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Kingbreaker
03-12-2009, 06:39 PM
Hi Folks. . .
Here are two versions of the Great Maern regional WIP that I first posted in the intro forum. Comments/Critiques encouraged.

What a time suck this site is.

:)

Steel General
03-12-2009, 07:05 PM
Not bad at all.

Not to sure about the purple background on the 2nd one, it's a little jarring with the other colors used. Also, I think the upper elevations of the mountains could use a little blending unless you were going for some kind of stacked-woodcut look.

Kingbreaker
03-12-2009, 09:31 PM
Not bad at all.

Not to sure about the purple background on the 2nd one, it's a little jarring with the other colors used. Also, I think the upper elevations of the mountains could use a little blending unless you were going for some kind of stacked-woodcut look.

1) Colorblindness sucks! :(

2) Yeah, actually I was going for a stacked-woodcut look combined with a satellite top-down approach, rather than the cutout symbols as in the first map. I've tried about 6 distinct mountain styles so far. . . it's an interesting challenge. Bump-maps from P-shop just do not fit.


Things to change -
1) Rivers a bit too fat in V2.
2) A few more mountain styles need to be attempted until something really clicks.
3) Spray-paint forests *look* OK but don;t fit the challenge of the map idea.

I definitely think the labelling improved in V2.

jfrazierjr
03-12-2009, 10:51 PM
2) Yeah, actually I was going for a stacked-woodcut look combined with a satellite top-down approach, rather than the cutout symbols as in the first map. I've tried about 6 distinct mountain styles so far. . . it's an interesting challenge. Bump-maps from P-shop just do not fit.


If you have the time to commit and want some distinct mountains symbolic mountains that don't look cut out, take a look at the end of this thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3653). You might also want to take a look at Pasis's tutorial here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3653) as there are some really nice mountains done in PS.

Lord Herman
03-13-2009, 03:11 AM
I really like the woodcut version. Have you thought about making the landmass itself slightly beveled as well? I think that'd look quite nice, and give it even more of a woodcut feel.

The rivers and seas all look a bit too neat for a painted-on feature. You might try using brush strokes for the rivers and coastlines, to make the transition look a bit less sudden.

The colours of the wood are fine, but yeah, the sea is a bit purple. Also, the forests are a bit bright for my taste; a darker green might look better.

But all in all, it's a very nice map indeed.

Soixante
03-13-2009, 06:25 AM
Very unique style, interesting.

Kingbreaker
03-13-2009, 12:10 PM
I really like the woodcut version. Have you thought about making the landmass itself slightly beveled as well? I think that'd look quite nice, and give it even more of a woodcut feel.

The rivers and seas all look a bit too neat for a painted-on feature. You might try using brush strokes for the rivers and coastlines, to make the transition look a bit less sudden.

The colours of the wood are fine, but yeah, the sea is a bit purple. Also, the forests are a bit bright for my taste; a darker green might look better.

But all in all, it's a very nice map indeed.

I've experimented with beveled landmasses and it does enhance things. Part of my thought process lately has been - do *I* want to make the map in a really creative way or do I rely on the software to give me an easy solution? It's always a compromise I guess.

Yeah - the rivers really need to be redone. On the first map there are some much more organic ones in the center of the map - I cut those out with a lasso tool, rather than a uniform-width brush, and it really does look better. Then I got lazy :(

I am probably more in favor of the forests in V1 than V2. . . the V2 technique (brushing on green and then shadowing/highlighting) would be more appropriate in a map aiming for a satellite style.

Kingbreaker
03-13-2009, 12:25 PM
If you have the time to commit and want some distinct mountains symbolic mountains that don't look cut out, take a look at the end of this thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3653). You might also want to take a look at Pasis's tutorial here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3653) as there are some really nice mountains done in PS.


Indeed they are - a very artistic and effective approach.

One of the goals of this project is to try to limit myself to using flat wood-grain textures as much as possible - so that exact technique should not, ideally, use smudging, dodging, burning, or similar tools :(

I did try a refined version of a mountain range similar to V1, but much less "cut and paste" CC-ish. It's hard to describe but the basic idea is to imply atmospheric recession using different levels of transparency. In other words, the closer the mountains are (more southern here) the darker they are. Further away, the get more transparent = less distinct from everything else. If I get a chance this weekend I'll post a sample.

jfrazierjr
03-13-2009, 12:36 PM
One of the goals of this project is to try to limit myself to using flat wood-grain textures as much as possible - so that exact technique should not, ideally, use smudging, dodging, burning, or similar tools :(



Ah.. I noticed the wood grain, but did not know you were trying to stay within that scope. Personally, I like the first one far better than the second EXCEPT for the alternating woodgrain. If you take the grain from the second and put onto the first, I think you have the best case and then figure out a way to do some mountains you like. Personally, I think just removing the stamped down mountains from 1 and hand drawing a few upside down V's will work and then overlay with a splash of color(grey or brown) set to perhaps 50% opacity. Alternately, perhaps you can do the same with the V's and add a 50% grey layer set to overlay and then a bit of dodge/burn on the oppropriate sides to get highlights/lowlights on the mountains. Either of this should still allow the grain pattern to show through to some degree.

Kingbreaker
03-13-2009, 05:31 PM
Ah.. I noticed the wood grain, but did not know you were trying to stay within that scope. Personally, I like the first one far better than the second EXCEPT for the alternating woodgrain. If you take the grain from the second and put onto the first, I think you have the best case and then figure out a way to do some mountains you like. Personally, I think just removing the stamped down mountains from 1 and hand drawing a few upside down V's will work and then overlay with a splash of color(grey or brown) set to perhaps 50% opacity. Alternately, perhaps you can do the same with the V's and add a 50% grey layer set to overlay and then a bit of dodge/burn on the oppropriate sides to get highlights/lowlights on the mountains. Either of this should still allow the grain pattern to show through to some degree.

I think I basically agree with you - here is a sample of the latest mountains in three slightly different iterations. The mountains individually lose their distinctiveness, but hopefully the idea of a mountain range comes through better-rather than just some stacked and tweaked symbols.

Kingbreaker
03-21-2009, 11:33 PM
Hi folks.. .

After a lot longer than I thought it would take, here's a significantly revised version of my regional map.

Comments/Suggestions welcome.

jfrazierjr
03-22-2009, 12:43 AM
Yea... I am digging that quite a bit with the change to the mountains. Now... I think you should think about some type of texture for the forests(or perhaps just some hint of tree trunks would do it to give it a bit of "height"

Kingbreaker
03-22-2009, 01:01 AM
Yea... I am digging that quite a bit with the change to the mountains. Now... I think you should think about some type of texture for the forests(or perhaps just some hint of tree trunks would do it to give it a bit of "height"

I was thinking the exact same thing as you posted.

Something subtle I tried just for kicks - throwing a photoshop spotlight on the whole thing to flatten out the saturation generally and also add a bit of camera fakery to make it look more like an actual piece of wood :)

I did everything *but* the mountains and revised coast this afternoon. . . what was missing from the earlier mountains was connecting ridgelines. The damn things took eons to draw, tweak, and arrange for z-axis correctness.