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wildcode
04-11-2013, 04:25 AM
Hello fellow Cartographers!

The first step of my lengthy journey to be an Artisan Cartographer was to make something (at all); so I grabbed one of my homebrewn map sketches and decided to map out a small part of it.

To make things harder I got the followed image into my computer by collecting all not attached lamps in the house blazing on the paper, trying to get my crappy smart phone camera to catch some photons. The sketch size for this part of the map is about 2 inches (5 cm) across.

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To make things easier I followed the kind advice of Arsheesh to check out some tutorials and I decided to follow the eminent Eriond A Tutorial for GIMP & Wilbur (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/18280-award-winner-eriond-tutorial-gimp-wilbur.html). By gods! The challenge! But I pulled through and about six hours later. Here is the result.

The heightmap (from Wilbur):
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The result (after lots of work):
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There are some issues with most parts of the map; the rivers are to big and bloated (looks like fjords), the gradients (which I painstakingly did by myself inspired by the awesome guide) is not really on spot and yeah - the resolution. Which in a way I decided to keep low to get through the guide and learn stuff instead of getting stuck at things.

But I am very much satisfied with what I learned, so I recommend to follow that guide if you like me are a totally novice in mapmaking and quickly want to get a grasp of what different techniques you need to master to become an Artisan Cartographer!

Next step is to put some map borders on it; and I will use this (ofcourse ;) ) Making Map Borders in GIMP (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/15037-award-winner-making-map-borders-gimp.html)

Catch ya later!

Best Regards
-wildcode

Update: This is the next version with smaller rivers and with reworked heightmap/gradients; also the ocean is blue instead of blackish:
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WoroRelu
04-11-2013, 06:23 PM
I'm really digging the work so far; that's the kind of place I'd love to tear open in DF or Gnomoria. How is the learning curve on Wilbur for you? i have FT3, which by their essentials guide is more simplified with Wilbur being for those really into the theory behind the fractal generation. Is it as difficult as their making me feel it is? I actually like your wide water channels, but looking at the map it looks more like they are encroaching sea water, especially since I can't find any river sources/lakes higher in the mountain areas - is that how you envision it? (I imagine them being low spots in the land being filled in by rising tides, but that's just me)

arsheesh
04-11-2013, 06:41 PM
Hi there Wildcode, not a bad start! Your mountains look pretty good, you did a nice job sculpting them. Your colors you chose for your gradient work well for this style of map. The rivers are a bit large, but it isn't a huge issue. Since this is a smaller res map one way you could have gotten smaller rivers during the Wilbur phase would have been to set the Pre Blur to 0 when doing the Incise Flow; if you set it any higher it will expand the width of the river basins. Really the only big issue I see here (and one that is easily corrected), is that the sea surrounding your land is nearly black. This may have been caused by forgetting to add the Land Mask to each of your land and mountain bump maps. If so, then just adding these masks ought to do the trick. Anyway nice job and glad that the tutorial was helpful to you.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

wildcode
04-13-2013, 03:19 AM
I'm really digging the work so far; that's the kind of place I'd love to tear open in DF or Gnomoria. How is the learning curve on Wilbur for you? i have FT3, which by their essentials guide is more simplified with Wilbur being for those really into the theory behind the fractal generation. Is it as difficult as their making me feel it is? I actually like your wide water channels, but looking at the map it looks more like they are encroaching sea water, especially since I can't find any river sources/lakes higher in the mountain areas - is that how you envision it? (I imagine them being low spots in the land being filled in by rising tides, but that's just me)

Thanks for the feedback!

As I've only been following a guide I have not yet grasped all of Wilburs features by far and I havent tried FT3 (but it seems less intimidating). In Wilbur I think you have great control of how to affect your heightmap and I recommend to give Wilbur a try; but do it by using a tutorial because it is kind of hard to understand at a first glance.

Yes the flooding effect is kinda cool even that it wasnt my purpose. I will give it another try and try to fix so they become true rivers :)

Thanks again!

wildcode
04-13-2013, 03:32 AM
Hi there Wildcode, not a bad start! Your mountains look pretty good, you did a nice job sculpting them. Your colors you chose for your gradient work well for this style of map. The rivers are a bit large, but it isn't a huge issue. Since this is a smaller res map one way you could have gotten smaller rivers during the Wilbur phase would have been to set the Pre Blur to 0 when doing the Incise Flow; if you set it any higher it will expand the width of the river basins. Really the only big issue I see here (and one that is easily corrected), is that the sea surrounding your land is nearly black. This may have been caused by forgetting to add the Land Mask to each of your land and mountain bump maps. If so, then just adding these masks ought to do the trick. Anyway nice job and glad that the tutorial was helpful to you.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Thank you Arsheesh, both for the feedback and the guide! You have probably saved me days of fidgeting in GiMP and Wilbur :)

Yes, as I told WoroRelu the rivers are a bit faulty. And I did get a bit excited when incising the flows :)

Regarding the blackness of the ocean I tried to compensate for my map being flooded (the lowest part of the map seemed to become ocean in Wilbur) so I did some deleting in GiMP before I took it too Wilbur and ended up with the problem. I did try to fix it in the end by making a new low detailed cloud render in a nice blue tint but I didn't succeed to make it blend in with the blackish ocean; my goal was then to try to expand the shorelines to get the island to blend into that. But I failed and left it as is.

Anyways, Ill trace back in the tutorial when I do the river revamp so I will fix that too.

Thank you for your feedback!

Regards
- wildcode

wildcode
04-13-2013, 09:18 PM
Well, I did a revamp of the map. But as the first version were as dramatic, this seems alittle...washed out. But is it perhaps more "realistic"?

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What do you think? I think I should spend more time tweaking the gradient for the temperate zone. More different greenish hues perhaps?

Regards
-wildcode

PapersAndPaychecks
04-13-2013, 10:53 PM
No, that doesn't look washed out to me. I think perhaps the coastline could be a bit more jagged and rugged, though?

wildcode
04-14-2013, 04:29 AM
No, that doesn't look washed out to me. I think perhaps the coastline could be a bit more jagged and rugged, though?

Yeah you are right it looks a bit even and cut out; I will start to experiment with adding som forests and cities and stuff and at the same time I will fiddle with the coastline. Don't really know how it will fit in yet; but Ill try to find some tutorials. And then I have the border/framing todo too.

The purpose of the map is to be used in a pen-and-paper game anytime soon so I am halfrushing it; hence the low res. The goal is to revamp it in a more hires version in the future; and thats a process I want to learn too. How to scale up a small res map and edit it so it looks great again. Seems hard to do but I love the challenge. And this Island is a small part of a much bigger map which you probably will hear me ranting about in the future ;)

Ok, lets get to work! Thanks for the feedback!

Regards
-wildcode

arsheesh
04-18-2013, 05:10 PM
The purpose of the map is to be used in a pen-and-paper game anytime soon so I am halfrushing it; hence the low res. The goal is to revamp it in a more hires version in the future; and thats a process I want to learn too. How to scale up a small res map and edit it so it looks great again. Seems hard to do but I love the challenge. And this Island is a small part of a much bigger map which you probably will hear me ranting about in the future ;)

I'm sorry to be a naysayer Wildcode but whenever you try to scale up the resolution of a raster image such as your map you are going to end up with a pixelated piece of work. I don't think there is any way around this, and any cosmetic attempts to salvage a rasterized image are either going to be futile, or will involve so much work that you might as well begin the piece anew. I know that's probably not what you wanted to here, but it's better to know now before you invest too much more time and energy into a piece that you cannot use.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

wildcode
04-20-2013, 02:10 PM
I'm sorry to be a naysayer Wildcode but whenever you try to scale up the resolution of a raster image such as your map you are going to end up with a pixelated piece of work. I don't think there is any way around this, and any cosmetic attempts to salvage a rasterized image are either going to be futile, or will involve so much work that you might as well begin the piece anew. I know that's probably not what you wanted to here, but it's better to know now before you invest too much more time and energy into a piece that you cannot use.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Yeah that figures; I'll use the image as an inspiration/overlay to get the features similar.

I always want the bad news as fast as possible so thank you :)

Regards
-wildcode

WoroRelu
04-21-2013, 06:57 PM
Is there a possibility of you bringing it into a vector program and tracing over it? If you have Adobe Illustrator maybe try the live trace feature as a start??

wildcode
04-23-2013, 02:45 PM
Is there a possibility of you bringing it into a vector program and tracing over it? If you have Adobe Illustrator maybe try the live trace feature as a start??

No I dont have that but perhaps Inkscape would do?

And further on the topic; which resolution should I aim for in a hires version? If I should ever do a printout it would probably as most be at the size of A3 (297 mm 420 mm).

I am planning on having quite a detailed map and my computer is relatively competent (i5 2500K, GTX570, SSD and 16GB RAM - I dont know which part that is the bottleneck) but there are probably practical limits.

And also; I did a little frame using Arsheesh guide. I think I messed up somewhere because it is not as pretty as that in the guide :) However it will do for now; I will practice more on frames later on.

The next step is to add more details to the map and a compass and such; hence the displaced positioning of the island.

Regards
-wildcode

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WoroRelu
04-24-2013, 07:45 PM
Hmm.. whenever I was working on stuff to be printed (keep in mind this was 5 years ago - i don't know any standards now) 100 dpi was good for a general color print, 300 dpi was good for a high quality print and continued editing. might wait for another opinion or two besides mine though, or search the forum. :) and inkscape should be fine, i just don't know if inkscape has a feature similar to the live trace feature (I'm lazy, so I preferred the route that had the machine doing as much work as possible) although learning how to do vector linework is a good practice in itself - when I tutored in illustrator one of the first exercises we had them do before starting their own projects were learning how to manipulate the bezier curves, and then value differentiation/mapping of grayscale images, to better their ability to distinguish and identify lighting/shading differences. We would actually use an old grey-scale image of bezier himself.

wildcode
04-25-2013, 07:45 AM
Hmm.. whenever I was working on stuff to be printed (keep in mind this was 5 years ago - i don't know any standards now) 100 dpi was good for a general color print, 300 dpi was good for a high quality print and continued editing. might wait for another opinion or two besides mine though, or search the forum. :) and inkscape should be fine, i just don't know if inkscape has a feature similar to the live trace feature (I'm lazy, so I preferred the route that had the machine doing as much work as possible) although learning how to do vector linework is a good practice in itself - when I tutored in illustrator one of the first exercises we had them do before starting their own projects were learning how to manipulate the bezier curves, and then value differentiation/mapping of grayscale images, to better their ability to distinguish and identify lighting/shading differences. We would actually use an old grey-scale image of bezier himself.

Ok, good I'll promise not to hold this against you :) I will do some searching too.

Thank you for your insights; I have yet to get bored by tracing so Ill try the tedious method first.

wildcode
04-27-2013, 11:11 AM
Now I am working on getting map details as names, distance ruler and such. I failed doing a compass so I scrapped that for now :)

This is the work so far; I think it is tricky to have a natural looking map with name plates on it; but I am fairly satisfied with the city names. This is where my inexperience shines through so all advice is welcome.

I have added som griddy-shady-thing where the cities are; but I will try to enhance them in some way.

Well; here goes:

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- Max -
04-27-2013, 11:33 AM
Would makes more sense if your scale bar match the scale border...

PapersAndPaychecks
04-27-2013, 11:41 AM
Here's a quick and simple compass that you can use. (Or anyone else, if they want: I hereby release this file, which represents 5 entire minutes of my time, into the public domain for anyone to use without restriction).

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wildcode
04-27-2013, 12:38 PM
Would makes more sense if your scale bar match the scale border...

You mean the color/texture? Yeah, I was thinking of doing a wooden frame in the same style so I will do that.

The scale "ruler" (it is unclear if it was both color and scales you meant) are half that of the border; and the position is not final. It is now right aligned with the border scale (second from right) and it don't look good. I will lengthen it by one half of the borders so there is a better alignment. And try some new positioning.

Thanks for the feedback!

- Max -
04-27-2013, 12:40 PM
I meant the size of the scales, different between scale bar and scale border. So yea, they should be the same length to serve their purpose :)

wildcode
04-27-2013, 12:41 PM
Here's a quick and simple compass that you can use. (Or anyone else, if they want: I hereby release this file, which represents 5 entire minutes of my time, into the public domain for anyone to use without restriction).

53962

Thanks, I'll play around with it to see if I can get the colors right. I'll post a small update here where I did a quickfix of things. Still have to fix with the frame/border to match the wooden look. And fiddle with tha compass. And bits and pieces :)

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wildcode
04-27-2013, 12:45 PM
I meant the size of the scales, different between scale bar and scale border. So yea, they should be the same length to serve their purpose :)

Ok, is it more clear now what I was aiming at, it is a sub-scale to give a more detailed measurement? The map will be used in a role play session so there will be actual rulers used to measure distances in the map. Perhaps I could use antoher method for making a subscale with lines or something and keep the "black and white" at the same scale?

Thanks for your input!