View Full Version : Nosgoth, my first try...

03-16-2012, 09:58 AM
This is my first try, still a work in progress. I have to say thanks to Pasis for his great tutorial, otherwise this wouldn't have been drawn.
This is a revisited map of Nosgoth, the world from the Legacy of Kain seires. It is not labeled yet, and I still have to work on some details, but I'd like to know what you think about it.
Also I'd like to ask ome advice. Since it has pretty complex textures I find that adding some parchment or cloth texture to add a drawn effect results in a chaotic result.
I'd still like to add some texture and a coherent border, any hints? Also, what do you think about color and brightness?

03-16-2012, 11:47 AM
Ok, perhaps the solution was right in front of my eyes and I didn't see it...
I tried to remove the noise and clouds levels. Since there are a lot of textures I don't seem to need additional random variation to the terrain. I think the result is more polished and clear. What do you think?

03-17-2012, 01:14 AM
Awesome first try at the style, Morgan. First your questions - the color & brightness work well, especially the second version. Only trouble is you're going to have the dickens of a time putting labels in and getting them legible without taking over the show. The lighter texturing of the second one will help with that, plus as you say there's plenty of variation already; too much starts to muddy the look.

As far as any paper texture at all - think about what you've got. This is a near-photographic satellite view. THere's even sun-glint on rough water, or maybe debris in the water in places. How did a cartographer put it on a surface? Is it painted? If so, perhaps it's on a dead-flat substrate. Just what you decide for a margin is going to make the medium more obvious, so you can tell a bit of story just with how it's presented. If it's a period piece, no way is it mass produced. So your margin might indicate the wall it's painted on, or the sheet of metal, or whatnot.

Now since I've got to keep this RP badge shiny, I have thoughts about your water. It's not quite a satellite view, since I assume you've exaggerated width of some rivers so they'll show. Some can be estuaries and actually BE kilometers across, but not all, not plausibly. And I almost have to read the majority of the water as being right at sea level -- the little neck of an isthmus NW of center doesn't have shading or terrain to make the eastern body of water appear any higher altitude than the western side. The fairly regular widths and particularly narrow width of one of those skinny watercourses sure look like you're saying "rivers connecting a series of lakes" but visually I'm not buying it. If you really do want them all sea-level, you could "say so" better by varying their width more.

One place just SE of center you've got a decent-sized river implausibly splitting. Again - I'd buy that as an estuary where the island is bounded by drowned valleys, only the skinniness of them says "river". Rivers pick one best course downhill, and only under rare circumstances would you find a split of that size. And speaking of "one way only", you ought to break apart the triple-join of headwaters atop the mountain a tiny bit E of dead-center. A mountaintop lake could source a river, but only one. If there were ever two outlets at the same altitude, one would quickly "win out" over the other.

The textures and topography are all very nicely done. The scale sends a bit of a mixed message though. The trees in that NW basin "say" it's maybe a mile across, while the mountains ringing it declare no, it's a hundred or more miles across. THe volcano's awesome. The lava pattern says to me "cracks" rather than "flows", but that's nitpicking. It expresses very well that the place is a glowing window into the netherworld and I don't want to get too close.

What do you figure on using it for? That'll slant just how you want to border and label it.

My time's been so limited I'm going ahead and bestowing a smidgen of rep - it's worth that, already. Good work - dare you to make it better!

03-17-2012, 07:36 AM
Hi jbgibson, thank you very much for your in-depth reply!

I'm also satisfied with the second version. I think that textures and colors work just fine. Haven't decided the margin yet, but that will come.

Meanwhile I'd like to stick on your advices. You're right, the scale is not correct. I will try reducing the size of the trees texture and brush.
I agree about the rivers too. I reproduced the original map from a videogame, but it was in calligraphic style, and I think I made the map too small. The reliefs in the north should be a huge mountain range, I think. It's hard to say 'cause there was no scaling meter. I think I will draw it again from scratch trying to keep a coherent scale, and revisiting when necessary to keep realism. Speaking of which, I will smudge those lava cracks a bit and see what happens! ;)

Honestly, I don't know if I'll actually use this map. I'm just practicing for now. Then my long term project is a full world map that I'd like to use for a novel series. And, besides, it's fun! :)

Thank you again for the feedback and rep! I swear I didn't expect that! :O
And I accept the challenge. I'll make it better. I'm here for that! :)
I hope to have a new sketch soon!
Happy mapmaking!

03-17-2012, 06:47 PM
That volcano is quite impressive. For a first try it's great and I really look forward to where you go next!

03-18-2012, 07:06 AM
Thank you! :)
I think I will be practicing some more with satellite-view like maps, then I'd like to try some hand drawn. Some on this site are really awesome!
Well, one thing at a time. Now back to understanding scaling! :D

03-18-2012, 09:36 AM
It looks great, no doubt about it :) I'll be watching how this turns out.

03-19-2012, 11:01 AM
great for a first try!!!??? you kidding? i love this! great job man!

One thing I noticed, and I've found in other maps.. when your trying to go for a reflective look on water... I'm assuming you used a textured layer and used a mask to have it show through on all the water... if you wanted it to pop a bit more, you might want to add reflection to the waterbodies individually.. a lot more work, but it'd make a difference i'm sure.. of course that's a lot more work :P I know the USGS guys add reflections to their maps by hand sometimes, it's all about making it look realistic to the user (much like how when you see an rich green aerial photo it's not the real colour, it's replaced the green band with Infrared and messed with the colours... Wierd tricks of the trade, but on such a realistic looking map, it might work well on yours map.. not something i've done, so i can't say how.. but i know they do it.. :P

03-19-2012, 12:47 PM
Really impressive for a first map!
I don't know if it was mentioned yet, but the woods and the mountains seem to have a different scale.
Have some rep :)

03-20-2012, 06:24 AM
Oh, thank you all so much, I'm sooooo flattered! :)
I have experimented a bit with different styles, and I'm currently working on a brand new version which also includes some techniques from Tear's tutorial. I hope it turns out good, for now it's too early to say! I've just done water for now, and it looks good, it has reflection, too! ;)
Oh, and I'm trying to solve the scaling problem, too. Is it just me or Photoshop has a limited amount of depth with Bevel and Emboss that prevents you to make bigger mountains? :D

03-21-2012, 03:00 AM
Out of curiosity, what did you use to create the map?

03-21-2012, 06:04 AM
If you mean software, Photoshop CS4. If you mean technique, Pasis' tutorial! ;)

03-21-2012, 06:36 AM
Really a great looking map.

03-21-2012, 09:06 AM
Oh, thank you all so much, I'm sooooo flattered! :)
Oh, and I'm trying to solve the scaling problem, too. Is it just me or Photoshop has a limited amount of depth with Bevel and Emboss that prevents you to make bigger mountains? :D

it does indeed... I think I remember getting around that tho by beveling on a layer on top of your bevel... seemed to work alright.. but it's been a while so i'm not entirely sure it works (I've tried to switch my work away from non-legal copies of software.. so GIMP and Inkscape have become my new toys :P)

03-22-2012, 03:52 AM
If you mean software, Photoshop CS4. If you mean technique, Pasis' tutorial! ;)

Ah! You answer my ambiguous question with the info I desired (software) and added a little gem that is most useful! Thanks for that. :D

03-22-2012, 06:52 AM
Thanks, Sapiento! :)

loogie, it's a nice workaround, I just have to make practice 'cause in some regions the transition from layer to layer is not smooth. But thanks, your advice pointed me in what I think is the right direction to draw bigger mountains. I just merged the various levels, before... :P
Just out of curiosity, would you judje GIMP and Inkscape better softwares to draw maps? Are they any lighter? 'Cause I like Photoshop, but my hardware is screaming pain! :D

Sorus, no problem. Pasis' and Tear's are the two tutorials I'm using to make practice, and they are great. Give them a try! And yes, I'm full of information! Oh, crap, the Intelligence! Sorry I have to go! :D

03-22-2012, 09:34 AM
Quite honestly, I've learned to like Inkscape as much as if not more than illustrator... That being said I would most likely still use Illustrator if I had a copy of it.. but inkscape does almost everything, and yet to me it seems to do it in a more straightforward way (as far as drawing anyways)... where it lacks I find is in the features, mainly that filters are a bit hard to figure out, using palettes is non-ideal, even things like the stroke, fill, and gradient UI leave some things to be desired... The only thing i've found that is truely not doable in Inkscape is gradient meshes, which of course are a very cool thing.

But that being said it is definitely worth using as a free alternative, and none of those issues really makes it impossible to use.. usually just takes a bit more time to get exactly what you want...

GIMP I've really just started using for something more than cropping and quick editing of pictures... to me it seems even less refined than Inkscape, but seems to be much more powerful... the scripting capabilities I've seen RobA come up with are amazing, and I'm sure it's just a matter of getting used to the software as well.. Again I'm sure there are a number of features that just aren't possible yet compared to PS, but again.. I'd say its probably the best free alternative out there...

03-22-2012, 10:42 AM
Hmmm, thanks, perhaps I'll give it a try! :)

03-26-2012, 12:08 PM
I'm creating another topic in the proper Regional/World mapping section with a brand new version of the map! ;)