View Full Version : One of my maps...

10-26-2006, 02:08 PM
I found this site while searching around for suggestions for Fonts to use for maps. I thought I'd share one of my maps, this map is for the kingdom of Valentia in my D&D campaign. It was created in Photoshop.


Most of my maps are works in progress, I'm adding details as my campaign moves into new areas.

10-26-2006, 04:07 PM
Nice texturing! What kind of Tools in Photoshop did you use to make it? I mean I see the layer FX and stuff like that of course, but for drawing and whatnot, did you use custom brushes or something?

Looks pretty good!

Edit: Wlcome to the site btw! Tell all yer friends!

10-27-2006, 03:41 AM
Nice map. I like that style.
I only would do the drop shadows for the labels a bit smaller, but that's a personal opinion.

Really good work

10-27-2006, 12:55 PM

That map is a small section of a larger world map.

I started with a continent outline I did freehand, using several different fantasy world maps as inspiration. I scanned the outline then opened that in Photoshop. I traced the continent outline with the Photoshop path tool, I wanted to be able to try different effects for the coast without having to redraw it by hand each time. The paths would also scale properly when I zoomed into a particular area.

The main texture effect is just a parchment texture I downloaded off the 'net, set to about a 75% opacity. The water effect is a layer, this time at 50% opacity, so you can see the parchment texture beneath it. The mountains are shaded using a darker brown at 50% opacity to again allow the parchment texture to show through.

The forests are another Photoshop layer effect, this time applying one of the default Photoshop textures to a layer through the Blending Options.

River, roads and other details were also done with Paths before tracing them with a given color.

10-27-2006, 07:03 PM
Overall I like it as well. I think the only thing that makes me ask "Why?" is the drop shadow on the roads. I think the drop shadow on the woods would give a better effect, but not too much as you don't what 'dirty clouds'. ;)

Like I said, very nice overall. Do you have any sections with other features like snow caps and the like? I would be interested in seeing those.

10-27-2006, 09:32 PM
In truth the shadows from the roads were just for the fun of it, I'm not sure if I'll keep that effect or not.

I don't really have anything showing other terrain features, although this is map I made of Valentia's capitol, Sloringard.


I didn't so much want to detail which building was where, but more give the players the impression of a large city that started with a set layout but developed somewhat chaotically over time.

10-28-2006, 01:39 AM
You definitely achieved that result! I like the little warrens area where the streets are close together contrasted with what I assume are the 'nicer' parts of town. Well done!

10-31-2006, 12:09 PM
Now that I like...the city map is VERY well done...I am curious though...given my knowledge of Photoshop...did you use the line tool or some other drawing method for the straight lines. I ask because I know that the line tool and the circle tool and etc all create separat elayers for each thing drawn...wouldn't that get a bit unweildy? How did you do that specifically? For all I know you could have used a simple layer mask over the grey to "carve out" the streets by masking the dark grey. I'm very interested in your technique for managing photoshop assets and layers. So interested in fact that if yer not protective of it, I'd like to see your PSD file. 8)

10-31-2006, 01:37 PM
I would like to second that and say ditto. :wink:

11-01-2006, 12:27 PM
I'd be happy to share the PSD file, but it is a rather large file and I don't have a good way to make it available.

I used the select tool to "carve" out streets from the large blocks. I also used it to fill in streets I wasn't happy with.

Oh, I tried adding a drop shadow for the forest on a new map I'm working on and it really works well. I'm going to update my other maps with that same effect. Thanks!

11-01-2006, 01:59 PM
Is it too big to post here? Maybe Arcana can put it somewhere on his server for us to drool over? ;)

I can't wait to see the effect of the drop shadow.

What would the emboss do for your roads instead of the drop shadow you have now?

11-02-2006, 07:18 AM
Maybe an outer glow for the roads instead with the glow (and the roads) set to color burn? I've often found you can get a GREAT effect with browns and reds on top of greys and browns by using color burn...

Try setting the layer of the roads and the outer glow style to color burn, use a light brown or tan color for the roads and the glow, make the glow size rather small with 0 spread...maybe add a little tiny bit of noise to the glow...It will look like the roads are actually worn into the earth on your map...of course, I'm talking about roads on overland map not streets on city map. If you need a demonstration of this effect let me know and I'll show ya...

As for the psd...let me know what size it is and I'll see about getting it on the server somehow...maybe I can give you an ftp or something to send it to.

11-02-2006, 11:03 AM
That's intriguing. I would like to see that effect in action.

11-02-2006, 01:36 PM
The file is about 45MB, its because of all the layers I think.

That color burn effect sounds interesting. I'll need to try that out. If you have an example handy I'd like to see it.

11-02-2006, 02:26 PM
This is a very rough sample...I exaggerated the road and the effect so you can see it clearly. You may want to make it a little more subtle.

I created a quick and easy land texture (brownish) and then I created a new layer on top of it set to color burn as its blend mode.

I made my draw color f4be9e which is a light tan. copied that html color code to my clipboard because I'll need it again.

Then I drew a road line with a size 9 brush on the empty color burn layer.

As you can tell because its burnign the tan onto the brown you end up with a mix of the two...it keeps the texture underneath it.

Then I applied an outer glow effect to the road layer. I set its blend mode to color burn. Opacity to 100%. Noise to 9%. color to f4be9e (same as the road) Spread to 0, and finally size to 18.

You may have to adjust things as necessary to achieve the look you desire...but color burn is an awesome way to blend things into a textured background. If you have a darker background and want a lighter colored road, do the exact same except use color dodge instead of burn as your blend mode...you may have to experiment with colors to see how each color dodges into the darker background.

For the two rivers I used colro dodge on both layers...the river and the top rivers glow was both done in color dodge with 1c21ff...whereas the bottom river was color dodge with 1c21ff, but I used color dodge with 727d4a for the outer glow to give it a beach-like edge...

Again exaggerated, but you get the point.

11-02-2006, 02:32 PM
I like the road effect a lot! I'm going to keep that in mind. I'm iffy about the rivers though. The bottom one is a little too 'glowy' if that makes sense. Maybe a darker color would look better for my taste, but I understand what you are trying to achieve there.

Thank you for the tutorial!! :D

11-02-2006, 02:33 PM
Duh...how about the .psd file for your enjoyment ;)

11-02-2006, 02:37 PM
I like the road effect a lot! I'm going to keep that in mind. I'm iffy about the rivers though. The bottom one is a little too 'glowy' if that makes sense. Maybe a darker color would look better for my taste, but I understand what you are trying to achieve there.

Thank you for the tutorial!! :D

I aim to please ;) Yeah I didn't like the rivers too terribly much either...they might look better burned instead of dodged, but I wanted to show the difference.

11-02-2006, 03:25 PM
Woohoo! Play time! Thanks for the PSD!

11-02-2006, 03:49 PM
Oh, that is a nice effect.

I was off a little, the Sloringard map is 21MB, not 40, Valentia is 40.