PDA

View Full Version : The New Kingdom



Elvish Presley
02-18-2009, 09:21 AM
My players stopped a war this weekend, and as part of the peace negotiations, it was decided that they are going to establish and rule a kingdom of their own. So I had to make another map to show their new kingdom. Towns, cities etc. will be put in place as they decide where they want to build, as well as a name for the kingdom.

So the map is more or less finished already, but I reckon I'll work on it a bit more (the mountains are pretty sketchy, and the new forest pattern isn't quite what I'm after either).

Critique and comments are welcomed!

10499

Steel General
02-18-2009, 09:30 AM
Looks good to me so far - though I agree that the forests could use a little work.

All-in-all I think your players should be happy.

Elvish Presley
02-18-2009, 10:04 AM
Btw, does anyone know how you can make a forest brush in Photoshop that doesn't just clutter up the screen?

Take this one for instance:

10501

If I try to use it to make a forest, I end up with this mess:

10503

Is there a trick to this I'm not getting, or can it just not be done in Photoshop?

jfrazierjr
02-18-2009, 10:51 AM
Btw, does anyone know how you can make a forest brush in Photoshop that doesn't just clutter up the screen?

Take this one for instance:

10501

If I try to use it to make a forest, I end up with this mess:

10503

Is there a trick to this I'm not getting, or can it just not be done in Photoshop?

This is a common problem. In GIMP, there is a setting called spacing(set when you save the brush) which controls how close together brush drops when you keep painting. Too small, and the drawn thing looks like a blob of color. In GIMP at least, this setting appears to be something like a percentage offset type thing....

Another option is to create a pattern for the majority of the trees (where you won't see the trunks) and paint that down, and then just lay down your full trees along the front "row". Check out the tutorial by Del on hand drawing(I think thats it...)

Morkhdull
02-18-2009, 12:13 PM
I like your style... Giving a feeling of old time parchment to let your players entering the world they're playing in...
Really pleasant to read this map, Elvish...

Wag
02-18-2009, 12:15 PM
Even if you have that image saved as a brush in Photoshop and you change the spacing you will still have these same issues. The problem is that as a brush in Photoshop, it only recognizes black and white as fill and transparent. Basically taking any white areas and making them transparent when applied as a brush. When stamping your forest brush, any of the trunks and other tree parts that you are brushing over will interfere with where you are going.

If that makes any sense.

As a fix, I recommend creating a new forest image. Create a 1" by 1" square with a PPI of 600. Draw your trees like you have above in a new layer (not on the background itself!) and proceed to fill in any areas that are not filled with black with white.

Save this image!

Then select your move tool and drag it over into your current map. Resize the section with the "transform" tool (ctrl+T) until it is the proper size and apply. Then ctrl+click the newly created layer with your trees to select them. Then Ctrl+C then Ctrl+V. Switch to your move tool and you should be able to move the new layer next to, around, near, or behind your existing trees. You can continue adding to the forest this way simply by doing another Ctrl+V and pasting another new layer of trees and moving them to the desired position.

Remember that since every new layer will be created "Over" the previous layer, it will be easier to work from the top of the image downward. This will help so you don't need to constantly change the layer order to make things look right.

Now to take care of the color because your black and white trees probably look a little goofy if you are doing them on any kind of "parchment" or textured background.

Once you have your forest looking proper on screen, select all of the forest layers (there will probably be a lot) and merge them into a single layer (Ctrl+E.) With the final forest layer simply change the blending mode to "multiply" and the white areas disappear leaving behind only the black tree outlines you created.

I know it seems involved, but once you get the hang of it, it is really quite simple. I haven't found any way to make a brush do the things that I want and have found this method effective. You also have the ability to change individual layer sizes for extra variety with the "transform" tool (Ctrl+T.)

Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

jfrazierjr
02-18-2009, 03:52 PM
Even if you have that image saved as a brush in Photoshop and you change the spacing you will still have these same issues. The problem is that as a brush in Photoshop, it only recognizes black and white as fill and transparent. Basically taking any white areas and making them transparent when applied as a brush. When stamping your forest brush, any of the trunks and other tree parts that you are brushing over will interfere with where you are going.


Ah.. I forgot that part since GIMP does not have this limitation, I can have a brush made out of whatever colors I want (or color/alpha shades), so this does not come up..

gorkamorka
02-18-2009, 05:36 PM
Cool map. I especially like the fjord at the top. Looks like a proper fjord should.

Ascension
02-18-2009, 06:50 PM
Following along the lines of what Wag said I went ahead and made a png of your trees (a bit darker and sharper though). Copy this into your map on a new layer then copy this layer and move it around. Continue stacking and moving until happy with the forest shape then merge the layers together. I did a small preview of my result and am attaching the png.

Elvish Presley
02-18-2009, 07:47 PM
Great tips on the forests, people!

Going to work on the trees tomorrow and see what I end up with....might even have to look into GIMP too, it seems :)

Elvish Presley
02-19-2009, 12:53 PM
Hmmm....

Well, using the tree brush to make layers was both interesting and took far shorter time than I anticipated. But somehow I feel the new forests clash a bit with the rest. I reckon using more than just one tree brush would help, but still.....it looks..."foreign"?

10548

(I spy with my little eye......a complete reworking of the map somewhere on the horizon...)

...argh! My partner just told me the trees look like mushrooms! :D

Karro
02-19-2009, 12:55 PM
Hmmm....

Well, using the tree brush to make layers was both interesting and took far shorter time than I anticipated. But somehow I feel the new forests clash a bit with the rest. I reckon using more than just one tree brush would help, but still.....it looks..."foreign"?

10548

(I spy with my little eye......a complete reworking of the map somewhere on the horizon...)

...argh! My partner just told me the trees look like mushrooms! :D


The problem, I think, is the line thickness. The trees are made with a very fine line, which contrasts with the much thicker line used in the mountains.

I don't think they look like mushrooms, but as a possible solution, try just one line for the trunks instead of two... Maybe that'll help...

Steel General
02-19-2009, 01:45 PM
I din't think they look that bad, maybe a 'splash' of color on the forest canopy would help?

As Karros said the lines are very thin, whenre the lines & shading on your mountains is quite heavy. Just need to find a balance between the two.

Wag
02-20-2009, 02:50 PM
I agree that the line thickness is where the disconnect lies. I've personally adopted a "brush building" method to ensure my lines are similar. I always paint a new brush in a new document that is 1" by 1" with a resolution of 600 Pixels per inch. It allows for a large enough canvas to provide adequate detail when using a soft edged brush of between 3 and 9 pixels (or more if you wish.)

When the brush is created it will be created quite large. When you shrink the brush down it provides a nice softness to the brush that aids in a handrawn look.

As far as avoidance of repetitive patterns, that is a little trickier and more time consuming. My recommendation is to not only create one set of trees, but several. Possibly 4 or 5. Combine this with your own handpicked placement and you can avoid much of the repetitive look by simply using the different trees and different layers to make your forest work.

The same can be done with Mountains. Creating two, three, four, or more (like in my case where I made about ten.) Using the same pixel and brush sizes will then lend to that handrawn look.

It can be quite time consuming, but the more resources and brushes you create, the easier mapmaking becomes down the lines because you have a library of content to pull from.

Elvish Presley
02-21-2009, 06:16 PM
Lots of good advice here, thanks again!

I've been toying a bit with new brushes now, both mountains and trees. And every time I find myself improving a bit, I just want to go back and redo everything. So I think I'm just going to let this map be the way it is (more or less) and see where I end up the next time I map something :)

So for now, I just outlined the forests as they were (and put a bit of shades there, tec.). It's not optimal, but at least it looks better than it did at first (I hope):

10585

Steel General
02-21-2009, 06:27 PM
I like the green on the forests, it's just enough so set it apart.

ravells
02-22-2009, 06:22 AM
Me too. Really nice muted colours (always my favourite!)

Elvish Presley
02-22-2009, 07:44 AM
I'm glad the green was pleasing. Personally, I'll settle for knowing it's there, cause I can't actually see it :lol:

ravells
02-22-2009, 08:16 AM
We shall be the 'white stick' to your colour blindness!

jfrazierjr
02-22-2009, 02:20 PM
So for now, I just outlined the forests as they were (and put a bit of shades there, tec.). It's not optimal, but at least it looks better than it did at first (I hope):

10585

Bravo! I say that adding the outline around the trees REALLY made them "pop" and stand out. It's amazing how such a simple thing can really make that much difference(not that it was bad before!) I can't say how much I really like how this one little change helped to make the forests stand out on the map.

jezelf
02-23-2009, 09:07 AM
hi

if you're still looking for a solution to the forest brush problem - I created 3 brushes to do it (in Photoshop)

you can see the method and results here (http://www.jezelf.co.uk/tutorials_map02.htm)

basically:

1: create 3 brushes - you can make one and delete areas for the other two

http://www.jezelf.co.uk/tutorials/Maps/Map02/Map02_2_7d.jpg

2: draw the front of your forest:

http://www.jezelf.co.uk/tutorials/Maps/Map02/Map02_2_7e1.jpg

3: select your side brush and draw in one side, flip the brush and draw the other:

http://www.jezelf.co.uk/tutorials/Maps/Map02/Map02_2_7f1.jpg http://www.jezelf.co.uk/tutorials/Maps/Map02/Map02_2_7e2.jpg

4: get the top brush and fill in the rest:

http://www.jezelf.co.uk/tutorials/Maps/Map02/Map02_2_7e3.jpg

add a few of the first brush scattered about if you fancy:

http://www.jezelf.co.uk/tutorials/Maps/Map02/Map02_2_7e4.jpg

repeat about your map where you like...

http://www.jezelf.co.uk/tutorials/Maps/Map02/Map02_2_7h2.jpg