More encounter map questions

First off, I want to say: guys, I know I asking a lot of, likely simple and noobish, questions here of late. I do try and search for my problems, but not very successfully. But if I'm getting on your nerves, just let me know or tell me to RTFM ;)
I hope that one day I might reach the point where maybe I can help others too.

With that out of the way, here are my irks of the day:

1. How to I make the edge of a gravel road/path look natural. I tried edge fade inner, but it looks like the grass is a green lake and the path a bank. I tested other effects but nothing really looked any good. How do you do these things?
2. The end of the path would ideally "trail off", like a footpath ending at a meadow usually does not have a sharp edge but a more ragged end. Should I add small polygons? Or try to achieve it via effects?
3. the piece of ruined wall to the left looks a bit like it's floating in the air. Not sure how to make it looke more 'grounded'. Is that a problem of the grass texture I used? Or the wall symbol? Or just wrong or missing sheet effects?

As always, any advice that help me get better at mapping would be very appreciated!


  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 43 images Mapmaker Administrator
    Getting things to look good close up always require a bit more work.

    First of all, don't use edge fades that large. As you pointed out yourself, that looks weird. It need to be much subtler.
    Since the soil below will be dirt, not grass, use a dirt polygon below it. That will made it fade into dirt instead of grass. Obviously, you need to experiment a bit with the size and edge fade of the dirt polygon too.
    Make sure to place a good amount of nodes when drawing it, making it have an uneven edge.
    Use individual rock symbols near/at the edge to show that not every single stone lies neatly inside the 'edge'
    Break up the path with some patches of dirt or similar. Perhaps even pools of water.
    Break up the edges using vegetation symbols, such as shrubbery and flowers. Not The entire edge, just some pieces here and there to break up things.

    For the wall, get more things happening around it. This is true for the path as well, it is more difficult to get something to look good just by itself.
  • edited March 20
    EDIT: Ninja'd by Remy! I had typed this response a mere minutes after Merion wrote it, and it just sat unsent on my desktop for hours, lol!


    No need to apologize for asking for help! That's what these forums are here for :)

    1. Now to see if i can help some. First, for your path. Part of the problem is your background fill. It is not as photorealistic as your path and symbol, so it isn't going to blend very naturally. Maybe change the scale on the grass. Also, what i normally do in my own maps putting good use to the sheets. Try adding a sheet between your grass and create a path slightly wider than the gravel using a dirt fill. Apply an inner edge fade on that and you'll have a gradual transition from grass to dirt to gravel. See my attached map.

    2. Now about asked how to create a path. What i do is use the fractal polygon tool and create that poly in the shape of the path. So, if you wanted a rough edged path end, you could do something like what i've done here and leave it jagged looking. I've also applied a slight transparency to the sheets on the edge fade so it all blends a bit better.

    3. Your symbol. The problem is the symbol in particular. I find i need to put a glow on the outside of certain symbols to ground them and make them look more realistic. Some symbols just don't cooperate. This CSUAC2 symbol is one of them. I've tried to increase the glow but it just doesn't want to work. But....this other symbol looks much more realistic and grounded.

    There is no magic formula here either. It's pretty much trial and error :)
  • Thank you both for your kind help! Those tipps really help.

    To answer just a few points:
    - The "In-between-layer" I have used before - should have known that one. Will experiment with and not try to blatantly steal Loreleis´'s example. I might tho ;)
    - Good tipp on the nodes too, I used fractal polygons but with probably far to few notes, trusted the fractalize to do the work for me. Lazy me. I seem to remember there's an option how extreme the fractalizing on a line is but can't find it. Have to consult the manual. Or just add more nodes by hand.
    - I will test different edge fade settings and glow for symbols.
    - Being told it's the wall symbol and not me, makes me feel better. Will likely subsitute the wall. And maybe buy symbol set 2, that grass texture looks dope!

    Now that I've read all your tipps carefully, I'll go and try to implement them.

    I'll be back, either with a map or more questions ;)
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