on the 3D stream bed. One thing I have done differently, is the symbol catalogue I'm using. After much cursing and pulling of hair, thanks to Shessar I have access to the CSUAC, and decided to use those symbol sets for my river!

I decided to go with a much rockier stream bed, and I found some lovely rubble symbols in CSUAC... so that's what I'm using. I have other things in store as well. So you all get to see this map unfold as I do!


  • So far so good, I can see the various items in the river. I would suggest changing the default size for the water bitmap. Make it bigger. I would do the same for the land. After you have done that, see what the river looks like. You may want to make it more transparent. Very nice rough edges along the bank - looks very natural!

    Great start!

  • actually, I already have, and I settled on what I have here. It doesn't look like much now... but I'm building a town around this river, which hopefully will put it into perspective. We can check it again, once I get farther along. :)

    Wait, what do you mean changing the default size? do you mean changing the size of the river? or the bitmap itself? I'm a little confused on what you mean.
  • edited March 2016
  • DkarrDkarr Traveler
    By doing what CWR recommends it allows for the repetitiveness of the bitmap fill to be less noticeable. When I'm working on dungeon scale maps I usually start with a scale of 50.0 for both width and height. I believe I have gone as high as 250 for some maps.
  • oh! okay, I will take a look at that :) and about the river bank, thanks! I fracitlized the heck out of it, about three or four times until I was satisfied. Of course, most of that is now covered by rocks and grass! But some of it still creeps through. :) I will be posting an update soon.
  • edited March 2016
    CWR's screen capture says to deselect scaled. Do not do this. :-D

    He's correct that you want to increase/decrease the scale for appearance's sake. But if you turn off scaled, then it will not scale properly on your screen when you zoom, and how it looks when you print it out will be a random crap shoot.
  • edited March 2016
    Your right Shessar,

    You don't turn off scale.

    That is why I have it checked on my own bitmap - "Brain Cramp" - LoL!

  • lol... actually, I was going to come back and mention that changing those numbers messes up the 'white water'. I did, however, add an effect to my streambed, Shessar, that you don't have. Or at least, didn't mention in your tutorial. I noticed that the water was a little too sharp against my muddy streambed, so I added a 1% blur to it.. it softened it up just enough, imo. Actually, why don't you tell me what you think so far, here's the updated map!
  • hmmmm... looking at it, I need to blur the white water to match the stream. Oh, and I probably need to add something to that bridge... I was thinking of a drop shadow... but that might not be right. Any suggestions?
  • edited March 2016
    I just realized, I forgot something!!!! Oh well, you'll see it next time... I will probably have more to show on Friday, when I am next in internet range!!!
  • DogtagDogtag Moderator, Betatester Traveler
    edited March 2016
    That stream is looking really good LS! I'm eager to see how this map of yours progresses.

  • Thanks! But Shessar should take the real credit. I'm using her stream tutorial to do it!

    BTW... When you guys get a chance... Could you check out my Andara castle ruins dungeon map? I could really use some inspiration there...
  • Oops, it's under my first dungeon
  • Okay, so I'm starting to put my town together... And I've run into some snags, and could really use some help here. I don't like my roads... I wanted something that looked more like Shessar's in her stream battle map... but I may be asking too much. I'm not sure about my shadows... dd3 isn't reallly supposed to be used for out door maps... Which reminds me, Shessar... your stream effect... could it possibly be used in conjunction with cd3 as opposed to dd3? I have noticed that I can open up cd3's symbol sets with dd3 and vice versa.

    Also... I wanted to use the csuac to make some of my structures... but I realized I have no clue HOW to do that! All I'm really seeing is roof sections... but they don't seem to be integrated into the house building structure of cd3. Or, at least, I don't know how to access them.

    And I thought I saw a few well options in the csuac... but I'll be hanged if I can find them!

    Any suggestions, or ideas on how to fix my issues? Do my shadows look okay? they don't seem to look right to me.
  • I see what you mean about the road. It does not look natural. It does look like their are some sheet effects going on. Forgive my ignorance but what does the road look like with those effects off? Are those boxes with flowers in them and a gardens near the houses on the map?
  • Its coming along very nicely! Love the stream! I see what you mean about the roads...maybe too much blur? trying lessening it some. Also, the shadows, you may want to blur them a bit so they are not so sharp (unless ofcourse that was what you were going for). Is the direction of the shadow set to the Sun's direction? It seems like some of them are going in a different direction, rather than in the same direction that the sun would create. Otherwise I really like the mix of buildings :)
  • kevbeck43,

    lol... no that's actually a small market. Those are market stalls. I do plan on adding flowers and bushes and trees and stuff... but not until I have my town set. I will post the map with the effects on the roads turned off, so you can see the difference.

    Lorelei, I'm not sure... I thought I did, but I don't know, since this is actually a dd3 based map. Let me check and get back to you on that.
  • Okay, here is the same map with the effects for the roads turned off. I actuallly had to delete them, but I didn't like them anyway.

    And Lorelei, yes, the Global Sun direction is checked and on. But you are correct... they are definitely too sharp... that's one of my issues with them... so how do I add an effect to an effect? how do I blur the shadows?
  • okay, for some reason, the map didnt load... let me try that again

    okay, something is going wrong with my rendering... when I try to upload the file it says the file is empty... and since I'm getting ready to go in a bit... it's going to have to wait until Monday.

    Can anyone tell me why my png's are suddenly registering empty?
  • In the Wall Shadow try lessening the opacity 75%? Then change the Blur Radius, i usually only do a 1 or 2 at most. That should help on the shadows :) As far as the png, i can't help, sorry.
  • Sorry It's taken me so long to comment on this LS.

    Your river is quite nice. :)

    The problem with this map is its scale is inconsistent. Do you really want a building with several wings and a golden dome to be the same size as a canvass market stall? Is the log in your river really the same length as a multi-storied building? If I'm looking from an aerial view and can see a whole town, will I really be able to pick out the individual leaves on a patch of ivy?

    I think you get the idea. Consistency of scale is important in every map.

    Also, make sure to add shadows to the sheet your market stalls are on.

    Hope that helps.
  • Lol...Shessar, I actually already caught that. I've already taken all of the buildings out, and reworked them, as of last night. I finally got Vintyri's collection installed, and started using some of his buildings. I had originally scaled the buildings down, because that 'stream' is actually a river, and I was trying to make sure I had enough room for the rest of the village.

    I realized last night that I didn't need all of my 'major' buildings on my town 'sqare' since this place isn't really a town yet, so I moved some things around.

    I also fixed my road problem by making some poly 'lines' adding the fractal smoothing, then set up an inner edge fade...

    I'm also going to redo the market, I just didn't like the original look if what I had. I will post it tomorrow if I can, and you can tell me if my scale is better.
  • 7 days later
  • So I pretty much started from scratch on this map... and I think I actually like this rendering better. It allows me to put stuff on both sides of my river, which I believe is how a village or town would grow... spreading out from the major water source.

    I'm still working on my shadows, and my scaling a bit... but I hope my scaling is better now. I hope you enjoy! And as usual, suggestions, ideas, comments are welcome and encouraged!

    And once again, my png is empty... what in the world is going on?
  • VintyriVintyri Newcomer
    Many of my potential comments already have been made by others, particularly the scale problems Shessar mentioned, but here are two problems that I would fix:

    1. Your fill on the river has too much redundancy. It produces what looks like rows of blurry white dots.

    2. The CD3 buildings are on a layer with a shadow effect. The Dundjinni (from the CSUAC?) market stalls aren't on a sheet with a shadow effect. It looks strange to see long shadows on the buildings and none on the stalls.

    However ... by and large ... good work, great work for someone who has been at it for as short a time as you have.

    I know you just installed the Vintyri collection and have probably little idea what all is in it. However, it contains two fills, SoilEroded_01 and SpringBed_01, that have given us good results in making river beds (in placement under the water).
  • Hey, Mark!

    Yes, I've already noticed a lot of what you have mentioned here, which is why I started from scratch and have remade this map.

    In it, I used some of your springbed for my underwater. I'm still working on the shadows, my new market still doesn't have any, but I do realize it, and I'm working to fix it.

    I wanted to show every one what I've done differently, but my png's are coming up empty all of a sudden, and can't be posted. I'm trying to figure out what I've far I'm coming up empty. Shessar and Charles mentioned ed a few ideas on another thread, and when I can get online again, I will give them a try.
  • Okay, I'm going back to what I was doing originally. I've uploaded this image to photobucket, so that I can show it here.

    I'm at the point where I need to put in my vegetation... trees, bushes, flowers... that sort of thing... but again, I'm concerned about the scaling. Here's my issue... wild magic has been tainting and contaminating this world for 1000 years... but it's been a very slow, subtle process. Yet, even here, in this little village/town you can see subtle signs of it... the 'mutated' fish(yes, they are actually SUPPOSED to be that big), the midgeting/coloring of other animals( the horses, for example), the subtle 'sentience' of plants.

    I need to determine the size of the woods around this town. Should the trees be as tall as the buildings? Should they dwarf them considerably? I'm not sure what size to put on my vegetation... any ideas?

    photo Ardenvale2_zpsvnafxvci.png
  • DkarrDkarr Traveler
    I think you would have to decide on what the effects of the "wild magic" are on the plants, if any. The fish are gigantic but the horses are smaller. If this type of magic insinuation continues maybe plants above ground are also smaller, but those below water are gigantic. I would just place a couple of symbols for your trees and see what looks good to you. Then make up a justification for it if it is above or below the norm.
  • The scale is much better now. This is beautiful!

    As for the height of the trees, HERE is a link that gives a good idea of how tall trees are compared to a one story house (near the bottom of the page).
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