View Full Version : [WIP] Schwarzkreuz - Works in Progress

10-17-2012, 07:02 AM
Now I have decided, to reuse my Idea of teh Wretched Realms, a dark and brutal Fantasy Setting resembling an absurd Version of the 15. Century Europe. The Wretched Realms are in what seems to be an eternal Civilwar, Lovecraftian Creatures rule over the various Realms infecting each habitants with their unique influence. If this would be a RPG Setting I would call it a strategic Hack&Slay, where Players woudl form Squads to fullfill quests, similar to Shadowrun. The realms are inspired by the seven deadly sins.

Charul, the frozen Womb, the Sin of Lust
Hepharkien, the burning Forge, the Sin of Wrath
Simmelingen, the rotting Pleague, the Sin of Gluttony
Hohenheym, the unbroken Reign, the Sin of Pride
Sarassaro, the hollow Darkness, the Sin of Greed
Ithilliat, the Legions of the Broken, the Sin of Envy
Karebarash, the Fields of Emptiness, the Sin of Sloth

For my new mapdecorations I got inspired by EpicReds new maps, which all have some nice fantasy Glyph.
My own design is inspired by arabesque writings and chinese symbols. It was intended for beeing abled to be drawn with tentacles, so the Great Old Ones could communicate in written form.

For this series of maps I want to create a streamlined collection of material first so I can work more easily with them later.

10-17-2012, 07:09 AM
Very cool! Looking forward to seeing the first maps.
Somehow your description of the setting in broad strokes reminds me a lot of Berserk, the Manga. If you don't know it, try it. You might like it and it could get you some inspiration for this setting.

10-17-2012, 09:42 AM
Next set of Symbols, they are inspired by ancient coins mixed with the alphabet I created.

10-17-2012, 07:01 PM
Ok here comes even more stuff, ok I call this finished.
Come Compasses has been added in my other Thread HERE (http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachments/how-do-i/49176d1350512594-quick-way-doing-compass-roses-compass_dallas2.jpg)

So next comes the Textures and some more decorations but in another style.

10-17-2012, 07:47 PM
Nice work, man. Looking forward to seeing more on this!

10-17-2012, 08:19 PM
Thanks for the praise Mr.D, now comes the first bigger decor element, I may do 3 of them more later on.
This is for bigger Background decorations.

10-18-2012, 02:08 AM
Looks great!

10-18-2012, 02:22 AM
Thanks Sap, i was looking at my Maps and thinking "whats missing?" and realise i never do much decorations.

10-18-2012, 02:26 AM
love a nicely decorated map and this looks to become awesome one! cheers, DJ

10-18-2012, 04:02 AM
Thanks Sap, i was looking at my Maps and thinking "whats missing?" and realise i never do much decorations.

I have to put more focus on decoration, too. At least with certain maps.

10-18-2012, 04:40 AM
Yes i agree. Maps from DJ or Torstan don't need much decorations due their painterly style. I think mostly handdrawnstyle Antique Maps need more decor, when the tend to be rendered mostly with linework. The best blending of decoration with painterly style i found here was from Jared Blando.

My aim is still to evolve more and more.

10-18-2012, 06:17 AM
This comes along very nicely.
Looking forward to the first map that integrates those elements. Because i think to see if they really work and shine, we will have to see them in a map.

10-18-2012, 09:10 AM
Yep, I come up short on map decoration. Jared has made that a signature of his work, and I've noticed Mike Schley is doing a little more recently too. A good border and compass can really tell you a lot about the world the map inhabits.

These are looking great!

10-18-2012, 01:25 PM
You really know how to create suspense, don't you. This is gonna be good.

10-18-2012, 06:16 PM
Thanks chashio & eilathen.
The Next steps will Be more dufficult from now on. I will define a standard paper, which is a tough decision. It will define the Overall Feeling significsntly.

10-18-2012, 10:49 PM
Here is another Decor Element

10-19-2012, 04:27 AM
If i get the time i will go Scan some symbols from old books soon.

10-19-2012, 11:48 AM
Old sketchbooks? Did you create that last decor set in photoshop, or a specially designed kaleidoscopic program that aligns them for you? They look great!

10-19-2012, 11:55 AM
This is looking very good Schwarz! I look forward to what you will come up with! :)

10-19-2012, 06:36 PM
Old sketchbooks? Did you create that last decor set in photoshop, or a specially designed kaleidoscopic program that aligns them for you? They look great!

Handmade Elements combined into lots of PS corrections. THe aligns were HAndmade with Layermask and some pushing of pixels. Thats the part which takes long but is also the most fun.

10-19-2012, 07:55 PM
Here is a new set created from one basic form.

@chashio: I have done a small tutorial if you are interested. I will upload it next week.

10-19-2012, 08:56 PM
And more Decor Elements

Ok, here is a
TO-DO List:

- Basic Texture with 4 Variations and additional elements like Foldinglines and damages (PNG Files)
- Borders 8 - 12 Different Styles
- Boxes for Legend (maybe 10 Variations?)
- Additional less abstract Decorations (arrows, floral, Fleur de Lis, etc.)
- City and Location Items
- Terrain Textures maybe 30 - 40 variations
- New Forest Set (Tropic, Northern, Mediteran)
- New Mountains, (Giantmountains, Blademountains, Natural Mountains, Rockmountains, etc) Maybe 6 Variations?
- Additional Elements still to be conceptualised.

Ok thats it, my next bunch of stuff to do.

10-20-2012, 01:09 AM
@chashio: I have done a small tutorial if you are interested. I will upload it next week.

A tutorial on how to make these design elements? Awesome.

10-20-2012, 01:45 AM
@chashio: I have done a small tutorial if you are interested. I will upload it next week.

Yes please! =)

10-20-2012, 05:36 AM
HERE it comes the Tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/20409-schwarzkreuz-compass-rose-tutorial-vector-invalid-pixelslaves.html)

10-22-2012, 07:40 PM
Ooh, I'm going to have to check this out! Very nice job on these Compass Roses.


10-23-2012, 07:52 PM
Yeah, I just got my PHD. Now I have time for mapping again!

10-23-2012, 10:48 PM
Congratulations, man! What did you get your degree(s) in?

10-27-2012, 02:28 PM
Awesome project, I cannot wait for you to post an update. :) It is great to see how you develop decorations for your future maps. The bits of calligraphy look amazing!

10-28-2012, 08:32 PM
Congratulations, man! What did you get your degree(s) in?

Fine Art and Philosophy

11-04-2012, 11:49 PM
Here comes the new Papertexture including the Borders.

11-04-2012, 11:55 PM
That is Great !! :)

11-04-2012, 11:58 PM
Thank you.

I will go sleep now, more will come tomorrow.

11-21-2012, 06:24 PM
I tried to create new Icons with Images in it for map decorations, this resulted from an Commission about arabian Heritage Sites.
This is an example of the ORIGINALS (http://universes-in-universe.org/eng/specials/2012/roads_of_arabia/photos/14) and my interpretation for the Map :

11-23-2012, 12:54 PM
Great paper texture Schwarzkreuz! I also like your new icons-images for the map very much. I cannot wait to see them used on an actual map. :) Are they meant to represent some sights that will be depicted on the map? The right one looks like it might be just that, the left one looks like some sort of artifact maybe? Are you planning to link those images to the features on the map in some way?

12-06-2012, 08:10 PM
Here is a new test map. I hope to find a style I am satisfied soon.

12-07-2012, 03:36 AM
I love how you are taking your time with this and working from the ground up. Unfortunately I am far too impatient and always want to rush in to the good stuff, then when it comes to adding the little details that can make a map come alive I am already bored. You already have those little details in. I'm jealous. :@

Looking forward to seeing more, man... oh, and belated congratulations on your degree. :)

12-07-2012, 04:33 AM
Well, thanks Ramah, but this IS the good stuff for me 8D
I am pretty happy with the burned paper texture now and will create 20 of such now in 22x17 inch, 300DPI
Hmmmm, overall i like the result now after the sleep. I will Stick to it now, also the simple Frame will remain. I also do have an exam again next week, for my third Postgraduate degree, i have done parallel studies, which now ends. I will have a Master of Arts Fine art from the University of East London, Diploma Fine Art, Diploma Communication Arts, Postgraduate Degree Meisterschüler Fineart, but i am not shure if the last One is internationally accepted, so it depends.

12-07-2012, 10:00 AM
ok here are the files #2-#7 , I hope you like it.

12-08-2012, 04:41 AM
2 More Textures, ok I stop here, becoused I run out of ideas actually how to do more that actually looks different from the others, I will sure come back later but for now I have enoght backgrounds for quiet a few maps.

12-08-2012, 04:43 AM
Ok And here is a free full resolution (but compressed for the file size) Papertexture for free use.

12-08-2012, 11:27 AM
Hey Schwarzkreuz can you do a fast and dirty tut on this parchment? or is there one I missed, I'd like to mess with making some, that and I'd like to know how to make grunge brushes :(
thanks for posting this up, Oh nice work on the map ;)

12-08-2012, 12:29 PM
Hi Vellum, I used Torstans Dungeon Wall Tutorial, and did an Photoshop-Action out of it, which besicly allows me to push a buttom and 5 Layers with effects and 2 Paths are created and I just need to adjust the effectlayers, which are on Overlay or soft light. Its easy to aply.

12-26-2012, 05:16 PM
Have been a while since last update. I created 20 new Border decorations. I am slowly crawling to the Point where all elements come together. I still have to finish some long running commissions now, but will finish them hopefully soon to work on these elements here again.


05-09-2014, 08:29 PM
Its interesting to comeback from time to time and see, what had improved over the years.
My method of mapping changed a lot since I staretd the wretched realms but I try to get them done one day :P

05-12-2014, 02:20 PM
Ok finally new Trees, inspired partly by StarRaven.

Still dessert flora and Jungle Plant to be included.

05-12-2014, 05:59 PM
Nice! I like those Spanish-moss-draped swampy ones.

05-15-2014, 03:09 PM
Thanks, here are some progress on thoses.

Next will eb some colored versions of them.

06-30-2014, 01:58 PM

Here is a new small test for some ongoing projects.

06-30-2014, 08:03 PM
Crafting another world for a large commission. Its weird to do several A0 works at once, it feels like a neverending journey.

06-30-2014, 08:08 PM
Ooh, nice! Looking forward to seeing this develop.


07-01-2014, 11:29 PM
Wow, nothing from you in it seems like eons, then BOOM! awesomeness. :D Those four WIPs are all fantastic. I especially like the snowy wastes one.

07-02-2014, 08:24 AM
Yes, those look promising! Looking forward to seeing maps by you again, SK. We have seen too few in the last couple of months (that's not a complaint! Just stating a fact from my point of view ;) ).

07-04-2014, 08:27 AM
Yes, I try to be more present again and dont hide my maps :D

07-05-2014, 07:51 PM
I am getting better at actually painting the mountains instead of drawing them. I got some feedback from Max and Viking on shading and lightening, many thanks back.


07-06-2014, 03:59 AM
That's really beautiful, SK. I can only dream of reaching that level of skill one day...

07-06-2014, 05:55 AM
Indeed, beautiful.

07-06-2014, 07:20 AM
That's really beautiful, SK. I can only dream of reaching that level of skill one day...

Indeed, beautiful.

Thanks guys. I have grown within the Guild. Without it I would still scribble on graphpapers in my breaks.

07-06-2014, 11:34 AM
Great new stuff going on, SK!

07-06-2014, 12:00 PM
That mountain range is beautiful!

07-06-2014, 02:31 PM
I agree with Bogie about that mountain range. I love the way you manage the land, very subtle work on colors.

07-08-2014, 12:27 AM
Hey Schwarzkreuz, do you have a tutorial for doing that water and land texture/colour? A lot of maps on this site seem to have that effect but I've not been able to figure out how to do it. :S

07-09-2014, 03:40 AM
I really like where you are going with this more painted look of the mountains. It looks great so far. :)