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Seraphine_Harmonium
04-25-2012, 03:43 AM
This is a map for Cad Goleor. It is of a province/Kingdom in the south-east of Glasconai, called Thiodonn. Relatively quick-and-dirty I pretty much like it as it is, so I may leave it alone, but I thought I'd share and see what feedback I get.

I owe the parchment effect to Rob A's tutorial.

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Fox Lee
04-25-2012, 08:40 AM
Only one teeny thing - the trees up in the north-east corner stick out as being a little regular, as they're all the same brush/stamp and are in relatively straight vertical lines. I know part of that is the stylisation, but I think it would be better if they were a little varied, like the mountains. Just my opinion, of course!

mythus
04-25-2012, 09:33 AM
I'd agree with Fox Lee, unless of course it was a myriad forest - planted that way.

Freodin
04-25-2012, 10:25 AM
The trees could use a little variation for sure.

For the rest: a wonderful stylish map, good choice of brushes for the most part and a very nice colour scheme.

There are just two things that you might want to consider changing.
First, the brushes you used for the castles / settlements do not really fit with the rest of the symbols. You could try changing them to something simpler, two-dimensional, with strong lines.
Second, change the text. The white colour does not fit in this map at all.

mozltovcoktail
04-25-2012, 01:44 PM
I really like the style and color of this. The orangish-grey-burnt thing you have going on really pops and looks maybe a little sinister even.

I have two pieces of feedback:

* I agree with Freodin that the pure white text looks out of place to me. Maybe distress it a bit, give it some texture, and/or or lower the opacity or something to make it match the vibe of the rest of the map? Or maybe just choose a different color.
* The "ink" doesn't fade at all as it reaches the tattered edges of the parchment. I feel like it would probably fade from all the wear the edges have received.

Nice work!

Seraphine_Harmonium
04-25-2012, 05:08 PM
Thanks for all the feedback everyone!


I really like the style and color of this. The orangish-grey-burnt thing you have going on really pops and looks maybe a little sinister even.
Well, as Thiodonn is, relatively speaking, the most "evil" of the kingdoms in Glasconai (though I don't like the moral absolutism that implies), sinister is appropriate.



* I agree with Freodin that the pure white text looks out of place to me. Maybe distress it a bit, give it some texture, and/or or lower the opacity or something to make it match the vibe of the rest of the map? Or maybe just choose a different color.
* The "ink" doesn't fade at all as it reaches the tattered edges of the parchment. I feel like it would probably fade from all the wear the edges have received.
I might be able to fix some of those text issues just by reordering the layers, but I can darken them some way. I'll play with it. The fading on the edges is probably as simple as a fuzzy-brushed eraser on a low-mid opacity, so I'll experiment with that too.

Regarding the trees: the brush sets I have don't have anything else similar enough to those trees to change it up without being jarring, but I agree that I'd prefer some variety. If anyone can point me to some similar free tree brushes I'd be glad to look into it.

arsheesh
04-25-2012, 05:23 PM
I have nothing to add to the above critiques. Just wanted to say that on the whole I think this is looking rather nice. Look forward to seeing the finished product.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

veracusse
04-25-2012, 06:59 PM
It looks like a real nice ermm...sinister looking map. The darkish red/orange parchment brings out that vibe. I like it. I agree that the text doesn't fit here. Here is a technique for text that I use that may help you. I assume you are using PS. ;) But I think you can do something similar if using GIMP.

1. For each text layer shift+ctrl select the layer. This will create a selection and also add to the current selection.
2. Once you have selected all the text layers as one selection, create a new layer with a layer mask that is the current text selections.
3. Since it is a mask you can now color fill the layer with any color you want and only the masked text selection will show.
4. Now, you can alt+click on the layer mask and the screen will be black and white. You can apply a filer to this mask for a variety of effects.
5. Then on the mask apply filter>brush>sponge set the parameters as you will.
6. To the mask apply filter>blur>g. blurr at somewhere between 4-8 px.
7. To the mask apply Image>adjustments>levels try to make the mask as sharp as possible. Depending on your dpi I make sure that image size is 100% or 120%.

Now you have some neat looking text, and since it is on a color fill layer you can change the color all you want, add any layer blending effects and layer styles you'd like to. Also make sure the original text layers are hidden, but don't erase them in case you want to modify some the text. Of course you would have to make changes to the layer text mask each time. (That's one downside to this technique.) Also you may want to re-order the text so that it is lower than the parchment layer, that way the text looks like it belongs on the parchment.

One other thing that I don't think was mentioned by anyone else yet. Try adding a stroke to the land. Make it the same color as the lines/brushes for the mountains and stuff and with the same blending mode as those layers. I would go at 2 px or so.

Overall good stuff. Hope this helps.

Seraphine_Harmonium
04-26-2012, 03:20 PM
Here is a technique for text that I use that may help you. I assume you are using PS. ;) But I think you can do something similar if using GIMP.

1. For each text layer shift+ctrl select the layer. This will create a selection and also add to the current selection.
2. Once you have selected all the text layers as one selection, create a new layer with a layer mask that is the current text selections.
3. Since it is a mask you can now color fill the layer with any color you want and only the masked text selection will show.
4. Now, you can alt+click on the layer mask and the screen will be black and white. You can apply a filer to this mask for a variety of effects.
5. Then on the mask apply filter>brush>sponge set the parameters as you will.
6. To the mask apply filter>blur>g. blurr at somewhere between 4-8 px.
7. To the mask apply Image>adjustments>levels try to make the mask as sharp as possible. Depending on your dpi I make sure that image size is 100% or 120%.

Now you have some neat looking text, and since it is on a color fill layer you can change the color all you want, add any layer blending effects and layer styles you'd like to. Also make sure the original text layers are hidden, but don't erase them in case you want to modify some the text. Of course you would have to make changes to the layer text mask each time. (That's one downside to this technique.) Also you may want to re-order the text so that it is lower than the parchment layer, that way the text looks like it belongs on the parchment.

One other thing that I don't think was mentioned by anyone else yet. Try adding a stroke to the land. Make it the same color as the lines/brushes for the mountains and stuff and with the same blending mode as those layers. I would go at 2 px or so.

Overall good stuff. Hope this helps.

I am using GIMP. I tried following your advice anyway, and managed to make it up to the layer mask before I got stuck. I don't have a "filter>brush" tab, nor do I have any kind of sponge brush elsewhere. At least, not that I can find. And anything else I do with that mask so far has just been flailing and just ends up looking messy.

I started the image with the land stroked and I prefer it without.

Here, however, is an updated version of the image, playing with some different brushes for the castles, more variety in the trees, fading the edges, and with some recolored text (also faded somewhat) instead of white.

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veracusse
04-26-2012, 04:28 PM
I'm not that familiar with GIMP filters, so I don't know which ones would translate well to a similar photoshop filter.

I like the font much better on this one, and the castle brush gives it a more medieval look. I assume that is what you are going for. thumbs up!

Freodin
04-26-2012, 05:06 PM
The new castle icon needs a little love... but it fits a lot better with the rest of the icons. Trees are fine, I would say.

The text looks a lot better now, but you need to be careful not to place it over other map elements.

octopod
04-26-2012, 05:44 PM
Yeah, the thing that still really sticks out to me is the text. It's superimposed over other stuff on the map, rather than having them arranged around it as if you'd planned it out from the beginning, and the black text is also much sharper and darker than everything else on the map. The font is good though, and looks great as a cut-out from the ocean on the lower right side.

Seraphine_Harmonium
04-26-2012, 07:38 PM
The new castle icon needs a little love...
Care to specify? That's not much to go on.


Yeah, the thing that still really sticks out to me is the text. It's superimposed over other stuff on the map, rather than having them arranged around it as if you'd planned it out from the beginning, and the black text is also much sharper and darker than everything else on the map. The font is good though, and looks great as a cut-out from the ocean on the lower right side.
I am at this point not sure what there is to be done about the placement of the text. Maybe I'm just getting to a defensive point with my work, but it FEELS nitpicky, and there literally isn't ANYWHERE I could put the Dochaoiran marker WITHOUT it going over the bog and/or the coastline. The others I might be able to fiddle with.

octopod
04-27-2012, 03:06 AM
Possibly just make the text slightly more light brown instead of black, then? I think that might feel more consistent.

(Sorry, didn't want to make you defensive about it! It looks good overall. Just a little thing really.)

Freodin
04-27-2012, 03:25 AM
Care to specify? That's not much to go on.
Don't shoot me... I really don't know how to specify it. It just does not look right. The object itself is a little too simple, as compared to the other icons. I would try to add some shadows, perhaps a few windows, or try to hint at the different castle parts (draw a line to show the outline of the towers or such). Sorry, I am not an artist - all I myself would do is try and change and change again until I found it good. So I cannot give a step by step advice on how to do it... I don't know myself.

But one thing you could change: fit the castles better into the available space. Dun Glorach touches the northern coast, Desportach the river next to it, Ailcarraig the bushes above it. I know that it is difficult to prevent overlaps while using brushes, but I'd say that is something an original cartographer would have done: "There is empty space here on the map, let's fit in a castle."

What you could do: when you have settled for a style for the castle icons... don't make it into a brush, draw each castle seperately. There are only four of them. (And for the style: it needs to be something you think is right... you are the artist, we are only the critics.)




I am at this point not sure what there is to be done about the placement of the text. Maybe I'm just getting to a defensive point with my work, but it FEELS nitpicky, and there literally isn't ANYWHERE I could put the Dochaoiran marker WITHOUT it going over the bog and/or the coastline. The others I might be able to fiddle with.
Bog and coastline should be no problem. The problem are other icons, where overlaps make the text difficult to read. If you cannot find a space to fit the text between the icons, consider moving the icons. Or removing some of them.
Or, another thing you might try: get rid of the text completely (at least for the towns). If you cannot at all find a way to make them fit, make them vanish! ;)

Sorry if that feels nitpicky... it is just a viewers opinion on the difference between a great map and a perfect map. But I think that this is indeed a great map, and it deserves to be perfect.

Seraphine_Harmonium
04-27-2012, 07:17 PM
Alright, here is the final version of the Map. Thank you to everyone for your input, and help getting me to this point. I have no desire to edit any further.

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