Caverns Deep unofficial elevation tutorial

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AnimeSensei
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Re: Caverns Deep unofficial elevation tutorial

Post by AnimeSensei » Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:25 am

LorriZ, I love the setup! I'm going to copy it someday. Hope you don't mind. :D
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Re: Caverns Deep unofficial elevation tutorial

Post by Seraphis the Bland » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:07 pm

Thanks Law! Keep those pictures coming. I admit that CD doesn't naturally inspire my creating the way KS5 or DH does.

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Re: Caverns Deep unofficial elevation tutorial

Post by Rabbit Burner » Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:56 pm

LorriZ wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:25 pm
Rabbit Burner wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:18 am
We like that LZ :)

Very natural slope down into the cavern, can help but think a fog monster flowing fog through the entrance slowly cascading fog down into the cavern would look very cool.
Me too! I should have a pod on the way from the kickstarter, and when the fog monster 2 KS comes out, i will be on that too!
Pictures !! :D
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Re: Caverns Deep unofficial elevation tutorial

Post by LorriZ » Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:25 pm

Rabbit Burner wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:18 am
We like that LZ :)

Very natural slope down into the cavern, can help but think a fog monster flowing fog through the entrance slowly cascading fog down into the cavern would look very cool.
Me too! I should have a pod on the way from the kickstarter, and when the fog monster 2 KS comes out, i will be on that too!
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Re: Caverns Deep unofficial elevation tutorial

Post by Rabbit Burner » Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:18 am

We like that LZ :)

Very natural slope down into the cavern, can help but think a fog monster flowing fog through the entrance slowly cascading fog down into the cavern would look very cool.
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Re: Caverns Deep unofficial elevation tutorial

Post by LorriZ » Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:42 pm

Thank you for posting the tutorial. It helped me find some ideas for improving on the elevation in the corner of my build.
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Re: Caverns Deep unofficial elevation tutorial

Post by ForestZ » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:26 pm

What if you moved the elevation block to the middle and replaced both banks with corner banks so it slopes up both from the crumbling blocks and the elevation block?

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Re: Caverns Deep unofficial elevation tutorial

Post by Law » Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:07 pm

Vegomatic wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:23 am
How does it look to put a flat floor under the rising elevation block?
Imo it solves one problem and causes another. Now the block lines up better with the upper floor - but it lines up LESS well with the scatter rocks, because now the bottom of the crumble is higher than the top of the rocks instead of being level.

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Re: Caverns Deep unofficial elevation tutorial

Post by Vegomatic » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:23 am

How does it look to put a flat floor under the rising elevation block?

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Caverns Deep unofficial elevation tutorial

Post by Law » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:15 am

I took some pics right before Dreadhollow arrived, and only now am I getting around to posting them.

This is my attempt to help people think about how elevation works in Caverns Deep. There are basically three ways to move from one level to the next in Caverns Deep:

1) Use the passage ramp -- build one level on the table and the next two inches higher (support however you like, though on a terrain tray with stilts underneath is the most obvious). Then link the two by using the passage ramp. Couldn't be easier.

2) Use the cliffs. The straight "swell" cliffs are thick enough to serve as either a wall or a corner, which means you can place them down as the entire back wall of a cavern and then have the next level just start at the cliffs. This has become my absolute favorite way to do elevation in CD. It looks really good, it's very simple and easy to do, and at least based on what I was able to achieve, it made for the most satisfying tiered builds.

3) Use various CD pieces which "go up" together to create a gradual transition from one level to the next: the natural bridge, the rising elevation block and walls, the free-standing rock piles from the stalagmite set, the stone banks, even the large chunks on the large 6x6" cavern floor all combine in ways that, placed together in just...the...right...way, all work to move you from one level to the next.

In my experience, the problem with this last approach, tempting though it is, is that when you place enough of these pieces together to create something that doesn't unnaturally just stop and drop off suddenly at a straight line, it can very quickly become a cluttered mess. YMMV, of course, and some people LOVE the jumbled look. For me, it doesn't look messy in a natural and organic way, it just looks sloppy and cobbled-together.

That said, there are ways to make it work. It just has to be done very carefully and with a lot patience.

Here are some pics showing the most basic ways that pieces from CD can be combined to create a gradual incline.

This "layout" is comprised of:

regular walls
swell walls (just to reduce the "Square cavern" effect)
stone banks
the crumbling elevation block from Rising Elevation add-on
the walls from the Rising Elevation add-on
the free-standing rocks from the Stalagmite add-on
KS2 elevation blocks

Because I only had one of the crumbling elevation block, I couldn't use it symmetrically. I can't decide if it's worth it to pick up another add-on to give myself that option. It WOULD look better, but I'm not convinced it would look GREAT.

Notice how the elevation blocks, placed directly on the table, are pretty much even with the tops of the rocks from the stalagmite set. That makes those rocks a great natural transition. Unfortunately, everywhere those rocks AREN'T is a big square drop that looks awful. The Rising Elevation walls help solve that problem, by giving more "slowly rising" floors -- but of course they also close out the build, so this is the maximum length of that transition. You can always use more scatter rocks to get more length, but it's gonna start to look strange.

The other problem is that, while the "scatter" rocks line up perfectly with the elevation blocks, your upper level still doesn't have WALLS. You can place trifecta walls directly on elevation blocks, of course, but that leaves a dull floor. For that reason, I used stone banks to slope the floor up from flat to normal. It worked pretty well. Though it doesn't work as well with that crumbling block, which now stands out as not quite tall enough. If I had a way of creating more of a crater around it, it would look better -- here, it's just awkwardly sitting in an unnatural square hole. There may be ways to tinker further with this to try to make it work -- as you can see, this is a tricky approach to use, and requires a lot of trial and error.

In the end, I'm afraid that while it's tempting to use the banks and scatter rocks and rising elevation pieces to connect levels, I'm not sure it's worth it. Those pieces look really good just on their own, and combined I think the result just takes longer to work out, requires more pieces, is more limiting, and just never looks as good as simply using cliffs.

This layout doesn't use the natural bridge, because ultimately that doesn't really EVER line up as nicely as I'd like (for reasons I won't get into on this already-longwinded post) and it doesn't use the 6x6 floor or the stairway to violence base. The latter works fairly well, but more as a cliff than anything else, so I left it out here. Particularly in conjunction with the "convex corner wall" from Crooked Caverns, it's more of a sudden transition to a higher level than something that works with these other pieces to create a gradual rise.
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