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Diamond
12-08-2010, 03:22 AM
My entry is going to represent colonial empires on a world in a similar time frame to our late 17th/early 18th centuries. Obviously, in our world, maps didn't get accurate until much, much later, and there's nothing to say this on is right on the money either, but it's accurate to the best of the artist's knowledge. :D

Stage one was working out some hemispheres:

***Latest WIP***

Diamond
12-08-2010, 05:21 PM
Did a spherize on the hemispheres (not technically ideal, but it's what I got :D), and added some sea texturing in there.

***Latest WIP***

Slylok
12-08-2010, 05:44 PM
I like it!

Diamond
12-10-2010, 05:23 PM
A little more work. I decided to add in some inset maps of a couple regions. The size is already getting huge, even compressed...

***Latest WIP***

Diamond
12-12-2010, 12:14 AM
I wasn't happy with the continent shapes I had in the first version, so I started over.

***Latest WIP***

Gallifreyan
12-12-2010, 01:32 AM
Those are fantastic and pretty realistic continent shapes! How did you make them?

Great start, I can't wait to see this map progress.

Diamond
12-12-2010, 02:52 AM
Thanks!

As for the continents, it was fairly easy. I started with my hemispheres, which are just two solid black circles side by side on their own layer. Then I used Ascension's technique of generating landmasses, which is:
-Set up a new layer, Filter-->Clouds
-New layer, Edit-->Fill-->50% gray
-on the clouds layer, just draw in whatever shapes you want, using a round hard brush of various sizes
(I had the hemispheres layer clicked as a selection so I could make sure I didn't have any 'overlap' of landmasses off the sides of the hemisphere)
-Once I had the landmasses how I wanted, I merged the Cloud layer and the 50% gray layer (the one I'd been using the brush on)

Then, with the hemispheres layer still chosen as a selection, Modify-->Inverse, Delete. This removes everything outside of the hemispheres. This new merged layer is renamed 'Base'.

Next, I saved a PNG copy. This is because, on the inset maps, I didn't want them to show any distortion...

...which comes from using the Filter-->Distort-->Spherize function on each hemisphere. I have an additional layer, which is just one half of the two hemispheres - one black circle, in other words. This was important because if you try to spherize based on selecting the hemispheres layer, you get illogical resutlts. Try it and see. :D

So, I clicked on the Base layer, and loaded that single circle layer as a selection (first moving the circle layer so it lines up with one of the hemisphere halves). Then Spherize. Then repeat on the other hemisphere. This creates pretty convincing landmasses, distorted so they appear to be halves of a globe. One thing I discovered is that you don't want land too near the edge of the hemisphere halves when you're drawing in your continents, because anything too near the edge will be either chopped off or too distorted to use when you Spherize.

For the inset maps, I opened my B&W PNG map in Paint, chose the area I wanted to expand, and blew it up by 300%, then imported back to PS to use as a template. Then I used the Pencil tool with a 1px head to draw in the inset maps, using those imported PNGs as guidelines.

Whew! That was kind of long-winded. :D

Diamond
12-12-2010, 05:07 AM
And some more progress. I've discovered that, even as big as this thing is (5000x3000!) I'm still not going to be able to squeeze as much detail in as I wanted to.

Diamond
12-12-2010, 06:49 AM
And a little more done tonight before I go to sleep; started adding in the colors representing the colonial empires.

Sapiento
12-12-2010, 09:34 AM
What a fine entry! Great!

ravells
12-12-2010, 03:42 PM
Looks like you and cereth are on a joint path with the twin globes and the desaturated blues! Lovely work! I *really* like the insets and the glow borders and I love the paper texture you've used for the sea.

Ascension
12-12-2010, 04:50 PM
Something messing up in the forum software so that only the first page loads so I'm making a comment because this usually resets the software somehow. Um...looks good, man :) I agree on the continent shapes, the second is better.

Diamond
12-17-2010, 07:57 PM
Thanks for the support!

I had a nasty virus that knocked my puter out of commission for the last week, but now it's fixed with no damage to my files (thank God), so I'm back at work on this...

Diamond
12-17-2010, 10:15 PM
Yet more progress. I think I've got all the colonizing powers and their goodies done, next will probably be borders of other states.

Diamond
12-18-2010, 12:24 AM
I decided to change the font to something a bit more legible, space-saving, and cool looking. I think these are the only borders I'm going to put in, to represent the uncertain nature of other lands to Albionese explorers (from whose point of view this map is made). So lands in this world's far east and the 'New World' are kind of vague and mysterious...

Sapiento
12-18-2010, 02:39 AM
Simply great!

Diamond
12-18-2010, 05:11 PM
Some more additions.

ravells
12-18-2010, 07:37 PM
Wow! Fantastic....I think I'm just a passenger on this challenge, but the beauty of the work by everyone has been just unbelievable. This is amazing Diamond.

Diamond
12-19-2010, 02:26 AM
A fairly large update this time. I got sick of looking at that white background, so I added some color; also added some border art. 'Luthia' is actually an old map of Volgograd, while the three clipart pieces on the left are various chateux and cathedrals.

***Latest WIP***

Sapiento
12-19-2010, 02:53 AM
Incredible! What a stunning map!

Diamond
12-19-2010, 03:28 AM
Thanks, guys.

Hey, question: It seems as though the larger file sizes don't show up as thumbnails; how's that going to affect things when the thumb scraper goes a huntin'?

ravells
12-19-2010, 05:36 AM
I've noticed that too, but thought that the thumb-nailer not working was more random. Didn't realise it was filesize related. Haven't noticed that problem with any of the voting thumb nails so far though.

cereth
12-19-2010, 10:42 AM
This map is really nice. Very crisp, clean, and packed with information.

Diamond
12-19-2010, 11:43 PM
I think... this is done.

***Latest WIP***

Ascension
12-19-2010, 11:48 PM
Looks pretty good to me, man.

Immolate
12-20-2010, 01:34 AM
Super job Diamond! I really really like it.

Jaxilon
12-20-2010, 02:48 AM
Wow Diamond, this is really excellent! All the insert details are fabulous and the crossings are a nice feature I haven't seen anyone make much use of yet. Outstanding!

Sapiento
12-20-2010, 06:24 AM
Excellent map!

ravells
12-20-2010, 07:01 AM
Stunning work!!!!

su_liam
12-20-2010, 01:17 PM
Another really good one. I'm really going to have to step up to have a chance in this comp...

Diamond
12-20-2010, 05:12 PM
I've been thinking about making the coats-of-arms a little more muted, colorwise. They seem to clash too much with the rest of the color scheme.

Ascension
12-20-2010, 05:24 PM
I was going to say mute all the colors a bit but you beat me to it. Nice job, bro.

Diamond
12-20-2010, 07:49 PM
I did a desaturation on the coats-of-arms and I think they blend in a bit better now. Unfortunately, the layer with the colored nation outlines has been merged, so I can't do the same there. I'll play around with clipping masks, etc and see if I can achieve the same effect.

***Latest WIP***

geamon
12-20-2010, 07:56 PM
I like the way this is turning out!!! For the borders my suggestion is to put a grey gradient not sure the process to do that in photo shop I'm guessing masking, then set/change the layer mode to overlay or something similar, the grey should desaturate the colors I'm thinking. But to be honest I like it the way it is, you don't want everything to be unsaturated colors.

Diamond
12-20-2010, 08:02 PM
You know, I kind of like it this way too. The shields were a bit too glaring, but with that fixed, I'm thinking now that I don't want to get too fiddly and mess around with the other colors.

Thanks for the comment!

Ascension
12-20-2010, 09:04 PM
The shields look perfect. As for the national borders are you saying that you merged them to the background? If so then, yeah, yer screwed there pretty much. What you could do is to put a layer of the paper color on top of that layer (hopefully you haven't merged the shields yet) but under the shields and set the blend to hue or color, this will turn the colors brownish, then lower the opacity and the color will come back the lower you go.

Diamond
12-20-2010, 09:14 PM
Yeah, the colored borders are merged with a few other layers in the main map, so it's a bit tricky. I tried doing as you suggested there, adding a paper layer under the COA, but the problem there is that it messes up the ocean colors as well. I suppose I could always clip away everything else besides the border colors. There's also the issue of what do do with the 'crossings' colors; any messing around there is going to make them too hard to distinguish from one another.

arsheesh
12-20-2010, 10:44 PM
Wow! Nation borders not withstanding, this is marvelous work Diamond. Why is it that I always want to get back to mapping after looking at your work?

Cheers,
-Arsheesh