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Wag
01-15-2009, 11:09 AM
“The stories I had heard about the land of Avani were legendary. Stories and legends both told and untold. I know that the ancient world had centered around Avani. The stories of old tell us that the rest of the world was discovered only after the catastrophic events on Avani. These catastrophic events of legend had fueled my own longing for adventure and now I was nearly there, in the thick of it. I did not know what to expect of the peoples and places I was bound to meet. I can only wait in anticipation to see what fortune these foreign lands would bring.”

-from “The Travelers Journal”


I created the land of Avani to give a more concrete form and home to a collection of short fantasy stories that I have been cooking for a long time. After stumbling on this site by chance and seeing some of the fantastic offerings of the members I began to gather information and determine my own first steps into cartography. Hence, Avani was born.

I did a fair amount of role-playing in high school and my first part of college, but as the “real” world began to demand more time I was unable to maintain participation in any real meaningful campaigns. The fantasy bug never left me and I would always dream up new campaign settings. Eventually I had a collection of settings and no outlet. By turning these settings into the legends of Avani, I have provided myself with a great way to continue one hobby while still allowing me to work on my photoshop and design skills.

The overworld map of Avani is meant to give me a starting point for placement of my stories. I further plan on doing a series of regional sub maps of the lands of Avani where I can provide greater detail and add in more depth to the maps.

The excerpt from “The Travelers Journal” at the beginning of this post is the beginning of my collection of stories which will be told in the form of journal entries from a curious adventurer who wished to see the lands of Avani for himself and visit these places of legend.

The map itself could not have been made without the tutorials and other shining examples that are on this site, particularly “Ystraad” by Bohunk which is the map directly responsible for this one.

My map was done exclusively in photoshop using nothing by a mouse and keyboard. Many of the "hand drawn" brushes were simply created using a very high Pixel per Inch and then drawn with the mouse. Shrinking them then covered up any mistakes and aided in the "hand drawn" look you see with many of the brushes and textures. Construction of this map went thru several phases. Firstly was the creation of the landmass itself and establishing the overall style. Then with different colors the areas for forests, mountains, deserts, and plains were established. Then populating those areas accordingly. Next the map went thru determining practical placements for rivers and major cities, and finally naming the lands and places and adding gridlines, borders, and other style additions.

Along the way I compiled a library of custom brushes and textures that will aid in future mapmaking projects. I hope to compile these into a pack I can release on this site sometime in the future.

A huge thanks to the community and to the admins of this site for providing a place for this creativity to occur. It’s great to have a place where the people are helpful and supportive and always excited about new people and new projects.

Thanks!

Nerdling
01-15-2009, 01:03 PM
WOW! WOW! WOW!

That's spectacularly well done. I'm especially impressed that you did all the objects by hand.

Rep to you!

Hoel
01-15-2009, 01:16 PM
Wow! One of the best of it's kind I've seen.
Where can we read your stories?

Steel General
01-15-2009, 01:27 PM
Most excellent! Looking forward to seeing more from you. :)

Wag
01-15-2009, 01:41 PM
Most of the stories are up in the ole noodle still although many have been noted here and there so I don’t forget them. I have a tendency to scribble something on a note here and there. I’ve got so many to go thru and compile into something coherent and interesting.

None of them are in a formal story form yet, but the excerpt included above is from one of the first journal entries of the traveler. It’s still just a draft and even that entry could still be edited. Hopefully I get a chance to work on it more and really compile the travelers journal and when its sufficiently prepared you can expect them to be released here, or at least linked from here.

Oh, and you wouldn't be impressed with the brushes if you saw what they looked like before they were shrunk down. It’s crazy what a couple dozen times magnification can do. ;-)

Bohunk
01-15-2009, 01:57 PM
Actually Ystraad was my work, but Ravells could have probably done it much better. Damn good looking map, gotta luv the parchments! Anywho it's an honor to be an inspiration!

I would soften the rivers a little. I like my rivers and coastline to have about the same definition/clarity and the same color. From the looks of it, your rivers were not blurred. I could be wrong.

Again, nicely done!

Wag
01-15-2009, 03:53 PM
My deepest apologies Bohunk! That was careless on my part. Post officially updated!

As for the rivers, they were never blurred, but the "displacement" filter was used to very slightly soften and give them depth. It's all very subtle, so I can understand if it dosen't look like there was much done.

You can expect the regional maps to be much softer.

Thanks!

Ascension
01-15-2009, 04:41 PM
Nice job. This style is ubiquitous but usually done quite poorly, yours is of highest quality, right up there with Bohunk and mmmmmpig, and I look forward to seeing how you adapt this to a regional style.

StillCypher
03-18-2009, 05:38 PM
That is some amazing artwork! Well done!

ravells
03-18-2009, 05:46 PM
Actually Ystraad was my work, but Ravells could have probably done it much better.

lolol! like hell!

I live in awe of your maps, Bohunk!


Fantastic work, Wag... you've even got the paper texture pat. I'm going to have to do a tribute to Bohunk soon too...so many projects backed up though.

overlordchuck
03-19-2009, 06:05 AM
Oh man, that's quite a piece of artwork you've got there. I really like the mountains.

/repped

amosz42
01-03-2010, 05:54 PM
Amazing map! If you'd like to do another like it, please see http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?p=95384#post95384

-Amos

Sings-With-Spirits
06-15-2012, 06:31 PM
Love it; detailed enough to be inspiring, open enough to be used for campaigning. Great job!

Precisi
06-16-2012, 08:17 PM
Looks great! I really like the alternating shades on the nautical lines (?) behind the map itself. That's a slick technique to break up the white space. :)