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pasis
04-25-2010, 04:32 PM
Hello Guild,

This map is a warm up from an earlier work I didn't finish. I have been going back and forth with this as I hadn’t decided where to take it. So I went back to planning table and created a background, so that certain things have a purpose and cities etc will be there for a reason. Since that was done, it was a lot easier to continue.
I post this in low resolution as the original is quite big. Please let me know you thoughts and critique is most welcomed.

-Pasi

rpgmapmaker
04-25-2010, 04:57 PM
Nice warm up!

I love the colors you have chosen. I love the look of the rivers and trees. What did you use for the dark green trees... textures and brushes that sort of thing?

Reped!

Djekspek
04-25-2010, 06:01 PM
Gasp! that's awesome Pasis! Saw the thread where you started this some time ago and this came out VERY nice. Love the terrain details, erosion effects, mountains, trees.. well basically everything :)
If I can comment on such a great piece, the water seems a little 'flat'/purple colorwise. cheers!

Daelin
04-25-2010, 06:18 PM
You mean there is a higher resolution than this!? Gief!

Kaiser MacCleg
04-25-2010, 06:59 PM
That's incredible. How long has it taken you to get this far?

Yandor
04-25-2010, 07:22 PM
Wow, I'm glad to see another update, it still looks amazing as always! haha I see rpgmapmaker has the exact same question I got, how did you go about doing the forests, or the technique I guess?

Sigurd
04-26-2010, 12:59 AM
What resolution are you working at?

Jaxilon
04-26-2010, 01:39 AM
Very good looking stuff there. It almost looks totally real!

pasis
04-26-2010, 05:26 AM
Thanks guys for the kind words...Then some answers and explanations…

RPGMAPMAKER & YANDOR: Regarding the textures used I have made few of them with Genetica Viewer and used them with only minimal modifications. Then some of the textures are combination and modifications from several textures on top of eachother.
The tree texture is the one I used in my tutorial http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?4405 and actually it is a modification from my very first map (Bretoria) I did when I joined the guild. I just downsized the tree scale and applied some PS layer styles (drop shadow and bevel&emboss). Most of the look comes from bevel and emboss as I set the bewel size to 1, the contour to 0% and as texture I used the same tree texture and applied it in 500% depth. Attached is a sample of the original forest texture and then the same in the map itself with above settings and layer set to multiply.

DJEKSPEK: Yeah, I need to work on the water. I have tried few techniques to add body to the water, but I couldn’t create anything reasonable that would fit with the rest of the map.

KAISER MACCLEG: This has taken countless hours. I’m not the fastest mapmaker around and I usually tend to go too deep into details. I have seen guys making nice complete maps in an hour and I cannot make a coastline in that time :)

SIGURD: The complete map is 4096x4096 px, but I might take a small portion of from the right hand side.

Steel General
04-26-2010, 07:36 AM
Wonderful work here Pasis!

hohum
04-26-2010, 01:57 PM
I'm speechless. Have some rep.

Yandor
04-26-2010, 02:01 PM
wow still absolutely marvelous stuff here, and the trees haha I should of guessed they were the same from your tutorial (been pouring over it the last few days, messing around with the techniques, great work there!) But thanks, and keep up the good stuff.

pasis
04-27-2010, 03:28 PM
Here is a new sample, a closer look at one area. I have tweaked the water to have more feel to it and I ended up adding waves and some other small things. I like the outcome, but for some reason I keep on thinking that I like it because I spent so much time to create it. The modification is in several separate layers, so it is easy to edit and tweak if needed.
I have also added a lot of forest all over the map and next I will extend to the south and southwest.

Shaelic
04-30-2010, 12:54 PM
:o

This is incredible work! Any chance of a more detailed tutorial :)

alizarine
04-30-2010, 01:44 PM
just when I'm trying to decide on how to create region maps, I find this ^.^ I saw your Bretoria map awhile ago and just adored it, but decided it was too great to replicate; this, on the other hand is too perfect for what I had in mind NOT to try it ^_^I'd love to know if you used Fractal Terrains for this, or some other terrain program - I work in Photoshop since I'm very particular about the shapes of my landmasses, but have a hard time with bringing the land to life, so to speak. I can't for the life of me get something that doesn't like too flat ^.^; Anyway, fantastic job!

Yandor
04-30-2010, 02:35 PM
Alizarine he used a program called Geo Control, a marvelous program, but thats what gave him the depth and look of the mountains, (the black and white areas of the previous maps is from the program imported into photoshop, I believe he used photoshop atleast...") Then he used his personal techniques, many of which are from his tutorial, of course hes got his style perfected and looks amazing. (mind you it is a pain to replicate, I tried once with my experiment map Mardarin...)

Aval Penworth
05-01-2010, 01:37 PM
OMG OMG. So cool. Well done.

pasis
05-03-2010, 04:51 AM
Thank you guys, thank you... As Yandor says the ground works has been done with Geocontrol and outcome is a grayscale heightmap I export to Photoshop. Then I add new layers to mountains rivers, grassland, forest etc and put them to multiply on top of each other and start painting with suitable textures. The tricky part is to get good result from Geocontrol and I usually make several heightmaps and combine them into the final map in PS. One important thing is the creation / selection of suitable textures that match in color and scale.
I try to post an update later today if I get enough done and in meanwhile I'm waiting for improvement suggestion...

pasis
05-03-2010, 04:43 PM
Currently I'm painting mountains and rivers and will move to grassland textures tomorrow.

pasis
05-04-2010, 09:47 AM
I decided to work on the wolcanic island located northeast from the empire. It's not going to be a fully active volcano, but a restles one with slowly erupting lava.

Somehow this still seems to be missing something, but I don't know what.

Steel General
05-04-2010, 10:13 AM
Maybe a little bit of smoke coming from the mouth?

pasis
05-10-2010, 03:44 PM
I left the sleeping volcano as it is for now and ventured further trying to finish the main land. I’m going to a vacation and I couldn't finish as much as I had wanted, but I had to stop now. Maybe this will be in the finished maps section some day…

Yandor
05-10-2010, 04:44 PM
sheesh, absolutely wonderful stuff Pasis, I love the richness of the colors, and the little bit of graininess of it all, it seems like you've got a little bit more coloring to do, but I can't wait to see the final version in the Finished Maps! Well done

arsheesh
05-10-2010, 05:03 PM
I can't believe the amount of detail in this map! Incredible. Beautiful work Pasis. I wish I knew how you managed to get all of the (what I'm guessing are dozens) of layers and textures to integrate so naturally. In particular, it looks as if all of these colors and layers are somehow integrated into the same bump map, and share a common set of light and shadow effects. I've been trying to figure out how to do something similar in GIMP put to no avail. Anyway, my hat is off to your sir. Bravo, and enjoy a smidgen of rep.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

tilt
05-10-2010, 06:07 PM
Fantastic map once again pasis, I really like your style, and have also used it for my own first map on here (Mountain Realms). So first a comment on your volcano - I think it feels a little flat, I would like some more dynamics in the mountain - some dark gorges step drops to give it more height - the glowing red is perfect :)
Is it possible for you to post the height map you use to start from - I'm very curious as to how it looks before you start applying textures :)
And have some rep with my +2 sword of cool repping :)

pasis
05-19-2010, 04:59 PM
Fantastic map once again pasis, I really like your style, and have also used it for my own first map on here (Mountain Realms). So first a comment on your volcano - I think it feels a little flat, I would like some more dynamics in the mountain - some dark gorges step drops to give it more height - the glowing red is perfect :)
Is it possible for you to post the height map you use to start from - I'm very curious as to how it looks before you start applying textures :)
And have some rep with my +2 sword of cool repping :)

If I recall right I generated 5 different maps with Geocontrol. Mixed and combined them into 2 final maps in PS. I don't have the original five, but attached are the two I used as a bumpmap.
What comes to the volcano, I'm working on it now and I have got it already a bit better. I will post more samples later...

tilt
05-19-2010, 05:13 PM
thank you very much... very interesting to see - I wondered if it was something one could do by hand - but I can see, they are very detailed :)

pasis
05-20-2010, 05:19 PM
I worked on the volcano and made it look more dangerous. Even though it is not fully erupting, I wanted it to look dangerous and hostile and I'm starting to get there, I think. The left one is the new one and the old one is in the right. How do you feel? Is this a right direction?

Steel General
05-20-2010, 05:46 PM
I like the new one better, it's definitely got a more menacing vibe to it.

tilt
05-21-2010, 03:58 AM
definitly like the new one better - maybe you can go a little further with hard edges to make it even more dangerous :)

pasis
05-23-2010, 06:22 PM
I’m finished with the volcano…This is the best I can do…
I’m more or less finished with the base land mass texturing now and have been planting some forest lately. I’m adding the forest with quite a small brush and not by actually “drawing”, but “tapping” the forest to the map. By this way I can make the forest more natural looking, but takes more time and gives a sore forefinger.
Also added few marshes there (three of them altogether, if someone wants to find them). I didn’t have a marsh texture in my library, so I had to create a new one from scratch (which was much harder I remembered) and I’m not sure if I will keep it as it is.

tilt
05-24-2010, 02:54 AM
looks really good - a few of the snow caps look a litte cloudy and could perhaps benefit from a slight rock texture to "ground them"

pasis
05-29-2010, 06:22 AM
Started adding civilization, but still got lot to do (many cities and villages to be added and most of the roads are missing too). Experimented also with labeling and compass. Do you think the the label and compass should stand out more or is it good as it is when it blends a bit with the ocean? I though the blending would be good as there is already so much going on with the map, it could make it too messy to have it stand ou more. But let me know if you feel the same or not.

Edit: The image size is quite a big and I had to use strong jpg compression to fit it to the size limitation and it seems to start reducing the image quality noticeably. Apologies for a bit poor quality...

silverhead
05-29-2010, 03:29 PM
Amazing work. It's so realistic it could pass for a map of the real world :-)

pasis
05-29-2010, 04:59 PM
I made couple of new tries on the cities, but having hard time chosing which style to use. Attached is an sample city with 3 different style. Or actually B and C are more or less just in different scale. Should I change from the red cities (A) to B or C?

tilt
05-29-2010, 05:03 PM
very nice - I think the compass works very well - and a nice detail incorporating it in the title. The cities and fields look good, but I feel a little at loss without a scale to fit them too. The small starsymbols, what are they?

Yandor
05-29-2010, 05:16 PM
Wow, this has come a long very nicely!, as for your indecision, I'd say use B, but it seems a bit "dull" in my opinion, maybe use B with the mix coloring of A... Just a thought, Other then that keep going, it all seems to work and look great.

pasis
05-29-2010, 05:23 PM
I totally forgot to add scale. Basically 1px=50meters. Added scale to the cities sample...

tilt
05-29-2010, 05:24 PM
so you posted while I did, so I missed your question. I must mostly agree with Yandor, I like B, the roads are to big in C, but perhaps B could use a little dap of colors here in there. :)

Steel General
05-30-2010, 09:38 AM
I prefer version B or C (with a bias toward B), but agree with the others that it could use a bit more color.

Gidde
05-30-2010, 10:02 AM
I love the compass as is, Pasis, and I'd also go with B's style.

rdanhenry
05-30-2010, 08:19 PM
I think B would kind of get lost in the other textures. If you want the cities to stand out, I'd go with one of the others. Hard to say from just a small snippet, of course. A and C I instantly recognize as cities, but B at a glance could be some kind of rocky terrain.

Ghorgor Cram
05-30-2010, 09:04 PM
I'm flabbergasted, what can I say. I'm currently starting a new map but when I see this... Oh well guess I have much more homework to do. Have some rep.

Cheers

G.

landorl
05-31-2010, 10:36 AM
I like B the most, but C is also good.

pasis
06-05-2010, 05:08 AM
Here is a new update…finally. Thanks you for all the comments, so I went for an option somewhere between styles B and C. I still need to make the cities to pop up a bit more, but it will have to wait. I’m mostly finished with adding the terrain and been now working with labeling and creating smaller details. What comes to labeling I decided to make all manmade structures in red (except roads which are under consideration). This way it is easier to find the human presence from the map and it gives a bit of a extra spice to it. Let me know if I’m all wrong here.

I attached two maps as the full sized map would take too much space to be added here. So the overall map is in 50% scale and the smaller one is to give an idea of the level of the details and the fonts used etc. I’m actually planning to use this is in my future RPG campaign, so adding places of interest takes lot longer as they have to have a reason in this world. If someone has found a way to add few more hours to a day, let me know…

LonewandererD
06-05-2010, 05:16 AM
Jaw = Dropped.

As always pasis that is damn impressive especially on the snow caps and the volcano island, I envy you your skill. Please accept some rep.

-D-

tilt
06-05-2010, 05:23 AM
So, you're slowly getting near the end, the cities work really well :)
The red color gets swallowed a little on top of forrest and in my personal opinion some of your labels are to straight, they should follow the scenery more - for instance Doddlers March sticks out :) ... but maybe you just haven't gotten around to it yet :)
But looking beautiful, but you know I love your mapping style - got something to live up to in my next region map ;) ... "unfortunatly" that will be a very snowy map, so I'm looking at a challenge :)

rdanhenry
06-06-2010, 03:35 AM
Looks pretty good. The red names for settlements pretty well solves my issue with them fading into the general blend of textures. Check your capitalization, though, you missed a few spots. Especially leaping out at me is the "Blackhorn mountains" just above Ironthorn, as it sandwiched between two "Blackhorn Mountains". And as long as I'm commenting, I'll ask if "Kings Walley" is right, or if it meant to be a "Valley".

Diamond
06-06-2010, 04:49 AM
I got nothing but love for this map. I'm in awe.

pasis
06-07-2010, 03:34 PM
Thanks guys!
@rdanhenry: Corrected the naming issues you found (and some others), thanks for pointing them out.

I have been adding more details and naming the places, but no point showing the whole thing yet. Then I've been playing with Photoshop, trying to learn more, and created a ruler for this map. No big deal, but I think I managed to get quite nice reflections in there and decided to post it. :)

Steel General
06-07-2010, 03:35 PM
That's pretty cool...

pasis
06-07-2010, 03:40 PM
You replied while I reloaded the page...You sure are fast SG.

Steel General
06-07-2010, 03:42 PM
Nah...just impeccable timing :D

tilt
06-07-2010, 03:58 PM
Then I've been playing with Photoshop, trying to learn more, and created a ruler for this map. No big deal, but I think I managed to get quite nice reflections in there and decided to post it. :)

Looking really good - but one little detail could be better... the right leg of the M is so close to where the indention goes back up, that it looks like an N instead... so a tiny bit more space would be nice :)

pasis
06-09-2010, 02:53 AM
I actually solved the issue with the M a bit differently. In the original ruler the 100KM was actually a hole and the underlying sea could be seen through. The problem actually came because of the drop shadow shadowing the leg of the M so much. In this newly attached ruler the 100KM is no longer a hole and I don't have to worry about the drop shadow any more. I also reduced the bevel / reflection a bit and made some other small mods.

tilt
06-09-2010, 03:25 AM
thats perfect :)

pasis
06-11-2010, 10:22 AM
I finally got this finished or at least I think I have, so I have posted it to the finished maps section.

Brave Sir Robin
06-16-2010, 06:19 PM
Hello,

I am new to this forum and have been looking around. You make some of the best (if not the best) maps I have seen. I did not see the final version of this map in the finished map section. Can you provide the link to where the final version is?

Thank You,

pasis
06-16-2010, 06:26 PM
Hello,

I am new to this forum and have been looking around. You make some of the best (if not the best) maps I have seen. I did not see the final version of this map in the finished map section. Can you provide the link to where the final version is?

Thank You,
Here you go:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?10724-The-Blackmount-Empire