View Full Version : Could use some critique

05-17-2010, 11:49 AM
Hey everyone,

I've been a silent reader for quite some time. Actually I still find it fascinating I'm not the only one having such a strange hobby :)
But now I guess it would be nice to post one of my projects and see what others think about it. Comments appreciated!

This is not my first map, just one I came up with this weekend because I was stuck in bed with a cold. It's part of a larger map, but that's far too big to post it here. If you wonder about the names, having all my maps in English became boring over time ;)

Feel free to comment on it!

05-17-2010, 11:53 AM
sehr schön :) ... an congratulations on your first post - I'll throw some rep in your direction to get you started :)
I really like the colors, the mountains look a little bland, could use a bit more definition :)
And love your icons for cities and such - very nice :)

05-17-2010, 12:43 PM
Really nice. A good start. Please post the whole map!

05-17-2010, 01:33 PM
Hey nice! I love the way you did that compass. overall a very clean and attractive map so far.


05-17-2010, 01:35 PM
I surely will... once it's done ;) The whole map is actually approx. eight times the size of Aurelis, so I will need some time to figure out names and stuff.

Thanks for the comments, btw, I'll find I way to deal with the mountains. On the big map they looked good, but I agree that in greater detail they're a bit boring.

05-17-2010, 01:42 PM
I can't see anything negative about the map at all. It's a great looking map, and I love the style and colors. Looking forward to seeing more!

05-17-2010, 02:00 PM
I like it!!! Have some rep :).

05-17-2010, 03:34 PM
So I've dealt with the mountains, still I'm not entirely happy with it. Any ideas?
And I added the dotted lines representing ferry routes which I had completely forgotten.

I'll also try to upload the entire map, although I'm afraid I'll have to downscale it so much that it won't be legible anymore :(

Steel General
05-17-2010, 04:34 PM
The mountains on the 'close-up' are better, but still seem a bit "soft and fuzzy" to me.

The larger map looks quite good (even if "dummied down" for uploading), I think the only thing I would consider changing is the maybe toning down the texture on the ocean just a bit.

05-17-2010, 04:44 PM
Thanks, I'll see what I can do about the water. But I really don't know how to deal with the mountains. I've never been friends with creating mountains. :( Got any ideas how to make them hard as a rock, literally speaking?

Steel General
05-17-2010, 04:48 PM
If you are using a bevel to create them you may want to increase it some to get harder ridge lines and peaks.

There are a whole bunch of different mountain tutorials in that forum (I recommend looking through them), though it really kind of depends on what appeals to you.

05-17-2010, 05:52 PM
It kind looks like you're using PS to make your maps, is that true? If so, I think that you're using a layer style to make them show up. Yeah/Nay? If both assumptions are true, then you can use a different contour on the bevel and emboss (something opposite of the half round option). One of the things that i've learned recently is that the mountains need to be "chainey" I've found that if i play with the layer mask i'm using for the mountains in Liquify, i can generate a set of mountains that look more like the intersection of tectonic plates instead of random bumpiness. AND if none of this make sense, you're probably not working in PS or with my particular method of layers so nevermind. All in all, i think that if you could make them more like collision points of tectonic plates rather than masses, it'll make it feel more realistic.

05-21-2010, 04:59 AM
I'll also try to upload the entire map, although I'm afraid I'll have to downscale it so much that it won't be legible anymore :(

Wow, i really like your maps. Cool style!
Und ich hoffe wir können die Weltkarte irgendwann mal noch bestaunen? ;) Ev. musst du sie halt auf nem webservice hochladen.

Hope to see more of this project. Btw is this work for something specific? Like, say, an rpg or a novel? Inquiring minds want to know :D

05-21-2010, 05:58 AM
Beautiful work. Just one thing...therest a light circle above Der Sturmwall, I thought it was a stain on my computer screen at first , lol! Is that intentional or just an artifact?

05-23-2010, 08:54 PM
I like how you cleaned up your mountains (and yeah, messing with the bevel might clean things up if you're using layer styles). The colors are great, and yeah using English gets boring after awhile ^.^ Looks like you've got another language to use tho', so lucky you! Looking forward to seeing more of these maps, and that full-continent one!

- Alizarine

05-24-2010, 08:25 PM
I like your map! Great colours. The mountains are definitely much better now, but the transition from mountain to flat land is where they look mushy I think. I used this technique on the map I just did: http://www.photoshoproadmap.com/Photoshop-blog/2006/07/17/rendering-a-map-using-relief-shading-technique-in-photoshop/

Well kind of. That's probably not going to help you much. The style of your map is very different. I also took the height map into 3D software and rendered shadows from it to help tighten it up a bit.

Sorry I don't have any more constructive feedback :(

06-03-2010, 04:56 PM
Wow, thanks a lot for all the comments. I didn't get round to working on my map since my master's thesis was due this week. Now that it's done, let's get back to the fun ;) I'll try and answer everything.

@paradox_wanderer : Keen observer, it is PS. I already made some experiments with B&E, still it didn't satisfy me. Now that I got more time I'll give it a try.

@Eilathen: It's inspired by some old story I once wrote. Yet that took place in another part of the world (which also has a map, less pretty and in English). Apart from that, I was just a bit bored and thought mapmaking was fun ;) But if one day I'll design my own computer game, I'd surely like to use that world! And by the way: Nice to see someone from "just around the corner", where in Switzerland are you? :)

@ravells: That circle is a mistake. I got rid of it, but I already wondered why nobody noticed it. So congrats, you proved me guilty. ;)

06-03-2010, 05:41 PM
Hey Aelyn,

Yeah, nice to see that some of you fellow guildmembers are not that far away ;) Ich bin in der Nähe von Zürich zu hause. Wo genau kommst du denn her? Oh und wie siehts denn nun aus mit der Weltkarte? Map-addict here, you know :D

06-03-2010, 05:46 PM
Zuricco? That's funny, so we're actually not that far apart. I'm living close to Lake Constance atm. Oh, and concerning the map: I'm working on it, honestly. Still the mountains and me don't seem to be friends...

06-04-2010, 12:30 AM
Zuricco? That's funny, so we're actually not that far apart. I'm living close to Lake Constance atm. Oh, and concerning the map: I'm working on it, honestly. Still the mountains and me don't seem to be friends...

you might want to try putting another layer over it,
set the fill to 0%
go into blending option and click Bevel and Emboss, Texture,
and fiddle around with those different testures, then paint the new texture on (little by little) over the mountains
the key is to follow the texture, paint in where it wants to go, then go in after with a fuzzy eraser to take out parts that don't fit

I get really craggy mountains layering up 3 or 4 different textures that way

The map is looking really great by the way, really a nice clean style!

06-04-2010, 05:25 AM
@Sadist: That's basically what I tried yesterday, still I hated every new result more than the previous one. So I decided to go to bed and re-start today.
I guess my problem is that the map is just to big, so the mountains have to be really complex. That's an awful lot of work...

06-04-2010, 07:41 AM
Here's what I came up with after 3 PS crashes and a lot of agonizing. I'm still not entirely satisfied, but I give up.

Now I'm going to deal with some roleplaying stuff, floorplans and such, since there are no mountains there. ;) Perhaps that'll work out better so I can show something I'm actually satisfied with.

Steel General
06-04-2010, 07:42 AM
I think those look pretty good. Aren't mountains fun? :D

06-04-2010, 10:06 AM
I think your mountains look rather good now - good job :)

06-05-2010, 02:48 AM
In my experience, you'll never be satisfied with your own mountains. They look great to me :)

06-05-2010, 10:47 AM
In my experience, you'll never be satisfied with your own mountains. They look great to me :)

Thanks for the praise. And for that wonderful sentence! The meaning changes a lot depending on the context ;) Really made my day!

06-05-2010, 11:06 AM
Heh LOL - I wouldn't have caught that nuance until you highlighted it. BTW your map looks great. Do you have all the other bits in original high res online somewhere ?

06-05-2010, 11:10 AM
Other bits? You mean the rest of the map? Yes, but I'll need to fix all the mountains there before I can show it again. And judging from my experience with Aurelis, this is going to take an awful lot of time. Probably a Sunday. So ask me that again tomorrow ;)