I’ve been wanting to write a post about reader reviews, but I haven’t really gotten it to say what I want it to say. So I decided to find something else to write about while I hammer at that one.
That something else is a program called FlowScape by Pixel Forest Games. I found this a year or so ago, and it’s a fantastic addition to my art apps. FlowScape is a 3-D game (I view it more as a painter app) that lets you create beautiful landscapes with a few clicks of your mouse. And it’s cheap ($10 as of this writing). You can purchase it as a stand-alone or through Steam.
Yes, you need to make certain your computer can handle running a 3-D program, but if you have the specs, I recommend it. It’s an easy way to create a realistic-looking and unique landscape for things like book ads, video backgrounds and more.
FlowScape is easy to learn, even if you have no 3-D experience. Select a landscape type (some are hilly, some are mountainy, some have more ocean) and choose the type of rock you want as a base. Next, select grass or trees or rocks, change the size of the paint brush and how many iterations of the object you want, and paint. That’s it. If you’re into 3-D modeling, you can import models, but it’s not necessary to create a wondrous landscape (I stick to what’s already there).
FlowScape has several types of things to put into the landscape; rocks, grasses, trees, bushes, flowers, buildings, fences, bunnies, deer … there’s a lot of stuff. You can change the sky from dawn to dusk. You can make the atmosphere light or dark. Add fog! And it’s all done with a click from your mouse.
I use FlowScape images as backgrounds for many things, including book ads, book trailers and pictures for my World Anvil sites. It’s a handy tool for someone like me, who wanted the look and feel of a 3-D landscape but found modeling intimidating (that may change once I really start to use 3-D software, but I haven’t had the time to truly study it yet).
You can use the in-game camera to take a PNG, or use the video feature to film the landscape. If you have an Nvidia card, you can use Ansel to take snapshots of the scene. Perhaps not typical, but I use OBS (software used by streamers and those who record video) to film some of the landscapes I’ve created, which I then use as video backgrounds.
While you can import, exporting isn’t available, so more experienced 3-D users may find that frustrating. It has an easy learning curve, but if you have problems, their Discord is helpful, and they have a Reddit page.
There are galleries in the app, on Discord, Reddit, and Facebook, so you can get a feel for what’s possible with the program. People not only use it to create pretty pictures, they use it for things like dungeon maps. There’s a lot you can do with the game.
Below are some of the landscapes I’ve created, and how I’ve used them.
Book ad background for Ambercaast: Lapis of Nicodem Book 2.
Background graphic for a Character Video (WIP) in The Wellspring Dragons World
Featured Image for World Anvil article Languages, in The Wellspring Dragons World
Landscape for World Anvil article, in The Wellspring Dragons World
Background book trailer for The Wellspring Dragons books
Background for character portrait
FlowScape has been an awesome addition to my art apps. I use it often. It’s a great way to quickly capture the feel of a place, be it a wide-open tundra or a castle ruin, a winter wonderland or a tropical paradise. FlowScape 2 is on its way, which will allow the creation of huge landscape vistas. Pixel Forest is the sole programmer, so if you purchase the game, you’re supporting a single person who has brought a lot of joy to many users.
Lapis has revealed Perben to be the rebel traitor, but his support is vast. His mentors refuse to believe his guilt because it calls into question their involvement with the Jilvaynian rebellion. The mentors want Lapis to testify against him, hoping they can tear her down and show her to be a fraud, then demand Perben’s release.
For eight years, Lapis had sought vengeance against the rebel traitor who helped Jilvayna’s palace guard invade Nicodem and slaughter her family. Perben is now exposed, but ranking rebels who see their own fates twisted into his try to downplay and ignore his vicious betrayal, and view discrediting and harming her as the solution to their problems. Disgusted, her brother Faelan, Leader of the Rebels, and Midir, the true heir to the Jilvaynian throne, contemplate drastic measures against internal threats.
Lapis wants nothing more to do with the rebellion, but those she cares for are entwined with it. She becomes a reluctant go-between for Faelan and Midir, while attempting to keep her career as a chaser viable and the street rats who visit her reading circle safe. On top of it all, the brewing underwar between opposing criminal enterprises has brought added danger to the streets of Jiy, in the form of syndicate battles and the Dentherion soldiers King Gall enlisted to quell them.
The attempted crackdown on syndicate movement by empire troops endangers the street rats, the rebellion, and the delicate agreement between Faelan and his potential Dentherion ally. Lapis’s partner, Patch, believes the solution lies in Ambercaast, a Taangis Empire ruin where Hoyt, the guttershank who instigated the underwar, fled. Hoyt is staked by the rebellion as well as several criminal syndicates, becoming a tantalizing target for any competent chaser. Patch sees a quick in, a quick out, and a huge payout.
Lapis hopes their stake is as simple as it sounds.
Ambercaast is part of the Lapis of Nicodem serialized fantasy series.