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Aval Penworth
09-09-2010, 12:46 AM
I am having another go at a regional map in Photoshop. Not sure what this needs. It has potential but lacks the punch of the really good maps around here. I've got to the point where I am tinkering for half an hour but not getting it looking any better. :?:

The dark patches are meant to be built up areas, but I am not sure if that is being conveyed.

Diamond
09-09-2010, 01:40 AM
Wow, that's gorgeous. Really, the only thing bugging me is the merge between terrain types; it seems too abrupt. Maybe really break up the edges of the forests, add more 'jaggedness', put some clearings in, and some stand-alone small patches of woods. Also that swamp looks funky, but I'm sure you're not done working on the rivers etc. there.

tilt
09-09-2010, 02:47 AM
what better way to celebrate my 2000th post than to critique my good friend Aval :)
One thing that springs to mind is that I feel the rivers are very wide, and those not going into the ocean end very abrupt. I think start the rivers with a 1 pixel radius and as they meet up add half the size of the joining river to the total width - that might be better, remember that rivers not only get wider - also deeper so that takes some of those water masses coming from the joining rivers. :) The ocean is a little flat, if you made it somewhat darker further out you'll get your island to "pop" some more :)
I'm unfortunatly not aware what Built-up area means - so can't critique you there ... but nice looking overall :)

Diamond
09-09-2010, 06:30 AM
Built-up areas = cities & towns. I think those look pretty good, actually, although now that I look at it again, you might want to make the streets just a teensy bit of a lighter color to help make the cities pop a little.

And I agree with tilt about the rivers.

landorl
09-09-2010, 10:11 AM
I agree with Diamond about the swamp. I think that it needs to have some fading on the edges, and also you might want to put a bunch of spidery waterways running through it. As it is now, it is just too abrupt.

The map is great overall though. The contours of the land are very well done!

ravells
09-09-2010, 10:36 AM
It's a really nice map, Aval. Apart from what's already been mentioned, I'd consider losing the bevel / emboss effect on the roads, or at least making it much less obvious.

Aval Penworth
09-09-2010, 11:18 PM
Okay thanks guys. I will work on those things tonight.

Aval Penworth
09-10-2010, 04:06 AM
Made a few alterations.

Reduced the river..but have not textured them.
Reduced the green in the hills to give more variation.( this really changes the feel, hopefully for the better)
Darkened the ocean.
Removed the road bevel.
Roughed up the edges of the forests
Added some small forest.

Yet to do.
Enhance the city texture
The swamp
Ocean texture
Grid
Scale
Compass

WIP 2...

Steel General
09-10-2010, 09:17 AM
This is progressing nicely.

Wolf63
09-10-2010, 10:25 PM
It looks great and it's a lot better then I can do. BTW, what's the scale of the map if you dont mind me asking because those cities look kind of big

Aval Penworth
09-11-2010, 02:12 AM
The Island is about 750 miles across. The larger cities sprawl to 20-30 miles across. The isle is home to 12 million people and 150 million sheep. :)

ravells
09-11-2010, 03:39 AM
20 - 30 miles for a city is huge in medieval terms, Aval, but as always there may be in-game reasons for this. I'm a big fan of exaggerating city sizes anyway, even if it does put them out of scale. For me if the map looks artistic then I'm quite happy to take liberties with scale. Although bear in mind the larger you make the cities the 'smaller' the land area looks to the eye. One of the best ways of helping the eye to denote scale to show that the map is of a large landmass is to put in a ton of city and town labels.

150m sheep? Is this an alternate New Zealand? :)

Aval Penworth
09-11-2010, 04:58 AM
20 - 30 miles for a city is huge in medieval terms)

Oh, I probably should have mentioned that this is not a medival map. (None of my maps are:)) It is for a high-fantasy steam-age scenario. Lots of magic, lots of crazy steam-punkish devices, derigibles, ornithopters, iron-clad ships, stupendous bridges spanning mile wide rivers. So I need lots of unwashed masses for the players to sneer down at from their shiny Jules Vernesque flying machine.

The sheep are an in joke in the campaign.

Your advice is noted and I will be adding a lot of lables for cities and regions once the "landscaping" is finished.

(Post 400)

Aval Penworth
09-11-2010, 06:35 AM
Latest WIP for constructive critique from my esteemed peers.

Aval Penworth
09-12-2010, 11:25 AM
Another update with some lables...getting there.

rdanhenry
09-12-2010, 03:44 PM
You've got some... what I can only describe as "horizontal scratches" in your terrain. Straight lines that really ruin the natural look. (See between Tavershome and its label for an example.) Otherwise this is mostly looking great. The only other thing I see is that you might want to try to blend the river mouths into the sea. The smaller rivers look fine, but where the larger rivers hit the pale coastal waters, the change is rather abrupt.

jbgibson
09-12-2010, 05:38 PM
A really, really nice look. The mountains are particularly successful. A couple of quibbles - one with terrain, one about logic:

There's some depressions where I kind of expect to see lake or swamp in the bottom. Or if you have enough editing control over the terrain, maybe a canyon where some former lake has cut an overflow escape. One halfway between Baverstead and Highpoint, another half between Brinmire and Firestone. Where you do have lakes, it seems odd that none have outlets (except that huge one).

The logic question is do you intend the little network of roads and brighter green outside some cities to be farmland? And I guess much of the rest of the open space is grazing for the sheep? Unless your farmers are just imMENSEly productive, it takes many, many times the area of a city to support a city, food-wise. Or is it mutton and milk for breakfast, and milk and mutton for dinner? :-) If those inhabitants largely subsist on mushrooms grown in the cellar and attic, that's fine, so long as you have some rationale in mind.

Your cities are very tidy - do they have walls? Or do your people not have our tendency to spread out? What with all those Really Really Big urban areas I'd expect a gazillion towns, villages, and hamlets. If you've just not gotten around to that yet, forgive the question - the map is a delight!

Steam-age society... so is there ore in those mountains, to feed the smelters that pour the metal that goes into all the lovely cogs and pistons? If so, how do the raw materials get to the cities?

Aval Penworth
09-12-2010, 09:26 PM
A really, really nice look. The mountains are particularly successful. A couple of quibbles - one with terrain, one about logic:

There's some depressions where I kind of expect to see lake or swamp in the bottom. Or if you have enough editing control over the terrain, maybe a canyon where some former lake has cut an overflow escape. One halfway between Baverstead and Highpoint, another half between Brinmire and Firestone. Where you do have lakes, it seems odd that none have outlets (except that huge one).

The logic question is do you intend the little network of roads and brighter green outside some cities to be farmland? And I guess much of the rest of the open space is grazing for the sheep? Unless your farmers are just imMENSEly productive, it takes many, many times the area of a city to support a city, food-wise. Or is it mutton and milk for breakfast, and milk and mutton for dinner? :-) If those inhabitants largely subsist on mushrooms grown in the cellar and attic, that's fine, so long as you have some rationale in mind.

Your cities are very tidy - do they have walls? Or do your people not have our tendency to spread out? What with all those Really Really Big urban areas I'd expect a gazillion towns, villages, and hamlets. If you've just not gotten around to that yet, forgive the question - the map is a delight!

Steam-age society... so is there ore in those mountains, to feed the smelters that pour the metal that goes into all the lovely cogs and pistons? If so, how do the raw materials get to the cities?

Thanks for the feedback. I will carve some outlets into the sides of the depressions you mention...good call.

As for the lakes I will consider some out flowing rivers, I wasn't sure about that. Maybe I'll build the hills around the "land locked" lakes keep them in.

I envisioned a good portion of the cities to be detached or semi-detached dwellings with a small fenced garden or courtyard. I had imagined many of the inhabitants of the cities to have a vegetable patch and a couple of sheep or a goat in the small garden around their property. I will however expnd the farmlands and road network. The oldest parts of the oldest cities have walls but 95% of the urban sprawl would be ouside the walls.

As for the small villages, I wil try placing some to see how it looks. Too hard to label them though.

I thought that lumber and ore would be transported by river.

Aval Penworth
09-12-2010, 09:30 PM
You've got some... what I can only describe as "horizontal scratches" in your terrain. Straight lines that really ruin the natural look. (See between Tavershome and its label for an example.) Otherwise this is mostly looking great. The only other thing I see is that you might want to try to blend the river mouths into the sea. The smaller rivers look fine, but where the larger rivers hit the pale coastal waters, the change is rather abrupt.

Thanks I wasn't sure if that texture edge was noticable at 100% zoom. If it is I will fix it,... but like the river mouths I think I will wait until I have finished the other adjustments and merged all the layers. Once it is merged I will take to those problem areas with a clone brush.

Aval Penworth
09-12-2010, 11:16 PM
Okay, I think most of the fixes are done.

Latest WIP attached

tilt
09-13-2010, 07:24 AM
looking really good - a lot of stuff has happened since you've started :) ... I think it looks great now, love the little (huge) bridges in Cellbourne. Only two things that springs to mind as not as good as the rest. One is the bland border - throw some steampunk stuff in there :) the other is the river running to Trylby, it looks a bit "clumsy" in comparision to the rest of the map - I'd make it slightly thinnner and perhaps add a little thicket here and there along its course :)
But great map and have some rep mate :)

Aval Penworth
09-13-2010, 07:27 AM
Thanks Tilt. I was actually trawling the net for steam-punk themed stuff just then. Will definately do those fixes.

Here's a bit of fun, while I am looking.

Diamond
09-13-2010, 07:33 PM
Wow, I don't look in this thread for a few days, and all kinds of cool goodness happen! :D

I'm not feeling that wooden border though; it looks fuzzy and out of place...

Aval Penworth
09-14-2010, 12:06 AM
Wow, I don't look in this thread for a few days, and all kinds of cool goodness happen! :D

I'm not feeling that wooden border though; it looks fuzzy and out of place...

Thanks D!

The wooden frame with rivets was just a bit of fun...imagining the map bolted to the wall of a airship cabin.

I am calling the map done and I have posted it in finished maps (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?11892-The-Isle-of-Cornad&p=127926#post127926). Thanks to all who contributed.

Aval