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View Full Version : June/July Lite Challenge Entry : The Borderlakes



AlexTna
06-29-2011, 05:29 PM
The first thing I thought about when seeing the challenge was how it looks like a formation of lakes or maybe a swamp with deeper water zones. Tried to draw the rivers and some hills as to make a natural border between 2 cultures (The northern 2 towns and place names are mainly English or English-sounding names, while the southern ones are from Romanian, that's why the 2 main roads don't connect).
Credit must also go to Gidde for my use of his Mountains and Hills brushes (my brushes where too edgy, seemed to me not to fit this map) and also to StarRaven, the creator of "ravenbrushesv3.abr" brushes, from witch I choose the compass. The rest are my own brushes (had to make a new forest brush, less repetitive).
I am still thinking about the color theme, mainly trying to get a color scheme of witch i can say "this is it", until now i have 3 versions, not quite sure witch one to pick, I will decide in the days to come. The last 2 are very similar, the last one only has a lighter hue of green (green does seem to fit in better then tan/gold, seems to me a lake region like this with such a golden color to it isn't the best fit)
Hope you like them and as always pointers and critique are welcome!
WIP's below:

AlexTna
06-30-2011, 09:31 AM
I recently discovered how to make "old paper", added it to my existing maps and played around a bit with the layer modes. These are my latest WIP's, i think I am going for the old "wild west" like map style

Master TMO
06-30-2011, 11:04 AM
Yyyep.... I'm not going to get many votes this month either. :P

Lol. Looks good!

AlexTna
06-30-2011, 12:21 PM
I wouldn't be so sure about that, I happen to like your idea a lot, very original from my point of view.

arsheesh
06-30-2011, 01:19 PM
I think my favorite is the one on your left in the second post. Using the initial image as a set of lakes was a great idea, and it turned out quite well. One thing I noticed however when zooming in on your maps is that some of the symbols (e.g. the compass rose) look a bit pixelized. I'm bran new to Inkscape, but I think there's a way you can smooth out these symbols in Inkscape and then import them back to GIMP as a bitmap, all nice and smooth (I managed to do it once, but I can't seem to figure out how I did it now!). Anyway, great job.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

AlexTna
06-30-2011, 01:50 PM
Any idea if a slight blur to the compass and similar objects my help make them less edgy and pixelated at high zoom?
Oh and i don't actually use Inkscape, its in my profile because I dowloaded it first, but switched to GIMP :)

arsheesh
06-30-2011, 02:27 PM
Hm, well that might get rid of the hard edges, but you would then have a blurry compass. Don't know which is less preferable. If there is a good way to reduce pixelation of icons using GIMP, then I'm not aware of it. Afraid I'm not much help to you here.

Jaxilon
06-30-2011, 05:29 PM
Well, I just wanted to see if I could smooth that out any so I created a duplicate layer of the compass, did a guassian blur at like 1 or 2, then changed the layer opacity to 50%. With the original over the top it softens it up just a wee bit I think without getting too fuzzy looking but you can decide. You can fiddle with the opacity on the layer quite a bit but if you go too far it does look blurry.

ravells
06-30-2011, 05:40 PM
Welcome to the guild, Alx, glad to see you getting stuck into the challenges! Really like the composition of the map. My only slight crit is that the mountains at the top of map are a bit too repeated, but other than that it's looking good to me.

AlexTna
06-30-2011, 05:41 PM
Thank you for the tip, I will try applying it first thing tomorrow morning !
EDIT: Sadly I didn't have a lot of time for map-making the last 2 days and I will have even less in the following week. I have gone back and made 2 new versions, because I am not used to GIMP all that well that I only saved my last 2 WIP's in JPG format :). No big problem anyways, I just recreated the old paper layers I have done earlier, I have made a duplicate compass layer in witch i followed Jaxilon's advice. Sadly from lack of time there will be no more major improvements, I will choose one of these 2 as my map and when time permits make some more adjustments and tweaks. I had in mind recreating the whole map with more attention to detail plus adding some stuff I learned in the meanwhile, but sadly there will be no time for such a complete make-over. I really don't know if I should continue participating or retire, I don't quite feel my map is close to a "finished product" and I don't know if it will be with my lack of time, but I will state my choice until the 10th (that's when map's are "submitted" and the voting begins right?).
So here they are:

AlexTna
07-02-2011, 02:09 PM
Any tips on how to include a border to an existing map?

arsheesh
07-02-2011, 03:03 PM
I wrote up a little tut on making map borders in GIMP not too long ago (a link to which is in my sig under "Tutorials"). However, to use it you'd need to enlarge the canvas, which would mean needing to remake the Parchment layer to fit the larger canvas size.

AlexTna
07-05-2011, 08:12 AM
Thanks for the tutorial, really helpful, but I have not been able to do a proper border, I get a few px bottom and left that are white, probably it's my math (or lack of it), but I will try again the next few days, it really seems unfinished without a border. My mapsize is 2000x2000, any tips on the size of the checkerboard and by how much to enlarge the canvas ( I don't really understand hot to do it, but I did it somehow) Again thanks to all members who helped me with everything from tips to brushes :).

jfrazierjr
07-05-2011, 08:33 AM
Based on the map type (parchment), I would suggest a more "destructive" approach. Turn it into a png(for the "export part when uploading"), cut out a ragged edge from around the map with a transparent layer underneath, do a bit of dodging in a few places to make it look like an old worn piece of paper.

arsheesh
07-05-2011, 11:13 AM
I think Jfraz may have a point here, but in case you still prefer a more traditional border here's what you can do. Enlarge the canvas size by either 100px (for smaller checkered pattern) or 200px (for a larger pattern). Next render the checkered pattern to the corresponding size (either 100px or 200px). Next follow the steps for deleting the portion of the pattern that covers your map. The pattern will of course be much larger than what you want, but it should also be consistent with the proportions of your map. Next just trim away the excess portion of the pattern that you don't want. Select the whole image, shrink the selection by however much you wish, invert the selection and hit delete. To get rid of the excess canvas where the pattern had been go to "Image" and hit "Zealous Crop". That should do it.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

jfrazierjr
07-05-2011, 11:26 AM
I think Jfraz may have a point here, but in case you still prefer a more traditional border here's what you can do. Enlarge the canvas size by either 100px (for smaller checkered pattern) or 200px (for a larger pattern). Next render the checkered pattern to the corresponding size (either 100px or 200px). Next follow the steps for deleting the portion of the pattern that covers your map.
Use a layer mask on the rendered checkboard layer instead.....

Jaxilon
07-06-2011, 10:31 AM
Hey bro, don't forget to put the 'pound pound pound Latest WIP pound pound pound' tag on your posting or we won't get to see your entry in the thumbs.

Looking good too.

AlexTna
07-06-2011, 11:15 AM
What do you mean by that, i didn't quite get your drift (are you reffering to post my latest wip so it will be included in the vote?)

Jaxilon
07-06-2011, 09:58 PM
Yes. You need to put ### followed by "Latest WIP" and then another ###. I wasn't sure what would happen if I put the exact line in your thread so I tried to be clever which only served to make you wonder what I was talking about :)

AlexTna
07-09-2011, 02:56 PM
Sadly I did not have time for more work on my map, I had a full schedule of job interviews and studying for exams, so I will post my chosen map now, hopefully I can work a bit tonight, we will see.
So here it goes :
### Latest WIP ###

ravells
07-09-2011, 02:58 PM
This is looking great. The trees and mountains have loads of individual character.

AlexTna
07-12-2011, 05:40 PM
I have worked a bit with the border, played around with border-line paths and such, until I came out with this. This is my latest WIP and quite possibly my final map for the challenge. I want to thank everyone for the tips and nice words, you guys have been really helpful! :)
### Latest WIP ###

jfrazierjr
07-12-2011, 05:48 PM
Looks good.. perhaps a bevel on the image so that it appears that the border frame is on top? Anyway...good stuff....

Jaxilon
07-12-2011, 06:04 PM
Still nice, but is that label in the upper left corner correct? It looks like it's been partially erased or something.

AlexTna
07-12-2011, 06:31 PM
Along the way I had the idea of making labels near "smudges" on the parchment appear erased, or almost unreadable. I abandoned the idea but also forgot to change the text for "Wickham", it is unfilled in its current state. I did not notice it until i merged down some layers and I did not know how to undo it. So in my mind its just a portion of the map where the text is unreadable becouse of old age :)