View Full Version : The Long Night

10-04-2013, 02:48 AM
Fooling around with another map in the style of my recent Grand Circuit map. This one shows the eastern parts of a Byzantine-like empire (the lands on the west part of the map) which suffered a massive plague, civil war, and social breakdown over the last century, resulting in civilization entering a 'Long Night'. Hey, I like societal breakdown in my fantasy and scifi, what can I say? :D

I did some experimenting with a fancy-schmancy border, since all the cool kids are doing it.

- Max -
10-04-2013, 04:00 AM
Looks nice a usual, looking forward to seeing some progress!

10-04-2013, 10:52 AM
Looks great, can't wait to see some more.

10-04-2013, 11:12 AM
I like the very clean style, is it vector or bitmap?
I am not sure that the "hatching" (or whatever it was called, the lines to indicated elevation) works very well at this scale.

10-05-2013, 11:44 AM
Very nice fancy-schmancy border :D Coastline looks cool too! It'll be interesting to follow the process behind your Grand Circuit style :idea:

10-06-2013, 12:13 AM
@feanaaro: It's all photoshop raster-based. As far as the hatching/caterpillars... I like 'em. :D

Here's some progress. I added in a title box (that will eventually include a key and scale bar, so I'll probably have to make it a bit deeper), and did the coloration, which is achieved by using multiple difference cloud layers and gradient maps. Also put in some tentative regional names.

10-06-2013, 02:19 AM
I really like the colouration, and the layout of the land looks nice and intriguing too.

I have to agree with feanaaro, though, about the caterpillars. Clearly, as a matter of preference, it's your choice; I tend to find they look a bit mechanical, though, in these maps. Have you tried hand-drawing hatched elevations? I've tried it myself and can say that it takes a really long time but produces nice results.

10-06-2013, 05:57 AM
I've tried drawing them freehand, HW, and not only does it take a LONG time, but I just don't like the look as well. This cleaner, more precise look works for me (as well as taking up hours less of my time). :D

Here's another update with some aging effects, some text, and a first attempt at putting in some heraldry (going for a kind of pseudo-blueprint look). I think I'm going to change the black text to a lighter brown color; the black is just too dominating, especially on the larger fonts. For the same reason, I think I'm going to weather/age/break up the outer border a bit.

10-06-2013, 11:40 AM
I have to agree with TheHoarseWhisperer : your coloring is just perfect for the map !

I like the pseudo-blueprint look for the shields, it's truly original.

10-06-2013, 04:51 PM
Looks fantastic! I'm just not sure about the fold… maybe it's the placement, dead center, I think it cuts the map in half in a way… or maybe it is that the entire lower half is darker, instead of just a shaded crease… not sure, but something about it is bothering me :P Other that that, it's awesome. The more I look at those land shapes, the more I like them :)

10-06-2013, 09:19 PM
Ooh, this looks terrific Diamond! You always do great work, but this map is particularly attractive.


10-07-2013, 03:53 PM
Can i pleeease have back the triangle mountains??! (something i never thought i'd say... :P :D )

As always, great shapes and colors...but this caterpillar-style...it just does not work for me.

10-07-2013, 03:59 PM
Well done - as others have said, I like the colors. I think you're right though the black text is too dark, brown would look better and give it a more aged look.

10-07-2013, 06:23 PM
Ilanthar: Thanks. Wasn't sure if the shields would meet with approval or not.

Lingon: Hmm. The color isn't appreciably darker on the bottom half as far as I can tell; I did a color swatch grab and looked at the values and they're almost identical...

arsheesh: Thanks!

Eilathen: Sorry man, you're stuck with 'em. :D

galdre: I decided to stay with black, but I increased the spacing on the text and I think it helps. I'll post an update tonight or tomorrow.

- Max -
10-07-2013, 06:28 PM
Hurray for the caterpillar mountains!

10-07-2013, 06:35 PM
Hey Diamond, this is looking pretty nice! I really like the heraldry so far though I'm not sure about the sketch marks surrounding each one. I especially like the eagle shield! The colouration and texture are pretty appealing too! Maybe for the elevation show lines instead of the so called caterpillar marks? Also, maybe try making your elevation lines have less regularity in terms of distance between the lines.

10-07-2013, 06:39 PM
That's a good point Viking, regarding the regularity of the spacing. I'm going to redo them with a little different look that hopefully will show that a little bit better.

10-08-2013, 05:34 AM
Hurray for the caterpillar mountains!

Boooh!! Why is there no dislike-button?! ...... :P ;)

Eilathen: Sorry man, you're stuck with 'em. :D

Aw, damn! ;) Well, all i can do now is hope that you'll return to real moutains real soon... :D

On a more serious note : i get that on maps that are supposed to be of a more modern age, it makes sense to do mountains in a different style. But to be honest, i think in that case the more photo-realistic approach is way better than caterpillars (for example your mountains in the Bronze Sea map are very cool looking and of a more modern map kind of style). It's just that those caterpillars really detract me from the rest of the map...it makes the map very busy and still does not clearly convey "mountains".

10-08-2013, 11:36 AM
Beautiful map! I love The Three Seas, awesome work!

10-08-2013, 04:48 PM
Lingon: Hmm. The color isn't appreciably darker on the bottom half as far as I can tell; I did a color swatch grab and looked at the values and they're almost identical...

Now that's odd :P I guess I'm over-sensitive to values… or something… Or, it means that it was the location of the fold that was bugging me. But then, it doesn't make much sense to fold a map in any other way than half, so you can probably ignore my ramblings :D

By the way, I like the mountains. It's a really good (and quite unique, as far as I can tell) idea to combine the caterpillars and height curves. Gives these maps a lot of flavor.

10-08-2013, 07:25 PM
I love it, and I'm a fan of the caterpilliars (since that seems to be the most polarizing issue here). I was wondering how you did the multiple outline effect on the coasts? It's really cool, and I'd like to play around with it.

10-08-2013, 08:13 PM
Well now, that's pretty easy... Pilgrim [/John Wayne] :D

I always start out with a black and white base map, where the land is white, the sea is black. I make a selection of the land on a new layer and blur it very slightly, so that the coastal rings/lines aren't too sharp and precise. I expand that selection by two pixels, fill it with white, set the fill of the layer to 0%, then add a 1-pixel interior stroke. The other two lines are made by making two more layers, expanding the selection to 4 pixels on the second layer, 6 pixels on the third layer.

Then I make the innermost ring/line layer's opacity 75%, 50% on the second layer, 25% on the third layer. Then merge all three layers and you're done. Sometimes I'll lower the opacity of this merged layer a bit if it seems too dark.

Edit: The black coastline sits on it's own layer; you may have to alter the depth of the initial selection to reflect how close you want the innermost line to be to the coast.

10-09-2013, 02:12 AM
Count me as another fan of those mountains.

10-10-2013, 03:10 PM
a very beutiful work, thanks for that :)