View Full Version : Handdrawn Map Elements, or the Madness of Brushstacking!

03-09-2012, 07:29 AM
Hi, ok this will be the third and last questionthread this week from me.

I realized this morning that I spend 9h of the night to render 425 Mountainbrushes, if i count the stuff in the clusters than there were 1289 rendered Mountains.
And I also saw that I mostly do Mountains... Well my question is were are your personal choice of variations on Brushes? How many do you think are nessecery to acomplish a nice map? How diverse should a map terrain look like?
Are you thinking this is a waste of time? And what the Hell to do with ... 5000 Mountains, when I am finished? Does this questions sounds weird :D ?

03-09-2012, 09:35 AM
In the past, I have hand drawn all of the mountains individually, which is needless to say a huge time sink(as well as arm/hand cramps). One issue I have had was getting a consistent look from multiple mapping sessions, so that's a down side.

As for brushes, I think several hundred is way to many. NOT counting pre-grouped ones(which might total more than the individuals to account for lots of combos and shape), I would say a dozen or two, perhaps three tops(this is just for standard mountains, not counting mesas or volcano type land forms). Once you get past a certain point, many people just get information overload and having to many choices makes it hard to pick and thus they just stick with only a few anyway. Another option might be to break them up into groups, so those that want all can just grab them and those that don't can just get the group they like best.

I do have to say I admine your persistance though, so here... have some rep.

03-09-2012, 09:50 AM
Oh, another thing that I forgot. We see a lot of mountains with flat bottoms, so more of a painting style. I tend to prefer those where the bottoms are not flat, generally having one(or perhaps more) radiating spines in the center which "drops lower" than the two side spines. That gives it a more 3D/Isometric look I think. I hope that makes some sense.

03-09-2012, 10:07 AM
Maintaining a consistent look is something I struggle with as well. When I start drawing symbols it usually takes me a few before I can get "in the groove" and adequately duplicate the same style. 400 Mountain brushes does seem a bit excessive...but here's some rep for your OCD. :)

03-09-2012, 10:17 AM
Honestly I find that you shouldn't need to many... I find there is usually a way to slightly alter tints, scaling and rotation (really usually just a flip if there are no shadows) and you get a pretty good variety... Mountains are the harder ones however, cause they are a bit different than say.. forests (at least for me)... I use vectors, which innately makes some of the randomization a big benefit... for an example, here is a tutorial I made a long time ago (and recieved very little comment on :( ) on how to create a vector forest in inkscape... take a look at the example I give... to show how much variety you can actually I only used a single vector tree I made quite quickly... using some copy/pasting, scaling, and rotating I was able to get varieties in the size... then I went through and drew some "shadow" shapes over top, to give it a look of different tree hights or slopes and the like... With one single vector tree I was able to create pretty un-similar looking forest... Even with a handful (say 5 or 6) you can create a great variety of work. Like I said, mts work a bit differently, but usually most of the principles work the same, especially if you plan the brushes out correctly... (for instance, adding shadows in after you finish "drawing" with you brushes, you are able to flip a mt and have it still make visual sense)

.... ok or i'll just forget to link to the tutorial :P
here we go.. (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?11576-Creating-a-forest-out-of-a-vector-tree)

03-09-2012, 11:13 AM
I find that '20' versions of a symbol is enough variety for a brush set, whether it's mountains, trees, buildings, whatever. I also flip images horizontally, or rotate 90 to 180 degrees creates more than enough variety for differing symbols on a given map.

03-11-2012, 09:58 PM
I am kind of obsessive and had recently some weird problems caused by my perfectionism, which confuses me.
In the end I like drawing those mountains. But I agree that I make more work than I could possibly gain back. And somehow this all turns to something similar or even more work than just actually drawing all mountains.