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RobA
05-08-2008, 08:51 PM
...and I know why I haven't done it before :)

3494

This is going to be a map for Paragon's novel that was asked for in the map request thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1698). I am pretty happy so far. I more or less just followed Hapimeses' tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1669) Needs some cleanup, but it is getting there. (This is resized 50%).

I did the mountains and hills in five separate session... probably 10 hours total, as my hand kept cramping (I gotta figure a better way to hold the stylus).

I haven't decided how to do the forests, yet, though there are a few nice styles I think I will copy.

There is also a region of marshland (north of the mountain range) and I would be happy for pointers on making marshes in a pictorial rather than symbolic fashion.

-Rob A>

RPMiller
05-08-2008, 09:02 PM
Wow. That looks really really good, but your river has a problem...



Just kidding. I couldn't find anything constructive to say. ;)

ravells
05-09-2008, 05:43 AM
I think it looks fantastic, but that you should try it with the shadows on the right...

... shouldn't take long :twisted:

Seriously though, I've got to try this too. Have something nice on the radio on the background and just draw, draw, draw those mountains, cos at the end of the day, for this style of map, handdrawn mountains trump symbols any day of the week.

jfrazierjr
05-09-2008, 10:28 AM
Very nice Rob. I would rep you, but I just gave you some for your one of your Tutorials.

If you were not so far along on the mountains, I would say you should consider trying to force perspective by making the mountains in the foreground a bit larger. The river at the top flowing into the sea from the north already gives me the impression of a bit of perspective and would be even more so if a tiny bit broader at the ocean/sea. I might just have to take this map as a basis and give this idea a play. Probably won't come out right since I don't have a tablet, but what the heck...

Joe

landorl
05-09-2008, 11:26 AM
Wow! nice, and that was a lot of mountains to draw! I like the way that you did the rivers.

Bohunk
05-09-2008, 02:00 PM
I need to get a stylus.

Beautiful work.

The force perspective would be nice on this style of map, at least slightly with a maybe one of the rivers to run behind a peak of a mountain? Then again what do I know? :)

RobA
05-09-2008, 03:13 PM
Thanks all. I could not have done this without the tutorial. It gave me the confidence to try something like this as I really feel my artistic ability is limited. The suggestion not to worry about "mistakes" and just work with them was a big help. That and keeping one hand on ctrl-z :)

-Rob A>

ravells
05-09-2008, 09:28 PM
Hang on....Bohunk...you did your map without a stylus?

I am utterly amazed.

delgondahntelius
05-10-2008, 03:46 AM
Looks great Rob... as for swamps ... I've always used a stipple effect ... heavy around the edges of the swamp and lighter towards the middle...

RobA
05-14-2008, 11:20 PM
Thanks for the suggestion, del - any idea how to stipple with a tablet and graphic software? (Way easier to use a real pen, at least for me...the tablet just isn't fast enough, and keep trying to draw lined through close stipples.)

Here is where I am am. There is supposed to be a large marshy/swampy mixed with hills area north of the range. Not sure if I like this, but it is only my first go..
3612

I might try printing this out and hand stippling with a pen on tracing paper then scanning it back in as a layer...

-Rob A>

torstan
05-15-2008, 03:40 AM
Try using a standard round brush in Gimp with the spacing ramped all the way up to 200%. That gets you a stipple brush, but I'm not sure how easy it is to get a nice result with it.

delgondahntelius
05-15-2008, 05:10 AM
Thanks for the suggestion, del - any idea how to stipple with a tablet and graphic software? (Way easier to use a real pen, at least for me...the tablet just isn't fast enough, and keep trying to draw lined through close stipples.)

Here is where I am am. There is supposed to be a large marshy/swampy mixed with hills area north of the range. Not sure if I like this, but it is only my first go..

I might try printing this out and hand stippling with a pen on tracing paper then scanning it back in as a layer...

-Rob A>

I prefer to stipple with pen myself... doesn't seem right doing it with PS. Aside from sitting there at the comp doing it one dot at a time, make a stipple brush. I'm not the least bit GIMP knowledged (and barely that with PS) but with PS I make stipple brushes. Keep the spacing way out.. if you just want to place one set of dots at a time, them keep them way spaced out (1000%) so you don't accidently draw a line of black stipple across the map. Keep your size jitter down, your minimum roundness up and your angle jitter on so it will randomly distribute the 'pattern' of dots you use as a brush... I've got several of these stipple type brushes with different settings, amount of dots, and thickness of dots...

I dunno if you can use a PS brush but here's the two I used on this quick swamp sketch. Probably not what your looking for in style.. I was just throwing down some ink real quick... its a bit busy for a swamp I think. but that was the idea behind the stippling effect... In fact, with enough carefully done stippling I don't think you would have to add any type of accent lines to the edge or anywhere else...

edited to add: Also, don't know if it means anything, but I created those two stipple brushes in Illustrator. I only mention it because I'm just now getting the hang of AI and I found it much easier to make the brush in AI and import/paste it into PS to create it... (Shrug) maybe that will be of use to you or not... I found it interesting tho, thought I'd share it.

RobA
05-15-2008, 07:47 AM
Boy - my digital art newbieness slips out....

If I was using the mouse I would have just made a brush as suggested, but my brain is in tablet mode so I think... "Hey I have to draw each dot as a dot..."

-Rob A>

delgondahntelius
05-15-2008, 08:23 AM
Boy - my digital art newbieness slips out....


Says the guy with one... two .... three compass awards ... oh and wait... ahhh... a tutorial award because his tutorial was so great and broke ground for tutorial building enough that they actually _Created_ the award to recognize it....

:D

seriously tho, sometimes all it takes is a different point of view... me ... I think outside of the box so much... I rarely look inside the box... where the answer usually is...

Valarian
05-15-2008, 08:24 AM
Seriously though, I've got to try this too. Have something nice on the radio on the background and just draw, draw, draw those mountains, cos at the end of the day, for this style of map, handdrawn mountains trump symbols any day of the week.
Of course, you could always take these drawn mountains and make symbols from them. Thus enabling us poor schmucks without talent to draw nice maps as well.

delgondahntelius
05-15-2008, 08:30 AM
here are some photoshop brushes of mountains I made sometime back ...

while were on the subject :D

RobA
05-16-2008, 01:56 PM
Thanks for the suggestion, del - any idea how to stipple with a tablet and graphic software? (Way easier to use a real pen, at least for me...the tablet just isn't fast enough, and keep trying to draw lined through close stipples.)

Here is where I am am. There is supposed to be a large marshy/swampy mixed with hills area north of the range. Not sure if I like this, but it is only my first go..
3612

I might try printing this out and hand stippling with a pen on tracing paper then scanning it back in as a layer...

-Rob A>

Any comments on the swampy marshlands in the NW? Comments and criticism are welcome, please, as this is the first map I have made in this hand-drawn style, so I'm stealing what I can and making the rest up as I go :P

-Rob A>

landorl
05-16-2008, 02:00 PM
The swamplands were awesome! with the symbols that you drew it is easy to see that it is indeed swamplands. It is nice and busy, but still easy to see that it is a swamp.

delgondahntelius
05-16-2008, 09:53 PM
Wow... I could have sworn I mentioned that swamp before... but I reread what I had and so I must have dreamed it or something... huh :?

The swamp looks great... I can easily tell its a swamp and it looks good in black and white ... I say go with that... :D

I've been doing some tutorial research for Illustrator and found some that use it for inking... I can't wait to try it for inking a map... course... you watch a tutorial and they make it look easy... then you sit down to do it and phhhht.. so we'll see :D

torstan
05-17-2008, 06:00 AM
The swamp looks great.

Redrobes
05-17-2008, 06:36 AM
The way I might to stippling is to create a smaller image and hand stipple it and then keep that on file. Then when you come to a map just draw with the tablet the mask area and create a repeating version of the stipple and mask it into the main image. Sometimes you can see the repeat lines but if that is the case then mask in several versions of the stipple at different sized repeats. You might be able to get the PC to create some stippling for you with random noise too. So your only job is to draw the shape of where you want it.

StillCypher
05-20-2008, 04:35 AM
I think the map is looking pretty darned terrific! :)

After reading some of the comments, I had to try my hand at coming up with a stippled effect in Photoshop, and I don't think it looks too shabby! Question is, does it work? (And no making fun of my goofy-looking hills. I drew them with my trackpad...)

Baziron
05-21-2008, 02:00 PM
Looks good. I'm watching this closely since I am a "handdrawer" by nature, so anything that produces useful hills, mountains, forests etc. is of use to me.

delgondahntelius
05-31-2008, 11:13 AM
I think the map is looking pretty darned terrific! :)

After reading some of the comments, I had to try my hand at coming up with a stippled effect in Photoshop, and I don't think it looks too shabby! Question is, does it work? (And no making fun of my goofy-looking hills. I drew them with my trackpad...)

That's pretty good stipple... I've played around a bit with stipples in PS and (IMO) to pull off a good handdrawn stipple effect you need at least a couple different stipple brushes... three is a normal for me. keep it heavy around the edges or where you are defining a section (be it swamp, water or whatever) and give it less towards the middle or center (unless you have objects to define in the center, IE an island) ... keep each stipple on a seperate layer and try turning the opacity down on the stipple that you want to keep light or shading from gray to white...

I hope that makes sense... cause if I read that back it probably won't make sense to me.. lol

Karro
06-02-2008, 12:04 AM
The swamps look great, and overall the map is also great looking...

Digital art newb... I think not. :)

ravells
06-02-2008, 04:03 PM
Careful Del, that's how I used to get black eyes when I was younger ...telling girls they had pretty good stipples...

delgondahntelius
06-02-2008, 08:26 PM
:lol: :twisted: ROFL ..... that was good.... funnier after you read the post again ... and then look at cyphers pic of two hills on either side ... and stipple down below.....

abstact a bit... :D

RobA
06-03-2008, 10:42 AM
I'm now working on forests and can't quite decide the style that would work best.

Here are a few options I have been playing with (variations with and without drop-shadows):
4110

This needs to be reproducible in B&W for print in a book.

My favorite right now is tree10, but I would like other options...

Please post pointers or samples :P

-Rob A>

Karro
06-03-2008, 11:06 AM
I'm now working on forests and can't quite decide the style that would work best.

Here are a few options I have been playing with (variations with and without drop-shadows):
4110

This needs to be reproducible in B&W for print in a book.

My favorite right now is tree10, but I would like other options...

Please post pointers or samples :P

-Rob A>


I like 5, 6, and 7 (also 10). For hand drawn maps, I've always fancied individually drawn trees for forests, although it does take forever. 7 and 10 provide an interesting alternative that maintains some of that feel.

RobA
06-03-2008, 11:22 AM
I like 5, 6, and 7 (also 10). For hand drawn maps, I've always fancied individually drawn trees for forests, although it does take forever. 7 and 10 provide an interesting alternative that maintains some of that feel.

Trees like the style shown in the Fantasy Cartography video series? Or something else? I find the scale of hand drawn trees (though symbolic) jars with maps of this scale (for me) hence the search for alternatives.

After drawing all those mountains by hand, what's a few thousand trees :)

-Rob A>

rpgmapmaker
06-03-2008, 02:30 PM
I don't have time to give a picture by picture opinion but 1-4 don't work with that style of mountain as they are to flat looking... 5-6 look GREAT! However they should be smaller to better show scale with the mountains and... 7-11 are a really nice look for this type of map but I think that the ones in 9 are what you are looking for as far as matching the mountains... (Although not my favorite)

As I see it the main problem here is that the "shading" on the trees needs to look good with (match) the shading on the mountains or maybe just have less as in 7. I like the look of 8 & 11 the best but you would need to “lighten” the shading on the mountains to match... in my opinion.

I like how the map is coming along and I look forward to your next update!

-Chris

Karro
06-03-2008, 02:36 PM
Trees like the style shown in the Fantasy Cartography video series? Or something else? I find the scale of hand drawn trees (though symbolic) jars with maps of this scale (for me) hence the search for alternatives.

After drawing all those mountains by hand, what's a few thousand trees :)

-Rob A>

Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to view those videos... But the ones you had in your sample looks spot on.

RobA
06-03-2008, 02:40 PM
Chris-

Thanks for the comments. I agree that I am trying to find a complimentary style to the mountains. I was looking through my reference files and found I style I think works well.
4112

Below the red line is the original style, I tried to mimic. Above is a less jittery version. It is this upper style I think I will be using.

-Rob A.

jfrazierjr
06-03-2008, 03:20 PM
I like 5, 6, and 7 (also 10). For hand drawn maps, I've always fancied individually drawn trees for forests, although it does take forever. 7 and 10 provide an interesting alternative that maintains some of that feel.

I have to agree with 5/6. This is actually one of the reasons I started playing with top down mountains technique as I personally feel that "most" color maps just don't look right with the orthogonal mountains, especially when everything else is top down. Anyway, if you don't go with 5 or 6, then I would choose 1 as in many cases, less is more... I don't like the shadows on 2 since nothing else has shadows(perhaps a hand drawn shadowy lines?) and I really could not tell the difference between 5/6 after a brief look.

Joe

delgondahntelius
06-03-2008, 06:39 PM
I Like 8 and 10... I would say 8 but for reproduction in a book/novel... it might now come out looking too good.... so 10 would be a much better choice for print.

I'd offer some suggestions on trees, but I don't think you need them... you got a winner with #10, I say go for it. :D

delgondahntelius
06-03-2008, 07:12 PM
Chris-

Thanks for the comments. I agree that I am trying to find a complimentary style to the mountains. I was looking through my reference files and found I style I think works well.
4112

Below the red line is the original style, I tried to mimic. Above is a less jittery version. It is this upper style I think I will be using.

-Rob A.

Those trees look more like water or some watery type effects.... but if yer going for that type of style, add in some roughage... and ease up on the shading, not so far outside the tree line something like this:

rpgmapmaker
06-03-2008, 11:12 PM
Well I was doing some tests to see what tree/mountain combos I like best... and while I still don't know :P I did make my own visual aid for the future...

I made it with color as I like coloring ;) but after I saved it beyond "un-coloring" it I remembered that I would most likely post it here so I tried to remove the color to show an "in print" look. (it sort of worked)

anyway... for now this is my 2 cents for the tree debate :?:

41174118

-Chris

jfrazierjr
06-03-2008, 11:18 PM
anyway... for now this is my 2 cents for the tree debate :?:

41174118

-Chris

Yea... tree trunks.. got to have tree trunks... mmmmm good.....

Joe

Karro
06-04-2008, 12:01 PM
Well I was doing some tests to see what tree/mountain combos I like best... and while I still don't know :P I did make my own visual aid for the future...

I made it with color as I like coloring ;) but after I saved it beyond "un-coloring" it I remembered that I would most likely post it here so I tried to remove the color to show an "in print" look. (it sort of worked)

anyway... for now this is my 2 cents for the tree debate :?:

41174118

-Chris

Yeah, see, I like the bottom left. It's not to scale with the mountains, but it conveys a sense of a thick, forested area. The bottom right looks to me like the forest has thinned out. The top right looks too tightly packed. However, really any of these is a great option, and should like fine in print.

RobA
06-10-2008, 03:16 PM
Thanks for everyone's help.

This is the last WIP I will be able to post here as the novel's author does not want the names of the countries and towns to be public until the book is published. The only thing I can give out is the watermarked name of the world - "Ascadia".

Again, thanks for the suggestions on the different forest styles. This is what the author is happiest with. (that will work well for a book print - a colourized version might be in the works...).

Also, credit to ComStar games, who's maps of Eldoria (http://www.comstar-games.com/downloads/encyclopedia-eldoria/eldoria-maps.php) were a big inspiration for the various town and city symbols. I went with a lower vantage point perspective when I drew my buildings.

Still to do is adding the labels, a compass and a border then I'll be done. I'd estimate I have about 30+ hours into this drawing (...shows why I'm not an artist...) including moving a bunch of things around (because the draft map provided was wrong in a number of locations).

-Rob A>

Karro
06-10-2008, 03:31 PM
At the end of the day, it looks great.

RPMiller
06-10-2008, 03:54 PM
It looks great even at the beginning of the day. ;)

delgondahntelius
06-11-2008, 03:27 AM
Very nice Rob ... looks grand ... I know how you feel.. I'm doing a commision for a handdrawn map (a real one.. 14x17 pen & ink) and I'm probably at least at 30+ and now I'm ready to actually do the final inking onto the pristeen bristol board ... I can't complain tho, its been fun and as well as a learning experience ... I only wish I could post up a WIP type thread for it ... maybe after I'm done, they'll allow me to do so... from concept and sketch to fully rendered glory ....

I'm sure you feel a similiar to the experience .. glad I was able to participate on some level ... great symbols btw...

Del

torstan
06-11-2008, 07:01 AM
Beautiful result. Well done.

ravells
06-11-2008, 08:38 AM
That's a lovely piece of work Rob. Well done! Looking forward to reading the book!

Paragon
07-14-2008, 02:53 AM
Rob has been absolutely fantastic throughout this map-making process, and I can't compliment him enough.

Seeing my world come to life like this has reinvigorated me immensely, and it will add a lot the professionalism of my presentation when shopping the novel around.

Truly magnificent, Rob.

RobA
07-14-2008, 11:48 AM
:blush: Gee, thanks.

-Rob A>