View Full Version : Stormmount Region

03-04-2008, 05:03 PM
Hi all,

First time posting anything on these forums. Here's a map I am just wrapping up. A regional map that is part of a larger homebrew world I'm building. I've spent a lot of time looking at different styles both here and various other places before giving this a one try. One place of inspiration was the work of Jed Hotchkiss who was a cartographer for the south during the civil war (See the book "Mapping for Stonewall" if you are interested). Also I have to give many thanks to Butch Curry at Zombie Nirvana for his excellent tutorials on using Photoshop for maps.

I still have to add a scale and compass, but for those interested scale is 10 miles per inch.

Anyway any feedback would be great.



03-04-2008, 06:02 PM
Nice job Tareth. Your map looks great! I look forward to other parts of your world being posted.

Now for the minor criticisms. The font you are using on the map doesn't look bad per se, but you might want to think about a font thats either bolder or more distinctive. In combination with the next problem, some of your feature names are hard to read.

I like the symbols you are using for forests, bogs, and elevation, but you may wish to "fade" them slightly. They are so "bright" and bold now that when a feature name is over them (as on some of the mountains) they are hard to read. Also you may want to fade them even a little bit more when a forest or other feature is overlapped on them.

Other than that, good work. Welcome to the Guild.

03-04-2008, 09:40 PM
First of all, welcome to the Guild. I'm glad you found us, and I hope you post a million (or more) maps here--as well as generously hand out advice, comments, and critiques.

This mpa is very, very good. I think you really too kthe most from Butch's system, utilizing his techniques and tips to draft a great map. I agree with thebax2k's minor comments, so I would give those attention. In addition, the text is very sharp edged, which clashes with the soft outlines of most other features. Have you rasterized the text yet? If not I would do that and apply a very thin blur to it.

I also think the water edges are a bit too compact for this symbolic style: the dissolving details crunch together tightly, whereas the rest of the map is broad and well-spaced. This could be a place to tweak as well.

Overall, great map. I'm glad you posted it!

03-05-2008, 01:50 AM
The map, is excellent. I love a first time poster who also posts a great work.

If you are fading the Forest symbols, other symbols (like the escarpment symbols) should probably also be faded, just a touch, so as not to jar too much with the rest of the map.

Welcome to the group.

03-05-2008, 08:05 AM
I thought that the map was excellent is almost every way. I liked the font too and I can see what they mean about the fading and softening but it seems alright to me. The only issue I had was that some of the spikes were not pointing right as they traveled around the contour - which I am sure you have noticed.

Tell us more about the map and software used for it as I am sure that there are folk who can help out with all sorts of tricks. RobA was doing something similar with pasting a line of tiles along a contour in Gimp / Photoshop and I could tell you how to do the same with my little app too.

03-05-2008, 08:22 AM
Funnily enough I noticed the spikes too. I believe that the reason for that is that you might have used a 'chain line' (well that's what it's called in Serif Drawplus) which draws symbols alsong a path. They are great for covering large areas like this, but not 100% reliable. You might just want to rasterise and take the eraser to the overlaps but it's not a biggie, I still think the map is stunning and I love the original way in which you've mixed in the elements.

03-05-2008, 10:31 AM
Nice piece of work! :)

I would like to know how you made the map :) Seems like a style I could use ;)

03-05-2008, 02:09 PM
Thanks for all the great comments and suggestions. Here's an updated version.

I've increased the text size on most labels by one step. Also increased the fade on colors and elements below the text labels. Reduced the opacity on the ridgelines to 60% which makes them a little less overwhelming and also faded them more in some spots. Then displaced the text and applied a very light blur. After all of that, I think the text is much easier to read especially when it's printed out.

I also got rid of the 'noisy' lake outline (which was bugging me as well, so thanks for the comment Pyrandon) and went with a very light stroke which I think works a better. Finally went through and got rid of most of those funky ridgelines (Something I had noticed but totally forgot to eliminate, likely due to staring at the map for too long. Thanks for the catch.)

The map was produced entirely in Photoshop (my first attempt at really working with the program) with many layers, much trial and error.

Madletter: I would check out Butch's tutorials at zombienirvana.com. Honestly the basic techniques I used are based off of those and I'm sure his explanations working with PS will be much better than my own since I'm still new to the software. However, if you have specific questions about what I did here, I'll do my best to give a useful answer. :)

Thanks all,


03-05-2008, 03:09 PM
Are your contours supposed to represent a specific elevation step? There are five contour lines from the Grumash Forest basin to Stormmount Peak at 10,030 feet and seven from the Grumash basin to the 9980 ft peak of the East Twin.

I like the style of this map quite a bit, and I'm looking forward to seeing what more you come up with.

The Cartographist
03-05-2008, 04:30 PM
Tareth - I, too, really like the map.
My one critique (purely a subjective opinion, of course) is that I think that the contour spikes are TOO big. It's probably hard to fix, but I would shrink all of them to the size of those at the top of Thunder Peak. That change would stop them from dominating the sides of the mountains.

03-05-2008, 05:28 PM
Midgardsormr: Originally I had specific elevations for the contours. I think the problem happened as I added a few more contours for 'artistic' reasons here and there and then didn't adjust elevations accordingly. Fortunately I can still go in and change those fairly easily. Now to recheck all of those heights. :)

Cartographist: Having finally got this map to a finished (or at least almost finished) stage, I have to agree that the ridgelines would benefit by being a bit smaller. Since this is the first time I've created a map in this style, it was hard to judge how big to make them. However, I don't know of anyway to easily reduce the size at this point, so I'll likely leave it, but remember the lesson as I get started on the next region.

Thanks for the feedback.


03-06-2008, 07:36 AM
Astounding map! I love the style and attention to detail. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work. You are definitely one to watch out for.

Thumbs up, really. 8)

03-07-2008, 06:23 AM
Beautiful. Looking forward to seeing more of your work.