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View Full Version : July/August 2011 Lite Challenge Entry: Berend-Jan's Herbalist Academy



Len Wolff
07-30-2011, 05:50 AM
I got really inspired by the current challenge. I know I'm a newby here, but I thought I might as well dive in and learn to swim along the way.

So here is my first WIP of the Herbalist academy of the renowned Master-herbalist Berend-Jan Groothuijsen. Students from all over Terra Nova (yeah, I know, not original. But I've used this name for a long time, so I'll keep it.) come here to learn the art of herbalism. They brew magical potions, elixers and ointments, using the powers embedded in plants (and in some cases animals).

### Latest WIP ###

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Still a lot needs to be done.
- I have to finish the buildings
- I have to add the paths
- I have to add the layout for te main building
- I have to add shade
- Possibly a nice border
- Find a way to make it 'magical'.

I just hope it will be finished in time :)

Steel General
07-30-2011, 08:34 AM
Good to see some of the newer members joining in on a challenge.

Len Wolff
07-31-2011, 06:06 PM
Had some time today to work on my map and it's all starting to come together. Still a lot needs to be done. I'm not quite sure about the paths and I still don't know what to do with to mapborder (I'm thinking about a floral pattern). Any tips or comments would be appreciated.

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eViLe_eAgLe
07-31-2011, 07:38 PM
Wow.. Could you tell me the process for the paths? I think they look wonderful..

Len Wolff
08-01-2011, 02:42 AM
Thanks for the comment, I'm glad you like the way my paths look. I like the look too, but I'm still not sure that the paths are in the right place. The process for making the paths is fairly simple. I'm still reading through all the great tutorials here, so I'm sure I'l pick up a better technique along the way. But this is what I have done to create the paths now:

I started with two texture layers, one for the grass (on top) and one for the paths (just below the grass layer). Then I used the eraser-tool on the grass layer tool to cut out the paths. I used a chalk brush for this with a bit of jitter to make the edges a bit random. After I cut out the paths from the grass layer, I duplicated that layer and I put this new layer between the grass and the gravel layer. I used the treshold tool to make this middle layer black. Then I modified the opacity for this layer to about 40% and moved the complete layer two pixels up and to the left for a bit of shadow.

ravells
08-01-2011, 04:41 AM
Great start, Len.

My comments: There is a style mismatch between the hand drawn parchment look of the plans and the modern computer generated look of the colour map. I would be inclined to go for one or the other to keep it consistent unless there's some sort of explanation obvious from the map as to why they are so different in style. Might be an idea to vary the grass texture a little bit. Just put a new texture on top of it and play with blending options and/or make a mask and use filter/render/clouds to break up the new grass texture. the roof of the building looks tiled and flat. might be worth drawing some shadow on the roof to make it look gabled? It might also be fun to get some botanical images from the web to use as ornaments. If I were making this map I would start from those images to use as the basis of the style for the rest of the map. Most people have seen old botanical prints and by using that sort of style, the map will immediately say: Old and plants on a gut level.

Best of luck!

Len Wolff
08-01-2011, 07:48 AM
Thanks for the advice and tips. I really appreciate it.


There is a style mismatch between the hand drawn parchment look of the plans and the modern computer generated look of the colour map.

I have not thought about the mismatch in style. Good point. I do want to add a bit of posterization to the bottom part of the map. But that's just because I think that would look nice. Maybe that will also help to give it a handdrawn look. Are there any other artistic filters that I could try out?


Might be an idea to vary the grass texture a little bit. Just put a new texture on top of it and play with blending options and/or make a mask and use filter/render/clouds to break up the new grass texture.

And another great tip. This one I will definitely use this one.


the roof of the building looks tiled and flat. might be worth drawing some shadow on the roof to make it look gabled?

I still have to do all the shading. Not only in the roof, but on all buildings and on the ground. Maybe add a little extra detail, like chimneys and ventilationgrids.


It might also be fun to get some botanical images from the web to use as ornaments. If I were making this map I would start from those images to use as the basis of the style for the rest of the map. Most people have seen old botanical prints and by using that sort of style, the map will immediately say: Old and plants on a gut level.

I think I know what kind of images you're thinking of (old book images of plants and gardens), but I'm not sure that I understand what you mean with 'ornaments'. Should I use them as decoration for the map, or as a decoration for the garden? Are there any maps where you have used images as ornaments? So I can see what you mean and maybe get inspiration.

ravells
08-01-2011, 08:09 AM
Hi Len, glad you found the comments useful. By ornaments I mean decoration to the map (rather than the garden). If you have a look at my portfolio in my sig and look at the 'Ol City' map, you'll see what I mean.

best

Ravs

Moe
08-01-2011, 08:28 AM
Are there any other artistic filters that I could try out?

I hope you don't mind I used your WIP to give you an example of a style adjustment.
It's been a quick thing and therefore is not perfect.

The layer modes, filters and any other information is included in the layer names. You only
need a parchment texture (and you obiously have one). As you can see by the layer thumbnails
I used a soft eraser - you could use layer masks of course to protect your original work.

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If you want me to delete this, as I used your work without permission, just let me know!
And if you have any further questions, don't hesitate ;-)

Hopefully this brings your very interesting Herbalist Academy one step further.

>Moe

Len Wolff
08-01-2011, 03:07 PM
@Ravells: Now I see what you mean. Very well executed in your map. Great tip. I already have some ideas, but I want to finish this map in time too. So I'll see what I can come up with.

Now that I understand what you mean, I am definitely going to try starting out with old images as a stylereference in the near future.

@Moe: I don't mind that you used my work for your example. It is very educational for me. I like the outcome, and I think I understand what you did. This is also more the same style as the detail maps and I can see now why that is better. I'm not sure if this can be done exactly the same in Gimp, or even if I want to make an exact copy of these settings. (Usually I like to play around with the settings a bit, to see what the result is.)

Moe
08-01-2011, 11:31 PM
(Usually I like to play around with the settings a bit, to see what the result is.)

And that's how it should be ;-)

As I am not familiar with GIMP I can't help you there and I could have read the information about the software you use before posting a photoshop made example...
But nevertheless you should be able to pick up some ideas.

>Moe

Len Wolff
08-06-2011, 08:30 AM
Here is the latest wip for the herbalist academy. It is almost finished, I still hope te get a few good tips and tricks that I can try out.

I think this map is the best map I've made up till now. I've learned a lot from all het tips I received and the tutorials I read. Thank you guys!

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Ascension
08-06-2011, 12:21 PM
Very diggity. I'd make the plant illustrations and "flavor text" stand out more (mainly because I love those things but also it might help kill dead space). I'd also erase a bunch of those little black dots...might be an effect from a filter but the eraser takes of that quite easily. Otherwise, pretty cool.

tilt
08-06-2011, 01:39 PM
that turned out good - great work :)

Surveyor
08-06-2011, 02:23 PM
Len, lovely map. If it is not too late, I would have Berend-Jan's Herbalisten Acadamie . Capital letters for each word in the title!
For what it's worth, I quite like the little black dot spatters, (but that is just a personal opinion). On the other hand, I find the underlying washed out writing a bit distracting, but love the plant motif !
Again , just my opinion.

Len Wolff
08-09-2011, 09:20 AM
Thanks for the comments.

This is the finished map. I only did a little bit of tweaking since my last WIP. I removed a lot of the black dots outside the fence, and increased the visibility of the plants a bit.

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