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silverhead
01-07-2012, 07:34 PM
Hi,

I was pretentious enough to write a series of articles in my weblog in spanish (http://retrincos.net) about how I draw my maps. Mostly I did it for the fame and money, but lacking that I also thought it'd be a nice way to organize how I go when drawing maps. Writing a "walk-through" will force me to think about how I do it, and hopefully help me improve.

These are the first "showable" stages of the map. First bare, second with (provisional) names. As you'll see, I've not written real names for the smaller regions, just generic ones ("zone 1", "zone 2" ...). By now I'm concerned with finding a good font and the right combination of colors for it to be easy to read.

The pictures are hi-res JPGs, somewhat compressed and ugly, but they give a good idea of where I'm going to. I don't plan to draw forests or any other elements besides rivers and mountains, but depending on the combination time+energy I could draw them afterwards.

Comments and critique welcome. Thanks in advance.

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silverhead
01-10-2012, 02:36 PM
Hi again,

I've fired up Inkscape, tweaked a bit the names and added a lot more (replaced all the "Zona X" ones). I like a lot the drop shadow in the big labels, but I'm not sure about what to do with the smaller ones: now they're above the big ones, because that was the only way for them to be seen, but they don't look very good. Any suggestion?

Thanks in advance!

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Eilathen
01-11-2012, 12:58 PM
Hi,

I really like the land shape of your continents!
To be honest, i like the empty-of-labels map the best. The other two with all those labels are very hard to "read" - and i am not talking about the texts. All the writing totally obscures the map itself.

silverhead
01-11-2012, 03:01 PM
Hi,
I really like the land shape of your continents!


Thanks! It's not really a merit: just a lot of time running "planet" to hunt a suitable map :-)



To be honest, i like the empty-of-labels map the best. The other two with all those labels are very hard to "read" - and i am not talking about the texts. All the writing totally obscures the map itself.

I have to agree. After a lot of trying, I couldn't make it look better. So, the last iteration of the map has only the big labels. Here it is:

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I still hope I'll find a way of adding more labels to the map without making it a mess, but for now it'll remain label-light.

Thanks for the comments!

silverhead
03-10-2012, 06:42 AM
Hi there!

I was playing a bit with Inkscape, and this is came out. I vectorized three layers that I had done in Gimp: the continents' borders, the mountains and the rivers. Then I tried several things with them, and this is what I have now.

It's still very far from done, but I'm having a lot of fun. Well, except for Inkscape swallowing all of my 12GB of RAM, which is egregious. I had to restart it from time to time while working on this :-/

Without further ado, here you are. As usual, critiques and comments are welcome.

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Veldehar
03-10-2012, 11:29 PM
So far that is a nice clean style and fine looking map. Looking forward to future iterations.

Diamond
03-11-2012, 06:28 AM
I really like that greenish-hue one you did there. One thing about the labels: maybe make the font a bit smaller and use something without all the 'dangling' bits.

1. Easier to read
2. Takes up less room and doesn't cover up so much of your map.
3. You can then squeeze in smaller names more easily.

silverhead
03-24-2012, 07:10 AM
Hi there,

I didn't plan to do much with the last map I posted in this thread, but as I had a few ideas for a setting and no map, I decided to apply them.

Here's a small portion of the map, with a lot of names. The little ones in italic are supposed to be the tribes inhabiting those lands, in resemblance of pre-roman maps of Gallaecia that I've seen (like this one (http://www.celtiberia.net/imagftp/im451913146-2.jpg)). I've tried to follow Diamond's advice about using non-fancy fonts, and using small sizes with space between letters to fill greater surfaces. What do you think?

I'm quite happy with how it's shaping up, but it's lacking something. Maybe some drawing, or something else that's been hand-drawn. I'll have to look for maps in similar styles to see how they're done.

But for now, critiques and comments are, as usual, welcome. Thanks in advance.

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Klaus van der Kroft
03-26-2012, 10:55 AM
Ooh, I like the last one. Very interesting shape.

As for the labbels on the overworld map, I too have some problems trying to read them; I can understand what they say if I focus, but the first glance is rather confusing. Perhaps using a smaller font size?

Other than that, though, I like your style.