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Absinth
03-02-2009, 05:21 PM
I'd like to show you a map I did lately for our homebrew setting Angraenor. As the last and current campaigns both focus heavily on planar adventures, my players bugged me to provide them with a visual overview on our settings cosmology. So, here it is...

This may be an unusual kind of map, as it maps something as abstract as planes and their relationship to each other, so I had different goals for this one, as for other types of map like a city- or overland-map. Its major purpose is to be used as a gaming aid for the players, so I wanted it to be clear in its layout and easily read- and understandable. Besides that, I wanted it to have a "professional look", like something you'd expect when reading a book like Manual Of The Planes. This map is lacking some elements that would make it look more interesting, but I couldn't come up with ideas, that wouldn't spoil its readability. I toyed a lot with flashy lightning and effects, but I always turned back to this stripped own version of the map.

As last time, I havn't thought about adding a WIP thread. Sorry about that! I know that it should be that way... But I'll answer any questions on how I did certain things in this thread and am very thankful for any comments, thoughts or tips on how to improve it. Thanks.

torstan
03-02-2009, 05:40 PM
You've got some strange pixelation around the edges of the outer rings. I'm not sure what could have caused that. I like the design, very clear and precise.

I like the arms of energy (?) that arc between te planes. They are very cool.

Ascension
03-02-2009, 05:45 PM
One of the tougher challenges is to map abstract theories like this and make it cohesive. Gotta ditto the pixelated ring and the cleanness.

Absinth
03-02-2009, 05:54 PM
Yes, the pixelation is annoying. Guess I'll try to smooth it somehow... I didn't bother with this until now, because its meant to be a A4 handout for the players to pass around he table and you can't really see it in that size.

Salama
03-02-2009, 07:10 PM
I really like the layout of this one. It's easy to understand yet looks cool. I would have gone a different route with the typography though. Maybe make the strokes/outer glows a lot smaller in the text, or maybe lose them entirely. I think the text draws too much attention from the map itself. What software did you use with this?

Steel General
03-02-2009, 07:30 PM
I agree with Ascension about the difficulty of presenting a somewhat abstract idea as this, but I think you have done a fine job of it (other than the jaggies :D)

Salama does make a good point about the glow on the text. I think the next time a smaller glow would be better.

NeonKnight
03-03-2009, 02:50 AM
A fine job. And as someone who has also tried his best to map a planar cosmology:

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=822

You did a far better job than me :D

Absinth
03-03-2009, 04:05 AM
What software did you use with this?

I'm sorry that I forgot one of the most important aspects of this thread. I used GIMP for this map. Usually I work with handdrawn outlines as the base for my maps, but with this one I aimed for a clean look and so I decided to use GIMP all the way. This was a first for me...

Thanks for all the kind words on this map!
It's interesting that some of you dislike the glow of the text. I may change it tonight and see how it looks a little smaller. I don't want to get rid of it, as the black text is too difficult to read on the darker planes without it.

I don't have a clue on how to get rid of the jagged/pixelated outlines of the inner planes. I tried to apply a blur, but this only makes it worse... Maybe I'll totally erase this layers and start them all over.
Maybe it would've been better to do the outlines in Inkscape and only apply colours, blurs and everything else using GIMP.

Absinth
03-03-2009, 04:11 AM
A fine job. And as someone who has also tried his best to map a planar cosmology:

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=822

You did a far better job than me :D

Thanks for the rep and the link, Neonknight! I forgot to look for other cosmology maps before doing this, but I already had a vision of how it should look, so I wasn't in need of inspiration. :) I like your map, especially the galaxy-like background!

RobA
03-03-2009, 04:05 PM
I think you are correct with the idea of using Inkscape - it would simplify the process for a diagram such as this.

Regarding the jaggies... I am speculating you scaled up a smaller circle? Or scaled up a circular selection? That is the main cause for what you see.

-Rob A>

Absinth
03-03-2009, 05:45 PM
Regarding the jaggies... I am speculating you scaled up a smaller circle? Or scaled up a circular selection? That is the main cause for what you see.

-Rob A>

Yes, this must've been my mistake. That's what I get for being lazy and for re-using existing selections instead of making new ones! Another lesson learned! :)