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The Flanston
08-18-2013, 03:19 PM
Hi guys
School holidays are coming to an end here so I will now have more time to dedicate to producing a map for my fantasy novel. I posted the early stages of my journey on another thread (Curse you! Curse you all!) but now I see this as a WIP so I thought I would post it here. Hope that's ok :)

Still trying to learn the techniques to produce the result I'm after. These are the things I've looked at so far:
Producing a more convincing coastline
Background textures
Compass roses
Coverting images to brushes in Photoshop and Pantshop Pro

Next things I will be working on will be:
Suitable border
Finished design for compass roses
Producing some drawings to convert into brushes for terrain and water
Choosing a really nice font
Converting my own script into a font
Designing heraldic symbols for various factions
Designing icons for cities, castles, armies etc
Plus a dozen things I haven't yet considered :)

I've already incorporated people's comments from the other threads so please keep them coming.

So here's the progression so far...
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This was the first sketch I was working to

Cheers
TheFlanston

The Flanston
08-18-2013, 03:26 PM
This was my initial attempt after being inspired by the Guild

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The Flanston
08-18-2013, 03:31 PM
And this is me starting on the final map :)

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Comments and hints very much appreciated. Will make further posts as I progress...

Cheers
Peter

Diamond
08-18-2013, 03:56 PM
I like that new coastline quite a bit. One thing that immediately springs to mind, though, is that the background is so dark/contrasty that it might take away attention from the land... I guess we won't know for sure until you start building though. :D

Keep up the good work.

Falconius
08-18-2013, 06:16 PM
I don't know it looks fantastic with the black land contrasting so wildly with the back ground, I'm kind of hoping he finds a way to keep it. Either way I like the new coast line with all the new islands and fjords.

The Flanston
08-22-2013, 05:43 AM
Cheers guys
I agree with both of you :) I like the drama of the black outline and the moody border. I've been working on borders and brushes with varying levels of success. Here's where I'm up to right now...

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I did the knotwork border using a cool font from 'Fontineed' Celtic Border Font, Download Celtic Border .ttf truetype or .zip Free - FontIneed (http://www.fontineed.com/font/1645_Celtic_Border)

It was a bit clumsy going round the whole border and I had to copy and paste a couple of sections. Then I just made three layers to give it a bit of depth. Not exactly the feel I am looking for but it's close.

I drew the 'scale' border in photoshop but I need to antique it. Any tips on how to do this would be appreciated.

I also sketched out some images to convert into brushes but I'll upload those in the next post...

Cheers
Peter

The Flanston
08-22-2013, 06:03 AM
Pesky brushes!
Goodness, there is a lot to learn :) I don't really have the time for this steep learning curve but I'm finding hard to resist! I still toy with the idea of commissioning a more qualified person to produce a map for me. Will have to wait and see...

Anyway... here are the brushes I sketched out with ink and pen. I'm no great artist but I think they are ok. I plan to rotate, resize, distort and combine the images to produce a series of paint tubes for when I start to fill the map in properly.

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And here's how one of the mountains looks as a brush...

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*Problem*
I guess this is just a resolution problem but I struggled to get the brushes to look decent at the size I wanted them. My pooter is already struggling with the size of the file (I'm using Photoshop 7, which only allows me to use 1.7gb of Ram even though the comp has 8. Sigh...:) )

My best solution so far is to apply the brushes in a different file with just the land mass at a higher res, then copy the layer over and resize to fit. This produces better results than just using a smaller brush.

I'm also struggling with the transparency of the brush which makes it a pain when overlapping. If you know of any tutorials that might be suitable I'd love to know.

Ok... I'm off to skecth out some towns and cities although I should be writing! I'm never gonna get the book finished at this rate :( lol

Cya

Eilathen
08-22-2013, 09:44 AM
Hi and welcome to the Guild, Flanston.
An interesting landshape you have here. I like it! And your mountains are just awesome, very well done. Looking forward to these moutains "in action", so to speak.

Arilayna
08-22-2013, 10:09 AM
Hi, Flanston! I like the sketchy nature of your hand drawn brushes. I hope you can make them work! The parchment background with the dark outline is pretty rocking. Looking forward to seeing where you go with all this!

Nian
08-22-2013, 10:19 AM
That looks really cool so far.

The Flanston
08-22-2013, 06:09 PM
Thanks Arilayna & Nian
Brushes are proving tricky. Just found that if I increase the contrast before converting the pic then they stand out much better. And increasing the resolution allows me to keep detail the more I zoom in. Having said that the image is already 342mb and my pooter is having a siezure every time I try to do just an incy bit of rendering! :)

Think I'll probably end up dividing the main map to work on sections then combine it when I'm finished

The Flanston
08-29-2013, 03:26 PM
Hey guys
Not had chance to do much on this over the last week or so. However, just been playing around with brushes in Paintshop pro. They look a bit funny (especially the cities, which were converted from photographs in Photoshop!) but I think they'll be good enough to fill in the map so that I can see where everything goes.

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Let me know what you think...

Diamond
08-29-2013, 11:09 PM
That is a cool idea! Never thought of converting photos into brushes. Everything looks pretty good together... except the super-blurry coastline/coastal lines.

RobA
08-30-2013, 10:30 AM
The only issue I see is the different degrees of blurriness. Some of the trees are sharp, others are soft, ditto for the one city on the right, and the coastline and sea lines/woodcut effect. The mountans and hills are so nice and crisp (great work on those, btw.), it makes the softer objects stand out...

These differences give the appearance of something pieced together rather than created all at once.

Did you use different scaled brushes? Sometimes that can cause fuzziness.

-Rob A>

The Flanston
08-30-2013, 10:55 AM
Thanks Diamond / Rob

Yes, there is some difference between the brush scales. I agree about the patched together appearance and the coastline looks fine until I zoom in close like this. Will have to see what I can do about these issues. My main problem is losing detail on the brushes as I scale them down.

Goodness me but there's a lot to learn! :)

Urist
08-30-2013, 11:42 AM
(I'm using Photoshop 7, which only allows me to use 1.7gb of Ram even though the comp has 8. Sigh...:) )

It might be possible to hack your old 32 bit program so it is Large Address Aware, making it able to use up to 4 GB of RAM on a 64 bit OS.
Here (http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=112556) is a forum describing how people do it to computer games.
Of course, it could break something, so always make a backup.

Lezales
09-09-2013, 04:45 PM
Any updates on this project ?

Llannagh
09-10-2013, 12:56 PM
Hey Flanston!

I had the same trouble as you with the brush transparency. I learned that PS is greyscaling each brush with white being transparent. Pain in the behind, that. What I have done now for my forest is I did completely black outlines of trees and used those as a brush with a slight size jitter, scatter and color dynamics. If you paint those in b&w and then put an overlay on top to color them, the result is quite satisfactory.
Doesn't work with mountains, though.

When I did my mountains I searched for this thread for an eternety but couldn't find it! I knew that there was a thread out there where someone had made fantastic hand drawn mountains, but I couldn't for the life of me remember which thread that was! :)
Really great mountains.

I also really like the idea of your city brush, but in my opinion they stand out too sharp in the image you posted.

Hope you get some writing done and that you'll continue this project!

The Flanston
09-10-2013, 06:15 PM
Hi Llannagh
I know what you mean about the brushes. What I did was make a brush, then make a mask for the brush and fill it in with white. I did several of these on a grid then saved it as a single layer with a transparent background. I then imported the image into Paintshop Pro and exported it as a picture tube. This meant I could paint with the mountains and the 'white' areas remained solid, thus covering up anything they were over lapping.

And I agree about the cities. They don't look right but my drawinf skills were showing their limitations! :)

As for the mountain thread you mentioned... I think it might have been a thread by -max-. Sketches he did based on the old lorne blaeu maps.

Thanks for your thoughts

Peter

Poison
09-10-2013, 06:24 PM
I love the mountain brushes you drew, and they work great on the map! Well done! With drawing skills like that don't you find it easier to draw a map on paper (and then possibly scan and colour it)?

Llannagh
09-11-2013, 12:49 AM
Hi Llannagh
I know what you mean about the brushes. What I did was make a brush, then make a mask for the brush and fill it in with white. I did several of these on a grid then saved it as a single layer with a transparent background. I then imported the image into Paintshop Pro and exported it as a picture tube. This meant I could paint with the mountains and the 'white' areas remained solid, thus covering up anything they were over lapping.



That sounds promising. Gotta try that.

As for the "mountain thread": I was talking about this one right here! ;) I liked your mountains a lot I saw them the first time but had forgotten what this thread was called!

vorropohaiah
09-11-2013, 12:57 AM
those are some lovely mountains - is the shading done in copic markers?