View Full Version : Kurvantium - An island map

08-11-2010, 08:20 PM
Another experiment: Although when I started I had no real intention of sharing it because I fully expected a horrid mess. It may still be a mess but hopefully it's not too horrid :)

I hand drew the island, mountains, hills and rivers and scanned that in. I created the forests using an experiment with the Gimpressionist (I call them my most cheating-est forests ever). I was going to draw them by hand but thought, what the heck?

I have to label everything still - that will come next I think.

The first image is a copy of the island without the city markers and then one with them. I drew all the city icons and then colored them digitally.

Seems like there were more experiments on this but I can't recall atm. I think the forests were the big one. The forest to the North East is the 'Deadwood' and fraught with peril I guess, hehe. The purple tower I call "Silly wizard's Tower" but I'll probably come up with a real name for it.

C&C welcome

08-11-2010, 08:35 PM
Looks good! Imo the horison and ocean are too fuzzy though, and i s'pose it could use some labels.

good stuf though

08-11-2010, 10:30 PM
Jaxilon, I really like your icons. There's a whimsical feel to them that seems rather playful. For what it's worth, I'd say keep the name "Silly Wizards Tower". Not everything has to be serious :)

08-11-2010, 11:21 PM
Nice map man, the only issue I have with it is that the trees don't seem to fit with the rest of the map...but only slightly

08-12-2010, 12:03 AM
The forests look great. But not on this style :) If you put them in a different map and turned down the yellow a bit then they'd be sweet. As for this map, whimsical is a good word and I dig it (except the forests).

08-12-2010, 12:41 AM
I agree about the forests - though I suspect I know the thought behind them.. right now they look more like a texture, they'd be great for an satellite styled map, as Ascension points out - but my first thought was "omg i'd dread drawing that whole forest out by hand.. let' me see if I can come up with some texture fill that'll work instead".. (am i right?)

Another thought about the mountains, when I was doing my protector map I had a similar thing going on though at a much tinier scale - the black line separating the snow from the brown portion of the slopes doesn't feel right - the furthest right mountain and the furthest south peak on the right side of the valley illustrate what I mean, those ones to me look *much* nicer.

08-12-2010, 02:11 AM
First of all, thank you all so much for your thoughts. I always consider what's said and try to visualize it so it's never that I'm not listening - either I'm lost trying to do whatever you said or I'm deciding if I want to do it for this time or save the thought for my next project. I guess there will be times when I don't agree but I'm all about trying new things right now so feel free :)

I changed that big black line between mountain and snow - Thanks Coyotemax. I could go through and really cut down on the rest of the black lines but then I start feeling like I have to go all realistic and I don't know that this map is ever destined for such things.

Regarding the trees - I was thinking, "I really need to draw some trees now. But first, let me try something".... And those came out. Like I said, initially this was just about trying some experiments and I thought they were close enough that I'd just go with them. They are really easy to make and I figured if nothing else I could use them for some other map. I'm not sure if I want to blow away the trees and draw new ones for this particular map (not that these took me very long). Maybe after a day or two I will feel it.

I am putting another style of water on the 2nd image (it still has the original mountains so ignore that) to see if anyone thinks I should pursue that direction. Rythal got me thinking about it and it might look better with a less radical looking Sea? I'll have to redo the sky but I think this gets the idea of what it would look like with different water. This water needs more character put into it but hopefully it gets the idea of what a different direction would take it.

08-12-2010, 02:45 AM
Wow, those mountains really work! yes, leave the rest of the lines as they are, absolutely! My comment was only in regard to the snow/rock transition :)
I love the water from the new version myself, really fits the look.

Of course anything I say is opinion only - You're always of course free to ignore me completely :P But you did ask, so here I am!

08-12-2010, 03:12 AM
Thank you CM, I appreciate your opinion :) I also kind of like the simpler looking water myself so I think I'll work on it see where that takes me.

08-12-2010, 06:55 AM
Nice map Jax. :)

I agree with most of the comments so far. Those forests look great, but not on this map. I can really see them working on another map that uses textures rather than being hand drawn. The other thing that stood out was the blurriness on your original sea and the edge of the globe but you seem to have addressed that somewhat. I much prefer your new sea, I like the colour, but it could do with something to show perspective like the rest of the map. At the moment it looks like a perspective map draped on a flat sea.

It still looks great though.

08-12-2010, 10:38 PM
Indeed, a great improvement! as to the trees, however, perhaps if they were a single colour they would fit better.

looks very good though!

08-13-2010, 12:36 AM
I'm not sure what it is about your map, Jaxilon, but it kinda reminds me of the feel of the animation from the movie Wizards (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076929/). There was some juxtaposition of animation and live action in the film. The more I look at your map the more the juxtaposition of your trees against the rest of your island, especially the mountains and icons, grows on me. I think you may have actually stumbled upon a style of art here that has it's niche.

08-13-2010, 04:34 AM
Ok, I have gone to a smoother style of water. I changed the forests to a more even green color to see if that made it any better for folks. I like it but then I liked the last ones as well. I might fiddle around with Gimp a bit more to see what else I can coerce out of the software. I added some labels (I'm not overly confident of my abilities on this so any advice is welcome). I did them all at an angle and while I could put more labels for mountains and so on I'm wondering if I should do each label on it's own curve?

I added a scale on the shaft of the spear.

@ProfGremlin - I had never heard of that movie before. I tried watching it but the narrators voice was hard to take. I did like some of the artwork in the backgrounds though, that was pretty cool.

I think that's it for this update.

08-13-2010, 07:47 AM
Kudos to you for trying to watch Wizards :) It's certainly not everyone's cup of tea, and I find the animation style to be annoying (anything by Bakshi is annoying to me, but I at least try to give things like that a chance.. TitanAE, Heavy Metal, and so on.. I dunno.) Personal opinions about that style of movie aside, I see where the comment comes from, and I agree, it does have that kind of Bakshi-esque feel to it. And the more I think about it and look at it, the less the forests bother me.

I did have an observation, the cloudiness along the curvature looks the same as the cloudiness along the bottom portion of the map with less curvature.. perhaps a bit of perspective to the effect to it's a bit more stretched width-wise along the top? I don't know if it's absolutely necessary, but it's one of those things that once I see it, I can't un-see it :)

Steel General
08-13-2010, 07:49 AM
I love that movie, but I agree that the animation style (rotoscopic, or something like that) can be a bit annoying.

08-13-2010, 10:32 AM
I remember renting Wizards out on VHS many years ago. I remember it being a very strange movie with a main character who looked like something out of sub-disney with a giant nose and then these rotoscoped things that looked totally at odds with other character designs. And also the fairy thing was showing nipples? I remember not liking the film very much but I did think the ending was quite cool.

08-13-2010, 12:00 PM
I had an English instructor back in high school who was a little left of center. He had us watch both Wizards and Pink Floyd's The Wall and then based writing assignments off of them. I can't say I would have watched either one myself but at least it was a novel way to engage the class, "Kick back and watch a video? Sure, no prob."

Jaxilon, the forests look a bit more integrated at this point so I think your choice helped. As for the labels, I'm not sure there's necessarily a problem with them but I'd be curious to see them presented more in alignment with the plane of the page itself, i.e. in a vertical manner, than with the shaft of the spear.

08-13-2010, 12:11 PM
Jax - Maybe it's just me, but it seems like your work has gone to a whole new level recently. I am working on this one map now and this is just the kind of style I'd like to do for it but cannot. Very nice!

08-13-2010, 12:54 PM
The thing I thought was funny about "Wizards" was that the horses looked like Hoppity Horses (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxYjOtXjeAw&NR=1) with 2 legs, or as I always called them Hippity-Hops. This should bring some memories back for a few of us older folk. I don't think they actually had the horse when I wanted one of these.

@Coyotemax - Not sure what I can do about that, I wonder if that's the one thing going on here that slightly bothers me? I'm not entirely happy with they way things "fit" into the picture. It's like I don't like the square of the frame or something. I'm pretty happy with how this turned out especially since I had no real hopes for anything, but maybe you put your finger on it. There is a little blurring towards the horizon but I never did anything like that along the bottom of the page. Maybe I should have less curve on the horizon...

@Ramah - you are totally right, they had this Betty Boop type fairy wearing some kind of negligee that showed some anatomy. In her defense she was only a half fairy, LOL.

@PG - Do you mean horizontal or vertical? You said vertical I know but do you mean straight up and down? I'm thinking of doing the area labels in a curved manner to help with the shape of the overall piece, at least that's what's cooking in my head atm. That might help. I'll play around with it I guess.

@RE - Thanks very much for the complement. If I had to give a reason for improvement I would probably say it's from doing more drawing by hand, a decent scanner, and getting a regular workflow. Also, it helps knowing my way around Gimp. I really should try a tutorial since the first time I got so lost I couldn't complete it (that might bring hope to those of you out there who feel unable to get the results you want, keep at it!). There are still a number things I don't understand but they are dwindling. My hope is to have everything work seamlessly from drawing to labels. I'm getting closer to bringing the visions in my mind to the digital page and that's a lot of fun.

08-13-2010, 01:13 PM
Jaxilon, I think we're using different words for the same meaning. To me, from the perspective of your map, horizontal would be laying the label flat on the land so the letters are laying on their backs, as it were, and vertical would be standing the letters up on their feet. It's an odd nomenclature, I know. Your idea to curve the labels to assist in the overall perception of the piece has merit.

08-13-2010, 01:20 PM
So you mean like a 3d effect for the labels? That does sound cool and I haven't seen anyone do that yet....now even if I don't do it on this piece I'll be looking for an excuse to try that out.

08-13-2010, 04:01 PM
Well, that's not quite what I was trying to convey but, sure, let's go with your idea, it sounds better, anyway! :)