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sinned
12-30-2008, 03:21 PM
and I wouldn't mind some feedback on this map. This is my first try, using photoshop, of making a map to use in a campaign. This will be the player's map of the immediate area , part of a dukedom, which shows only 2 counties and a few cities. I'd appreciate feedback and any constructive criticism. I've used a few maps of cities from other here and other sites due to a lack of time, and I'd like to thank anyone whose maps I've used. This seems like a great site and I appreciate that it's here and folks are available to critique. The actual map is about twice the size of this picture so more details might be available on the full size version.Thanks.

jfrazierjr
12-30-2008, 03:36 PM
That texture on the surface is great. It makes it look like some type of stripped animal skin! Rivers/Lakes generally don't split, so you might want to clean that up. Also, in The Wilds, I would probably say your river meanders way to much based on the scale of the map, but thats just me. Love the cliffs! You might think about making the secondary spires off your mountains be a bit smaller than the ridgeline, but again, that's just me. All in all, this is a very nice map! Rep++

Hoel
12-30-2008, 03:58 PM
Thumbs up, nice first map.
-You can get some great mapping tips from the tuts on the site.
-The black lines on the mountains ruins it a bit for me.
-You've made a good start using brushes for terrain texture, i think it will look great with a little practice an experimentation.
-You will get a visit from the river police, so I won't touch that.
-Are the missing fills of the lakes intentional?
-The roads should go over the rivers imo, or put a bridge/ford symbol over it
-I really like the skin/hide background, good job!
Keep it up!

Steel General
12-30-2008, 04:08 PM
I will third what's been said about the background - it's fantastic.

The black on the mountains is a little jarring, maybe a dark brown would be better.

Overall very good for your first posting - far better than the mapping monstrosity I posted.

I encourage you to follow through the tutorials or at the very least experiment with them.

Ascension
12-30-2008, 04:32 PM
Instead of using the black lines to show what the ridge lines are, I'd suggest a shaded relief method...a layer of 50% gray on top, set to overlay, then use the dodge tool to lighten things up (make them higher) and the burn tool to darken things up (make them lower). It's more time consuming as it has to be done by hand but it produces a nicer result. Otherwise, I'd just dump the ridge lines. Nice job other than that and a very good start so congrats.

sinned
12-30-2008, 05:42 PM
I appreciate the feedback. This is a "hand made map" for the players, so some of the issues are intentional.
I don't like the mountains much so I'm going to look into some of the suggestions there.
The texture and background was some of the easiest parts actually, and it is made to look like animal hide (being more durable than paper for adventuring).
The river and lakes are somewhat intentional, and the meander is to imply a slow moving river which is in the process of forming oxbow lakes (this all relates somewhat to the immediate history of the area).
The lower lakes have not been explored much so they are not filled (again this was made by "hand" for the players and the cartographer wasn't so concerned with some details).
I played a little with shading the mountains instead of the ridgelines I ended up with but wasn't happy with the results so I went back with the lines. I'm going to have to experiment a bit more with them to get something I like I suppose.
I thought about the bridge/ford thing but then decided that was a detail the cartographer didn't care about. But, again, in retrospect, the road layer should have been above the river layer and was clearly my fault. Dammit.
Having written all this and THEN looked again at the map, I hate the lakes, and will have to redo them at some point. Until then I will just blame the poor cartographer.
Again thank you for all the feedback and once I get things fixed up a bit I might repost this map or just post the next one.

Redrobes
12-30-2008, 06:06 PM
Its pretty good and theres a few points we can make better but its a good start so thumbs up !

What I would recommend is to put your terrain down and sort out the mountains and then think about the rivers. You have water traveling towards the mountains and then down the stepped valley. So its not far out but that would be a little odd.

I think some shading on one side of the mountains would help bring them out so that you dont need so bold a line to show the peaks. Thats not too hard to do so you will get the hang of that in no time. Need to get a bit familiar with layer effects like multiplying shading in on a layer.

Cool. We'll see some more maps and they will improve as you do each one.

Hoel
12-30-2008, 06:55 PM
Hand drawn by some sloppy chartographer, i like it... but I think bridges and fords would be something he was very much concerned with since it would be more important the the exact run of the river and such. I would go for more symbols, for mountains and villages/towns since the exact layout again wouldn't be as important as where they are in relation to important terrain features and landmarks...
I'd like to see where you go with the mountains

Asharad
12-30-2008, 07:13 PM
Hand drawn by some sloppy chartographer

That was what I thought when I first saw it. It's perfect just the way it is. I gave rep for a perfect first map. :)

Hoel
12-30-2008, 07:20 PM
That should be a challenge for all nit-picking harcore mappers.
-Make a map like a sloppy, uninformed cartographer ON THE GROUND with limited time and resources would do.
What do you put in first? What's important? What errors do you make? Is that lake really that long and thin or is it just your perspective?
Oh, and include a good map (or modern map) of the same area for comparison.
sinned, you've inspired me!
I've got a couple of old (1565, 1633 and 1654) maps of sweden and my home contry of västra götaland at home. It's always fun to compare them to modern maps of sweden.

I wonder if i should give my players a really bad map of an area and keep the good maps for me from now on.
"Hey, the map says it's a ford here, but it's a waterfall" "Well the ford is 10km north, according to MY map"

jfrazierjr
12-30-2008, 08:25 PM
I wonder if i should give my players a really bad map of an area and keep the good maps for me from now on.
"Hey, the map says it's a ford here, but it's a waterfall" "Well the ford is 10km north, according to MY map"

To some degree, thats what my new campaign map is going to be. The players start underground after having been there for hundreds of years and are given a map made at the time before the group went underground. Things have DEFINITELY changed in that time period.

Nerdling
12-31-2008, 03:51 PM
The whole thing is great except for the lines on the mountains. Those are, pardon me for saying this, incredibly ugly. I suggest you spend a little more time with them in maybe a softer color (Brown?) trying to make them look a lot less sloppy.

Also, the same goes for the roads, try using vectors for those, they'll end up looking pretty nice if you do.

I love everything else, Especially the use of brushes on the grass.