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- Max -
11-05-2013, 04:19 AM
Hi guys,

I figured I wouls share a step by step of my latest personnal project.

Central Simeria is a modern setting , after a chemical contamination.
Factions of an eco-terrorist group organized a huge blow to denounce the devastation associated with the use of toxic pollutants. Unfortunately, the group was infiltrated by nihilist extremists who sabotaged the operation, causing a major chemical disaster, now known as the Toxic Plague.

The map will depict a a main physical map with two side maps ( a political one and one thazt shows the areas level of contamination). The piece will be roughly 35"x50". I will use some free shaded reliefs (not drawn by me) again on this one (like I already did on Sharessan's map a few months ago).

First step with the landshape (land is black):

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- Max -
11-05-2013, 09:28 AM
Updated with some basic color/texture (especially for sea since the lands will change much later)

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Eilathen
11-05-2013, 09:40 AM
Looks very promising!

Glad to see a new thread by you, Max. It was a bit quiet around you lately ;)

- Max -
11-05-2013, 10:00 AM
Thanks Eilathen! Quiet? Well, looking at my "to do" list, I won't say that :D

- Max -
11-05-2013, 11:41 AM
I implemented the shaded reliefs, took the eraser tool and mixed them to have something that pleased me :)

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foremost
11-05-2013, 12:50 PM
You sure you're wanting to change that sea texture? I'm rather fond of it.

Wingh
11-05-2013, 12:54 PM
Very nice ! I love the sea texture.
Is there a tutorial on this forum where how you did these mountains is explained ? Thank you.

arsheesh
11-05-2013, 01:18 PM
Wow, great job on the shaded relief Max!

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Ilanthar
11-05-2013, 02:17 PM
Wow, very impressive! I just love your mountains!

- Max -
11-05-2013, 04:45 PM
Thanks, first step of coloring the map, though I'll go on deeper and darker colors on a next step.

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@ Foremost : as you can see, I keep the sea texture :) I was talking about the land texture, which is obviously changing with the adding of the reliefs and the coloring/texturing work
@ Wingh : As I stated in my first post, I didn't draw the shaded reliefs I just used some free shaded reliefs from public domain, cut some parts, erase others, mix them, smooth the tranistions and I was done :)

TimPaul
11-05-2013, 04:55 PM
Love this Max. Great work.

madbird-valiant
11-05-2013, 05:33 PM
I love how you do the water - so dark and awesome.

Man you should do a mapping tutorial. You make this all look so effortless. For example how do you get that nice texture of your water?

TheHoarseWhisperer
11-05-2013, 06:39 PM
Until your last update, I just thought 'huh, another map by Max.' Not that that's a bad thing. But that latest update is mindblowing. Those really are incredible mountains, and, as others have said, great use of textures.

I don't think you can evade making a tutorial for much longer, though. You seem to be hoarding all the secrets of cartography. Come on, share.

Wingh
11-06-2013, 01:41 AM
@ Wingh : As I stated in my first post, I didn't draw the shaded reliefs I just used some free shaded reliefs from public domain, cut some parts, erase others, mix them, smooth the tranistions and I was done :)

Thank for your response Max, I did not get it the first time since I am a beginner. Anyway, great work with the colors, it is awesome.

Lingon
11-06-2013, 04:12 AM
Very cool, I love the land shapes! Though I think the land and sea colors are a bit too similar, maybe?

- Max -
11-06-2013, 04:51 AM
Thanks much guys! Next step with more coloring and texturing work on the lands.

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For example how do you get that nice texture of your water?
the sea texture is a combination of layers : 1 homemade base texture layer (basically a grundgy one, you can see the grundge large "splatters" on the map), 1 texture layer set to luminosity 80% ( a fabric style thingie that gives the blurry horizontal lines effect) and 2 deep blue colors layers (one set to luinosity 50%, the other Color 50%)


You seem to be hoarding all the secrets of cartography. Come on, share.
Cartography is a vast land I still continue to explore ;)


Thank for your response Max
You're welcome Whing :)


Though I think the land and sea colors are a bit too similar, maybe?
I guess that changed a bit with the new update, though I wanted a "dark" feeling map (mostly to contrast with the side maps that are going to come) and the color balance between land and sea is a hard part on it to keep that dark and "realistic" feeling.

Ilanthar
11-06-2013, 05:37 AM
Second wow! :)

So, you're very skilled with modern maps too. Not that I'm suprised, I'm glad to see you map with other "rules".
And now, I definitely see the "post-apocalyptic" part of the setting, it's going to be very dark!

- Max -
11-06-2013, 07:49 AM
thanks Ilanthar! Updated with rivers and volcanoes added.

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Veldehar
11-06-2013, 02:36 PM
An amazing WIP, no doubt about it. I would nitpick some of the rivers and terrain at this juncture, at least when really zoomed in. Some of the texture begins to look like striations left from glaciers or some other phenomenon. Impressive indeed.

No wonder I contacted you about making some of my maps purity, LOL.

Diamond
11-06-2013, 04:03 PM
This looks fantastic, Max. I was a little worried about the color balance/darkness at first, but these latest updates are gorgeous. Nice job on the volcanoes too.

arsheesh
11-06-2013, 05:55 PM
This is stunning!

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

- Max -
11-06-2013, 06:04 PM
Thanks much guys! Updated with some start on labels.

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Diamond
11-07-2013, 03:04 PM
That labelling is made of win and awesome. Looks GREAT with the color scheme.

Lingon
11-07-2013, 03:49 PM
STOP BEING SO FAST AND AWESOME! :D Yes, the color balance is far, far better now, and the labels look great too! How high mph (maps per hour) do you currently have? :P

- Max -
11-07-2013, 04:08 PM
Thanks guys! Some more labels soon :)


How high mph (maps per hour) do you currently have? :P

I don't know, my mapometer heated and just broke! :p

Daelin
11-07-2013, 04:11 PM
Hey, Max. This map is looking awesome, although I have to say, I liked the first coloring better - the updated version is a little too dark for my taste. But hey, if that's the style you're going for, just ignore my stupid personal opinion... Anyway, I was wondering, those shaded reliefs, are those from shadedreliefarchive.com?

- Max -
11-07-2013, 04:24 PM
Yes Daelin. Also I have some hesitations about the colors but decided to have a dark feel on the physical map, but I can understand some find it too dark :)

madbird-valiant
11-07-2013, 06:35 PM
Looking amazing, my only problem is that some of the mountain labels are a bit hard to read. Other than that, badass as always.

- Max -
11-07-2013, 07:01 PM
Yes, the main peaks labels are hard to read at this size, though the file uploaded is 50% size of the original one.

Daelin
11-08-2013, 02:40 AM
I think you missed the second part of my post, Max. The shaded reliefs?

- Max -
11-08-2013, 04:14 AM
I think I answered yes :D Anyway, here's an updated version of the map with cities and rivers labeled.

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Daelin
11-08-2013, 06:05 AM
Sorry, I didn't read your post right. My apologies. :)
And you continue to make your map even awesome'r. Keep it up!

fabio p
11-08-2013, 06:09 AM
That's great as always, even if I agree with people that finds it a little bit too dark.

I hope to see flags/shields of the countries on this one!

- Max -
11-08-2013, 06:12 AM
NO problem Daelin :) Thanks.
@Fabio : no flags/shields planned on this map ;) Though they would be on the political map but I'm not sure of that.

madbird-valiant
11-08-2013, 08:57 AM
This is beautiful, is it based off anywhere in the real world? It looks a bit like the Italian peninsula.

- Max -
11-08-2013, 10:14 AM
Thanks Madbird, no it isn't based on real world.

- Max -
11-09-2013, 05:16 PM
New update with sea labels added an some slight details on the grid. I think the physical big map is now done. Next steps will be to work on the side maps.

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generalhead
11-10-2013, 07:44 AM
Awesome progression. I wish you would have done a more in-depth tutorial
showing all the tools and techniques that you used. I agree that it is a tad dark.
I don't know if you could have put a white layer on the very bottom and then lowered the opacity by
a few percent on the other layers. Beautiful work.

Wingh
11-10-2013, 11:57 AM
Very nice progression.
I know I am a novice but if I can criticize you, I think you did not work enough on the lakes. They do not have the same paper texture as the rest of the map.

And could you tell us about the names on this map ? As it is a personal project that is telling a story, do you invent the names while doing cartography or did you have a paper daft on which the names were written ? If I can sum up my question, I would say : what is the level of creativity you achieve by doing the map ? What was fixed at the beginning : shape, names, mountains, rivers... ? Thanks for answering !

Lingon
11-11-2013, 02:25 AM
As gorgeous as it looks, I have to say I don't understand the grid :P If it goes from 0 degrees north to 180 degrees north, the pole should be in the middle of the map, but the grid looks like it's from an equirectangular projection. Of course, if this isn't a round world, I guess it doesn't matter, but if it is, something odd is going on :P

I agree with Wingh on the lakes, by the way, you seem to have forgotten to give them texture!

- Max -
11-11-2013, 04:02 AM
Thanks guys.
@ Generalhead : that's probably true, I gave the map a slightly more light :)
@Whing : Nothing was really fixed at the beginning. I started to draw the overall shape then put reliefs. Regarding reliefs, I added rivers. Names came at the last, invented while making the map.
@ Whing and Lingon : True, a layer was missing (hidden) :D As for the grid, this wasn't intended as a latitudes/longitudes grid but rather as a four-figure grid reference.

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Lingon
11-11-2013, 05:26 PM
Ok, the grid makes more sense then. Personally, I'd have gone for normal lat's and long's, but… whatever :D Lakes are looking better now!

Diamond
11-12-2013, 01:27 PM
I think my only criticism so far is that I don't like the lack of definition between the outer gray border and the map itself. To me, it's too soft.

Wingh
11-12-2013, 01:37 PM
Thanks for the answers - Max - !
I agree with Diamond. I would see something more strong as a transition between the map and its border.

- Max -
11-13-2013, 07:35 AM
I agree, I'm not fully satisfied about that soft transition, I'll fix it.

foremost
11-13-2013, 03:15 PM
Wow, this map is really dark looking...

I like it :) however it seems to look at little grainy in the bottom right corner. Maybe it's just that color.

-fm

generalhead
11-14-2013, 11:40 AM
It definitely looks better lightened up, great job.
I love the way you labeled all of the territories.

Dain
11-16-2013, 10:43 AM
This is brilliant!
I love the way you play with textures, light and everything.
It's amazing to see how you master the techniques, whatever the style you use. You were born to be a cartographer, no doubt to me ;)
Great work, keep them coming !

- Max -
11-17-2013, 12:54 PM
Thanks much! Attached is an update (actually not that much but well...) with sharpened grey outer border and the two base sidemaps added
@fm : yep that's the combination of texturing/color work in this area; For some reasons i like the feel it has :)
@Dain : hehe thanks much...Though I wonder why I wasted my tima way from it for long years :D

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Diamond
11-17-2013, 08:11 PM
MUCH better with that sharp border.

What are the side maps going to represent?

- Max -
11-18-2013, 03:14 AM
Thanks Diamond, the first one will be a political map showing the main nations and their sub-divisions states, Nations capitols states and cities and main roads aswell. The second one will show the aftermath of the chemical disaster with the different levels of contamination in C.S.

Caenwyr
11-18-2013, 09:42 AM
Hi Max! If this map had been posted by anyone but you I'd have been all praise and flowers, but I'm afraid it seems a bit dark and gritty to be coming from you. Still a magnificent map!

Ilanthar
11-18-2013, 12:51 PM
by - Max -
Thanks Diamond, the first one will be a political map showing the main nations and their sub-divisions states, Nations capitols states and cities and main roads aswell. The second one will show the aftermath of the chemical disaster with the different levels of contamination in C.S.

Yipee! I'm eager to see that. Plus, I'm relieved to note that I'm not the only one to have difficulties to put all the info in just one map :D

- Max -
11-18-2013, 07:18 PM
Thanks!
@ Caenwyr: :?: so what you're saying is because I'm - Max - a dark and gritty map of mine wouldn't be as good as someone else? I'm not sure to understand you here :D
@ Ilanthar: for the sake of legibility, different kind of informations sometimes means different maps indeed.

Wingh
11-19-2013, 02:23 PM
Thanks Diamond, the first one will be a political map showing the main nations and their sub-divisions states, Nations capitols states and cities and main roads aswell. The second one will show the aftermath of the chemical disaster with the different levels of contamination in C.S.

I can't wait for this update !

- Max -
11-20-2013, 05:52 AM
Ask and you shall receive :) Update with first work on political map with main nations, states and colored nations alliances.

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Falconius
11-20-2013, 06:18 AM
Nice, I especially like that bit of no-mans-land on the island. The countries seem very well and realistically placed.

What I'm curious about is why you chose to do straight borders when they follow natural obstacles rather than being more specific?

Ilanthar
11-20-2013, 11:24 AM
Good choice of colours, I like it! The general feeling is post-apocalyptic indeed. It makes me think of a map seen in (R)evolution (for the colours, I think).
I'm curious to see what you're gonna add in your light box.

And by the way, Ambria makes me think of Dawnforge :)

- Max -
11-20-2013, 12:23 PM
He he thanks :) The light box will contain the map key.
@Falconius : I could have gone for more "organic" borders indeed but I wanted some more straight ones to reinforce the modern feel.

Lingon
11-20-2013, 02:13 PM
Looking great, really nice colors! I'm just not sure if the straight borders necessarily give a modern look – I think it more makes it look like colonialized land.

- Max -
11-22-2013, 03:52 AM
Thanks Lingon. Updated with major roads and city labels added.

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Dain
11-22-2013, 05:08 AM
Is the link broken?

Caenwyr
11-22-2013, 05:09 AM
Is the link broken?
I can't open it either. I'm pretty curious though!!

- Max -
11-22-2013, 05:34 AM
Yep the link was broken, sorry. It's fixed now

- Max -
11-30-2013, 05:54 AM
Nothing that much done but the political map key in this update...The scale's still missing a tthe moment though.

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