View Full Version : Fantasy Cartography with Adobe Photoshop - YouTube Video Tutorials

04-15-2014, 09:36 PM
Hi all,

First let me apologize for not being around for the last few years! As some of you know I am just a hobbyist mapmaker and have been working more than full time for the US Air Force. (but I am back again now)

I know many of the questions asked of me about the Overworld Map Project went unanswered and I will try to make another video to go over some of the settings to make things easier on those of you who have been trying to use that method.

I am going to try and get back into making video tutorials on how I make maps/icons/things using Adobe Photoshop. For the sake of time I will be recording them raw and without heavy editing so that I can put them out faster. I am working through quality settings in my video capture software as I go, so please bear with me.

I have missed this community a lot!


Here are links to the tutorials:
Fantasy Cartography with Adobe Photoshop - Part 1 (trees) (http://youtu.be/atUbdTCm6wI)
Fantasy Cartography with Adobe Photoshop - Part 2 (mountains & hills) (http://youtu.be/W-YiOAr_Iok)
Fantasy Cartography with Adobe Photoshop - Part 3 (swamps & deserts) (http://youtu.be/wxOwZ1CXnCM)


04-16-2014, 05:44 AM
Looking good so far. Keep it up! :)

fabio p
04-17-2014, 06:34 AM
Your new tutorial (and those that you plan to upload) are about the kind of map that I like the most, so I'm really curious to see how you work! Keep it up!

04-20-2014, 01:55 AM

Like I said I have been trying to better the quality of the videos... Here is the test I just uploaded of my HD 720p video capture.

I am painting with my Overworld Map Project .psd version 2! (more videos on that later)

HD video test! - YouTube (http://youtu.be/OBo1WUTKtV8)


04-29-2014, 12:19 AM
Thanks for the tutorial, helped a lot! Hoping to see more!

04-29-2014, 08:01 PM
PART II is online!

This one is on hand drawn mountains and some random tips and ramblings on that topic. I will keep working on more on this same type of map until we get to the point where I will put it all together in a new map for a fantasy adventure map I have wanted to re-birth in a better version.


YouTube-Link (http://youtu.be/W-YiOAr_Iok)

Let me know what you think and what I can do better (longer/shorter) or (more or less rambleing) 8)


04-30-2014, 01:36 PM
Hey, and thanks for another awesome tutorial!

I am a total newbie to fantasy maps and hand-drawn methods, so this really helped a lot.

Can't think of anything to improve, you're doing a good job. :)

EDIT: Oh wait, actually, I was wondering if you use your own custom brushes when you draw (I am assuming you use a tablet?) or the stock brushes PS comes with?

05-01-2014, 09:29 PM
I was wondering if you use your own custom brushes when you draw (I am assuming you use a tablet?) or the stock brushes PS comes with?

I use a WACOM INTUOS4 "Tablet". I am not sure I know any Photoshop users (with tablets) that don't use custom brushes to draw. I use custom brushes the way a mechanic uses a wrench set... each brush "Custom" or "Stock" has a use and each has brush settings that can change many of its attributes...

"Drawing" is many things in Photoshop, for basic practice, messing around, or rough sketching ideas I mostly use the standard hard round brush. I have brushes that make it look like I am using a pencil, Pen, Brush, blood, guts, and the kitchen sink (as they say). I think the part that most people don't fully get about the brushes/settings in Photoshop is that they are just tools (very versatile and very powerful) but just tools.

Most men "buy" lots of tools and have one for everything they might need to do home/car maintenance. Having the "special" tool for the job is about 30% of home/car maintenance and the rest is about having a small group of "standard" tools that "fix" the 70% of everything else. Photoshop is no different, having and properly using the "special" custom tools is great, but if you don't use and understand the "standard" stuff you might end up with a mess on your hands. You can do many things with the standard Photoshop brushes that are non-standard.

So the long and short is yes and yes :-)

I use:
1.) Self-made custom brushes
2.) Self-made custom brushes with custom brush settings
3.) Standard PS brushes
4.) Standard PS brushes with custom brush settings
5.) Other people's custom brushes
6.) Other people's custom brushes with custom brush settings


05-20-2014, 04:26 PM
PART III is online!

This one is more of a video response than a tutorial and centers around making swamps and deserts in the hand drawn way I have in the past. As this set of videos moves on I will start putting all the elements together to make a completed map.

YouTube-Link (http://youtu.be/wxOwZ1CXnCM)

Let me know what you think and what you would like to see done/talked about in this style.


06-16-2014, 12:05 PM
Thanks very much!

07-11-2014, 08:31 PM
rpgmapmaker I just wanted to tell you that I find your tutorials very helpful and inspiring :)! Thank you so much and keep up the great work <pretty please> :)

08-05-2014, 01:57 PM
I'm certain this is a very basic question, but I'm a very new member and want to get started. In your videos you're using a tan slightly textured background which looks like an old Velum map. You already have it up when you start your videos. Can you tell what background your using? Is it one of the default backgrounds in Photoshop?

01-07-2015, 12:55 PM
Thanks for the vids, this was just the type of map styling I am interested in making. Subscribed to your channel as well.