View Full Version : WIP - The two kingdoms

04-07-2014, 06:09 PM
Hi everyone, with that map i tried to follow torstan tutorials on how to draw top down hills but well.. i'm sure not as good as he is yet ^^, but the techniques was very interesting to try! I also use Bevel & Emboss effects on a layer with fusion set to screen wich i painted in black with a rough brush to increase the relief impression.

- Max -
04-07-2014, 06:31 PM
Honestly (and I hope it won't sound too harsh), the hills don't work for me. The relief isn't convincting and the cracked texture you added on it don't really scream hills. Also I'm not a big fan of the combination of digital effects and hand-drawn elements on a map. This could work but it needs a real and subtle balance to be consistent.

04-07-2014, 08:51 PM
I agree with Max, to some extent. This map definitely has a lot of potential, and I like the colourful style. It is quite charming.

One of the problems is that your top-down hills clash with your isometric icons.
Another issue is that the bevel/emboss used for the cliffs is perhaps too strong (I like the effect, but perhaps you could lower the opacity a lot to make them less obvious)
Next, the tree trunks do not match the forest areas. Near the label of Mortecouille, for example, you've got trees sitting in the water.
Then there are the fonts: some of them are good (eg. for Mortecouille), others are OK but not great (eg Sombre Foret), and others just look kinda weird (eg. Le Festival)
Last, I'd like to make a suggestion for how to improve the hills, but I'm afraid I don't know what to suggest. They don't quite work, like Max said, but you should be able to make them better.

The icons are really good, by the way; are they your own drawings, or somebody else's set? Also, I really like the pattern used for the sea.

Oh, and Max, I don't think the cracked texture is meant to represent hills. I think it just shows areas of bald earth. Am I right, Francissimo?


04-08-2014, 02:46 AM
Hi guys and thanks for your opinions, a good critic helps to improve more than congrats :)
the relief is quite a difficult subject and i guess i failed with that one, painting shadow is really a tough work, the result seems so light to me that i couldnt resist to add digital effects.
Like max said i suppose it was a bit too soon for me to try to mix digital effects and hand drawn elements, the 3/4 view is really a big challenge and i guess the mixing of top down techniques and 3/4 hand drawn elements doesnt help to sell the relief.
For the icons i wish they were mine but nop i found them online (and yes they are really wonderfull!) i just colored them, at first i try to make top down cities but they look so nice i wanted to use them at all cost.. Here's a version of my map relief without other elements, i'm still stuck with the feeling it isn't really working but can't tell how to fix it, i guess it's time to move on to a new project without repeting the same mistakes;)
And yep the cracked texture are meant for bald earth (less vegetation on top of hills;)) but i painted them also to try to increase the relief effect of hills

04-08-2014, 03:13 AM
You definitely should NOT move on to a new project. This map has so much promise, it would be a shame to give up on it early. Also, those hills look good when you remove the other elements (at least, I think so), which just goes to show it was the other elements that were the problem, not the hills.

You really should keep going with this map, although perhaps you should also ask to have it moved to the WIP forum (where it'll probably p more comments, anyway; besides, that's how to learn).


04-08-2014, 04:28 AM
I guess you're right man, i have this bad habit to make lots of maps and to move on quickly to another project, inherited from my work where i must privileged speed over quality:)
Like you say i think the relief works better without any other elements on the map but i dont really know how to make forests and cities fit into the hills, maybe i'll try another brush effects wich i'll paint with a tablet and then avoid those hand drawns symbols for something more symbolic. I'll try to use the WIP forums instead of posting my finished work done all by myself without showing to anyone the WIP except to my wife saying thats good to have peace!
Anyway is it possible to have this thread moved to the WIP section please?

- Max -
04-08-2014, 04:55 AM
Yup I'm moving it :) And I agree, without the other elements, the hills looks way better! Indeed you shouldn't move to anything else and still work on this, this has potential. Go with full top-down view, for your forests and icons, that would fit perfectly with your hills. I'd get rid off the bevel/emboss that really clashes with the hand-drawn hills and work the banks reliefs the same way you did the hills (just do the lights and shades in smaller parts and that should do the trick).

04-08-2014, 06:10 AM
Ok guys you have remotivated me to improve this little map! i'll try your advices about relief and start again my symbols with a pure top down view. i'll post my WIP about relief and how forests fit with it as it's the hardest thing for me, thanks again for the advices:)

04-08-2014, 11:15 AM
This looks very promising... I am curious to see what you will do with your top down cities.

04-08-2014, 01:26 PM
Love the idea of changing the perspective. The color are really inspiring, has a watercolor feel to me for some reason.

04-17-2014, 07:41 AM
Hello everyone, i tried another types of forests to let the hills more apparents, this time i tried to paint trees with a tablet pen so that they fit better with the hills, that my first attempt with a tablet pen, a powerfull tool but quite hard to use when you're used to a mouse!

i also draw a few roads but i think i'll try to improve their renders, any feed back on the way you make roads?

04-17-2014, 09:45 AM
This is looking heaps better. 'fraid I don't have any tips at the moment, but keep going with it. It is really looking loads better.


04-17-2014, 10:42 AM
Looking good!

However, I don't like how the glow on top of the hills is on top of the trees, it adds a bit too much contrast for my eyes. I particularlty like the isolated stands of trees everywhere though! :)

04-18-2014, 06:03 PM
Being a nube I don't have much to contribute other than to say I like the idea. Love your icons. Can't wait to see where you go with it. Right on!

04-21-2014, 05:10 PM
thanks for the comments and advice, i'll reduce the glow on trees and maybe try to improve a bit their texture. Still thinking about wich technique to use to represent top down cities;)