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Studpuffin
12-01-2011, 12:36 AM
Greetings!

This is my first attempt at a map I plan to use in a homebrew RPG game. It was done using a number of the techniques made available in the tutorial posted by Ascension, but I've made some of my own tweaks to the map and am trying out a few other techniques, especially with the cities directly on the map and the addition of forests. I haven't decided a scale for the map yet either, and while it uses the 2000x2000 pixel count it isn't a 1 pixel to 1 mile map.

I figured I'd share an afternoon's worth of playing around first, and then see if anyone has any comments or could direct me towards other tutorials or give me suggestions about what to do with what I've got, and how to beautify my map.

Thanks again,
Studpuffin

nutranurse
12-01-2011, 01:37 AM
I really do dig what you have done with the cities/fort icons (Bastion looks pretty cool in particular). I would say, though, to somehow differentiate the forests from everything else without making them look too much like green blobs. Perhaps try a different pattern that has more of a foresty look? The current pattern you are using causes the forests to look a bit like pock-marks. I'd say troll the mapping elements section for some patterns (let me see if I could find some other ones...)

Studpuffin
12-01-2011, 01:43 AM
Thanks for the reply. I wasn't quite happy with the forests myself. I'm still pretty new to the board here and am trying to get accustomed to the layout, so if you find anything let me know.

I didn't really like the basic patterns I could apply from Photoshop, so I just added some noise and colored them a darker green.

nutranurse
12-01-2011, 01:50 AM
Off the top of my head this collection of patterns/textures (http://www.flickr.com/photos/zooboing/collections/72157622668797999/) is what I normally use for these kinds of maps. Go through each pack and see if you find anything you like; specifically the 'earth texture pack', though the other ones have some goodies (mainly for mountains and hills and such).

Lukc
12-01-2011, 03:08 AM
It looks very nice, but I agree - you'll need a trick for those forests. Off the top of my head I'd say that the problem is you can't see the relief shading through the forests, which makes them look like floating algal mats. Maybe if you just set the forests to multiply, it should work. Or add the relief layer to the top of the map and set *that* to multiply or overlay.

Cheers, L.

Studpuffin
12-01-2011, 04:27 PM
I added a another layer to the forests and added a shadow to them to try and liven them up some, but I might go ahead and try one of the textures above when I find one that I like for it. I added a few more cities and a road. The roads are strong right now so that I can see where they are, but I'm going to blend them in a little better before the final version. I'm using photoshop elements, and I can't locate some of the features that are mentioned, like multiplying. Help is awful in it too. :(

nutranurse
12-01-2011, 04:33 PM
See, now the forests pop out too much. I would say ditch the shadow and go play around with textures. Again, I really do like the cities!

Lukc
12-01-2011, 06:41 PM
Agreeing with nutra. Way too floaty now ... :S

Studpuffin
12-01-2011, 09:07 PM
Okay, I tried adding some texture to the forests and darkened them up a bit. I haven't pushed forward on the other settlements yet.

nutranurse
12-02-2011, 10:48 AM
Much, much, MUCH better. Those forests look pretty foresty now. Did you Bevel & Emboss them, or is that shadow around them the result of a dropped shadow?

Studpuffin
12-02-2011, 09:14 PM
I went through about 20 different textures before I settled on that one (can't think of the name right off the top of my head. The shadow is actually the result of me duplicating a layer and turning down the opacity on the original layer so that a tinsy-tiny shadow showed up. I'm not sure I could do it again if I tried. I should've written down my steps. I guess I'll chalk it up to beginners luck, because so far I haven't been able to perfectly reproduce it on other things. :\

Studpuffin
12-02-2011, 09:55 PM
Further along now. I added in the rest of the cities and finished the road. The only thing I have left to do is some of the detail work, like deciding if I want to leave the cities as gray and black and figuring out what exactly to do with the roads.