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Housing in the countryside - old map, new trees

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#1
Pete

Pete

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I have been trying to come up with new "hero" trees for a while. The heroes in the maps I'd made for the housing in the countryside (here) were very simple shapes treated with Illustrator's 3D revolve tool to give a very stylised but recognisable tree. They worked well in the context of the map but I've been experimenting with a view to creating more realistic heroes ... a la Karpovage.

Attached File  new_heroes.gif   93.6KB   221 downloads

The trees at the top are the original housing in the countryside heroes. The two other groups of trees are my new "action heroes"! I recycled the skeletons from the dead trees (morbid, I know!) as the starting point and then set about creating foliage. I had looked at trying to use the map art functionality in the 3D tools to give the green bits of the trees a texture which sort of worked but there was no disguising the hard outer edges of the shade so I looked at using a leaf scatter brush and the blend tool to quickly create a mass of leaves that looked more natural.

The scatter brush is simple a leaf-shape with suitable size and scatter jitter. There is a slight difference in the leaves in the middle and bottom group in that the middle group has 2-tone leaves with a slightly lighter outer edge whereas the leaves in the last group are a single solid colour - in practical terms the 2-tone leaves were nice but the overall effect wasn't significantly different than the single coloured leaves.

#2
Pete

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Creating the tree canopy was simply a case of blending a small leafy elipse into a larger leafy elipse. The basic effect was good but it looked flat and "stuck on" so I used to layers of blend in two different colours to create a darker back layer and a lighter front layer. Offsetting the lowlights and highlights in each layer gave a stronger impression of volume.

Attached File  Untitled_1.gif   99.35KB   137 downloads

For the coniferous trees, a curved line was blended into a sharper curved line to create a cone shape mass as opposed to a sphere.

#3
Pete

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To test-drive the new trees I replaced the basic tree shapes in one of the housing in the coutryside maps with the new heroes. They don't work in this context particularly well - the more detailed trees clash a bit with the simple buildings - but there is potential ..!

Attached File  test_new_heroes.gif   565.57KB   199 downloads




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