View Full Version : March Challenge Entry : Serpent Isles

03-18-2012, 12:00 AM
When This challenge Idea first came up ,I remarked That I was fairly confident that I didn't Have the Talent to submit a respectable entry !! I may have been wrong !? :?:While viewing a video tutorial on "Half tones" I realized I could probably use it for this competition Making a detailed texture and still meet the criteria of Black and White. Although there appears to be greys in the map It is actually a trick of the eye! As the ratio of Black to White gets higher the Eye perceives it as a darker shade of grey and visa-verso. Hai-Etlik's Entry uses different patterns which have a similar effect. My patterns are just smaller! Much Smaller. The mountains are Probably place holders And I am looking through my Fonts for a more Serpent like look. Still have much to do Labels ocean waves. island labels etc. But I think I can get something Presentable worked out.
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My don't that thumbnail look like crap :P

03-18-2012, 08:29 PM
The "Serpent Isles" are located Due South of the Continent of Alteir roughly along the equator. The common misconception is that the name comes from fact that the chain's basic shape resembles that of a half submerged Sea Serpent. In actuality the name came from the fact that islands are over run with every type of reptile imaginable. No mammalian life forms exist on the Islands. Reptiles are the predominant species by Far . There is rumored to even be an indigenous sentient reptiloid culture. This is a FACT ! If you believe I am referring to those mythical Lizardmen or Troglydytes . You are Sadly and dangerously mistaken! No my fellow explorers these creatures are far more dangerous than those slow lumbering monstrosities! Much more snake like than lizard like they are lithe, stealthy and wicked fast. Deadly doesn't come close to describing these creatures. Stay away from these Islands at any cost !!
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Still have some labeling to do and some touch-ups but she is getting There :)

03-18-2012, 09:45 PM
This would look pretty cool on a screen door, eh?

03-19-2012, 05:04 AM
Very nice half-tone / stippling work and looking forward to seeing it completed. I'm curious, how bit is the image?

03-19-2012, 04:58 PM
Jaxilon : On a screen door Hmmm I don't Know :0 As a silk screen maybe?

ravells : Thanks for the compliment ! How Bit is it ??? :P
Size as a PSD is 38 megs; as a jpeg 18 megs; as a pgn 3 megs. Pixel wise 4200 X 3238. I am not familiar with PNG to much so I don't know how much the quality suffers. Actual size in PS is 14X11 in. at 300 dpi.
Why Do You ask ?? I am ALWAYS open for tips, tricks, Suggestion!

03-19-2012, 07:11 PM
Ah, lol, my typo! I ask because the less you want the stippled gradients to look grainy, the higher the resolution you need - hence my curiosity. I really like what you have so far but no suggestions from me as this is a style of mapping I don't really have much experience with.

03-19-2012, 07:15 PM
ravells : I am losing a lot of quality using the png file formats !:( which of the guild allowable file formats has the best quality to size ratio ?? Thanks in advance !!

03-19-2012, 07:35 PM
I don't know!! I don't know much about how compression and all that stuff works...try sending a PM to Redrobes, he knows a lot about the technical side of things.

03-19-2012, 07:47 PM
ravells : I am losing a lot of quality using the png file formats !:( which of the guild allowable file formats has the best quality to size ratio ?? Thanks in advance !!

PNG is lossless: what you feed in to the PNG encoder is EXACTLY the same as what you get out of the decoder at the other end. If I had to guess, something funny is happening in your software before the PNG output proper.

03-19-2012, 09:14 PM
By the back and forth, I'll assume you know the close up hurts. (My eyes!) :) But the thumbnail looks great. I'll leave it to the pro's here to help you.

03-19-2012, 09:42 PM
I know PNG is lossless . The Psd is 13 megs when I save to PNG in Photoshop the Pngs are 1.34meg non- interlaced and 1.43 megs Interlaced. Those are the only two option available. The "canvas" texture becomes much more pronounced. It looks as Jaxilon stated like a screen door.When I enlarge the psd to 34 megs the conversion comes out at 7.4 megs without the distortion. But that is too big for posting here? The conversion ratio doesn't seem linear. Must be something to do with Photoshop. Even in PS side by side the PNG is Brighter but otherwise looks the same. Here on the Guild it looks much less smooth and blocky! I just saved the attachment from here back to desktop and opened it in PS for a side by side comparison and in PS the attachment looks like the pre-attached PNG simply brighter .I am perplexed to say the least. Maybe I need to use an external converter to keep the quality ? I am open to any and all suggestions. It comes to mind that a color space difference between PS and the guild viewer might be causing the "Apparent" quality difference ??

maxsdaddy : The resolution goes from 26% to God only knows what in one big jump. Yes it is very stark. But it does show that it is in fact black and white :)

03-20-2012, 06:43 PM
This is a test to find the optimum viewing size !
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I think I found my Optimum viewing size and format. You can't see it here but there is anti aliasing greys here due to resizing the original. This is allowable but I will remove it as I need the practice to set this technique in my head :P I think I will change up the Island texture while I'm at it. Some more labeling, a Scale and maybe one more ornamentation.

03-20-2012, 07:40 PM
Tho I am sure your aware of much of what the issues are with the resolution I will go over a few points. First is that as Hai said, PNG is lossless so there is no loss and no degradation of image. That said there is no degradation from what PS saves. PS might well be doing something before it saves it out tho.

My advice is to keep the original and dont change that so always save in the native PS format. Then when you come to generating something for posting to the guild. Save a COPY out and make it greyscale. Then the PNG file wont be saving 3 channels of red green and blue which all happen to be the same values. If you dont tell PS that its greyscale then it wont know for you. Once its greyscale then it will save the single grey channel as a PNG file.

Now your image has a few shades of mid grey in it and a LOT of black and white. So if you want to lose the grey and make it strict black and white then reduce the colours to 2 and save it out as a PNG in that format. That will be the smallest you will be able to manage and stay lossless. You could go smaller with a grey JPG but it would look terrible.

The reason why its looking blocky is again a PS issue. You need to save out the image as a 1:1 pixel scale. Now PS has a term called resolution which means how many dots per inch. Images have a resolution which is just in pixels. So you need to set your PS image to some notional DPI which most people set as 300 and then when you save it out you need to save it as 1:1 scale or the size in inches that 300dpi gives you from your pixel size.

Now you have said its... 4200 X 3238, 300dpi and 14X11 inches. If you save it out as exactly 11 inch tall then it should be 3300 pixels. If you tell PS to save out as 11 inches exactly then PS will resize the image from 3238 to 3300 in the process of saving and thus there would be an extra 22 pixels to generate. So every 3300/22 lines or every 150 lines in Y it will insert a new one. In between those extra lines it will interpolate new ones in some kind of wacky system which is supposed to be flawless but is normally anything but. This would be a great example of the effect describes in post #11 of My technical bitmap guide (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?2596-Award-Winner-Bitmapped-Images-The-technical-side-of-things-explained).

So to sum up, save a copy. Reduce the copies colors to 2 then save as PNG file of either 4200x3238 or 1:1 or 14" x 10.79333" and not 14x11.

My advice would also be to save a copy, reduce to 2 col, resize the bitmap to 50% by using a nearest neighbor or a pixel scaling method not the bicubic, lanczos, smart or other method and then save that as a PNG file. The forum thumbnails will always look crap since they don't use a proper scaling method. If you want to host the full image and upload a small version here then take a copy of original, blur it quite a lot, greyscale it, scale it down to 1/10th size and save it as a PNG.

Doing the full size 2 col PNG its 555Kb which is a bit better. I will also attach my image and thumbnail just to check to see if the boards accept a 2 col PNG file... The one on the left is the blurred & scaled thumbnail.

03-22-2012, 09:06 PM
Got a bit farther along. Still a little left to do but almost there. :)Still need to work out the rest of the names and some touch-up. The center graphic isn't mine ! I don't have that kind of talent :( However it was listed open source And it looked just right for this theme. Here is the almost final version
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03-22-2012, 09:13 PM
Capture at 300% magnification.

03-23-2012, 07:41 PM
Wait a minute, I think I see some blue and red at the bottom of that magnified view.:) Looking good so far. Good luck in this challenge.

03-23-2012, 09:14 PM
That's It I am Done !!! I can't stare at this anymore !!!:mrgreen: There was some anti-aliasing grey I couldn't get rid of . I tried. !! I crammed so many new techniques into my head "WOW" !! Now if i can only remember them later. This challenge really pushed my brain to the limit. I think I burned out the clutch !!:(( Well any ways for your approval. The Serpent Isles .

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03-23-2012, 09:31 PM
Okay so I lied !! NOW it is done !!
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03-24-2012, 11:38 AM
Hello Everyone My Name is Lostatsea and I am an addict !!!>:) I can't seem to let this map alone !! I had to fix the huts and I decided to style the labels like the Title and the compass. EDIT:I changed it back! :?
Isla Goren is a secret Taurian observation base hidden in the ruins of the former Taurian fortress. A Taurian exploration party set up base there 50 years ago Killing all the natives. They only got to build a basic fort before the sister tribes retaliated and wiped them out to the last man. The Taurians recently sent a scouting party to take up residence and keep an eye on the Natives . After all these Islands are claimed by the Empire. But then again what isn't.!!

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03-26-2012, 09:43 PM
So M.M.A. (Map Makers Anonymous) Sent me to the Looney bin . But I escaped !>:) Here is another final revision thanks to maxsdaddy's advice. Damn Him :D

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I have a colorized version in the works I'll post after the challenge !

03-26-2012, 10:33 PM
Haha! I dig this map regardless, but your inability to declare it finished is almost as amusing. ;)

03-27-2012, 07:06 PM
Dear Joshua. Cartographer Obsessive Syndrome (C.O.S.) Is a serious condition. There is also this thing called KARMA. Someday soon You'll find yourself suffering from this Cursed affliction and the It will be my turn to chuckle . Cue the maniacal Laugh. >:) By the way I am almost done with the Colorized version of this Map . :P

03-27-2012, 09:35 PM
The syndrome lostatsea mentions is also *highly* addictive, so I predict that his prediction will come true ;)

03-27-2012, 09:58 PM
It sounds fun, if not damaging to the social life! ;)

03-28-2012, 01:13 PM
This is so cool. I love the use of tones. Makes me want to use them again.