Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Quiet is bliss. And is good for the Flow.

Mum once said, angrily, 'everything's a disturbance to you: me, your best friend, your boyfriend'. I was twenty, so that made me feel guilty; but it's been twenty years since, and I learnt that without any distractions is how I work best - knowing that nothing, no one, is going to approach me for the next 72 hours does wonders to my productivity. But it needs to be a really decent while, not a few hours or a day. And I need to be in the mood.

Husband is abroad for work until the weekend. We declared a break in the guild, I ordered pre-cooked meals in for the whole week, and so I can just... study. All day long. No distractions, no interference, no phone calls, no door knocks, no husband, nothing. The only distraction I had today was a cockroach, and you can imagine what happened to it. 

Marlamin and I have been catching up and discussing Argus, and he said 'we need an Azeroth globe' and I said 'dude, easy' and said 'there's that wow minimap project I've been keeping for the past seven years' and so...

It was so much fun! I took all his maps and stitched them together, then joined forces with Lucky for the research and scouting various sources about the parts that are supposed to be there but aren't in the game (Kul Tiras, Zandalar, Plunder Island, Tel'Abim). Once we gathered all there is to know (Tel'Abim: It's west of Kalimdor. It has bananas. Not much to work with) I had to decide what's the terrain and climate there, and make it myself. I love world design, even if there's never time to do anything with all the stories I come up with. I mean, Tel'Abim, bananas; I decided it was kind of south Thailand, tropical, humid, with wide beaches on the west (towards Tanaris, so similar) and rocky cliffs on the north, towards Kezan - a good place for pirates to hide ships and goods in as they cross from Plunder Island towards Kalimdor, or flee from the goblin tax collectors of Undermine, or... so many stories that will never become anything. Gah.

When the whole map was cobbled I made streams in the sea, then combined that with the surface of Mars to give the sea variety, then slapped on a couple of layers of clouds and atmosphere and some lighting and that's what up here in the image, but then I spent the rest of the day learning to make a 360 spacescape and I botched it like there's no tomorrow, and it's a 192M file and I think I could smell my graphics card smoking. And then I went to animate it but I realized the clouds need to change shape, not only location, meaning I can't use a picture, I need it procedural, so I went back to Blender to toy with procedural textures and at that point, after three days of non-stop heavy files and layers upon layers of calculating maths, blender crashed. Then it crashed four more times, so I figured my puter needs some rest.

...So I went to fix that space pirate model, which only crashed Blender once.

Oh look, it's the bottom line already! And four in the morning! Three days of a study-creative flurry; here's hoping the rest of the week will be the same.


  1. Hello!

    This is an amazing work. The best Azeroth model I've seen. So many details added and so much effot put. Is it possible for you to share map image (or psd) with me? I'd like to use it in my WoW video. With all credits to you, of course.

  2. Hey, Dmitry. Please mail me (belvane at gmail dot com) with this request, alright? I'll see if I can pack the map into a reasonable size.