View Full Version : Did I make a real map yet? D:

02-17-2014, 05:33 PM
Is it is it is it a map?

This is Ibala, which I built, in my other thread, starting with just a bunch of plates.

Ibala isn't very old... Men exist there, in small tribes and bands.

It's a pretty wild world, very hot... hot and dry in some places, hot and wet in others.

ANYWAY I finished laying out the biomes and was just playing with stuff and made this:


And I thought it looked rather like a map

Is it?

I'm sure there are things wrong, and I would LOVE for you all to point them out, but mostly I just wanna know if this is a real honest-to-goodness map yet? :P

Either way, I'm off to make other things :D


02-17-2014, 06:08 PM
Is it a Map? Yes it is. depending on how much information or how much of a story you want to tell with it, it can be complete. I like the visiual of the map. The look of the paper it is on, works very well. I had a little trouble with how close the colors are for the different topographical types, but that is probably just my old eyes. It looks good.


02-17-2014, 06:37 PM
Of course it's a map! :D

Like Tracker, I had trouble telling apart the biomes/colors; what about overlaying some of the more similar colors with very light crosshatch patterns or lines, etc, to help differentiate them more?

I like the layout and overall idea behind this. Kind of like Stone Age D&D...

02-17-2014, 06:50 PM
:D Yay.

The biomes *were* pretty different... but then I had to make it kinda transparent-y to blend like it was part of the parchment, trying to do like -Max- did on his guild tower, and I lost a lot of color >.< I dunno how to do that with really good color differences yet...

I'll try some cross-hatching type stuff and see if it helps!

And yes, very stone-age :P But mostly very tribal... I keep playing african chants, lol. And "Ibala" is like a wide open piece of land in ZULU language :)

Which fits the jungles/deserts nicely as well, I thought :P

Probably (unless the crosshatching helps a lot!) I will call this one done, and move on to either a handdrawn or political-type map, or a map that actually shows the geography :D

Just really was checking that I did it right and I DID


(Pretty excited, I'mma go jump up and down and be back soon)


02-18-2014, 08:38 AM
That's an antique map indeed! Very harmonious.

I have the same feeling than others about the colors. It happens often when you blend things together... I use to do a lot of tests (changing taint/saturation/brightness) to get the "what feels right" both artistically and legible.

I would probably reinforce the coastlines a bit, too.

02-18-2014, 10:46 AM
Thanks!! :)

and Oooohhh ok. You mean like an outline around the coast? :)

02-18-2014, 11:11 AM
It certainly is a map, and a very nice one too :) I've got a couple of thoughts:
Like the rest, I think the colors are too similar to be easily legible. Diamond's cross-hatching idea sounds good, and it might help to tone down the parchment too.
The frame, text and compass looks more digital than the map, which is quite soft and fuzzy. Some blur and lower opacity would make it blend in more.
I don't like the font :P It works at this large size, it's easy enough to read, but I think it's too fancy and exaggerated.

02-18-2014, 11:23 AM

Bah. I was trying for a "Tribal" look with the font... so I tried a font called "Tribal" :P Guess it failed :P

I think the digital-look of the compass is funny cause I actually sketched it out by hand and then "traced" it into gimp :P (The map was all Gimp!)

But yeah it looks .. harder, clearer. I'll try a blur!

I'm still working on the cross-hatching, and have a very tiny section done, but I think I'm doing it wrong cause it just looks black now D:

02-18-2014, 02:28 PM
Hehe, I'd stay away from fonts with overly descriptive names :P For some reason they often try to hard, and end up looking exaggerated, in my experience. With fonts, subtle is best, I think. I looked through my collection for fonts that might work and found Chalkduster (could look like it was written on a cave wall), Herculanum, Hobbiton (also a little exaggerated to be honest), Letter Sseungi (a bit Asian-inspired), Lithos Pro (very subtle, but I like it), and Papyrus (somewhat overused, but a really nice font). Some of them are free download, but some where pre-installed on my computer so I don't know if they might cost something if you don't have them. But they could be worth looking into :) It's also possible to go another way and not try to find something tribal at all, but make the map as if drawn by outsiders, so you could use a nice roman font or even something modern or sci-fi.

02-18-2014, 02:41 PM
Aye :)

I don't have a lot of fonts, but I think I've a few that would have been better :P

Too late now, though... I merged my text to my map at some point >.<

Anyway. I DID work on the color thing.. and I think I found a compromise... and it might have fixed part of the "digital" look with the extra stuff...


Is it better? Worse? Still needs work? :P

02-18-2014, 03:02 PM
By Jalyha
You mean like an outline around the coast?

Yes, or a kind of short transition between lands and sea (using contrast or brightness maybe).

02-18-2014, 03:20 PM
A very cool looking map where you really created a unique atmosphere.

But I think you got caught in between two minds. A planetary map of biome distribution is a rather modern concept and a stone-age planet does not include "rather modern concepts"... Mixing these two influences will yield original stuff, sure, but it's a very fine line to walk on. The more clarity you add the less "primitive" the whole thing will look so be very judicious about it.

And yes. It is indeed a map. Congrats ;)

02-18-2014, 09:11 PM
This is the first time I've seen a map that uses this kind of technique so I like it very much! I also agree with the earlier posts about reinforcing the coast, just so it'll be easier on the eyes and it should make the land stand out more as well. But from what I can see, there's definitely an improvement with the colours compared to your last post so it's definitely better :D I like all the colours you've used here; they all compliment each other so well ^__^

02-18-2014, 10:07 PM
Thanks! I'll try those suggestions :)

@ Pixie - I thought about that, but then I thought (and my people, although stone-age-equivalent, aren't like stoneage peoples on earth... They live in trees or burrows mostly, since there aren't many caves :o ) that maybe my tribes are so in-tune with nature that they naturally map out where it's different? D:

And they know what the whole world looks like because, ummm....

Okay, yeah, I'm stretching, cause it just feels good to have a real, honest-to-goodness, legitimate map done D: You caught me!

But I will keep that in mind in the future!!

02-18-2014, 10:25 PM
Better, but still needs more differentiation. Maybe try cross-hatching with a similar color (so a green gets a diagonal slightly lighter green crosshatch, a blue gets a slightly lighter blue crosshatch in another direction, etc). Or something textural to help distinguish them.

Also nitpick: on the ocean floor (right of the compass especially) I can see where you were painting in depth/texture and it looks like computer paint strokes. If that's still on a separate layer, maybe feather it out some or apply a Gaussian blur to that layer or something?

Overall this map is pretty cool, though!

02-19-2014, 02:09 AM
Lithos Pro (very subtle, but I like it)

Good call. I LOVE that font.

02-19-2014, 03:12 AM
Ummmm I'm confused.

On this version I didn't add anything to the ocean (except the one barely-underwater island near the key) so there isn't any texture.

Is is something maybe where the parchment is showing through, or something that you're talking about? I just am unsure which part you mean so I can try to fix it... :?

02-19-2014, 03:47 AM
I thought about that, but then I thought (and my people, although stone-age-equivalent, aren't like stoneage peoples on earth... They live in trees or burrows mostly, since there aren't many caves :o ) that maybe my tribes are so in-tune with nature that they naturally map out where it's different? D:

That makes sense actually. It's a bit of a stretch, yes :P But it sounds reasonable, especially if they don't have nations or other political borders, or at least view them as less important than nature's borders.

Good call. I LOVE that font.
Cool! Now that you say it, I think I've seen it in some of your maps? It is a really good font. Jalyha, if you want to buy it it's sold by a company called Linotype. The price is a bit hefty for a one-time use, but if you are planning to make many maps of this world and looking for a font to use on all of them… well, it's up to you if it's worth it of course, but check it out!

Edit: wait, sorry, I misremembered… i was checking several fonts and thought of another one when I wrote that… Lithos is sold by Adobe, not Linotype, and it's $35 per style (light, regular, bold, etc). Or $145 for all five styles. Yeah… More than I'd spend on a font for personal use, hehe…

02-19-2014, 03:55 AM
By George it's a map! And a unique one too. It will be interesting to see how this develops.


02-19-2014, 09:44 AM
@Lingon - 1) Actually I was thinking the *tribal* borders would pretty closely follow nature's borders. Makes more sense that way to me.... I don't know why. Maybe I should rethink that...

2) yeah no way I can buy that font :( Maybe if I save up for a few years! :P

@Arsheesh - Thanks!!! I'm having lots of fun with this one ^.^

02-19-2014, 01:18 PM
I'm talking about the one in post #10, from yesterday. I'm not seeing a more recent one. Maybe it is artifacting from the parchment.


02-19-2014, 01:35 PM
Ahhh yeah, it has to be the parchment, then...

I fixed the blending-in-the-text problem with an overlay of the original parchment (since I'd already merged and couldn't do the more appropriate ways)

Original "parchment":


Do you think those are the brush strokes you're seeing?

Any idea how to fix it? :/

02-19-2014, 04:47 PM
It's these strokes in here that are bothering me:


You might ignore them, I could just have gotten up in my head about them. But they're small enough that they look like strokes/artifacts of some sort--you could blend them together in gimp into one bigger blotch and it might be less distracting. Something like this (I just cloned in one between them, and blurred together):


02-19-2014, 05:04 PM
ahhhh yeah, its the parchment. Unfortunately mymap is merged ontoo the bottom parchment, but i bet I can find a way to blend it a bit :D thanks!