View Full Version : A valley village

08-26-2008, 05:16 PM
First things first. This map is my first town map and all this could have not been possible without pyrandon's tutorial. I am pretty sure you can see the similarities and how poorly I compare to that. I guess we all need to start copying from someone to learn. :)
I am not trying to do anything original or even great, but I am trying to learn a few tricks and techniques, so feel free to comment and critique as much as you want. Besides, I never get offended, so be mean! :P

There was a river in the map, but for some reason it looked kinda "meh" and it crosses the exit roads at least 4 times, so I decided to remove it for now and add it in later.

Steel General
08-26-2008, 06:48 PM
I think its a good start, but I'll throw some comments out too...

1) Its a little monotone, you might try varying the colors on the different levels of terrain. However if that was your intent then don't worry about it.

2) You might try putting a pit of noise & gaussian blur on the roads to help them blend into the terrain, unless they are supposed to be elevated.

Keep going and post updates often, let's see where you can take it.

08-26-2008, 06:58 PM
I reckon its pretty good. If you were to have your RPG session and whipped out a print of this map you would need a pretty sourly bunch of players to think that it was not useful enough.

Its very clear and shows the buildings well. With more practice you will spend less time making maps and get more realism or get to your desired format of map faster.

Knowing a couple of tools well is better than thinking you need to know many to an extreme degree. So focus on getting to know a few key techniques well. Pyrandons tutorials should make the focus a bit easier. You look to be right on track.

08-26-2008, 09:18 PM
Pyrandon's city tut is pretty much up there with air, food, and Pepsi for me...I certainly have read it more than my Bible. I'm with SG tho, it either needs some color variation or it needs to be more "parchmenty". If color critiques are all that yer gettin then I'd say it's pretty successful...so keep up the good work.

08-29-2008, 12:42 AM
Meh, I kept on playing with the map for a few days. I found a couple of obstacles that I don't know how to get around yet.

I fixed quickly the elevation layer, but the quick fix is far from perfect. There are some tiny imperfections, but I don't really care as of now. My main problem is that I can't seem to be able to color the mountains properly, making them too similar to the background. I tried Hue/saturation and colorize, but nothing.

Another thing I know it's wrong is the darker roads leading out of town in the north-west. They were re-added after I realized that that's where the river was supposed to be, so they are a quick "patch over" fix.

My main problem is that I can't find a proper seamless tile to do the trees. Now, consider that up to a week ago I didn't even know that seamless tiles existed, so yeah >>

Also, are the rivers ok? They look a bit funky to me, but what do I know.

Oh by changing the elevation, I guess this ceases to be a valley village... oh well. I may scratch the whole thing completely, but it was an useful learning process.

08-29-2008, 06:17 AM
I have written a seamless tile generator script which you just run on an image and it makes it seamless and you can find that here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1373)

I would also recommend looking at CGTextures.com which have loads of textures including trees.

This map (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1455) has some trees in it which were made seamless using the script. Theres a post half way down with some images.

Getting copyright free photos of trees from above is very hard but you can make them up to some degree.

08-29-2008, 07:55 AM
There are also some very nice seamless tree textures on this thread. (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=724)

09-01-2008, 06:46 PM
I haven't forgotten about the map, I swear.
I have been toying with all the suggestions, but yet, I just can't seem to be able to get this map right. I tried and tried, but now I give up. I still can't figure out what bugs me so much about it, but I can't spend weeks on it just to figure it out.
I will start another one with the same style (this time without using the tutorial, so I can check what I remember) and hopefully it will turn out much better than the other one.
Thank you for the feedback! It really helped a lot :)

[Edit] I will put the "most advanced" stage of this map. Maybe you guys can tell me why I feel the need to scratch it and start over.

09-01-2008, 06:52 PM
For of map of this scale and size your forest borders are very neat! Try using a layer mask to make the edges a bit more irregular, that ought to help.

09-01-2008, 06:55 PM
What edges? The edges of the map itself, as if it was on parchment, or the edges of the forest area because right now seem too regular? I am just trying to understand ^^;

09-01-2008, 07:24 PM
I think what sticks out most to me is that your houses seem to be bigger than the hills. It seems like they should be mountains on a regional map. Also you have this artificial black stroke around them to make them look higher but it's too general in its use...broad shapes instead of minute detail. Lighten them up some and add more of them in the valleys and such cuz right now it looks like bumps sitting on top of plateaus. If it were me I'd scrap the hills/mountains altogether and just use a big light airbrush for some terrain sculpting (by hand as opposed to 3d rendering). And yes, the forests look too perfectly shaped...break em up some so they aren't so round and smooth. All in all though it's pretty decent and just takes a bit of practice to develop one's own style. Keep up the good work.

09-01-2008, 07:30 PM
The edges of the forest, here is a quick and dirty edit on a small bit of your map using a layer mask and a big, fuzzy, low opacity brush with a few different colours on the background.