View Full Version : August/September entry: Lookout Islands

08-31-2010, 08:44 AM
Well I decided to give this contest a shot. I really wanted to practice some techniques and what better way - right? So here's a rough start. I want more zoomed in map, not quite arial view but a hybrid blend of both - with exagerated land objects. So far I've just applied some layer styles, and used my tablet just a bit. Already there's things that I am going to change. For example - the lighthouse needs to be more of top-down view, so it doesn't look so weird. And the patch of forest is really an experimentation I'm trying to mimic from mearrin69's cool map The Docks of Haibianr (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?11435-The-Docks-of-Haibianr)

So this will change a lot as I find time to work on it. Most of the time, I don't have a clear direction of where my map will end up. It just sort of evolves into what it becomes. Critiques always welcome.

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08-31-2010, 09:56 AM
Hey! Did I hear my name being taken in vain in here? :) Looks pretty cool so far, RjBeals. Actually, I think whatever you did to get the land and water looking so painterly would look better on the forest than the realistic textured style. What if you did it with the texture and then applied that technique? Don't know if it'd work (because I'm not sure how you did it) but I think that watercolor paper thing you've got going on there is a winning style.

08-31-2010, 11:05 AM
Looks very nice, and I agree, the paper texture thing looks awesome! By the way, you may want to remove the surplus 'A' in Islands :)

08-31-2010, 11:29 AM
Thanks guys. I agree that the "painterly" effect is nice - and a good word to add to my vocabulary. Obviously I need to work at my spelling ;)

The forest will be changed to match the style of the map. We'll see what I can come up with.

08-31-2010, 08:02 PM
Yep, I really like the watercolor look you have going on here myself.

08-31-2010, 10:34 PM
Well I may have lost the watercolor look a bit - but I can get it back if needed - it's just a grunge layer really.

Here's a few more edits. Redrew the lighthouse with a better perspective. Just still experimenting a bit, trying to figure out the lay of these islands, but overall just having fun. Thanks for the compliments all.

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09-01-2010, 12:43 AM
That's a good-lookin lighthouse...the whole thing is lookin good.

09-01-2010, 03:08 AM
looks really nice - loving the lighthouse :)

09-01-2010, 03:18 AM
Wow great lighthouse! I love the map's style. I can't wait to see the finished map.

09-01-2010, 12:46 PM
I like the new lighthouse and its position makes more sense to me - on the edge rather than in the middle of the cluster of islands. The docks top-down perspective is messing with me a little but I'm not sure how you could represent them in the same perspective as the lighthouse positioned as they are. I think you'd have to move them to the left or right of the islands to be able to get away with drawing them that way.

Have to say I liked your old titling better...though it was a little light. Maybe you could turn down the opacity of your new title a little bit?

The map's looking great in overall. I like the soft feel and gentle color palette. Keep going!

09-03-2010, 03:12 PM
little bit more - increased lighthouse size - added boat tied to dock. working on house for lighthouse operator to chill out in. Think i'm settled on this overblown perspective, so i removed those mountain thingys. The title is just a placeholder and will change eventually.

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09-04-2010, 03:29 PM
Nice touches. It really looks good

09-04-2010, 04:43 PM
Beautiful so far. Looking forward to seeing this progress.

09-09-2010, 04:30 PM
Still messing around with this one, I just don't know if I'll have enough time to finish. I guess it's sort of near a finishing point now, but I had bigger better visions in my head (don't we always).

Anyway - the back story is that a father and daughter spend time together on a desolate group of islands tending to a lighthouse. Yes thats my daughter. I was going to dress her up in a sailors cap and take a picture, but just didn't happen. Anyway - I was hoping to add a bit more flare - like one of the islands I was going to add an in-ground pool - you know, for those hot days (don't ask me how I was going to get electricity to the remote island to power the pump...er....) And I wanted to add some satellites to an island for a real lookout center - you know to spy on Russia.

I'm going out of town this weekend, and the contest is up Wed - I will probably not have too much more time - but hoepfully I can add a bit more before the time's up. You know I can't get that New York map out of my head !!!

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09-09-2010, 04:48 PM
Looking really pretty! I love the watercolour feel to this.

09-09-2010, 04:58 PM
Great job. I love the colors and, as Torstan said, the watercolor feel you've got. I wouldn't mind seeing some trees and other small features...but their absence doesn't make the map any less lovely.

09-09-2010, 09:24 PM
This could definitely be called finished. However, on recently named features, I wouldn't drop out the apostrophe from possessives in their names, hence I'd expect "Anna's Island" and "Anna's Light" rather than "Annas Island" and "Annas Light". I'm also going to ask if "CLEMONTS FFRRY ISLAND" should be "CLEMONTS [or CLEMONT'S] FERRY ISLAND" as "FFRRY" is a bit odd.

09-10-2010, 04:17 PM
Thanks for the encouragement & feedback - I'm the type-o king. Here's some more changes. Moved the house up. Adjusted lighting/levels, added some trees, water-routes, took away some of the map text making it busy. Added a rocky-cliff style around the islands trying to make them more ominous. I want to fix up the title a bit next, as well as work on some labels & names. I'm really not happy with lookout islands, but I guess I'll keep it for now.

09-10-2010, 05:44 PM
I like it a lot better with some trees and the buildings you've added. Very nice.

09-10-2010, 09:21 PM
That is looking really good

09-14-2010, 06:19 AM
RJ, this is just beautiful. It has such a clean, lighthearted feel to it! Really amazing work.

09-14-2010, 01:10 PM
RJ, this is just beautiful. It has such a clean, lighthearted feel to it! Really amazing work. Thanks a lot R.E.

I guess this is it. The contest ends tomorrow so I'm done tinkering with the map.

Again - it's sort of an exaggerated perspective view on a group of islands - themed around a lighthouse and the sole keeper. But what's this isolated keeper up to? Why the enormous satellite dish? Perhaps he gets 250 High Definition channels on his solar powered television. Perhaps he's really a spy? And what's up with Anna?

As I said, this was sort of an experimental practice map for me (aren't they all though really?)... So the elements are sort of scattered. Anna is my daughter - and was sitting with me one evening while I was working on it - so i brought her into the map. The parchment was originally going to be a ghost story about the Lighthouse, but I didn't want it to turn haunted, so I just made up some text about Anna and me. A lot of my maps end up being really soft/pastel in colors. This is no exception.

Thanks to all compliments.
My fingers are crossed - there's some sweet maps in this challenge !

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09-14-2010, 01:16 PM
Absolutely beautiful!!. I had to hide my map from my little girl so as not to give her nightmares..lol but I called her up on my lap to look at yours. she said "Daddy it looks like a picture from one of my books its pretty..." Now to me that's the greatest compliment anyone can get....

09-14-2010, 01:27 PM
Wow, dude. This has really turned into something special. Think I repped you before...but here's some more.

09-14-2010, 06:51 PM
Thanks Guys - glad you like !

This is gonna be good ;)

(edit) - starting working on new york today - finally

01-22-2011, 02:07 PM
Mr. Beals,

I'm a young adult who just started working on a personal project...kind of a big dream of mine for a while now. A fiction novel of sorts for my friends and family.

For this book, I thought it best to put an illustrated map, as many authors do this for reference sake. My research led me to this site while my curiosity led me to this piece of work.

I was wondering if there is any possible way I could ask you a few questions.

How in the world did you make this map? (I have CS4)
Are there any tutorials you'd recommend or can offer?
If no answer can be given for either of the above...how much would you ask for your project file of this project? And the permission to edit it so it will not be a total rip-off of this masterpiece.

I hope I'm not any bother to you sir - but I deeply admire this creation!

Please let me know your thoughts,