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Failtality
07-27-2013, 07:11 PM
Hey folks! While I'm new here, I've already gotten some great help and suggestions/ feedback from others (like Azelor) in the resource area, I think I've gotten I good direction for m WIP world of Valgard. It's undergone many iterations already as far as history and such goes, but I'm nearing steadier ground, as it were. Valgard is a fantasy world, where Chaos and Order are held in constant balance by spiritual guardians known as Courtiers. They alone protect and patrol the borders of Valgard, the world; and the "Nowhere"- a mysterious topsy-turvy realm and home of the guardians themselves. Some are touched by this other land and granted great powers. Others are wary of the source, and seek to protect from it. Time and circumstance blur these notions, however; and those caught in the cross must choose their own destinies. The area that is featured, at least at this moment, is a country of Durenhart, which is the last remnant of a once great empire, that traces founders back to a mythical civilization (Think along the lines of the mythical founding of Rome to the collapse and split of the "Holy Roman Empire")

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As you can see, I've only worked on some of the area sectioned off by mountains, known as Aethonia (Hopefully it evokes a western European like feel without being too much) There is a lot of work still to be done. There will be more continants, etc, but I havint fully decided on where im going with those, yet. I'm not sure about the color balance on some elements, and I'm not sure what sort of texture, or what I should use on the main land. Something subtle, I think. Anyway, comments and suggestions greatly appreciated!

Azelor
07-27-2013, 08:53 PM
I'm still here :x

It look really great, It's like a dream world or something, lost in the clouds. But dark at the same time. Black background and you use color to make your elements. Well I mean, like your mountains. I think you are on the right track for something unique.

Failtality
07-27-2013, 08:59 PM
Thanks for the comments and compliments! I hope I didn't offend you or something... Not sure what you meant by that first part! I really appreciate your comments and help in the other section!

Falconius
07-27-2013, 09:15 PM
This could be really great. I enjoy the background exposition you've set up for it. Speaking of, I also like the cloud idea in the background of the map. What is this for? Or is this a project in and of itself?

Failtality
07-27-2013, 09:22 PM
Yeah, this is a world that I'm building for the fun of it. I have a whole informational PDF I'm working on for it too, but its not nearly done, since I keep changing some of the finer details of the history- the general idea and characters that fill it remain the same though. I can't really take credit for the cloud background. Its all hand drawn by myself though. I got the idea from a map aboard the queen Mary. It's more uh... Stylistic than representative of actual cosmology\ topography.

Azelor
07-27-2013, 10:18 PM
It was just a joke

Viking
07-27-2013, 10:32 PM
Hey Failtality, this seems pretty promising and is a very interesting look so far. The land outlines and colour scheme make it feel futuristic to a point. Hopefully things will read well as you develop this and it will make sense colour wise. Do you intend for green forests and grey mountains on top of the black or will you fill in the land with another colour eventually? Also, what do you intend to do with all that space on the right? Fill it in with a legend? Again, it's looking good so far.

Failtality
07-27-2013, 10:41 PM
Hi Viking! The colors are still a work in progress, I think I will try for a more monochromatic tone with pops of color here and there so it'll emulate the Art Deco feel I'm going for. At the same time it needs to feel mythic. Any tips to get to that point would be greatly appreciated! As for the left over space I do want to add more land, but right now I don't have any ideas for what yep of people's would live there. I know it is sort of backwards, but that's where I am right now :)

Viking
07-28-2013, 12:31 AM
lol I couldn't help myself but play around with how one might continue the map with just crisp lines. 56453

I get what you mean art deco and mythic feeling. It's a kind of neat combination and I'm not going to lie I'm not even sure what to suggest unfortunately. It is indeed odd to think of occupants before the living space that would form them first but whatever works :p

I guess maybe if I wanted a more mythic feel I'd go the hand painted route for everything.

Failtality
07-28-2013, 12:49 AM
Oh neat, I definatly like some of the things you did there, especially that little bay area in the middle! I'm very impressed with how nicely you filled things out. I dunno if I'd use exactly what you have layed out, but there are lots of things I like! Thank you! It's great in helping with some direction :)

Viking
07-28-2013, 01:11 AM
Hey I'm glad you got something out of it lol. I did not intend to lay a road map for what I think you should do but rather give a suggestion of a possibility :)

Failtality
07-28-2013, 01:17 AM
Oh not at all, it's very helpful, thanks!

Eilathen
07-28-2013, 05:18 AM
I really like the land shapes you have here.
The map is way too dark for my taste, but as there is not much "filling" yet, i withhold my final judgement ;)

And Viking, nice fooling around style map :D

Failtality
07-28-2013, 12:06 PM
Hey Eilathen, thanks for the comment! I agree it's a bit dark right now. My monitor settings and the angle that it is set to make the colors seem lighter to me, I think, so I'll have to take this into consideration!

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I did just a small size version of this next update because it's a general one. One of the things I liked most about Vikings suggestions and concept was that the other landmass was more vertical with a diagonal, and gave the map a dynamic feel. (I even added on that little bay are I liked! I hope that's okay.) As far as what will go to the south of the western continent, I am not sure. I like the open space of it, so it may just be a small island chain or some such.

Failtality
07-30-2013, 12:29 PM
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So this is the topography I have so far. Been playing around with some of the coloring too, but haven't come to anything solid. My only worry right now is that things are looking too busy. I haven't added locations yet, but they are there in my mind. I'm just sorting out where I want some places to go and have a good background for them. Some if the landscape could change due to this. Interested to hear feedback! All the things are hand drawn with my tablet/ mouse

Azelor
07-30-2013, 02:06 PM
It look good. I'm not sure how many location you plan the add, but I think it should fit. The only option I see if you want to add more things on your map is to change the scale of your map so to stretch it.

Viking
07-30-2013, 03:56 PM
Hey Failtality,
haha I don't mind that you'd use that little bay in the slightest! :) I'm glad you liked the angle of the continent. I definitely did that deliberately and tried to make the two land masses different shapes and sizes. I'd watch that your lakes all drain out to the ocean as most do. I like the font though it may be a little hard to read small.

Failtality
07-31-2013, 03:24 AM
Thanks for all the positive support and suggestions! Super late right now, so I'll just say the minimum: I decided to up the brightness or the map quite a bit, though maintained some better color balance, I think. It doesn't look nearly so murky now, and still keeps that "dream" quality. Lakes and rivers are fixed as per suggestion by Viking. Also added a figure at the bottom to add a bit more personality to the frame. Sort of ambivalent about it now, but maybe in the morning I'll have another perspective of it. I have a much better idea of where some more locations will go, but that will be another update. Thanks again!
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Eilathen
07-31-2013, 06:19 AM
This is an interesting development. The brightness is surely better now but still on the darker side. Not sure if i care for the forests (i guess these are forests?). Maybe make them at least a little bit green-ish?

Azelor
07-31-2013, 11:40 AM
I hope you don't mind if I tested colors on you map

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I used 2 green 1a482b and 167a3c on a new layer set to color density -

Failtality
07-31-2013, 09:10 PM
Love what you did Azelor! It's already incorporated into the map :) not sure what ill do next, but likely add some more locations and that sort of thing. I also want to add some textures to the brown and maybe the land. Thanks again! I will be doing more soon!

Failtality
07-31-2013, 11:35 PM
Alright folks, before I move on to other areas, I need some feedback. This looks too busy to me....

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I'm mostly worried about the readability of it all. Thoughts?

Scot Harvest
07-31-2013, 11:52 PM
I LOVE the dark and sinister look of this whole map.

You could REALY set the tone of an adventure with this.

BRAVO on originality.

Azelor
07-31-2013, 11:56 PM
It's dark, if it's what you mean. I guess a blue like 384f5b would be good. Or maybe a lighter blue depending what it represent. I think, if the places are less important that the other labels, it can be darker.
What are these cities ?

Failtality
08-01-2013, 12:05 AM
-Scot Harvest: Thanks SO much! I really appreciate your comments and everything!

-Azelor: I was more worried about clutter and business than anything else. Anyhoo, the cities are ones that existed in one form or another since I started this. Many of them are founded by legendary heroes and so named after them. The countries themselves are intended to have a fragmented look, as they are leftovers from a once unified empire many years ago.

Azelor
08-01-2013, 12:16 AM
Ha yes, it look crowded.

Failtality
08-01-2013, 12:19 AM
Drat! I'll have to ponder a solution...

Azelor
08-01-2013, 12:23 AM
Is it possible to make them smaller?

Failtality
08-01-2013, 12:25 AM
Yes, but they become harder to read as I do so. Another font is possible too, but that runs the risk of losing the overall feeling, I think.

Azelor
08-01-2013, 12:31 AM
maybe you could put a symbol like a coat of arm or a flag. And have a legend on the side like http://www.cartographersguild.com/cartographers-choice/22948-city-kingdoms-har%E9shk-vorropohaiah.html

Azelor
08-01-2013, 12:35 AM
But it dosen't really fit you style...

Failtality
08-01-2013, 02:00 AM
Alright, after some further research, I found a font that's not quite as romantic, but its easier to read, looks nice, and fits the overall theme. Pretty happy with this, and it makes it pop. After some consideration, I've taking out the golden figure at the bottom. It added some personality, but wasn't really what I was looking for. Inanimate objects may be better
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Eilathen
08-01-2013, 05:46 AM
I think this is comming along better and better. I still think you need a color that is recognizably green for the forests. The current color makes the "cloudy stuff" still not easily recognizable as forests. All imo and ymmv of course.

Have some Rep.!

Failtality
08-01-2013, 10:43 AM
Thanks Eilathen! I'll continue to play around with the colors and brightness of the map (after I get back from work tonight). Hopefully I can keep the same sort of feel to it with brighter colors :) Thanks to all that support, like and rep!

Failtality
08-01-2013, 10:10 PM
Okay, I've played around with the colors a bit, and it does seem to be alot brighter now, and hopefully just enough =) I also hand drew in trunks to the trees, added some layer effects, etc to make this a bit smoother. Those trunks killed my hand, so that's all for now!

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Azelor
08-01-2013, 10:26 PM
To be honest I prefered the previous version.
I think that the blue you add should be more diffused but the color is good.
The biggest problem is that your black is not as pure, It looked better before because it had more contrast.
The color of the forest could be ok but it don't really fit the map.

I also suspect you used a filter or something on the map because the color are less vibrant.

Failtality
08-01-2013, 10:53 PM
Thanks for your honesty Azelor. I can certainly see what you mean. Some of the colors don't pop I suppose. Maybe there is a happy median somewhere.

Azelor
08-02-2013, 01:12 AM
Hum, we might need somenone else's opinion.

It least keep you black pure.
About the forest, I think Eilathen meant that the forest was not green enough so there was no way to know it was a forest. What you did was ok but I might prefer anorther brown. Something more subtle maybe because it look almost orange. Prehaps something darker or with less red would be better.

Falconius
08-02-2013, 04:27 AM
Hmm personally I preferred the black on black thing you had with the subtle clouds in the background more than the sharply contrasted difference you have now and in the one before. It had more of an air of mystery and a sort of dream like quality to it. I also really liked the blotched and shadowed forest with out the trunks laid in, although I did find them hard to read as forest at first I think mostly due to colouring. They are green enough now that i don't think that is an issue though.

It depends what you want, if you want definition and clarity then you are obviously going to loose a lot of the charm and mystery the map had, but of course gain detail and readability. That's a hard choice and balance to strike! But it is a good choice to have even if it is difficult.

Eilathen
08-02-2013, 05:29 AM
I'd also leave the trunks out of the forests (weird sentence, right?! :D ). I like the style you had, i just wanted the forests in a stronger green so as to clearly represent them (so in other words, Azelor perfectly got what i meant).

Failtality
08-02-2013, 08:39 AM
Thanks folks, you've given me a lot to think about! Falconis hit the nail on the head. Part of the WIP thing I guess is to figure out what doesn't work as well, and the balance is something to experiment with :) So in a way I'm glad. I love the feedback and honesty. it helps my whole process. Gonna keep working on this beast...

- Max -
08-04-2013, 06:07 AM
Though I find the map too dark for my tastes, I'd leave the blue out, the background pop put too much with it.

Viking
08-04-2013, 10:31 AM
Hey Failtality, I agree with the others about the forests and their trunks and about the light saturated bits of the water being a bit distracting. I still kind of like the idea of the landmasses being black just for it feeling fresh and being a different approach.

Azelor
08-04-2013, 11:30 AM
You haven't copyrighted your style yet, do you ? Because I might "inspire" myself to create a map in the future. I'm talking about the darker style.

Failtality
08-04-2013, 11:52 AM
Hey all, thanks for the feedback and honesty! I think when I read "too dark" I was equating that with the map also being hard to read and see. Anyhoo, I have gone back to the original colors; because while it also is a dark map, it goes with the style I'm trying the achieve. I did change the color of the forests to a better green, I think, so that will look better. I also did a resize of the map to something bigger, that I think overall helps. I also like to have significant updates, so I'm going to include some location information in this post. I would have liked to get all of the area's places done, but now is as good a time as any to share :) Let me know if you see any inconsistencies, as I've tweaked the history several times. Oh, and Azelor, no I haven't =) I'd be excited to see what you come up with!

56635

NORTH AETHONIA
Long ago, just after the tragic and mysterious fall of a mythic kingdom, these lands were settled. Among the windswept, a select group of heroes rose to lead their people and found new cities in which they could live. Indeed, many called it the Golden Age of Heroes. Their people were known as the Aethonians- The Shining Ones. Legends say these good folk were the offspring and descendants of the mysterious Courtiers and Humans that once lived in the ruined islands southward. And so, for those who went north, the land was named in their honor.

ALHEIM: At one time an upstart province of the Empire, this regency once boasted a second Emperor. The royal line has died off or disappeared, however, and so it is left to an elected Regent to rule the land.
New Volsung: Named after a legendary knight, this is a major city of Aethonia. Once a second seat of the Empire. It is the capitol of the land's regency.
ANDORA
DURENHART: Originally the center of the late and great Durenhart Empire, this is land is the last remnant of those halcyon days. While still the largest and most powerful nation, its current emperor struggles to maintain its former glory.
Calemvost: This terraced city is also home to the Temple of the Templars. It over looks the great Lake Calivan.
Hart’s Court: Named after the founder and legendary hero, Arnessus Hart, it is the capital of Durenhart, and seat of the empire.
Highwatch: A major outpost in the mountains in the east of Durenhart.
ESCLAIN: Home to a nation of inventors and engineers. This country is currently in hostile relations with Durenhart, and may be nearing war.
Ironmarch: Capital of Esclain, it is in a prime location to take advantage of the many surrounding natural resources.
FALVAIRE
Alabaster: Named after a legendary hero, this secluded and enchanting city is home to the fabled gigantic white leaved trees.
GELMORE
OSTERANTH
Caesura: Set in a canyon, this city is named after one of the legendary heroes. The hot days are made bearable by its majestic fountains littered through its streets
SORENSAL: A country with an on and off relationship with the empire over the years, this country boasts the largest population of Emblazoned, those touched by the other world.
VARTICA
Iskander: Named after a legendary hero, this city's outer walls are made of a twisting labyrinth to keep unwanted visitors out. It also is a major sea port.
VOLTA: In truth, this country is still more of an independent territory than a full fledged nation, and it owes its fealty to Durenhart. One day it hopes to change that.
Essermark: Home to the training grounds to the infamous “Enforcers,” who are hired out to the highest bidder, currently the empire of Durenhart.

Falconius
08-04-2013, 03:32 PM
The problem with the original colours for me is the forests. They have too much grey in them for me to read them as trees rather than say hills. The reason being is that when viewing one accepts that the grey things with peaks are mountains then the logical leap is for the next more muted grey blobs to be hills. At least for me. Honestly until someone pointed it out I never would have taken them as forests.

Failtality
08-04-2013, 03:38 PM
Duely noted Falconius! That is a good way of putting it.

56641

Do you think that is a better green to tell its a forest, while still maintaining the tone of the map?

Eilathen
08-04-2013, 03:51 PM
Well, that's what i have been saying for pages now. Not sure if the new color is fitting. I think it could still be greener. This almost looks yellow to me.
Azelor's "testdrive" was also quite good.

Failtality
08-04-2013, 04:03 PM
Oh, sorry Eilathen, I didn't mean to insinuate that you hadn't said the same thing before, I just thought the way Falconious put it was interesting. I do like Azelors testdrive as well, but maybe it had too much blue in it.

56642

I dunno, Sometimes I think I see colors oddly XP Sorry, I hope I'm not being a pain!

Falconius
08-04-2013, 04:23 PM
I think both those alternatives work well. If I had to shoose between them I don't know really which one I'd go with. Probably the first one, because I saw it first *shrug*. The second style seems to mirror the mountains better, but the yellowish one seems to go with the map colours better.

Azelor
08-04-2013, 04:45 PM
Maybe something in between ?

Eilathen
08-04-2013, 07:02 PM
That might have come off a bit snarky, if so, i apologize, Failtality. That was not my intention. I was just a bit baffled.
And i do like the second one better, but I'd have to see it on the full map to really make a decision. Maybe a green that is a bit brighter would work even better?

And hey, this is a WIP, so you are not a pain at all! If anything, we loudmouths are ;) criticizing all day long like that. Just to say it again: i really think you have something here! A really unique style of your own.
I'm just voicing my opinion on it, feel free to ignore anything and everything :D

Azelor
08-04-2013, 07:41 PM
TOOTHPASTE !!!

that was my idea from the begining: 00f0a1
56645

or consider adding some color to the mountains if the forest don't fit. Something like a grey or a light blue.

Failtality
08-04-2013, 08:41 PM
-Azelor: Egads, that IS green! At least all the folks in Valgard will have healthy chompers =D

-Eilathen: I didn't think it was snarky, I was just hoping you weren't upset. I like strong opinions! My philosophy is every constructive suggestion has some merit to it, so it's worth trying out. I may not use it all the time, but it's worth trying. So no worries!

Viking
08-04-2013, 09:39 PM
Very green and very clearly forest indeed :)

Failtality
08-19-2013, 05:14 PM
Hey folks, sorry I havn't posted much recently at all. I've not only been busy at work, but family stuff and sickness has overrun me- not to mention I have been agonizing over this darn map. The one area of Aethonia is very important to me right now, because it basically what I started off with when I thought up this crazy world. I wanted to make sure all the countries in it made sense, and that it fit within my original vision. I didn't just wanted to slap some names in there and call it a day. They had to have a distinct character. You might notice places have been moved around, etc. This actually more closely represents one of the first concepts of the world (I also wanted two rival nations and their capitals to be separated by a large lake, so I am a bit wishy-washy on New Volsung's location. (Fun fact: at the very first all the nations used to be named after famous/ mythical swords, but I scrapped that idea because it seemed just a bit too much.)) I did some refining and better writeups of locations, so if there is some consistancy errors, let me know! It's not exhaustive, but it'll give you a good broad picture of the area. If there is more to say that I'm forgetting, I'll edit this post as needed =) As I move forward I will not be posting location info, etc unless requested, or it is a truly major addition... So for those new places outside Aethonia... Well, you'll have to wait. I think I've got some good stuff =)

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AETHONIA
Long ago, just after the tragic and mysterious fall of a mythic kingdom, these lands were settled. Among the windswept, a select group of heroes rose to lead their people and found new cities in which they could live. Indeed, many called it the Golden Age of Heroes. Their people were known as the Aethonians- The Shining Ones. Legends say these good folk were the offspring and descendants of the mysterious Courtiers and Humans that once lived in the ruined islands southward. And so, for the vast majority who went north, the land was named in their honor.
For many years the majority of the eastern nations were one- The Durenhart Empire, but eventually dissolved into smaller nations due to a variety of circumstances. The western countries, on the other hand, were never really taken into the fold. Due to their difficult geography and even more difficult citizens, the Empire was unable to keep a strong political hold on the area.

ALHEIM: At one time an upstart province of the Empire, this regency once boasted a second Emperor. The royal line has died off or disappeared, however, and so it is left to an elected Regent to rule the land.
New Volsung: Named after a legendary knight, this is a major city of Aethonia. Once a second seat of the Empire. It is the capitol of the land's regency.
ANDORA: Hardly organized nation, led by heads of many disparate clans.
CORRENCE: Once a busy trade province of the Empire, it is now a sleepy and neutral country.
Morsmuth:
DELANGER: Once a major import and export center for the Empire due to its access to varied natural resources and trade routes, it was one of the first nations to truly claim its independence from the empire- both politically and financially
DURENHART: Originally the center of the late and great Durenhart Empire, this is land is the last remnant of those halcyon days. While still the largest and most powerful nation, its current emperor struggles to maintain its former glory. Its borders once covered most of eastern Aethonia.
Calemvost: This terraced city is also home to the Temple of the Templars. It stands on the sacred Pilgrim's Mount.
Hart’s Court: Named after the founder and legendary hero, Arnessus Hart, it is the capital of Durenhart, and seat of the empire, overlooking the great Lake Calivan.
Highwatch: A major outpost in the mountains in the east of Durenhart.
ESCLAIN: Home to a nation of inventors and engineers. This country is currently in hostile relations with Durenhart, and may be nearing war.
Athmos: Capital of Esclain, it is a major center of innovation
FALVAIRE
Alabaster: Named after a legendary hero, this secluded and enchanting city is home to the fabled gigantic white leaved trees.
GALLENTRIN: Slightly backwards but quaint kingdom made up of two large isles, still adhering to a feudal system.
GALNYR: Matriarchal society of warriors and hunters.
GELMORE: Pastoral nation
KESTON: So named in it's local dialect, this “keystone” nation once held West and East Aethonia together, but has fallen on hard times due to recent poor relations between nations.
LARENCIA: A country founded by nobles, still linked to Durenhart. A center of arts.
OSTERANTH
Caesura: Set in a canyon, this city is named after one of the legendary heroes. The hot days are made bearable by its majestic fountains littered through its streets
RASTOVIA: A nation well known for its love of life and laid back attitude, largely in contrast with its surrounding nations. Despite this, they are a largely insular people, and do not fully trust outsiders until they prove themselves. Its peoples are disparate but of a singular mind.
SORENSAL: A country with an on and off relationship with the empire over the years, this country boasts the largest population of Emblazoned, those touched by the other world.
TYRN: A respected and powerful kingdom. It once attempted to conquer the other western nations, but failed due to similar problems other nations had trying to do so.
Yseldia: Known to many as an ice palace, it is actually made of a lustrous white stone abundant in the area. Said to be one of the most beautiful locales in all of Aethonia. It's current Queen Yseld II is a benevolent ruler, often sending aide to those in need.
VARENVANCE: One of the few countries never part of the Empire. Maintains and is proud of its national identity.
VARTICA
Iskander: Named after a legendary hero, this city's outer walls are made of a twisting labyrinth to keep unwanted visitors out. It also is a major sea port.
VOLTA: In truth, this country is still more of an independent territory than a full fledged nation, and it owes its fealty to Durenhart. One day it hopes to change that.
Essermark: Home to the training grounds to the infamous “Enforcers,” who are hired out to the highest bidder, currently the empire of Durenhart.
WESSENGAR: Positioned in a hilly country, settlers have come to find a simple but arduous life. Many of the towns rely on their own local government, but as it was one of the older countries founded outside of the Empire, the people rely on a strong national identity.

Viking
08-19-2013, 10:54 PM
Nice work on the background information my friend! Are you planning on having wide swaths of wild unclaimed territory?

Diamond
08-19-2013, 11:14 PM
Y'know, one thing I'd change if it was my map would be to make the spacing between the characters in your names a bit wider; as it is now, some of the letters kind of run into each other, making some of the names hard to read.

Failtality
08-19-2013, 11:39 PM
@ Viking- eventually I'd like to have everything covered, so this is a long term project. There may be a few unclaimed areas though. I think that'd make sense in terms of the world. I love to go in depth though.

@Diamond- Good suggestion! Is there a way to do that automatically in PS without having to do it between each letter? Do you just choose that setting before you star typing away? Not able to get on my computer at the moment to test.

Thanks for the faves btw!!

Diamond
08-20-2013, 01:03 AM
Yep, there's an easy way to do it - just click on the text layer you want to change, and using the text/character box, change your spacing using the 'tracking' option. (Mine looks like a horizontal arrow underneath a capital VA.) If you've already merged all your text layers though, you're screwed. :D

Failtality
11-11-2013, 02:32 PM
Long time no see folks, Sorry I haven't posted in FOR.EV.ER! Work and life have managed to get in the way of long stints of progress.(As well as a well needed vacation to Disney!) Over the past few months I've taken a heavy critical eye to my map. I actually ended up getting a new computer as well, and it really changed my perspective on the color, etc. (My old monitors colors were really weird, and made many colors bright and saturated to me) I knew it was time to put some time into an overhaul after seeing the old map on my shiny new machine.

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While I really liked the charm of the dark map, I quickly realized that going forward with that color scheme wouldn't be the best idea, and most importantly it didn't make me happy. This new version incorporated many of the original ideas I was going for. First off, my main desire was to mix fantasy and modern/ art deco aesthetics. The geometric designs obviously reflect the art deco feel, but the map too, while looking like a worn fantasy map, I also feel like looks like a 30s era military map, thrown in with a twinge of age of exploration/ discovery. I knew I also didn't want traditional grid-lines. At first I wanted some more arcane leyline type thing. That didn't work out, but I think I found something that sort of harks back to an ancient star map kind of feel, so that was just as good or better. In the end, it was important to emphasize that the people of Valgard didn't think the same about their world as we do ours now. The colored rings in the off-center do in fact serve a purpose. The best way to explain it is as a staggered field effect of chaotic/ magical energies. I also decided to simply hint at some geography rather than outright paint it out. I may in the future, but for right now this is intended as more of a stylized/ political map. Any suggestions in how to subtly but clearly indicate geography whle still maintaining the map style is welcome =) As of now I think there are some color balance issues left and maybe a few tiny mistakes here and there, but overall I am very pleased. Comments and criticism more than welcome, as always.

I should also mention this is a resize- the original version has readable labels =)

PS- It's good to be back!

Failtality
11-18-2013, 08:54 PM
Sorry to post twice, but another significant update =). Trying to get the right feel for some continent labels. I realize they are not 100% necessary, but I'd like to have them, as they really dictate the story of the world.

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They seem like they are a wee bit squeezed in, but maybe not too bad... Aethonia will be the only real issue, since it is the most fragmented. I have played around with pen paths and other such things, but I can never seem to get curved text to look like I want. Any suggestions are most welcome though. Decided to ditch the parchment texture. sort of washed out everything. I worked a lot more of the subtle topography though, it should be a bit more apparent.

madbird-valiant
11-18-2013, 11:00 PM
I assume the map is bigger in actuality since the city text is almost illegibly small, but other than that it looks fantastic.

Failtality
11-18-2013, 11:35 PM
Ah yeah, this is half the size. The original file is too large, haha. Thanks though!

madbird-valiant
11-18-2013, 11:56 PM
Ah yeah that'd be fine then. Good stuff.

Eilathen
11-19-2013, 08:37 AM
I like the new look eventhough the old one was more unique. I do hope you'll add mountains and forests again. And that we can see the fullsize of the finished map even if it's an outside-link ;)

Falconius
11-19-2013, 09:25 AM
Aw, well now I'm torn since I loved where the old one was going but this one is very clear, legible, and good too. Although I do hope you do go back to the other one and finish that up after the new one is completed :P

Failtality
11-19-2013, 10:41 AM
I do think the darker map was more unique, but many of the elements in it I wasn't happy with. Without them the rest of the map didn't work, so I knew I had to start from the ground up anyway. In the end, Valgard is a world of light, and I think the other color scheme sort of misrepresented that. HOWEVER there is a world of twilight in the Nevereach, and I think revisiting some of the things that made the old map great would work for that project :)

Failtality
11-24-2013, 10:59 PM
I got bored and played around with colors... I think my previous attempts at trying to get the darker colors weren't as successful as this.

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I was so sure that the more beige tone read better, but does this seem like a more compelling coloration? I kind of like it now. Self doubt rears its ugly head at night, and feel a bit hypocritical. Blargh =(

Diamond
11-24-2013, 11:39 PM
I liked the beige one... but this one kicks ass.

Failtality
11-25-2013, 12:37 AM
Oh man, thanks for your comment, I really appreciate it. Makes me less doubtful by far! It's one of those times where you stare at something so long, and you're not sure what's good anymore.

Falconius
11-25-2013, 01:03 AM
I have to second Diamond on that one. This one really does look special, and it definitely gives the impression of floating land, I don't know if you were still going for that or not but it looks sooo good.

Edit. You should do a side by side of all three to see how it's progressed, I just looked back through the thread and thought it was interesting to see.

Failtality
11-25-2013, 01:36 AM
Thanks a whole bunch! At your recommendation I did go back and look. It has definitely been something of a journey. I feel like the progression is going well. It will be a long time for this one to be -for real- done (it's a world I'm constantly working on as I draw characters, build story, etc), but I'm now on a good pace to have something I can present in the near future.

Azelor
11-30-2013, 12:41 AM
Have you thought about making the borders of your countries with colors with the center transparent ? something like that : http://www.cartographersguild.com/how-do-i/25025-would-like-create-19th-century-style-map-i-have-no-idea-where-start.html#post227902

I did by accident

Failtality
11-30-2013, 05:20 PM
That's a really snazzy effect. Would it work with artificial borders and not just the individual landmasses? I think I understood your instructions well enough, but I wasn't sure

Azelor
12-01-2013, 02:17 AM
Yes, it actually seems to work but my technique is not perfect yet.

in my test I had:
I layer for the border with a blur effect
1 layer with a gradient transparent effect toward the interior (I added an exterior light effect in the layer option)
1 layer with the country color (optional)
a dark background or a pale one but it's harder to make the color match

and I get something like that which is still a WIP (but I skipped the part with the lines)

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I forgot to say that when you change the color (to black) , it's better to change it with the options than with the paint tool. With the tool, every pixel selected become 100% opacity wich could be a problem later.
Using Alpha channels is new for me but it has its advantages.

Failtality
12-01-2013, 01:16 PM
I actually played around with some of your ideas yesterday, and to some interesting effect.

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I think it looks interesting, but may not 100% fit in with the style, so may hold off on using it. Like I said, I LOVE the effect though. Great idea!

Diamond
12-01-2013, 03:37 PM
Oh wow, I like that! It really looks good with the orange labels contrasting with the color of the diagonal strokes. My vote is to use that technique, or at least keep playing around with it.

Klaus van der Kroft
12-03-2013, 08:13 AM
The dark one features a pretty bold and interesting style. I like it!

Viking
12-03-2013, 10:04 AM
I am glad that your still working on this and its looking really promising :)