View Full Version : Dreamlands update per October 2013

10-03-2013, 04:53 AM
(reprinted from reddit discussion on large photoshop files (http://www.reddit.com/r/photoshop/comments/1n6a3f/yes_i_have_been_intensely_stupid/))

I have done something silly, and over the span of the last few years I have 'painted' myself in to a corner.

Allow me to explain. More than ten years ago I had a highly detailed paper map of my fantasy Roleplaying stuff. The map dated back well in to the 1980s, and evolved a lot over the years. However towards the mid 90s I moved the old map in to a new context, loosely based on the six Kingdoms in H.P. Lovecrafts Dreamlands. So I scanned my old map, probably somewhere ten years ago, and started repainting it in photoshop.

This went great ! Just doing this I learned a lot about layers, effects, how to paint mountains. I started with a small central area 5000 by 5000 pixels. But then I did the stupid thing. I started making the canvas bigger. And bigger. And bigger. Now the canvas is so large I don't even want to say here how big. It has dozens of layers and it is so many gigabytes I equally don't want to share. Some friend calculated how to long it would take to finish and it would be years, if I worked at it on a daily basis. Printed on 300dpi it would be bigger than several meters. Several years ago I could and I did but right now I can't. Very peculiar.


The total file is 50.000 pixels from north to south, and 40.000 pixels east to west. I have recently cut it up in 20 sections of each just over 10.000 pixels side by side, since it had lagged my PC to a standstill. I intend to restart work on the inner Kingdoms section radiating outwards. I tried posting it here, but for some uncanny reason I am not allowed to.

Art Khannea Suntzu's Quixotic Nymious Torrent (http://blog.khanneasuntzu.com/?page_id=4148)

10-03-2013, 02:54 PM
Looks nice, a bit higher res wouldn't hurt it though because like this you an't see any detail at all.

10-03-2013, 03:03 PM
Yeah, there are limits to how big you can go with file uploads. For large-scale maps, there are a few approaches you can take.

The first, as you have discovered, is to tile it, breaking it up into smaller regions, ensuring that each can overlap with its neighbors. It's awkward and tedious.

The second approach is to draw your maps in a vector format. You can print the result in any resolution and it will look clear and sharp. The downside is that you can't do a lot of the finishing tricks and filters that a good bitmap editor like Photoshop or GIMP can do. I've yet to see a vector map that has the "wow" factor of a good-quality bitmap map.

The third is to go back to old school and draw it by hand.

The fourth option is to do an atlas, with a low-res overview map, and zoomed-in local/detail maps for places of interest.

I generally go with the fourth option. Mapping a huge area in detail seems wasteful to me, since a vast prairie or ocean doesn't call for huge amounts of detail, whereas places like cities call for huge amounts of detail in a small geographic area. I haven't played with vector mapping yet, but there may be some utility to doing a vector map of simple features like coastlines, rivers, and big mountains, and scaling/zooming in as appropriate.

10-14-2013, 03:05 PM
That forth option is pretty much where I am ending up, by force of necessity. I am turning the master map in to "somewhat" manageable grid sections, and selecting regions of 1K by 1K to 'sort of' finish one by one as inspiration strikes me.

I am ending up with the question of an end goal. Maybe eventually sell it as a 80x80cm poster sections for people to hang on their walls? Right now I am most bothered with 3b and 3d, the core kingdom bits.

I would love posting those in 1K format, but when I try I get

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