PDA

View Full Version : [WIP] My first map and first time as a DM.



lothel
03-12-2012, 03:28 PM
Hi guys,

This is my first map and I'm still in the process of drawing it. My laptop is a tablet with Wacom so all of this was drawn on its tiny 12.1" screen in Adobe Illustrator. I would really appreciate some criticism/feedback! I haven't drawn anything since I was in high school so as I am progressing from left to right on the map, I'm starting to see my style change a bit. I've gone back and tried to keep things a bit more consistent, but I can't tell if it worked at all.

The world is a typical fantasy type and we will be playing in 4e. On my list of things to do is coloring the map, labeling all the landmarks, adding in the rest of the cities/roads/navies. I at one point tried to make it geographically realistic but its wandered away from that :(

Anyway, I wanted to share my progress so far and document the new things I'll be learning from these forums!
Thanks for reading.

3-12-12 Starting Map
3-13-12 Added a few cities and ships
3-14-12 Added some color, need to finish coloring and decide if I should keep the fine lines or get rid of them entirely.
3-15-12 More Color, cities!
3-16-12 Color >_>
3-19-12 Done Coloring I think?
3-22-12 Labels, import to photoshop to begin final touches, realize the file and resolution are HUGE at 300dpi
3-24-12 Polish, labels, tentatively done?

Klaus van der Kroft
03-12-2012, 05:40 PM
You have a very unique style for drawing, and I like how it looks. That big tree on the left looks very nice, in particular.

The coastlines are supposed to look that way, or you intend to make them more rugged? The tiny ovoid islands are the only things I'm not too convinced about.

Korash
03-12-2012, 08:56 PM
Well, I think that you are off to a great start :)

I also like the style that you are developing...sort of cartoonishy but still capable of passing on info. As long as that is where you want to go, I see nothing wrong with a non-realistic representation of coastlines. I even like those little islands...IMHO they work with the coastlines that you have already.

I would suggest that you add a bit of color to the forests and mountains, just to break them away from the land masses. not too heavy on the color either, just enough to give them some "oomph".

And for your first map in your first post, I will hit you over the head with a wet Spaghetti Noodle of Reputation....(I always have trouble telling if it is done) ;)

lothel
03-12-2012, 10:20 PM
You have a very unique style for drawing, and I like how it looks. That big tree on the left looks very nice, in particular.

The coastlines are supposed to look that way, or you intend to make them more rugged? The tiny ovoid islands are the only things I'm not too convinced about.

Thanks, although I can't take credit for most of it. I saw a map done in a similar way and later on the artist threw together a tutorial for it: Linky (http://www.roximonoxide.com/tut/)

The coastlines are a bit rounded probably due to the way I made them in illustrator using live trace. I am not sure if I will fix up the coast lines or leave them as they are for now. I think I eventually want to try making a more realistic looking atlas type map for the world as well and I'll make the coastlines more rugged in that version. My hope is to make this map look a bit more hand drawn as this is going to be given to the players as a map of the "known" world as documented by some old wizardly type of guy. Whether or not it lines up to the more realistic version is up for the players to discover as they travel :)



Well, I think that you are off to a great start :)

I also like the style that you are developing...sort of cartoonishy but still capable of passing on info. As long as that is where you want to go, I see nothing wrong with a non-realistic representation of coastlines. I even like those little islands...IMHO they work with the coastlines that you have already.

I would suggest that you add a bit of color to the forests and mountains, just to break them away from the land masses. not too heavy on the color either, just enough to give them some "oomph".

And for your first map in your first post, I will hit you over the head with a wet Spaghetti Noodle of Reputation....(I always have trouble telling if it is done) ;)

My favorite part about cooking spaghetti is throwing it at a wall and seeing if it sticks.

Color is definitely coming and I'm trying to keep a khaki-ish color scheme going. I used to do a lot of pen and ink illustrations when I was younger so I'm not quite so used to adding color yet. Also, adobe illustrator sometimes seems to cause some neurotic tendencies to come up so I feel the need to go back and straighten all the little lines I've done. If I take too long to get this campaign started, my players are going to storm my house and carry all my material off :(

jonpeto
03-13-2012, 02:04 AM
You should add a compass and a scale.

lothel
03-14-2012, 02:24 AM
Just a quick update. I ended up playing Baldur's Gate with friends for a large chunk of the night instead of working on this map :)

I added some cities and learned holding down shift in Illustrator makes you draw straight lines (mind blown). I don't know what I did with the perspective tool, but now I have an annoying little grid over the bottom corner of my screen =/

I also added some ships from another illustrator sketch up that I made a while ago.

I still need to add scale (spent way too long having fun designing a compass) and color.

Anyone have any suggestions for good fonts for labeling? Or should this be done by hand?

43045

lothel
03-15-2012, 12:52 AM
I've started coloring and could really use some advice. I think I found a method that I like, but the fine lines I've used for shading are driving me nuts (they're not straight and it takes forever for my tablet to render them on my screen.) Take a look at the image below? Do you think its worth keeping the lines? If so I would probably go back and redo all of them (maybe use a pattern of stripes instead of individually inking them in?) otherwise I can erase all the lines and be happy as it is.

Opinions?

4306643067

jfrazierjr
03-15-2012, 08:48 AM
It's ok either way for me. Since you have color shading, I don't know that it's necessarily. Another thing you could do is pick a few spots where the shadows should be a fill some with almost straight black. A great place for that would be that one big mountain where you currently have the fine lines...

Note, when looking at the map from a macro level(not zoomed in), the one with the fine lines looks much better since it gives it a bit more depth.

rpgmapmaker
03-15-2012, 09:48 AM
I know that it is lot more work but the extra lines look much better to me. I realy like how this map is comming along. This will be one I keep for referance once it is finished.

Note: The render time might be better if you copied just the layer with the mountains (one one set of mountains) to a new file and worked on it in smaller chunks them move it back into the main file.

-RPGMM

lothel
03-16-2012, 02:35 AM
Thanks for all the positive feedback, the encouragement is definitely appreciated! I'm slightly ocd at times and I've been looking at the fine lines at times and wanting to scrap the entire map. I can't wait until the campaign is underway so I can use this style for all the dungeons and towns as well :)

Added more color today and such. Trying to keep the colors subtle and blend well into the background color of the continents. I am fairly happy with how the swamp area turned out at least, but I am getting a tad sick of coloring in mountains by now. Those dwarves are going to be the end of me and my pen nib.

Anyone as excited as I am about the new Baldurs Gate announcement? Also, can anyone recommend a good font for labeling the map with?

43098

lothel
03-17-2012, 02:17 AM
Almost done coloring I think, hopefully I'll be done tomorrow. I've come up with a nifty solution for a font to label my map with, if it works out you guys might even like it!
Also, viewing this on my Dell Ultrasharp monitor really gives me an idea of how off the colors are on my tablet screen. My hp has really bad viewing angles...

43138

avalier
03-18-2012, 03:03 PM
Wow, Lothel, this is really coming along great! I love the colors and the overall appearance of the map. As for the fine lines, I agree with the above poster who said the colored shading of the mountains makes the fine lines unnecessary. The only thing I notice is that the northern towns colors look like they have bled a little bit. Other than that it looks fantastic. I can't wait to see your finished product.

lothel
03-19-2012, 03:02 AM
43196

Maybe I can make it more fantasy like?

Korash
03-19-2012, 08:43 PM
I like :)

How you turn it into a font??

lothel
03-19-2012, 09:20 PM
I like :)

How you turn it into a font??

http://www.myscriptfont.com/

I used my tablet to fill out the form instead of doing the scanning method. Used the default Photoshop paintbrush at 8pt or so after converting the pdf into a jpg.
If you do something like this, spend the little extra time putting down some extra guide lines so things match up a bit better :) and share! I would love to see what other people come up with.

If you want to download and use mine, the link is here (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3234794/Allison%27s%20writing.ttf)
Just double click and hit install (for windows at least)

Korash
03-20-2012, 12:46 AM
Thanks lothel :)

I might try that link...if I can get it to read my chicken scratch... ;)

lothel
03-20-2012, 02:00 AM
43234

Coloring done I think! I also went over most of the fine lines and changed stuff up. I erased most of them since they were getting a little too crowded and added them into areas that I thought need them.
Before I start adding labels, is there anything else that I've missed?

Korash
03-20-2012, 08:17 PM
Well, I for one like the way this has turned out :) I love the different buildings in differing areas of the map because they give a feel for what kind of people live there. very well done.
Speaking of the buildings, the castle just south east of the swamp seems to have a "mountain line" passing through it. I think it should be hidden by the building. Unless of course it DOES belong there....

You also have a floating "N" in the northwest corner...I believe it is a hold over from when you had the compass there....

rpgmapmaker
03-20-2012, 08:45 PM
Like the font, and it sounds like I will have to give that a try myself. The map is looking good too! I love the boats and small detail. The "Hobbit holes" are a neat touch.

maxsdaddy
03-20-2012, 09:40 PM
Nice work on the map and the font! Ditto rpgmapmaker on the hobbit holes. Hobbits need a home too. :)

lothel
03-22-2012, 03:56 PM
43299

I've finished the coloring for now. I think its shaping up nicely.
I finished adding shadows under the trees and other things as well.

The mountain lines going through the dwarven caste/fort are actually the chains for the drawbridge :)

As for the labeling, as much as I wanted to use the font that I had made, my handwriting is simply too small and I felt like it didn't quite match the rest of the map. I've switched to Dafont.com using the Of Wildflowers and Wilderness font.

I've imported this whole thing to photoshop now to work on the paper textures and give some final touches. (The labeling may look really difficult to read right now, but I will be fixing that up in photoshop)

The import from Illustrator to Photoshop was a bit of a challange as the illustrator file was large and wouldn't let me export it as a psd. What you see here is the map scaled down to 10% of its size. If anyone wants to see the entire ridiculously large image, the link is here (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3234794/worldmap-3-20-12.png).

Fury
03-22-2012, 10:10 PM
I like the style :)
But the smallest sized fonts are too small to be seen in relation to the other words (in the scaled down version).

lothel
03-24-2012, 09:53 PM
Fixed up the labeling I think and I've added a few finishing touches. I think I am ready to call this map done... What do you guys think?


43369

suehawkins
03-25-2012, 02:39 AM
I really like pretty much all the versions. I've been using Illustrator for *years* and I'm always stumbling upon some teeny thing or other that saves time (duh!) so I always love it when other people do it too!

You asked about fonts: as I am a certifiable font freak, I can point you in the direction of http://www.fontcraft.com/fontcraft/ which makes tons of old fonts. So great!! They also have a "map pack" which, if I remember correctly, has a lot of things in it such as north arrows, borders, sea monster and such. I never bought that one, but they commonly have freebies of certain fonts and demo versions of fonts. I highly recommend them.

I also have thousands of fonts that I collected through the years, most of them not as exciting because the maps I have worked on are not as exciting as the one you're working on.

Anyhoo, I like your maps. Good stuff.

Korash
03-25-2012, 11:39 PM
Well, call me VERY impressed :)

very well done :D

lothel
03-26-2012, 02:52 AM
Well then, I think you'll enjoy it even more when I post it in the finished map forum. I have one last surprise left :)

Also, in a few days I will start a new version of this map done in an atlas style since I've been itching to try something less hand drawn!