View Full Version : ...import a handdrawn map into photoshop at the correct scale?

05-10-2010, 12:03 PM
first off, hello! Been signed up for a few months lurking here and there (mainly in the finished map forum;)), and admiring (and developing a sincere jealously of) peoples map making skills.
So here's my situation -
I've been developing for a while now a conworld for a personal writing project. I have a fully drawn out world-map outline which I drew by hand and then traced into photoshop (http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/8225/finaloutline.jpg) , and one continent of which I have made detailed hand-drawn maps, and fleshed out quite detailed geography, topography, and biome distributions etc.

Basically I would like to go about making a reasonably detailed world map (which details the main geographical features of the planet like major mountain ranges), and then make one continent much larger and much more detailed, with labels for different tribes, roads, and territories etc. I must note also, that i've got absolutely no photoshop experience, and am currently wading my way through the very boring photoshop basics tutorial mentioned in the tutorial forum, so forgive me if I seem incredibly foolish.
The first problem I've come across is scale, and how to keep the scale right when copying one of the continents to a seperate document and trying to enlarge it. Basically I want one of the continents to be much larger and on its own document, but I want to retain its shape and so forth from the world-map view. So far, when trying simply to use the 'scale' function, I get a wildly out of proportion view. Any ideas?
Secondly, are there any tutorials dealing with designing a full world-map? I can only seem to find continent based tutorials at the very most.
Thirdly, any general advice or ideas about anything i've mentioned which might help would be greatly appreicated.
Lastly, I'm glad I found this place, and it has awoken in me a desire to be able make maps that look as good as many on here!

05-10-2010, 12:19 PM
first of all welcome :)
The out of scale thing could be by one of two things - if you manually write the scale number in the boxes in the top menu - make sure the "link" icon between them are clicked - otherwise you only scale horizontally or vertically. If you are scaling by pulling the handles on the box around the art, make sure that you pull the corner ones and hold down SHIFT while you do it :)
Good luck and remember to post what you do so we can help :)

05-10-2010, 12:49 PM
If Tilt's tip isn't the answer you need, please decribe in more detail what you mean by "wildly out of proportion".

05-10-2010, 08:22 PM
Here's what I do to put a continent in it's own document:

1. Make sure that you are on the correct layer. Use Layer - Flatten Image if you want.
2. Use the Rectangular Marquee tool to drag out a rectangle around the continent.
3. Edit - Copy.
4. File - New (leave the settings alone, don't touch them).
5. Edit - Paste.
6. Image - Image Size = make sure that the box for "Constrain Proportions" is checked then where it says "Pixels" in a box, change that to percent and then type in a new number...just remember to use the same number for all continents.

If you do this with a full color terrain map then resizing will cause pixellation (blockiness) due to the re-sampling issues (there are a couple of tuts explaining that). Just resizing a continent outline won't pose too many problems, though, but if you want to do terrain over the resized continent then you have to redo the whole map and it won't be exactly the same as the world map. Of course you could do this all in a vector program (Illustrator or Inkscape) but you don't get the same bells and whistles.

My advice to you would be to put each continent into its own document, do up whatever terrain you want for each continent, when done then stitch them back together like a puzzle in a much larger document that will contain all continent maps, then do the ocean last so that it is seamless. Then you can cut the continent maps up again and put them back into the older continent map document as a "final layer" that you would save as jpg and post it up so we can all see it. I have attached some examples that I just doubled. Number 2 isn't showing correctly, but if you right click/open in new window it will show.

05-11-2010, 10:56 AM
thanks for the help! I will follow the advice here and then come back to the thread to post how i've done at a later date...

05-15-2010, 07:35 AM
right, so i've come quite a way since I last posted. Managed to split all the continents up into their own documents and size them properly. Then I set to work using jezelf's tutorial for beginners called 'making maps using photoshop', and have ended up with these two images. First shows all the major rivers (http://img85.imageshack.us/i/swlriverscopyjpeg.jpg/), the second shows topographical info as well (http://img686.imageshack.us/i/swltopographycopy.jpg/). I'm hoping the first (the second is just for reference) could be the basis of my 'proper' map.
I have a few questions - I want all my images to be ready to print in A3, so I've set my PPI to 300, and my image size to the proportions of A3 paper. Is that all I need to do? I havn't touched the pixel dimensions, and I'm not exactly sure what they affect...
I also want the images to be able to be used on the web and as reference in a file on my computer, so when I save them for the web, should I put the PPI and the image size right down?

I'm now going to go about filling in some basic biome regions so I can get an idea of where forests and grasslands and so forth will be, then I would like to work on producing my 'proper' final map with nice terrain and textures and everything else. The thing is i'm not sure which tutorial to follow. I looked at Tears 'Saderan' tutorial and really like the way his map looks, but I'm not sure if it would look good for my continent map, as his tutorial seems to be designed with a world map in mind? I also had a look at a few others but couldn't really decide, and was wondering if you wise folk might be able to recommend me one? Basically I'm going for the more realistic atlas style as opposed to the hand-drawn look.

05-15-2010, 09:04 AM
Looking good.. .lots of rivers you got there :)
if your dpi is 300 and you size is A3, then you're good to go - BUT, please check if your printer can print all the way to the edge - otherwise I would suggest subtracting a little from those measurement, 1 cm pr side should do it making your document 40 cm x 27 cm.
When you save your document for web you can resize them to the screen size IN PIXELS that you want it to fit in, remember that the browser takes up at least 50 pixels in the width and up to 150 pixels in height depending on the number of menues people have. You can set your dpi to 72, but it doesn't really matter since the number of pixels is the deciding factor.
Haven't tried the atlas style yet, my "mountain realms" are based on Pasis tutorial with a more "real looking" map :)

05-15-2010, 04:10 PM
I don't know if this is supposed to be an alternate earth.
If not, it's totally up to you if you care or not, but the topographic map you linked to is pretty obviously South American, with some parts added on.

05-16-2010, 06:55 AM
^lol, yeah I wondered if anyone would realise that. Yeah, it is supposed to be like south america, as it is sort of an alternate earth. Although now I feel I need to cover it up a bit better as I didn't want it to be that obvious. :blush:

05-16-2010, 02:59 PM
I noticed it, too. Kind of hard to miss South America with a couple of bits tacked on. You should have at least changed the orientation so the Andes aren't on the left side of the image. If you rotated it significantly away from the usual view, the borrowing might be less obvious.