View Full Version : First map ever with photoshop

10-26-2013, 03:35 AM
Hi All,

This is the first map I have ever done digitally, I have been lurking the forums for a couple months now doing tutorial after tutorial.

The large white swirl is actually a portal to the elemental plane of water. The commissioning party has a pretty interesting world and I was more than happy to work on this map. As far as the strange layout of the land and rivers, I was handed a piece of notebook paper that had what the client wanted. So it was interesting to work on to say the least.

The only downfall is I haven't quite figured out how to do the neatlines and border and have had no luck in my searches if anyone could point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.

10-26-2013, 05:35 AM
Welcome to the forums, Ironreich! That's a good looking map, way better than my first (and only) digital try :D Brave to try something so new in a commission job, and I'm sure the client is really happy with it. I'm afraid I can't offer any useful answer to your query, but I have a couple of other suggestions.

I don't think the coastline quite matches the other stuff; it's too thick and sharp, and doesn't have the same amount of detail as the mountains and forests (which are great).

The large lake on the southwestern continent has two exits into the sea, which is unlikely. I'd remove the connection between it and the small lake to solve that. Unless the client needs that river of course.

10-26-2013, 03:26 PM
Thanks for the welcome Lingon!

You are right about the shoreline its just too thick. I'll modify it as well as the river from the southern lake.

Thanks for the input!

10-26-2013, 06:40 PM
Welcome to the Guild! I think you did a really great job with this map. The one thing that I would like to see is differing sizes for your islands they all seem to have a similar shape and size. I don't know if the islands were exactly what your client wanted or not but if it is just don't worry about what my preference is think of your client first. This is a nice map especially for your first one.

10-26-2013, 07:12 PM
Here is the map after a few tweaks. I redid the river in the south and made the shoreline thinner and actually think it looks alot better. Thanks for the suggestion Lingon.

Domino44, about the islands, I actually spoke with the client when I was first commissioned and he pretty much had his heart set on the layout he gave me. I unfortunately didn't have any room for changing things up since its his world. I still enjoyed working on the map none-the-less.

10-26-2013, 07:34 PM
So how do you do those mountains/plateaus/trees? I'm curious. They're a neat style.

10-26-2013, 09:26 PM
It looks very nice as a whole, I very much like your colours.
I think it could use some more details to fill up some of the empty areas. For example, more rivers, hills, more cities, possibly roads, etc.
I am not a big fan of how the forst look at 100% size, although it is fine if you look at the whole map together.
Have some rep.

10-26-2013, 09:47 PM
Psylence - The mountains were a brush I d/led, from where I cant remember but I highlighted them with white and did a dark brown background with the opacity turned down to about 60%. For the plateaus and cliffs I drew a horizontal path then added small vertical lines. Then used my tablet with pressure sensitivity on to do the shading. The trees were simply made by using the clone stamp tool.

Feenaaro - Thanks of the input, I agree that more detail could be added. This map is far from finished and have even added some more detail since my earlier posts. I will also speak to the person who commissioned the map to see if he wants more cities added.

10-27-2013, 05:58 PM
Nice work! Love the mountains.

10-27-2013, 08:17 PM
I was able to convince the client to give me some room to make my own modifications to what he wanted. He seems pretty pleased with the changes I've made. I'm still waiting on placement for the cities, but all in all I am pretty pleased with how this map is starting to turn out.

10-28-2013, 08:08 AM
Love the map - especially those mountains.
Can you recall at all where you download those brushes from, or what they were called?


10-28-2013, 03:42 PM
wow! that's so gorgeous!

i LOVE LOVE LOVE the deep rich color of the water. i think the only thing i would like to see, personally, is a bit more color. unless that's the style you're going for, then just ignore me. i'm just a super-fan of rich colors XD.

it's stunning, regardless. just thought i'd toss in my (n00bish, i suppose) input.

10-29-2013, 02:32 AM
Kronus: As far as the brushes go I really can't remember where I found them, I have several different mountain brushes and in the chaos of collecting the ones for free-use I found the ones I used.

DZFaeley: Thanks for the praise on the color contrasts!

I think I am almost done with this commission. The client is on the fence about adding cities and is debating on whether he is going to add them as his campaign progresses. I will find out in the next few days, either way it was a treat working on this as it was my first map made digitally.

10-29-2013, 04:36 AM
Nice map! I especially like the isles to the north-east around the Maelstrom. That entire sea must be tricky to sail if the land has been affected like that. They're pretty well inserted into this image.

My suggestion for your coast lines: add a distort affect of some kind to the layer than the ripples are on. In Photoshop, consider the Glass filter or something similar. Any misplaced edges after can be easily solved with some layer mask mechanics. It'll just make them fit even more with the rest of the map. This way, you don't need to dial down their visibility as much, they might just look like they fit.

Keep up the good work though! :)

10-29-2013, 06:50 PM
This is looking fantastic!


10-31-2013, 06:51 AM
I'm not used to dark blue waters, but here, it's to the profit of the lands. And those are very well done!

I'm beginning to envy this kind of excellent forests... And your coloring/texure effect is quite original and has a good render.
The only thing that bothers me a little is the bright coastal line (a bit too bright when looked at full size).

Either way, I would be very glad to do such a map when using a software for the first time!

11-02-2013, 08:14 PM
I think I'm done with the map, I was able to modify some areas after convincing the client it would look better and boy was he pleased with the result. I was able to get a mostly complete settlement/important sites location as well from the client.

It was a treat to work on this map.

11-03-2013, 06:20 AM
This is a beautiful map, Ironreich! Well done. Have some Rep.!

Any chance you are allowed to talk about the world itself, some background? Or maybe the client is inclined to talk a bit about his world? I'd be interested!