View Full Version : Work in Progress I need your help!

08-19-2013, 05:05 AM
I had so much fun with making my last map which I posted a few days ago in the Finished part of the forum I decided to make something similar but on a bigger scale.
I want to show you what I came up with right now. First my hills which took me forever to paint:
I really don't have any talent when it comes to paiting so making this map is ridiculously hard for me b/c almost everything is hand painted. I will try to post updates from time to time so please any suggestions are welcome. ^^

08-19-2013, 07:01 AM
For a person with no "talent" when it comes to painting your last map was pretty damn good. It would've been good for a person with "talent." :P

I like the hills with farms on 'em. That's a good idea. Also putting trees on the hills seems to be working which is nice to see. Understandably people often avoid treeing hills cause it can get confusing, you seem to be making it work however which is awesome.

08-19-2013, 09:36 AM
The transition between the hills and the ground could be softer, but generally a good looking style. Do you use gradients for the colour of the hills and mountains?
I had actually considered to do my challenge entry this month in a similar style as it would fit the theme of the map.

08-19-2013, 02:28 PM
That looks really awesome! I must've missed your map in the Finished section; I'll have to check it out.

08-19-2013, 02:57 PM
That's really quite lovely :) Has a sort of Japanese feel, and at the same time pretty personal. I somewhat agree with Sapiento about softening the ground-to-hill transitions, but I also think the sharp edge is part of the style…

08-19-2013, 03:37 PM
Oh, that's a really nice way to set hills into the water. I like it very much!

08-19-2013, 04:33 PM
Looking great! I agree with Sapiento that the transitions could be a bit softer but the overall effect is marvelous.


08-19-2013, 05:02 PM
To tell you the truth hopefully there won't be any "ground" when i finish up. the whole map will be made up from hills, mountains and forests. At least that's the plan I never know how it will trully end up looking.
I said that I don't have a drawing talents and that is true. I use A LOT of stock images and brushes but I'm not that bad at merging everything together. Finally I'm at home.. it's 10 pm and I can spend the rest of the night on the map =P Hopefully tomorrow I will post an update ^^

Ps. Yes I use gradients extensively b/c it's the easiest and fastest way to give some colour variation.

08-19-2013, 07:18 PM
I said that I don't have a drawing talents and that is true. I use A LOT of stock images and brushes but I'm not that bad at merging everything together.

As a professional compositor, I feel compelled to say that that is talent enough!

08-19-2013, 08:57 PM
Looks great! I really like the scallop texture you are using. I sort of wanted to use something similar for my map at some point. Where did you get it?

Master TMO
08-19-2013, 09:19 PM
I like the style quite a bit. If I had to offer a comment, it would be that the main thing my eye notices is the identical images scattered across the map. Each time you use an image, it's the same size and color, and that's something I happen to notice. I don't know if I'm weird that way or not. That doesn't mean it's a bad thing, but if it's possible to do, you might experiment with creating alternate versions of your images, either flipped, resized, or recolored, or combinations thereof. See if it improves things, or just clutters it up and/or makes it harder to work on.

Keep up the good work!

08-20-2013, 06:39 AM
Ok A small update.
I'm not sure if I like the forest but it's hard to work with such a small trees when each one is just a few pixels. maybe someone knows of a good forest texture/brush I could use? Something which looks good on a small scale.
But I like the big mountain I made. I didn't expect it to look nice ^^

Ps. I got the pattern from Subtle Patterns | Free textures for your next web project. (http://www.subtlepatterns.com)
Pss. I posted too fast. A few minutes later I made a different forest pattern. it's unfinished b/c I have to go to work. Still I think this new one looks much better.

Psss. And another small update. I want to ask you about those hills with fields on them. they still feel a little out of place. I love them and want to keep them but there is something off imo.

08-20-2013, 12:52 PM
Maybe you are intending it, but... What if you took out the grey-green outerglow/stroke around the second version of the trees? Because the trees on the other slopes (which were already there) are just black and I like those.

08-20-2013, 01:02 PM
it is intended b/c I want to add a few other kinds of trees which will have diffrently coloured "stokes" around them. I'm actually thinking about removing those black ones and replacing them or simply put simple black ones on the slopes and colourful in the valleys.
besides that I twould be such a pain to remake those b/c it's all 1 layer and I would have to remake all trees. =P

08-20-2013, 01:18 PM
Well if you're intending to go the route of replacement, I'd suggest a magic wand selection to grab the trees, copy to a new layer, then add your stroke to that layer, or paint a stroke between those layers.

08-20-2013, 01:25 PM
Ok I did a very fast change to the trees just to see how it would look like if I used the same ones I used on the slopes. Imo it looks much worse.

08-20-2013, 06:18 PM
You made the ground darker as well... that makes the trees a little too hard to read, but I like the forest style. It's your map.

08-21-2013, 07:02 AM
And yet another update. I hope I am not updating too ofthen. if there is a way to delete some of the pictures I uploaded earlier please tell me. no point cluttering the servers =p
I added new trees. I don't want the map to be monotonous and want to add a lot of variation. I can only hope it will all suit together. those different looking trees will be used only occasionally so there won't be whole sections of the map with completely different style of trees/mountains/rocks etc.
Ps. And another small edit. 57063

08-21-2013, 07:50 PM
Actually, we usually like to see the progression. If you start deleting things, then the thread doesn't make as much sense, and everyone involved learns a little less.

08-22-2013, 11:47 AM
I have a very big dillema. Which forest should I choose? the one you was earlier or the new pine trees shown here:

After some thinking I feel like the old ones are better. The new one are a little too dominant and "in your face" and those forests are mainly there to fill small gaps.

08-22-2013, 12:19 PM
For my taste the earlier version was better, it seemed to fit fine to the rest.

08-23-2013, 06:56 PM
Today I tried to add a bamboo forest for 1 hour and failed =/ It will take me foreeeever to finish this map...


At least there was some progress.

08-23-2013, 08:07 PM
Woah, those pink trees are out there. I think I would tone those down a touch unless you really want that to be the focal point of the map. Do you plan to paint anything into the water?

08-24-2013, 03:47 AM
Hmm I will lower the vibrance of those Sakuras, that should help toning them down.
I haven't done anything with water yet. I have few ideas but I will try them when I finish the land. =]

08-24-2013, 05:34 PM
Coming along very nicely! The white in the forests, is that meant to be fog? That's how I read it, and it's really cool if that was your intention :) And yes, toning down the sakura trees is a good idea.

08-25-2013, 03:40 AM
Spledorthed, the sakura could do with a bit more lightness. Otherwise excellent, love the style.

08-25-2013, 09:32 AM
Aaand another update. I am getting close to finishing the land. At least the main thing. I still need to add many other thing to make it a map and not a drawing. Still didn't touch water and so many other things, although I experimented with a rainy cloud and it looks cool imo =P

08-25-2013, 09:47 AM
I love that cloud!

08-25-2013, 03:12 PM
I finished the land!!! It took me forever but I am so happy now. Sure I still need to add temples, buildings and all that stuff but the most time consuming thing is over.
I'm not sure about those small clouds over the mountains. I feel like they need some different style.

08-25-2013, 03:24 PM
That is looking beautiful. A few things/suggestions though. The waterfalls (especially the big one in the NE corner) looks too blurry for the style. The small clouds over the mountains is wanting a gradient over them in the very least, if not also a few lines of swirls inside. I'm not too certain about the thick dark-green outline of the small black trees; the slightly-blurred trees on the southern-most islands seems a more fitting style. Otherwise, I'm looking forward to seeing this as a final product.

08-25-2013, 03:38 PM
Totally different style than a lot of other people here. Its got a very fun and cartoony look, but at the same time has enough serious elements to keep a viewer browsing. I like it a lot. My only suggestion would be to explore some different water textures for your ocean. Your map gives a lot of impression of depth, yet the ocean seems very flat and top-down. Not sure if that is just a placeholder texture or if it is supposed to be the finished look. If it was me, I'd go with something cool and bright with some horizontal wave lines. Something to help the water match the perspective depth of the land. Also matching it in a similar color/style to your rivers would help tie it in.

Overall it looks pretty fun and interesting so far. I'm excited to see how you finish it.

08-25-2013, 04:17 PM
If you're not yet pleased with them... The mountain clouds might be interesting if much larger and more wispy like the mist in the trees, with the mountain peaks coming up through them. Just an idea. This is quite a cool and unique map style, nice to see something a bit different around here. Great work!

08-27-2013, 05:57 AM
I've been experimenting with the water. I really love this wave "pattern" but It's definitely too "in your face". I have to find a way to tone it down a little but I don't know what to do.

oh I forgot to flip the tides b/c wind is clearly blowing from east to west.

Another version. I think I like it better.
I guess i will add a little blue colour under the waves and lower the opacity so they are more delicate.

08-27-2013, 08:49 AM
I like what you are doing here. A lot.

However, I am not sure that you need to cover the water with all those waves. For one they are quite large and look to be overpowering some of the coastal features, and secondly filling the water with all waves will make the the main eye catcher. I think an approach similar to what you did with the clouds (wispy and individual) will go a long way to make the waves still stand out but not overwhelm any other part of the map.

BTW, I too like the second style of waves much better. Out of curiosity, have given any thought to just lining your coast with the same style of water that you used for that river with the falls? that is just gorgeous. :)

08-27-2013, 11:19 AM
I agree about the river water... that would likely be just enough to make the ocean distinct and pretty but subtle enough that it won't overpower all of the effort you've put into the landscape. I do like the second wave pattern quite a lot, but it's very strong for all of the other stuff you have going.

08-27-2013, 11:22 AM
I agree about the others in regards to the waves being a bit overpowering visually. Since your land is so busy I'd just allow the ocean to have a more subtle pattern. I know you already have one so maybe keep that going or strengthen it up a bit.

Christopher Powell
08-27-2013, 01:31 PM
Wow, this is really creative! I wish I could think this outside the box!

I have to echo the wave comments from everyone else. I would suggest that the problem with your first ocean pattern was that it was also too "busy". Maybe if you had a flat texture on the ocean, that starts out a lighter hue near the shore and fades to a darker hue? Then add in a few stylized waves as someone else suggested to provide that perspective depth and I think that might be what you are looking for.

Just a suggestion. Keep up the good work please!

08-27-2013, 07:36 PM
Thank you all for kind words.
I took your advice and made my water look simple. I did a few things to make the land feel connected to the water so i think now it looks fine. I won't post another update b/c I am very close to finishing the map so I have to leave something to show at the end =P I guess i can say.. see you in Finished section ^___^

ps. I will update this post when I make a new thread =]
Pss. I don't really think outside the box. I am heavilly ispired by a map from a wii game but I lacks skills to copy professional work so I always end up with something looking quite different =P

edit. here is a link to the finished map ^^ http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/24477-map-number-5-nian.html#post224079

08-28-2013, 02:13 AM
Those waves no, but I think a person could get away with really in your face waves. These ones made me think of those ones on the old Japanese prints which are super stylized and fantastic and I would think would fit right in with the rest of the map.