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Feralspirit
02-08-2009, 02:36 AM
Ah, yes. Greetings, and many apologies for the delay. I've been haunting this site now for a couple of weeks, checking out maps for styles. I was looking at purchasing some mapping software in preperation for starting a new campaign and found this site. I would have introduced myself sooner, but I hate showing up to a party empty-handed. It looks like you guys are all drinking brandy, and I've shown up with beer...

I cannot say enough about what I've seen here so far. Amazing work! I hope I can pick up on a little of what you guys are doing.

I didn't want to go digging through storage to find an old and tattered map, and I did have a few things on the drawing boards. It was just a matter of bringing one to completion.

One more short note of explanation, I'm going to attach the same map three times. It was drawn on paper with pencil. The first (I hope, being completely new at this kind of thing, I can't honestly be sure where my attachments will end up) is straight from the scanner, this morning.

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It obviously needed some touching up. Some lines needed to be darker or closed, some spots removed, some smudges sharpened. There are probably much easier ways to go about doing what I spent about 6 hours on, but the second map is the first computer aided map I've ever made.

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The third map I must include because credit is due to this site. It took me days to figure out how to get the map to sit on the paper, rather than under or over it, but that's the first kind of real manipulation I've made. I am very pleased with it, though I'm sure my audience will be under-whelmed.

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While it's obvious that the map could use more work (which it will likely get in time), I consider it finished and playable. That doesn't mean you've seen the last of it. I will likely use it to try some of these cool new things.

Feedback is welcome, :), though I am aware of many errors (I consider small) already (the buildings aren't square, walls and other lines are uneven, etc.). I am hoping everyone can discern the buildings from the animal enclosures and the graveyard, but I hope to solve that by mastering layer masks or using some other tool/utility. I did away with the dotted lines.

Thank you all. Special thanks goes out to the Steel General (for pointing me towards The GIMP), Sagenlicht (for the torn old paper script and script and plug-ins overview), and jfrazierjr (for the tutorial regarding layer masks, I didn't use it with the map posted in this thread, but I intend to).

BTW; There are a couple of introductory narratives to the city and region, if anyone is remotely interested.

ravells
02-08-2009, 03:03 AM
Welcome to the Guild, Feralspirit - I don't know about bringing beer to the party, that map is more of a very fine wine! I'm glad that you are using the tutorials to bring out the best in your mapping.

Don't be too critical about the map - slightly wiggly lines and not quite right-angled corners are to my mind an advantage rather than a drawback in fantasy city maps. They give the map a more hand drawn feel and indicate a society which is not technically advanced. What stands out in your map for me is the very credible layout of the city and the relationship between the roads and the buildings. One of my private niggles about city building is that many mappers lay them out like lego and the city simply doesn't look convincing. Definitely not the case here. Of all the scales of mapping in my experience, city maps are the most time consuming and difficult to draw, so congrats on starting on the black piste!

If anything I would love to see more irregularly shaped buildings to give the map even more character. I would love to hear a bit of background to the city if you have a mind to post it! Have some rep for a great contribution!

Also feel free to start a new thread in the WIP forum taking this further so the evolution of your map doesn't lost in the introductions sub forum.

Hoel
02-08-2009, 06:25 AM
Looks good. Nice planning!

Gandwarf
02-08-2009, 06:58 AM
Nice map FeralSpirit. I just love city maps and I agree with Hoel, the planning is great. And I think we are always interested in some background information. It sets the stage for each map :)

Ascension
02-08-2009, 09:45 AM
You can bring beer to my brandy party anytime. That's a great city layout and well drawn to boot.

Steel General
02-08-2009, 11:39 AM
I like this very much, the layout of the city seems very natural (not planned). Looking forward to seeing more of this one as well as any other work you post.

Redrobes
02-08-2009, 02:52 PM
Yes very nice city layout. You have a good eye for it and an attention to detail. More more...

:)

Gamerprinter
02-08-2009, 03:22 PM
Of all the maps to work on, I have the least patience for cities - way too much work to do it well, and you did a fantastic job! Have some REP!

Maybe you could add a touch of color, not lots, and definitely not most of it, but a couple color highlights on especially important buildings, might enhance it.

An unlabeled map makes it great for the community that needs a map to label themselves, but I think your map, needs at least a title graphic for the name of the city.

Great job, though! Don't knock your talent, which have plenty of.

GP

Greason Wolfe
02-08-2009, 08:27 PM
Nice. Very nice. Like GP, I have very little patience for working on city maps and often run out of eraser before I'm even remotely happy with them. As for bringing beer . . . Absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.

Welcome and look forward to seeing more work from ya!

GW

Feralspirit
02-09-2009, 01:19 AM
Thank you all for your generous words. I have started trying to make some quick adjustments which I will post in a bit, hopefully later tonight. This post, however, is devoted to Gandwarf, who did, in fact, express the remotest interest in background info. (The fact is I have not yet started my game, but I'm excited for it, so I need very little encouragement.)

"The Gnomish Provinces, formerly known as The Gnomish Lands, is a region that is today as culturally diverse as any you will find in the lands of Dyreem. In spite of The Impossible Adventures of Finneas Flik and His Amazing Airship, children's tales told and retold for countless generations in various forms throughout the known world, the provinces were thought to be remote and isolated, though the stories may be responsible for the fondness many cultures share of the region's diminutive native inhabitants. It is interesting, in this sage's opinion, that gnomes do not distinguish halflings as a race seperate from themselves, while halflings are quick to point out differences if questioned about the issue. Both races originated here.

Up until the invasion of The Black Lord some 200 years ago, the communities in this land were isolated, even from each other. Novice students of history sometimes ask why The Black Lord would begin his conquests here, rather than one of the human kingdoms neighboring his own land. Answers to this question are pure conjecture, but when one considers the ease with which each individual city-state of the region fell before his armies, the decision seems sound. When one factors in the resources he acquired here (the siege engines and other devices designed and built with gnomish ingenuity, and the gems he used to bribe key individuals in other lands), it is questionable whether he would have been more than an historical footnote had he started anywhere else.

Accounts indicate that there was, in fact, very little blood spilt in the campaign to conquer the lands The Black Lord would later dub "The Gnomish Provinces", which they have been called ever since. According to the few long-lived gnomes who survive from that era, those willing to speak say it was neither fear of The Black Lord (who had not yet established his reputation as the savage tyrant he would become) nor the might of his armies that led to his success here, so much as it was the indifference of the population to who was called "The King". It wasn't until the instituion of his cruel policies that any resistance was mounted at all, and by then his hold was so strong that it was too late. There are few who openly discuss those dark days, as it is whispered that the shade of The Black Lord still walks in the lands where he once held sway.

During the ensuing occupation which, it is well known, lasted over 80 years, many humans and dwarves (both free and slaves) were brought to the region. While it is true that many dwarves left following the defeat and demise of The Black Lord, many remained as well, and the vast majority of humans living in the provinces at that time had actually been born there, and knew of no other place to call home..."

Sorry for no map to go along with that. I do have a couple of land masses generated using ProFantasy's Fractal Terrains Demo, but at this point they will probably be discarded in favor of something I have more creative control over. I will give them credit for inspiration though.

As I mentioned above I will be posting again soon, following some hasty adjustments to the town of Stern's Bridge. I hope to tackle everyone else's comments then, as well as add another (much shorter) narrative as introductory to the town itself.

ravells
02-09-2009, 01:22 AM
If you want, Feralspirit, I can copy this thread to the WIP section so that It gets the attention it desrves. Entirely up to you.

Torq
02-09-2009, 02:26 AM
Welcome Feralspirit and great start. City maps can be time-comsuming headaches but you have perservered and the result looks really cool. I agree with Ravs that the thread should probably go to WIP so you can get a wider range of feedback.

Torq

Feralspirit
02-09-2009, 05:55 AM
Ok, I am currently laughing at myself. While trying to manage my attachment, with the click of the mouse I erased the reply I just spent an hour and a half writing. You guys are saved! :D

Let me sum up.

ravells, yes, I accept your offer to copy this to WIP thread. I hope I will be able to find it. I am something of a techno-idiot. I am hoping that with the might of the guild to assist me, this project will become a very educational exercise. (Just talk really slow.) I may take a few days off though, to let my head clear so that I can attack it somewhat refreshed.

Gamerprinter, the antique feel was lost when I tried to add color to just a few buildings. I did add a key, though. It's not the direction I want to take for the finished product (it looks too busy, andI don't even like the font), but I hope it answers some of the questions about what I had in mind.

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The post that I just lost ended with "Damn! Am I long-winded or what?" To avoid that from happening again I'll cut this one sh-

Nytmare
02-09-2009, 10:11 AM
This is coming along nicely. I might have missed it, but what program(s) are you using? There are probably a couple of easy ways to add nice subtle colors that keep that inked feel.

woekan
02-09-2009, 10:16 AM
I like it, nice naming too!

Hoel
02-09-2009, 12:21 PM
Love the layout of the city. Lots of rpg potential

Feralspirit
02-09-2009, 01:29 PM
Started on paper, scanned at 200 dpi, now using GIMP and MSPaint. I would love to apply color gradient to denote elevation, green for undevoloped land, and a rich brown for animal enclosures, possible the road as well, as it is not developed. I am having difficulties with layer mask. Would like tree texture for the forrest, Frogwood. Also, the area north of the mill, just north of that pool is supposed to be a small swampy area, running north and west along the bank of the river (the idea being the ground there is just low enough to be regularly inundated by the river). Wondering if I can easily alter image properties to work at 600 dpi, and whether you guys think that would be a good or bad move. My key is too large, in my opinion, I merely wanted it to be easily readable. It should probably also have a border, and there should be a compass.

Phew! Ok, I've realized I could go on, and on. Let's start slowly. I think I should begin by backing up to my 1st edit (losing the key) and apply roofs to the buildings that have them, my intention being to fill everything that I don't want the elevation gradient to be visible through. Do you guys think that would be better done at 600 dpi? Is there a way to alter image properties without printing and re-scanning? I think I need to track down CSUAC folder and browse through it for good roof texture.

jfrazierjr
02-09-2009, 01:44 PM
Started on paper, scanned at 200 dpi, now using GIMP and MSPaint. I would love to apply color gradient to denote elevation, green for undevoloped land, and a rich brown for animal enclosures, possible the road as well, as it is not developed. I am having difficulties with layer mask. Would like tree texture for the forrest, Frogwood. Also, the area north of the mill, just north of that pool is supposed to be a small swampy area, running north and west along the bank of the river (the idea being the ground there is just low enough to be regularly inundated by the river). Wondering if I can easily alter image properties to work at 600 dpi, and whether you guys think that would be a good or bad move. My key is too large, in my opinion, I merely wanted it to be easily readable. It should probably also have a border, and there should be a compass.

Phew! Ok, I've realized I could go on, and on. Let's start slowly. I think I should begin by backing up to my 1st edit (losing the key) and apply roofs to the buildings that have them, my intention being to fill everything that I don't want the elevation gradient to be visible through. Do you guys think that would be better done at 600 dpi? Is there a way to alter image properties without printing and re-scanning? I think I need to track down CSUAC folder and browse through it for good roof texture.


If you need some help with the layer mask stuff in GIMP, check out my tutorial (link in sig) and post any questions here.


Personally, I think you should stick with the more hand drawn style you have with the existing forest shape and not put any high res textures, but that's just me. You might also want to check out the mapping resources section. There is a list of GIMP scripts, one of which generates old paper which would look pretty nice for the background and is not far from your original and it's automated to boot (or RobA (I think) has a tutorial for doing it by hand).

Feralspirit
02-09-2009, 02:30 PM
Thanks, jfrazierjr, and good to hear from you. I actually have followed your tutorial already. It took me days to get it to work right (I had to read it, and reread it very slowly to figure out where I had missed a step). I am going to follow it again a few times until I can do it without having your tutorial displayed in front of me. My initial problem was the channel thingy will only apply 1 selected area, and I want the elevation to rise on both sides of the river. Again, I am probably missing something very simple and it's possible this isn't really a problem, it just threw me (as a new user).

Ok, I've just had an epiphany. I am trying to make two maps, one that looks antique (player hand-out) and another for me (with a realistic look). Thanks, I guess I'm just slow like that (I think I've been confusing the two, or maybe I just haven't been very clear). I think I'll start with the antique looking one, it may end up being the only one. Let me do a little mapping and come back. Somewhere on this site I've seen some beautiful antique style maps, but I'm not sure if I can find them again. Could someone link to a few. I need a good swamp thingy and my forrest could be better, if there is a good example to inspire me.

BTW; check out the first post in this thread. I've already found the torn paper script. ;)

ravells
02-09-2009, 02:38 PM
Fantastic work!! You should check out the CWBP threads...we need lots of cities there!

jfrazierjr
02-09-2009, 02:41 PM
Thanks, jfrazierjr, and good to hear from you. I actually have followed your tutorial already. It took me days to get it to work right (I had to read it, and reread it very slowly to figure out where I had missed a step). I am going to follow it again a few times until I can do it without having your tutorial displayed in front of me. My initial problem was the channel thingy will only apply 1 selected area, and I want the elevation to rise on both sides of the river. Again, I am probably missing something very simple and it's possible this isn't really a problem, it just threw me (as a new user).

Ok, I've just had an epiphany. I am trying to make two maps, one that looks antique (player hand-out) and another for me (with a realistic look). Thanks, I guess I'm just slow like that (I think I've been confusing the two, or maybe I just haven't been very clear). I think I'll start with the antique looking one, it may end up being the only one. Let me do a little mapping and come back. Somewhere on this site I've seen some beautiful antique style maps, but I'm not sure if I can find them again. Could someone link to a few. I need a good swamp thingy and my forrest could be better, if there is a good example to inspire me.

BTW; check out the first post in this thread. I've already found the torn paper script. ;)


I know there are some nice antique city maps made by a few industry pro's, but I can't think of them off the top of my head...argh.....

Here is my regional map: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3653 (not finished yet)

Pretty much ANY post started by TheRedEpic is a nice antique style map, though regional also.

Feralspirit
02-09-2009, 04:05 PM
Boy I have a difficult time with the manage attachments window.

Below is an example of how I would add color. Used Bucket fill at 75% opacity. I am not at all certain about it. I could try again using different hues. I like the blotchiness (a certain not-just-faded, the ink is flaking off as well look to it). What do you guys think?

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Steel General
02-09-2009, 04:36 PM
Not sure if I like it or not, it's definitely a different look though.

Ascension
02-09-2009, 05:01 PM
I like the idea of the fading ink but the flaking off thing is more a problem for old frescoes that were painted with bad paints like DaVinci's Last Supper. I like the washed out colors too. You're on the right path, though, so just mess around with it a lil, it's looking good.

Feralspirit
02-09-2009, 06:10 PM
Ok, by backing up to file called 1st edit, I can work with a flat white image. Then apply torn old paper. Unfinished example below. To finish will require filling a lot of holes. Better?

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Steel General
02-09-2009, 07:54 PM
I like this better, it looks like it came right out of an old book.

Korash
02-09-2009, 08:12 PM
I like this better, it looks like it came right out of an old book.

Agreed

Nice hand drawn city. Like others have said, lots of patience when into this. More than I would have for one sitting, let me tell you. ;)

How long did it take you to draw it originally?

Repped (I hope)

jfrazierjr
02-09-2009, 08:17 PM
Select your parchment outline (may have to hide the other layers) shape, Invert the selection and then delete everything on layers "outside" the selection so you have it transparent and then save it as PNG. This will make it look more like a separate parchment and png will likely likely take up less space.

Feralspirit
02-10-2009, 12:37 AM
Quick reply to Korash- Way too long! Days, certainly, but I'm not sure how many. I agonize over very small details.

jfrazierjr- I'm not sure I followed your instructions very well. I did manage to select the area between the paper and the image limits, but could not find 'delete' option anywhere. I tried cutting, to no avail. So I just started looking through the options I did have. At one point I could see the checkerboard behind the paper (though I'm not sure how I did it), but I could still see the parts of the map that ran past the paper's edge under the checkers, so I figured that wasn't it. In the end I filled the selection with white. I then saved it as a .png file. I'm not sure how big it was before this save, but the current image is 6.94 MB. I reduced the image by 50% so that I could post the result.

This is the flat white jpg I'm coloring, also reduced

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Here is the result of jfrazierjr's instructions, as well as I could follow them

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Final note, I am again filled with uncertainty. Is this the direction I wish to be going? It seems... I don't know, wrong, but I don't know why. Should the coloring stop? Should the hues change? I will continue coloring for now, because I don't have any better ideas, and I know that on completion they are easily restored to white or altered to another hue.

Nytmare
02-10-2009, 08:40 AM
I personally like the way it's going. It has a really interesting watercolor feel to it.

How exactly are you coloring this? The easiest way (if you didn't figure it out for yourself) would be to have the line drawing, the paper, and the colors all as separate layers.

There are also a couple ways you could fill the roads with the paint bucket.

jfrazierjr
02-10-2009, 09:14 AM
Quick reply to Korash- Way too long! Days, certainly, but I'm not sure how many. I agonize over very small details.

jfrazierjr- I'm not sure I followed your instructions very well. I did manage to select the area between the paper and the image limits, but could not find 'delete' option anywhere. I tried cutting, to no avail. So I just started looking through the options I did have. At one point I could see the checkerboard behind the paper (though I'm not sure how I did it), but I could still see the parts of the map that ran past the paper's edge under the checkers, so I figured that wasn't it. In the end I filled the selection with white. I then saved it as a .png file. I'm not sure how big it was before this save, but the current image is 6.94 MB. I reduced the image by 50% so that I could post the result.

This is the flat white jpg I'm coloring, also reduced

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Here is the result of jfrazierjr's instructions, as well as I could follow them

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Final note, I am again filled with uncertainty. Is this the direction I wish to be going? It seems... I don't know, wrong, but I don't know why. Should the coloring stop? Should the hues change? I will continue coloring for now, because I don't have any better ideas, and I know that on completion they are easily restored to white or altered to another hue.


Your very close. I simply meant the Delete key on your keyboard which removes everything on a layer or whatever is selected and turns it transparent. Note how you have a white border? png allows transparency while jpg does not. If you select the outside edges and delete, the white border will delete out to transparent and when you save to png, that transparency will still be there and make it look muc more like a piece of torn paper.

One other thought if you want to try it is to take a look at my WIP I linked to previously. Notice how the edges of the page have the color fade away so that the very edges are just the parchment? You can replicate this by using layer masks on upper layers to hide what's below using a high blured selection. Check out http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=533&highlight=parchment+paper for some of the details, and if you want help, let us know here.

jfrazierjr
02-10-2009, 09:15 AM
In any event, no matter which way you go with it, the map is turning out quite well!

Feralspirit
02-11-2009, 02:21 PM
I would really like to add some text on a curve, (the river, for instance, the roads leading out of town, etc...)can someone explain to me how to do that with GIMP? Or point me at a tut that will teach me?

RobA
02-11-2009, 03:11 PM
I would really like to add some text on a curve, (the river, for instance, the roads leading out of town, etc...)can someone explain to me how to do that with GIMP? Or point me at a tut that will teach me?

It is in my "really frickin' big" gimp tut.

Instead of making you read the whole thing, I'll point you to the post ;)

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=9999&postcount=25

-Rob A>

Feralspirit
02-11-2009, 03:58 PM
That's what I was looking for! Thank you RobA, much appreciated. Still so much to learn, and I am very slow.

BTW- I have every intention of reading that tut all the through, and did before your post (in fact, I had it up in another window when I noticed your reply). I suppose I should read it sooner, rather than later. It might actually answer a lot of questions. I'm feeling embarrassed now. Thanks again.

torstan
02-11-2009, 04:31 PM
This map is coming along very nicely.

For watercolour effects I've had good results with duplicating the colour layer for a region, setting the bottom layer blending mode to overlay and the top one to normal at 50%. It gives a nice washed out look, and allows the paper texture to come through the colour. Also, I tend to change the black lines to a dark brown (or just set the line layer to overlay and duplicate the layer until I get a dark enough line). The black is a little harsh on a parchment map.

This is coming along really well. I assume you're using the magic wand to select your different fill regions?

Feralspirit
02-11-2009, 05:54 PM
huh?

I'm sorry, most of what you said just flew over my head. Let me describe what my situation is (hopefully the process you've described is still accessable to me).

I am not working in layers at all. Every time I save, the image flattens out (I don't know how to save in layers). To create the 'washed out' appearance I was using a desired hue and cutting the opacity by 50%. Because the torn old parchment interferes with bucket fill, I backed-up to a flat white page, and I'm working with that (every time I post an image on the torn old parchment it is newly generated).

Regarding the wand selection tool, I am having difficulties. Every time I save, or rather, every time I reopen my map I notice it has gotten fuzzier (pixels migrating outward). I don't know why this happens, or how to stop it (though it has resulted in one happy accident in that my roads now have a dirtier appearance than before). So, whenever I try to use the wand I end up with selected pixels all over the place, :x. As a result I just use the freehand select.

Even though I am currently on 1 layer, it sounds as though I could apply your effect when I finish coloring. Is this correct?

I am in the middle of roofing, excited by Ascension's tut yesterday (didn't know what bevel was until then, wish I could reproduce the shingled look he has in Brownstone, but I don't know where to begin looking for corresponding GIMP functions, chisel soft what?), anyway this is where my map stands now.

Should have cut thie size by 50% for upload sorry.
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As you can see, my colors are now much darker. Because of this I had kind of given up on the parchment idea. If I can use the process you describe, maybe I can still do it

waldronate
02-11-2009, 06:28 PM
I am not working in layers at all. Every time I save, the image flattens out (I don't know how to save in layers). To create the 'washed out' appearance I was using a desired hue and cutting the opacity by 50%. Because the torn old parchment interferes with bucket fill, I backed-up to a flat white page, and I'm working with that (every time I post an image on the torn old parchment it is newly generated).



Looks like you're saving as a JPEG. JPEG does awful things to line art. I recommend something lossless like (in order of preference) PNG, BMP, GIF, JPEG. Of course, the best form to save in is the native format of your software to preserve the layers and such (Photoshop has PSD, for example).

torstan
02-11-2009, 06:29 PM
Layers are one of the most powerful features of Gimp and Photoshop. I'd highly suggest that you start using them - they will be an enormous timesaver and allow you to unlock some very powerful features of the program.

To save layers you need to save as a .xcf file. This is the native gimp file format and preserves the layers. This will avoid you having to flatten the image every time and is definitely worth doing. When you want to post a WIP, just use Save As... to save a flattened jpg copy of your working file to post up here.

I must say that you are doing an amazing job to have got this far without layers! And I can see exactly why my explanation passed right by.

As for the colours, yes, you can certainly do this at the end. To do this, create and colour your map with nice bright colours for each region - don't worry too much about the faded look.

Now to get the faded look you'll need to add a new layer. It's best to open up the layers dialogue here (Windows->Dockable dialogues->Layers). At the bottom of this dialogue is a button that creates a new layer. Make sure the new layer is transparent. Move it under the layer the coloured map is on (just click and drag the layer icon. Now make sure this (new) layer is selected and paste in the parchment texture. You won't see it because the map is on the layer above.

Here's an example image I used:
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To get the parchment to show through, click on your map layer. Now go to the mode drop down at the top of the layers dialogue. Change the mode to overlay. Ta da - the parchment shows through:
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To add a bit of the colour back you can duplicate your map layer (right click on the layer in the layers dialogue->duplicate layer). Now change the mode of this new layer back to normal in the drop down dialogue. There's also a slider underneath the drop down that allows you to set the opacity of the the layer. Drop that down until you get a look that you like. Here's the result I got with my example image:
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Now the problem here is that the lines and the colour are both muted. Ideally you want to keep the lines dark and the colour muted. This requires that you have the lines on a separate layer (and is probably for experimentation further down the road) but a quick example of this look is here:
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And here's the zips of the two .xcf files I used for this:
10284

Open them up in Gimp and have a look at the layers dialogue - it should demonstrate what I've mentioned here. I hope that was a little clearer! I'll answer any questions that you've got as you go along. I'll make sure I keep an eye on this thread.

jfrazierjr
02-11-2009, 07:25 PM
I echo everything others have said about layers. Use a new layer for almost everything. My images (what few I have completed) have 30+ layers by the end, not counting any labeling layers. You want to get into the habit of using lots and lots of layers in GIMP and as Torstan says, use Save a Copy to "export" to a different format such as png or jpeg for posting here (PNG is what you want for this type of image). The only thing to keep in mind is that each layer takes up memory, so you have to make a trade off of flexibility vs memory usage.

jfrazierjr
02-11-2009, 07:32 PM
Do you still have your original "sketch" as a separate image? If so, I would HIGHLY suggest starting over with that and then build everything in layers. When you want to use the magic want tool, I typically have to hide (click the eyeball) most other layers so it does not get greedy with the selection. Not doing this is part of the reason you are having the magic wand tool get all sorts of other stuff since you also had some parchment texture and it was trying to be magical......

RobA
02-11-2009, 08:16 PM
Here is a handy video tut showing how to clean up a scanned image using the curves tool, and set it up to start colouring on a (or many) separate layers. Not specific for mapping, but useful for any new gimp user.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?hl=en&v=-wYMbp3jNwo&gl=US

-Rob A>

Feralspirit
02-12-2009, 01:55 AM
Do you still have your original "sketch" as a separate image? If so, I would HIGHLY suggest starting over...

I'm crushed. I went through a whole range of emotions upon reading your post. Thanks, I think you might be right.

When this thread moved from introductions to WIP it was my intention to use this map to educate myself, and I just started proceeding with what I already knew.

My original sketch has many flaws and holes in the lines, I think possibly a few more after using the process RobA pointed me at. I am reducing everything to black and white, redefining my lines, and saving that image as 'lines' (using .xcf). If I'm not mistaken (my understanding of the software and tut instructions may still be flawed) I can then copy the outline of my river onto a new layer. Am I good so far?

torstan
02-12-2009, 08:28 AM
Once you have a layer with your lines on it, you're halfway there. Now you can use the magic wand tool to select areas. After you've selected an area go to Select->Grow Selection and add a couple of pixels so that the selection runs down the middle of your lines rather than along the edge of them.

Now create a new layer (in the layers dialogue) and fill (Edit->Fill Selection) to fill the area with colour.

This will colour over some of the line. To avoid this, keep the lines layer on the top (click and drag them in the layers dialogue). Now set the lines layer mode to multiply - this will only use the black parts (the lines) of the layer and not the white, allowing you to see the colour below.

I hope this helps with the next step.

jfrazierjr
02-12-2009, 09:09 AM
I'm crushed. I went through a whole range of emotions upon reading your post. Thanks, I think you might be right.


Sorry! :( I think everyone just assumed that since you were using GIMP to do the editing, that you already knew about using layers. Going back now and rereading some of your posts, some of it makes a bit more sense in context. But yea....as Torstan said, once you get your lines down (all in one layer or in separate one's for road, buildings, water, trees, etc) the process of filling in the base colors should only take you a few minutes to get back to where you were. I would keep the line's separate from the fill colors also. Example Layers:

Building Lines
Building Color
Road Lines
Road Color
Tree Lines
Tree Color
Tree Texture
Water Line
Water Color
Water Texture
Grass Color
Grass Texture

Of course, that's just an example, but hopefully you get the drift. Also, if you use a layer mask on each of the color layers to get the color to show through, but only where you want it to, when you want to go back and change the color of something, you don't have to do a bunch of selections anymore, so you might want to think about that.... In this case, with layer masks in use, I just color the entire layer a new color/shade for example, and Layer mask takes care of where it should show through. Of course... you might want to get used to GIMP a bit more before you take that step, but it's something to think about.

Nytmare
02-12-2009, 10:24 AM
Also, the work that you've already done isn't a wasted! You can easily copy and paste that into the new document as a new layer and edit out what isn't needed.

Feralspirit
02-13-2009, 04:03 PM
Ok, after a ton of procrastination, I am trying to work through the BIG TUT on using GIMP by RobA (I realize not all of it is applicable to my scale, but wanted to do it for educational value...). So, in first steps of defining land and river, I have a problem, I already have structures protruding into my water definition.

10351

I think I should just take them out of this layer, trusting that I can bring them back in later layers, but I don't want to lose them. I thought I had better ask.

Also, a close look will reveal my blur settings. Are they good or should I change them?

RobA
02-17-2009, 11:59 AM
Hi Feralspirit-

Since you invoked my name ;) I figured I;d respond with what I do.

I try to keep structures like docks and bridges on their own layer, separate from land, separate from buildings, and separate from roads. Mainly so that I can go back later and give them their own shadow, showing their height.

-Rob A>

Feralspirit
02-22-2009, 01:13 AM
Hi. (:oops:) Sorry to keep everyone (or anyone?) in suspense. I wish I could say that the time I've spent since posting last was clearly evident in this post. Obviously, I cannot. I can say that I'm learning a great deal, but even that is a long slow road (lots of trial and error).

I wanted to throw my map's current state up to see what everyone has to say or suggest. There is still a long list of points that I am not quite happy with. Even so, I think it's progressing towards a state that I will be happy with (I hope).

Thank you to torstan. His user profile holds a beautiful water texture that I promptly jumped on. I thought it would be perfect to add a surface to my river. It wasn't. Sorry torstan, I had to tweak it a little bit, to tone it down. I do think it now serves the purpose I intended very well. Your name, and the original, remain in my patterns dialogue. :)

I have yet to do anything substantial with Ascension's trees technique, but I continue to think my trees need a little help, so I will probably do some work with his instructions in front of me.

You see that blueish-green area in the NE that kind of runs into the forest, that's supposed to be marsh/swamp. I am still very unhappy with that, but that's the best I've come up with so far. The forest is actually covering a great deal of it, as well. To me, this runs against the point of cartography, which is to convey information, not obscure it. Unless I can figure something out, or one of you can suggest something, I may end up tearing down that part of the forest. :(

10596

Any and all suggetstions/observations are welcome (read 'needed'), and will be considered in a less-than-timely manner. Thanks.

P.S. The roads and buildings are not in a finished state, I keep the roads up as guides until I figure out what I'm going to do with them. Speaking of buildings, the bevel function generates a dark side on the SE. The only way I've thought of to fix it is to rotate the entire picture 180, bevel, and rotate back. Anyone have anything better?

jfrazierjr
02-22-2009, 01:08 PM
Hi. (:oops:) Sorry to keep everyone (or anyone?) in suspense. I wish I could say that the time I've spent since posting last was clearly evident in this post. Obviously, I cannot. I can say that I'm learning a great deal, but even that is a long slow road (lots of trial and error).

I wanted to throw my map's current state up to see what everyone has to say or suggest. There is still a long list of points that I am not quite happy with. Even so, I think it's progressing towards a state that I will be happy with (I hope).

Thank you to torstan. His user profile holds a beautiful water texture that I promptly jumped on. I thought it would be perfect to add a surface to my river. It wasn't. Sorry torstan, I had to tweak it a little bit, to tone it down. I do think it now serves the purpose I intended very well. Your name, and the original, remain in my patterns dialogue. :)

I have yet to do anything substantial with Ascension's trees technique, but I continue to think my trees need a little help, so I will probably do some work with his instructions in front of me.

You see that blueish-green area in the NE that kind of runs into the forest, that's supposed to be marsh/swamp. I am still very unhappy with that, but that's the best I've come up with so far. The forest is actually covering a great deal of it, as well. To me, this runs against the point of cartography, which is to convey information, not obscure it. Unless I can figure something out, or one of you can suggest something, I may end up tearing down that part of the forest. :(

10596

Any and all suggetstions/observations are welcome (read 'needed'), and will be considered in a less-than-timely manner. Thanks.

P.S. The roads and buildings are not in a finished state, I keep the roads up as guides until I figure out what I'm going to do with them. Speaking of buildings, the bevel function generates a dark side on the SE. The only way I've thought of to fix it is to rotate the entire picture 180, bevel, and rotate back. Anyone have anything better?

Good update. One thing you may try to do with this scale so you can maintain your swamp look (I don't really have any ideas about how to make the swamp part itself though) where the trees are is to remove the trees as a amorphous blob(I don't mean that in a bad way) and put down individual trees in a more painterly style. This will let you have some "show through" to the ground below.

Another thing, the ground texture seems to be a bit much. Perhaps have several different textures and hide/show them via the use of a layer mask (each one of course). Right now, the texture is just to repeating for my tastes.

You might also want to think about using a layer mask to "create" your river and have it cover all or more of the layer itself. Then use the layer mask to blur the edges (at specific places if you want) to define the shape of the river. This will let you get some "bleed" through between the swamp and river without such hard lines.

I rather like this start you have...looking forward to seeing more. If you need more on Layer Masks in GIMP, check out my short tutorial via the link in my sig.

torstan
02-22-2009, 06:09 PM
That's looking great. The river looks very cool, and I can see the texture in there.

The forest texture could to with being a little more subdued - it's very large for the map right now.

As for the buildings, you probably want to do the following. Create a selection of all of the buildings. Now create a new layer. Go to the gradient tool. Make sure your colours are black and white and change the Shape to Shaped(angular). Now click and drag (it doesn't matter how much) within one of the selected areas. This should give you nice sharp gradients from white to black on all of the buildings. You want the peaks to be white and the lower areas to be black. If this hasn't worked, switch the colours and do it again. Now create a new layer and fill it with 50% grey. Now Go to Filters->Map->Bump Map. In this window you need to select layer with the gradient filled buildings in the top right drop down menu. Now fiddle with the different settings until the preview window shows you an image you like. Note that you can specify the angle of the lighting here.

Once your bump mapping has been done, switch this grey layer's mode to overlay and you should have some nice shaped roofs. Sorry for the slightly rushed walkthrough, the mosaic town tutorial in my sig has a slightly longer description of this process in one of the later steps. Shout if you get stuck doing it, and I'll put together a slightly more structured tute.

philipstephen
02-22-2009, 11:21 PM
Hi. (:oops:) Sorry to keep everyone (or anyone?) in suspense. I wish I could say that the time I've spent since posting last was clearly evident in this post. Obviously, I cannot. I can say that I'm learning a great deal, but even that is a long slow road (lots of trial and error).

I wanted to throw my map's current state up to see what everyone has to say or suggest. There is still a long list of points that I am not quite happy with. Even so, I think it's progressing towards a state that I will be happy with (I hope).

P.S. The roads and buildings are not in a finished state, I keep the roads up as guides until I figure out what I'm going to do with them. Speaking of buildings, the bevel function generates a dark side on the SE. The only way I've thought of to fix it is to rotate the entire picture 180, bevel, and rotate back. Anyone have anything better?

Hello Feral Spirit

I really love the energy of your map, and I liked the direction it was going when you started to add background textures...

So I started to tinker with it in Photoshop - just putting in some layers of texture and using the paint bucket to fill in some colours... i thickened some lines to make it easier to do colour fills and like how it looks...

I hope that is cool... I see you are going another direction with this... but I would say that I liked your old hand sketched trees and map a lot and did not see that it needed a lot of improvement...

even so, I am eager to see what your new efforts produce...

is it okay if I use this map in a D&D game I am running? I am not sure where I might use it yet, but like I said, I love the flow of it -- the streets and everything...

Phil

Feralspirit
02-23-2009, 01:18 PM
Well, I was hoping to have an updated map to offer with this post. However, due to the previous post, circumstances warrant a timely response, and, as I have really only dropped in a handful of houses...

Phil, very considerate of you to track me back down and ask permission. Others may have simply absconded it and never mentioned it again. Since you have asked let me say a few words.

You will note at the bottom of jfrazier's posts (and others) a link to Creative Commons liscence. I have not figured out how to make that link a part of my signiture yet, nor did I think (having only my first map posted) it was necessary at this point. I think it's pretty basic, and since you've asked me I ask only that you respect the basic guidelines of it (the creative commons liscense), namely that the map you are using is for personal, non-commercial use, and, if asked, you agree to credit me where it is due (although at this point you could claim that the map you are using was a collaborative effort).

Ok, on a more personal note, your map is lovely. I am flattered that you wanted to make use of it, considering the wealth of fine maps available here and my status as a mere apprentice (I guess there is no accounting for taste :P). I am also depressed, as you have gotten a completed map and I continue to plug away at mine ;). I am only slightly disappointed that you did not choose to use the map with the key (post #13 in this thread), but I suppose I can hardly blame you you for not muddling your way through this entire thread (which is extra long and murky), and you may have chosen not to use the posted key as a DM desiring to create one yourself. For your reference, the scale bar at top left was 200'. Cheers!

philipstephen
02-23-2009, 03:26 PM
Phil, very considerate of you to track me back down and ask permission. Others may have simply absconded it and never mentioned it again. Since you have asked let me say a few words.

Ok, on a more personal note, your map is lovely. I am flattered that you wanted to make use of it, considering the wealth of fine maps available here and my status as a mere apprentice (I guess there is no accounting for taste :P). I am also depressed, as you have gotten a completed map and I continue to plug away at mine ;). I am only slightly disappointed that you did not choose to use the map with the key (post #13 in this thread), but I suppose I can hardly blame you you for not muddling your way through this entire thread (which is extra long and murky), and you may have chosen not to use the posted key as a DM desiring to create one yourself. For your reference, the scale bar at top left was 200'. Cheers!

I am glad you liked what I did with your work. I had found the key, but was working with one of your larger files to have a good resolution to work with... here is in updated version with your key included in it.

In regards to the key, I was thinking of retyping the text with a glowing outline.

And I hope you are not too depressed about the work I did... I myself have no talent for visioning a working, creative, and believable layout for a city. I could get down on myself for not having those skills - but there seems to be many talented folks here (like yourself) who do have those skills.

I have been playing around with photoshop for a few years and reading online tutorials on how to work with layers and textures and I do not think it is a reflection on you and your talent that your efforts were slower... it is just a matter of familiarity and practice.

I see this is being your baby and creation - and I did not much more than add some colour and texture. Without the underlying structure of the town - it would not matter how nice the colours looked.

And I think it is important to get feedback from others too - the digital rendering you are doing may have more appeal to a wider crowd. I myself liked the hand drawn touch of your original map, and when I saw you were going for the digital route, decided I would like to see how it may look with a bit more flat but textured colour fills.

philipstephen
02-23-2009, 03:30 PM
Oh yah... and i looked at your key and saw the dotted lines on your original sketch and guessed that the graveyard and horse stables and larger boxes in the northern part of your map are fenced or walled in fields - rather than solid buildings like I had coloured in for the first version i posted.

this latest version put different shades of green to represent what i hope are training grounds for horses and fields for farming.

Are the circular buildings wells?

Gandwarf
02-24-2009, 11:36 AM
Wow, the latest version is looking very sweet!
I repped you both... Feralspirit for creating a very beautiful city with a great layout. And Philipstephen for adding such wonderful colors.

ravells
02-24-2009, 12:54 PM
What a great double act! Rep to both of you!! Great work!

philipstephen
02-24-2009, 08:24 PM
...unless Feral Spirit asks me to add any other bits...

but this is the copy with the letters and text retyped to give them a bit of a glow to separate them from the background and make them stand out a bit.

i am happy to change the font or text or textures if you would like FeralSpirit... or if you want me to add any more labels to this version...

i am also hoping you have fun with the other version you are creating and look forward to seeing it develop...

be well,

Phil

Feralspirit
02-25-2009, 08:33 AM
Can anyone tell me where to find CSUAC? The last time I walked through jfrazierjr's tut on layer masks it was at his first reference to this material that I stopped to go hunting for it. I failed to find it. Now that I've been referred back to the tut I want to find it again.

Sorry, no update. I'll try to get one up tonight.

jfrazierjr
02-25-2009, 09:01 AM
Can anyone tell me where to find CSUAC? The last time I walked through jfrazierjr's tut on layer masks it was at his first reference to this material that I stopped to go hunting for it. I failed to find it. Now that I've been referred back to the tut I want to find it again.

Sorry, no update. I'll try to get one up tonight.


http://gmsapprentice.com/

You can of course use any textures you can find that match what your trying to accomplish, I just happened to use those to make the "creek" since a few days(weeks?) before hand I was doodling and made a creek (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3127) while playing with layer masks. The first attempts were rather atrocious, but by the end, I got it looking fairly ok.

Feralspirit
02-27-2009, 07:44 PM
I'm not really sure this is much of an update. My work schedule picked up this last week, so I (again) have not gotten as far as I would have liked (that's my story, and I'm sticking to it). I have played with a couple of things, not for the better by and large I'm afraid.

First thing I am most generally pleased with is the progress on re-drawing the buildings (considering they are not yet done, don't bother looking at them). It's a pain to re-do them, but I like right angles, and it will give me the opportunity to correct the population dispersal problem. That neighborhood at the bottom of the map was far too large, put that way to make a desirable population count (2500-3000 at 3.5 average adults/household). By squeezing a few more people into the north, I can cut houses in the south, :). You may notice that as many buildings as possible were given a perfect North/South orientation (definately more convenient to the mapper, @Sigurd *poke*). As per ravells' very first comments/suggestions about my town I have attempted to use fewer rectangles, but upon reviewing his latest Port City, I realize that I cannot compete with his idea of irregularly shaped buildings (@ravells *poke, poke*).

Second, to me, but probably the first thing anyone will notice is the forest.
The only good thing I can say about it is it's a vast improvement from how it was represented previously. Gandwarf made the comment in jfraziers tut, too "clip-art", and I think the term applies even more here than there. I also think it's too busy. It will probably be redone. Can anyone point me towards some botanical resource information? I have questions like; What kinds of trees could I likely find at 40-50 degrees north lat, about 1500-2000' elevation? How many different species is one likely to find in one forest? Diagrams of tree species dispersal in a forest, and diagrams of tree crowns for specific species.

Altered the hue of the grass, NOT happy with it's current state. trying to find something more lush (living green), not neon. If I fail in this I will go back to its initial color.

@jfrazierjr, I've toned down the grass texture a bit. I'm not sure what to use as an alternate grass texture. I do intend to add a lot of soil/dirt, to break up what currently appears to broad expanses of grass (around the buildings of town, animal enclosures, the graveyard, and a few barren patches out in the open will be mostly dirt). It took me forever to figure out which layer mask I had to alter to get the river to blend better with the swamp (my first guess was actually correct, but there was another mask interfering that I had to track down to erase a handful of pixels on the river's edge). And thank you for the forest suggestion, I like this "style" much better, even though I need to re-do the forest, again (for the fourth time).

@torstan, I still think the forest needs to be toned down, but I do think its current state is better than before. Sorry I haven't quite finished the buildings yet, but thanks for the tip. That's exactly what I want (I think).

@Everyone, Thank you all so much (esp jfrazierjr and torstan) for your patience with me and continued attention, even though I appear to crawling along to the lot of you.

10800

Ascension
02-27-2009, 08:13 PM
Building shapes look great, darn near perfect, I'd say. Trees look good overall...you have green trees and light green trees. I'd suggest adding more color variation like yellow-green, orange, mustard, olive, ochre, mud, tan, etc. On a new layer use an airbrush and play with the various colors and make blobs of color then set the blend mode to overlay. So far so good.

torstan
02-28-2009, 12:00 PM
Not much of an update my arse. This is coming along nicely. I agree with ascension about the building shapes. That's some patience you've got there. It will show in the final result.

I also agree with the forest. The pattern is great - but a little bright and sharp for my liking. On the other hand, I don't go for photo-real maps so maybe others can comment better than I. I'd suggest lowering the opacity of the forest layer a little, or lowering the saturation and contrast a touch. The same goes for the rock - you'd never see veins of minerals ina rock at this scale, though the texture is nice. Perhaps take the rock layer, duplicate it, and fill the rock with a mid to dark grey on the lower layer. Then lower the opacity of the textured layer and see how it looks.

As for speed of progress - you should see my threads - they are positively glacial. No worries about slow updates - it gives us lots of chances to carp and criticise - ahem - I mean constructively comment .

Feralspirit
03-01-2009, 04:39 AM
Hooray, an update I'm actually (relatively) happy with! :D

Not too much has changed in the last 24 hours, but I have found a grass hue that I like, that's pretty much enough to make me happy.

@Ascension, boy, I was nervous to pursue your advice (orange, mustard, and tan?) but I did. I can't really discern too great a difference. It still looks green to me. I think it brightened some of my darker spots. I am red-green deficient though, so maybe you can see a difference where I cannot. (I'd have guessed being color blind to reds-greens, that the other colors would have jumped at me. Go figure.)

@Torstan I toned down the volume on the trees a bit, before I followed Ascensions' instructions, and they jumped right back up. On the rocks, I just went ahead and used the small tile function on the original fill. Tell me what you think.

The swamp, the swamp! Look at the swamp! What's the consensus? Does this look more, or less like a swamp?

10835

Ok, I'm not sure about the road developments in the NE quadrant, anyone have an opinion? Also, you guys got the hexes visible this time. 1 hex = 100'

Feralspirit
04-02-2009, 06:01 PM
*crickets*
(Note to self; No love for last swamp, try again.)

Oh, I can hear the groans. (Stern's Bridge is back?)

Alright, after a month of plodding this is what I've got-
11998


Still on the to do list; Furrows and Crops, Another try at Rocky Terrain, Shingles and Chimneys(?), Grunge(?), Other Do-Dads (fountain, ballista, cart, boat), Finishes (scale, labels, key, rose), other that the guild recommends.

Credit to RobA for Fantastic Water Wheel. The only icon I found that reduced to .05 (I think) and still looked good.

deanatglobe
04-02-2009, 06:15 PM
Wow that is coming along nicely. I am eager to see what you come up with on the crop front as that is soemthing I am trying to figure out on my city maps.

Dean

Ascension
04-02-2009, 08:18 PM
This looks nice, dude...certainly better than most of the things that I've done at this scale. Don't worry about crickets...I get em all the time and it usually just means that no one has anything that needs to be tweaked. I certainly hope you do more like this, it's very nice.

Korash
04-02-2009, 10:20 PM
Wow, what a difference 1 post makes 8)

Looks great. There are a few things though. One of them is the shadows. I was liking the different heights of the buildings and was wondering how you managed that. Having said that, based on the length of the shadow, the trees are HUGE!!. Much taller than the fortress. I suggest that the shadow for the trees shouldn't be any longer than of a three story building.

I also like the way you used the shadow of the fortified bridge to help give some relief to the river and the shoreline. But, you need to watch the shadow on the two towers at the end of that bridge, The way it looks with the shadows is that the middle tower is shorter than the ones at the end.

The thing about shadows is that they all have the same light source (the sun) and the length of the shadow shows the relative height of the tallest point from the ground. If the sun is at 45 degrees, the length of the shadow is roughly equal to the height of the object casting it. Things like peeked roofs and variations in ground level could screw that up, but that is basically the way it works.

Don't get me wrong, I like what you have done (and I am curious how you did the varying shadow length), I just happen to notice shadows a lot.

Have some rep for the way it is turning out. ;)

Steel General
04-03-2009, 07:04 AM
Great update... still just a bit dark overall :D

torstan
04-03-2009, 08:39 AM
This looks great - definitely one of the best threads for showing how fast something can improve. I love the swamp texture you ended up using - that's very cool. I also like the woods.

My one note on it as it stands is that the buildings are all casting shadows, but they don't have any shadows on the roofs. The roofs look like they've been lit from above.

I can't help on the shingle texture I'm afraid - I had a shot at it, but came up with nothing. CGtextures might be your best bet.

Kingbreaker
04-03-2009, 09:14 PM
Feedback is welcome, :), though I am aware of many errors (I consider small) already (the buildings aren't square, walls and other lines are uneven, etc.).


Umm, this is not a bug, but a feature!! The purpose of a hand-drawn map is to give it a hand-drawn feel, not a computer-generated one. Anybody can draw vector rectangles, but not everybody can add flavor to a map.


I think your hand-drawn, monochrome-yet-aged maps are great - really antique feeling. Have some rep.

Feralspirit
04-05-2009, 05:27 PM
Ok, just a bit closer. Plowed the fields, sowed the seeds of peace and love, yata, yata, yata.

@Deanatglobe sorry, nothing fancy for crops. Pretty much Select and Fill. Used guyanonymous' texture 39, found here http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=53124&postcount=10 {thanks again, Guy}, mapped small tiles til I felt the scale was good, altered lightness and color to suit, voila!

Tower shadows for the outside two were a bit long, but not by much. I had reduced them falling on the buildings as if the buildings were 1 story, which they're not (they're 2 stories). The illusion that the shadow for the middle tower is short persists for me. Comments please.

For Torstan, sorry, I had actually meant to correct that, somehow it slipped by. An easy fix (now that I am more familiar with the weapons at my command).

Regarding the shingles, I'm not real happy with my results. Take a look, give me an opinion. Some buildings look better than others (perfectly oriented buildings look bad, IMO). Unless I get some kind of thunderbolt, genius idea, or the public outcry is to keep them, I think I'll let them go. Same for the chimneys, and I think the grunge as well (my efforts on those fronts were so bad I'm embarrassed to show them).

Finally, Kingbreaker. Thank you for your kind words, and the rep :), but, truth be told, at the beginning of this calender year I could not produce a rectangle on the computer (in any kind of program). This map has become more of an exercise to learn how to do just that, and more (as much as I can). I think I'm coming along.

12070

Remaining; I would still like to find a small fountain. The areas of cultivated dirt not planted are animal enclosures. A fence, at this scale, is nothing but a pixel, but maybe I can fake in a shadow... Finally finishes.

Please, more comments (esp those tower shadows and the shingles, as well as anything you think I may have forgotten or will improve my map). :)

________________________

lol, that farmer in the north has been complaining about the shadows from the trees falling accross his fields... how he managed to get his crops to grow over the shadow is a mystery, but I'll take care of it.

torstan
04-05-2009, 05:29 PM
That looks great. I have to say that if I were you I'd call it done.

jaspertjie
04-06-2009, 09:01 AM
Beautiful!

ravells
04-06-2009, 06:02 PM
Stunning work Feral. It almost looks like a 3d model.

StillCypher
04-10-2009, 05:20 AM
Wow, this map has improved so much so fast it's amazing! It's full of all kinds of juicy goodness. I love the swamp, and the tree texture is purely cool. I like that all the houses don't look stamped on, and the fields ... are almost perfect except that they seem to be floating! And I have a question: The road passes by your fortress on the west, but the closest part of the bailey is green! Do the folks that come and go *jump* over to the dirt patch beyond? :D "Mind the launch pad, it always gets you when you're -- Too late. They never listen!"




::should probably get more sleep...::

Kingbreaker
04-11-2009, 09:29 AM
Wow, this map has improved so much so fast it's amazing! It's full of all kinds of juicy goodness. I love the swamp, and the tree texture is purely cool. I like that all the houses don't look stamped on, and the fields ... are almost perfect except that they seem to be floating! And I have a question: The road passes by your fortress on the west, but the closest part of the bailey is green! Do the folks that come and go *jump* over to the dirt patch beyond? :D "Mind the launch pad, it always gets you when you're -- Too late. They never listen!"




::should probably get more sleep...::

Re: the fields. the is the most minor of nitpicks.

The fields look too flat or uniform to me. . . . unless we are talking perfectly pool-table level ground, the fields are going to have some slight contour as well. Perhaps you could throw some blended clouds over them?

Gandwarf
04-11-2009, 11:26 AM
Well, actually I like the fields. A lot.
I don't think they are floating or too uniform. Sometimes I look at a map and I think I see stuff floating, but this map doesn't have this problem (for me).

Feralspirit
04-12-2009, 05:37 PM
Thanks for hanging in there with me, guys, I'm nearly finished with it.

@StillCypher, I noticed the bailey thing just a few hours before you commented on it. Fixed that and a couple of other places, though there are probably a few more I should hit. Floating fields, I reduced the shadow opacity (on everything), take a look to see if that helped.

@Kingbreaker, the fields are subject to the same heightfield as everything else (except the structures) albeit with as much hue variation in the elements (grass, trees, swamp, and the crops) as I have, the heightfield is barely visible at this point. Compare the field in SE corner vs NE ones. Or do you mean you cannot detect height variations within one field? Maybe reduced resolution is doing this. Try looking close at the field right next to the swamp, or in the fields next to the road north out of town.

More; Added fences, as I anticipated, the shadows are the only way to find them. I hope that with this resolution they're still barely there. Added a fountain. Thanks to everyone who helped me with that. As I mentioned elsewhere, no details are visible. I couldn't find any that reduced adequately, but looked at enough sources I was able to produce something that worked.

Title, Compass, and Text, with glow. I had a difficult time placing them, and the key is longer still. Take a look, share your thoughts. Thanks in advance.

12325

Credit to Peter Rempel for the Rose, PR Compass Rose found at Dafont.com and thanks to phillipstephen for pointing me toward Forgotten Uncial font, found at same.

StillCypher
04-12-2009, 08:55 PM
Woohoo! I think those fields are looking much better. As far as possible variation in the heightfield in the field, perhaps you could try a little dodging/burning at a low opacity to suggest height/depth?

Ascension
04-12-2009, 11:16 PM
Looks great. The only thing I can suggest is one of the more tedious things I deal with myself...more color variation on the roofs. Nice nonetheless.

Feralspirit
05-24-2009, 10:57 AM
Ta-da.

Here it is, in something at least close to finished. Sadly, even 75% res is like 6.5mb, so I had to go at 50%.

@Ascension; I added 2 more hues for roof colors (making 5), again spread across 2 gradients. Probably not as bright and colorful as you were hoping for.

Regarding field comments; By lightening my fields a bit, and doubling up on the previously existing hieghtfields I hope that elevation variation has become more apparent.

I am very concerned about my text, is it readable? The smallest font size is under my scale, and then the 1A, etc. after that.

Barring major suggestions, this will make it to Finished Maps forum tomorrow, :D. Cheers!

13593

PS. Thanks to everyone, but special credit to jfrazierjr (post #41) and Torstan (post #39). I've named establishments after both of you.

Gandwarf
05-24-2009, 11:07 AM
That's a beautiful map FeralSpirit and it deserves you some rep :)
The border and lettering are a bit dark though, making a dificult read... maybe that's also because you decreased the map in size.

jfrazierjr
05-24-2009, 11:11 AM
I am very concerned about my text, is it readable? The smallest font size is under my scale, and then the 1A, etc. after that.

Barring major suggestions, this will make it to Finished Maps forum tomorrow, :D. Cheers!

VERY nice map overal, but I do have two complains. 1, I think the map itself is a bit dark, but that's just me. Not much contrast, especially between the trees. 2, you already figured out... The text is just not going to work at that scale with black on grey. Perhaps a different color, or perhaps a larger/different font. I REALLY like the font you used, but it just is unreadable at this scale with this background/forecolor....



PS. Thanks to everyone, but special credit to jfrazierjr (post #41) and Torstan (post #39). I've named establishments after both of you.

Geez.... thanks a bunch!!!! I am honored....now I will have to go back and read what I did to deserve a special credit cause I just don't remember... of course, thats nothing new..

Steel General
05-24-2009, 11:45 AM
Very nice, but the lettering is very difficult to read - especially the 'legend'.

PixelFish
05-24-2009, 04:39 PM
I want to echo that I like the new watercolour-y feel to the map too. The flaking look you tried before seemed a little too even, re: flakage. This has more subtle variations. I think the contrast between the two browns is just enough too.

Edited to add: ARGH. I keep having this issue where I think I'm at the last page of a thread, and then it turns out there's a lot more I didn't see. Now that I have seen the most recent update, I want to add that I agree that the current fonts are hard to read. I like the handling of the buildings and the multicoloured roofs. But I admit to missing the softer watercolour touches from before, and I find the strong saturation of the forest and field greens to be overwhelming the slightly less saturated tones of the town itself.

torstan
05-26-2009, 02:22 PM
I really like the new map. I'd consider inverting the text to make it white o the dark grey. I think it will stand out much better. I'd also consider inverting those labels on the map that are over the roofs as white will read much more clearly.

I'm flattered to have earned a Trading Post! Thanks a lot. You really knuckled down on this map and made sure that you worked on something until you got it right. This thread should remain visible to others who come here to see how much can be achieved in such a short time. Well done Feral, you've got a real work of art here (and repped of course!).

msa
05-26-2009, 02:41 PM
Very pretty map. I particularly like the built-in legend and the fields. I do agree with many that the contrast is a little too low.

Also, if you save as a JPEG you should have no trouble keeping it under 4MB with very little loss in quality (except maybe in the legend).