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View Full Version : Harkenwold - First Draft - need some serious advice



Agatheron
11-09-2012, 10:02 AM
Hi everyone,

After having two successful first outings I've tried my third map with CC3. It's the area of Harkenwold in D&D's Nentir Vale setting. I already did this as part of the larger map in Pete Fenlon's style, but I decided to try a regional version using a more standard symbol set from cc3.

Anyway, this is how it looks so far:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v508/Agatheron/DnDMinis/Maps/Harkenwold-1stDraft-Med.jpg

A closer look:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v508/Agatheron/DnDMinis/Maps/Harkenwold-1stDraft-Large.jpg

I was liking it right up until I added the scrub symbols. But I worry that without it the terrain will be too empty. Any thoughts? I'll see if I can put those on a different layer, hide them and then render the map without them. There are other flaws as well, but I could use a little critique to move this one forward.

jtougas
11-09-2012, 10:50 AM
Looks good. Are the shadows representing hills? If so they seem a little regular. I don't know what you'd do in CC3 to break that up a little but they almost seem man made. I really enjoy your work :)

Brian Michaluk
11-09-2012, 12:06 PM
Some deeper coloured terrain polygons under the mountains / hills with an edge glow matching the surrounding terrain or an edge fade (slower processing) would make them stand out a bit more

Agatheron
11-09-2012, 05:41 PM
Thanks Brian... I've not done that yet, but as I've promised, I've hidden the scrub icons so you can see what it looks like without them.

The shadows are supposed to be ridges, while explicitly hilly areas are on the east part of the map. The scrub graphics kinda wash them out. I'll try doing the terrain polygons after I share these images.

Anyway, here's how it looks without the scrub icons. I'm a subscriber to the "less is more" theory of art in general, but at the same time the icons are too much, and without it it may be too little. Looking for some moderation. :)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v508/Agatheron/DnDMinis/Maps/Harkenwold-Noscrub-Med.jpg

And a direct link to the larger version:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v508/Agatheron/DnDMinis/Maps/Harkenwold-Noscrub-Large-1.jpg

Thanks for the feedback so far. Keep it coming :)

jtougas
11-09-2012, 07:13 PM
I think it looks better now. The shadows are easier to interpret as well. I really like these maps Keep up the good work :)

Agatheron
11-10-2012, 09:37 PM
Thanks. The ridge shading was really lost when I overwhelmed the map with the scrub symbols. Alternatively, I could put a small smattering of them here and there...

I've not done any more work on it yesterday or today, but I'm wondering what else the map might need. All the towns and sites are laid out, and I could probably add some trees/scrub symbol in a few places, but again, I do believe that less is more. I could use some more advice... I'm going to do something underneath the hill symbols when I get the chance, but right now my daughter is kicking me off the computer...

Poison
11-11-2012, 06:18 PM
I agree with you that it seems a little too empty without, and a little too full with the scrubs.

What you could try is applying a mask layer to the scrub and filling this layer with a pattern. You might need to play around a bit with opacities and types of patterns, but I imagine this could make the scrubs a little more irregular and a little less harsh.

Agatheron
11-11-2012, 07:44 PM
I gave that a try... about 50% transparency on the scrub symbols layer... plus I added the (subtle) background to the hills and around the river on the west side of the map.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v508/Agatheron/DnDMinis/Maps/Harkenwold-NewScrub-Med.jpg

As always, a closer look is available here:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v508/Agatheron/DnDMinis/Maps/Harkenwold-Newscrub-Large.jpg

It pulls the symbols back just enough to deliver the desired effect without overwhelming the map. Thanks for that suggestion. I'm certainly open to others!!

Vellum
11-14-2012, 09:15 AM
Two comments here, the north east tree line looks (to me at least) to horizontal, I think it need some more irregularity. Same with the lower horizontal tree line. The river from left to right appears to also have a regular width in its entire length, adding some width variation (and maybe a little snakeyness) will help also.

Agatheron
11-16-2012, 07:09 PM
Two comments here, the north east tree line looks (to me at least) to horizontal, I think it need some more irregularity. Same with the lower horizontal tree line. The river from left to right appears to also have a regular width in its entire length, adding some width variation (and maybe a little snakeyness) will help also.

That's easy enough to fix. It's a little more rounded in the original. Some of the tree lines in this set are fairly straight, which is why I was using the clusters as copses to break it up a bit. Seems I should do more. :)

Lalaithion
11-26-2012, 04:50 PM
It looks wonderful! The blue in the rivers look a bit bright, in my opinion.

Brian Michaluk
11-28-2012, 12:21 PM
very nice updates the background to the hills makes them really look nice. the anglness of the forests is a side effect of the draw tool but so easy to fix by plopping in some extra trees just make sure you stick to the left to right top to bottom placement and it will clean up nice. also easy to make the forest look a bit better by selecting a few individual trees in the bulk and remove them.

Make sure you download the free sampler of annual issues profantasy is giving away and play with those styles too :D

Agatheron
01-04-2013, 01:53 AM
After a bit more than a month I have a mostly-final draft to share:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v508/Agatheron/DnDMinis/Maps/Harkenwold-SmallerSize.jpg

And a link to the big one:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v508/Agatheron/DnDMinis/Maps/HarkenwoldBig.jpg

I've hopefully fixed the issues with the trees (mostly). I noticed with this style, however, by having the border around the edge, the tree symbols would not overlap underneath the border. I'm not quite sure why. Aside from cropping it in Photoshop, this was done completely with CC3.