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MiddleEnglander
01-18-2013, 01:01 AM
Hey guys!

So, I just finished my first map (CS5) and I'm pretty pleased with some things and much less pleased with others, but I've reached the end of the road with what I know about cartography and my Photoshop skills for now. Critique and feedback are very welcome and appreciated.

The link is here, it's pretty big and I don't want to spam you. XD

Valkyre Completed by ~Corkscrewlu on deviantART (http://fav.me/d5ru5e7)

Bogie
01-18-2013, 02:34 AM
Welcome to the Guild.
Nice first map. Good layout, I like the trees and mountains. You do have some river problems. Rivers don't normally fork and branch that way.
Thanks for sharing.

AntonioFrade
01-18-2013, 04:33 AM
Good ideas!

As Bogie said good mountains and trees (and village icons). I miss some more detail in the sea and I donīt like at all the costline accent.

amberroberts09
01-18-2013, 06:16 AM
Welcome to the forum First but nice map...!!!

Freehand 5.5
01-18-2013, 07:20 AM
That's a fine map.
But the coastline is so bulky and pitch black.
A little more contrast for the mountains and buildings would be good, too.

- Max -
01-18-2013, 07:28 AM
I agree with Freehand about the coastline and the lack of contrast. And what's that ugly giant blurry waterline? Not really good imho. The whole thing needs more work than just putting brushes sets. But pretty first map overall

domnic
01-18-2013, 08:22 AM
I have no criticisms as I cannot see past the stunning and flawless aesthetic.

Great work!

Eochaid
01-18-2013, 08:46 AM
As already mentioned, the coastline is too black and strong. I disagree about the lack of contrast, since it goes quite well with the style... Depends on the type of map you want to do. If it is for information/travelling, then yes, a little more contrast would be welcome. If this is just an aesthetic map, then all good.

The big advice I would give is about the labels: avoid to put the names ON important features --- for example, the very city you're labeling. If it is a coastal city, put the name on the sea next to it, for example. There was a thread with a very good reference on how to place names on map, but I can't seem to find it again... Try also varying the size and body of your labels to give some more information about the type of elements: big/small town, castle, citadel, why not also naming mountain ranges, rivers, etc.?

Other than that, good work, the overall feeling is quite good!

MiddleEnglander
01-18-2013, 11:09 AM
Thanks for your feedback, folks. :3 Hopefully the next one will be a bit cleaner, overall.

Do you guys have any technical recommendations for how to make coastlines more effective?

And a big thanks to those of you who gave me rep, I appreciate it. :) I think I'm going to work on making some hand-drawn brushes so that it's less basic.

torstan
01-18-2013, 11:34 AM
Good stuff! I'd recommend posting a version here, at around 1000px wide. At that scale all the details are still perfectly readable, and you'd get some more critiques :)

You've done a great job with Ramah's brushes - and I like the bold use of the background texture. That makes it interesting, without getting in the way of the map. The coastline is a bit of a sore-thumb - it's the only solid black area on the map, and the line weight is so much greated than the other lines on the map that it looks out of place.

Other than that, I'd recommend a cleaner font for your labeling - the calligraphic font you've got looks pretty, but is hard to read. And someone's going to say it - your river in the NW needs some work :) Rivers join as they flow to the sea, they don't branch. In this case you've got a river that has two separate routes to the sea. I'd recommend splitting the section of river NE of Carlysk.

Other than those notes, this is a great piece of work. I love the colour scheme and the subtle variations you've included in the texturing. Good stuff!

rogue_gamer
01-18-2013, 03:03 PM
Very nice. I wish I could make a first map that good.

Can I ask for some info? Tell us about the fonts, brushes, etc. that you used. Did you develop them or download them somewhere? How will you use the map? What resolution is the original? How did you organize your layers? I'm very interested because I am a (computer-created) mapping novice. I bet you asked these questions too!

Korash
01-18-2013, 05:40 PM
I like this too. I really don't have a problem with the "blurring' around the coast at all. It matches the rest of the pallet if you ask me. I also agree with torstan on his comments. I would suggest that next time you use this style, that you use a line at least half as thick (maybe only double the line weight of the mountains) and maybe not so dark, maybe more grey than black. In either the Tutorial or How Do I forums there is a sticky on how to properly place your rivers. Makes for a good read IMO.

As a primer, think of rivers as trees, the ground the sea, and then look at all the branches. You will notice that the branches are more numerous and thinner the further away they are from the ground. Most branches also join their supporting member at a gentle angle or at least less than 90degrees. Most of the time. Not always. But most of the time. Makes the sap flow easier. Same with rivers and streams.

Not too sure if that was clear or not (long week, longer day) but I hope it helps none the less. Keep up the good work and hope to see more from you :)

Diamond
01-18-2013, 09:15 PM
I can't really add anything to what the other folks have already said, except that I don't think those are Schwarzie's mountain and tree brushes; I think they're actually Starraven's.

Very impressive, and hope to see more stuff from you. And welcome to the Guild!

Freehand 5.5
01-18-2013, 09:48 PM
Just another thing. Mountains and buildings should have consistent shadows.
Mountain graphics are quite sharp edged, rivers and towns are blurred.

- Max -
01-18-2013, 10:47 PM
Just another thing. Mountains and buildings should have consistent shadows.
Mountain graphics are quite sharp edged, rivers and towns are blurred.

Moutains have shadows on the east, buildings on the west - south/west. Light should come from the same direction. Those different brushes weren't shaded the same way ;)

MiddleEnglander
01-19-2013, 12:05 PM
Very nice. I wish I could make a first map that good.

Can I ask for some info? Tell us about the fonts, brushes, etc. that you used. Did you develop them or download them somewhere? How will you use the map? What resolution is the original? How did you organize your layers? I'm very interested because I am a (computer-created) mapping novice. I bet you asked these questions too!

The info for fonts and brushes can be found underneath the picture itself. :3 I downloaded all of the brushes I used, I'm trying to hand-draw my own presently.

The original resolution is 3,000 x 3,500 px. Each section had a different layer - background, coastline, mountains, trees, etc. It makes individualising effects easier, or so I've found.

Thanks for all the great feedback, folks, I'll be putting it to good use.

arsheesh
01-22-2013, 02:01 AM
Welcome to the Guild! Nice job on this. I agree with Torstan though, best to post your work directly at the Guild.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh