View Full Version : Lands of Legend - hand-drawn fantasy map

07-28-2013, 07:41 AM
Hi everybody!

This is my first map posted here. Except for the labeling, everything has been done by hand. While I'm not unhappy with the result, I also think the coloring could be improved, especially regarding the seas. On the long run, I'm aiming for something like this (http://www.cartographersguild.com/content/129-featured-map-sinisteria-djekspek.html#comments) (modest aims, I know). Can this be done digitally? Is there a way to apply something like this to an existing map? I would be grateful if anyone could point me to an appropriate tutorial - I have Photoshop and Paint.net at my disposal. Thanks!


07-28-2013, 08:17 AM
56459 Is this the effect you're looking for? here i duplicated your image over a green background, scaled it down slightly so it wouldn't clip off the lower corners and applied the lens correction filter, you can see I tried it too slopily since I clipped the lower right corner a bit.

07-28-2013, 08:21 AM
BTW, hope you aren't offended that I used your example, i deleted it after i made the test.
In this example I put a dropshadow under the compass rose and merged that shadow down onto the map before distorting it for the perspecive. I also blurred the map by duplicating the layer, bluring the duplicate, and masking it with a black and white gradient.

07-28-2013, 12:21 PM
Hi Salid and welcome to the mappiest place on all the interwebs!

This is a awesome map you have there, and you can be rightfully proud of it!

Yes, the colouration could be improved, but I don't think that is really necessary. What you should improve though is the labeling, the one thing not done by hand. It shows, and in a map as fine as this one, it really hurts the viewer.
With Photoshop at hand, it should be no real problem to find ways to better incorporate the labels into the map.

07-30-2013, 04:22 PM
Thanks for the comments (and the reps)!

@Freodin: Yes, well, the labeling is indeed pretty random - last-ditch addition as the map looked pretty naked without it. Will try and work something out.

@Revock: Wow, cool! But that was not what I was looking for. Actually my intention was perhaps too primitive to be considered - I just want the colors, especially the coloring of larger areas, to be more intense, more covering and at the same time blending better into each other.
Hmmm, maybe Sinisteria was not the best example. This (https://edocs.uis.edu/hadleyiv/www/images/Middle_Earth_Iron_Crown_1000.jpg) might illustrate things better - it looks not unlike mine, but the deeper colors, especially considering the seas, give it a completely different expression, just because there is now much more emphasis put onto the landscape. (I hope I've expressed it right, English is not my native language.)

Now while there are tutorials available on how to achieve things when you start a new picture from the ground up, I was wondering if the existing map could somehow be manipulated. That's actually all.

07-30-2013, 05:17 PM
Since you have Photoshop, you can do pretty much any manipulation you can think of ;) I'm not using the english version so maybe these things are called something different, but in the top menu you have "picture" or "image" or something like that, then "adjustments" I think, and there you'll find lots of options. Color balance, contrast, intensity, etc.

Really nice map by the way!

07-30-2013, 07:32 PM
Yes to the top menu > Image > Adjustments. Although I personally prefer to use the layer adjustments panel, which can be found in the top menu under Window > Adjustments. Those are more easily manipulated and don't change the original pixels unless you merge down the layer. If you need some help figuring adjustments out, just ask... I or someone else who uses them will be here, but it's often easier to understand what they each do by fiddling with them.

I'm thinking you mean to make the colors deeper/darker instead of more intense, which usually refers to saturation or vibrance. It's the contrast of the maps you indicated that really makes the features stand out. For starters, it might be simplest to take the lasso select tool and a clean brush and block out your landmasses etc so you have a mask to work with. It can help with keeping things neat. But here's a rough example of what your map could look like with a darker ocean. (*** NOTE: Actually, I forgot to set the clipping mask of the levels adjustment to the water layer I created, so the whole map got darker. Ahem. Oops.)


In the case of the land, it might help in getting the effect you want if you rein in the color palette a bit. The maps you referenced have a more limited range of colors in them. But happily, that's something you can also do with layer adjustments. :)

Hope that was at least somewhat helpful. I kinda like the colored pencil quality of your map, it has a unique look and I hope whatever changes you make in photoshop keep that hand-drawn aspect. But I'm sure whatever happens will look great!

08-03-2013, 11:27 AM
Ah, this is indeed going into the direction I was aiming at... thanks!

I will probably leave it at that, maybe add some more appropriate labels. There are so many more lands to map! ;)