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Elvish Presley
02-01-2009, 04:51 PM
Hello all!

As I posted in my introductory thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=4064), I'm working on a rather large map for the campaign world I'm GMing. If you stop by my introduction, you'll be able to see how I first started out.

Since then, I've been off into all sorts of directions themewise, as well as learning all sorts of useful techniques (making a hill brush and a forest pattern are two).....not to mention all the time spent/wasted trying to figure out a lot of stuff barely related to the map (trying to make my own font is one, luckily I managed to put that on hold for now).

I've always been a fan of the maps I found in the Lord of the Rings when I read that many years ago, and it sure is influencing the direction I'm heading, it seems.

And now I'm at a point where it's natural for me to post an update, since it seems I have to choose a direction soon. Here's how I started out:

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It's maybe a bit...cartoonish (?), but I like the ice especially and overall I feel it looks good with the way I like to draw (I still didn't get around to buying a tablet, but I drew some of the mountains (in the upper right corner) with my mouse and replaced the old sketches). I spent a lot of time working on the map in this style, but I went overboard after a while, adding more and more...noise...to the map in the way of map symbols etc. Oh, and btw, I know the coastlines are a bit messed up, but that's noting a bit of work with layers can't fix.

So I ventured off in another direction, going more for the drawing on an old parchment (thank you, jezelf, for a great tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2557).), which is closer to the traditional lotr style I love so much:

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As mentioned earlier, I messed up my scale early on. So the map is quite large (one grid is 500 kilometres, not 50 as I wrote in my introduction. So I thought I'd see how big a planet I would have to make if I ever decide to expand the map later:

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Urgh....

Anyway, my partner thinks the water looks better coloured, so I tried that, too:

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And then I just can't decide which direction to go for. The thing I absolutely hate about the old parchment style is my rivers (there's also an ugly swamp in the middle of the map that has to go). I have to go back and redo them all if I'm going to do it in that style. And I'm thinking the blue water ruins the whole look....but I have no idea if that is a bad thing or not (hmm..and that canvas texture, bad or not?)

So, this is where I want suggestions on which way to go, what needs to be improved, what is horrible and must be dealt with and what is actually fine. That last one is important. I've always had problems telling myself something is good enough, only to end up ruining the whole thing trying for perfection.

So let me have it, good and bad. And no sugarcoating, please. I'm new here, but have a thick skin.

Ascension
02-01-2009, 05:15 PM
So far so good, nice colors.

monks
02-01-2009, 09:37 PM
I agree, the blue water doesn't work at all. Quite nice maps otherwise.

monks

NeonKnight
02-01-2009, 11:50 PM
Congrats on a nice map!

Steel General
02-02-2009, 06:41 AM
My favorite is the very last one. If it were me, I'd put a bit of a blur on the mountains just to help them blend into the background a bit better - but it looks good the way it is.

Looking forward to seeing more.

Elvish Presley
02-08-2009, 05:04 PM
A small update:

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Since the shop was fresh out of tablets when I finally got around to going there, I decided to make a mountain pattern instead, thinking that would save me some time....yeah, right. Worst good idea I've had in quite some time...

But at least now I have some mountains. In fact, I consider all the terrain to be done right now. I'm not satisfied with it, but I'd more or less have to do the whole map all over if I wanted to change anything (rivers, for instance). So I'll live with it, and do it right from the very beginning next time.

What I need to do now, is find a font for the map (I tried to have different fonts for the various settings on the map (roman, celtic, arabic, asian, viking, fantasy, etc.)...but it just got messy) and find out how I wrap (?) text around rivers and mountains, etc...

Steel General
02-08-2009, 05:11 PM
I think the mountains look pretty good, nice diversity of shapes, no obvious patterning.

As far as bending/wrapping text around the rivers, etc. It depends on the app you are using.

ravells
02-08-2009, 05:15 PM
Fantastic, understated colour scheme! I really like this map, Elvish. Trees are very pleasing too.

Greason Wolfe
02-08-2009, 08:40 PM
What I need to do now, is find a font for the map (I tried to have different fonts for the various settings on the map (roman, celtic, arabic, asian, viking, fantasy, etc.)...but it just got messy) and find out how I wrap (?) text around rivers and mountains, etc...

That will likely depend on what graphics editor you are using. I know it is feasible to accomplish in pretty much any graphics editor that works with vectors by creating a vector line in the shape you want and then "place" the text "on" the line. I've done this a few times in an older version of Paintshop Pro, but I'm not sure about any of the other editors.

GW

Elvish Presley
02-11-2009, 07:31 AM
Yet another update:

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I finally found a font that I think works with the map (actually, there's two - one for all the "official" markings and another for more "personal" notes). Everything that needs to be typed in should be more or less done now.

I also got myself a tablet yesterday.....now that's going to take some time getting used to. Silly me thought the tablet would display a portion of the screen or something so that I would actually be able to look at the tablet while drawing. Oh well, I guess it'll get better with some practice.

What's left? I've made a couple map symbols, and need to make a few more. and then I guess it's the fluff left? Argh, and this map needs to be done before Friday, cause then people arrive for a weekend of RPG mayhem :D

Garanth
02-11-2009, 11:28 AM
...
I also got myself a tablet yesterday.....now that's going to take some time getting used to. Silly me thought the tablet would display a portion of the screen or something so that I would actually be able to look at the tablet while drawing. Oh well, I guess it'll get better with some practice.

Need a Cintiq for that, and those things cost a bloody fortune :P

The map is looking great though. The font works well, tonnes of detail, loving the new mountains. It's really come a long way since the first one you posted, and looks utterly fantastic now

Strickland5
02-11-2009, 12:48 PM
A very slick map, definitely lots of good RP feel to it. Only things I see missing are a compass and scale.

Elvish Presley
02-12-2009, 10:00 AM
Well, now I have a scale and a terrible compass, too...and a "frame". I consider myself done with this map at the moment. Mostly due to time constraints (I have to print it on a lot of sheets and glue them togeher before the players arrive tomorrow), but also because the characters in the campaign have only seen a tiny portion of the world yet, and it's easier to create new landscapes etc. as the campaign evolves (it's been evolving for 11 years already, but it's a huuuuuge world).

I was also unable to upload the map as one file, so I had to divide it into 3 parts (well, only 2 really, but the middle part is for seeing the middle portion undivided):

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Thanks for all the great tutorials on this site, and for the kind comments! Finally I can display a map to my players which I'm satisfied with.....now their characters just need to stay alive long enough to explore it all ;)

Steel General
02-12-2009, 10:08 AM
Nice job, and I really like the border.

Hoel
02-12-2009, 11:23 AM
... Stunning
Love the muted green, and those symbols are great.
Do you work with them as a whole map? That would probably slow my box down to a crawl..

Karro
02-12-2009, 11:55 AM
I've got nothing specific or negative or constructive to say. Nice maps, they look pretty darn good.

Elvish Presley
02-12-2009, 03:43 PM
Muted green? I hope you're talking about the forests, cause I am red/green colourblind. So a lot of green looks brown to me, which is what I thought most of the map was, heh he...

I worked on the maps as one big map, yes. I only divided it into three parts in order to be able to upload it here. But I merged a lot of layers from time to time to create a background image so that it would be manageable. I think the largest file I worked on was about 1Gb....but yes, whenever I needed to save something it was usually a good time to go get a cup of coffee :D

As for the border, that's just a font I found, btw. I downloaded it from here. (http://www.fontspace.com/dan-smiths-fantasy-fonts/ds-celtic-border-1)

Hoel
02-12-2009, 04:36 PM
Sorry to tell you man, but as long as I'm not color blind (my optician lying to me would be implied in this) it's green...

Ascension
02-12-2009, 04:40 PM
Yep, they look pretty darn good...nice job.

Elvish Presley
02-12-2009, 05:08 PM
Hilarious :D

All this time I thought I was working with various shades of brown....argh!
Oh well, green is a nice colour, too. Lots of goodies are green, like strawberries and rubies! ;)

woekan
02-12-2009, 06:41 PM
Its green :) but it still looks stunning!

Gamerprinter
02-12-2009, 07:30 PM
Excellent job on the maps!

Since there are several members who are color blind, I was thinking it might be smart to create a "color cheat sheet" that would show mathematically on the color levels of HSL or whichever color paradigm you're using, which colors are which especially those which give you problems. At any time, you could use the color picker to pick one color then look at the levels window and know what color you're really working with.

Not something I have time to do, but seems a worthwhile cause, or something for a color blind cartographer to do for themselves - just to avoid surprises.

Thoughts?

GP

Ascension
02-12-2009, 09:45 PM
Worthy endeavor indeed.