View Full Version : [WIP] Urcys

02-21-2011, 12:36 PM
Hi there,

Sorry for not giving news sooner, I was doing another map; this time for another story that revolves around elves, dwarves, Faglelth (planar beings) and halfelings... the stone rings are teleporters that can be used solely by them.

Hope you can give me your advices on this one so the next one will be way better !


02-21-2011, 01:28 PM
Hi Ukyu, I assume you are using the manage attachments uploader? (click 'go advanced' and then 'manage attachments').

If your file is not uploading then it is either an unsupported file type or the dimensions are too large (I don't know the limit but it should take anything up to 3,000 by 3,000 px) or the file size is too large (again I don't know the precise number but anything up to 3 mb should be pretty safe). If you're using a supported file type and are within the required dimensions it may be a problem with the uploader and you may have to wait a little while and try again.

02-21-2011, 01:33 PM
Looks good to me.

02-21-2011, 01:37 PM
Yeah, finally managed. I learned that this forum is not compliant with IE9 which I use. Went to Firefox and it went well.

I'm having some difficulties to put a context to this map... what to put it on. It seems dull and not so lovely just like this.


02-21-2011, 01:44 PM
Bah. Don't think of it in terms of "it's not as good as this or that" but instead think of it as "does it look like fun or not". The only thing that I see, that I didn't think of before, is the scale. Pretty huge. I'd shrink it down to something like 100 or 200 instead of 1000.

02-21-2011, 01:49 PM
If I put this map as it is on my book, my reader will give me a bad ranking in illustration and I'm going to get less reader next month. Through I put maps for fun in my books, my editors and readers aren't so lovely about it either You thinks the scale is too much ? Well, I'll see if I can shink down the whole by 1 zero. It might not be a bad idea !

How about the town does it seems wierd how I put them on ?


02-21-2011, 02:10 PM
Well, I've found the background, but once again, I don't know how to melt the two so it's good looking. It's annoying. I've got tons of ideas but zero skills to back them up. T-T.

02-21-2011, 02:57 PM
What software are you using, Ukyuu? If you go to your profile settings you can list it there and it will appear under your name when you post (very helpful if you don't want to be asked obvious questions). If it's photoshop or similar, resize your frame, put in a layer on top of your map, set the layer blend mode to 'multiply' (actually play with them all and see which looks best), and play with the opacity settings. I don't think that the grungy frame you've chosen will work very well with the clean cartoony type of map style you have, though.

02-21-2011, 03:07 PM
Sorry I hadn't filled my profile (didn't really understand how, sometimes this forum is a bit hard to understand for me ^^'). For this one I went with Mapgen and Fractal Terrain. But others sofware are fine if there's any way to do it.

02-21-2011, 03:09 PM
Ah well you have PSP, which is great. Use that to texture your map further, but this style of map usually suffers from textures rather than benefits from them (unless they're really subtle). What sort of look are you trying to achieve? is there a map here that you want to replicate the look of?

02-21-2011, 03:54 PM
Fact is the real area I need is thankfull to the center of this map.
Therefore, the borders suffering from texturing wouldn't be so much of a problem.
Right now, I'm tring something that give quite good results, Just a second more and I migth have something nice.

02-21-2011, 04:18 PM
Ah, well, since i've meddled with it with a lot, it has come to something... how do you find the result ?

02-21-2011, 04:37 PM
Truth? Awful. I'd try for a much more subtle approach in using textures with this map.

02-21-2011, 04:45 PM
That's quite a problem...
How am I supposed texture this so it won't look at it looked like with all the bright colors and "daylight" stuff from before ? It looks like just a bitmap if I don't texture it... I'd like to look more antique...

Then, how about this one ?

02-21-2011, 05:07 PM
Well, to make your map look antique here is the quick fix (see below). I converted the map into grayscale, cropped out the very unantique border and applied a burnt edges filter to it.

But it still doesn't work really because the icons on map are too obviously computer generated...there is no hand drawn feel to them at all. You can play with other artistic filters and overlay them very subtly on top of the original, but the real problem is that a filter will look like a filter unless it's done very gently. In the second image I've duplicated the layer and applied an ink outline filter to give it a slightly heavier pen and ink look but drawn it's opacity down by about 50%.

At the end of the day it's what works for you, but filters will only help you so far.

If you like the map and want to do it the more long winded (and rewarding) way, tell me and I'll walk you through how I would do it.

::edit:: just seen your last post - much better.

02-21-2011, 05:11 PM
Don't know where you got the burnt border but it looks like something that I would like to have my hands on ^^'. Yeah, I'd be glad that you tell me how you did it !

02-21-2011, 05:19 PM
Just the burnt border or would you like to do it from scratch?

02-21-2011, 05:22 PM
Hum, from scratch would be good !

02-21-2011, 05:49 PM

What sort of look and feel do you want your map to have? :: edit:: what is the scale of the area you're mapping?

Fast way: post a link of a map you like
Slow way: describe it to me.

Regardless of the look and feel, check out Old guys tutorial on making fractalised coastlines (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?9056-Creating-Realistic-Coastlines). Should work in psp no problem, and draw the coastline you want using this method. Do this in psp and make sure that the land is black and the sea is white or vice versa.

02-21-2011, 05:58 PM
The scale should be the world, this map is for the cover of the book so it needs to give the setting of the universe : Heroic Fantasy, with elves, dwarfs etc and magic.

The names are all ready in a file (and neatly bunched up).

There is 3 majors kingdom and 34 minors ones (not a problem to ignore mapping some since they're minor and just mentionned) aside the minor country of Tijurn where the story begins (need to be seen).

The landscape near this village needs : Wide empty space, forest (where elves lives), a small place for dwarves (mountain) Something like an alpine forest would do near this one village. The capital should show some modesty in regards of the 3 major kingdom's one and be on the direct east to the major kingdom of Aeries.

The rest hum, I havent wrote much about it so well, I guess there's sea (so there can be fishermen in the small kingdom) and I need some bridge between the village and the alpine forest... A river would be great for exemple.

I guess that is how I see it for now.... what should I describe more to imagine a great map ? I don't quite know...

02-21-2011, 06:00 PM
I am curently trying to do the coast lines but I have no idea of what to draw in fact.

02-21-2011, 06:09 PM
Ah, I see why you chose the icons now. So you want a map where you can see the the entire world, but also see a single village in it and what is around that village? Attached is the cover art image of a book called 'best served cold' by Joe Abercrombie...I gave my book away so I can't look up the name of the artist to give him credit (couldn't find it on google) ...is this the sort of look/feel you're after?

02-21-2011, 06:13 PM
Yes, this is the idea. I like the color (like old map paper) through I'm not so fond of the artwok on it, it gives a great global idea of what I'd like !

02-21-2011, 06:20 PM
Cool, can you find an example of the artwork you would like?

02-21-2011, 06:43 PM
Trying to but to say the truth, I'm battling out with Paintshop Pro right now to try to do what you have told me. I'm not even able to make the fractale lines for now :(

02-21-2011, 06:44 PM
No worries, have a look around the site and see if there are any styles you like. Don't worry about the coastline tutorial (lots of ways of skinning that onion). Post up some links to the maps which give you a good vibe and we can take it up tomorrow.

02-21-2011, 06:53 PM
http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=33107&d=1296624483 <= this was one I quite liked...

02-21-2011, 06:56 PM
lol! Nice to have high standards. We may not be able to get all the way there, but we can get close.

If you have a printer/scanner, grab a black pen, drawn the coastline and post the scan up here.

02-21-2011, 06:59 PM
http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=33133&d=1296722182 <= are nice too ^^'

02-21-2011, 07:01 PM
I've just noticed that you're the person I did the datapad thing for.... is this the same project? That was science fiction and this one is much more fantasy/history

02-21-2011, 07:07 PM
Ok, I'm grabbing my pen... ^^' It's numerizing right now...

02-21-2011, 07:09 PM
Not it's not the same. The story with the datapad has been validated, now all that's left to do is to wait that the website is online and it will be released for people. This story is another one, which is Heroic Fantasy. And Since you're helping me once again ^^', guess I'm going to do a second donnation in appreciation of the time you spend on me :)

The Datapad was for Frost In Solitude, the world was FijuwŽ. This story is Lotus Princess, a war story in an heroic fantasy setting ^^'. The world will be UrcaŽ.


02-21-2011, 07:25 PM
lol, the donation is up to you and it is for the upkeep of the guild.

I'd love to see the Frost in Solitude website when it's finished!

The Lotus Princess sounds fascinating! (great name). Looking forward to your scan of the coastline.

02-21-2011, 07:28 PM
The scan is done. I just have problems uploading it. I'm reducing what I can. Yet again, it didn't gave much good result :(

02-21-2011, 07:35 PM
Don't worry about the result in detail. Just upload it and I'll clean it up for you. If the file is too big, put it on mediafire (http://www.mediafire.com/).

02-21-2011, 07:39 PM
It's saying the format is invalid, through I do have heaviers and file of the same format there... so I'm doing a last attempt before puting it on thing you've told me ^^'.

02-21-2011, 07:41 PM
It's uploading on your site !

02-21-2011, 07:44 PM
http://www.mediafire.com/?3giz5oq2xj6nung here it is !!

I did some work on it to make the borders more visible, but it's not that good ^^'

02-21-2011, 07:56 PM
OK, I'm going to bed. More tomorrow!

02-21-2011, 07:58 PM

I'm going to try doing some work around this all. Thanks again for all this :)

02-22-2011, 05:45 AM
No worries. If this map is going to be used as a book cover, the first thing you need to do is to make sure that you are working on a document with the correct pixel size. If it is too small it will not look good even if you resize it. Better to make it bigger than you need and size it down if you have to. If you open your scanned document in psp and look at the document information you will see that if you print your document at A4 size with the pixel count you have (6614 x 9534) you will be working at a resolution of 800 px per inch, which should be plenty.

Make a new layer above your drawing and using the pencil tool in PSP and trace over your land areas, so that all the land is black against a transparent background. Also start to put in the locations of all the cities, towns, roads, mountains, forest etc on your paper sketch (you can be very rough, just draw an upside down v to represent mountains for example and the cities etc can just be dots), just so you have a rough idea of where they are as you progress. As you sketch out locations, think about your story and how far locations are from each other and where they are in relation to each other. How long does it take to get from town A to town B in your story? Depending on the speed of the transport used you can work out the distance. For example you can travel about 20miles a day on horseback (if you don't want to overtire your horse). So if town A is 2 days' ride from town B, you know it's about 40 miles. As you go through this, you will begin to get an idea of the scale of your world.

02-22-2011, 07:07 AM
Okay, I'm doing this right now ! But the character are curently using : Thee (5 miles) Suu (20 milles) and Keh (80 miles) Should that reflect on the map ?


PS : This is the cover it will be included on after

02-22-2011, 07:14 AM
It is easiest just to estimate the scale with a ruler (e.g. 1 cm = 5 miles) on your sketch, so Thee will be 1 cm away from wherever, Suu 4 cm and Keh 16 cm. If you run out of paper just make the scale smaller.

02-22-2011, 07:25 AM
Well, I have scaled the map like you've told me. I hope it's okay like this.

02-22-2011, 07:46 AM
Great, now do this step:

Make a new layer above your drawing and using the pencil tool in PSP and trace over your land areas, so that all the land is black against a transparent background.

02-22-2011, 08:23 AM
Here it is ! Did I properly fractalize the thing ? But I made a mistake, it's not a layer, the whole thing is one layer and actually black against transparent T-T.

02-22-2011, 08:43 AM
Erratum : I could make a layer with only the line and a layer with only the lands. the image show white but it's really transparent in my image.

02-22-2011, 09:45 AM
What should be my next step ?

02-22-2011, 09:51 AM
I see you had probs with oldguys tutorial, so I fractalised the land for you. Open this png in psp and call it 'land' and then increase the image size to 6000 px wide. Use a black brush and the lasoo tool to make any adjustments you want to the landmass.

02-22-2011, 10:10 AM
My Main problem is that all is written in english while my photoshop is in french, and I can't see where is each thing he's speaking about :/
Ok, will be doing so !

02-22-2011, 10:51 AM
Erf. It's no good, I'm getting nowhere at all...

02-22-2011, 11:15 AM
Are you using photoshop or are you using paint shop pro?

What sort of trouble are you running into?

02-22-2011, 11:28 AM
It's no good.
Too much of the land mass is eaten away in the base you gave me...

02-22-2011, 11:30 AM
I have both software at disposal, and I did it with the two. But still, too much of the landmass is eaten away and I can't do a thing about it... on your basic map, the very place I had put the town in my minds is already gone...
I'm searching a round-about it.

02-22-2011, 11:41 AM
Oh god, I've finally managed it... I think it can't be better now. I mean the global shape of course.

02-22-2011, 12:15 PM
Great. Make a new layer below your landmass and make that layer black (for now). Turn your landmass layer white by going to Image Adjust / Invert. *** Increase the size of your image to 6,000 px wide **** then make a copy of the landmass layer. On that copy put down very roughly (you should have it in your sketch) where all the mountains, forests, rivers cities etc. are. Also (for my benefit) tell me what the distance is between any two cities of your choice.

02-22-2011, 02:50 PM
You really know to ask the impossible. Well, since I cound't do a thing by hand, I did it with brushes in CS5. here is the result (the file was too big for the forum) : http://www.mediafire.com/?ynkpwwcdiab9a5x

Distance between lake village and Forest village should be : 2 suu.

02-22-2011, 07:10 PM
I'm in a total stall... I don't know much about what to do. I know te basic layout. Maybe featuring a whole world with details was too big ? Shall I make the map a polical map ? It would be easier and I can do maps of specifics places that I'll put before each chapter so the reader know where is the chapter taking place ? What do you think of it ?

I'm taking a rest for today, I've been working way over what my doctor told me what I should be doing those days.


02-23-2011, 04:15 AM
Take a break mika, you've done well. My apologies, when I said put in the cities / mountains / forests rivers roughly, I didn't mean draw them as full artwork, but just indicate where they are on a layer.

The style of map is up to you, but as a guide, usually the style of map chosen reflects the technology of your fantasy world. So if you are doing something far future the map might look very technical, if your world is low technology then usually people will choose to go for a look which is hand drawn. I think your idea of making a map of the whole world (with less detail) for the cover and maps of specific places before each chapter is a good one. If you make the world map detailed enough, you could even just use sections of it in your chapter maps.

Post when you're ready and we will go to the next step.

02-23-2011, 04:32 AM
I've just noticed that you're the person I did the datapad thing for.... is this the same project? That was science fiction and this one is much more fantasy/history

I frequently do more archaic maps for my sci-fi campaign. Sure, "datapads" are all over the place, but there's still a place for the little handdrawn "you are here" maps(although these will be of fairly uniform low quality) archeological discoveries, and sometimes just... antiques. Also you may have landed on Nuva Kamalot on a space ship, doesn't mean the low tech <strike>mud scum</strike> natives have access to a computer.

02-23-2011, 05:22 AM
For sure, Su, but I was talking in general principles!

02-23-2011, 05:57 AM
On my specific case, Su-Liam, if the map doesn't reflect the type of world with enough precision, it can be seriously backfiring. All so more since it will be put in the cover. Studies prove that a reader will spend about 50 seconds at the cover and only chose the book among the others that have a precise cover guiding him toward the type of story he / she is seeking for. In my case,The main problem is to have the people watch this map and think "That's interesting, that story is based on a map?".

All of my book have at their end a full map (before I found this site I was asking someone to make it for me and it cost me around 140 e / featured areas) which was way to costly), the biography of the characters (where they came from, things not said about them in the story, etc) and general topic about the world (other kingdoms / planets / technology / laws / etc). My editor said that since it was why I was in high demand (I'm a private author, I write books for people (e.g demands of a book for a nephew birthday, a daughter Christmas, or for child who have difficulties with taking interest in commonly found books) thanks to these end-book; we might as well turn them as features implemented on the book itself.

I left my editor about a month ago because we disagreed on his fee royalties, but I still think it's a good idea to implement it on the thinks like this straight in the book like before a chapter, end-page notes, etc to reduce the amount of data given at the end of the book. Also in (http://www.djennyf-lloro.net (http://www.djennyf-lloro.net/)) I will put all my books available as an on-line version; some will be paid book, other free. I'll put on a wikipedia with the different universes, characters, maps and so on. Thus leading people toward them in my books.

Hopefully it will give back the people the love of quality book over scandal books, and show that there is still hope for books made to give you a real pleasure of reading rather than just exciting your curiosity.

I'm ready Ravells. But we should take it over from the black and white map, doing something with it that is a political map... I'm just annoyed by the current turning of that map, anything I do turns out totally screwed up. And I can't go further in the story without a real map or it will be totally wacky.


02-23-2011, 06:14 AM
Hi Mika,

Whatever style of map you choose to do, having your landmass as a separate layer is normally the best place to start. So far all we've been doing is establishing the coastlines and making sure that the scale is workable with a general idea of where everything is. Now we have that we can move onto actually styling it. Can you post a new reference picture of the type of political map you had in mind?

02-23-2011, 06:18 AM
Well..... I'll be trying to, there's so many maps on the website, it's hard to show something precise...

BTW would those few links help the community ? :


Through those links seems odds, they refers to generators that gives a lot of help...

02-23-2011, 06:47 AM
Well, here is the link...


The political one. However, mine wouldn't simply describe the name of the lands, but :

Kingdom (big crown symbol)
Prince's domain (Smaller imposing crown)
Duchy (Different, less imposing crown)
Marquis (Different even less imposing crown)
County (different, even less imposing crown)
Barony (different, even less imposing crown)

And a landmark (small normal) to where there is something to see.
Mountains and such would be a plus but not mandatory, they can be given by the color of the map ?


02-23-2011, 07:01 AM
I'm growing anxious that I might have take on an impossible task for me... Do I have what it takes to create a map on my own ? Maybe using generators and meddling with generated maps would get me to a better result ?

02-23-2011, 07:06 AM
So you don't want any borders marked on the map? Just the symbols?

Something like this?

02-23-2011, 07:06 AM
Here is the data for the heroin's kingdom... It's the only one I really need fully detailed on the main map.


Name: Suzhang
Ruled By: King Liao Tsi-Shieh and the parliament
Deity : The god of Twilight Tzu

Currency :

Mithral (2 platinum)
Platinum (6 gold)
Gold (17 silver)
Silver (34 copper)

Featured Places:

Wuhoua Island,
Houang outpost,
Weihangsha Bog,
Ninguangzhou Sand Shire,
Lanzhei Summit,
Lon Pond,
Rhotherion Groove,
Anyckella Desert,
Inaiz Jungle

Recent Events:

Near the southern mountains a talented thief has appeared and the price of perfume has risen sharply. A dangerous trader may be involved
A traveling merchant has gone missing in a northeastern town.
In the northwestern prefecture an important mage has gone missing and a popular actress recently lost supporters.
In a nearby region, there are rumors of a covert guild war.
A prominent priest has just been assassinated near a southern region and rumors say a prominent local politician is being blackmailed.

Notable Individuals:

Song Bang-Mang, the secretive lording who has been preaching a new organization. He has few open allies. Rumors say that he loathes politicians. He can usually be found at home. He is solidly-built with ruddy skin and sharp green eyes.
Gao Lang-Xiong, the arrogant soldier who is on everyone's guest list. Rumors say that she deeply detests certain mages. She can usually be found near the outskirts of the city. She is thin with brown skin and green eyes. The swaggering merchant Bash Batoudiye is her ally.
Seng Musadi, the suspicious foreigner who is rumored to be involved in several prominent assassinations. He can usually be found near the market. He is broad-shouldered with pale green eyes and pale skin.


Royal Army Main Troop : 7 Task forces containing 25 teams of 110 soldiers. At the moment, they are on the verge of a mutiny. This troop specializes in clever tactics and the use of staved.
Royal Army, Archon Troop : specializes in hit-and-run tactics and the use of javelins. They often rely on dragon mounts. They are famous for their long history of great victories. Each brigade contains 5 battalions of 330 soldiers. They have a loose chain of command, with ranks based on acts of heroism. At the moment, they are celebrating a hard-won victory.
Royal Army, Arrow Troop : specialize in archery (they have elves archers) and the use of double axes (Dwarfish infantry). They also employ assassins and Templars. They are famous for their harsh discipline and for impressing peasants. Currently, they are resting after a series of forced marches.
Royal Army, Celestial Stonehenge Troop : specialized in superior air support and the use of greataxes. They are famous for giving aid to peasants they encounter. Each legion contains 20 groups of 440 soldiers. They have a highly formal chain of command, with ranks based on social status. Currently, they are suffering from low morale.
Royal Army, Strike Piercers Troop : specialized on devastating archery and the use of mauls. Each unit contains 10 sections of 180 soldiers. They have a highly formal chain of command, with ranks based on election by subordinates. At present, they are suffering from massive loss.
Royal Army, Griffin claws Troop : specialized in guerilla tactics and the use of longswords. They are also known for using martial artists and exotic animals. They are famous for bravery. Each faction contains 5 squadrons of 100 soldiers. They have a strict chain of command, with ranks based on seniority. At present, they are returning home after a short expedition.

Current Fashion:

This style emphasizes minimalistic, scanty deep red and grey-green garments.
Tops are typically sleeveless with standard necklines.
Cloaks and headbands are popular accessories.
Collars and buttons are staples of the style.
Yellow-orange, grey, and bright blue are also common colors.
Different lineages wear very different clothing.

Races :

Humans :

Language : Common
Life expectancy : 80 to 110 years
Magic : Very few individuals are born with the ability to use magic, however to use this talent, they have to be taught spells by the other races as they are raw magic users.

Celestials :

Language : Celestal, common
Life expectancy : 8000 to 9500 years
Air Magic :

Spell : Deviance Cover. This spell creates a field around its user that deviates the projectiles aimed at him.

Earth magic :

Enchantment : Stone Armor : This spell considerably increase the armorís defense, however it increase by twice this defense its current weight making it a double-edged sword enchantment to use.

Tiger tribe : White or yellow-brown fur, greater earing, slit eyes of various color, very high velocity, and greater stamina than humans, sensible to sound. Extremely clever but can act on impulsion under high stress, they loyalty is legendary and once they decide to be someoneís vassal, they wonít back down. They mainly like short hair style.

Elves :

Language : Elfish, Common
Life Expectancy : 8000 to 9000 years.
Moon clan : They were about 165 to 185 centimeters tall and tended to be rather thin. They had silky, flexible hairs varying from pale platinum to silver. Their eyes were brown, green, or hazel, and their skin of fair pinkly-white. They typically have oval faces, with straight-bridged noses and slit eyes that can see through darkness as if in plain day. The beauty of these people was quite well-known, as much as their legendary dexterity and inborn talent for archery. Their talent with spears was also quite well-known.

02-23-2011, 07:09 AM
I'm growing anxious that I might have take on an impossible task for me... Do I have what it takes to create a map on my own ? Maybe using generators and meddling with generated maps would get me to a better result ?

Maybe. It's really a question of how many hours you are prepared to put in to learn how to make a map. The problem with generated maps is that you cannot normally specify with any degree of exactness the coastline shape that you want, so if you are prepared to regenerate a lot of maps until you find one that is close enough to work, then that might be a solution.

02-23-2011, 07:17 AM
I can spend hours to learn... but I'll never get my hand working a beautiful thing. I mean, I'm really awful at hand-made drawing and we've been doing a lot of it. The result is that I am clearly not good at it. My coastlines weren't fractalized at all, the moon-shape I wanted on the "inside" territory finally totally disappeared... All so more since I don't have a single bit of talent to distances checking I feel awkward to even show something so ugly. As I think about why I am really so far-away from a nice result, my only answer is that as long as I can't draw by myself, I am never getting something that is worthy...

Still I want to learn, so I'm going to see through this whole map along with you if you're not desperate on my case ^^'.

02-23-2011, 07:44 AM
Yes, the map you posted was rather what I want, maybe less crowded for clarity purpose, with the names of the kingdom on it. But borders should show by something like a wall, or other features of frontier checking just like a set of outposts, wall etc...

02-23-2011, 08:14 AM
I have an idea. Your landforms look very stylised (i.e. not real, but symbolic), so why not go the whole way and make your 'map' a symbol that is not obvious? In this example I've done it as a mobile, earring, pendant or something like that. The little 'gems' are your city symbols. Might be eyecatching for a book cover?

02-23-2011, 08:38 AM
I see.
That's quite an amazing idea you got there. It might be better this way effectively. So I need first to think about the symbols I want to draw that's it ?

02-23-2011, 08:47 AM
If that is the idea you want to go with. I did this Serif Drawplus (which I find very easy and quick to use) but you could also do it in photoshop. If you would like to stick with the example map I posted before, then that was done in Campaign Cartographer 3. (or CC3) This might be the best software for you to draw maps as it requires very little drawing since all the symbols are pre-made and you just stamp them on using your mouse. But be warned, it works very differently from photoshop and there will be time you will have to invest in learning how it works.

02-23-2011, 08:53 AM
Same for psp and photoshop no ? Through I need to find the brushes !

Oh !
I have this software.
I had brought it very long ago. However, I can't make a single map with it.

I'm completely lost, and never was able to follow a single tutorial on it. Even the "preset" are bugged in my version, they don't launch when I double-click on it :'( But I agree it would be the best sofware to use by now. If I had the manual to use it.


02-23-2011, 09:55 AM
Well, I'm curently giving a go to the map with symbols right now.

02-23-2011, 10:27 AM
Best of luck!!!

02-23-2011, 10:35 AM
Well, the symbol isn't good either... nothing's coming out of this. I'm going to use another method and post it here in one or two hours. Maybe we can do something if we start with some correct material ^^'.

02-23-2011, 11:20 AM
I think I'm going to find a big wall and bump my head against it repeatedly...

02-23-2011, 11:54 AM
lol, Rome wasn't built in a day, and make sure it's a wall of pillows. Most importantly: Have fun!! If you don't find the process of making maps enjoyable, then perhaps it's not for you.

02-23-2011, 12:15 PM
I do think of it as highly enjoyable. And I do need to do maps for my story.
I can't always relies on other's kindness / financial request to get my own maps for my own worlds. My best take is that I need to find a process that skips the things I am absolutely awful at. Perhaps If I had a blanck CC3 project to use, I would be able to use that, I'm searching a way to get my shortcomings fixed... T-T.

I can understand the overall process, the problem is that my hands don't work properly, so I can do beautiful basic drawings... that's my main problem here ^^'.

02-23-2011, 12:26 PM
There are lots of CC3 experts here (I only have CC2), maybe if you start a WIP thread and post up what you have they can help?

02-23-2011, 03:50 PM
Okay, I gave a new go at it. It took me quite some while, but here is what I have now (points are possible towns, not all will be used !), hope it's getting better ?

02-23-2011, 05:06 PM
Well, I think that I'm getting the hand of it... Now I could even add some details in that look quite nice :

02-23-2011, 05:15 PM
Ukyuu, I think you're cooking with gas! This is looking very good indeed!!!

02-23-2011, 05:21 PM
Cooking with gas ? No, I cook with my micro-wave :P, You asked me the distance between two towns ; On the lower part, there is a fort-like symbol and a town in the forest, they're 3 horse day (considering they sleep at night, don't overtire the horse and aren't some lazy bums who sleep on the way). I'm still trying to know how many miles and kilometers that makes them from each other, if you can help me regarding the scale, I'd be glad please ?

If you consider the time it took me to just do that part, I'd say the map should be ready and fully done for next year. :P As it is, I used : Mapgen and Photoshop CS5 (from master suite).


PS : I was once asked by a friend why someone who draw like she had two left hand possess that many drawing / mapping / art softwares, let me say that when you need to make beautiful background for autograph, books covers and such they come in very, very, very handy. Ever tried to make a rainbow with paint ? (I had to make a rainbow on the sheet I was signing on at my las autograph session (was for a charity association) and things like this occurs quite often !

02-23-2011, 05:33 PM
I've always went by the 30 leagues per day thing, about 90 miles or 144 km, on horse maximum. We had a whole thread on realistic distances 2 years ago but I can't find it. But anyway, 100 miles a day on horse (160 km) seems like pushing it, 50 miles per day (80 km) seems ok, and 25 miles per day (40 km) is downright leisurely. Then terrain factors in like hills, no roads, mud, forest, careful travel because of highwaymen, etc. As a general rule I don't put big towns any closer together than a hundred miles but everyone has their own idea so you can make it whatever you want. You know it's 3-days ride so at most it's 300 miles and at least 75 miles (480 km and 120 km) if the terrain is flat and easy. Rough terrain would be much shorter.

02-23-2011, 05:40 PM
100 miles a day on horse (160 km) seems like pushing it,

At this rate, I give the horse about 3 days of lifespan if you don't change horse every day.

50 miles per day (80 km) seems ok,

Seems more like what I had in mind when I said 3 days.

and 25 miles per day (40 km) is downright leisurely.

If my messenger was doing this, then I'd say he would take the door with a kick to help him get out faster.

Those two towns are 140 km away from each other.

02-23-2011, 05:48 PM
If my messenger was doing this, then I'd say he would take the door with a kick to help him get out faster.

ha ha!!

The figures for horse travel that I have (all taken from the internet) are very close to Ascension's.

Believe me, it's all about practice, you will be very surprised how fast you will be able to work the more you repeat the process. Do you have a tablet and pen, or are you doing this all with a mouse?

I can make your life with trees much easier. Check out (do a search) 'The tree thing' by Ramah on this site. It is a java application which will put individual little trees down for you.

02-23-2011, 05:51 PM
With a wonderful 3 years old mouse ! Fact is, a tablet wouldn't be of much help. When I say I have two left hand I mean it seriously. A tablet would be useless to me, err well, it might at best be looking good on my desk. There are things that people can't do, and I am one who can't do something pretty when it come to drawing.

Handling brushes, featuring stories, finding names for a map... that's more my area than making them ^^. Which reminds me of a client who went to me last year, he had a map, (very well drawn, made by hand with ink on high quality paper) and he brought my services to create a whole story going on with the map he gave me. I was heartbroken to give the map back when I had finished my job, but that's how life goes on :P


02-23-2011, 06:17 PM
Heh....well, it you're working 'toute souris' (as good as my French gets, I'm afraid - and even then it's probably wrong), then you're doing really well and you need Ramah's tree thing even more!

02-23-2011, 06:34 PM
Thanks for the compliment !

Yeah I'm doing it "ComplŤtement ŗ la souris" ;p I downloaded the Threething but I'm not so sure if I can use it on this map... it requires do you my own brushes...

Here is an update, the second kingdom is featured.

02-23-2011, 06:36 PM
If you draw one tree for me quite big, I'll do the brush set for you. Believe me it will save you a ton of time.

02-23-2011, 06:45 PM
I see that you have CS4, maybe I can direct you where I found the brushes for CS5, From those brushes, you would be able to make the ones for the program ?

02-23-2011, 07:02 PM
Sure, no problem.

02-23-2011, 07:22 PM
I just noticed that CS5 has a scatterer already, so I've been using this and look at my forest ! The elves's kingdom is done !

02-23-2011, 07:24 PM
That looks really good :)

02-23-2011, 07:27 PM
Thanks a lot, it's hard to learn all that from scratch. the first map I ever had was made by Ravells, I wanted to do one by myself, I will update my first post with the credits for the brushes (Raven, for now, but surely more later on) when i finish this map.


02-23-2011, 07:44 PM
Okay, added the kingdom of the Dwarves (only showing exit tunnels through, a swamp of despair (what is a world without a swamp of despair anyway ? I'll find it a name later on) and a mountain chain (hey no dwarf there since it's too close of the swamp !). I also made a hobit's lair... don't know if shows great through


02-24-2011, 06:07 AM
I'd like to have commnents on this bit before I goes further. Just to have some ideas on what to avoid / what's ok for the rest of the map.


Steel General
02-24-2011, 08:15 AM
I like it so far, though I think the foot hills may be a bit tightly packed.

02-24-2011, 08:52 AM
I'll redo the brush scatterer settings. If it's too tight, I'll make it a little more loose for future uses.

Thanks for the comment !

02-24-2011, 10:04 AM
Ok, made some advancements, one desert and the sea (in this world sea is raw water energy and can't be drink as it, it needs to be either of magical nature (e.g beast can drink energy water)) and some details here and there.

As I couldn't help but to do some rework since the sea was "too strong", here it is, V 2!

02-24-2011, 02:07 PM
I am wondering since about a few hours if I shouldn't add Rivers to this map.. What do you thinks ? Basically, it's not fixed in stone if this magical flux is just concentrated on one point or not. And I rode a vivid criticism on this website about maps who doesn't have any river... So if anybody has a mind about it, let me know...

02-25-2011, 04:20 AM
It's looking very good, Ukyuu! Why not add some rivers, it will give the map some variety. It's your map though, so you need to decide what look and feel you want it to have, particularly in relation to the story. If the story mentions rivers, then it may be an idea to put them in perhaps?

02-25-2011, 12:30 PM
I'm not so sure... Story-wise there's no river involved, yet it just simply mean they have no interest for the story so far. I was thinking about the rivers because I see a lot of topics regarding them in the forum. It's quite often saying that it's a must-have, and that a map seems to be only finished when it has its rivers... on my part, I don't know much about physics so much more less about weight balance and water flows...


02-27-2011, 07:45 PM
Hi back everybody,

I had to format my computer and re-install it completely when my "Graphic Card" sorry I don't remember the name in english, crashed. I will be done installing it sometime soon, hopefully I'll finish the map right after !


02-28-2011, 04:05 AM
Ouch....at least you didn't lose any data. See you again soon!

02-28-2011, 05:34 PM
I have network save of any work I do. If something should occur to my pc, I'd loose about 1 to 2 days of work at most. It's frequent practice in my work, since a lost story is lost forever (you can't possibly write 2 times the very same thing so it's quite annoying to lose even one).

I'm going to finish it back soon.