View Full Version : WIP Campaign Continent

09-28-2008, 08:43 PM
This is for my new campaign "Defenders of Arven." At RPMiller's suggestion, I looked through some tutorials here and saw what I could come up with. This is about 4 hours of work while distracted by football. I decided to put it down for a while and connect back. I used Rob A and Jeremy Elford tutorials primarily and photoshop. I tried to do a not-parchment-style but I got frustrated with the filters I was using causing the colors to end up really bright/neon/strange-especially when trying to make the map 3D. A hybrid between parchment ended up being my next step.

To do: I want to add some rivers, major cities, and some major paths. The southern region is unknown to the players but I think I'll just insert "Southern Kingdoms" or something to make it a more well rounded map. Criticism is welcomed. I am entirely new to this so if there are specific tutorials (I use photoshop) you can point me to, that would be great!!!

Full Image (http://gallery.rptools.net/v/contrib/Hawke/maps/map.jpg.html?g2_imageViewsIndex=1)

09-28-2008, 09:24 PM
Personally, I see nothing at all wrong here. Everything looks pretty good and hangs together well. Just make sure that the rivers are done in the same color as the stroke for the landmass and this will be done-a-mundo :) Nice job.

09-28-2008, 10:43 PM
Thanks! I made a few updates...


09-28-2008, 11:06 PM
Nice work on that continent, Hawke. I saw your post and RP's response at RPTools forum. Glad to see you here!

There are several Photoshop specific tuts in these forums, explore them all.

Put in a vote in this month's challenge if you will.

I "repped" you for your map work so far!


09-29-2008, 12:55 PM
I'm trying to figure out a better way to do the rivers. I feel they sort of look like veins right now and not as much like rivers. Any suggestions? Right now they are detached from everything else, so I can easily pull the layer and start over.

Steel General
09-29-2008, 07:35 PM
I'm trying to figure out a better way to do the rivers. I feel they sort of look like veins right now and not as much like rivers. Any suggestions? Right now they are detached from everything else, so I can easily pull the layer and start over.

Perhaps they are to 'strait', they don't seem to wander back and forth enough. Try making them more "squiggly"... I think rivers are one of the hardest things to do (at least for me).

09-29-2008, 08:33 PM
look at maps of similar real world places and see how their riverine and riparian (I do not get to use that word much) features play out. In mountains rivers are fairly straight but when rivers hit the coastal plain and slow down they meander somewhat.

09-30-2008, 10:23 AM
Looking good so far.

One method I discovered that helped me make some nice rivers was, if you're drawing them roughly by hand with a brush, set the jitter on the brush to a moderate level--not so the brush strokes completely scatter on you, but enough to make the line you draw look a little rough and jaggedy. Then, let your stroke meander around in a rivery way. You'll also need a way to vary the width, having it get wider toward the mouth, but it looks like you've already got that part figured out.

10-19-2008, 07:09 PM
Continue to work on the map here... I've moved some elements around. I've fixed a few of the rivers, but will probably wait on the others. I'm planning on expanding the portions the players visit as the campaign progresses and include a smaller map with cities, roads, forests, etc.

I really don't like the forests in the small map, I'm looking for a new style that works fairly well. I think a solid canopy with inked lines inside it and then some trunks at the bottom fits well for the map, so if anybody knows an "inky tree canopy" texture they could point me to I'd love it! After that, I'm going to look into some better mountains.

(Yeah, I'm ripping the names from wotc's nentir vale for the cities for the time being. Was too focused on mapping to think of anything!)

10-22-2008, 10:34 PM
I very much like the look of your larger map. It's coming along very nicely! The rivers, I agree, could use more "squiggliness," and the roads along with them. in your smaller map, the outline of the lake is awfully chunky. You might try looking at Zombie Nirvana's tutorials for the trees. I think that sounds like the style you're looking for?

10-23-2008, 10:41 AM
Hey Hawke, good to see you over here with a map of this quality. It looks great!

A couple of suggestions - mess around with the background parchemtn colour and see how that affects the colours of the map - it's looking a little dark and muddy at the moment.

I agree with everyone on the rivers. They could do with winding more - the one to the north east looks good but some of the others are a bit straight. You've also got a downstream fork up in the north east (it branches from one river to two as it approaches the coast) which I am reliably informed never happens. There's also a stray lake in the south with no inflowing or outflowing rivers. I'd also suggest putting a bit of colour round the coast for the sea - especially as you've coloured the lakes.

These are minor issues really - it looks lovely. Good work, and repped!

10-25-2008, 03:01 PM
Thanks for the input everyone...all excellent comments. I'll check out zombie nirvana's stuff. It looks like it will be pretty useful!

10-26-2008, 07:48 AM
This is coming along great. I agree with Torstan that the background is a bit dark OR that you could darken the ink color but the problem is that the two are too similar.

You seem to have all the mountain icons rotated by a little amount as though the whole map should be rotated to make them horizontal again.

Good map, rep heading your way.

joćo paulo
10-26-2008, 02:40 PM
I like the way this

very cool

and inspirational8)

05-31-2009, 02:53 PM
Here's an update... thanks to RPGMapMaker's brushes for the compass. This is a campaign in progress, so I updated the relevant areas. I zoomed into the updated area to hand out as we begin the next phase of the campaign... plan on doing some more tweaks before they finally get it.

Still have a to-do to look at the color combinations overall after a few comments on here as well as work out a forest / hills brush solution to come down. I also included a sample of the "big text" that includes a highlight outline/glow (Western Kingdom) for opinion on that versus the others like Garv, Arven, and Sisserith.

Long process, this is... I kind of enjoy coming back to it for a bit every week. It makes it easier to make the decision to scrap items or work I've done cause I'm choosing to scrap something I did last week rather than something I just spent 2 hours doing. A bit easier to psychologically digest.

Thanks for the continued input.