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whtknt
12-06-2011, 01:11 PM
I recently came across a set of random generators that designed kingdoms. In playing with them, I was struck by an idea to develop a fantasy campaign centered on six isolated realms on a peninsula; the Six Kingdoms. Putting what I have learned from Ascension's wonderful tutorial to work, this is the map that I came up with.

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whtknt
12-06-2011, 01:14 PM
I also have a document that provides a little more information on the setting.


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whtknt
12-07-2011, 09:42 AM
I guess I should say that comments, opinions, and constructive criticisms are welcomed.

Freodin
12-07-2011, 10:58 AM
Overall a nice looking map, yet there are a few things I think you could improve.
- The clear-cut beveled coastal shelf looks extremly unrealistic.
- Your moutains and hills could use a little sharpening. As they are now, they almost disappear in the surrounding textures.
- Your rivers do disappear in the surrounding textures. You should not draw your rivers over land texture (or vice versa).
- Your setlement icons need a little blur. They are too pixelated, in harsh contrast to the rest of the map.
- I am not a friend of coloured borders on such a brightly coloured map, but that is a matter of personal preference. You should look at the borders of Tetrax though... it seems something wierd happened there with your layer styles, resultung in this whitish-greyish mixture.

whtknt
12-07-2011, 11:15 AM
Thanks for the insights. I followed the tutorial almost to the letter (though there were a few... issues), and that's how it said to do the rivers, mountains, and coastal shelf (though I agree that the coastal shelf could be a tad smaller and more subdued). I made the settlement icons intentionally sharp, so as to stand out from the rest of the map. As for the border of Tetrax, I don't know what happened there.

I'm still a padawan, though, so I hope to get better as I do more maps.

Freodin
12-07-2011, 01:09 PM
I don't have PS, so I don't follow the more elaborate Photoshop tutorials. That's Ascencion's "Atlas style" tut you are using, right? I admit that I didn't read it thoroughly, so I am not quite certain just what is meant to represent what. Yet I found that I would, overall, have critizised about the same things in Ascencion's tut-style as in your map.

Yet there are differences.
Your coastal shelf has a very sharp and well rounded edge. Ascencion's is feathered (which looks also quite wierd in my view, but at least not as unrealistic). I guess he told how do that that in the tutorial? Perhaps you should try it this way and see how it looks.
Also, the rivers in the original tut are in a much smaller scale, reducing them to hairlines. That means you cannot really see the underlying texture.
Your rivers are shown at a much larger scale, and thus clearly show the texture of the land beneath... which looks quite wierd on the one hand and distracts from the rivers on the other. You could try to switch the layermode from overlay to screen or normal or whatever just paints the used colour in PS.
As for the settlement icons: yes, they should be sharp. But they can be sharp without looking pixelated. They are scaled up a little, aren't they? I'd say: draw them again to scale, give them just a slight blur and see if that don't look better.

Lalaithion
12-08-2011, 12:47 PM
Try using the palette knife under filters (turn the detail WAY up) to smooth out the pixelation without losing sharpness.