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meek75
03-25-2014, 09:11 AM
This is my first attempt at a land map. I usually post battle maps for use with miniatures. Anyway, I am preparing to run a Gothic horror game and this is my attempt at a region map. I want it to have an old, hand drawn feel. This is not a finished product, but I would love some feedback from the more experienced. I am using GIMP for this.

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fabio p
03-25-2014, 11:09 AM
Ok, I'm not among the most experienced, even so I'm giving you my constructive opinion.

On the positive note, the choice of colours seem to catch the grim atmosphere youíre aiming to.

On the other end, in my opinion, there are some issues I will point out. First, some geographical features follow patterns that are not clear: especially the rivers donít make much sense to me. Some of them are interlaced in a strange manner, others have strange angled curves or seem to spring from the roads. Speaking about the roads: some of them follow strange paths, especially the one passing around a river (is it impassable?) lapping its source. I would also revise the hilly area surrounded by rivers; it seems a little unnatural to me that all the hills of this map are secluded in that area; I donít know but geographically speaking, that see a little weird to me.

Second: the choise of a style: the two mountain ranges are represented in a different way, while, I think, you should make a consistent choice when deciding how to draw features on the map.

Anyway, even if I sounded a bit harsh, I'm convinced that with some tweaks this map will surely be a good one!

Lingon
03-25-2014, 12:53 PM
There's a quote that someone has as signature here, I can't remember who or who the quote comes from, but it's something like "sometimes the easiest way to get a hand-drawn look is to simply draw it by hand". I think if you draw this with an ink pen, scan it, place it on the texture, and add the labels, you'll get the look you're after. Like Fabio, I think you've captured the atmosphere perfectly, and the layout looks good. But getting a medium to look like a fundamentally different medium is among the hardest things one can do :)

Azelor
03-25-2014, 02:17 PM
Coyotemax: "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

meek75
03-26-2014, 09:21 AM
Thanks for the comments. Believe it or not I based this map, originally, on an old map of Kentucky. I traced the rivers from the Kentucky map; truth is stranger than fiction. Anyway, I changed the road that went oddly out of the way to more direct route. I may go back at some point and try a hand drawn version that is scanned in, but I'll probably save that for my next attempt. I also tried to make the two mountain ranges look more uniform stylistically.

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fabio p
03-26-2014, 10:33 AM
Looking at the map that you used as a reference (it must be Cyrus Harris’ map of Kentucky) makes me think that maybe, tracing the rivers, you could use thinner brushes for smaller streams, or maybe for all the rivers, you could use a dark grey colour instead of black or maybe you could use a subtle grey texture to fill the rivers; as it is, the rivers are too "black" and seem more lines drawn with a marker than rivers; and that could be the reason way some of the rivers seem “interlaced” while they’re not in the reference map. I even think that, being the reference map way much lighter (as for the background colour, an ivory off-white) than your map, it absorbs much more easily the contrast with the grey of the many rivers and tributaries. Maybe, as your map is already quite dark for your artistic needs, you could remove at least some of the tributaries, so that the map become less saturated with dark, obtruding elements.

Slylok
03-26-2014, 11:55 AM
Hey Meek,

Louisville is my home town! man do i miss it... Anyway Im liking your map so far over all. it seems to be conveying the dark horror feeling. One thing I would do though is turn the contrast down slightly on the paper. It's a bit distracting from the data on the map IMO.

Another tactic you can use to give it a hand drawn feel is to emulate ink bleeding and fading. There are a few ways to do this and im not sure the exact steps you would take in Gimp, but one general way is to duplicate the layer and give the duplication a 1-5 pixel blur (depending on the size of the canvas) and then playing with the opacity. It will show up much better on a more evenly contrasted background.

I also like playing with the color burn layer type for all the hand drawn elements, but again im not sure how it works in Gimp.

meek75
03-27-2014, 01:31 PM
This is great feedback. Thanks. I went back and used the blur trick to give it a more "ink" look and think the result was nice. I also played with the contrast of the "paper" layer and like the result there too. I also redid the rivers. They are now thinner and less black. I have started to ad some labels as well. Comments are still welcomed!

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meek75
03-28-2014, 06:54 PM
I have finished adding place names and terrain features. Last call for comments before I call it done :)

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Slylok
03-28-2014, 07:46 PM
on the bottom edge of the paper there are two little specs that are separated from the paper.