View Full Version : Mapping attempt need critique

08-21-2013, 12:35 AM
Just wanted to hear your thoughts.


08-21-2013, 04:12 AM
The mountains are a little blurry in comparison to the forests. Given the overall crisp look of the map, you could try to sharpen up the mountains.

Anything else..... very nice! Are the rivers hand-tapered or did you use a script?

08-21-2013, 02:10 PM
I'm not the biggest fan of this "bevel and emboss" layer style you are using on the main land (I guess you used it to give some elevation to the shore) but imo it is not needed or maybe lesser the strength of it.
I also agree that you could try to sharpen the mountains somehow. =]

08-21-2013, 03:41 PM
I agree with Freodin and Nian; the mountains are a bit blurry and the bevel and emboss along the shore is too steep. Otherwise, not bad so far.


08-21-2013, 04:05 PM
Thanks. I'm yet to find a good way to make mountains in PS6. Tried Arsheesh's Gimp/Wilburn (his map looks phenomenal) but coulodn't make it work even close. So I guess trial and error it is :)

I used Shape Dynamics for rivers with different diameters and lengths.

08-22-2013, 02:31 AM

What about this one?

08-22-2013, 03:50 PM
Loving that mountain! It looks like there's a little bit of a pinch of some kind along the ridgelines. I'm not sure if that's coming from a heightmap or a bevel contour, or what, but if the very tippy-top of the ridges were slightly less bright I think they'd be pretty close to perfect.

Try adjusting the bevel highlight colors on the land and forests. Right now they're looking a bit like they're carved from plastic or clay. We're not really seeing light reflecting off a surface here, we're simply seeing the aggregate stronger lighting on the lit side. Does that make any sense at all? Anyway, instead of a white highlight, I think it should be closer to the color of the landform being illuminated.

Also, I think I liked the spread size on the trees better in your first image. The second makes them look a bit too much like hills instead of trees because the bevel spreads out so far from the edges. Sorry, I'm not sure of the exact names of the controls I'm talking about; I don't have PS in front of me at the moment.

08-23-2013, 03:27 AM
Thanks for the feed back. I'm gonna play around a bit and post a couple of tries later on.

Would you say the crisper the trees the better?

08-23-2013, 04:04 PM
To a point. You generally want all of the elements of an image to be similar in terms of sharpness unless there is a reason for the variation. That will help to create unity and make it all look like part of the same image rather than pieces from multiple sources.

08-23-2013, 04:29 PM
lol its a constant battle each element looks good on their own but when you put them together it looks like poopoo

what about this one?


08-23-2013, 04:37 PM
I like that the trees stand out more from the ground in the second one. And the mountain looks great. Be careful where your rivers intersect though. The one on the right has that weird jag where you over-drew.

08-23-2013, 06:24 PM
I know what you mean. But when you hit the sweet spot where everything works together, it's magical!

The detail level is looking pretty close to correct. The trees still look like plastic to me. Check this out:

Notice that although the lit parts are brighter than the shadowed parts, they're all still green. You'll definitely see a white reflection if you are looking at an individual leaf, but you don't see that same effect when you look at the entire tree. Much more the less so when you see an entire forest.

Are you using the same light direction for the mountain as you are for everything else? It looks to me as though the mountain is lit from the right and everything else from the upper left. It's hard to tell exactly due to the complexity of the mountain's texture.

08-24-2013, 08:47 PM
Thanks for the river tip, m8 will have to redo the outline.

08-24-2013, 08:49 PM
Thanks for the tips I tried from scratch and I think I might be onto something. Keep in mind it's very much WIP but for general concepts like mountain look, trees, riverbed.


08-25-2013, 04:33 AM
Very nice.

08-25-2013, 10:46 AM
Wow that looks very good. Are you using any tutorials for those mountains etc? I really love the effect and would like to learn it =p

08-25-2013, 02:55 PM
Then only part that doesn't particularly appeal to the eye is the rivers. For being pinched between high peaks in such rugged terrain, my mind has trouble accepting how straight and smooth they are. It seems like they would or should have a ton of tiny angles in them. Even if they travel in one direction, the river bed they carved bout would likely be between a bunch of jagged hard rock. Also should have some white water rapids. Right now they look like they're flowing between two soft soil hills.

Just offering my two cents. The map does look awesome though. If you could rough up the rivers even a little it would look perfect. The tiny river in the bottom left looks great. It looks natural and fitting for the terrain. But the two big lengths look almost man made.

08-25-2013, 11:44 PM
ok what about this one? Natural? Unnatural?


08-25-2013, 11:47 PM
It's a combo (variation) an Ascension style and trying out different emboss techniques. Once I figure out a perfect mix I can give you all the technicalities.

08-26-2013, 01:56 AM
Sorry one more:


08-26-2013, 08:57 AM
Even if they travel in one direction, the river bed they carved bout would likely be between a bunch of jagged hard rock. Also should have some white water rapids. Right now they look like they're flowing between two soft soil hills.
I don't think I've ever seen someone actually depict rapids visually on a map of this scale/style. If you know of ones that do, I'd be very interesting to see how that's accomplished.

08-26-2013, 11:42 AM
I don't know if this will help any but I like putting some rapids action on my rivers when I can. I don't always do it but here are a couple examples linked where if you check them out you might get some ideas of your own. Hope it helps.

Islyander (http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/14939-islayander.html#post155928) shows some white water on the rivers here and there.

Elechos (http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/16359-elechos-jaxilon.html#post168672) <-- only place it shows are the falls due north of the Maelstrom at Les Chutes De Thlot.

By the way I like how this is developing and your mountains are looking very good. Keep up the good work.

08-29-2013, 06:50 PM
looks beautiful and very stylistic but those are much closer dimension maps and different style from what I am trying to do. I agree with Seraphine_Harmonium in terms of relevance. Reagardless beautiful work m8! :)