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Llannagh
02-22-2014, 05:19 PM
So a few weeks ago I got really dissatisfied with the old layout of my world. It has basically existed in it's rough shape since my late teens. The last refining I did a few months ago when I was pretty new to the CG felt quite good, but it wasn't good enough. Somehow the backstory I have didn't fit the world. It felt too small.
So I revisited Vorropohaiah's Korachan which had inspired me in the first place to getting serious about map-making. That worked and I decided to relaunch my world. Maybe I'll use the old worldmap in a different scale and fit it into the new one, but that's not decided yet.

My original plan for the maps was to keep them relatively simple and informative. Anyone who has seen my latest mapping attemps will agree that I failed in that regard. ;) I seem to be getting bested by an urge for detail. Same thing happened with the map I'm presenting here:

(Insert map thumbnail... somehow the option's not there... so see post below)

Edit: okay, so somehow the option for me to upload an attachment is missing. Anyone know why? Is there a global maximum number of attachments that you can have? Do I need to donate frst? Hm. Strange stuff.

So anyway, once I'll be able to upload it, you will see what I mean.

Llannagh
02-22-2014, 05:33 PM
Okay, now I got it. My browser seems to be strange, lately... HTML is off... hm. Whatever.

Anywho.

This style is inspired by the maps to be found here Search Results: All Fields similar to 'Nautical' - David Rumsey Historical Map Collection (http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/view/search?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CP ub_List_No%2CSeries_No&q=nautical&search=Go)

Again, thanks to Vorropohaihah for pointing me to those.

I hoped to achieve a feel of those old nautical maps. So far I'm quite satisfied.

For now, I'm off to bed! Have a good one!
Llannagh

Llannagh
02-25-2014, 01:58 PM
Update.

I scrapped the above because it again went in the highly detailed, unpratical direction. Or at lest it showed the wrong details. I kept myself in line here, which was quite difficult tbh. I thought screw hills, all I need is mountains, rivers and forests. And settlements and roads of course.

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Any ideas on how to improve the mountains?
Do you like the red symbols better or the black ones (for the settlements)? Should I coulor-code the settlements?
Should I get rid of the forests?

Cheers,
Llannagh

P.S.: I also call upon the River Police to verify or shun my work!

jbgibson
02-26-2014, 01:56 AM
The rivers are fine.

If there's a flaw in the mountains, it's a style mismatch. The coastlines are crisp and clear, the rivers simple line work, and the roads nice and diagrammatic. Then you add shaded, raised-relief, somewhat fuzzy 3-d mountain chains... They just don't play nicely together. A simpler caterpillar-ridges look might fit better. Or even something like what you have, washed out to be just a background texture?

Detail isn't bad in and of itself. You're working with a tool that does layers, right? Add all the detail you like and segregate different types on different layers. Then output a family of maps, each tailored to a certain purpose.

Llannagh
02-26-2014, 06:14 AM
The rivers are fine.

That's good to know. I feel a little proud. ;)



If there's a flaw in the mountains, it's a style mismatch. The coastlines are crisp and clear, the rivers simple line work, and the roads nice and diagrammatic. Then you add shaded, raised-relief, somewhat fuzzy 3-d mountain chains... They just don't play nicely together. A simpler caterpillar-ridges look might fit better. Or even something like what you have, washed out to be just a background texture?

I tried the caterpillars, but unless I do them as in the original historical maps with a very fine pen and lots of patience and time, it won't look too good. I literally spent hours trying to come up with a good compromise and that's the end result. Plus I don't really like caterpillars. (I know, many nautical charts use those)
The height lines (are they called that?) I like, but that's an even larger amount of work, especially if it's supposed to look good.

But I'll try your suggestion with the washed out background texture. That appeals to me. I get your point about the style mismatch. That was probably bugging me anyway.



Detail isn't bad in and of itself. You're working with a tool that does layers, right? Add all the detail you like and segregate different types on different layers. Then output a family of maps, each tailored to a certain purpose.

That's kind of what I'm going for. But at first I want to keep it simple, so I get to actually finish a map! ;)

Thanks for the input!

Llannagh
02-26-2014, 09:29 AM
Okay, so I took jbgibson's suggestion to heart and tried something different. I like that a lot better, although it's getting further and further away from that nautical style I was aiming for, but that ways just a means to an ends anyway. All I wanted was something simpler, more informative, and I think this is getting pretty close.

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Notes:
- the compass rose in the bottom right is just a placeholder, as is the box on the bottom left.
- the icons for settlements are still not final, as is their placement.
- same goes for the roads.

I tried a little coloring. I defnitely like the blueish ocean but I'm not certain about the colorized land.

Oh, all textures are courtesy of CG Textures (http://cgtextures.com/), btw.

vorropohaiah
02-26-2014, 09:59 AM
wiould have been nice to see where you went with a more realistic-looking nautical-style map, though this is looking good.

I love CG textures though the bandwidth limit on downloads is a bit annoying at times ;)

Ilanthar
02-26-2014, 10:29 AM
I like the colors, but yeah... can't see the "nautical chart" part (yet?) ;)

Llannagh
02-26-2014, 04:25 PM
I like the colors, but yeah... can't see the "nautical chart" part (yet?) ;)

Yeah, well, I was origianlly going for the nautical thing... but as it seems, I have found a way with this style to create goodlooking, versatile maps with an amount of work that suits my general impatience ("I need results, dammit!"). ;)

Llannagh
03-03-2014, 12:30 PM
Righty ho, update time.

Doesn't look like I've done a lot, but I worked all afternoon on this. :) First time for me to really, seriously putting in settlements, roads and borders.

Things I've worked on in this version:

- Rivers: I changed the rivers from simple lines to.. well what they are now. I cut the rivers out of the land and let a darker version of the background texture shine through.
- Added lakes. Just a few, since this part isn't too lake-y. Same technique as with the rivers.
- Borders: I put in borders for the different Iurisdictions, a term from the backstory that I might still change. They're not countries but more like duchies. Didn't want to call them duchies, though, because that's not what they are.
- Settlements: I put in Towns and villages. Just the more important ones, since I don't want to get it too crowded.
- Roads: Yay! People can travel now.
- Legend and name of the map
- Frame: I put in a simple frame in black. I don't have a clue yet of how to do a proper one, that'll come later, as the final finishing touch, maybe.

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I'm trying to dodge the whole labeling business, but I'm afraid I won't be able to much longer. It's gonna be a bitch, though...

I'll work on a nice compass rose now.

So long and cheers,
Llannagh

madcowchef
03-03-2014, 01:33 PM
Looking very good now. I wasn't a fan at first when I saw the coloring on the background but with the additional material on it's looking great, prevalent but not overpowering (show's what I know). The paper texture shows through a lot more on the water than the land, which seems a tad inconsistent to me. Looking really good in general.

arsheesh
03-03-2014, 01:47 PM
This is shaping up nicely Llannagh!

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Llannagh
03-03-2014, 03:53 PM
Thanks guys. Good point about that paper texture. Will give it a thought.

Already another update:

I added a proper compass rose, which I designed myself. It's nothing original, but the first time I did something "geometric" with PS...

I have it colored and a version in black and white. I prefer the black and white one, but I'd still like opinions.

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Edit: I quickly made a shaded version of the black and whit one. They all feel a bit dominant, but I like that last version best so far.

Phew. That's it for today. Off to the pub!

Cheers!

Sharpes
03-03-2014, 10:25 PM
Looks good Llannagh. That compass rose design is really nice! :)

Lingon
03-04-2014, 03:46 AM
Great progress on this, its starting to look really good! Spontaneously, I feel there could be more contrast between the land and the sea, but depending on what else you add, it could work this way too. The compass rose looks great, it's an awesome idea to use descriptive words instead of the normal direction names. I like the middle version best. Maybe drop the opacity of it a little too, to make the black less dominant?

Ilanthar
03-04-2014, 05:24 AM
Good concept for your compass rose. My preference goes to the second and third ones, but as Lingon suggested, I would play with opacity (in both cases).

Llannagh
03-05-2014, 03:38 PM
I played with the opacity and it indeed looks much better. pics to follow, because today I shaped out the rest of the Island:

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So as you can see I integrated the original map and built off of it. That being said, this map will still continue as a single one. I'm going to make six smaller scaled maps and one big one. (Yeah yeah, I know, big announcements and all that... ;))
I needed to picture the whole island for the backstory I have. The whole island is about the size of Ireland.

So long and thanks for all the fish, um, feedback,
Llannagh

Llannagh
03-08-2014, 03:58 PM
Worked on the compass rose and the box on the left (cartouche?). I worked with a layer mask on all of it and I thnik the result is what I was looking for. Though I was wondering, is there a way to make the lines a little more ink-like?

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The towns have names now! YAY! The overall theme is obviously Celtish, something I usually try to avoid because of the clichee, but the backstory is going that way, so, well, I'll just have to do my best to give it it's own appeal. Did I overdo it with the names? I'm not too good with coming up with names, so I just went crazy. If you spot something too ridiculus, please let me know.

With the font I'm not too happy with, either. It's the best I found that came with Photoshop. I could of course buy a better one, but at the moment I think I spent way too much on this new hobby of mine as it is anyway...

Well, next week I got a few days off, too. Going to work more on this, then. Maybe even finish it. Would be a first for me. ;)

Night, space cowboys, have fun!

P.S.: I added forests, too! The map looked a bit empty, so I tried that. Whaddayathink?

Llannagh
03-08-2014, 04:04 PM
Just real quick:

lower opacity on the forests and none at all:

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madcowchef
03-08-2014, 04:28 PM
I think somewhere between the original and the lightened forest would look best. Displays more information and is more interesting to my eye with than without them.

Llannagh
03-11-2014, 03:19 PM
Alright.

I added the fiefdom's names and did some polishing. I'm about to call it finished for now, though I'd be open for suggestion and some final "proof reading".

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I thought about naming the rivers and forests, but I think that'd be a bit much for this one. Jbgibson suggested working off this map for others displaying different informations. Might do that, sounds like a good idea.
I didn't add a border because I want to use this image and put it into the bigger one. Adding a border now would mess with the scale/be too much trouble to add without messing up the scale. I'll rather make the big map a proper one with a nice border.

Soooooo... last chance for critiques, Lady's and Gentlemen!

- Max -
03-11-2014, 05:36 PM
I don't see where is the problem with forests and rivers labels. You don't have many labels on the map at the moment and you have plenty of room to add more.

Lingon
03-12-2014, 04:45 AM
Nice job on the compass rose!
I agree with Max, there's room for forest and river names on this one if you want to include them. I think the very big fiefdom names create a feeling of "enough labels now!", and if this was a map for printing in a novel, then it'd be perfect, but at the size we are viewing it there's not really a reason for having them so big (other than esthetical, if you think it looks good). Making them smaller and slightly curved and angled to stretch across the fiefdom would make the map more airy.

As you said earlier, the font is probably not optimal. It's a little hard to read. But there are thousands of fonts online that are free to download if you only use them personally (and many that even are free for commercial use)! dafont.com (http://www.dafont.com) is usually the first place I look when I need something new.

Llannagh
03-16-2014, 12:17 PM
Thanks for the comments guys. I added names for the rivers and a few forests. After a second look I agree that there is more than enough spce for the labels.

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But now, with all it's flaws, I'm calling it finished. It'll go into the bigger map anyway, so I see this more as a testrun.

- Max -
03-16-2014, 12:36 PM
I'd avoid blue color on rivers labels and make them white to be consistent with the rivers color (or make the river color blue to match the labels). Also you should try to work more on curves to follow river courses (though the font you used isn't probably the best one to work with).