View Full Version : Beginners Map

03-08-2008, 12:11 AM
Hello all, along with my first post this is also my first map. I hope to improve, and my biggest inspiration from here was from Pyrandon's Tutorial on Koppolex.

Without further ado, here it is.

Obviously, advice and such is welcome! In particular I think work needs to be done on the trees, rocklayer+elevation and probably the keep.

03-08-2008, 01:05 AM
That is a nice map. What was the program used to make it?

For me, my only thing is there seems to be a great many streets/roads in proportion to the number of buildings.

03-08-2008, 03:07 AM
Ah, forgot to mention. I used Photoshop CS2 along with the RPG City Maker, thanks to Pyrandon. I used most of his steps displayed in the tutorial. The city maker did make a lot of roads and I erased pretty much all of the major weird parts.

Other than that.. thats it.

The Cartographist
03-08-2008, 04:02 AM
Jegol - Welcome to the Guild! I don't know how long you've been lurking, but this is a friendly and extremely helpful place to hang your hat. Hope to see lots of maps from you.

You should introduce yourself in the member introductions area for everyone to say hello.

Thoughts on your map:

- The buildings don't quite look right to me. Their color really jars with the ground surrounding them. (I'm sure that others will offer better insights into what the problem may be, and ways to fix it.)
- From the realism perspective (loosely defined in the fantasy genre), most towns would not have built walls around big open areas. Walls were costly both financially and in manpower to build, so only those things that absolutely had to be enclosed were. Now, that can definitely NOT be the case if there are reasons (magic or whatever) for it not to be. Just some food for thought.
- Agree with NK regarding the streets to building ratio.

Despite those comments, I think that it is a really nice map, and a map that could be in a professional document.

03-08-2008, 11:08 AM
Nice Town Jegol and welcome to the guild. I think your layout is very nice. You clearly picked up some good hints and techniques from Pyrandon's map ant tut. I really love your trees, both the look and the distrivution seems very natural to me.

On the crit side I think your green for the normal ground ares may be a little strong (over saturated). Also the shadows dont seem to be continuos. The keep had shadows on the towers but the walls have no shadow at all making them look a bit like they are painted on the ground. I think just sorting out those two things will make a big positive difference.

Welcome again and have a great time.


03-08-2008, 05:16 PM
Thanks to all, have a quick question - How might you add buildings under the building layer, keeping them square? I just learned how to scatter normal brushes and such last night.. Would I use a square brush and scatter it or are their easier ways?

03-08-2008, 08:48 PM
Woo hoo, Jegol! Nice application of that tutorial! Looking sweet.

I agree wtih what the others have said here re: shadows, the roads, the walls, and such, and perhaps the green could use just a tiny bit toning down. I would also add that the entire image appears very dark to me; perhaps add an adjustment (or saturation, or brightness) layer overtop all and play with lightening it up?

I am not sure what you mean about keeping the buildings square under the building layer. Can you explain a bit about what you hope to do?

Overall, though, I can't tell you how tickled I am about your work! I make all my tutorials primarily to teach myself, but close behind is trying to help out some other schmuck like me--and you sure did a great job with it. Thanks for posting, and welcome to the Guild. I hope you hang around a long while!

03-08-2008, 10:44 PM
What I meant to say about the buildings, is I'd like to add additional buildings to make the city more real, and in that case i'll probably take out the wall, or at least make it a palisade?

How would you go about adding additional buildings, without creating a bunch of square shapes? I was thinking about copying parts of a city generated map with a transparent background, and placing them on a stretch of road or something.. I'd stretch and rotate them to make em work.

I usually don't notice the darkness.. but my gamma might be different or I'm just used to it.

03-09-2008, 12:55 AM
I remember RobA making some randomised building brushes for Gimp. They are somewhere on this site. I'm not sure if they will work with Photoshop. I used them for my city maps. If you do a search of the site looking for gimp brushes and RobA you will probable find them. After using the city creator as you did, I then added more smaller buildings using RobA's brushes to increase the building to street ratio, as pointed out by NK. The program does tend to create a few too few houses and a few to many street.

I think the modifications to the map make it look much better already.


03-09-2008, 10:15 AM
...but my gamma might be different or I'm just used to it.Yeah its a little dark for me too. You could try to run some of those color calibration apps. They ask you to adjust the monitor until you can just see a shade of dark gray and you can get your gamma fixed by matching RGB colors up to a chart. Its really simple procedure.

Gotta say tho, I really love this map ! Its such a million miles from when I was DM'ing years back and you would hand out a rough-as-old-boots photocopy to the players. And even that would be well received so that they wouldn't have to map it themselves.

03-09-2008, 03:28 PM
Jegol: The lightening you did works well; I'd go just an inch or two further with it.

As for adding the buildings, I would suggest creating a custom brush exactly in the method described in the first post of my mosaic tile map tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1482) except let the size jitter a bit more and lower the angle jitter. This will produce the same effect in PS that Redrobes describes was in RobA's Gimp tutorial. Don't forget that you can always select a bunch of buildings you already have, use the Move tool with the alt button down, and a copy will be made for you. (You can also ctrl-T to transform it, flip it, change the size, etc.) I think it will not take long to add more buildings at all.

Looking good, though! Make sure to post the next edit!

03-10-2008, 09:55 AM
I'll pitch in here that it is looking nice, as well. The tutorial gives nice consistent results (something I still can't do, personally).

-Rob A>

03-12-2008, 05:00 PM
Thanks for all the input.

I've worked on it a little bit more, I increased brightness but also contrast. The trees were redone and I'm not sure If I like them much anymore. Increased shadows and added (very) few extra buildings just outside the gates by Copy and Paste. The brush did not work very well as the buildings no matter what looked different than the rest..

Stumped in deciding if theirs more to add or if its done :?:

03-12-2008, 05:05 PM
If you're like me, Jegol, you could play and play and play and play and play and play and play...but eventually it has to stop! I don't see any glaring issues in the map. I would perhaps place more houses, increase the shadows on them so the look a bit taller, add shadows to the walls, and maybe add more grass/vegetation colors--but these are all just for the compulsive fiddler! Your map is nice and looks wonderful. Good job.

03-12-2008, 05:30 PM
I think this has turned out very nicely, and I'm psyched to give the tute a whirl myself. I am still finding the whole thing a little on the dark side, and I agree that there maybe ought to be more houses--especially up closer to the keep. Love the way the road zig-zags up the hill to the keep itself, and I like the way you've improved the trees. Nice stuff!