View Full Version : [WIP] Map for a New Campaign

12-07-2010, 06:16 PM
This is for a commissioned map (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?12746-Map-for-a-new-Campaign-TAKEN).

The requester has agreed to use this area for the process so stay tuned for developments.

Here is the rough image provided:

We're going for the old fashioned hand drawn style. The scale is 1" = 250 miles.

We begin with the basic shorelines over a parchment like background. Second image is Geographical element locations so I can begin the drawings for them. Let me know where/if you want anything moved. I left rivers off as I'm not sure where you want them until we have the rest ironed out.

12-07-2010, 11:33 PM
Rivers added, grain added for water's edge.

12-08-2010, 03:09 AM
I've been working on the hills and mountains. The first batch I did I was not happy with so I redid it. This is round 2. Next up will be trees!

12-08-2010, 03:22 AM
looks good, I feel the stribes in the water makes the land float a little?

12-08-2010, 04:08 AM
You may be correct tilt. I have some polish to do on that still. I need to clean up the shore's edge and I have an idea to make it not look so floaty.

I added a bunch of shadowing painted by hand with my mouse but now I have mouse cramps...LOL

I think it was worth it because I think the hills and mountains look much better already.

12-09-2010, 03:24 AM
Update with trees.....uhg, now I know why Ramah made that TreeThingy. I think I'm cross-eyed. I also changed the parchment background a bit.
I also shrunk it down 50% due to the .jpg passing the 4mb mark and the fact that the uploader keeps failing saying the file is invalid.

I may have a tad too much color on the trees but that is easy to fix.

12-09-2010, 03:45 AM
I think you missed a tree in that second bunch... definitly only counted 12253252667 *lol*

Steel General
12-09-2010, 05:27 PM
'Holy Can't See The Forest For The Trees Batman!' :)

12-09-2010, 06:13 PM
Every time I start to like you again you go and do something like this...Beautiful as always Jax.. :)

12-11-2010, 01:57 AM
Update: Some color in the Sea, Compass Rose, fiddled with the desert area for way to long for as little change as it made :)

I should have indications tomorrow as to where cities and roads are wanted. This is full size but the jpg quality is at like 70%.

edit: After posting I noticed I need to smooth a couple rivers that seem to have a bit of a hitch.

12-11-2010, 02:39 PM
PS Jaxilon- This will never thumbnail as it is too big for the thumbnailer :(

-Rob A>

12-12-2010, 02:06 AM
So what does the thumbnailer blow out at? The post #5 in my thread is bigger than this last one so I'm confused.

12-13-2010, 05:30 AM
Another update - The biggest change is to the forest. I wasn't sure I liked the last one. This seems to have the right amount of weight now. Hopefully, the thumb can get this, I reduced the image by 50%.

I have some borders in the works but awaiting approval.

12-13-2010, 08:10 AM
The forests feel foresty now. Why do some of the mtns have that orangeish color tinge and others don't?

12-13-2010, 06:02 PM
turns out it was a burn effect. I'll have the corrected in the next update.

12-13-2010, 06:44 PM
Fixed the discoloration on mountains. Also, have some borders down for provinces as well as the Empire per indications from the client. I know at least one of these is going to be changed but I haven't heard which one yet. The dotted lines are province and the dash-dot is for the Empire.

12-13-2010, 10:08 PM
So what does the thumbnailer blow out at? The post #5 in my thread is bigger than this last one so I'm confused.

I'm confused, too. The system seems to think you DO have a thumbnail for that one, it just isn't showing.....Not sure what I can do to fix :(

-Rob A>

12-14-2010, 03:35 AM
I wouldn't worry about it RobA at this point. I'm long past that thumb anyway. And here's another update. I messed around with a bunch of colors and started flattening the layers together. Man that can be a bear. When layer modes are not the same they don't always like to merge nicely. Anyone got a trick to this? I know when you flatten the entire image it looks just the way it should. Merging them one by one, not so much.

12-14-2010, 08:40 PM
Anyone got a trick to this? I know when you flatten the entire image it looks just the way it should. Merging them one by one, not so much.

There's no general way to merge two layers with different blending modes that are both affecting a third layer beneath them without the end result changing. Come to think of it, if they have the same mode it still isn't assured. So, in general, you can't safely merge if there are layers underneath those being merged. If you want to merge two at a time, you have to merge from the bottom.

12-14-2010, 09:25 PM
Like HE says, I merge starting from the bottom up - anything that you can't merge to the background is going to be a problem. If I can merge layers to the background then I link them all together then merge them. This part works fine. It's the merging of layers between other layers not to be merged or flattened to the background that is the problem. What I do for this is to make an empty layer under a layer I want to eventually merge, link them and merge these two together. Merging to an empty layer sometimes preserves the blend mode and sometimes it doesn't (I never experimented with what blend modes get preserved with what colors 'cuz that would take a while). Anyway, if it doesn't take then I undo the merging and move up the the next layer. I repeat this for as many layers as I'm going to merge. Once that's done I link these to-be merged layers together and then merge them. The linking seems to help most of the time. One trick I haven't tried, but just thought of, is instead of merging to an empty layer merge to a 50% gray layer (not 50% opacity but true neutral gray hex code 808080 or RGB 128, 128, 128 ) and once merged set it to overlay (effectively removes the gray). I'm sure that there are many instances where this won't work but maybe it will work in those places where an empty layer doesn't.

12-14-2010, 10:15 PM
huh, interesting. I guess linking layers is a Photoshop thing? If it's in Gimp I don't know it yet. This might be one of those areas I need to learn about...

12-14-2010, 11:02 PM
Doh! Sorry 'bout that, my bad.

12-15-2010, 12:08 AM
It's too bad there isn't an option to flatten selected layers together much the way it flattens everything when it goes to a .jpg or .png file. Oh well.

12-15-2010, 12:15 AM
As said, merge from the bottom up where possible.

Another thing I sometimes I do is toggle visibility of a set of layers then do New from Visible then toggle visibility again. By the same token there is also the destructive version Merge Visible Layers.

Gimp 2.8 will bring us layer groups, so things will get better when that happens!

-Rob A>

12-18-2010, 04:58 AM
Been busy the last few days but I finally got back to making an update. They got a lot of Cities, towns, forts etc. I went back and forth on what to use for these but finally drew these up.

It's 3am and way past my bedtime so I am out of here.

12-20-2010, 05:40 AM
Added a border, an inset with Map Lengend, color tweaks and a bunch of little stuff I don't remember.

12-20-2010, 09:57 AM
Very nice but maybe you could make the text in the legend slightly larger, at this size they are a little hard to read and the lower case e's look a bit too much like t's. Just a thought.


12-20-2010, 12:59 PM
@Lonewanderer - I will double check it on the full size version. Thank you for pointing it out. This is 50% the size of the original so it might be ok there.

12-20-2010, 05:53 PM
Hey Jax, this looks fantastic. I love love love those mountains and hills.

12-20-2010, 05:55 PM
Looks great! I really like the colors you picked and the detail in the mountains/tress! Awesome work!

01-05-2011, 03:16 AM
The client had asked to put this on hold through the holiday and year end, which worked out because I was able to enter the December challenge, but we are now back to it. This is going to be a map used for a game and names and so on will be added in as they go so there isn't a lot of labels for me to do.

Keep in mind this is scaled down 50% of the full size so it may be a little hard to read the writing.

01-05-2011, 06:28 AM
Looks really good! I really like the colors and the key. This could be because it's scaled down, but the cities and towns, etc. don't seem to stand out as much as they should (a city next to the forest blends in with it).

Steel General
01-05-2011, 06:45 AM
Looking good Jax!

01-05-2011, 04:20 PM
I'm with FB. The city icons fit the style of the trees but they could stand to be a bit bigger so as to be more prominent and not mistaken for something else. My only real nitpick is that the trees don't fit the style of the mountains - the mtns have a real hand-drawn appearance while the trees and icons have a crispness about them. I'd change one or the other. The hills down south, deserty area, look really good and if everything looked like that it'd be outstanding. Conversely, if the hills and mtns had the same crispness of fine line then that'd be cool as well.

01-06-2011, 06:15 AM
Thanks guys for the feedback. Ascension you have got some good eyes. I had to get in there real close. I cleaned up some of the lines on the mountains. I also found that the darker textured parchment beneath the mountains seems to help so I did a little tweaking. Hopefully that helps but if not I can revert to my last version. I also added some texture to the trees in an attempt to blend the whole a tiny bit more but it's a really subtle change. Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to check it out. It always helps me keep improving.

The icons are many and I they do seem to get lost in the map especially when they are in the trees. The little forts are the toughest. I'll have to think about that.

Let me know if this is better or not as I think I've stared at it too long now. :)

edit: looking at it this morning I realized I dropped the border lines off on this one. DOH!

01-21-2011, 02:36 AM
Ok, we made some few changes and got some labels put together. Totally simplified the icons as the old ones just did not seem to work well with the rest of the map. I think everyone is happier with these.

Just waiting on a couple more names and a final once over and I should be posting this in the Finished Maps section. This project seems like it took a lot longer than it really did because we took time off over the holidays and New years and then there was time used getting test prints done before we moved forward and making small adjustments etc.

If you see anything really whacked that I missed let me know. This is the full size at 50% quality and max .jpg compression. (whatever that means I can't really see any difference).

01-21-2011, 04:54 AM
This is nice. How big are you going to make the final picture? As it is now, the difference in blurring between the mountains and the sharpness of the rest makes a bit of a mismatch, but if you scale the picture a bit smaller, that should become less pronounced.

01-21-2011, 12:13 PM
First off, thank you for running a critical eye over the piece.

That is the size right there. As far as the blur you see, I'm not sure I am seeing it, plus I'm not sure what I can do about it at this point. I think it may be the brushes which were drawn with pencil on paper and then scanned in? As I zoomed in and went back through them myself I did find a few that had a bit of blur perhaps from my shading. I cleaned up the worst of them but then I don't have the best eyesight. On a related note, I am getting my first pair of progressive lenses this week and so as a note to those of you who are getting older...it's going to suck! I know it must sound like I wear coke-bottle lenses, I don't, but I have 'Keratoconus' and had the 'Intacs' surgery. <--- Look that up if you want to get the willies.

On the bright side, I asked my wife to look at this and she has excellent vision, better than 20/20 and she didn't see it. I hope that means the mismatch isn't too powerful.

01-21-2011, 03:29 PM
@Jax: Not to derail the thread, but speaking as an optician, progressives aren't near as bad as everyone makes them out to be. Assuming the optician that fit them for you knows what he or she is doing, you'll be amazed at how natural they are once you get used to them (average 'adjustment time' is around 5 - 10 days). The best advice I can give you is to keep them on pretty much non-stop the first couple of days; the more you wear them, the quicker you'll adapt. And remember that you'll get the best focus where your nose is pointing; if you move your eyes to the side without moving your head, you'll notice that things will blur out on the edges. Unfortunately, even the best progressives still can't give you crystal-clear vision around the periphery of the lenses, but as you adapt to them, you'll pick up how to move your head/point your nose to get the optimum vision for whatever you're looking at. It becomes subconscious once you get used to working with them. Good luck!

I haven't personally worked with a patient yet who had Intacs done, but it seems like a great idea, since the lenses can be changed out if your vision changes, which is awesome, and light years ahead of regular corrective surgery.

And FWIW, I don't personally see any outrageous blurriness on the map. :D

01-21-2011, 05:29 PM
I really like this, Jax! It's a great style.