View Full Version : Work flow for using overlapping, hand-drawn map elements in PS

02-02-2013, 06:52 PM
Hey Cartographers!

I'm trying to build a map with hand-drawn map elements, reused over and over again at small scales. Partially inspired by Darklingrisen's tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/14211-%5Baward-winner%5D-fast-easy-artistic-maps-gimp.html), and Ironmetal's (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/5664-%5Baward-winner%5D-hand-drawn-mtns-other-stylistic-map-elements-use-ps-gimp.html) as well.

Darkling's tutorial utilizes tools in GIMP that photoshop lacks (brushes that contain white and black, instead of converting white to transparency, brushes that randomly choose between different shapes), and Ironmetal's is about how to draw the shapes, not use them.

The biggest problem I'm running into is how to quickly apply elements like mountains. I have 8 or 9 mountain elements drawn. I want to be able to quickly place them, with some random variance in size. Photoshop can handle that much with the jitter settings on a brush. I also want to be able to place mountains so that they overlap a bit - the problem here is that "white" on a photoshop brush automatically becomes transparent, so if I try to place two overlapping elements, they are both visible. Going back through and hand-fixing the overlap would be incredibly time consuming. Finally, I'd love to be able to quickly and efficiently switch back and forth between different mountain brushes. Right now I need to select a new brush each time, which isn't the end of the world, but it's not ideal, either.

So how do you guys handle this sort of workflow? There are definitely artists here who seem to have sorted out some or all of these problems, and I imagine that some of them even used PS to do it! Examples:
Imperial Worldmap of Arden by Schwarzkreuz (http://www.cartographersguild.com/cartographers-choice/17438-imperial-worldmap-arden-schwarzkreuz.html)
The Butcher, The Baker, and that Other Guy by Ascension (http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/15051-butcher-baker-other-guy.html)
The Lands of Todes Grube (http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/10190-lands-todes-grube.html)

Thanks in advance! (Even if the answer is "stop complaining and eat the time-consuming clean-up work!", hah)

03-19-2013, 08:04 AM
Hey Maxnichols,
At the moment i'm using the clonestamp, its not ideal, it really isnt, but its the only "fast" way i know to do it in photoshop. I'm a noob though, and i bet there is a better way... I'm planning on going back to the drawingboard and just do all my mountains custom... to bad it will take about 90% of the worktime.
I think Schwarzkreuz uses multiple layers to solve the problem, not sure though...

im looking forward to hearing from other people on solving the problem!
And looking forward to your work!


- Max -
03-19-2013, 09:00 AM
Only 2 options : use brushes on several layers then erase the overlapping parts or use clone tool to avoid overlapping ( check my Selvarin thread where you can find a small tut about it-for forets but all elements will work the same)