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Carnifex
02-26-2008, 12:39 PM
Below is a map of a Mages' Guild I've made in Illustrator and Photoshop. Criticism welcome (both pros and cons).

EDIT: added two maps

ravells
02-26-2008, 01:21 PM
I love the vegetable patch! I can just imagine a mage pulling back the sleeves of his robe and planting some cabbages! Although the cobbles within the guild walls look great, I'm not sure sure about the crazy paving effect outside the walls. I'm not what it is tht jars with me...perhaps they jut look too clean and need a bit of grunging? I'd be interested to know what your workflow is with illustrator and ps. We have at least one other industry pro who uses ps/illustrator to great effect.

Lovely map and thanks for sharing it with us!

Ravs

pyrandon
02-26-2008, 02:11 PM
Hi, Claus, and thanks for posting this. Very, very good!

I agree with ravells about the paving stones, but I see them as part of a larger problem: random focus (sharpness) in some elements. For example, the paving tiles are in sharp focus, very crisp, whereas the stone path inside the walls is not. A few trees are sharp focused, but others aren't. Etc. If you are going for photorealism, either choose one level (ex: ground level) to be in sharp focus & slightly blur all others, OR blur or sharpen everything.

The shadows are also unrealistic if you are going for realism: where is the light source for this image? Even if directly above there should be shadows, etc. on the roofs.

Finally, the grunging of the map would add a lot. The grass, for example is too regular and "fill-like" for my tastes, as are the roofs, etc.

The grid on the stones outside the walls is also lost; how can you make it stand out? (Lighter color?)

Overall, this is a great image, one I would as a GM be proud to show my players, but if you do the above suggestions it would be eye-popping amazing! :) :) :)

ravells
02-26-2008, 04:03 PM
Yes that's it....Don hit it on the head - it's the inconsistency between the crazy paving being so sharp and the the other soft focus elements which make it look a bit off.

Carnifex
02-26-2008, 04:35 PM
Hi, Claus, and thanks for posting this. Very, very good!

I agree with ravells about the paving stones, but I see them as part of a larger problem: random focus (sharpness) in some elements. For example, the paving tiles are in sharp focus, very crisp, whereas the stone path inside the walls is not. A few trees are sharp focused, but others aren't. Etc. If you are going for photorealism, either choose one level (ex: ground level) to be in sharp focus & slightly blur all others, OR blur or sharpen everything.

The shadows are also unrealistic if you are going for realism: where is the light source for this image? Even if directly above there should be shadows, etc. on the roofs.

Finally, the grunging of the map would add a lot. The grass, for example is too regular and "fill-like" for my tastes, as are the roofs, etc.

The grid on the stones outside the walls is also lost; how can you make it stand out? (Lighter color?)

Overall, this is a great image, one I would as a GM be proud to show my players, but if you do the above suggestions it would be eye-popping amazing! :) :) :)

Thanks for your input.

Yeah I kinda rushed the roof and the surrounding area. I think I will acually blur that area (to show that it's not an important area).

On the sharpness I think you mean contrast, and I agree.
I agree on your point regarding the trees (even if I don't aim for photo realistic). I actually had a problem finding good trees. I made the large tree from a photograph.

I thought the shadows were quite ok but I know they are not perfect. I was thinking a quite soft sunlight (hazy?) from NW. Can you clarify please?

I had a thought about the grass and made it close to perfect - I imagined they have a gardener who keeps the grass in perfect condition.

Carnifex
02-26-2008, 05:41 PM
I'd be interested to know what your workflow is with illustrator and ps. We have at least one other industry pro who uses ps/illustrator to great effect.

Lovely map and thanks for sharing it with us!

Ravs

Easy... I make the walls (not really showing in the first map (with roof)) in Illustrator. Then I paste it into PS as a smart object and do the rest of the job there (I also plan to do some work in Indesign for best quality (add text and stuff)).

I've also tried to make the a map in Illustrator, importing objects made in PS, but making soft edges etc is too much work in Illustrator. I work faster in PS I think (it's a pain with all the layers though and the files gets super large).

(Added two more maps to the first post)