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View Full Version : Help Remaking a Regional "Painted" Map



Vernon
08-05-2008, 01:51 PM
I've recently started using Photoshop and wanted to remake my old campaign. The original scale has been reduced from the one posted in the original. Rather than representing 50 miles, it now represents only 20.

Thoughts and any help. I'm trying to decide how I want the city and town dots to look on the new map, that's why it is blank. Also I need to create that hilly region on the new map (southeast of the Bird Forest), but can't figure anyway I should do this.

I'm looking for a painted on style map.

Anyway, any help or suggestions will be really appreciated.

ravells
08-05-2008, 02:23 PM
Two things that strike me are the contrast in styles between the two maps - the one on the left looks handdrawn (although the repeated mountain symbols detract from the effect) and the one on the right looks like it's from a modern atlas. Not sure if those were the effects you were shooting for.

For me, I'd prefer to see more of a similarity of styles (at least in terms of modernity or lack of it) if the maps are to fit in one campaign - although individually both are really pretty maps.

The second striking element to me is the forest fill you've used in the first map. I really like it and don't think I've seen it before.

Welcome to the guild btw! Do post up on the members introductions forum and tell us a bit more about yourself!

Steel General
08-05-2008, 02:32 PM
While both maps are quite nice, for me the one on the right is more my style. I don't think wouldn't be terribly difficult to give that some 'depth and detail' (for lack of better words) to "spruce it up a bit.

But since you seem to prefer the hand-drawn, iso style you might look on the Dunjinni forums in the ISO user art thread, you may find something that'll work for you or better yet some inspiration to make your own.

Vernon
08-05-2008, 02:34 PM
Thanks for the welcome and the compliments, I'll head over there when I have more time. I've always been interested in mapping so I consider these forums a nice find.

The contrast in style is because one is the older (the atlas-style as you described) and the other is the style I'd like to remake it in. As you can see I still need to finish the roads, mark the cities, and then find a way to create the hilly region. Then I am just going to paint a really soft and low-opacity green and yellow and brown throughout the map in the open areas, then finish it off with lables.

I don't really like the mountains, but I couldn't find or think of a way to make them more art-like. I just made a custom brush with a little jitter to it because its the most hand-drawn style I was able to find. In addition, I don't like the lack of detail, because in the original map I was able to show the varying degrees of height and density in the mountain ranges, though I'm not too worried about this, I'd like to at least have a better transition from mountain to normal ground. I'm still looking for a better method...

I've been using a heavy influence from the Zombie Nirvana tutorials, so that's where the tree pattern came from.

That's why I'm here asking for help :). By the way I've only had PS for the last week, and this is my first time trying the more hand-painted style. Any help is appreciated

Vernon
08-05-2008, 03:02 PM
I took a look at the Dunjinni forums, but couldn't really find anything I wanted for hills and mountains. I'm considering using small castle or building symbols for the towns and cities, but I can't decide if this is more on cue with the hand-drawn style or if dots and square markers is moreso.

Some hope, though, I just did a Google search and found an example of a mountain range style that I liked and I think will fit the style I've presented. I just have to figure out a way to recreate it now...

ravells
08-05-2008, 04:59 PM
Sorry, I was being dim, I thought the first map was a zoomed in section of the second map. That's what comes of trying to read posts too quickly. Things I would experiment with:

Look up Happimess's tutorial on handdrawn mountains, it takes time but if you want this style of map I don't think you can get away with repeated symbols, you will need at least 20 or so different drawings of mountains, perhaps more to fool the eye into thinking that they are all handdrawn.

Might be worth daubing more of the plain areas of the map with that watercolour brush - could give it a bit more character.

You have a road overlaying the forest (if it is a road, I mean the red line) - I would mask out the forest around the road.

I'd also be tempted to put a black stroke around the rivers so they are consistent with the lakes and mask out the bit of the stroke where the river joins the lake.

Just some ideas to play with!

Tancread
08-05-2008, 05:06 PM
I am pretty sure that small map clip you have there is a Games Workshop map which makes Happimess's tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1669) that exact thing for you to have a look at. His map in the tutorial is another part of the GW world, but it is exactly the same style.

landorl
08-05-2008, 09:11 PM
A graphics tablet would be your best friend for doing the mountains. You could also hand draw the entire map and then scan it in, but personally, I have never had the best results with scanned maps. Of course I have a fairly cheap scanner :lol:

Vernon
08-06-2008, 12:28 PM
I've been looking at graphics tablets, but I'm going to wait on getting one since it isn't something I think I need to finish. I went ahead and colored in the open areas with a water color brush; I wanted to save this for the end but I guess it doesn't really matter if I do it now.

I also gave the rivers a stroke and I like the way that ended up looking. I've gotten rid of the mountains and will fill them in next chance I have to work on the map...

Any suggestions for what to use to denote the cities? A circle? A square? A picture?

And any ideas for the foot hills would be appreciated, too. I think I can just do them as the mountains, but just shorter.

Midgardsormr
08-06-2008, 12:52 PM
A couple of things. For the scale you're depicting, you had too far too many very tiny mountains. Consider making each mountain symbol about four to six times the size of each tree "tuft." Not only will that make your scaling look nicer, it will also mean fewer mountains to have to draw/place.

For the foothills, many maps of this sort use a smaller, round-topped symbol to indicate hills. Consider the attached image, which is a section of a map drawn with Campaign Cartographer 3 (full map here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1143)).

For towns and cities, you can certainly go with a simple dot, square or symbol; that's what I prefer. There are plenty of maps with little city icons, too, though, which look really good. I don't recall if anyone shared any of those or not. If not, that would be a good thing to add to our resources area here.

jfrazierjr
08-06-2008, 12:54 PM
I've been looking at graphics tablets, but I'm going to wait on getting one since it isn't something I think I need to finish. I went ahead and colored in the open areas with a water color brush; I wanted to save this for the end but I guess it doesn't really matter if I do it now.

I also gave the rivers a stroke and I like the way that ended up looking. I've gotten rid of the mountains and will fill them in next chance I have to work on the map...

If you have any plans (and I highly suggest it!) getting a tablet, I would say go for it. You will greatly benefit from it in several areas, notably tapered rivers and mountain work. If price is somewhat a factor, you can always check out ebay or (my recommendation) craigslist, especially if you live in a decent sized city.

Also, if you don't want to go the tablet route, RobA, has created a tutorial here for how to use Inkscape to create the tapered rivers, so you might want to look that up. I assume Illustrator has something similar also if you use the Adobe products.

jfrazierjr
08-06-2008, 12:57 PM
A couple of things. For the scale you're depicting, you had too far too many very tiny mountains. Consider making each mountain symbol about four to six times the size of each tree "tuft." Not only will that make your scaling look nicer, it will also mean fewer mountains to have to draw/place.

For the foothills, many maps of this sort use a smaller, round-topped symbol to indicate hills. Consider the attached image, which is a section of a map drawn with Campaign Cartographer 3 (full map here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1143)).

For towns and cities, you can certainly go with a simple dot, square or symbol; that's what I prefer. There are plenty of maps with little city icons, too, though, which look really good. I don't recall if anyone shared any of those or not. If not, that would be a good thing to add to our resources area here.


What Mid said.


Also, I just noticed your river/sea meeting point. You might want to consider making a tapper of the think dark outline for a few(20?) pixels of each side to meet the river to make it look a bit more natural. You could erase this manually if needed with a small brush to make this blend in....

Vernon
08-06-2008, 11:48 PM
I tried my hand at those hand-drawn mountains and I think I did an okay job. This is a cut of the Gray Mountains, I haven't done the Blood Mountains, yet. I like the way the hills look in that image posted by Midgardsormr, I think I'll use them. I just hope they still look good over a larger area.

I also cleared the border where the river met the sea, but I don't have an image ready of it. I didn't know what was meant by tappering it, though.

Vernon
08-09-2008, 11:24 AM
Finished (I think)

Midgardsormr
08-09-2008, 07:17 PM
It looks terrific! The new mountains are a huge improvement.

You mentioned that you didn't know what was meant by tapering the rivers. That means that the river gets narrower as it nears its source, usually ending in a sharp point. With a tablet, it's a simple matter to set the line width to pen pressure. Without a tablet it's a bit harder, but it can still be done. Check out your brush dynamics settings and experiment a bit.

I'm sorry I can't give more specific advice, but I'm a relative newbie to PS and I don't have it available to me here at work.

Didn't Arcana promise to provide a small tutorial on how to accomplish tapered rivers in Photoshop without a tablet? I'd still like to see that one.

Robbie
08-10-2008, 03:27 PM
Didn't Arcana promise to provide a small tutorial on how to accomplish tapered rivers in Photoshop without a tablet? I'd still like to see that one.

Sure did...sorry I got sidetracked though...Here's the tutorial!

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2711