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View Full Version : The Leonis Archipelago - WIP



fifty
09-24-2013, 06:58 AM
Right, started a new map for a game I'm running this year.

It's a swashbuckling sort of game based initially in a long island chain. You know lots of sweaty pirates and corrupt governors, etc.. :)

Anyway here's what I started with:

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So I started off doing it in satellite style - because that's what I've done before) and got so far...

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...but then I realised this didn't really sit with what I wanted for my game this year.

So after a bit of reading of the tuts on this site I'm now on the 'antique' map style.

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I'm just working on some pen-drawn mountains at the moment, and I think I'm OK with making creases, but can anyone point me at a tut to do the ragged / torn edges please? :)

Viking
09-24-2013, 11:17 AM
Looks promising. Do you plan to add colouration somewhere? Maybe in only the land? I don't know any such tutorials alas.

Chashio
09-24-2013, 12:33 PM
I don't know of any offhand here, but you'll get a lot of results if you search the web with terms such as ' how to make torn paper edges in photoshop ' etc etc. One of the results that popped up was this video tutorial on youtube: Photoshop: How to Make TORN or RIPPED PAPER Effect from Scratch. - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxbC5HKnT3o) which looks like it takes you through the steps to make a specifically positioned edge via selection, layer masking, and photoshop filters, etc. Another way I can think of which would give unique results and might work okay is tearing and scanning a piece of paper and using that as a brush/eraser or layer mask... It's a bit more involved though.

If I could make a small suggestion per your map parchment? With small islands dotted about everywhere, it's a lot better to use a background with only subtle variation in color and texture so that a) the piece doesn't become too busy to look at and, b) so the small bits of land don't get lost in the shuffle. That's said from experience :\ and a bit of regret. You might also consider giving more border space around the edge of your mapped area, with a neat line to contain the islands if you think it's appropriate for the look you're going for. Those are my thoughts anyway. Carry on. It does look promising.

fifty
09-24-2013, 12:35 PM
Hi Viking,

Not sure.. I'm trying for a map that looks like it was drawn with pen and ink and has been 'used at sea', so lots of staining and battered looking.

I don't know if colouring will fit this?
I guess there could be a bit of watercolour or something used if you had a particularly artistic ships navigator!

fifty
09-24-2013, 12:42 PM
Hi Chashio, Good link thanks! :)

Yeah I know what you mean about the islands getting lost, I'm gonna try to do either a woodcut ripple effect around the edges or have those little concentric wave lines surrounding the coasts to highlight them, but I'll certainly take a look at toning down the parchment variation too. :)

fifty
09-24-2013, 12:48 PM
New WIP:
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Chashio
09-24-2013, 12:53 PM
I'm trying for a map that looks like it was drawn with pen and ink and has been 'used at sea', so lots of staining and battered looking.

Just for fun, why not try doing it all by hand if that's the look you're going for? There are a lot of tutorials on the web for doing antiquing and wear and tear effects via traditional means as well as digital. Plus, any iffy marks on the charts can be chalked up as rough seas or interruption by cannon fire ;)

That last update does look pretty nice with the ripples and mountains added.

Ilanthar
09-24-2013, 02:42 PM
I like your wave effect along the coastline!

Did you used a pattern (home made and drawn perhaps?)?

fifty
09-24-2013, 06:13 PM
Hi Ilanthar, Well tbh I'm standing on shoulders (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-miscellaneous-mapping/8828-trying-out-woodcut-effect.html) as always by modifying moutarde's method.

But basically I start off with the 4x1px pattern and then make a new pattern fill layer at an increased scale then add a ripple filter and feather/delete the bits I don't want...

hmm.. hang on, I'll stick the step by step method in a new thread...

Ilanthar
09-24-2013, 07:08 PM
Thanks, I'll have a look on moutarde's method!

And I would gladly read yours if you put it in a new thread (that's two chances for me to works it out for me :D).

fifty
09-24-2013, 07:20 PM
Right, here you go (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/24780-simple-wiggly-wave-lines-ps.html) - hopefully I've been clear! :D

fifty
09-25-2013, 04:31 AM
Latest WIP:
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So as you suggested Chashio I'm gonna try to do the border thing by hand! :o ..so i'm probably doing things backwards by putting on all the names and grunge, etc.. but I figured that this way I'd be able to work in a way that didn't mess up the map information rather than finding I'd destroyed the only space to put a name by folding up a corner! :)

What I am struggling with at the moment is marks for the ports. I don't want anything too fancy because I still want it to look pen drawn on ship as it were, I tried little flags and very simple hand drawn settlements, but neither look 'right' :(

...any suggestions would be gratefully received!

Ilanthar
09-25-2013, 05:54 AM
Nice map already, it looks like a real map of the times of piracy !

fifty
09-25-2013, 10:46 AM
Latest WIP:

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Done the edges and folds, and gone for a simple star/circle mark for ports, though I'm still not convinced :?:

AvuncularMontague
09-25-2013, 12:14 PM
Very nice looking, but may I suggest: the creases (into quadrants) appear to have zero thickness--they are impossibly crisp. This would be a more useful comment if I could also suggest how to get a better crease effect, that wasn't so crisp and perfectly straight and even--but perhaps someone else will come up with a suggestion for that.

fifty
09-25-2013, 12:34 PM
Yep I'm not 100% with them either.. I think I can do better by having a slightly wobbly hand drawn fold to start with, then maybe stick a thin bevelled highlight line over the top.. anyway still a WIP so I'll see what can be done, thanks for the C&C though! :)

Chashio
09-25-2013, 01:40 PM
Your port marks look a bit like a roughly sketched ship's helm or whatever you call the steering wheel. :?: That's not a bad way to go, but nothing else on your map is quite so roughly slanted... and your title and labels are even very fine in comparison to the rest... but it works. Pirates appreciate quality, I'm sure. For your folds, if you run a grungy brush, colored from a lighter spot on your paper, along the crease lines it'll soften them and make them look a little more worn. With all of the labels and stuff on it the map looks very nice. Well done :)

- Max -
09-25-2013, 02:06 PM
I'd go with curved labels though to follow the archipel shapes.

Schwarzkreuz
09-25-2013, 02:15 PM
I agree with max, you should use curves to go with the Flow of the Sea. That would make it more elegant.

fifty
09-26-2013, 06:45 AM
Latest WIP:
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I've softened the folds with a bit of blur and a grungy brush as you suggested Chashio, and you were also spot on about the ship's wheel thing, so I've replaced the port markers with a straighter and 'correct number of handles' wheel.. hopefully this looks better?

Just get to see what i can do with Max and Schwarzkreuz suggestion of curved labels now! :)

fifty
09-27-2013, 08:46 PM
So, I've been mucking about with curved text and I must say I'm not sure I'm doing it right?

I've tried just taking the text that i've got and hitting the little warp text button.. this sort of works but it does distort the font so I have to keep the curve quite "shallow":

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Or I can use the pen-path tool to write it out again, which doesn't seem to distort the font as much... but I dunno, it still don't seem right, maybe not even as good as the warped text..?:
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I'm just not sure either are an improvement over the earlier 'straight' version???

Opinions please!!! :)

Chashio
09-28-2013, 02:47 AM
If you go with curved text, you'd probably want to keep it pretty shallow anyway... I like the warp better than the pen... maybe because of the darker/more visible characters. Pen tool... meh... Shapes converted to paths might be better - you can keep the curves more uniform sometimes than with the pen tool and path point adjustments. Maybe it's easier than I know. It did take me an embarrassing amount of time to figure out how to put text on a path ;) so you probably should get someone else's advice on the best way to do it. With recent maps of mine, the labels were all raster letters from the beginning, so where they're on a curve they're mostly just arc-warped a bit or I rotated the letters individually around a central point if the arc was going to be too deep and distort things too much with a warp adjustment.

Whether either of your examples is an improvement over straight, I don't know. I'll leave that to the others. The map looks nice though. :)

fifty
09-30-2013, 09:28 AM
After some playing I took your advice and went for shallow warped text on those labels that lent themselves to it. I've stuck on a few 'route lines' and a bunch of depth readings too.

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I think this is done now unless I've missed anything obvious? :)

Chashio
09-30-2013, 03:52 PM
The numbers a little thin for easy reading. Don't know if that's important to you or if it doesn't matter. But it might be interesting to see what it does to the map if you put the numbers inside the outer ring and spoke handles of ship wheels... like your location icons, but larger and lighter, faded value. Just a thought. You've done a good job with this.

fifty
09-30-2013, 06:31 PM
Hi Chashio,
I sort of wanted the depths to be very much a background thing, I did do a little tester as you suggested but I think I'm happy as they are.

I've positioned them at narrows, channels and anchorage points as they might appear on a real chart, and tried to put more around the busier ports and routes and less further away. But ultimately I don't want them to busy up the chart too much.

Besides my experience with real naval charts (I sail a bit) is that the soundings are always really small and difficult to read! ;D

As always thanks for the C&C though! :)

Ilanthar
09-30-2013, 06:33 PM
I agree with Clashio, that's a good job. And I'm finding those numbers quite intriguing too. Do you intent to use it as travel distance? Or the positioning of the pirate's lootings? :D

fifty
09-30-2013, 06:52 PM
Hi Ilanthar,

Ahh no, they are measurements of the depth of water in at low tide and are used to determine:

1. if you have enough water below you to get a ship with a particular draft (depth under the waterline to the bottom of it's keel) safely across a particular bit of ocean floor without running aground.

2. If you have enough anchor chain to reach the bottom and hold without slipping (I won't bore you with the various different types of anchor for particular sea floor or the calculation for how many multiples of the depth in chain and rope you need to get a safe hold!).

e.g.
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Chashio
09-30-2013, 07:29 PM
Hi Chashio,
I sort of wanted the depths to be very much a background thing, I did do a little tester as you suggested but I think I'm happy as they are.

I've positioned them at narrows, channels and anchorage points as they might appear on a real chart, and tried to put more around the busier ports and routes and less further away. But ultimately I don't want them to busy up the chart too much.

Besides my experience with real naval charts (I sail a bit) is that the soundings are always really small and difficult to read! ;D


Well then it works beautifully :)

;) My experience with real naval charts (I just like to look at them) is that the soundings ARE always really small, difficult to read... and my opinion is that it doesn't always need to be so, does it?