Malevolent Castle

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jonadab
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Post by jonadab »

Here are my first attempts at blue and green glow, coming out of windows.

I don't like them, either of them, at all. However, I'm not quite entirely sure why, in detail. I think the windows may be too small relative to the towers, but there's more going on than that. The colors may not be quite right either, but, again, I'm pretty sure there's more wrong with them than that. They just look... flat. Like the colour is painted on. I was aiming for a more atmospheric effect, where it looks like the glow is actively coming out of the windows, but I don't think I achieved that at all. Someone else want to have a crack at it?

WTL: ebilcastle-display.jpg depicts an interesting shape, but it needs shading at least, and maybe brick/mortar detail too.

Turin: would it be enough to put walls around the actual keep, or does the whole castle need to be walled? Maybe there is a way to keep the iron pike/fence idea and yet have walls? Or is the iron fence just not working in general? I wasn't going for a graveyard look (if I were, there'd be tombstones), just a dark old spooky mansion/castle, but I was thinking iron fencing would fit with that. Perhaps not?

Another idea came to me, that I'll toss out: what about some ivy? Or would the moss that was already suggested be better?
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Nerdanel
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Post by Nerdanel »

The first thing I thought when I saw those windows that someone had glued big jewels to tower sides. The perspective just isn't there. I think you should remember the thickness of the wall, which should be considerable, and add the window side that cuts through the wall.

Another things the castle could use in my opinion is making it have more sharp edges. Instead of a rounded square tower and rounded square stones at the top of it, I think you should use unrounded squares. In other words, make a sharp shade difference between the tower sides instead of blending them smoothly like now. Instead of slime, I think the towers could maybe look nice with a coarser kind of stone, giving the tower the look that it has been built without attention to aesthetics.

I think the walls should be more than just upright spikes, since those don't look like a credible castle defense. (An encampment would be a different thing, though, but I think even it could use some sort of horizontal bars.) Perhaps you could put the spikes on the top of a low stone wall.
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Post by Oreb »

to me the windows look like banners that are staining the walls, anyway i prefer WTL's castles
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Post by Thrawn »

The Raven wrote:to me the windows look like banners that are staining the walls, anyway i prefer WTL's castles
to me as well--I'm not sure on the small version how to fix this, but make decoreative brickwork around the window.
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Redeth
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Post by Redeth »

jonadab wrote:Here are my first attempts at blue and green glow, coming out of windows.

I don't like them, either of them, at all. However, I'm not quite entirely sure why, in detail. I think the windows may be too small relative to the towers, but there's more going on than that. The colors may not be quite right either, but, again, I'm pretty sure there's more wrong with them than that. They just look... flat. Like the colour is painted on. I was aiming for a more atmospheric effect, where it looks like the glow is actively coming out of the windows, but I don't think I achieved that at all. Someone else want to have a crack at it?
Flipped and mirrored the blue windows so they don't look like big candy protruding from the walls. I left the green intact to see the difference. I still don't like them, I prefer the more traditional red-fiery glow, animated or not. Perhaps with some white-greyish ghostly halos too, but why would there be any blue and green glow on a malevolent castle? Are the undead having a disco party? They invited a crazy wesnothian alchemist and he got drunk? Seriously, makes no sense to me.
jonadab wrote:Another idea came to me, that I'll toss out: what about some ivy? Or would the moss that was already suggested be better?
Any of these would be nice.
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jonadab
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Post by jonadab »

Nerdanel wrote:I think you should remember the thickness of the wall, which should be considerable, and add the window side that cuts through the wall.
Yes. Yes, yes, yes. How could I miss something like that? This is why art is not a significant part of my day job.
Nerdanel wrote:Perhaps you could put the spikes on the top of a low stone wall.
I will look into that probably after I have another go at the windows.
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Post by turin »

Nerdanel wrote:Perhaps you could put the spikes on the top of a low stone wall.
This would be my suggestion also, if you want to keep the spikes.




PS: Now I know what the towers remind me of... LEGOs!!! :P
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jonadab
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Post by jonadab »

A second shot at the windows.

I'm still not happy with this, but it's an improvement over the previous. What's still wrong with these windows, or the glow? Do the edge and sill not have enough depth, still, or are they right now? Is the lightness/saturation about right on the glowy background, or does that need adjusted? What about the opacity of the light streaking out? And does the light streaking out stop too abruptly? Is it too short, and should streak out further? Or should it fade out sooner? Anything else?

As for the lego-ish appearance of the top of the towers, I'm thinking of perhaps appropriating WTL's idea and decorating the top of the towers with some spikey things.

And regarding the walls, I'm thinking now that I like the idea of a low stone wall with the spikey fence mounted in it, so that the spikes stick out the top of the wall. Not sure yet the height ratio between the stone portion and the spikes, but the idea seems sound. I assume the stone portion of the wall should have similar appearance and coloring to the towers?
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Sapient
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Post by Sapient »

I agree that the LEGO look is not very scary. Also, large open windows appear inviting rather than spooky, and pastel glows are not particularly threatening either.

A smaller window, maybe symbol-shaped, with an unnatural dark red glow would be far scarier, IMO. If you remember the scene in Cirith Ungol there was a dark red glow from a lantern (based on the art of Ted Nasmith).
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Ranger M
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Post by Ranger M »

with the windows I would draw them deeper and then make the light less solid. at the moment you reach a wall of light.

Unfortunately I am not sure about exactly how you would go about fixing this, although some transparency with the light so that you can see both the window ledge and the light at once.

also I agree that the windows should be smaller.
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take 4

Post by jonadab »

I've gone ahead and sketched up stone walls, with the pikes coming out of the top. I think this basically looks okay, although I'm not sure whether the height of the wall is right, and I'm not sure about the spacing of the pikes, nor am I certain I've drawn the pikes correctly. For a concept sketch, though, it seems to work.

I tried experimenting with pikes on top of the tower, instead of the four corner bricks, but I'm not convinced it's an improvement, at least, not the way I've drawn it. Looks like back to the drawing board on the tops of the towers. Maybe I'll have another look at the tops of WTL's towers for further inspiration. Another possibility is to just pyramid-cap them, but I'm not convinced that would look scary either.

Then I had another go at the windows. They still suck, in some ways worse than before, but I think at least the size may be closer to right now. The sill and inside edge seem too "flat" (i.e., untextured) at the large sizes, but at the smallest size they almost get lost as it is, so it seems like any further detail will not be productive there. This may be my last attempt at the windows, as I seem to be coming up empty on those. Perhaps someone else can try to work them into shape? I might have one more try, with symbol shapes, but I doubt it will make much difference -- if we can't get the glow to look like something the shape of the window is pretty well moot, IMO.

Update: Windows? Who needs windows when you can have chalk drawings?

The .xcf with the layers is too large to post here (800K compressed with bzip2), so I am placing it in my personal webspace, here:
http://www.bright.net/~jonadab/temp/evi ... -4.xcf.bz2
I'll leave it there until I want the space for something else.
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Chalk drawings on the towers in lieu of nassty windowsses.
Chalk drawings on the towers in lieu of nassty windowsses.
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Malevolent Castle, Jonadab, Take 4, PNG for convenient forum viewing.
Malevolent Castle, Jonadab, Take 4, PNG for convenient forum viewing.
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Tomsik
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Post by Tomsik »

I think all windows should not be on same side of towers.
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Post by toms »

The red glow out of the windows looks good and interesting.
*same as Tomsik
And that what Sapient calls "a LEGO look" should be fixed. Make smaller bricks, and it will probably look better. And in future, when you are going to make the tile gfx, maybe a red half-transparent glow over all "walls between the towers".
And leave this look.(some say you shouldn´t) It looks cool. :wink:
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Sapient
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Post by Sapient »

Ok, now it is starting to look good. I think the red glowing window will only be one of the corners, and you should have something different (but thematically similar) at each corner. For example, one corner could have a blank tower wall with bits of a skeleton hanging from the side, another corner is overrun with moss and weeds, another corner has the top broken off. This will achieve the chaotic look of dischord.
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JW
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Post by JW »

All of the windows should be on the outside walls in the respective directions. Currently they are along the SW wall of each tower.

-edit-

I notice this comment has already been made, but I also suggest that the west and east towers be vertically aligned and not slanted as the current one is. The NW and SE towers should also be flipped 180 degrees to have proper alignment as well.

ps, the windows do look better.
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