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damonmensch
02-15-2014, 10:49 AM
Hello all, I'm currently working on a map for a region of a tabletop campaign I'm leading and wanted some critique and pointers on the work.

Here is what I have done so far.
61441

I'm trying to give it more of a hand drawn/painted feel. Any suggestions anyone might have to give it more hand drawn, less cgi feel would be appreciated.

RothgirFellhall
02-15-2014, 10:56 AM
I'm no expert so don't take my word as gold, but have you thought about making the tree images solid in the middle rather than transparent? To me they look copy and pasted since I can see the lines of the world underneath which immediately makes it feel like it was done on a pc.
Alternatively if you're trying to make it look like the rough lines all throughout is the paper it's on drawn on, try putting on the whole page rather than just the landmasses?

SJS
02-15-2014, 11:18 AM
You might also use some hatch lines for the areas of shadow.

Scoopz
02-15-2014, 11:27 AM
tree stuff!

but also, that water. Make it darker.

Anyways, despite what Rothgir has pointed out I quite enjoy your trees... and your mountains for that matter.

Jalyha
02-15-2014, 11:59 AM
The main detractor from "hand-drawn" for me is the blue glow around the coast :? ?

madcowchef
02-15-2014, 12:00 PM
Great start. The texture on the land looks wrong to me looks neither inked nor painted. I'd ink in the land border to define it (stroke effect in Photoshop). I also agree that putting a rough texture over it with very low transparency would help age it. Definitely darken the water, looks like an over exposed picture at the moment. I'd cut the rivers into the land mass rather than hover them above too. All criticism aside though it already is well on its way to being both interesting and functional.

damonmensch
02-15-2014, 02:47 PM
I have a crumpled, stained parchment texture for use at the end, but before I throw it in I wanted to get the rest of it looking more drawn first.

Any suggestions on how to make the coast line look more drawn? Especially the water effect off of it.

madcowchef
02-15-2014, 03:01 PM
What program are you using? It makes it much easier to tailor advice.

damonmensch
02-15-2014, 04:26 PM
What program are you using? It makes it much easier to tailor advice.

I generated the base shape with Fractal Terrains, everything else Photoshop

madcowchef
02-15-2014, 04:32 PM
Drop shadow or glow have several mapping options that can give the double lined effect you see on older maps and a stroke effect can set off the land map itself, you can find both under layer effects.

I found this tutorial particularly helpful
Http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/2557-%5Baward-winner%5D-making-maps-photoshop.html

damonmensch
02-16-2014, 12:05 PM
Ok I played around with that tutorial you suggested, after a few basic coloring bits, basically just the shading of the ocean, and applying my desired parchment texture, complete with stain rings, I wound up with this so far. What do you think?

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/28719523/Untitled-2.jpg

Fair warning, it is now almost 5x the original resolution. I followed the tutorial's advice and raised it to print quality resolution.

madcowchef
02-16-2014, 02:20 PM
Very nice, though I miss your original elements, you had some very nice ones. No need to go co pletely by a tutorial but it certainly has some elements that are improving your hand drawn look. I'd either darken the oceans a bit more or make your parchment texture a touch more transparent as I am losing the edges a bit in the shadowed section. Definitely looking like an old inked map now.

damonmensch
02-16-2014, 03:07 PM
Oh I'll be putting those elements back in, I like those a lot. Just wanted to fix this part up first.

damonmensch
02-16-2014, 09:19 PM
Ok elements are back, slightly changed a bit with a few new ones. Also added a touch more color.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/28719523/Untitled-3.jpg

Cyx
02-16-2014, 10:32 PM
That looks absolutely beautiful... 0o I was going to comment earlier that the texturing you had on the non-mountain parts seemed weird, but I didn't have time and then you made it look totally amazing while I played games ^^ how did you do those mountains? Did you draw them by hand or software?

damonmensch
02-16-2014, 11:04 PM
That looks absolutely beautiful... 0o I was going to comment earlier that the texturing you had on the non-mountain parts seemed weird, but I didn't have time and then you made it look totally amazing while I played games ^^ how did you do those mountains? Did you draw them by hand or software?

I can't take all the credit, I used some brush sets in photoshop.

Full list of the brush packs I used:

Hand draw map brush - part 1 (http://i-a-grafix.deviantart.com/art/Hand-draw-map-brush-part-1-138930937) by I-A-Grafix (http://i-a-grafix.deviantart.com/)61489
Sketchy Cartography Brushes (http://starraven.deviantart.com/art/Sketchy-Cartography-Brushes-198264358) by StarRaven (http://starraven.deviantart.com/)61489
Sketchy Brushes Add-On - Towns (http://starraven.deviantart.com/art/Sketchy-Brushes-Add-On-Towns-211069283) by StarRaven (http://starraven.deviantart.com/)61489
Fantasy Brush Pack 01 (http://captscott.deviantart.com/art/Fantasy-Brush-Pack-01-191047320) by CaptScott (http://captscott.deviantart.com/)61489
Tree Pack 1 (http://www.cartographersguild.com/mapping-elements/2078-rpgmapmakers-free-brush-packs-ps7.html#post20760) by rpgmapmaker (http://www.cartographersguild.com/members/rpgmapmaker.html)
Desert Tree Pack 1 (http://www.cartographersguild.com/mapping-elements/2078-rpgmapmakers-free-brush-packs-ps7.html#post20825) by rpgmapmaker (http://www.cartographersguild.com/members/rpgmapmaker.html)

Maraxus_
02-18-2014, 11:28 AM
Looks good.
- You might want to lower the paper texture effect just a bit.
- And then there is the coastline and the rivers: Fly along the coast and check the parts manually, there are some places where you should go over with eraser and brush. For example the mouth of the southern of the two rivers in the middle.
- The great chasm and the desert could use a minimal blur Gausian blur 0.3 pixel, or something. and overall, there is some style break between the coasts and rivers and the iconograpy. Sadly there, I have the same problem and don't really know a good solution for that, either.

Scoopz
02-18-2014, 12:11 PM
First of all this is great.

Anyways, the one thing I can say is you might want to make the 'elements' (mountains/chasm/forest/etc.) a little lighter to make the m blend in better. To make it look like it' drawn on the paper instead of on top of paper, if you see what I mean.

... It's not that the elements don't already look that way, but there's a bit of a disparity between them and some of your lighter lines, like the coast.

damonmensch
02-18-2014, 04:48 PM
- And then there is the coastline and the rivers: Fly along the coast and check the parts manually, there are some places where you should go over with eraser and brush. For example the mouth of the southern of the two rivers in the middle.

That particular river is actually flowing into a series of lakes, and not directly into the coast. The lakes are just relatively close the shore line. In fact only the river just north of that one is flowing directly into the ocean itself. All the others flow into lakes.


Anyways, the one thing I can say is you might want to make the 'elements' (mountains/chasm/forest/etc.) a little lighter to make the m blend in better. To make it look like it' drawn on the paper instead of on top of paper, if you see what I mean.

... It's not that the elements don't already look that way, but there's a bit of a disparity between them and some of your lighter lines, like the coast.

Personally I kind of like that the elements are darker than the coastline. It makes them pop out a little more. Also due to there being colors, it does stand to reason the the original drawer, or drawers, used a different color ink for said elements.

Ok on this next one I put back in the compass, also added the cities, and their trade routes. As well as the names of said cities and the more important (at least for the campaign) locations.

I have decided to name this continent, the southern most one on the planet, S'ira. Also if anyone is confused the text is all written in the character set of one of the more prominent languages in the area, which since this is a Final Fantasy based campaign, is Al Bhed.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/28719523/S%27ira-4.jpg