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Riddle

parallax My First Parallax Maps

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I have a few parallax maps I'd like critique on, I currently have no use for them except examples for my level of mapping. Over the maps, I have some lighting that can be put in games as overlays; I have two different kinds of light, outdoor and indoor. Outdoor's style is based on the top left corner with beams of light, as well as darkness surrounding the edges to create a contrast effect (based partly off of Echo607's lighting tutorial). Indoor's style has a dark overlay with low-opacity erasing where light comes from (windows, lights, and doorways), as well as a few beams and 'lighting fogs' as I call them (low opacity yellow or white over the light source). Here they are.

 

 

The forest map, my first and probably best because I spent the most time and effort on it. The things I personally dislike or would criticize are the mix of RPG Maker grass and GIMP-brushed grass (all the same color, not pixel art-styled) and the lighting's lack of subtlety, though I'm not sure exactly how to fix that, and since it's an old map it'd be a major pain to fix the first issue.

Forest%20-%20Day_zpshgpkgycp.png

Night:

Forest%20-%20Night_zpshqsl9kkt.png

EDIT: Using some awesome tips from one of the commenters, I have a different night sample of the forest. It had a different light type, slightly tweaked fireflies, and a yellow overlay set on subtract for the blue effect (I'll be using the other, more time-consuming suggestions for later maps and/or when I have more time).

Forest%20-%20Night%203_zpsb3tazmbf.png

Here's the indoor map. I felt like I didn't put in as much time or effort on this one, and the non-overlay lighting could sue some work. I didn't find many specific issues with this one, it just felt sub-par.

Indoor_zpsliz9449h.png

This is a newer version with slightly different lighting (beams of light instead of an overuse of 'lighting fog'; I kind of forgot to do light beams on the lamp, though):

Indoor%20-%202_zpsjjasqp8t.png

 

 

Here's a newer map, too! It's definitely my best (in my opinion). I hope you like it too; share any feedback you have for me.

 

 

The day version of the map; I feel like it needs something to compete with the night map, but I'm not sure what. I liked the night map a little more, though this one's more simple.

Dense%20Forest%20-%20Day_zpsouytls0z.png

Night version. I liked the contrast and enchanted feel of the pond, though the map's light felt a little excessive for just moonlight. What should I do about that while keeping dramatic and positive effects?

Dense%20Forest%20-%20Night_zps2ltr4mxy.p

 

 

Edited by Riddle

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Looking good. Just too much open space on the interior pictures. Split it into 2 or 3 rooms and/or add more objects.

Thanks for the input, I never really noticed that. I knew there was something off about the interiors, and I think that's it. It wasn't meant to be a full house, but yes, I think it would look good separated into different rooms.

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The maps look very nice. The house could use some interior walls and more clutter, as lianderson already said. As for the night picture, I think it is lacking some contrast, so you can't see the details very well. What I usually do for night pictures is using a yellow filled layer on top of the day map, and set the blending mode to 'subtract', it gives a nice dark blue hue over the picture and keeps all the details visible. I did that to your forest map to show you the results:

post-65496-0-43990600-1466607757_thumb.png

 

If you want to make some light effects (for example, those fireflies) you can use a blue or black brush on this yellow layer. I also wouldn't use those sun rays on the night picture, as I think it doesn't fit the night theme. I hope these hints will help you develop your mapping skills!

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The maps look very nice. The house could use some interior walls and more clutter, as lianderson already said. As for the night picture, I think it is lacking some contrast, so you can't see the details very well. What I usually do for night pictures is using a yellow filled layer on top of the day map, and set the blending mode to 'subtract', it gives a nice dark blue hue over the picture and keeps all the details visible. I did that to your forest map to show you the results:

attachicon.gifForest - Day_zpshgpkgycp.png

 

If you want to make some light effects (for example, those fireflies) you can use a blue or black brush on this yellow layer. I also wouldn't use those sun rays on the night picture, as I think it doesn't fit the night theme. I hope these hints will help you develop your mapping skills!

Thanks for the amazing tips! That looks great, though a few colors (flowers, mushrooms, etc.) were a little off. Still, I'll do that and tweak it to my liking, then come back for critique. The reason I used the beams was because they're moon rays, not sun rays. I really want to do that because I think it looks good on a night map, though I think you're right - I need to make them look somewhat different (at least) to tell you that they're not both sun rays. Do you think a different style of rays, leaving it the same, tweaking it minimally, or no beams at all will work best? (I posted a new night picture in the first post using your advice)

Edited by Riddle

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Hmm, you're right, it could work as moonlight, but maybe without that heavy splash of light on the corner. As for the colors being off, I agree, for the night pictures you should tweak the hue/saturation of different colors for it to look right.

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Hmm, you're right, it could work as moonlight, but maybe without that heavy splash of light on the corner. As for the colors being off, I agree, for the night pictures you should tweak the hue/saturation of different colors for it to look right.

What do you think of the new night picture underneath the original one? I took your advice, as far as I can tell.

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I think it is still somewhat opaque and lacking contrast, making it hard to distinguish the details.. Maybe you're lowering the "lightness", applying a dark layer on multiply or something similar? I usually apply only the yellow layer on subtract directly on the "day" map... If I try to lower the light directly it may become too dark and you lose the details, making it hard for a player to actually see what's on the map. For the light, the one you used now is more subtle, I think it's better for the night theme.

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I think it is still somewhat opaque and lacking contrast, making it hard to distinguish the details.. Maybe you're lowering the "lightness", applying a dark layer on multiply or something similar? I usually apply only the yellow layer on subtract directly on the "day" map... If I try to lower the light directly it may become too dark and you lose the details, making it hard for a player to actually see what's on the map. For the light, the one you used now is more subtle, I think it's better for the night theme.

Thank you for the prolonged help! Do you think lowering the opacity of the yellow layer will help, or something else? I do have a 'night' layer which is completely black on fairly low opacity, should I turn that down/off, or maybe both? I'm glad you like the lighting, it's also given me some insight on how to do later varying light types.

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Yes, that black layer may be causing this effect, my advice is to turn it off. As for the yellow layer, you should experiment with its opacity, saturation and lightness and try to achieve the best results. The lighter the yellow layer, the darker your map will become, so use a darker shade of yellow so everything remains visible.

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Yes, that black layer may be causing this effect, my advice is to turn it off. As for the yellow layer, you should experiment with its opacity, saturation and lightness and try to achieve the best results. The lighter the yellow layer, the darker your map will become, so use a darker shade of yellow so everything remains visible.

I updated the old picture, how is it now? I also have a new map I did today, it's better than my other ones (I think) and I tried out doing water for the first time with very little instruction, so I need feedback on that. The help you're giving me is much appreciated, thanks again.

Edited by Riddle

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I think it looks much better! Now even the fireflies are looking more natural and are blending nicely with the scene!

I'm glad you're satisfied, and I think I am too! What's your thoughts on the newest map? It's in a separate spoiler from the other one.

Edited by Riddle

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I think it looks great. Through a gameplay point of view, it could use some more space for the characters to walk around... I think forest maps benefit from having a path or a clearance so that the characters will be visible when they walk through there.

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Hmm, on your night pond map I feel the water, rather than the beams themselves, is whats too bright. Maybe darken it just a little?

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Your maps look great and you have some great ideas! For maps that are done outside (and even inside), getting down natural lighting, and the way objects react to light can do a ton to add depth and "realism" to your maps. For maps that are made with poor lighting or done at night, having some kind of light source can sort of break up a scene, it not being as dull looking.

 

I quite liked your idea for adding firefly's to the map. They can be used as a great source of light. Illuminating the tops of trees or the ground as they dance around. Having any source of light, such as lanterns along a path, moonlight reflecting off water (Which shouldn't be too extreme. Very subtle), a torch, glowing plants.

 

I went and did a edit of your daytime map. Showing some small things you can look at adding.

2yu37n.png

I made the map a bit dark. Adding more firefly's around the area can make the map appear much brighter.

 

Environmental storytelling is another big thing you can do. I went and added two blue firefly's around that dead tree in the middle, (I had thought of just adding one to begin with). You can tell stories with your maps without actually having to explain something in words. Whether leaving the interpretation to the player or them having a meaning to just you. 

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I think it looks great. Through a gameplay point of view, it could use some more space for the characters to walk around... I think forest maps benefit from having a path or a clearance so that the characters will be visible when they walk through there.

Thanks! And you're right, I'll definitely do that for gameplay-intended maps, but this one... I don't know what I'll do with it. Its quality is above all my other maps on a dinky little RPG Maker game I'm making purely because I promised to (I came up with the idea awhile ago and I'm not too hyped with it anymore, but I'll try to make it good and hold to my word), but it's made with non-commercial RPG Maker graphics, so I can't use it in my upcoming actual, coded game (though I would like to remake it with my own graphics when I get good enough).

 

Hmm, on your night pond map I feel the water, rather than the beams themselves, is whats too bright. Maybe darken it just a little?

I kind of liked the glowing, mystical effect, but you're right, I should tone it down a bit to make it realistic.

 

Your maps look great and you have some great ideas! For maps that are done outside (and even inside), getting down natural lighting, and the way objects react to light can do a ton to add depth and "realism" to your maps. For maps that are made with poor lighting or done at night, having some kind of light source can sort of break up a scene, it not being as dull looking.

 

I quite liked your idea for adding firefly's to the map. They can be used as a great source of light. Illuminating the tops of trees or the ground as they dance around. Having any source of light, such as lanterns along a path, moonlight reflecting off water (Which shouldn't be too extreme. Very subtle), a torch, glowing plants.

 

I went and did a edit of your daytime map. Showing some small things you can look at adding.

2yu37n.png

I made the map a bit dark. Adding more firefly's around the area can make the map appear much brighter.

 

Environmental storytelling is another big thing you can do. I went and added two blue firefly's around that dead tree in the middle, (I had thought of just adding one to begin with). You can tell stories with your maps without actually having to explain something in words. Whether leaving the interpretation to the player or them having a meaning to just you. 

Wow, that's a lot of great input! Thanks for the compliments (and feedback, of course!), you're totally right, and the edit looks beautiful (not like what I would do, but a great idea I can base mine off of, since we have unique styles). I'll work on integrating all these great pieces of advice I get into my future maps I'll actually put to use.

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I agree with some others about the open space in the living area. Maybe a wall divider between the kitchen and living room, with just a small walkway in between would help. Otherwise, the lighting is great, especially in the woods at night with the light bugs glowing.

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