Sunday, June 9, 2013

Modular Dungeon Icons, Last Part

[Continued from the last post]

The whole point of this project (aha, he finally gets to it!) was to cut out creating the perspective maps in Sketchup, and then turning around and recreating them in Dungeonographer, essentially doubling my workload.

Ideally, I always wanted a set of icons that would be 3D/Perspective capable, and with the snap of a finger (or in this case, button) they would also represent (loosely) the classic blue icons from my childhood.

Certainly there are other software packages out there that are capable of rendering in perspective, like 3D Studio Max, Cinema 4D, Maya, and Z Brush to name a few, but Sketchup has that capability by doing two quick steps, after creating the models:

1) Switch to Camera/Top View
2) Turn off Twin Perspective

So the same Icons go from this:
to this:
and from this:

to this:

While the aforementioned software packages can create all of these items, in my humble opinion, what sets Sketchup apart is the simplicity of the learning curve and in all honesty how quickly I've created the various items shown in these last few posts. Not to mention all of the 3D perspective maps made with Sketchup that have been showcased on this blog.

A clearer understanding of what I'm trying to accomplish comes when showing a mini-dungeon in both perspective and classic top down view:

Naturally, a couple items need to be addressed (with possible solutions) for both views.

Top Down items of note:
1) I need to create a wall feature that shows the top of the door. Otherwise, what type of door is in place is lost by the wall above it. 

I created doors by themselves, but decided to add in a wall frame around them. I'm thinking creating a 6 foot wall on either side (to match the door height) will solve this issue.

2) Steps need to have arrows showing direction, i.e., down/up - for clarity.

Draw in an arrow in Paint Shop Pro - quick and painless

3) In the case of the ladder in the Northwest quadrant - which leads upward to a coffin/chest, I need to draw in the elevation change at that point on the top down map.

Add in elevation change in Paint Shop Pro - quick and painless

Perspective items of note:
1) The obvious drawback is that a single perspective map can show everything the top down view does, IF proper planning is done. Case in point is the 10' stairs leading down to the locked prison door, without rotating the view to a higher angle, it is lost behind the wall.

While there isn't a quick solution. I've been experimenting with different views, and where a special detail is lost, a combination of both Perspective and Top Down map shown together essentially clears up any misunderstanding. The other solution to this issue is to try and find an angle that shows all features in the dungeon.

The other consideration is to build a dungeon for perspective mode with the highest points at the top of the map, and deeper points to the south, for easier presentation.

In closing, I've had a blast creating the various items and mimicking the Classic Blue Icons. I'll continue to use Dungeonographer for special designs (because its simple and fast/flexible) but now having the capability to produce all of my maps with classic icons/furniture/features goes a long way towards finishing The Castle of The Bloated One, and gets it one step closer to publication.

Many thanks for the feedback you guys have been leaving, and for continuing to follow my meager offerings.


The Bloated One

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