View Full Version : September Entry: Rush Job

09-02-2008, 07:47 AM
I thought I would give this challenge a go, more for the hope of good feedback than any expectation to win, especially as I am away for 2 weeks in the middle of the month, and so only have 1 week to get this entry tidied away!

Not really thought much on the background or story to this setting yet, I would imagine that will come when I start looking at the cities.

Working exclusively in GIMP, using a tailored (ie lazy) version or RobA's tutorial.

I started by scaling up the sketch as a bottom layer then tracing each terrain feature as I came to it. Still experimenting right now to find 'my style' which I imagine will develop as I learn more techniques.

Still not sure how I will approach the towns and other man made features on the map, but will address them once I am happy with the natural look.

Any comments and suggestions greatly appreciated

09-02-2008, 08:21 AM
The above was what I had done last night, today I have softened the edges of the marshland then went to look at the cities, which meant first of all I looked at the scale properly for the first time and found I had things off quite badly.

The image size I am working with is 1600x1600 which at 100 miles per edge makes 1 pixel per 100 metres is my maths is correct. Not only does this mean I can't show cities by building like I had considered it also means all my rivers are about 700 metres wide!

I guess I can chalk this up to learning experience number 1, but I am now puzzled about how I want to carry it on from here as the rivers are masks on each layer, so to change them now means essentially starting again from scratch

09-02-2008, 08:50 AM
that's what these challenges are for... learning experiences :D ... don't worry, I've done something similiar in the past... only I got a lot further before I realized it.

I'm not all that gimp savvy ... I use PS mostly, but can't you combine those layers into one layer... or, just touch each one up and make them smaller...

are you using a mouse or a pen tablet?

09-02-2008, 10:17 AM
I am using a mouse.

And in the end is was not as bad as I feared as most of the mask had not been applied to each layer, and so could easily be changed for a new one. I only had to redo the forests as they had already had the layer applied, they are still the feature I am least happy with I think as I just can't get them looking right.

Realism aside I think it looks better with the thinner rivers, so don't really mind doing the changes as it results in a better looking map.

I am happier with the marshes now I have blended the coast in a bit, and as for the cities I think the only option that makes sense is using icons.

Here is the current status of the map

### Latest WIP ###

09-02-2008, 12:11 PM
Jkaen, we have a script that RedRobes was kind enough to write that allows the latest image of a entry thread be collected in a single thread stickied at the top of the forum http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2066 just remember that you have to put the Latest Wip tag with the 3 #'s on either side of it ... I edited your last wip to include it ;D

09-03-2008, 09:30 AM
I think this is looking really great. Really nice dark and brooding feel about the map. Don't worry about ensuring that features on a map are scaled to size - for a map to be useable, features like towns, streets and rivers are often scaled up so that the reader can see them and the map can be useful. Ancient mappers did this and so do modern street atlases, so it's a pretty well recognised convention.

If you've done this using a mouse and not a tablet, then I think it makes the result twice as good.



09-03-2008, 05:29 PM
I have updated the forests with a bit of a better look in my opinion and thrown some labels at the map.

Need to tidy up the title as after all the effects were applied it got a bit illegible.

Also if I have time I would like to do something with the coastline to make it a bit less uniform

### Latest WIP ###

09-03-2008, 08:28 PM
Wow, those trees look dang sweet. I might have to try that myself ;)

09-04-2008, 05:03 PM
Well Alas as I feared I have run out of time for this, so the entry above will have to be my final one

09-04-2008, 09:42 PM
I like your style, especially the color. I think the mountains need to have more depth though, more height, more shadow. They look a little flat or just kinda rough, some peaks woudl be nice, unless they are just foothills ofcourse.

I also think the rivers could use some more integration into the lanscape. They really look like a layer abover everything else. How do they affect the landscape? Maybe they make it dark, or lighter, or sandier or more fertile, or they are in low lying areas, valleys and such. Do you get what I'm saying?, maybe I am not explaining it well though.

09-05-2008, 02:58 AM
I actually normally make the mountains deeper, but I was worried I was overdoing it and making it look cartooney, especially considering the scale of the map.

Again I am not sure at this scale if I could show much witht he river, will think of it for next time

09-05-2008, 09:56 AM
Again I am not sure at this scale if I could show much witht he river, will think of it for next time

Maps are representational - don't feel limited to doing this as a satellite photo :)

...possibly doing a satellite photo with a vector overlay of features, like google earth...

-Rob A>

09-25-2008, 02:03 AM
One thing that helps rivers integrate into the land is tapering the river feature itself. I suggest you varying your line thickness to really ground the rivers into the landscape.