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zaffu
09-02-2011, 12:40 AM
I've been working on this map for a few days now.

Step 1:
Coast traced in Inkscape. Lines around the coast done in Inkscape this time too. The outset path function is kind of buggy. On some steps it would connect points that were nowhere near each other, giving you black lines across the picture.

Step 2:
Mountains added in GIMP. These are a couple of brushes I made by tracing mountains off a picture of an antique map. I added more images to the larger brush this time so I wouldn't have as many repeats. But now it looks like I used a slightly larger brush on the first ones. Oops. Also, the large mountains looked a little oversized on this map so I was using the brush at 75% but the smaller brush at full size---so there's line weight variations all over this. I'm hoping it's not noticeable once everything's colored.

Step 3:
Rivers added in Inkscape, using the "shape: triangle out" and "shape: from clipboard" options on the pencil tool. I hadn't tried this before. Results are MUCH nicer than my hand-drawn attempts.

On the longer rivers especially I got the best results using not a triangle as the model shape but a sort of pentagon only tapering only along 40% of its length.

I imported the rivers into GIMP to clean them up where tributaries met and where they meet the coast. Hm. Now I've been playing around with it some more, and it looks like if I'd just set a fill color on everything, I could have used "Union" to join branches and "Difference" to join rivers to the coast.

Step 4:
At this point, I decided I didn't want to commit to placing cities and countries just yet. So this is just a physical map. I slapped some labels on in Inkscape. I'm planning to go back and fiddle with this. Something's not working for me; I'm not sure if it's the font or what.

So that's where I am now on the lineart. Today I moved on to coloring. Picture #2 is me messing around. For a while there I was leaning toward ditching the inked mountains and redoing them all in a painted style (you can also see me trying to figure out how to draw forests). But I also like the look you can see on the southern continent with the strong inked lines just colored in. Also, it's much faster. So that's what I'm going with.

Dain
09-02-2011, 05:42 AM
Love the B/W map
Gorgeous ;)

Ascension
09-02-2011, 05:17 PM
I love the comic book style of that south part there. My teenage goal was to someday be a comic book artist so I'm sort of biased towards that. The painting style is very much en vogue and commands big bucks...it's pretty and painterly. I like both of those 2 styles. The only thing on the black and white map irking me is the line weight (thickness) of the rings...they should get thinner as they go out or fade out to gray. Otherwise, good stuff, man.

zaffu
09-03-2011, 08:06 PM
Thanks, Dain.

Ascension, I changed the line weight on the rings around the coast, though on this little map it's kind of hard to tell. Now they're all broken up and faded, too.

I will try out the more painted style on some future project. But I also like this style.

Today I added a few more rivers and finished coloring in the rivers and mountains. Looking at it now, I see I need to redo the new rivers; they're smoother than the old ones. Next I'll work on the lettering some more.

Oh, and I should probably mention I'm female before everyone gets used to calling me "man." :lol:

eViLe_eAgLe
09-03-2011, 08:16 PM
Oh! I love the style, and yes my lady. *bows*

waldronate
09-04-2011, 01:51 AM
Nice mountains on the map! I can never get the inked parts to turn out well when I do that sort of style.

Needamedic
09-04-2011, 12:14 PM
I really like the coloring and mountain shading on the second version. The B/W map is nice too.

arsheesh
09-04-2011, 06:07 PM
That's a lovely style you've got there Zaffu, look forward to watching this map progress.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

RobA
09-05-2011, 04:21 PM
The outset path function is kind of buggy. On some steps it would connect points that were nowhere near each other, giving you black lines across the picture.


Inkscape has a problem with out/insetting composite paths. The workaround is to break apart the continent path so all the islands ad things are separate paths, then select them all and do the outset.

-Rob A>

bartmoss
09-05-2011, 04:41 PM
Nice style, man. Looking forward to seeing more of that map.

jbgibson
09-05-2011, 05:39 PM
Just squint at the "man" and you can pretend it's "ma'am" :-).

I like both versions. Even if you wind up using the sketchier wave rings on the one-color style, consider leaving a bit more erasure-glow around labels in the waves. The Isthmus and Omra Mts. lettering get kind of lost in the parallel lines. In a related issue, you might tweak the location of IMATHU so the U downstroke doesn't line up with the longitude line.

For me, having mountains as your only terrain texture works better on the B&W than the colored one. Are you going to add some other textures to indicate forests, etc? My eye wants to read the color map as one big smooth grassy plain, with mountains poking up.

Nice work!

zaffu
09-09-2011, 10:46 PM
I finally got some more work done on this yesterday.

Here's the current version. The lettering has been redone. I'm honestly ready to call the map part more or less finished and put a frame on it.

I changed the name of my major continent, since when I googled it to see if anyone else had used the name I got a bunch of links for Nickelodeon's new Airbender cartoon (Legend of Korra). It seemed like there might be potential for confusion.

Thanks for the compliments, guys.

zaffu
09-09-2011, 10:48 PM
Inkscape has a problem with out/insetting composite paths. The workaround is to break apart the continent path so all the islands ad things are separate paths, then select them all and do the outset.


Thanks. I'll try that next time.

zaffu
09-09-2011, 11:05 PM
Even if you wind up using the sketchier wave rings on the one-color style, consider leaving a bit more erasure-glow around labels in the waves.

Hm. I thought the black text on faded blue rings was legible enough, but probably I should add a little glow.


In a related issue, you might tweak the location of IMATHU so the U downstroke doesn't line up with the longitude line.

Good point. I had managed to do the same thing on the relettered version too. And with one of the Ns in ARGNI OCEAN.


For me, having mountains as your only terrain texture works better on the B&W than the colored one. Are you going to add some other textures to indicate forests, etc? My eye wants to read the color map as one big smooth grassy plain, with mountains poking up.

I'm just going to leave it on this map, but yeah, I need to figure out a forest style that looks good with these mountains.

zaffu
09-11-2011, 07:23 PM
Changes:

I made a frame in Inkscape and colored it in GIMP. It looks kind of flat. I guess I'll try shading it.

Some of the lettering was redone again. I also went and erased the "wave" lines where words were on top of them.

Added a scale and some latitude/longitude numbers.

I didn't leave a good place on the map for a title, so I stuck it into the frame. It might not stay there.

jbgibson
09-11-2011, 10:56 PM
Good job. I'm not always a fan of cased rivers filled with ocean color far upstream, but you made it work well. You did get the lettering more legible. I'm with you on tweaking place names to not match earthly ones - especially in a campaign setting where a map is getting heavily used.

There's maybe enough room beneath Argni Ocean for the title and key, particularly if you come up with a cartouche that matches the rest of your style. Putting it in the border isn't bad per se, but it does minimize it. Kind of makes it a caption instead of a title. Which your almost sentence-length name for the map makes it - caption-like - so perhaps that's the appropriate choice. I have resorted to biggifying the extent of the map to make some open space for labeling, even to the point of then nuking some land in favor of label-able blank sea. If it's not an existing full world where more or less land just there matters, then tweak away. If you're avoiding some feature that would complicate your layout, consider leaving the innermost borderline where it is, and stretch the outer ones to literally create a caption space all across the bottom. That would be an easy way to boost the title visibility. Nobody says borders have to be the same width all the way around, particularly if you're making use of one for a vital map function like key/ title/ notes.

Started nice - has gotten nicer.

zaffu
09-13-2011, 01:16 AM
There's maybe enough room beneath Argni Ocean for the title and key, particularly if you come up with a cartouche that matches the rest of your style.
I'll see if I can get that to work. The ocean name could be made smaller.


I have resorted to biggifying the extent of the map to make some open space for labeling, even to the point of then nuking some land in favor of label-able blank sea. If it's not an existing full world where more or less land just there matters, then tweak away.
Heh. Redrawing large portions of the map is more work than I'm willing to do at this point. But what I've learned from this is to do the frame and the title first.


If you're avoiding some feature that would complicate your layout, consider leaving the innermost borderline where it is, and stretch the outer ones to literally create a caption space all across the bottom.
I tried putting the title outside the frame, but I didn't like the way it looked. Maybe if I'd started with a parchment background and made the whole thing look like a page in an old book.


Started nice - has gotten nicer.
Thanks. :)

zaffu
09-13-2011, 01:35 AM
Latest WIP: I scrapped the frame on the previous version. I felt something simpler would work better with the style of the map. Redid the latitude/longitude lines (when I realized I'd placed this region farther south than I wanted it) and the scale (which I'd miscalculated). Staring at it now, I see the text that's supposed to line up with latitude lines no longers does so. And a longitude degree label is missing.

:roll: All these finishing touches seem more time-consuming than the map itself.

Ascension
09-13-2011, 02:18 AM
The technical bits always take up a lot of time and kill the fun but when it's done you feel like you accomplished something big and fulfilling.

arsheesh
09-13-2011, 05:53 PM
Wow, this is looking fantastic so far Zaffu!

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

zaffu
09-13-2011, 11:28 PM
Fixed some little things...decided a title was not absolutely necessary...unless anyone sees any glaring problems, I might be done.

Troedel
09-14-2011, 05:43 PM
It reminds me of TinTin ( Tim und Struppi ) in a positive way. Great map and beautiful style.

zaffu
09-14-2011, 10:19 PM
Thank you!