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quindia
02-24-2008, 02:20 PM
My first post. I've been running games in the same campaign world for over twenty five years. There have been many versions of this map, but I've posted the latest incarnation.

alucard339
02-24-2008, 03:13 PM
I really love your map.

I'm sure that your players love it too. The colors you've used make it easy to read and resting to the eye.

I look at it and I just want to play on your world.

Great job and welcome to the guild,
Alu.

pyrandon
02-24-2008, 03:15 PM
First of all, welcome to the Guild, quindia. So nice to have you here. If you feel inclined, we'd love you to introduce yourself in the member introduction forums!

This map is very, very nice, quindia. You nailed the Tolkien look exceedingly well, from color palette to symbols to font choice, and most everything in between! I am especially fond of those mountains--did you create them from hand or copy/edit them from a Middle Earth detail? They look just great. What program did you use to create this?

Well, once again thanks for posting, and welcome to the Guild!!

ravells
02-24-2008, 03:44 PM
Welcome to the guild, quindia! That is one heck of a beautiful map! I love the grunged up paper texture...it gives it a real richness.

Lovely stuff...and as Don said - please do tell us a little more about yourself and your interests in the introduction section!

NeonKnight
02-24-2008, 05:36 PM
Welcome, and I agree, a very lovely, lovely map.

thebax2k
02-24-2008, 10:18 PM
Great map Quindia, I had almost forgotten about you. I dropped by your site several years ago and had exchanged emails.

For the rest of you in the guild, you can check out the evolution of the map through several versions at http://www.quindia.com/where.html (bottom right links). I always found it fascinating to see drawings first done in elementary or middle school change over time and several iterations into the incredible work of art that the Quindia map is now.

Although the site hasn't been updated in awhile, I hope Quindia you add the 2008 version to the listing of maps. You just keep getting better and better.

I also hope you put up more city maps (and possibly locale maps) like Crowyn (at http://www.quindia.com/crowynmap.html --reminds me somewhat of Harn city maps). Thanks again and welcome to the guild.

rlucci
02-25-2008, 01:06 AM
Twenty-eight years of work on a map... That kind of crazy is inspiring.

quindia
02-25-2008, 07:15 AM
Thanks, folks!

The map was created in CorelDraw and the textures added in CorelPaint. The best thing about this map is that it is a vector file and 100% editable and scalable. When boundaries change during the course of the campaign (as you'll see if you follow Bax's links) I can change things at will.

The style of the line art is based off the original Tolkien maps, but the colors are inspired by the more modern map designed for the movie. I actually have a version on a plain white background with bright red text that mimics the old school map.

Although created completely in the computer, I tried to achieve a hand drawn look. The mountains are vector images, but each one is rendered individually, as are the hills, trees, etc. They are all drawn with a Wacom tablet using a stylus.

Each feature - mountains, hills, forests, text, etc. - is on a separate layer so I can edit each one without having to work around the others. As an unforseen bonus due to the way the map was constructed, I now have a virtual library of custom "clipart" I can use to duplicate this look in a fraction of the time it took to create it in the first place. There is another continent that I have run games in and it will be rendered in the same style.

I do indeed plan to update the website for 4e. It has been years since I touched it, but I am actually planning to completely redesign it which of course means more maps.

I'll head over to the intro section to add a little more. Thanks for the welcome and if I can answer any specific questions about the map, I'll be happy to.

Torq
02-25-2008, 03:39 PM
Welcome Quindia. I love the map. The look is really cool. Its kinda Pete Fenlon meets grunge but everything is clearly set out and informative, not to mention artistic and eye-catching. My favourite aspect of the map however is that its a sort of chart of the history of gaming. You've worked on its so long that the landmarks are often landmarks in gaming history, that bring back some great memories. Its clear how you've managed to incorporate some famous products and flagship adventures as well as literary favouritesinto your own campaign world.

Places like White Plume Mountain, Dearthwood, Marzabul, the Borderlands and Charn come to mind. I love the map because its not sterile and contrived, its testimony to many hours of great gaming.

Well done.
Torq

quindia
02-25-2008, 10:08 PM
I've designed lots of different game worlds because I love drawing maps (hence the reason I joined the forum), but I always keep coming back to Quindia. Some of the places have names that a goofy ten year old would come up with (the city of Frodo), but I can't bear to change them now.

Some of the iconic additions came during the years when I dropped a ready made adventure into a game and they stayed part of the campaign world. Others names, like Haven, have been used in many different worlds. A few others are purposely generic (the Black Forest) to invoke a nostalgic sense of mystery such a place would have held when I first started playing D&D.

The overall effect is that the world has a familiar feel even for people who see it for the first time. The games I've run over the years have shaped the world (the fifth ring was once whole, Ram's Wall was built by a player, Gornath was once the capitol of an empire).

I'll post some of my other maps here soon, but none have the history of the Realm of Quindia.

The Cartographist
02-26-2008, 07:25 AM
If only I had kept updating the same map over my years of gaming...
I always seemed to scratch and start from new.
Really nice maps.

terrainmonkey
02-26-2008, 09:48 AM
okay, i've been using corel draw and paint for about 2 years now, and i've never thought about making a map this beautiful because i didn't know how to do it. please, you've got to tell me the secrets, so that i could make a map this great. any advice you could give would be awesome. thanks! :)

ravells
02-26-2008, 10:28 AM
I love the idea of the map evolving with the play! Did you draw the trees individually by hand or was it a pattern fill? They look gorgeous!

RobA
02-26-2008, 11:11 PM
Hi quindia -

Beautiful map! So what is the backstory on Ram's Wall? It is so rare to see constructed features on a map of this scale it really jumped out at me...

-Rob A>

quindia
02-27-2008, 12:08 AM
It would be very hard in this format to reveal all of the secrets of CorelDraw. I've been using the software for everything from graphic design to illustration to layout to cartography for about 15 years.

This image, aside from the sky in the background and the lens flare on the sword, was created entirely in CorelDraw.

Suffice to say, CorelDraw is a very powerful tool and while it requires more dedication to learn than many programs that are designed for cartography, the results are well worth it.

I will consider trying to work up a tutorial for CorelDraw, but the two most important pieces of advice I can give out quickly is learn to use layers and vary the width and angles of your pen tool! The former makes editing easier and the later adds a hand drawn aspect that is lacking in many computer generated artwork.

In the meantime, I will try to answer specific questions...

quindia
02-27-2008, 12:18 AM
I love the idea of the map evolving with the play! Did you draw the trees individually by hand or was it a pattern fill? They look gorgeous!

Insanely, the trees are drawn individually. The Jungles of Omeer contain over 3500 of the little buggers. The good news is that I only had to draw about 1000 before I had enough to start a copy/paste routine to expand the initial section. Variation was created by mirroring sections, deleting or adding individual trees to make the pastes fit together without patterns, and occasionally hand drawing new small sections. After the Jungles of Omeer were finished, I was able to grab chunks of it, drop it down in another spot and delete or rearrange pieces to form new sections of woodland.

Another cool aspect of vector maps - if I decide to work up a full color version, I can instantly go into my "Forest" layer, select all, and fill every one of these trees with a shade of green (which I would then likely import into Photopaint to add textures and airbrush color variations).

cereth
02-27-2008, 12:27 AM
Absolutely amazing...

quindia
02-27-2008, 12:38 AM
Hi quindia -

Beautiful map! So what is the backstory on Ram's Wall? It is so rare to see constructed features on a map of this scale it really jumped out at me...

-Rob A>

Ram's Wall is basically a Hadrian's Wall style structure built along the eastern border of the Kingdom of Bronet to protect the area from the denizen of the Troll Lands. Ram the Paladin, a high level character of a player in one of my games in the late 80's announced his intention to build such a fortress. There were already a series of forts along the border (see the original colored pencil map from website). The player actually worked out the cost at one point according to the DMG per mile and began allocating resources to the fortress. Realistically, I didn't give out that kind of treasure, but the idea was so cool, I began to devote resources from Bronet.

The PC eventually became an NPC, but his goal in the game carried on. Over the years, the wall was expanded. Sometimes, decades passed between campaigns and the wall grew more quickly. At one point civil war in Bronet ended construction for a generation. In the current time line, Ram has passed on, the civil war is over and new king reigns from Haven, but strife and skirmishes with the neighboring Kingdom of Goland (they supported a loosing claim during the civil war) have still kept any new resources from being alloted to construction. Not only that, the wall is crumbling or even collapsed in places. The time may come when the new king wishes he would have seen to Ram's Wall sooner...

This kind of stuff is the reason I keep returning to Quindia. There is a history that has evolved that I could never have written.

Eilathen
02-27-2008, 01:55 PM
Wow, what a beautiful map!! I always liked Tolkien's style...and you perfected that style imho. Great work. And a tutorial-kind of thing would be great.

Just out of curiosity: would you do comissioned work in that style?

And please show us some maps of your other worlds :)

Cheers
Eilathen

quindia
02-27-2008, 07:44 PM
Just out of curiosity: would you do comissioned work in that style?



I would certainly consider commissions, but I usually carry a full schedule. Any projects of that nature would need to be sought by a patient person as it may be a few months before I could start on it!

Xilphridous
03-05-2008, 04:33 AM
Although created completely in the computer, I tried to achieve a hand drawn look. The mountains are vector images, but each one is rendered individually, as are the hills, trees, etc. They are all drawn with a Wacom tablet using a stylus.

Compelling job! I love it! :)

Only a question: do you think you would obtain the same beautiful result using a different professional sw? For ex. Photoshop?

I don't use Corel, so I'm asking if there's something I can't do with Photoshop...

quindia
03-05-2008, 08:25 AM
Only a question: do you think you would obtain the same beautiful result using a different professional sw? For ex. Photoshop?


U often use photoshop as well because the pressure sensitive tools work amazing well with the Wacom. I could certainly get the same results, but the utility of the map would be reduced for several reasons.

1. While the layers method would work perfectly well in photoshop, in my map each mountain, tree, and hill is an individual (and editable) object. I can move, resize, flip, etc. every single object.

2. The vector map is scalable. I can reduce or enlarge portions, crop out sections to use as the basis for more detail, and alter line widths and the like to maintain the aesthetics. In photoshop, you can certainly resample the image and crop it, but you will be stuck with the line widths when you zoom in.

3. My original map in the computer is 24x30". I had it printed on canvas and it hangs in a frame on the wall of my game room. I designed at that scale for that reason. I have a hi-res jpeg at that size stored on the computer, but it runs somewhere in the neighborhood of 12Mb as a flattened image. I would hate to use that file as my working one with the ten or twelve layers I have in the CorelDraw file!

pyrandon
03-05-2008, 12:56 PM
Clarence, your comments on this are well said, although I believe that only #2 is really an insurmountable issue: PS, by its nature, does not allow scaling and such to the nth degree (it's not vector, but raster.) If this were of interest to me as a cartographer, I would create the image in Adobe Illustrator--which is vector--and then only do final touch ups in Photoshop. The two programs work so well together. Corel's a great program--and as is shown here, very powerful!--but the Adobe apps could collectively do the same. It's a common mantra here at the Guild, well supported by hundreds of maps, that the program is not as important as the user. :) Wouldn't you agree, Clarence?

quindia
03-05-2008, 08:18 PM
It's a common mantra here at the Guild, well supported by hundreds of maps, that the program is not as important as the user. :) Wouldn't you agree, Clarence?

Absolutely. I use both Adobe Photoshop and Corel Photopaint for non-vector edits. I also have Adobe Illustrator, but I am much more familiar with CorelDraw. The later program actually used to be more powerful, but each time a new version comes out additions and upgrades have made the programs nearly identical. The main difference are the interfaces and I am simply more comfortable with the CorelDraw tools. I could have created the same thing in Illustrator or Freehand or any number of different programs.