View Full Version : Advice, please?

04-09-2008, 11:58 AM
This is the furthest I've come on a wold map, and I'd like to see if I can actually get this one completed.

The outline is hand-drawn and scanned into Photoshop. This is the first time I've ever really used work paths, but it most assuredly won't be the last. I created a path of the outline, and then stroked it with a slanted-tipped brush.

The mountain peaks are hand-drawn and scanned separately. Those were also stroked. I made a pattern out of them and used a layer mask (first time using that one, too!) and a pattern fill as per a tutorial on zombienirvana. That guy's just a genious.

The mountain details, crude as they are, were painstakingly mouse-painted (there's GOT to be an easier way to do that!). I'll do the forest with the same technique as the mountains--at least that's the plan, and add some rivers and other little details.

I know it's not the greatest, but I think it's okay for my first map. I'd really like any advice anyone has to offer though.

04-09-2008, 03:12 PM
It's looking nice. As regards painting with a mouse, I really think you'd have a much better time with a tablet.

I think I'd use a different color for the coastline stroke--a brown darker than your land, but not too dark. That way, you can put city markers down on the coast and they'll be visible.

Are you planning to texture the land? Right now, the only texture in your painting is the water, so it jars a bit with the rest of the style.

04-09-2008, 03:24 PM
The land might look better textured in some color of green or spotted brown, this is just from a visual perspective.

04-09-2008, 03:33 PM
Oh yes, I'm definitely planning on doing something more with the land. A texture of some sort to darken it somewhat, and there is still the matter of the forests yet, so hopefully that'll liven things up a bit.

04-09-2008, 03:50 PM
For me anything that's hand drawn has more character than something that's generated by computers and filters. I'm lazy so I go for the latter, but I love hand drawn styles - they are so individual.

As to where to go from here? The land needs some texture as you've already said. I'm not sure if the texture you've used for the sea works with the textures you've used for the mountains...one's realistic and one is hand drawn - sort of jars to my eye. Also think about doing a handdrawn forest (if you plan to have them). Big city and town symbols would look quite nice too.

04-09-2008, 04:28 PM
You look like you're going for a quirky hand drawn style which is very appealing. It can happily trade geographic "correctness" for character. One thing I'd consider in photoshop is to try and isolate your map into layers if it's not already.

Layers give you flexibility. The immediate thing I'd consider is are you going to put political boundaries on the map. With these things I think the border lines look better if they are under the mountains etc....

You might consider just ringing your city icons with different colours to represent different Empires\Electorates\Kingdoms\softball clubs or whatever.

Sounds like you're enjoying it thats the major win :).


04-09-2008, 05:36 PM
There are many, many layers on this map. Plenty more than necessary, I'm sure, but I've made the mistake of not doing it before. Wasn't pretty.

Honestly, I haven't thought about political boundaries. I suppose I should. Thanks for that.

Here's an updated WIP.

04-09-2008, 11:26 PM
Nice improvement there!

I, too, like the style you are coming up with. The mountains seem happy to me, so I hope they aren't intended to be The Dark Mountains of Painful Death or some such thing.... And the black stroke on the water seems to fit in better now (balanced by the white?)

-Rob A>

04-09-2008, 11:55 PM
The mountains aren't especially my favorite part of this map, but they're the best I've come up with so far. I think that now that I've got an idea, I'll be able to come up with something better eventually.

To be honest the whole thing looks off to me, but as I said it's really my first attempt at a completed map, so I suppose it's a start. Hopefully it'll get better over time.

Thanks for your comments.