Geography of Specularum

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AllanP
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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by AllanP » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:38 pm

Scarecrow wrote:Fair enough. I also think that, like the Chateau, the main structures should connect with the walls rather than being free standing.
I don't have a problem with that.
As long as we keep a balance between "canon" material and what works practically, there shouldn't be a problem. The vagueness of what the GAZ1 palace looks like has probably been interpreted differently by many DMs over the years.

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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by AllanP » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:40 pm

Hi Crow -

Hope things are going well with your project to create the 3D model of Specularum.

In one of your earlier posts you mentioned incorporating the "prominent buildings". I've just been looking at the contour map of the city and the district maps. The "prominent" structures include:
The Great Church of Karameikos atop the hillock in the Church District - it's plan view is shown on the map inside the cover of GAZ1;
Radu Manor that sits atop the hillock in the Stronghold District;
The Hightower (combination watch tower, lighthouse, garrison and cells) on the dockside of Mirror Bay - large enough to have an oil-burning light atop it as well as ballista and cataplults!
The South End District Court House appears to be atop the hillock on the western part of that district;
The Bridfge of Blood tavern seems to be around the summit of the North End hillock;
elsewhere the other hillocks seen only to have unidentified buildings near their summits...

BTW - have you managed to access the http://www.specularum.org.uk website yet?

regards,
AllanP
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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by Scarecrow » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:36 pm

Allan,

Hello there. Sorry. It's been a while. After my initial enthusiasm, I got sidetracked with Real Life and some paying projects, so time's been eaten up. I haven't forgotten this, though and thanks for that list.

Also, YES! I can finally get into Specularum.org.uk

Cheers,

Crow

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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by AllanP » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:52 am

Hey Crow -

No problems!
We all get sucked into RW stuff at times to distract us from our hobbies ;)
I've also had a few days where the RW has taken over. I've got an idea for another "Notable Locale" that I haven't yet written up, but hope to post it in the FC1 Specularum thread before too long.

Glad you're able to access http://www.specularum.org.uk - hope you like what you see.

regards,
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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by Robin » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:32 pm

Interesting to know how this project does fare?
For a 3d Specularum/Mirros would be really awesome
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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by Mike » Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:40 pm

AllanP wrote:
Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:29 pm
In looking through the Poor Wizard's Almanac AC 1012 I saw in the table of 'Average Seasonal Temperatures on page 172 that Specularum's altitude is given as 150 feet (above sea level), and it is noted "River may flood in spring"
AllanP wrote:
Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:05 am
One aspect I'm looking at is the vertical elevation - the the top of the mound on which the castle sits is 15 foot above Bricktop Road and I estimate that by the time you've got down to the dock ara near the High Tower you will have descended another 45 foot vertically if we assume a 5% gradient between the various points. So the castle mound (top) is 60 feet above the level of the dockside. (I shall have to sketch this out to make it clearer). Which then makesme ask: what's the distance from the dock side level down to the water level of Mirror Bay?Also Specularum is up river from the sea (looking at the GAZ1 Karameikos map the city is in the second hex up from the coast, so it's could be between 8 and 16 miles from the sea) Will the river continue to fall as it malesit way to the sea? I'm asking this because the PWA entry says Specularum is 150 feet abiove sea level - and on the above measurements the mound is (say) 75 feet above Mirror Bay which means the river has to descend another 75 feet before it reaches sea level...
Ok, this part is interesting.

By river, Specularum is not more than two hexes from the Sea of Dread... around 9.25 miles. If it meanders it could be as much as 15 miles. It is a navigable river at least as far as Specularum, so that means it is not too fast flowing, but relatively placid. A very strong current would make upstream navigation impractical.

You seem to be using 75 ft as the elevation of Mirror Bay, but I don't see how that can be practical. It is hard to find specific data on practical river gradient online, but I did find this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richelieu_River wrote:Due to its significant drop in this area – 82 ft over 7.5 mi – the river has many rapids. The Chambly Canal consists of nine locks and a length of nearly 12 mi, allowing boats to navigate past the rapids.
So a similar real life river, with a similar slope to what you are proposing, required a canal with nine locks to allow navigation past the rapids. And that is for barges not seagoing ships.

For comparison, Portland Oregon is about 110 miles from the ocean by a river navigable to oceangoing ships. Portland has a stated elevation of 50 ft, but the Portland waterfront has an elevation of 20 ft. Having walked along the waterfront, I know that the ground level is at least 10 ft above the water level. So a fair estimate of water level is about 10 ft, at a distance of 110 miles from the ocean. Also for comparison: Astoria, located at the mouth of the Columbia where the river is at sea level, has an official elevation of 23 ft. Longview, about 50 miles inland, has a stated elevation of 20 ft. So clearly the river follows a very level course, and the port towns along it are at least 20 feet above the water.

Interestingly, Vancouver on the opposite bank of the river from Portland, has an official elevation of 171 feet... approx 160 feet above the river surface. Vancouver is also a port city receiving oceangoing ships and does not appear hilly, although the ground does slope up away from the river.

Portland and Vancouver were very vulnerable to flooding prior to the dams; the river is known to have risen 15-33 feet during flood season, completely inundating low lying areas, creating a "lake" miles across. This image shows Vancouver with a clearly visible floodplain, and the slope up to the actual town level behind it: Image As you can see the slope is noticeable but not extreme; this does not feel like hilly country, though there are some slopes here and there. That is what I think Specularum is probably like.

I am going to suggest that the elevation of the Volaga river at Specularum should close to sea level... maybe 10 ft at most, probably more like 2-5 ft. I would guess the river is slow and placid and deep up to Specularum, which is the highest place reachable to seagoing vessels; and still placid but shallower and somewhat swifter up to Kelvin, suitable for riverboats. Beyond that the river alternates navigable and rapid sections, and in some places boats might have to be towed upstream by mules due to swift currents.

The land around Specularum is generally level around 150 ft elevation. There are occasional streams and very gentle slopes, and an occasional hill. The Volaga flows through a broad, well-defined valley. The river valley generally slopes gently, but at Specularum the hills are fairly steep and approach close to the river. This provides both a good place for fortifications, and also high ground on which to build a port city safe from floods. The presence of mirror bay is an additional fortuitous feature. Mirror Bay was originally part of a river oxbow that stretched in a long arc through the foreign quarter, and down along the wall between the nest and the church district. It had become a separate oxbow lake long before humans settled here, as the river shifted course and the lands to the north and south filled in. The Stronghold and Church districts are low hills, which long ago were islands in the Volaga. They rise maybe 40 ft, enough to escape floodwaters but not reaching the level of the surrounding land.

When the city was built, it was first build in the Old Quarter on high ground nearly 150 ft above the water. A canal was dug (by Nithians?) between Mirror Lake and the River, creating a sheltered port. The King's hill was taller and more defensible, but too steep and rocky for a village with gardens. As the settlement expanded, the soggy Nest (once home to marsh-loving birds) was filled in and built up.

Most of the town is not really built on hills, so much as shoulders of the river valley that are separated by gentle ravines. The tops of the hills are generally all the same level as the surrounding land, but provide nice views of the river and valley. While significant parts of the city are in the ravines, the western half of the city, particularly the Old Quarter and South End, is built at this 150 ft elevation level ground, and that is generally taken as the elevation of the town. The one true "hill" that rises above the surrounding land is of course The Hill, crowned by the ducal palace. The hill rises maybe 50 feet above the surrounding land, enough to be noticeable, and the palace is built at the highest point

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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by AllanP » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:25 am

Robin wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:32 pm
Interesting to know how this project does fare?
For a 3d Specularum/Mirros would be really awesome
Sadly this is one of those projects that just got overtaken by other things as indicated by Scarecrow's last post, and in the meantime along came something called Threshold Magazine which became my main focus for Mystara-related work... and we did at least manage to get the Specularum city book published a s issue #21 of Threshold.
I'd liker to revisit the idea of a "3D" map of Specularum sometime, but need to find the time (plus skill) to do it.

regards,
AllanP
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My Specularum website includes Specularum City maps and FC1 Work In Progress

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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by AllanP » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:54 am

Mike wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:40 pm
AllanP wrote:
Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:29 pm
In looking through the Poor Wizard's Almanac AC 1012 I saw in the table of 'Average Seasonal Temperatures on page 172 that Specularum's altitude is given as 150 feet (above sea level), and it is noted "River may flood in spring"
AllanP wrote:
Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:05 am
One aspect I'm looking at is the vertical elevation - the the top of the mound on which the castle sits is 15 foot above Bricktop Road and I estimate that by the time you've got down to the dock ara near the High Tower you will have descended another 45 foot vertically if we assume a 5% gradient between the various points. So the castle mound (top) is 60 feet above the level of the dockside. (I shall have to sketch this out to make it clearer). Which then makesme ask: what's the distance from the dock side level down to the water level of Mirror Bay?Also Specularum is up river from the sea (looking at the GAZ1 Karameikos map the city is in the second hex up from the coast, so it's could be between 8 and 16 miles from the sea) Will the river continue to fall as it malesit way to the sea? I'm asking this because the PWA entry says Specularum is 150 feet abiove sea level - and on the above measurements the mound is (say) 75 feet above Mirror Bay which means the river has to descend another 75 feet before it reaches sea level...
Ok, this part is interesting.

.....................
Mike -
Thanks very much for your feedback on this topic.As you can see from the dates of the original posts, this goes back originally to 2009 when agathokles and I were attempting to create a Specularum city book. During the course of that work many aspects of the city's history and geographyt were discussed. The latest version of these discussions resulted in the Specularum issue #21 of Threshold Magazine

I will find some time to read through your observations, and try and remeber my thought processes from 10 years ago as Specularum 's background grew.

regards,
AllanP
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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by AllanP » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:17 pm

Mike -
I've been re-reading the old material I prepared and looking back at nores, etc.
Mike wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:40 pm
By river, Specularum is not more than two hexes from the Sea of Dread... around 9.25 miles. If it meanders it could be as much as 15 miles. It is a navigable river at least as far as Specularum, so that means it is not too fast flowing, but relatively placid. A very strong current would make upstream navigation impractical.
I agree - the map of the Estate of Martilenev I produced for issue #21 of Threshold Magazine does result in Specularum being about 11 miles upriver from the mouth of the Volaga!
You seem to be using 75 ft as the elevation of Mirror Bay, but I don't see how that can be practical.
It is hard to find specific data on practical river gradient online, but I did find this:
Hmmm... I think that 75 ft figure was derived from the information I had picked up from Poor Wizard's Almanac AC011 (pg 172), Poor Wizard's Almanac AC012 (pg 128), and TM1: The Western Counties Trail Map which all give Spevcu;arum's altitude as 150ft.
Feeling that was too high with regard to the river. In my mind I therefore decided that 150 ft represented the highest part of the city, being the Duke's Stronghold on The Hill. According to Karameikos: Kindom of Adventure Explorer's Guide (pg 36):
The king’s castle perches on the highest hill of Mirros, atop a 15-foot-high earthen mound with steeply angled sides, towering over the land below.
So with the stronghold being on a 15 ft high mound, there has to be a slope of some sort coming down from it... as partially depicted in the illustration on pgs 44-45 pf the K:KoA Explorer's Guide and that causes problems in terms of the steepness of that approach ramp - how far does it extend eastwards from the Hill ...

So, allowing for a further drop in altitude eastwards down to the harbour in Mirror Bay, my reasoning was that at this point the river/Mirror Bay were about 75 ft altitude (above sea level) if the castle was at 150 ft...

I am more than willing to accept that the heights I've suggested are wrong!
I am going to suggest that the elevation of the Volaga river at Specularum should close to sea level... maybe 10 ft at most, probably more like 2-5 ft. I would guess the river is slow and placid and deep up to Specularum, which is the highest place reachable to seagoing vessels; and still placid but shallower and somewhat swifter up to Kelvin, suitable for riverboats. Beyond that the river alternates navigable and rapid sections, and in some places boats might have to be towed upstream by mules due to swift currents.
I'm OK with this.
The land around Specularum is generally level around 150 ft elevation. There are occasional streams and very gentle slopes, and an occasional hill. The Volaga flows through a broad, well-defined valley. The river valley generally slopes gently, but at Specularum the hills are fairly steep and approach close to the river. This provides both a good place for fortifications, and also high ground on which to build a port city safe from floods. The presence of mirror bay is an additional fortuitous feature. Mirror Bay was originally part of a river oxbow that stretched in a long arc through the foreign quarter, and down along the wall between the nest and the church district. It had become a separate oxbow lake long before humans settled here, as the river shifted course and the lands to the north and south filled in. The Stronghold and Church districts are low hills, which long ago were islands in the Volaga. They rise maybe 40 ft, enough to escape floodwaters but not reaching the level of the surrounding land.

When the city was built, it was first build in the Old Quarter on high ground nearly 150 ft above the water. A canal was dug (by Nithians?) between Mirror Lake and the River, creating a sheltered port. The King's hill was taller and more defensible, but too steep and rocky for a village with gardens. As the settlement expanded, the soggy Nest (once home to marsh-loving birds) was filled in and built up.

Most of the town is not really built on hills, so much as shoulders of the river valley that are separated by gentle ravines. The tops of the hills are generally all the same level as the surrounding land, but provide nice views of the river and valley. While significant parts of the city are in the ravines, the western half of the city, particularly the Old Quarter and South End, is built at this 150 ft elevation level ground, and that is generally taken as the elevation of the town. The one true "hill" that rises above the surrounding land is of course The Hill, crowned by the ducal palace. The hill rises maybe 50 feet above the surrounding land, enough to be noticeable, and the palace is built at the highest point
Great reasoning, Mike,
That the city is built on hills/hillocks comes from K:KoA pg 38:
The city sprawls over a number of small, rolling hillocks that cradle a large lake known as Mirror Bay, which takes its name from its smooth,
placid nature. One hill rises higher than the others and is known simply as “The Hill.”
I guess my problem with having all the hillocks at 150 ft is the potential steepness of the streets.
I did my best with a contour map included in this article at the Vaults.
I'm just worried that if Mirror Bay is no more than 10 foot above sea level then the steepness of the streets will increase in order to agree with the given altitude of 150 foot for the city...
I'm sure we can figure a way around this

regards,
AllanP
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My Specularum website includes Specularum City maps and FC1 Work In Progress

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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by Argentmantle » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:02 pm

I took a very quick look at the geography of Specularum. These are based on a hill that is about 175 feet above sea level, i.e., the tallest point on the map. I started with a base height of 110 feet and realized that it could be used at the 75 feet and still look okay.

Image

Here is the same map from an absolutely terrible angle, I'll try to rerender it today from a more appealing POV.
Image

I did rough up the coast a bit, I fell into habit as I was working on it.

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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by Robin » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:59 pm

AllanP wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:17 pm
I guess my problem with having all the hillocks at 150 ft is the potential steepness of the streets.
I did my best with a contour map included in this article at the Vaults.
I'm just worried that if Mirror Bay is no more than 10 foot above sea level then the steepness of the streets will increase in order to agree with the given altitude of 150 foot for the city...
I'm sure we can figure a way around this

regards,
As the Trail map says Specularum is at +150'above sea level
You say from KkoA that it is build on hills of which one is significantly higher.

This means several possibilities
A the port of the city (which was commonly used to measure in RL) is at 150', the hills vary above this the 40' or so suggested by Mike. this makes the river lower 150' to the sea in roughly 11 miles(see link)-- a bit more than 13.6' per mile, a very low flow angle of only 3%...reasonable to alow upstream flow.
http://www.pandius.com/Threshold_21_Mar ... te_Map.png
B the average city is at 150' meaning the port is lower and the top of the hills higher, however this is rarely done in RL, and if then only in areas with no reference points like rivers and distinctive landmarks like hills, using current measuring technologies, something I would no find logical in Mystara..
C The Top of the Hill , where the castle is set upon is 150', which in RL is done sometimes, yet not often. Usinge the same values meas that the Sea tides and spring tides will have serious effects on the river and port. As such is not mentioned anywhere in the canon sources, the chance is very low.

Option A seems to be the best. I would suggest the Hill itself be 40'-50'higher than the port, the lower hills 20'-35' and the areas in between 15'to 30' this would be reasonable soft hills, without too deep gulleys to build a city upon. If this is too low you could double these numbers at maximum, yet I would refrain from that, or even go higher still. Then the whole setup becomes different.
Last edited by Robin on Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by Robin » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:09 pm

@ Argentmantle...
Wow... great work.
and so fast

I would however, (sorry) keep the Hill itself connected to the lower side hills, instead creating deep gulleys around The Hill. This way you will have an elevated area with one large top hill and two medium elevation hills with inbetween a general low elevatrion flowing down to the port and city limits on the other directions

As such I would see the lines of elevation in this map of specularum only 5'
Image
Just to ponder on.
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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by Robin » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:21 pm

AllanP wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:25 am
Robin wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:32 pm
Interesting to know how this project does fare?
For a 3d Specularum/Mirros would be really awesome
Sadly this is one of those projects that just got overtaken by other things as indicated by Scarecrow's last post, and in the meantime along came something called Threshold Magazine which became my main focus for Mystara-related work... and we did at least manage to get the Specularum city book published a s issue #21 of Threshold.
I'd liker to revisit the idea of a "3D" map of Specularum sometime, but need to find the time (plus skill) to do it.

regards,
I totally understand
Sometimes one project has to slumber to allow the others to grow.
A friend of mine tried before he perished to make Threshold using the Unreal engine, (one solid block of data where you remove what unwanted is and decorate the surfaces with illustrations reszembling buildings and such. I have seen his work, yet after his demise all became lost and could not be retrieved or shared with others.
There is a PC game (I forgot the name, sorry :? ) where you are a thief character which has to escape a D&D like prison (in medieval Paris) from the beginning and then become more skilled doing more wondrous stuff, at the end the game slowly drives away from D&D like phantasy however. Why i mention this is vecause this used a similar engine with great detail which could easily be used to make a city like Specularum (although I think it would need a heck of a database to enable it)
last option I would come up with is the World of Warcraft engine, which becomes better with every update. I know the free WOW sites use the same , and maybe the engine itself can be found to create other areas
just an idea
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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by Argentmantle » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:33 pm

From my interpretation of the material, it sounds like that the 'southern', 'northern', and 'keep' hills are each a separate entity, extending almost all the way to the local elevation before starting anew. I want to say that the term is called prominence.

I.e. Everest is the highest peak, but Mt. Kilimanjaro actually has a higher prominence, i.e. its rise from the surrounding terrain.

I absolutely could be wrong with this. If there is a definitive source, I'd be more than happy to sculpt the terrain up if someone could help me populate it with buildings, city walls, and the like.

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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by Robin » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:14 pm

Argentmantle wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:33 pm
From my interpretation of the material, it sounds like that the 'southern', 'northern', and 'keep' hills are each a separate entity, extending almost all the way to the local elevation before starting anew. I want to say that the term is called prominence.

I.e. Everest is the highest peak, but Mt. Kilimanjaro actually has a higher prominence, i.e. its rise from the surrounding terrain.

I absolutely could be wrong with this. If there is a definitive source, I'd be more than happy to sculpt the terrain up if someone could help me populate it with buildings, city walls, and the like.
I totall understand.
Yet even if these hills were more individual, the erosion and usage of the area would inevitably over the decades (and this is done in only a few decades withnease, and without noticing done in any city of thise days in centuries) fill in the lower deeper areas, both out of normal erosion, dumoing filth, landfilling, to make easier acces/transport possible.
However, I would add sewers in these lower areas, covered by earth/filth so the overall impression would seem to be more flat, yet also incorporate the sewers Specularam is also known about. As the water is always flowing in the sewers however slow or fast, depending on weather, their also has to beone or two minor sources of water, a well or lost decater of endless water, or similar.
Following the 3d map you made thusfar, you can easily mimick where these sewers would be, and thus also where the area on the surface would be higher
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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by AllanP » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:54 pm

Just a few notes on what I think my thoughts were when I first drew the contour map of Specularum,,,

Based on the canon description I had Mirror Bay in the bowl of some small hillocks. In discussing this on the Piazza someone (I forget who) suggested there should be 7 hills/hillocks (a la Rome being built on 7 hills) as opposed to the 5 I originally drew. Even though the "Roman 7 hills"might be more appropriate for Thyatis, we went with it.
My vision was that from Mirror Bay going west, the land rose to the top of the larger of the hillocks (dubbed by the locals "The Hill") on top of which was the 13 ft mound that was the base for Duke Stefan's castle.
To the north-east of Mirror Bay, a smaller hillock was the site of the Radu's Stronghold District, and to the south-east of the harbour, another hillock became the site of the Church District.
Another hillock, south-west of the bay was where much of the early settlement grew (now most of it in the Nest District),
To the north-west of the bay another hillock was originally farmland before being built on, the "dip" between it and The Hill providing some of the route of the Westron Alley.
In the south of the city area, just inside the inner wall, there were two more small hillocks - the "dip" between them delineating the main pt south from the city.
I think the location of these hillocks stand, but I would agree that the heights I originally marked might need some adjustment in order to match the canon statement that the city is at an altitude of 150 ft and with the reckonings that Mike made in his earlier post about the river level being closer to sea level.

As you will have seen, the development of the city based upon the seven hill/hillock landscape, together with agathokles' original Specularum history article at The Vaults inspired tharticle I produced for issue #21 of Threshold Magazine - "The History of Specularum". So I would be very gratified to see my scribbled drawings that aatempt to map the city turned into a more 3D model.

regards,
AllanP
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Hugin
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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by Hugin » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:03 pm

Argentmantle wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:02 pm
I took a very quick look at the geography of Specularum. These are based on a hill that is about 175 feet above sea level, i.e., the tallest point on the map. I started with a base height of 110 feet and realized that it could be used at the 75 feet and still look okay.
This is awesome, Argentmantle! What software are you using to create these?

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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by Argentmantle » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:11 pm

Photoshop and Wilbur... mainly Photoshop, I'm just using Wilbur for a round of precipitation erosion and some incise flow on larger scale stuff.

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Hugin
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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by Hugin » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:10 am

Argentmantle wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:11 pm
...I'm just using Wilbur for a round of precipitation erosion and some incise flow on larger scale stuff.
If you can, please, I'd love to know more about how you can incorporate elevation on map-making, especially how you are doing this "round of precipitation erosion". Simple links would be fine if time isn't on your side.

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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by Argentmantle » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:12 pm

There are some amazing tutorials for map making that are already available on the web but I’ll try to start you out with some of the basics that I use.
The first part is to create the basic land shapes and mountain ranges in Photoshop. Normally, I end up with a file cleverly named ‘Land-Shapes’ and a one named ‘Mountains, and so on. I also add in some rivers at the same time.
Step 1: Create a Black Background Layer
Create a document that is less than 5000 pixels on its longest side. For this tutorial I’m just using a 2048x1024 image. Fill the background layer with black. I normally title this layer something catchy like ‘Black Fill’ layer.
Step 2: Create your Land Mass
Create a new layer, name this layer Land Mass. Sketch out a shape that represents your land mass using the lasso tool. You can trace an existing map or draw out your own. Fill this shape with white using the paint bucket tool.
Step 3: Sketch out the Basic Shapes of Your Mountains
Create a new layer called Mountains. Draw out the basic shape of your mountain ranges using the lasso tool. Fill this area with white.
Step 4: Sketch out the Rivers & Lakes
Create a new layer called Rivers & Lakes. I use the brush tool with a width of about 10 pixels for creating a rough river and lake mask map or pathing for more complicated designs. You can use a much smaller brush size to create finer rivers (I start at 1 or 2 pixels but 5 or 10 is a good number to be highly visible. Make sure that black is your chosen color. Sketch out the Rivers. For this, I’ll demonstrate the brush tool.
Step 5: Saving the land-shape for Wilbur
Save your file as a .PNG. I title this file land-shapes.png.
Step 6: Saving the Mountain Shape for Wilbur.
Next to your layers, you’ll see a little ‘eye’ icon. Go ahead and click this icon off next to Land Mass. Save this file as mountains.png.
Step 7: Open Wilbur
Step 8: Open your Land-Shapes.png file.
Step 9: Select your Land-Shapes.png file.
Click Select, choose Load Selection, and select your Land-Shapes.png file. This should select the shape of your land in full.
Step 10: Create the Land-Shapes Mounds
Now, you will go ahead and fill the area with mounds. Since this just for getting the basic shape of the mounds, I’ll use the default settings. Choose Filter, select Fill, and the Mounds. It should open a dialog box. Simply click ‘okay’.
Step 11: Save the Land-Shape-Mounds
Click File, choose Save As and save your file as land-shape-mounds.png.
Step 12: Deselect
Tap CTRL+D in Wilbur to Deselect.
Step 13: Open your mountains.png file.
Step 14: Select your mountains.png file.
Click Select, choose Load Selection, and select your mountains.png file. This should select the shape of your land in full.
Step 15: Create the Mountain Mounds
Fill the selected area with mounds by tapping CTRL+M and then click okay. We’re using the default settings again.
Step 16: Save your Mountain Mounds file.
Click File, choose Save As and save your file as mountain-mounds.png.
Step 17: Back to Photoshop
Return to Photoshop
Step 18: Hide the Layers in your main file by clicking the eye next to each one. Only leave the Black Fill layer visible.
Step 19: Open your land-shape-mounds.png file and copy it to your working photoshop file.
Step 20: Change the Opacity
Make you land-shape-mounds.png opacity 20%.
Step 21: Open your mountain-mounds.png file and copy it to your working photoshop file.
Step 22: Change the blend mode of your mountain-mounds.png layer to ‘Lighten’.
Step 23: Reactivate your Land-Mass layer by pressing the ‘eye’ icon. Make its opacity 5%.
Step 24: Save your file as combined-mounds.png.
Step 25: Open combined-mounds.png in Wilbur.
Step 26: Add Noise
Click Filter, then Noise, then Percentage Noise. Make the percentage 10%.
Step 27: Select Land-Shapes.png.
Select, then Load Selection, then choose your land-shapes.png file again.
Step 28: Precipitation Erosion
Choose Filter, Erosion, Precipiton Based. Change passes to 2. Click okay.
Step 29: Add noise.
Add 10% noise again.
Step 30: Fill basins.
Choose Filter, Fill, Fill Basins, and click okay.
Step 31: Invert Selection
Choose Select then Inverse Selection
Step 32: Set Elevation to 0.
Choose filter, fill, set value. Then choose set value 0. Leave it set to replace.
Step 33: Deselect
Tap CTRL+D to deselect.
Step 34: Erosion
Choose filter, erosion, incise flow. Choose amount 4, flow exponent 1, effect blend 1, pre-blur .5, variable blur 1, post blur 2.
Step 35: Select Land Shapes
Select, then Load Selection, then choose your land-shapes.png file again.
Step 36: Fill basins.
Choose Filter, Fill, Fill Basins, and click okay.
Step 37: Add noise.
Add 10% noise again.
Step 38: Fill basins.
Choose Filter, Fill, Fill Basins, and click okay.
Step 39: Erosion
Choose filter, erosion, incise flow. Choose amount 3, flow exponent .75, effect blend 1, pre-blur 1.
Step 40: Fill basins.
Choose Filter, Fill, Fill Basins, and click okay.
Step 41: Erosion
Choose filter, erosion, incise flow. Choose amount 2, flow exponent . 5, effect blend .75, pre-blur 1.
Step 42: Blur
Select Filter, Blur, Gaussian, choose 1.
Step 43 Fill basins.
Choose Filter, Fill, Fill Basins, and click okay.
Step 44: Erosion
Choose filter, erosion, incise flow. Choose amount 1, flow exponent . 25, effect blend .5, pre-blur .5.
Step 45: 3d preview
Choose Window, 3D Preview Window, and type .0005 into the Vertical Scale. Click update… and hopefully we have a nice looking bit of terrain.

I'll write this up a bit more formally and screen shot it for a better tutorial.

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Hugin
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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by Hugin » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:52 am

Wow, that was amazingly far beyond what I was even hoping for! Thank you!

But I'm embarrassed to ask - could you provide the proper link for Wilbur? My google-fu on this has given me a solid D+ grade (the 'plus' being solely for effort). I'm not familiar with Wilbur at all.

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Hugin
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Re: Geography of Specularum

Post by Hugin » Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:26 am

Hugin wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:52 am
But I'm embarrassed to ask - could you provide the proper link for Wilbur? My google-fu on this has given me a solid D+ grade (the 'plus' being solely for effort). I'm not familiar with Wilbur at all.
Finally found it! And playing around with now. I'm rarely this excited to do things that I haven't a clue about!

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