How to draw awesome 3D dungeons from geomorphs

This is overdue…

A few months ago I played a bit with some geomorphs and cape up with an awesome 3D map thingie. But never told anyone how. Now it’s time: that post generates more traffic by itself than the next two pages of this blog, so I think that the technique is worth sharing, and I want to fuel the fires of next year’s One Page Dungeon Contest. 😉

Back to the ’90s! I did 5 years of drafting classes between middle school and high school, most of the time spent doing projections of models. Back in the day it was all H3 and HB pencils, compass, straight edge and squares, and my AD&D game-mastering was horrifyingly bad. Drafting since then got much easier due to cheap computers, but sadly my refereeing skills didn’t keep up with it.

Ok, I started to ramble like an old man. The point is that I learnt how to do a bunch of projections back then and I used almost the same techniques now to draw Axos’s Dungeon. The following images explain how to easily project vertical and horizontal geomorphs so they can be tiled (easily as there are more complex and artsy ways to do it but I can’t be bother to tutorize them as I’m starting to suffer from image manipulation allergy, hence unfixed typos in the tutorial). Go to Wikipedia to get more clues, and sorry in advance if the projection is not isometric (it’s actually dimetric, but it doesn’t need to be isometric, the projection police won’t come to round you up anyway). After the projections are created I suggest to save each variation (two for each vertical and horizontal tile, four if you count the mirrors) if you plan to use them more than once. The geomorphs below are from Dyson Logos.


Tessellate at will 😉

There are less easy but possibly more interesting and surely less sane ways to do the same:

  • If you know OpenGL, just texture tiles on cubes on screen.
  • If you are good at papercraft, make geomorphic dice, then take a picture of the assembled result.
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10 thoughts on “How to draw awesome 3D dungeons from geomorphs

  1. Pingback: 69: Random Unsubstatiated Hypothesis « Lost Papers of Tsojcanth
  2. Pingback: Hypothesis 69 redux: Axo’s Dungeon for One Page Dungeon Competition 2012 « Lost Papers of Tsojcanth
  3. Very cool. We’re definitely going to experiment with this! Thanks very much for sharing this tutorial. You’ve given us serious motivation to complete the second set of geomorphs we’ve been working on.

    • Hey, flattery is always good and thanks for linking. I’ll make a post about this later on this very subject today hopefully. 🙂

  4. Pingback: 3D dungeons & graph paper « Lost Papers of Tsojcanth
  5. You seem to have gone through a formatting change that has put this article into an unreadably narrow column. It comes out one word or one character wide.

  6. Just wanted to say thank you for this post. I stumbled upon this page yesterday, and fell in love with this idea!

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