View Full Version : [WIP] New Continent Map

02-22-2011, 04:28 PM
Hi Folks,

Im having my usual once a year trip into the world of map making using PS. Normally i prefer to use CC3 but its about time i really got to grips with PS and make it work for me. Ive been reading through the Saderan tutorial (which is excellent) and this is a result of that tutorial.

First post is my base map. What i want to do is post a map after each section of the tutorial is complete and see how it develops.



02-22-2011, 04:35 PM
Very nice shape on that map. Looking forward to see the final result :)

02-22-2011, 04:57 PM
Thanks. Its about my 5th attempt to get a shape i really like.

02-22-2011, 07:02 PM
I always struggle with that, too. Looking good so far :)

02-23-2011, 12:49 AM
OK I have my map in terms of terrain etc. Can anyone suggest a good way to make fancy dots etc for towns ? Roads etc ? I am pretty much a complete novice when using PS so id appreciate it if anyone can point me to a good tutorial if possible.

02-23-2011, 01:05 AM
Well for towns all you need is the pencil tool - use a tip that is either round or square and varying size means smaller town. For roads, just use a 1-pixel tip and draw a squiggly line between two dots.

02-23-2011, 01:58 PM
I like the shape and I like the saederan tutorial very much. For roads I use a dottet line. Somewhere in the brush settings you can adjust spacing. The result is an evenly dotted Line. CC on the map is that the rivers are very straight and donīt always seem to follow the terrain elevation.

02-23-2011, 03:09 PM
Thanks guys for the feedback and advice so far. I'm playing around with the rivers as im also learning to use the tool so these are probably going to chance somewhat. When ive modified and adjusted I will post an update. I want to get the base terrain looking reasonable before i add towns etc.

02-23-2011, 05:10 PM
If you're already planning on fiddling with your rivers, this thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?3822-How-to-get-your-rivers-in-the-right-place) is incredibly useful.

02-24-2011, 05:10 PM
Ok ive redone the rivers, hopefully getting them to look a little better than before.

As always looking forward to the feedback.

02-25-2011, 05:26 PM
Hi All - ok ive continued with my experiment. Ive added some borders and some towns after taking a look at other tutorials in the forums. Can someone kindly tell me how i get all the text onto one layer. Each time i click the text tool its starts a new layer.

As always CC is always welcome - im using the map for a D&D campaign setting im working on and id like to make it have the old school feel - do the names feel right etc ?

02-25-2011, 11:06 PM
If you want all your text on one layer (and I wouldn't do that until you're SURE those are the names you want, and the appearance you want), move all your text layers on the menu box so they're in one group, with no other layers in between 'em. Left click on the top-most text layer, then shift + left click the bottom-most text layer. All the text layers should now be highlighted. Then go to Layer --> Merge Layers. Boom! Done.

As for the map itself: I like the physical terrain and the river layout. The text and borders... not so much. To me, the text seems overwhelmingly dark against the terrain. Maybe go with a lighter color - a brown or dark sepia or something? The borders seem harsh and pixellated. Instead of using a solid line, why not make it a dotted or dashed one? As Troedel said, you can adjust the spacing on the brush you're using. On the brushes palette, click on Brush Tip Shape, then look for the Spacing slider at the bottom. You can play around with it to get the spacing exactly how you want it.

02-26-2011, 12:02 AM
Hi Diamond - thanks for the reply and the advice its much appreciated. I shall go and try it out and then I will re-post the map.

02-26-2011, 10:56 AM
OK ive taken on board comments re borders and labels. Ive also changed some of the names to make them a little more appealing (to myself).

Next step is to start labelling the capitals and the large cities shown as dots on the map.

As always CC is much wanted and appreciated.

02-26-2011, 11:27 AM
Looking good! You might want to lower the opacity on the borders a bit; they're a little overwhelming. Other than that, I'm really liking the way this is turning out!

02-26-2011, 11:47 AM
Thanks Gidde for the advice. Ive lowered the opacity and your right it does look better. Once ive played around with names for the cities and towns im going to start looking at borders etc.

02-26-2011, 04:53 PM
OK last post for the day. All advice taken on board and applied ! Ive also added names to the smaller towns and cities now as well. Next job is to add a map border etc which should be fun as ive never done that before using PS !

As always CC greatfully received.

02-27-2011, 12:40 AM
Those borders look excellent, and I personally like the nation names appearance much better now; seems more integrated with the rest of the map.

But that red text for your city names... eurrgh. Very hard to read, especially in places where there are forests. I know there's a couple of Red Text Haters on this site :D , and I'm starting to believe they're right; red is extremely hard (at least for me) to use in map text and get looking good. You might try a slight outer glow on 'em and see if that makes 'em pop a little better, if your heart is set on keeping the red. Otherwise, I'd change color.

02-27-2011, 12:57 AM
Very Nice. I'd agree with Diamond about the city text. Maybe try a black outer glow or stroke :)

02-27-2011, 01:42 AM
Does this look better ?

02-27-2011, 04:39 AM
Sheesh this is addictive. Ive made quite a few mods based on advice and my own thoughts on the aesthetics of the map. Ive added a really really simplistic border. I wanted the map to be really clean to look at with no excessive clutter on the page.

Before I post this into finished maps id really appreciate the usual excellent feed back - thanks in advance.

02-27-2011, 07:30 AM
The other thing about red text is that red/green color blindness makes them all the same color. There is also blue/orange blindness as well. I think these are the 2 most common, could be wrong. Map, itself, looks pretty good. The reddish/brown labels might do with some more gray in the mix and less red or maybe just a hair darker.

02-27-2011, 07:34 AM
Colour blindness had never occured to me whilst ive been making maps yet it is a very good point ! I will try out the idea with the slightly darker/touch of grey on the larger labels and see how it looks. Thanks again for the advice.

03-01-2011, 02:22 AM
"Kingdoms of Actalur" has an apostrophe in it. It should not.

I like the borders visually, but they seem a bit random, and not in an "historical accidents" kind of way. For example, the northern edge of the Havens as it nears the sea is so close to the ridgeline on those mountains that it would be a natural place for the border. One can, of course, construct an historical justification for any placement, but these borders are suspiciously regular without being regular enough to be "draw a line from here to here" arbitrary treaty borders.

One oddity that has a good explanation because it builds useful background is the valley shared by Roanland, Rakath, and the Havens. Both Grimkeep and Brelzuth are rather high in the mountains for cities, but reasons can be constructed for why they exist. Given that they do, however, either ought, without a rival, to dominate that valley, yet between them, they control perhaps half the land, while Roanland holds the rest. This suggests a balance of power between Rakath and the Havens, with sufficient distrust between them that they cannot agree to drive Roanland out and share the valley. Perhaps Roanland pursues a policy of working to keep the Havens at odds with Rakath to forestall any such unfortunate alliance.

03-02-2011, 12:02 AM
Thanks for the advice rdanhenry it is very much appreciated. Although I had felt the map was pretty much done I do think there is room for improvement and the borders is one of those areas. I shall take on board your thoughts and play around with them somewhat. I also really like your thoughts on the potential "politics" and will definately make use of them.