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View Full Version : APRIL / MAY 2014 LITE CHALLENGE: Vals of Saintonge



Francissimo
04-21-2014, 06:53 AM
Hello there, this month challenge has a theme that speaks to me. With that project i want to apply a fantasy style map on my territory, quite a classic subject and this isn't my first attempt to do that but let's take a fresh start for this contest:)
Here is my basis, some data about land use (corine land cover) open with a GIS and then exported to Photoshop:
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Francissimo
04-21-2014, 05:44 PM
First step redraw the rivers with a tablet for a more "natural" feeling, gis data are usefull but not always cosmetic. I also add a few hills with bevell effects
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Francissimo
04-26-2014, 07:33 PM
Hello there, i've been trying new techniques with hillshade for relief that i reworked a bit with wilbur. Wilbur is really an amazing tool for his incise flow purpose, not perfect, rivers had some artifacts when you zoom in but still a great tool! The project of the map is now to represent an hypothetic future of my region with a sea level 15m above present day.
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ravells
04-27-2014, 06:29 AM
It's looking *really good*, and I love your work flow - the rivers look fabulous. My only comment is that the field texture does not quite work for me because they 'fade out' at the edges rather than have hard edges, often bordered by vegetation (hedeges, trees etc). I often have this problem and the only way I've found to solve it is to use a layer mask and hard edge brush to follow the edges of the fields. Again, it is one of these things which the eye forgives when you are zoomed out but which looks more obvious close up.

The colours you are using are really lovely.

Francissimo
04-27-2014, 07:03 AM
Thanks ravells. For the fields, thats the problem of texturing, as you say, looking good zoomed out but not so much when zoomed in. Your mask solution seems a good idea for a high quality but also a high time consuming render. You mean manually paint on a mask every field border in contact with another surface like the grass around rivers right? That's already a mask i used but with somes progressive borders, i was too lazy to try your solution at first;)
I've tried to add somes details to fields with more layers based on my original texture, including wheat fields and a soft bewell effect to give a furrow feeling on fields. Also tried a bewell effect to represent cities, for that i'm still not sure if i'll use symbols or bewell effects, i thought bewell suits well with the aeriel imagery tone the map, but same problem if you zoom in you'll see troubles;)
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ravells
04-27-2014, 08:11 AM
You are absolutely right, it does take ages to use the mask technique - that's why I try to stay away from drawing fields :) . I have not found an easier way to do it though. Drawing good fields is really hard without drawing them individually rather than relying on a texture. I have the full version of Genetica and must try having a play around to see if I can find a way to do it, but these days I'm stuck for time on mapping.

I think the towns look great without the bevels and keeping the outline.

Francissimo
04-27-2014, 07:51 PM
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I've tried to paint the mask on fields like you suggest ravells, but the task seems so huge that i rather focus on adding small islands around rivers and rework a bit the roads and textures. I've start labelling, not completly decided about the style but i think i'll take a sci-fi orientation, as the map is suposed to represent an hypothetic future after global sea level rise.

Francissimo
04-29-2014, 02:21 PM
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I start to play with illustrator for the borders and labels, the borders were realised with some metal gradients and clipping masks. I also tried to draw docks and boats on coast cities, not a big success but zoomed out everything looks better;)

Lingon
04-29-2014, 03:28 PM
Wow, this looks awesome! I love the just-bold-enough colors and the overall style. I can't help with the technical side here (though I agree that it would be better if the fields didn't fade out), but I'll offer a couple of thoughts on the aesthetics. Your three main fonts don't match, in my eyes; one retro-modern sans-serif, one fantasy Roman style (Charlemagne, I think?), and one quite flashy sci-fi. I'd suggest changing the two latter for something cleaner, similar to the city font. I also think the title and border is a little over-worked – when the map is this packed with small detail, you don't want anything distracting from it :)

Francissimo
04-29-2014, 04:04 PM
Thanks for the feedback Lingon! Fonts choice isn't my strong side and your feed back confirm i still have to work that point, I'm hesitating between sci-fi and fantasy fonts and end up with that bad mix;) Maybe the borders are a bit too much, i had quite fun doing it but i never know when to stop adding details;)
ps: Yep it is charlemagne font

epson
04-29-2014, 05:00 PM
If you group a text (like "les vaux submergés") and apply the gradient afterwards you do not have the problem of jumping light reflexes. That is a very minor detail on a great map.

Francissimo
04-29-2014, 05:18 PM
Didn't know that, thanks!
Ps: new idea to hide the fading of field texture, add hedges around field borders
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ravells
04-29-2014, 07:27 PM
Great idea. Use Hedges, roads and trees and you're in business!

Ilanthar
04-30-2014, 11:12 AM
That's pretty cool but I don't like the blue border and title font (way too futuristic imo). I think you have a little problem with some chunks of costal roads which leads from sea to sea...

The rest is very impressive and fun!

Francissimo
04-30-2014, 12:35 PM
That's pretty cool but I don't like the blue border and title font (way too futuristic imo). I think you have a little problem with some chunks of costal roads which leads from sea to sea...

The rest is very impressive and fun!

Hello, and thx for the feedback, i'll definitly rework fonts and borders;) For the coastal roads i'm not sure yet, those roads are the "real ones" taken from GIS data, but with a sea level 20m above, lots of them are half flooded. Maybe i'll erase those roads for esthetic reasons, but i also like the flooded and post deluge feeling

Ilanthar
04-30-2014, 04:22 PM
Apologies !! I'm pleading "guilty of misreading" :o!

I just haven't read the multiple indications about the flood (I have the bad habit to read too fast on a screen). That's an excellent idea, and I don't think you should change it!

Francissimo
04-30-2014, 10:08 PM
I managed to add a few ponds and a lot of hedges quite quickly to give a grove feeling to the landscape. Instead of drawing hedges one by one (so time consuming) i selected the dark areas of the field texture with the magic wand and then paint the selection in the forest layer for a quick hedge feeling.
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ps: no ofense ilanthar, i often do the same;)

ravells
05-01-2014, 05:31 AM
I managed to add a few ponds and a lot of hedges quite quickly to give a grove feeling to the landscape. Instead of drawing hedges one by one (so time consuming) i selected the dark areas of the field texture with the magic wand and then paint the selection in the forest layer for a quick hedge feeling.


Brilliant idea! You have solved the problem and the fields look superb!

Diamond
05-01-2014, 12:32 PM
Really great work on this! I don't have anything constructive to add except to agree about the clashing fonts.

Francissimo
05-01-2014, 01:34 PM
Thanks for the feedbacks! that's a time consuming map to realise, but i had a lot of fun trying those techniques of land painting by playing with textures, fusion modes, layer effects and the magic wand:) The cool fact is that once you have perfectly configured all your layer styles you can use them again for other maps. On this map all my layers are painted in black, everything else is due to layer options. The bad side of that method is that the file became quite big and laggy.

fabio p
05-09-2014, 11:33 AM
As everybody’s saying, your work with the textures is really impressive, and you’re also doing something gigantic. That’s great.
As for the border, I agree that it should be less elaborate. For the border I maybe would also choose a color that is closer to light brown or something like that, but it’s a matter of personal taste, I think.

Francissimo
05-11-2014, 12:43 PM
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Hello everyone and thanks for the feedback fabio. Unless i have a last minute idea i'll consider this map as finished. I've done a few adjustements to forests roads and field textures, reduce the borders, go with some less flashy fonts and add a north arrow inspired by mandalas pictures.