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SSJPabs
06-24-2010, 11:45 AM
For a fantasy world I call the "Absolute Universe" that I have been playing around in since I was a kid.
I used Ascension's atlas tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?4084-Award-Winner-My-atlas-style-in-PS) with a few minor modifications of my own. However I can't seem to get the shelf right. Anyhow, my last task is lettering the map properly, which I always struggle with. Any suggestions in that way would be appreciated.

Island of Drogen:
Located east of the Estalleon Continent in the middle of the Allian Ocean, Drogen is one of the most ancient centers in the world. Their knowledge of techno-magery is matched only by a few other places in the world and is far ahead of anything on the continent. But Drogen is unconcerned with political expansion--instead they are far more concerned with reviving the fortunes of humanity. So much so that in the one settlement they have on Estalleon, Gate, they go to great lengths to disguise their advancement appearing only somewhat ahead of the natives. The vast majority of the population is urban.

Author's Note: For reference, it's about the size of Honshu.
Ah, Drogen. The theme is about as subtle as a falling piano (and a homage) but that's okay, it's meant to be that way.

Aelyn
06-24-2010, 01:27 PM
The land shape is nice. Maybe you should play around with the land layer's outer glow, it still looks a bit artificial.

Does your remark about "as subtle as a falling piano" mean that you are aware "Drogen" is quite a funny name? It is the German word for "drugs".

SSJPabs
06-24-2010, 02:22 PM
That the thing, the outer glow is actually supposed to be a continent shelf, but I couldn't get it to work right so it just looks odd and out of place.

And no that is not what I meant about the name. It actually references a video game series.

Aelyn
06-24-2010, 04:48 PM
I see. Maybe you could play around with the Spread / Size of your Outer Glow, usually you can find something that looks right by just playing around. Adding a bevel&emboss texture could also improve things. I really recommend the "Saderan (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?8086-Award-Winner-Saderan-%E2%80%93-a-tutorial&highlight=saderan)" tutorial. It produces nice oceans.

What's your problem in lettering? Where to place the names or what fonts to use? Because both depend strongly on what you want your map to look like: modern, medieval, fairy-tale... Some time ago I downloaded a bunch of free fonts so I always have one that fits. For example here (http://www.abstractfonts.com/category/27/Celtic) and here (http://cg.scs.carleton.ca/~luc/sugaku.html), the latter being extremely useful as symbols for cities etc. Hope that helps! :)

SSJPabs
06-24-2010, 11:16 PM
I've been using Aquiline Two, as I really like the "written with a quill pen" style but without being so fancy it is hard to read. But I'm just struggling with it looking a little too blocky when in use on the maps. Doesn't look thin enough.

Thanks for pointing me to the tutorial, definitely going to give that one a read. I appreciate it.

Aelyn
06-25-2010, 04:08 AM
I assume you are working with Photoshop? You could approach your problem by clicking the outmost right button on the top when using the text tool (called "Toggle Character Settings" or something). There you can adjust the tracking, scale, leading etc of your font, perhaps that helps. Changing the anti-aliasing mode from the usually predefined "strong" to something else might also be a solution.

If none of the above make sense or work out, just upload a picture of your problem. We'll find a way then :)

Diamond
06-25-2010, 02:28 PM
Hey, MN! I didn't know you were a member here! Now you'll get some REAL help with your map - this place is full of awesome talent.

And good advice for Aelyn - changing the text settings can usually help quite a bit.