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ukie
01-14-2013, 12:00 AM
My first try at a map. It is still WIP but I would appreciate comments and any helpful suggestions.

51233

Freehand 5.5
01-14-2013, 12:20 AM
The map could have been nice. But there are two main reasons I don't like it.

1. It is to dark. I've got problems to read the small names.

2. You should have paid more attention to typography.
a) Avoid to many different fonts and sizes and choose better font combinations.
b) Each time you stretch or compress a font a typographer dies. Don't do it. if you want to run wider better insert some spacing.
c) Choose the place of typography more esthetically.

The stamp doesn't need a 3D-effect. Better give it some interesting colour and an inky look instead.
Don't bend the stamp typo. That's wrong. Set it on a round line instead.

The graphics of the mountains could have more variants.

But besides all those details, I think you're on the right way.

Diamond
01-14-2013, 02:43 AM
I like the color choices; they don't feel too dark to me. I don't necessarily think there's anything wrong with the mountain icons either; I like keeping them fairly uniform in my maps too, for the most part.

I do agree with Freehand about the font selection and placement though. Keep the number of different fonts to a minimum and I think you'll be pleased at how it looks. The placement, especially on the seas, is jarring. Try not to angle text like that - it looks unnatural. Either keep it totally horizontal, or give it a proper aesthetic bend. In my opinion, there's no need to diagonally tilt any of that text, just select a smaller size and keep it horizontal.

Definitely on the right track though; it has potential.

jbgibson
01-14-2013, 03:33 AM
The main font is okay - it's a bit hard to read, but if it's your peoples' typical script, I'm sure the locals read it just fine :-). One way to get the variety you need to distinguish easily between feature types is to vary size, weight, color, and style, all within the same font family. If that's only available in the one variant, you will have to be creative, but with most graphics tools you should be able to gen a reasonable outline version, as you might want for the city state label. You could gen an initial cap variant just by upping the font size on first characters. Area labels are well done by spreading a typical font for the map out w i t h w i d e r s p a c i n g. If you can master text-on-curve you'll improve your look; I've used free tools like Inkscape JUST for that one capability and imported the resulting labels back into my prefered main app.

I understand where you're headed with the embossed ownership mark - my city library does the same thing. A different font there is fine, since one would hardly to expect the Bureau Of Bureaucratic Engraving to match the Cartographer's Department standards.

If the sea-filling texture is supposed to just be parchment, I'm puzzled why it is almost invisible across land.

The rivers are nicely tapered, the forests are pleasantly scattered, the mountains show as much variety as you could expect from ones not hand-drawn. Postulate a map department that uses literal stamps for such symbols, and you're golden :-). THe land outlines are OK, and river placement works. I like the overall effect a lot. I do have to agree the tilty text is askew from a design sense too.

Freehand 5.5
01-14-2013, 03:57 AM
One thing: The outlines of the lakes do not fit so well with the rivers.
You could try to erase them.
Or you can paint the outlines of the lakes in the dark blue of the rivers and fill the lakes with a bit lighter blue.

*sorry, I somehow have to earn that river police badge* ;)

ukie
01-14-2013, 05:02 AM
First of all thanks guys I really appreciate your input it's uber helpful.

In terms of fonts you are absolutely right I was just playing around to see if it would make the map more interesting but I really like the idea of italics, bold and caps within the same font style. Can't believe I didn't think of it on my own >:( but it's a learning process as all of you know :) I will also address the placement problem in the next try.

The reason I tried to make it darker is because I though it would give it more "authentic"/old feel. The overlay layer didn't come out on the land because of the burn color being too similar to the base color of the land. Dutifully noted I need to play around with parchment textures or land color.

I'm glad jbgibson mentioned rivers. That's something I had troubles with. I loved the idea of putting the lakes on separate layer and outlining them with river color. What do you think of making them simply black coming out of black or dark blue outline (Effects>Stroke)?

In terms of mountains I was going to try the overlay tutorial to see if I can make them more diverse.

Once again thanks for your comments.

ukie
01-14-2013, 05:11 AM
One thing: The outlines of the lakes do not fit so well with the rivers.
You could try to erase them.
Or you can paint the outlines of the lakes in the dark blue of the rivers and fill the lakes with a bit lighter blue.

*sorry, I somehow have to earn that river police badge* ;)

Lol policing is what I want and need. One of the problems I run into when I do rivers via eraser with outline is that the outline on the rivers is too rough. Do you have any tricks?

ukie
01-14-2013, 05:19 AM
Postulate a map department that uses literal stamps for such symbols, and you're golden :-)

Sorry sometime my English understanding is... how should I put it... thickheaded :) what do you mean by that?

I also wanted to ask you: Do you make makes in PS or GIMP and then hand draw the mountains or do you draw them with tools available in those programs?
I'm really interested in doing my own original art for my maps but just don't understand the process of combining generated maps with hand drawing. Help!

BTW awesome maps, man!

Freehand 5.5
01-14-2013, 07:25 AM
One of the problems I run into when I do rivers via eraser with outline is that the outline on the rivers is too rough. Do you have any tricks?

I don't understand that. Did you erase the rivers from the land?
I guessed you painted them in a separate layer over the land.
I think your rivers look very good.

- Max -
01-14-2013, 07:45 AM
Not too bad for a first try : Besides what was already said, I'd say that the map is too filled. You should remove some elements, reduce font size to make it "breath"

amberroberts09
01-14-2013, 07:49 AM
I think you should make it more clear....

ukie
01-14-2013, 03:09 PM
I don't understand that. Did you erase the rivers from the land?
I guessed you painted them in a separate layer over the land.
I think your rivers look very good.
Sorry. What I meant is that The lakes are just "holes" in the land layers and I "erase" the rivers out of them. After that when I do the 1-2 px outline of the contour the lakes look good but the rivers outline is too "sharp".

jbgibson
01-15-2013, 01:55 AM
Sorry sometime my English understanding is... how should I put it... thickheaded :) what do you mean by that?


Like the rubber stamps (http://www.artisticrubberstamps.net/store.php?c=15) used for printing with ink (http://www.stampsbyimpression.com/landscape/). Or the stone seals used to print signatures in old China. Or the carved potatoes used to print in art class. :-) Moveable type, only with cartographic symbology instead of text. Who's to say that the mappers of another society than ours might just value uniformity of neatly stamped mountain-symbols over our valuation of cleverly uniquely hand-drawn mountains?

Freehand 5.5
01-15-2013, 02:40 AM
ukie, you could do a separate layer for the rivers. If you have that, you can soften the edges, redo color or reposition parts anytime as you please.
Do you know how to do that?

ukie
01-15-2013, 06:08 AM
Like the rubber stamps (http://www.artisticrubberstamps.net/store.php?c=15) used for printing with ink (http://www.stampsbyimpression.com/landscape/). Or the stone seals used to print signatures in old China. Or the carved potatoes used to print in art class. :-) Moveable type, only with cartographic symbology instead of text. Who's to say that the mappers of another society than ours might just value uniformity of neatly stamped mountain-symbols over our valuation of cleverly uniquely hand-drawn mountains?

Gotchya thanks for the tip!

ukie
01-15-2013, 06:12 AM
ukie, you could do a separate layer for the rivers. If you have that, you can soften the edges, redo color or reposition parts anytime as you please.
Do you know how to do that?

Funny you mentioned it. I just started having problems with it. I did some free transformation and now when I Ctrl left click on the layer of landmass and do Select>Modify>Smooth This is what happens:

51257

To make things even worse now all the brushes are acting weird (painting beyond the selected boarder and in general creating havoc. Spend 3 hours trying to figure out what's going on and... nada. Any ideas?

ukie
01-16-2013, 04:27 AM
Another try in different style

51273

Freehand 5.5
01-16-2013, 05:16 AM
I like that last one. How did you do that?

The black Typeface is nice. But I wouldn't kombine the 3D-effect with an outline.
The ocean labels dont need an outline. The white outline is kind of hard. An outline in the lightest color of the background would be more pleasant (e.g. light grey in the mountains, light green in the woods etc.).

ukie
01-16-2013, 06:31 PM
I like that last one. How did you do that?


Ascension technique mostly but with couple of personal twists like higher and more defined mountain ranges and also colored climate zones.



The black Typeface is nice. But I wouldn't kombine the 3D-effect with an outline.
The ocean labels dont need an outline. The white outline is kind of hard. An outline in the lightest color of the background would be more pleasant (e.g. light grey in the mountains, light green in the woods etc.).

Good to know I'm still experimenting with labels and text curve.

ukie
01-16-2013, 06:34 PM
Also a follow up question. Do you guys like these labels or not so much?

Gold
01-18-2013, 01:35 AM
I like the map and coloring. I like the embossed stamp idea too.

The compass rose looks like it was "drawn by a different pen" compared to the fonts and map outlines. The compass rose looks so thin, it looks added-on by a computer rather than hand, or a thinner pen-and-ink. On a map like this, maybe you can erase the cloned compass rose, and replace with hand-drawing a North South East West with a hand-done + marker. More thick like the text font.

ukie
01-18-2013, 04:21 PM
Here is another try at more realistic looking set up (a bigger version of the previous one):

51343

ukie
01-25-2013, 12:30 PM
Just wanted to bump to see what people thought about the last posted map style

Diamond
01-27-2013, 04:36 PM
I've never been a huge fan of the continental shelf look, but this is probably one of the better versions of it I've seen. I really like the colors on this - very pretty without being over-the-top gaudy. Mountains and forests look good. River layouts look nice, but maybe slim them down a bit? Depending on the scale of the map, they look too wide.

ukie
06-24-2013, 07:55 PM
Thanks a lot I'll do another version soon