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Malakor
01-12-2009, 09:12 PM
I'm trying to figure out what I want to run the next time I get time to run a game, and I usually start with my maps.

I've been doing my maps by hand, and then with the DOS (later Windows) version of CC, and then with Illustrator and Photoshop over the years, but even when I've created really 'pretty' and detailed full colored, textured maps, I've not been 100% happy with them. There is just something about the 'old-school' or hand-drawn style that I find appealing, so that's what I'm going to try and re-create in this map.

If I can't wind up making myself happy with this version, I'm probably going to go back to doing them by hand, and possibly scanning them in afterwards.

I found a Tutorial by RPGMapmaker for how to do custom mountain brushes with PS. I'm familiar with making custom brushes, but I really liked the style he showed in his Tutorial (Thank you Kindly sir, and I hit your rep button while I was there).

Anywho. . . It inspired me to create a set of brushes tonight and start on my map.

The below is what I put Together in about 4 hours.

Everything to this point has been done in Photoshop, with lot's o' layers (I'm very fond of layers), but of course the link is a flattened version of what I'm currently working on.

I'm putting off the rivers til I read a few of the river tutorials, because Rivers have always been a bit of a weak point for me.

This is slightly reduced in size for uploading. The original I'm working on is set up to be 24x18 at 300 dpi

C&C is welcome.

Midgardsormr
01-12-2009, 10:30 PM
What do the lines mean? They can't be latitude/longitude 'cause the compass doesn't point toward the center.

Very nice style--I like it already!

Legendary
01-12-2009, 11:51 PM
Perhaps they use radians for their coordinate system? That would break down at the other end of the world, but for scales like this it would work, especially if they defined a certain location as the center of the world (one of those mountains, perhaps?).

I enjoy the style, but the southwestern islands just don't seem to work. The lake in the middle of a circular mountain range is also a bit odd, but it could happen, I suppose.

Lathorien
01-13-2009, 12:35 AM
i like the map, i too am starting to miss my old hand drawn maps. All that glitters is not grand as they say. The only point of suggestion i would have is to make a couple more of each type of brush. when you repeat the same pattern over and over it can become noticeable, and the human mind has an annoying habit to create/fill in patterns where there is none, thus making the map look in-organic. The tree brush pattern i think is the biggest offencer, at least add in a couple indivitual trees to break it up.

Hoel
01-13-2009, 06:34 AM
I like it. Will there be color?

Steel General
01-13-2009, 07:03 AM
This has started out very nice.

The only thing that kind of 'jumps out at me' is the repetitive map symbols - try and get couple different of each type (primarily mountains and forest) and mix them up a bit.

Malakor
01-13-2009, 09:09 AM
Thanks for the comments.

The Lines actually don't have a meaning at the moment, I added them last night just before I posted the map and went to bed to see how they would look.

I hate my trees :D

I want to figure out a better way to represent my forests as I go, I tried a tutorial I saw on here (don't remember whose it was) using a brush style in PS that I liked, but didn't quite fit with this style.

I'll add some more variation to the mountains (and maybe that would help with my forest problem as well) this evening when I get home, I see what you guys are saying about the repetition (I'm happy with the mountain style in general, so some variants in the same style would prolly do the trick)

I'll probably do a colorized version once I'm finished, yes.

Thanks for the C&C

Oh, the Southwestern Islands are actually supposed to represent an area that was recently flooded/taken over by swampland (a magical bit of mischief by local villains [snakepeople]) .

Gandwarf
01-13-2009, 01:00 PM
Actually, I think your trees look quite all right. But as Lathorien says you might want to add a couple more of each type of brush. The forests look really artificial right now as it's a repeating pattern of the same trees. You'll need to place some loose trees for example to make it look better I think. Otherwise, cool map.

Malakor
01-13-2009, 01:33 PM
Lake in the circle of mountains?

This confused me at first, if you mean the big spot in the center, that is supposed to be (going to be) a canyon/rift in the ground type area.

Guess I should darken up the bottom so it looks like it has some depth.

Or change the way I draw it :D

Malakor
01-13-2009, 02:32 PM
I got a few minutes free after lunch (ok, I TOOK a few minutes :P) and made a handful of tree and mountain brushes, including a new tree cluster with the various trees in it.

The attached is a test cluster of mountains and trees.

How does this compare to those on the original map?

Think this will work better? (I'll use these in conjunction with the brushes I made last night at home, I saved each of the PSD files as I made these brushes)

Steel General
01-13-2009, 02:58 PM
The trees definitely look better, the mountains may need to be crowded together a bit more *shrugs*, matter of taste I think.

jfrazierjr
01-13-2009, 03:12 PM
Great map. I like the changes you made to the trees and mountains.

Also, if feel like it, take a look at my tutorial on ISO mountains(link in my sig). I don't think it's right for the map as is, but if you do decide to throw some color in there, the smudge trick can really make the mountains and hills pop and blend with the surrounding terrain.

Malakor
01-13-2009, 03:26 PM
Jfrazierjr: Yeah, i was looking at that yesterday and thought it would look good for a color one. I'll have to give it a shot when I colorize this.

Steel General: Aye, the mountains will mostly be closer together on the big map, more like they are on the original. This was just to get a feel for how the variety looked.

Thanks, you folks are a great help on this, I appreciate the comments and pointers

jfrazierjr
01-13-2009, 03:48 PM
Jfrazierjr: Yeah, i was looking at that yesterday and thought it would look good for a color one. I'll have to give it a shot when I colorize this.



Cool... if you want to see how this would look if you drew them all as a single entity instead of as brushes, check out this thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3653). It's not finished yet, but it should give you an idea of how the mountains blend together as a unit. I have not tired, but I would expect with some careful fiddling, you could use the some brushes to get something just as good by using the smudge tool after you lay all your shapes down, though PS has more limits on it's brushes than GIMP does. Also, don't think that that trick is only for mountains. You can get some nice effects with trees also by drawing the color around, but of course this can get very tiresome if you tons of trees and the brushes in PS won't save them correctly(which I am not sure about).

Gandwarf
01-13-2009, 04:50 PM
I got a few minutes free after lunch (ok, I TOOK a few minutes :P) and made a handful of tree and mountain brushes, including a new tree cluster with the various trees in it.

The attached is a test cluster of mountains and trees.

How does this compare to those on the original map?

Think this will work better? (I'll use these in conjunction with the brushes I made last night at home, I saved each of the PSD files as I made these brushes)

Yes, they will definitely work better. Maybe place some single trees near the forests as well.

Malakor
01-13-2009, 08:52 PM
Tonight's update.

I've gone in and put in new mountains and forests with the new brushes I made. I think some progress has been made here.

I'm not 100% satisfied with the gradient I put under the canyon, but perhaps it looks less like a lake now :D

I'm open to suggestions on what to do with that.

jfrazierjr
01-13-2009, 09:07 PM
Coming along very nice!

I would think about reducing the size of the swamp symbols. They are rather overwhelming with the other symbol sizes.

Malakor
01-13-2009, 09:09 PM
Tomorrow I'm planning on working on the Rivers.

I'll only be placing a few of the major ones on a map of this scale.

I've marked in red where I intend to place them, and I'd greatly appreciate any comments or kicks in the head as needed in relation to my intent if anyone has any input to offer.

Thanks in advance.

Karro
01-14-2009, 09:29 AM
It looks pretty good, but the tree clumps still have a regularity about them that looks just a bit unnatural, though this is an improvement.

I'd suggest either creating several different-looking tree clumps (especially, with different shapes to them), and/or adding in a few randomly scattered individual trees to break up the regular appearance.

Midgardsormr
01-14-2009, 11:44 AM
It's a very dry land, and your rivers are very straight. I think it would be good to see a really long river coming out of those mountains in the southwest and meandering across that huge plain to end on the east coast, probably in that large bay. Or possibly even in the inlet near the southern-most city.

Malakor
01-14-2009, 06:51 PM
I'm pretty much satisfied with this now.

I appreciate all the comments and suggestions, they were very helpful.

Next map I do, I'll probably go ahead and create a couple of different 'tree clump' brushes to break up the repetition on the trees a bit, but I don't feel like going back in and re-fitting all the forests at the moment, might go back and do it later. :D

I'll be taking a look at colorizing it next.

Ascension
01-14-2009, 10:31 PM
Looks nice and clean. I'm not too big of a stickler for repeated brushes so I'll leave that go but I do think that the rivers are too straight...could use more curves. Nice job on a nice map.

Steel General
01-15-2009, 07:36 AM
Nice job - I dub thee newly repped *bonk*