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jfrazierjr
12-04-2008, 03:23 PM
So.. I was messing around today at work during lunch and playing with some filters and effects in GIMP. What do you guys think of this forests? I especially like the "smear" on the forest edge near the bottom of the map. Pay no attention to the horrible tree trunks as I was using a trackball and could not draw straight with it, but I wanted something to get an idea of how it might look.

torstan
12-04-2008, 03:29 PM
I don't quite see what you mean by the smear you mention. Can you elaborate?

It's looking good. I'd suggest moving the drop shadow to just below the forest rather than a universal all around glow. I'd also suggest darkening the vertical edge of the trees. At the moment the canopy looks like a flat layer on top of the trunks. You need to give it body. You could do this by having the pen texture just on the edges towards the viewer, or by running a darker green brush around the bottom edges.

Nevertheless, good stuff so far.

jfrazierjr
12-04-2008, 06:14 PM
I don't quite see what you mean by the smear you mention. Can you elaborate? Ah fudge... I screenshoted this instead of exporting at full res from the original file. It's kind of hard to see at 100%, but if you zoom in more, you should be able to see the smudges near the highest part of the outline and also mid way or so on the bottom edge. Of course, it's a bit harder to see the one on the bottom with the shadow....




It's looking good. I'd suggest moving the drop shadow to just below the forest rather than a universal all around glow.
Done



I'd also suggest darkening the vertical edge of the trees. At the moment the canopy looks like a flat layer on top of the trunks. You need to give it body. You could do this by having the pen texture just on the edges towards the viewer, or by running a darker green brush around the bottom edges.

hmmm.. not sure how what you mean. This is the first time I have seriously tried anything that "looks" hand drawn and it kind of came about it on accident. I was actually playing around trying to put my own twist on your Dreeston region map. I included the xcf file in case you feel like showing me what you mean....

Ghostman
12-04-2008, 06:20 PM
Nice forest. I'd apply some texture pattern to the canopy if I were you, but it can look fine without one. If you want/don't mind perfectly straight tree trunks, here is a trick that could save you a lot of time and work:

1. Create a small image of vertical stripes (the trunks) that extend from the top of the image to the bottom of it, so that it can work as a tiling pattern. Save it as a GIMP pattern file in the folder where your GIMP is set to look for patterns.

2. In the map image, make a new layer called "trunks" or w/e. Apply a pattern-fill to this layer with the pattern you created in step 1 (you'll need to close and restart GIMP first). Create a black mask for this layer.

3. Make a selection of the forest canopy on what ever layer you have it, switch to edit the mask of the trunks layer, and fill the selection with white.

4. Float the selection and move it some distance down (depending on how long you wish the trunks to be).

Now you should have a neat 'outline' of trunks visible below the canopy, in similar manner as a drop-shadow would be. Of corse, you'll need to keep the canopy layer above the trunks layer for this to work as intended.

Steel General
12-04-2008, 08:13 PM
I love the colors, but I agree that the canopy needs something, it looks a bit "flat".

torstan
12-04-2008, 08:18 PM
Yep, I'll take a shot at this. One way to deal with that canopy question is to set the size of the fuzzy brush you are colouring with to be smaller. Then the colour variation will be more on the scale of what we would expect of the trees.

As for the canopy edges, I'll see what I can pull together tomorrow morning.

jfrazierjr
12-04-2008, 09:23 PM
Yep, I'll take a shot at this. One way to deal with that canopy question is to set the size of the fuzzy brush you are colouring with to be smaller. Then the colour variation will be more on the scale of what we would expect of the trees.

As for the canopy edges, I'll see what I can pull together tomorrow morning.


Heh.. actually.. i am not using brushes at all except to stroke the outline and to make the trunks...

torstan
12-04-2008, 10:14 PM
I see that now.

Right, here's a quick edit:
8190

I've included the .xcf so you can see what I did:
8191

jfrazierjr
12-05-2008, 12:50 PM
Ok... I moved the shadow to the other side, added some highlights to the right/top and low lights to the left/bottom. I also added a canvas texture overlay just for the heck of it.

Karro
12-05-2008, 01:40 PM
I think the highlights and shadows addressed what the others alluded to.

I can't say I dig the canvas texture, as yet.

jfrazierjr
12-05-2008, 02:10 PM
Soo... was just playing around during lunch and added a very small number of hills and a couple of mountains.... will play with this some more as time permits....

torstan
12-05-2008, 02:12 PM
That's the trick. I'd think about toning down that texture a little, but that's purely a matter of taste and would be a call you'd probably want to make after the whole map had been done.

I'd suggest possibly making your clouds a little more turbulent at small scales so that the varying light/shade on the canopy is a little more suggestive of small trees. Possibly another layer of clouds over the top of your current one with the turbulence turned right up but with low opacity. Rob mentioned a better filter than the standard gimp one, which might be worth it as the standard one is a bit gridded.

torstan
12-05-2008, 02:16 PM
Those mountains are lovely. Nice work.

Karro
12-05-2008, 02:32 PM
Those mountains are lovely. Nice work.

An accurate analysis. I concur!

jfrazierjr
12-05-2008, 03:58 PM
Ok.. a bit more putzing around... added a torn paper background....

Ascension
12-05-2008, 05:23 PM
That's a very nice looking image. The hilly bits are great but my eye keeps wanting to apply some sort of hand-drawn, quasi-ISO pattern fill for the forest...draw up a rather large forest full of trees and cut up some chunks to make a pattern out of. Then you can reuse over and over and erase the edges of the shape to fit the trees...or just make it into a brush instead of a pattern.

My 2 bits.

torstan
12-05-2008, 05:41 PM
I agree that a little more detail in the forest wouldn't go amiss, however it really depends on what scale you are going to read the map at.

I'd recommend playing with blending modes to integrate the colours into the map. I generally duplicate every colour layer. The bottom of the two layers is set to overlay. The upper layer is normal at 50% opacity. I do this for outline lines too. It helps with the hand-drawn watercolour feel.

Looking great - and that is a very nice parchment background.

jfrazierjr
12-05-2008, 06:11 PM
That's a very nice looking image. The hilly bits are great but my eye keeps wanting to apply some sort of hand-drawn, quasi-ISO pattern fill for the forest...draw up a rather large forest full of trees and cut up some chunks to make a pattern out of. Then you can reuse over and over and erase the edges of the shape to fit the trees...or just make it into a brush instead of a pattern.

My 2 bits.


I agree that a little more detail in the forest wouldn't go amiss, however it really depends on what scale you are going to read the map at.

I'd recommend playing with blending modes to integrate the colours into the map. I generally duplicate every colour layer. The bottom of the two layers is set to overlay. The upper layer is normal at 50% opacity. I do this for outline lines too. It helps with the hand-drawn watercolour feel.

Looking great - and that is a very nice parchment background.


Thanks guys. At this point, I don't want to get into individual drawn trees, perhaps for another project. And I want to be careful to not use textures that make this say "this is computer generated". This all started when I created a selection, stroked it, and then ran a displacement filter on during lunch. I liked the look of the line so darn much (the smudge, the variable thickness, etc) that I threw some color into it to make a forest canopy. Then you guys gave me some advice, so I dropped down some mountains (and will be adding more). Then everyone said the canvas was too over-powering and I had been wanting to do an old paper style map, soooooo...... here it is.

I plan to bring the mountains up most of the side of the forest and.... I have no idea from there... Perhaps make a second mountain chain below the first with a largish pass between the two... I will also play around with some textures to see if I can get something a bit more tree-like without messing up the feel I think I am heading toward.

torstan
12-05-2008, 06:34 PM
Well its looking great for something that started out as a lunch time doodle! definitely interested to see where this goes to.

On a side note, I'd be worried for anyone that did a google search for the tag you placed on this thread. Pulp fiction has a lot to answer for.

jfrazierjr
12-05-2008, 07:27 PM
Well its looking great for something that started out as a lunch time doodle! definitely interested to see where this goes to.
Thanks!! I am sure you know that I am interested in trying your mapping style, so after I put in the color, I wanted to figure out a quick way to get some (for lack of a better word) "lines" into it. So I stroked the outline with high jitter and the confetti brush(followed by displace)... as you can see... I don't like that anymore. Question I have for you.... do you manually create all those little squiggly lines when you do your forest or is there a trick I am missing out on?




On a side note, I'd be worried for anyone that did a google search for the tag you placed on this thread. Pulp fiction has a lot to answer for.
:?::?::?:

torstan
12-05-2008, 07:43 PM
I manually put in the squiggly lines I am afraid. No trick to those maps, just time with a pen. However as long as you have a pen and a few minutes, it doesn't take too long to put them in.

jfrazierjr
12-06-2008, 02:56 AM
Small (hugh time wise) update....Not sure where I want to go next after adding in some mountains.... suggestions?

ravells
12-06-2008, 08:42 AM
I can't say I'm enchanted about the forest but the mountains are beautiful. The forests just look a bit too flat for an iso type map. Putting a crinkly edge on the forest and maybe a clearing or two would really help with the edge definition. Here is a little screegrab of part of Torstan's latest WIP which shows it much better than I can tell it.

jfrazierjr
12-06-2008, 10:38 PM
A few small updates.... added some noise to the forests and added a lake/ocean/whatever.....

RobA
12-06-2008, 11:06 PM
It is a little early for this, but if you want to keep the canvas texture, when the map is done use the same texture to perform a displacement on the inking and colour. I did a similar thing for my lymeport map (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1729) (see post 4) and feel that, while subtle, it makes the map look less computer drawn :)

-Rob A>

Karro
12-08-2008, 01:19 PM
It's looking great, though I agree that the forest is not-quite-there-yet.

Previously, by adding the shadows and highlight, the forest really seemed to have a lot of definition. Now with all the noice from the parchment background and whatnot, I think that definition has been lost somewhat. I'd suggest going back and beefing up the shadows and highlights around the edges of the forest.

jfrazierjr
12-08-2008, 02:14 PM
Another Lunch time update. I had planned on working on either swamps or a cliff face on the waterline, but decided to bite the bullet and go for the forest since no one seems to like the existing. Hopefully, this is more in line with Torstans style now and its much more defined. I started on the interior and found I was putting TOO much roundness and texture so it looked kind of blocky and fake, so I went back and redrew it with some more randomness on the interior. Anyone every trying to draw some random squiggly lines with a damn trackball? It's hard!(I am at work and don't have my tablet.)

I think next I will add some more mountains up at the top, specifically with the full snow covered style, then work on a small cliff perhaps before going on to the swamp.

EDIT - I modified the map to reduce the hue and saturation of the forest colors.

Ascension
12-08-2008, 05:56 PM
Now yer cookin. Looks really nice and I especially like how "real" this feels...like I drew out some lines with a feather quill and used some watercolors to fill in the wash.

jfrazierjr
12-08-2008, 10:46 PM
More changes. I added a road leading through the hills to the mountains, and it will also end up running through the new hills I just added and lead... somewhere.....

Karro
12-09-2008, 11:12 AM
Yeah, this is looking great, now! The forests are now beautiful! The mountains Rock! The path is cool!

All is well with the world.

torstan
12-09-2008, 11:28 AM
Good work on the forest changes. That's looking really nice. I'm also intrigued by the ever-changing thread title! Nice to see how the doodle is progressing.

Karro
12-09-2008, 12:58 PM
Good work on the forest changes. That's looking really nice. I'm also intrigued by the ever-changing thread title! Nice to see how the doodle is progressing.

I wondered about that too.

I tried to change a thread title to a thread I had started, once, but it sort of didn't work... it only changed the title of my individual first post.

jfrazierjr
12-09-2008, 01:00 PM
Good work on the forest changes. That's looking really nice. I'm also intrigued by the ever-changing thread title! Nice to see how the doodle is progressing.


heh...well...I figured if I was going to actually keep working on this, I might as well put it into the correct forum and I will eventually figure out some use for this map and rename the title one last time....

heck... I might even start a campaign based off this since that road leading into the "hidden" dale seems to be a great place to end at a remote Dwarven outpost(which was something I was thinking the whole time. If you notice between the first few mountains and the fleshing out I did Friday night, I have this nice largish empty area between the forest and where some of the hills start back up.

Not quite sure where I am going to go next, though I do know I want to try my hand at some cliff features right off the coast of the ocean on the upper side, along with some more mountains. Also, anyone who wishes to use this for something can under the CC license as per my sig.

jfrazierjr
12-09-2008, 01:01 PM
I wondered about that too.

I tried to change a thread title to a thread I had started, once, but it sort of didn't work... it only changed the title of my individual first post.

That's a Community Leader perk...

Karro
12-09-2008, 01:34 PM
That's a Community Leader perk...

Ahh.

Well, as I have no such aspirations, I'll have to do without that Supreme Power.

jfrazierjr
12-09-2008, 11:12 PM
Small update... added a bit of "snow" cover in the north for the next phase and added a bit of cliff face to the northern shore of the ocean.

torstan
12-10-2008, 11:22 AM
I'd suggest using the same thickness of pen that you used for outlining the mountains to outline the cliff. I'd also have the base continue smoothly from the direction of the shore - as it will affect where the shore is. At the moment it looks a little like the sea is halfway up the cliff which is a little strange.

jfrazierjr
12-10-2008, 02:13 PM
I'd suggest using the same thickness of pen that you used for outlining the mountains to outline the cliff. I'd also have the base continue smoothly from the direction of the shore - as it will affect where the shore is. At the moment it looks a little like the sea is halfway up the cliff which is a little strange.


Check.

Not sure what you mean with the last comment on the cliff base. Is this something like what you mean? Or am I totally off base in my understanding?

jfrazierjr
12-10-2008, 07:33 PM
And now for some more....

jfrazierjr
12-10-2008, 11:10 PM
And yet more... added some mountains in the north which are snow covered on an arctic plain. I hope to try to add some type of evergreen trees to the east side and perhaps a few along the bottom if I can come up with something I like the looks of.

torstan
12-11-2008, 11:46 AM
They look nice.

I'm still not completel convinced by the cliff - it doesn't look isometric - more top down. Perhaps the lines on the cliff detail should be more vertical. Compare these two as an example:

8355

jfrazierjr
12-11-2008, 11:52 AM
They look nice.

I'm still not completel convinced by the cliff - it doesn't look isometric - more top down. Perhaps the lines on the cliff detail should be more vertical. Compare these two as an example:

8355


Ahhhh... thanks.... I see what you mean now.... will play with this tonight perhaps. I am kind of disappointed in my mountains compared to the ones I did in this (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=37189&postcount=7) post, but then again.... I am playing with a different color scheme in the map, so that can account for some of the differences also.... Perhaps I need to add a bit more black to the west slopes and smudge up along with the medium grey color I used....

jfrazierjr
12-11-2008, 12:21 PM
Ok... here are the mountains without outlines at all, just color. Perhaps I just need to got really small on the outlines of the mountains so that there is only a tiny fine line to delineate the shape???

torstan
12-11-2008, 12:40 PM
They are very nice indeed. I'm not sure you need an outline on these, but if you feel the need to add one then either go very thin, or set the outline to overlay. That means it will be a light line for the white mountains (and slightly darker on the shaded slope, and a darker outline for the dark mountains. That should stop it overwhelming the really nice detailing you've got going there.

RPMiller
12-11-2008, 01:04 PM
I have to agree. This is coming along nicely and you are developing a personal style that I have to admit I really like. You have a very nice painted effect happening and I think you should really embrace that more. I think you should dump the outlining completely and really grab the painted look. For the trees you could do that with a similar effect that you used for the mountains. Don't focus on drawing individual tree trunks, but give an illusion that they are tree trunks. Use a lightening/shadow effect for the scribbling in the forest canopy and drop the black lines. If you do a color dodge/burn you should be able to see the effect I'm referring to.

Currently your mountains, both northern and eastern are really great and the style that I think the whole map would benefit from.

jfrazierjr
12-11-2008, 01:09 PM
Thanks Torstan... I ended up making two copies of each of the outlines setting one to overlay and the other to multiply and jacking the opacity way down. I think I have the mountains about where I want them with this change and just a smallish hint of an outline....

RPMiller
12-11-2008, 01:22 PM
I liked the other version without the lines personally. I think the previous version had more of a hand painted artistic interpretation.

Vandy
12-11-2008, 01:33 PM
Hello, jfrazierjr.

I have to agree with RPMiller. I liked the map without the outlines. To me, it makes the map look "harder". The non-outline version has a very soft look to it and seems to have a more natural look and feel to it.

Regardless of the version you pick, you've produced a wonderful map. I'm very impressed with the way you've presented your terrain.

This is an excellent map!

Regards,

Gary

Ascension
12-11-2008, 05:57 PM
I gotta go with the lines. The forest clump itself is outlined by default so it sticks out with nothing else being outlined...unless you can figure out a way to unline the forest. Plus, it might be hard to do that cliff without the lines. The line-less version is pretty and I like 'em both but I gotta go with a consistency of style.

my 2 bits

Karro
12-12-2008, 04:14 PM
I must concur with Ascension. I'm not sure how these forests would be done without the lines, so I am in support of lines on the mountains. Besides, on the brown mountains, I like it better with lines... although I do prefer the icy mountains without the lines.

RPMiller
12-12-2008, 05:27 PM
Well, I have to agree with RPMiller... what?

mmmmmpig
12-12-2008, 05:32 PM
for consistency I think you need the linework in the mountains. that way the style matches that of the forest and other areas. I think the black inks are a bit too strong though, so I took the liberty of color-holding the blacks and making them a kind of burnt sienna or raw umber color to de-emphasize them.

I think outlining stuff in brown might be the happy medium between outline and no outline. That being said, it is your map and what you say will be the decision. :)

jfrazierjr
12-12-2008, 07:38 PM
Thanks everyone for the comments(and rep and help)! At this point, I just think I have to have some lines for definition, so my last update will be what I keep for the mountains. And I will go back and fix up the shore, forest, and grassy hills to get a consistent looking line width across the whole map.

RPMiller
12-12-2008, 07:45 PM
Boo, hiss, boo... :( I gave you a challenge and you failed. :x

J/k :D

I look forward to seeing the next iteration. I think you should definitely stay away from the purely black lines though. If you have your lines on a separate layer you should be able to use one of the blend options to get a contrasting line without them being dominant.

Gamerprinter
12-13-2008, 01:38 AM
I'm late with my opinion, and JFj even asked for me to comment! Tough call really, but I'm of Mmmmmpig's opinion mostly. Brown on forests, light grey on snowy mountains and dark brown or black on the dark mountains.

Because I don't use GIMP (much), and I'd probably hand-draw it pen & ink in black / scanned I might have completely different issues than this. So its difficult for me to comment, other than what I've already said.

Sorry its not much of a comment - I wish I could say more...:?

One thing, though, I like your forest, however next to the mountains, they seem really tall?! I'd soften the shadow, and somehow lessen the bevel effect so that its only a slight bevel. I think it would balance better with the mountains. Just my opinion - though I like this map very much!

GP

jfrazierjr
12-13-2008, 11:43 PM
Am I missing it, or are there no tutorials for making mountains in this style here? If there are none, is this something that people would like me to write up a tutorial on???

Midgardsormr
12-14-2008, 12:02 AM
Well, there was Hapimeses' hand-drawn mountains tutorial, but that's as close as we've come so far. Have at it!

Gamerprinter
12-14-2008, 03:52 AM
Go for it, JFj! I do like those mountains.

GP

Steel General
12-14-2008, 09:49 AM
I agree, we need more tut's on this kind of stuff. :)

jfrazierjr
12-14-2008, 09:59 PM
Slight update... I added a compass... I hope the style fits. Also, I changed the outlines to all be fairly faint on all the areas.

Ascension
12-14-2008, 10:50 PM
This really darn cool and almost painted, might wanna make the stroke on the compass hazy as well but I know this is not the final.

jfrazierjr
12-14-2008, 10:57 PM
This really darn cool and almost painted, might wanna make the stroke on the compass hazy as well but I know this is not the final.


Yea... I just noticed that while looking at the source.... I have that as a separate image, so will go monkeying with the compass when I get some time so that it matches up with everything else a bit.

Vandy
12-15-2008, 11:44 AM
Hi, JR.

I see you've made some really great progress on you map since I last commented. After spending some time viewing your latest version, I must agree with your decision for definition lines. It does add a good, viewable element to your map. I do like the way you've implemented them.

As to your compass, it is a bit plain for my tastes. I would want a compass showing all four points and, perhaps, a bit more elaborate detailing. Again, just my tastes.

Good looking map and I am very much going to continuing watching and reading about its development.

Looking forward to your continued work.

Regards,

Gary

jfrazierjr
12-15-2008, 11:55 AM
Hi, JR.

I see you've made some really great progress on you map since I last commented. After spending some time viewing your latest version, I must agree with your decision for definition lines. It does add a good, viewable element to your map. I do like the way you've implemented them.

As to your compass, it is a bit plain for my tastes. I would want a compass showing all four points and, perhaps, a bit more elaborate detailing. Again, just my tastes.

Good looking map and I am very much going to continuing watching and reading about its development.

Looking forward to your continued work.

Regards,

Gary

Thanks Vandy! One of the reasons the compass is simple is because it's supposed to be. I may ended up putting a bit more distressing into the banner part, but after starting with just a forest texture for a test, I ended up deciding to use this map for a campaign I think I will be starting and the map will be a player hand out, so I want it to look somewhat like a Dwarven cartographer might make. I can't really see a Dwarf using some flowery compass rose, which is why I went for the spear as it is both informative (showing North) and fairly simple in design and fits somewhat with the Dwarven militant theme. Also, it was premade from Fractal Mapper, so I will end up making some small modifications to the image to get to the final result, but in a nutshell, it's fairly close to the final form. Hmmmm now that I think about it a bit more... I might try to find a nice Hammer model I can redo, perhaps with a smallish spike on top that might fit more with the Dwarven culture. Will have to see what I can find.....

jfrazierjr
12-15-2008, 08:46 PM
Ok.. Tiny update..... I lightened the tree trunks to match the other "outlines" and added a coniferous forest up north around the snowy mountains and beyond. I have not had time to revisit the compass as of yet.... but I think as I said earlier, I will redo this using the same type of banner over top of a hammer, perhaps with some type of embellishment to the hammer itself (Bloodhammer or perhaps Sunhammer to represent the Dwarf clan). I will have to play around a bit in Inkscape if I don't google to find something example like I want without tons of searching.

Steel General
12-16-2008, 08:19 AM
I think the conifers look great - but shouldn't they have a bit of a shadow as well? Or maybe you just haven't got to that yet.

This is really turning out to be very good.

Vandy
12-16-2008, 09:02 AM
Hi, jfrazierjr.

Ah. I much better understand your use of your compass choice now. In the context of what you attempting to create, it makes much sense now.

I like the addition of your conifers in the northeast corner of the map. They add a nice "change of pace" to the map. I would agree with the Steel General on his shadows comment.

I'm looking forward to the continued evolution of this great map. Thanks for sharing your progress with us.

I'm starting to realize that -- for lack of a better term to use -- map-making other than for SimCity 4 is a whole new world. When making a SimCity 4 map, your artistic choices are pretty much limited to where you want to put the mountains, coastlines, plains, rivers, lakes, etc. Certainly, it is the same with the map-making I've seen here with the exception that your choices are so very broad as to HOW you place your terrain features as well as WHAT you use to display them.

This is exciting "stuff" and I'm really looking forward to a much broad base from which to explore.

Great work, jfrazierjr. Really great.

Regards,

Gary

jfrazierjr
12-16-2008, 11:04 AM
I think the conifers look great - but shouldn't they have a bit of a shadow as well? Or maybe you just haven't got to that yet.

This is really turning out to be very good.


Hi, jfrazierjr.

Ah. I much better understand your use of your compass choice now. In the context of what you attempting to create, it makes much sense now.

I like the addition of your conifers in the northeast corner of the map. They add a nice "change of pace" to the map. I would agree with the Steel General on his shadows comment.

I'm looking forward to the continued evolution of this great map. Thanks for sharing your progress with us.

I'm starting to realize that -- for lack of a better term to use -- map-making other than for SimCity 4 is a whole new world. When making a SimCity 4 map, your artistic choices are pretty much limited to where you want to put the mountains, coastlines, plains, rivers, lakes, etc. Certainly, it is the same with the map-making I've seen here with the exception that your choices are so very broad as to HOW you place your terrain features as well as WHAT you use to display them.

This is exciting "stuff" and I'm really looking forward to a much broad base from which to explore.

Great work, jfrazierjr. Really great.

Regards,

Gary

Thanks to both of you!

Yea... the shadows, I just did not have time to get that done last night as I had hoped to come back to the conifers. I plan on removing the shadow under the other trees and redoing them anyway. They were fine before when there was nothing else on the map, but given the scale I will be using this map at, I plan on reducing those shadows quite a bit in size and will add the ones for the conifers at the same time. I tried turning off the shadow layer last night and I don't think I can get away without a bit of shadow, so I kind of have a direction to go at this point, I just need to have some time. I also plan to increase the size of the snow plain to cover most of the top of the map under the conifer forest. I guess it's a good thing I have at least until March to get this done (that's when my turn to DM will come up at the earliest), so I will more than likely take a short break from this map and go to a brush/png/tutorial binge on how I make those mountains as I have had enough interest in them to warrant spending the time(I would normally not do png's, but I might as well spend an extra 5 minutes per brush to help the symbol mapper users out so that CC and Fractal Mapper users can get some love out of this whole process too.)

Of course, I still need to spend some time fleshing out my backstory, so I may "complete" the map and then come back and make some changes to it as my story develops. I don't know that this will matter too much as there will be two copies of the map over a time period change of hundreds of years(this is the "old" map) with some interviening cateclysm in the middle of the time span. I also need a name for my region, which I am still having trouble with as nothing seems to be inspiring me at the moment. Also, does anyone know of a good png of a two headed warhammer? I found this (http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=719&KW=hammer) at Dundjinni which I will use if I can find nothing else, but I would rather have something with two heads "AND" ornate (ie, perhaps a few ruins carved into it and shapped a bit less like a big square of metal). Google just brougt up tons and tons of Warhammer 40K and RPG stuff or Battletech or simplistic warhammers that were actual pictures of historical weapons. I tried to make something in Inkscape last night... but I could not get it to do what I wanted(perhaps I need to devote some time to learning exactly how that damn thing works!)

jfrazierjr
12-16-2008, 11:11 AM
Oh... and to everyone who has commented on this map(and special thanks to Torstan), THANK YOU. I have ADD, so it's all the great comments such as these that help me stay motivated to keep at this until completion and not get side tracked.

Steel General
12-16-2008, 11:17 AM
Here's a couple of others that I founf there...maybe these will work for you.

I think the bigger one is the better and doesn't have that funky glow around it.

RobA
12-16-2008, 11:53 AM
I modded the one you linked to from the dj forums to make it two headed.

-Rob A>

jfrazierjr
12-16-2008, 12:20 PM
Thanks SG and Rob! I rather like the first one SG posted up, but the size of the heads are way to big and the haft is too short. I had found a few others and were thinking of doing a mod as you did Rob. In fact, I ended up finding something close to what I want over on RPGMapshare (http://rpgmapshare.com/index.php?q=gallery&g2_itemId=15014).
8493

It's a bit ornate, but not ostentatious. I need to be really carefull as I want to make sure whatever I use matches in style with the rest of the map, so I think I will do a bit of modding to this one (need to add a spike up top and a "north" pointer) along with a banner perhaps. I think somewhere in the area of 25-40% original size will be perfect and not look like an attached image pasted onto the top of a "hand painted" map. I will have to play with the image to get it just right. I also found a few others in my old copy of the CSAUC (from a year ago), so I may download the latest to see if there are some new things available. Bad thing is that of the ones I found, the one's I liked the most were also the ones with the lowest resolution, so they are probably not usable. Also, if worst comes to worst, I can alwasy import into fractal mapper to draw the outlines, add a bit of color fill and then port back to GIMP to spruce it up a bit. Lot's of options.... to little time.....

jfrazierjr
12-16-2008, 01:15 PM
Heh.. perhaps I have found a name for my region: "Ravmillerrobaknightarcanarobesgeneralprinterland in honor of the top posters to the Guild???

Errr... perhaps I shall keep searching for a name.....

Steel General
12-16-2008, 02:04 PM
...and if you wanted to be silly you could give the leader of the region the title High/Grand Expansipoobahmator :)

torstan
12-16-2008, 02:42 PM
Glad to be of use. I like the way these hammers are coming along.

The forest is a bit heavily saturated compared to the rest of the map. Also it's a little odd to have the connifers individually depicted, but the deciduous tres all in one large clump. Perhaps it's worth looking at a style that has a coniferous forest as one large object? I'd also suggest fading out the white snow area to the north or smudging the edge. At the moment it looks a little bit obvious as a large spraypainted area of white. Perhaps either make it a hard edge and give it a clear reason - an ice shelf for example?

Just some thoughts. All the elements are starting to come together really well. I like the style you've got coming on here.

jfrazierjr
12-16-2008, 03:23 PM
Glad to be of use. I like the way these hammers are coming along.

The forest is a bit heavily saturated compared to the rest of the map. Also it's a little odd to have the connifers individually depicted, but the deciduous tres all in one large clump. Perhaps it's worth looking at a style that has a coniferous forest as one large object? I'd also suggest fading out the white snow area to the north or smudging the edge. At the moment it looks a little bit obvious as a large spraypainted area of white. Perhaps either make it a hard edge and give it a clear reason - an ice shelf for example?

Just some thoughts. All the elements are starting to come together really well. I like the style you've got coming on here.

I have actually thought about making this an ice self with a cliff running most of the length of the top or possibly a large ice covered mesa in the far right corner... not really sure where to go with that yet though.... I also plan on bringing some of the brown from the lower mountains up a bit in addition.... I still have not gotten the whole thing done in my head as to what elements need to be here for the campaign, but will detail some of that below.

Any ideas on how to depict the conifers as a mass? My idea was to have them "mostly" be thinned individual tree clumps rather than a thick forested region. The end result is going to be that the large forest in the center of the map is actually fairly large, on the order of a few hundred miles in both directions. The whole maps scale is going to be somewhere in the 1000 mile range top to bottom. Of course.... the entire map is really meant to be landmap style rather than strict scale based since it's ultimately going to be a player handout.



History as I see it at the moment:
This area was once home to several small city-states which generally controlled the area within 20-100 miles of their immediate area on the plains and along the coast. The forest was of course home to a kingdom of Elves with two Dwarven kingdoms in the Northern and Southern mountains respectively. Gods warred, unleashed armies, meteors, and plagues, most elves retreated to the Feywild, the Southern dwarves opened their kindgom to refugees, mostly human, but a small group of Elves, Halflings and Dragonborn. The Dwarves sealed their gates and waited for the dust to clear. After several hundred years, the Gods fell silent. There have been several small skirmishes between the dwarves and other underground races, but recently, this is getting to the brink of a full out war. After hundreds of years of silence, the Gods have returned and announced that the time has come to open the gates. The players have been asked to attempt to bring reinforcements from the Northern group of dwarves either via overland travel or travel along the undersea (of course, the sea does not reach the full distances to either kingdom.

End result, topside is a vast wilderness and drastically changed in topology... of course, this also means tons of ruins but also tons of bad creatures. The map will be presented to the players as region existing 1200 years or so ago and it will be their job, in addition to other jobs, to find out the current lay of the land and report back threats and possibly act as ambasadors to any intelligent creatures, both topside and below. In addition to the war raging below the surface which they players must help deal with in some way, they may well encounter hostiles topside in sufficient number to bring war to thier homeland from a new front....

Ascension
12-16-2008, 05:50 PM
Maybe it's just me but I don't think the fir trees fit the style in general as well as being completely different from the other forest. They're neat n all but I just feel that they don't fit. Maybe if you could do something like the other forest but instead of squiggly lines make something more pointy or angular.

my 2 bits

jfrazierjr
01-09-2009, 12:00 AM
Feeling bored but did not feel like doing anything majorly time consuming, so I created a tree trunk brush and added trunks to my forest(removed the coniferous one .... will add back in when I think I can do it right....

Robbie
01-13-2009, 02:51 PM
What happened with this guy? Ya gonna finish it? Those mountains look too good to shelve the project...plus I'd like to see what happens with that forest.

torstan
01-13-2009, 03:06 PM
I agree! Definitely continue this.

jfrazierjr
01-13-2009, 03:09 PM
What happened with this guy? Ya gonna finish it? Those mountains look too good to shelve the project...plus I'd like to see what happens with that forest.


I took a break to do a few mountain symbols, but I will come back to this. In fact, I played around just the other day and updated it with a tree trunk brush I made. My ADD tends to keep me bouncing from one thing to another, and frankly, I am kind of blocked on how to represent my coniferous forest up north in a style that does not clash with the existing forests. I know I will be using a darker green color for the fill, but the shape and interior "texture" is what is giving me fits.

I also have not had a chance to really sit down and think about locations for the various ruins since this is going to be part of a new campaign and since I am a slacker and it's 2 months off.... I just have not been motivated to get that part done. If nothing else, I will play around with changing the existing short cliff to a nice ice shelf cliff face in the next few days.

Karro
01-13-2009, 06:31 PM
My ADD tends to keep me bouncing from one thing to another, and frankly, I am kind of blocked on how to represent my coniferous forest up north in a style that does not clash with the existing forests. I know I will be using a darker green color for the fill, but the shape and interior "texture" is what is giving me fits.


I have a thought on that, though not being near something I can draw with at the moment, I can only offer a description of my suggestion.

Try doing an outline, as you did with the larger forest, but instead of giving the forest outline a smooth and rounded appearance, make it angular and jagged - specifically, with triangular jaggies around the edges that rise to northward-pointing tips, and a series of triangular tips across the northward sides of the forest. Then, on the southward sides, as you do here, paint in a bunch of varied-length tree trunks.

For the interior noise of the forest, go again for a triangular (or inverted-v) motif.

Did any of that make sense?

RPMiller
01-13-2009, 07:26 PM
See Joe... I told you that is what you should do. :)

jfrazierjr
01-13-2009, 09:28 PM
I have a thought on that, though not being near something I can draw with at the moment, I can only offer a description of my suggestion.

Try doing an outline, as you did with the larger forest, but instead of giving the forest outline a smooth and rounded appearance, make it angular and jagged - specifically, with triangular jaggies around the edges that rise to northward-pointing tips, and a series of triangular tips across the northward sides of the forest. Then, on the southward sides, as you do here, paint in a bunch of varied-length tree trunks.

For the interior noise of the forest, go again for a triangular (or inverted-v) motif.

Did any of that make sense?

I tried that the other night(just in a like 5 minutes), just that outline part and honestly did not like the way it looked. I will get back to it before to long....

Karro
01-14-2009, 10:24 AM
Ah, well, if it doesn't work it doesn't work; but in my mind's eye it looks good enough to give it a full-on treatment before scrapping it. Well... other than that, I'd have to ruminate to think of an alternative.

I don't think the "individual tree" effect, though, will work well with the large forest field clump that you have going here. Good luck on making something work, either way!

torstan
02-15-2009, 11:32 AM
So I've been playing with this a bit to see if I can get something that works and got to this:

10406

The tree outline was quickly inked in. The interior colour was painted in using a large fuzzy brush set to use colour from gradient and Gimp's built in greens gradient. The layer was set to multiply to get nice dark conifers.

The overall light and shade on the trees was done with a 50% grey overlay layer that I then painted onto with a large fuzzy brush with white for the top left edge of the forest and black for the bottom right edge, to give overall bulk and form to the forest.

I created a small brush to do the light and shade on the trees, by drawing a light line and a dark line that faded off towards the bottom on a new layer:

10407

I then cut this out from the image and because gimp can use the image on the clipboard as a brush, I had a ready made tree overlay brush. I set the brush spacing to 100 and created a new layer. I then painted over the forest with this until it looked like the trees were well spaced and then set the layer to overlay. I also did this with a much blurrier version of the above brush which did a nice job of giving more general form to it.

For those who are interested, here's the .xcf and the above brush as a .gbr file. Hope this gives foor for thought to the discussion. It can definitely be refined and I'll be interested to see what comes up.

10408

Ascension
02-15-2009, 03:00 PM
Sweet. Snagged.

Karro
02-16-2009, 10:27 AM
So I've been playing with this a bit to see if I can get something that works and got to this:

10406

The tree outline was quickly inked in. The interior colour was painted in using a large fuzzy brush set to use colour from gradient and Gimp's built in greens gradient. The layer was set to multiply to get nice dark conifers.

The overall light and shade on the trees was done with a 50% grey overlay layer that I then painted onto with a large fuzzy brush with white for the top left edge of the forest and black for the bottom right edge, to give overall bulk and form to the forest.

I created a small brush to do the light and shade on the trees, by drawing a light line and a dark line that faded off towards the bottom on a new layer:

10407

I then cut this out from the image and because gimp can use the image on the clipboard as a brush, I had a ready made tree overlay brush. I set the brush spacing to 100 and created a new layer. I then painted over the forest with this until it looked like the trees were well spaced and then set the layer to overlay. I also did this with a much blurrier version of the above brush which did a nice job of giving more general form to it.

For those who are interested, here's the .xcf and the above brush as a .gbr file. Hope this gives foor for thought to the discussion. It can definitely be refined and I'll be interested to see what comes up.

10408

Yeah, that looks great. I think that style matches up awesomely with the round-tree grouping used elsewhere on Joe's map. Reppomundo!

jfrazierjr
02-16-2009, 11:42 AM
Thanks to Torstan, I guess I need to get over my lack of motivation and get back to work on this project again... I might even think about getting GP to make a print out to be given to the players once they are ready to complete the opening of the main gate. I can probably get away with something like 11-17 or so and get a decent print out given the ppi and size of the current image.

torstan
02-16-2009, 01:09 PM
Thanks. I've been meaning to take a stab at conifers for a while. I'm glad it worked out well.

jfrazierjr
02-17-2009, 11:58 PM
Ok... added some conifers to the north part of the map. I created a custom brush thanks to Torstan's inspiration and laid down two copies set to overlay on two different layers with slightly different shades of green set to soft light and burn. I think the results came out pretty darn well if I do say so myself.

I may end up getting rid of the manual squiggles in the original forest and make a image hose with a few roundish brushes, not sure at this point....

Hopefully, this is starting to shape up into a nice artistic map...

Steel General
02-18-2009, 07:15 AM
I think your conifer forest is great, even better than the deciduous (sp?) you originally did. Would it be worth it to try and create a similar brush for it?

jfrazierjr
02-18-2009, 10:30 AM
I think your conifer forest is great, even better than the deciduous (sp?) you originally did. Would it be worth it to try and
create a similar brush for it?



I may end up getting rid of the manual squiggles in the original forest and make a image hose with a few roundish brushes, not sure at this point....


Yep.... I am thinking at this point that might be what I do. I have to really come up a brush that I like though, so that's the main sticking point. I also want to keep the feel that it's color over which some tree shapes have been drawn, so I have to be convinced myself that whatever brush I make will follow that same line of artistic expression...

torstan
02-18-2009, 12:29 PM
That is very lovely. The saturation and the sharpness of the light/shade on the forest make it stand out a lot. Perhaps it's best to lower those a little so it blends in with the rest of the map.

I really like what you did with the tree brush. Good stuff.

jfrazierjr
02-18-2009, 03:41 PM
That is very lovely. The saturation and the sharpness of the light/shade on the forest make it stand out a lot. Perhaps it's best to lower those a little so it blends in with the rest of the map.

I really like what you did with the tree brush. Good stuff.

Thanks.... I just made one of those stereotypical (sloppy) Christmas tree shape things for the brush, colored half black/half white and then cross colored a few streaks of white onto black and visa versa and applied a blur to the whole thing before saving the brush.

I did want it to be a bit sharp color wise, but i might play with it just a tad to see if I can tone it down. With the blending modes, I found that it was either way to dark or way to light, so I am still trying to figure out how to tweak it a bit and still get something close to what I want.

jfrazierjr
02-25-2009, 09:52 PM
Soo.... small update.. I got rid of the squiggle lines in the forest and made up a brush to use in overlay mode, just like I did with the Conifer trees, a week or two ago.

Fabrice
02-25-2009, 11:05 PM
Hooo... this is pretty.

I like the blurring you achieved, it gives a painting aspect.

The compass is contrasting a little bit as it is a tad sharp, I think.

Are you planning on adding text labels? I am curious about your choice of lettering to match this dreamy feel that emanates from the map...

torstan
02-25-2009, 11:34 PM
Nice looking map. Looking good.

jfrazierjr
02-25-2009, 11:39 PM
Hooo... this is pretty.

I like the blurring you achieved, it gives a painting aspect.

The compass is contrasting a little bit as it is a tad sharp, I think.

Are you planning on adding text labels? I am curious about your choice of lettering to match this dreamy feel that emanates from the map...

Thanks. I don't have everything planned out yet... this started out as a lunchtime doodle to make a ISO tree group without making individual trees. After playing with it for a few weeks, I got inspired to start a campaign with my Face to Face group alternating with our existing GM, so am kind of playing it by ear. We are starting in March, but I dont have to hurry since the group starts out in a Dwarven city and has been there for centuries... So, when they get this map, probably around 3rd level or so, it will be very old and outdated... once they get top side, it will take them a while to figure out that the map no longer represents the landscape as it exists in their time.

If you read the other posts, I plan to try to do something with hammer or axe and a banner for the compass. This is just a quick place holder to provide a similar style for what I am going for, but it will eventually be replaced.

jfrazierjr
02-26-2009, 12:44 AM
Good work on the forest changes. That's looking really nice. I'm also intrigued by the ever-changing thread title! Nice to see how the doodle is progressing.


I wondered about that too.

I tried to change a thread title to a thread I had started, once, but it sort of didn't work... it only changed the title of my individual first post.

Ok... hopefully, the final title change, since you guys were so interested in it. heh...:)

Karro
02-26-2009, 10:17 AM
Ok... hopefully, the final title change, since you guys were so interested in it. heh...:)

Such mysterious magical title-changing powers you possess...

Good luck on the campaign! It's a great idea to give the players an intentionally inaccurate map!

IngIngsvar
02-26-2009, 07:09 PM
Very nice style of mapping.

I wonder how the town (if there is one) will look like.

jfrazierjr
02-26-2009, 07:15 PM
There will be several towns, but I am not sure where or when I will get to them. I have a few more landscape elements to put in before I begin the final clean up to add the towns and such. There will be one on the water as well as a few inland along with perhaps a tower or two. I plan to make then stylized as if a ISO view as everything else is, but have to find or make the right icons for that somewhere....

IngIngsvar
02-26-2009, 11:13 PM
Very interesting

BTW: There was a cliff mentioned. Where was it?

jfrazierjr
02-26-2009, 11:28 PM
Very interesting

BTW: There was a cliff mentioned. Where was it?

Upper left corner between the water and the mountains. I think I will expand it and make it run most of the length of the top of the image.

RPMiller
03-07-2009, 10:23 AM
Joe, I love the changes to the forest and the new forest! Excellent and I love to see that the effect worked out great and ended up improving the other forest. Well done.

I am really interested to see how you are going to pull of the towns in a similar style. Maybe create a "typical building brush" and then use the same technique?

lisze
03-07-2009, 10:28 AM
That is so pretty. I love the softness to it. I also really like your forest. The lines suggest the outline of trees really well without being overwhelming.

jfrazierjr
03-07-2009, 08:55 PM
Joe, I love the changes to the forest and the new forest! Excellent and I love to see that the effect worked out great and ended up improving the other forest. Well done.


That is so pretty. I love the softness to it. I also really like your forest. The lines suggest the outline of trees really well without being overwhelming.

Thanks to you both!




I am really interested to see how you are going to pull of the towns in a similar style.

Umm yea... I am really interested to see how I pull it off also....:?::?:

StillCypher
03-16-2009, 06:07 PM
I have been absent from the forums for what feels like forever -- and it'll take me about that long to catch up!

Joe, I want to tell you how much I like the way this map of yours is progressing. I really like how you did the mountains (and i now have the tutorial bookmarked for later reading!). I'm looking forward to seeing how this comes out!

jfrazierjr
03-16-2009, 11:42 PM
I have been absent from the forums for what feels like forever -- and it'll take me about that long to catch up!

Joe, I want to tell you how much I like the way this map of yours is progressing. I really like how you did the mountains (and i now have the tutorial bookmarked for later reading!). I'm looking forward to seeing how this comes out!


Welcome back!

Thanks! It's going really slow, but I am glad you like it and hope you can get something out of the tutorial. It is slow going with work and other stuff going on, so I will get around to finishing this map at some point....:(

jfrazierjr
11-17-2009, 09:51 PM
Urgh... been WAY to long since I worked on this. Minor update... added a bit more noise texture to the water (whitish highlights) and changed the cliff to run the entire length of the upper mountain area. Could use a bit more playing with the cliff itself, but this is what I got completed in the short time I had available.

Karro
11-18-2009, 11:42 AM
This is minor, but I noticed some of the white coloration from the northern mountains discolors the black background behind the parchment. I imagine you'll want to mask that out.

Good to see you working on this again.

jfrazierjr
11-18-2009, 12:38 PM
This is minor, but I noticed some of the white coloration from the northern mountains discolors the black background behind the parchment. I imagine you'll want to mask that out.

Good to see you working on this again.

Thats because I was dumb and saved this as a jpg instead of a png as the original was... will update when I get a chance..

jfrazierjr
12-02-2009, 05:03 PM
Another small update. Added a bit more to the coniferous forest up north (have not finished yet...) and pushed the shading back toward the darker green spectrum... Need to add the trunks...

Next up is one or two rivers and then working on some of the settlements that most likely no longer exist.

Ramah
12-02-2009, 05:28 PM
You sure do like to take your time with a map, don't you? :)

Looking really nice though. When do you expect to have it finished?

jfrazierjr
12-03-2009, 09:47 AM
You sure do like to take your time with a map, don't you? :) Yea well... real life sucks some time...lol


Looking really nice though. When do you expect to have it finished? Thanks....

If my life holds true to form... never....lol. But really, I hope to have this thing done sometime in the next 2 months or so. Not really a ton left to add to it time wise other than drawing up some city/town/fort icons. That and doing up a proper compass will be the most time. Adding the rivers and labels will take little time. I had thought about doing a small region of swampy land in the southeast, but I just can't think of a way to do it to match this style map, so may just bag it...

Karro
12-03-2009, 11:38 AM
Yea well... real life sucks some time...lol


Doesn't it, though? I've consigned myself to the reality that I will not be able to finish my map until after Grad School, if then (depends on conditions with the impending bambino).

But this is looking quite fine, here. I would say the piney forest is looking a little... technicolor, so to speak, compared to the wonderfully earthy colors of the rest of the map.

jfrazierjr
12-03-2009, 12:38 PM
Minor update... tweaked the color mix in the brown mountains and adjusted several of the outline opacity. I also blurred the forests just a bit to tone down the heavily stippled look on the large forest and the heavy color contrast on the conifers forest.

jfrazierjr
12-03-2009, 04:22 PM
Ok.. another minor update. Thanks to Ramah, I used one of his just added wireframe castles for my first town/city icon with some color and shading added. More to come at some point.

Ramah
12-03-2009, 07:41 PM
Heh. That was a quick use. :)

Well I quite like it, but I think you've made the cones on the top of the castle towers a little... rainbow. They look a little too bright to me. If you coloured them all the same colour as you've done the smallest cone (the dark one) I think it would look pretty cool. Or at the very least, ditch the yellow.

rdanhenry
12-03-2009, 07:57 PM
Maybe the castle owner likes a little color. Personally, I think the blue looks best, so that would be my choice if they were all made the same. All yellow would look a bit too much like candles.

jfrazierjr
12-04-2009, 09:50 AM
Heh. That was a quick use. :)

Well I quite like it, but I think you've made the cones on the top of the castle towers a little... rainbow. They look a little too bright to me. If you coloured them all the same colour as you've done the smallest cone (the dark one) I think it would look pretty cool. Or at the very least, ditch the yellow.

Heh.. yea... I was going to (try) do some by hand, but your wireframe versions were just to useful to pass up. I just pasted into a new image added shading (dodge/burn) based on my light angle and the color and copy/pasted in. I could not use the houses as they were way to dark with the shading on this type of map, so will do my own when I get time. I did play with it a tad more after that upload and ended up adding a blur to the even out the lines and make it a bit more in line with the map itself.

Ramah
12-04-2009, 11:05 AM
Yeah, I did the houses in a diferent way by basically distorting and skewing my original house brush to make it a little more iso and then I flipped it and edited it as I made the other ones, so I never really had an outline to work from.
Having said that though, I've taken a few of those house brushes and deleted all the shading to leave very simplified outlines for the purpose of shrinking and flipping as I try and get some decent looking city brushes.
You're welcome to those house outlines if you want them. They're nothing special though.

torstan
12-04-2009, 12:20 PM
This is where this went - that's what happens when you change the name of your posts :).

I like how this is going. The coniferous forests are lovely and the overall colouration of the map is great.

There are a few things that stand out though. Your compass, tree trunks and castle are perfectly sharp and detailed at the individual pixel level. Everything else on the map is slightly blurred and more watercolour in style. The contrast is striking and makes those features look cut and pasted. A bit of work (duplicate and blur/smudge perhaps, possibly reduce the overall opacity to let the paper texture and colour show through?) will help these to blend into the rest of the map.

What are the future plans for the Garnok region? Just a castle or is there more to come?

I do really like the ice shelf. It works well.

jfrazierjr
12-04-2009, 12:33 PM
This is where this went - that's what happens when you change the name of your posts :).

I like how this is going. The coniferous forests are lovely and the overall colouration of the map is great.

There are a few things that stand out though. Your compass, tree trunks and castle are perfectly sharp and detailed at the individual pixel level. Everything else on the map is slightly blurred and more watercolour in style. The contrast is striking and makes those features look cut and pasted. A bit of work (duplicate and blur/smudge perhaps, possibly reduce the overall opacity to let the paper texture and colour show through?) will help these to blend into the rest of the map.

What are the future plans for the Garnok region? Just a castle or is there more to come?

I do really like the ice shelf. It works well.

Everything you say has already been noted... The existing compass is just a place holder. I will be doing a shaded Warhammer (with spiky top pointed north) that has a parchment like the existing on when I get on near the end for my final compass... In the local copy, I have already blurred the castle lines also to make it fit in a bit better as well as a tad more blur on the walls of the cliffs. I am waiting until my other computer comes back so I can get my brush for the trees to re plant under the trees in the NE and then will blur the whole layer a touch.

Yes, there will absolutely be more locations added before I am finished. That kind of carved out area of the mountains right of where the trail ends will get a twin tower type thing as the gates to Garnok. I will also be placing at least 2-3 other cities as well as 2-3 villages and was thinking of doing up a few huts/yurts for the area between the cliffs and the NE forest to represent barbarian tribes that roam the tundra. Not sure if/where I can fit it in, but might also be the gates to another Dwarven city in the Northern mountains also.

Finally, I will probably add a bit more distressing to the whole parchment texture at the very end of the process.

jfrazierjr
12-04-2009, 01:34 PM
Ok... another minor update... Added another city. blurred both. Blurred the cliffs a bit more. Blurred the Compass (might end up keeping this one.. not sure..)

I like the way it's coming along now... A few more settlements, a river or three and this one should be close to done.

torstan
12-04-2009, 01:35 PM
Fair enough. You're still going to be detailing this on a smaller scale than before. It might be worth sharpening up the terrain features instead of blurring your new details. A small hard brush and a hard light layer might well do the trick pretty quickly. Then you'll be able to get away with more fine detail in your new features.

jfrazierjr
12-04-2009, 11:26 PM
Ok.. another small update. Redid my tree brush, added back and blurred them.

jfrazierjr
12-06-2009, 09:00 PM
Ok.. another small update. used some of the icons Ramah made as well as some others and added a few more locations, notably the Gates of Garnok, the players initial starting point when they finally get out into the upper world...

Ascension
12-06-2009, 09:34 PM
About the only thing that I can see is that the two castles in/near the mountains might be too dark of coloring, make em a lil bit lighter. Minor, shrug, you know what yer doin. Nice job.

Karro
12-08-2009, 12:06 PM
The updates to the coniferous forest in the northeast make it much better than the previous, IMO.

Looking great!

jfrazierjr
12-10-2009, 02:27 PM
Ok.. yet another small update.


Added some rivers and redid the water outline to account for the rivers.
Added a swamp(not sure I like it.. made a brush, but I think it rather sucks....)
Added a bit more noise to the existing buildings to give a hint of being built from quarried rocks.

Steel General
12-10-2009, 03:23 PM
I don't think the swamp looks bad, but to me it looks more like trees.

jfrazierjr
12-10-2009, 03:27 PM
I don't think the swamp looks bad, but to me it looks more like trees.

Yea.. I may redo it when I get home... at work and used a mouse to create the brush (just in memory, did not save) and might get better results at home with my tablet....

The more I look at it... the more I quite dig how some of the rivers follow the hill terrain, especially the lower one right outside of the dark grey city....

Karro
12-11-2009, 11:35 AM
The swamp does indeed look like a a grouping of skeletal trees on a gray, watery field.

Depending on the kind of swamp you want, I would think you might want to introduce more of a washed out green-gray color into the swamp texture.

jfrazierjr
12-11-2009, 01:51 PM
Ok.. thanks to Starraven and Karro, new swamp...


Removed the portion of the mask that was showing the default water through into the swamp.

Added new swamp symbols thanks to Starraven(published icon set)

Added mix of 3 greens to a layer and masked them off to the sample section.


I really like the way that this looks now.. Just a few more cities and perhaps ruins to add (waiting on Ramah, thanks for the GREAT ISO settlement icons!), labelling and this one is done... Only a year + after I started a little lunch time experiment....heh

Karro
12-11-2009, 01:55 PM
Swamp looks great, now!

Steel General
12-11-2009, 02:18 PM
That swamp looks great...

jfrazierjr
12-16-2009, 10:32 AM
Ok... another update. I added a new city using 4 or 5(can't remember) of Ramah's excellent building brushes (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=8095)(I used the shaded versions this time). I created a new image at 900x900 300 ppi and used layer masks to shuffle the order of the images so that none of the other line work would show through those on top. Then I dropped a new layer with some colors under all the line work and went wilde with colors.
19550

Anyway.... I put this onto my map and think this looks rather good overall....

Ascension
12-16-2009, 04:26 PM
That's some nifty work. Slow n steady wins the race, eh? I wasn't all that impressed early on but now it's really coming to life and I think you're doing a great job so keep on keepin on, bro.

Ramah
12-16-2009, 04:40 PM
I like that you've combined brushes to make bigger brushes. I hoped that would happen (that's all I've done to make the city icons that I've done so far so there's nothing to stop other doing the same if they require cities.)
I'm not wildly in love with your colouring on that city though, just a few bright colours that stand out too much. But then I didn't like the yellow conical roof on the castle you put in but I guess that is growing on me now. Hehe.

My favourite part of your map so far though? Your swamp. I think that looks amazing. :)

jfrazierjr
12-16-2009, 05:32 PM
Another update. I added a lake beside the large town, so I had to redo the water stroke. I also removed the thin outline around the swamp... and like it much better now....

jfrazierjr
12-16-2009, 05:40 PM
I like that you've combined brushes to make bigger brushes. I hoped that would happen (that's all I've done to make the city icons that I've done so far so there's nothing to stop other doing the same if they require cities.)
I'm not wildly in love with your colouring on that city though, just a few bright colours that stand out too much. But then I didn't like the yellow conical roof on the castle you put in but I guess that is growing on me now. Hehe.

My favourite part of your map so far though? Your swamp. I think that looks amazing. :)

Thanks... I got the swamp brushes from Starraven (I think thats the name) who uploaded a nice big group of PS brushes a few months ago.

Just keep checking it out... the colors will grow on ya....

jfrazierjr
12-20-2009, 07:55 PM
OK... another update... I redid the forest strokes to make them consistent in width as well as added a few additional wooded sections. I plan to redo the forest shadows also. With that, a few additional town icons, and some labeling, the end is finally in sight.... Perhaps within the week, if not, I am off after Christmas, so it's almost sure to be done before the year ends...yeah!

Karro
12-21-2009, 10:11 AM
Looking fabulous. Can't wait until the end!

jfrazierjr
12-23-2009, 11:52 AM
Ok... Very minor update...

I created a tile for fields and rotated from a crosshatch pattern someone did here somewhere. It is not perfectly seamless, but on this image, it's not that big a deal. Note really sure if it matches this map or not, but figured I would give it a try and see what others think.

Ascension
12-23-2009, 05:24 PM
I couldn't find it at first then was like "duh". The color might need to be yellow or orange or something, maybe darker, but style-wise I think it fits just fine.

Ramah
12-23-2009, 07:01 PM
I think it might look a little better if it was rotated round so that it was more in line with with the iso lines of the city. Like, 10-15 degrees clockwise or something.

jfrazierjr
01-07-2010, 04:59 PM
Ok.. Thanks to Ramah for pointing it out, and a HUGE thanks to Torstan with helping get the pattern right and tillable.

In this revision, I cleaned up a few issues with parts of the map being to dark where I needed it to be lighter.

I also added more fields using the new pattern image Torstan helped me with. Still a bit more to do with another few towns/cities(2-4 or so) and then labels. Was thinking of actually labeling this with Runes instead of human type fonts, but may use the Thor(?) font instead... just not sure as of yet.

torstan
01-11-2010, 12:26 PM
I think that pattern's a bit too subtle for me at that scale. I think you might want to bump up the scale a little or reduce the paper texture a little. I'd say it's pretty hard to get details in a map that are of a smaller scale than the paper texture.

Looking good though. I like all the location icons - they blend into the map really well.

jfrazierjr
01-11-2010, 02:07 PM
I think that pattern's a bit too subtle for me at that scale. I think you might want to bump up the scale a little or reduce the paper texture a little. I'd say it's pretty hard to get details in a map that are of a smaller scale than the paper texture.

Looking good though. I like all the location icons - they blend into the map really well.

Your absolutely right. I redid my texture bump map layer since I accidentally blurred out seconds of the texture (the paper texture). When I did that, I forgot to reduce the opacity of it as well as I jacked up the opacity on the cloth weave texture at the same time by accident. I noticed this right after I posted it, but did not have time to fix and repost, so here is the update now.

jfrazierjr
01-24-2012, 08:49 PM
Only two years later, finally an update to my campaign map... added one city, nothing else.. at this point, just adding cities, labeling and perhaps a different compass are all that remain... perhaps before the end of the year...

jfrazierjr
04-07-2012, 05:37 PM
Funny how to start thinking and playing with how to do something and right afterward someone comes along and shows everyone. I call this the grasslands update. Just a few days ago, I started playing around with drawing grass... then Jonathan Roberts(Torstan) posts his mini tutorial... so.. here is the results. Very timely and helped a lot....

torstan
04-07-2012, 05:46 PM
Looks good! I'd knock the saturation down in the grass a little, but otherwise it looks good to go.

jfrazierjr
04-07-2012, 05:58 PM
Looks good! I'd knock the saturation down in the grass a little, but otherwise it looks good to go.

The sprigs or the background color? The sprigs are already down to about 60% layer opacity.

jfrazierjr
04-07-2012, 06:03 PM
I always have trouble finding "grass" colors in the right range. Most of the time, I end up going way to light and looking rather neon...

Hopefully, this is better.

torstan
04-07-2012, 06:33 PM
Yep, that looks good.