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Elpolloloco52
08-24-2011, 03:09 AM
This is my first post, and the second map I've done by computer (I've been doing them by hand for years, but they have always been made for functionality, not really aesthetics. I have about thirty different maps of this region, Wyllahatchia). The first I did was a test of Candacis' "Antique Style Maps in GIMP." I relied heavily on his tutorial for this map as well, altering some of his techniques and incorporating some other ideas from various tutorials.

As it stands, this is a work in progress. I intend on coming back and redoing some things (the mountains for instance) and adding other things (cities, latitude and longitude lines, borders, a compass, improved "aged paper" look, page folds, and some other stuff). The main thing I want to improve are the mountains. I just used some grunge brushes and did some rough shading, and when its zoomed out far enough, it looks okay. What I'm going for is something like this (http://www.raremaps.com/maps/large/26084.jpg) for the mountains. I may have to hand draw them and then upload them. I'm still pretty new to GIMP (and similar programs), so if there is a way to make mountains like that without drawing them by hand, then a few tips would be appreciated. In fact, any suggestions or criticisms would be invaluable.


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eViLe_eAgLe
08-24-2011, 03:15 AM
1. The water lines.. There' s alot. I recommend when you do those smooth em' out. I have no clue how to do that in Gimp but in PS its Select-Modify-smooth (insert amount of numbers) I'm sorry but I get easily frustrated at perfectly straight water lines. I recommend like.. 4-9 that continously go further out and maybe some distortion here and there. And a bit erased here and there also.

But, thats just my one cent! Good job so far.

Elpolloloco52
08-24-2011, 03:35 AM
I'll try to find out how to do it in GIMP. I don't really understand all the features and what they do yet, however.

My intention was actually to make them thinner, like the example map I linked to, and to have some sort of systematized spacing (it's kind of random as I have it), but making the map big enough to do that would have crashed my computer. I think I'll split the map into quarters, resize those, and redo things like text (I can't get names on the rivers in the size I want because of the image size, and the mountain range names are all screwed up. It's related to the italics, I think), the coastal rings, and the rivers.

Elpolloloco52
08-24-2011, 03:54 AM
I did an alpha to selection and used the feather effect, then I turned down the opacity to 15% or so, to make it less glaring. I'll redo it later per your advice, but this version should make the rings less of an eyesore. Thanks for the advice.

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Steel General
08-24-2011, 08:07 AM
The second version is much better I think, the 'water lines' no longer dominate and draw your eye.

arsheesh
08-24-2011, 03:19 PM
I agree, the second map looks much better. I would also suggest applying a slight 5-10% Gaussian blur on the colored borders. No tips on the Mountains just yet. Looks like you are off to a good start though.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Ascension
08-24-2011, 05:43 PM
As to the mountains, you'll have to hand-draw them. Start by drawing a ridge-line for the full mountain chain then add some offshoot ridge-lines but not too many. On a new layer shade the on either side of the line to create the slope. Last, go back and delete the layer with the ridge-line. Now this just applies to the particular old map that you showed. Most folks like to leave the ridge-line in and I believe that there are 2 or 3 tutorials for drawing like this but you'll have to poke around to be sure.

Diamond
08-25-2011, 12:08 AM
I agree with the other folks, coastline rings look much better in the second map. The one thing that's bugging me is that I'm seeing pixelation on your text.

Elpolloloco52
08-25-2011, 01:44 AM
As to the mountains, you'll have to hand-draw them. Start by drawing a ridge-line for the full mountain chain then add some offshoot ridge-lines but not too many. On a new layer shade the on either side of the line to create the slope. Last, go back and delete the layer with the ridge-line. Now this just applies to the particular old map that you showed. Most folks like to leave the ridge-line in and I believe that there are 2 or 3 tutorials for drawing like this but you'll have to poke around to be sure.

Thanks. I actually tried something like that originally, but it kind of flopped, though I think I've found a better way to do it now using various effects for the shading.

As for the other suggestions, I fixed up the names so that they weren't so pixelated, blurred and used the spread effect on nation borders, changed a couple of names (I had forgotten to change "The Land Without Laws" to "Lawless Country," as I had in the lore for this world), added states to the Confederation of Sovereign States, fixed the title to be more in line with real world maps (I'm eventually going to add some flourishes as well, I think), made a border based on Arsheesh's "Map Borders in GIMP" tutorial, added latitude and longitude lines that match up with the actual placement of the world, and did some bleeding ink effects.

After I've fixed the mountains, I'm going to add some cities, make the neatline segments line up with the latitude and longitude lines, as they do in many real maps, and some other miscellaneous changes.

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arsheesh
08-25-2011, 02:50 PM
It's coming together quite nicely Elpolloloco52!

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

jbgibson
08-25-2011, 11:32 PM
Nice work. Keep plugging away at the mountains and you'll get something you like.

I'd lose the distributary on the Nyllahatchie River. Yeah, one can occasionally see such an arrangement, but it's almost always temporary, or man-sustained. In general rivers join but don't split. The splittiness of your deltas is okay, but don't think of a delta as 'something that happens to a river as it nears a coast' - rather they are 'something that happens to an ocean as a river hits a coast and drops sediment'. You *could* have a delta that started in a bay and just coincidentally filled it up and creates a bit of coast in line with neighboring coast, but it isn't very plausible. Better if a delta sticks out some.

Candacis' tut, eh? I gotta work through that. This historical map style is one I'd like to be able to carry off.

Well done - I look forward to seeing it progress!

Elpolloloco52
08-26-2011, 12:57 AM
Thanks for the advice. I actually was thinking of moving the distributary closer to the coast. It isn't a permanent distributary (in the hand drawn maps I have, it only exists for about thirty years, before the river changes course during a major flood). I will probably get rid of the delta, however, as I only added it in this map, and it doesn't really fit well geologically. The delta on the Hatchie, however, did arise from the filling of a bay. The laughing bay used to extend inland a good bit more than it did--the Hatchie filled it up, however.

Also, you unintentionally informed me that I need to fix the river names. It's called the Wyllahatchie, and it is where the region gets its name.

Elpolloloco52
08-26-2011, 03:25 AM
38072

I fixed the mountains. I used Rob A's Simple Mountains in GIMP instead of hand drawing, and I like the results. I may play around with shading, but they seem much better to me, and much less time consuming than my original goal.

Also, I started adding cities--just capitals for now, though. I used red for the symbols. I'll have to take a come back and see if that was a good choice, but I was wondering what you guys thought. The names on the coastal cities I made go at right angles to the coast so that I have more room. There are going to be enough coastal towns and cities to make things congested later on, and this seems like a fairly good way of resolving that. Also, I fixed the neatline. Now the checkerboard pattern matches up with the latitude and longitude lines, with three segments between each line intersection. I fixed some of the text as well, making the mountain range names softer and the name for the river "Wyllahatchie" look like that instead of "Nyllahatchie."

I also fiddled around with a fold. I think I'm going to tone it down a bit; however, I kind of like the aging effects I added to go with it (I mirrored the title vertically, applied some effects to it, set it to overlay, and turned down the opacity, to mimic the effect of leaving paper folded like that for an extended period of time, as seen in some antique maps). I might do that with some other parts of the map, though with a little lower opacity, to make it stand out less.

EDIT: Actually, I think one of the problems with my creases is that they all look like they fold inward. In reality, three should fold inward and one outward. I'll try to fix that eventually, but it's not on the top of my list.

Elpolloloco52
09-11-2011, 02:46 AM
So I've decided to start over. Looking over my map, I think it could use a lot of improvement, mostly to look more elegant and refined. I relied too heavily on the grunge paper texture for the original, I think, and I overused a few basic filters. Basically, I'm going to try to do something more modern-looking (something like old national geographic maps, for which I found a semi-tutorial buried somewhere in these forums), then see if I can age it a little bit (not too much, though). I've got mountains to stand in for the real ones I'm going to use (I need to make a real DEM and greyscale shaded relief first). It will be topographical as well, and I might expand the actual map by about four times. I also plan to properly distort the map for a projection (not sure how to do that yet, but it shouldn't be too difficult. If not, I'll just make it Mercator). I should have a new map uploaded either tomorrow or next weekend (school prevents me from working on this during weekdays).

Ascension
09-11-2011, 04:13 AM
I thought it looked pretty nice except for the mountains there.