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Llannagh
11-22-2013, 12:37 PM
Okay, as threatened... um, announced in my other thread, I started a new map with that new brush and slightly tweaked style. It's great fun and I will finish my Gilband map with it, too. In case you wondered.

There're still a couple things to improve, like the mountains for example.

Here's the coastline:

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And this is a zoomed in section I started working on:

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Lingon
11-22-2013, 03:41 PM
Still loving this style :) Your coastline looks great when zoomed out, but it gets very pixelated when you click the picture. I can't really give any good advice on how to make it less pixely, but with your speed of progress you'll probably figure it out in less time than it took me to write this post :D

Llannagh
12-26-2013, 12:27 PM
A Merry Update!

So as explained in my latest thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/regional-world-mapping/25605-basic-style-wrap-up.html) I worked on this as a local map. The scale has changed somewhat, with 1 cm being around 14 Km.

Did something new-ish here with the mountains, which pleased me (as it always seems to).

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don't know about the custard splashings in the bottom right though.

ABOUT THAT COASTLINE. I know it looks ****. it used to look really really good, before I copied it out of the large image and did a feather on it. Can't undo the feather, though, but I'll fix it. Somehow. Somewhen.

Also thanks Lingon, for your trust in my learning abilites! ;)

Llannagh
01-19-2014, 04:21 PM
So I have been absent for a while. Mostly because I wanted to get to know Photoshop better before srumbling around in the twilight of semi-knowledge. My knowledge is still pretty semi, but I learned a few helpful things! I'm also working on my basic artistic abilities, since the last time I really tried painting/drawing was in school. And it's been a while since then. I only have half a clue about perspectives, composition and whatnot. But it's really fun learning all that.

Anyways, with my newfound powers (cough) in Photoshoppery, I worked on this very local map. It's the closest I have yet come to a consistent map. Still lots of stuff to tweak, but here's a look:

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The background will be changed to water, of course. Border, legend and all that will be added at a much later point.

At the moment it looks a bit overloaded to my eyes and not that good at all in full view. But at least I got this far, which gives me something to work on and also some satisfaction! ;)

I did this by working out the basic geography in b/w and adding a coloring layer on top.

As always, any critique and feedback welcome!

Llannagh
02-01-2014, 04:31 PM
Boy, I am struggling.

I see so many great examples of styles around here, but I just don't seem to be able to find my own. Sorry for not replying to almost anything I'm reading here, but most of the time I get really inspired and start working on my own stuff again, get aught up in my twisted, fickle mind and become frustrated. Jeeesus.

For what it's worth, here's my latest tryout. It could be progress stylewise, but right now I don't trust myself.

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Have a good time everyone.

Cheers,
a very frustrated Llannagh

Diamond
02-01-2014, 04:42 PM
For what it's worth, I really like what you had done in your second post above - those mountains look pretty great.

Don't let other folks' work frustrate you. There's no point in beating yourself up about your work possibly echoing other people's styles. That's how we learn - by emulation. Just keep grinding away, and eventually you'll come to develop a style and look that you can call your own.

Llannagh
02-01-2014, 05:09 PM
Cheers Diamond.

It's not that other people's work frustrates me. It actually inspires me, which is a very good thing. That keeps me going. I just seem to complicate things for myself. I fiddle around with complicated brushes, different layer styles, different ways of drawing mountains and hills and so on. But I'm never satisfied with the outcome.
Well, it's a learning process I'm going through, I guess. Learning to just lay out stuff first and work on the details later, maybe.

Anyway, it's good to get that off my chest. And thanks for the pep-talk! ;)

Btw., the mountains in my post above are quite final, if a bit blurry. They're not in this latest version of the map because I decided that there are no mountains on that island, since it's relatively small, with a cm equalling 10 km.

Jalyha
02-01-2014, 05:45 PM
Hi Llannagh.

I just wanted to say, I know how you feel, sort of. :)

I look at all the amazing work here, and I think "I want to do THIS, like THAT!" and so I keep starting new pictures, hoping they will be maps, and then either *rigidly* sticking to the two things I know how to do... which doesn't make for good results, digitally, or trying out every new thing I see here on my latest project... which ends up looking like I've mangled a bunch of stuff together! :(

And I keep *hoping* to find my own "style" and fiddling with, as you said, different brushes and layers and ways of doing things... and just.. getting no where. Or at least, not where I want to be... and not any time soon

And I'm not doing well at it :P

Your post struck a chord with me, so I went back and took a look at your first posted WIP/Map.
...

First let me say that you started with more skill/talent/determination than I'll probably have in about 5 years. Second.. you've made VAST improvements in a very short time.

Finally - (although you've been here longer than me) you're still quite new to this. It's normal not to have "found your style" yet, and it's normal to still be experimenting with different features of your .. uh.. "equipment" for lack of a better word, in making these maps.

I don't know what to tell you to do to feel less frustrated... cause I can't even handle my own frustration level. I can tell you that from where I'm sitting, you're doing really well, and there's no need to be frustrated.

I've also, JUST NOW, lol, devised a plan. :) First of all... I don't need to find my style. Just like when I started painting... it will find me, when I've put enough marks on the canvas.

Second.. don't compare the progress of my latest post to the post right before it I'm going to not look back until I'm close to finished, so I can see how far I've come.

Finally... I'm going to stop trying to work on my "masterpiece" until I've learned as much as I can store in my tiny little brain. I'm expecting some AWFUL missteps soon, and lots of them. Right now I've just filled a canvas with a mosaic-filter-thingy from GIMP cause I just found it. My goal? Make that a map of.. something Not a good map. Just a map. Till I learn everything I can about THAT filter and how to use it. :)

And so on. I had to learn what effects I could create with actual paintbrushes too, yeah?

Anyway... that's my basic game plan. I hope it works, and I hope you find something that works too.

:)

And for what it's worth... I think your maps are lovely. :D

Lingon
02-02-2014, 03:31 PM
You're on to something really special, in my opinion. Even though you're experimenting and trying out lots of different things, I can always tell if it's a Llannagh map.

Maybe, for confidence, it'd be good to stop looking at other maps for a while and make something finished. Doesn't have to be big, just a little island or anything that comes to mind. Something that works for me when I have a creative block is also to stop caring about whether the result will be good or not. Helps me relax.

Llannagh
02-02-2014, 05:03 PM
Thanks a lot guys.

I had a pretty short-tempered day yesterday and just wanted to relax with a bit of map making, but even that didn't work. That was the last straw for me last night. Your kind words and advice have really motivated me. I knew this community was awesome, and you proved it all over again! :)

So I just went with it, easing in to watching my pen creating shapes and shades and this is the outcome for tonight:

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This is pretty clos to the style I started developing with my Gilband map, so I know Lingon will be pleased! ;) I'm using a different brush though, which IMO works a lot better.
No mountains for this map, but they'll be back!

Thanks again, I'm really grateful!

Cheers,
Llannagh

Llannagh
02-06-2014, 12:09 PM
So!

All your kind words have helped and I got this for you now:

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I think I actually finished the general layout for this. A first for me! ;)

I guess it's pretty obvious how the style progressed. I started with the hills in the centre and kind of worked my way clockwise around them. I'll tweak them as much as possible without disrupting the whole thing.

Next thing will be settlements and roads and labels.

I read often that Illustrator would be a good program to do those, right?

Cheers everyone,
Llannagh

Jalyha
02-06-2014, 12:38 PM
Loooking really good :) !

gspRooster
02-06-2014, 03:01 PM
This has an absolutely beautiful style to it. Any concerns you have about whether or not you've found your niche should be thrown right out the window. This is excellent.

So much so that I would love some insight into how you did this. Tutorial!?

Llannagh
02-06-2014, 03:33 PM
This has an absolutely beautiful style to it. Any concerns you have about whether or not you've found your niche should be thrown right out the window. This is excellent.

So much so that I would love some insight into how you did this. Tutorial!?

Wow, thanks, I'm blushing! ;)

Well, the good folks here on this forum have worked their magic and this kind of just happened... the problem has been more about me not being able to actually finish anything, but somehow this worked out well. And it's not really that complicated! I'll be happy to do a tutorial for this... but I think I'll finish it first! ;)
I can tell you though, all I did here was using a paper texture as a background with an opacity of, I think, somewhere between 50 and 60%, but that really depends on the texture. Then I colored this with a very soft and light brush and very low opacity, to have bakcground color. I think in overlay mode.
The rest is just painting with the right colors and changing brushsize very often. It's a custom brush. I can write a quick how-to later, if you like. But the brush doesn't matter that much, really.


Loooking really good :) !

Thank you so much! You played your part in making this happen, so consider yourself a co-creater! :)

Lingon
02-06-2014, 03:44 PM
Awesome! So cool to see a completed landscape in your style, and I love the forests and scattered trees. It looks really, really good. The only thing I'd suggest tweaking is the rivers, I don't think they match the painted look of the rest – if you'd widen them a little, and make them wiggle more, it'd tie the whole thing together :)

Personally, I wouldn't use vector (Illustrator, Inkscape) graphics on a map like this. It could work, but instinctively it feels like it would stand out too much, or that it would take so much extra work to blend it in with the rest that it'd be easier to draw it in your main software directly.

Llannagh
02-06-2014, 04:35 PM
Awesome! So cool to see a completed landscape in your style, and I love the forests and scattered trees. It looks really, really good. The only thing I'd suggest tweaking is the rivers, I don't think they match the painted look of the rest – if you'd widen them a little, and make them wiggle more, it'd tie the whole thing together :)

Personally, I wouldn't use vector (Illustrator, Inkscape) graphics on a map like this. It could work, but instinctively it feels like it would stand out too much, or that it would take so much extra work to blend it in with the rest that it'd be easier to draw it in your main software directly.

Thank you so much! You too, of course, played a big part in making this happen! I learned a lot from you. Much, much appreciated!

Yeah, those rivers were more or less doodled in. I'll refine them.

I get your point about the vectors. I think I'll just do the labeling with illustrator, and maybe the frame.
Ha! Never got to the point where I had to give the framing and compass rose and such things serious thought! That'S a whole different thing, though, isn't it? Exciting!!

Cheers again to all of you, I'll get back to working on the map!

Ilanthar
02-06-2014, 05:06 PM
Hey, the map is looking very nice. Will you use all that water area for something else?

Llannagh
02-07-2014, 04:55 AM
Thanks!

Yes, I'll use the area to the left and top for a textbox, maybe, and a legend. I'll put in a scalebar, too. Not sure about a compassrose, though.

fabio p
02-07-2014, 05:49 AM
You seem quite talented for a guy with "pretty semi knowledge" of photoshop. I like the "painted" look of your last map and I really liked those mountains on your second map of this thread. Keep up the good work!