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pyrandon
02-12-2007, 11:29 PM
Hello, friends. This is my first post.

I have recently created a map for the Internet fantasy campaign I GM each week--an update from the old Autorealm map I whipped up a few years ago.

Here's the link: http://www.ormonds.net/rpg/westaven/index.php/Image:Pollexia_985.jpg

I was shooting for that fine line between antique player handout map and useful GM map. Hence, you can see I kept things artistic rather than realistic, although I know a map such as this would never have been produced by a cartographer of yore.

I created the map in Photoshop, which which I am a complete noob. In fact, I basically learned what I know of the program by grappling with the help files while making this map. So anything and everything you can tell me to improve this work before I unveil it to my players would be much appreciated.

Thank you,
Don
GM, Westaven (http://www.ormonds.net/rpg/westaven/index.php/Main_Page)

RPMiller
02-13-2007, 08:43 AM
LOL Anything you can improve... you're funny. That is a really nice map!

I guess if I were to really, and I mean really, get nitpicky I would say the hashing on the ocean needs to be reduced.

Typically that style of hashing only goes a short distance off the coast it doesn't fill the body of water.

As for the rest of the map.... I'll have to look really close at the whole thing since there is nothing that jumps out at me.

pyrandon
02-13-2007, 05:23 PM
LOL Anything you can improve... you're funny. That is a really nice map!

Wow--thanks! I've always liked maps :) You should see my 1986 high school geometry notebook: while the other kids were doodling the words "Rebel Yell" out of lightning bolts, I was mapping the mythical, black land of "Quadratica" and its evil, mathamagician king Pythagor-ass :wink:


I guess if I were to really, and I mean really, get nitpicky I would say the hashing on the ocean needs to be reduced.

Typically that style of hashing only goes a short distance off the coast it doesn't fill the body of water.

Yes, I've noticed fantasy mappers love that style, and my first draft of this one did it too. Instead I decided to half-copy a style I found in J.B. Post's An Atlas of Fantasy (Ballantine, 1979): it's a 1935 map of "The Three Kingdoms" for an E.R. Eddison book I don't know (Mistress of Mistresses, which I've never read); for that map, water is filled with a series of parallel lines much like on my map. Although it's odd that the water is darker than the land, it looks nice--so I decided to pay the compliment of stealing it. On the "pattern" map, though, the lines are twice as thick as mine, twice as frequent, and a bit "messier," but it's a black & white ink job so it needed that fill, whereas mine is an attempt at an ink on watercolor that can rely on color for much of the fill effect.

Wow. I sure didn't mean to write a dissertation for a reply! Sorry 'bout that!

Anyway, I know you said you're being "nitpicky," but do you think the lines look silly, odd, or just different? Thanks for the initial look-see; if you have any other advice I'd love it!

Arcana
02-13-2007, 07:10 PM
Alls I gots to say is...wow...very nice work. I disagree with my esteemed colleague RPMiller and I think the lines in the ocean are just fine, Considering the aspect ratio of the overall map, it makes sense to patternize the ocean rather than leave all that blank space. And since maps also often follow standardized paper sizes, cropping would be bad. So what better way to fill the space than with a line pattern...nice work my friend.

pyrandon
02-13-2007, 10:41 PM
Thank you very much--to both of you--for your time & input. I greatly appreciate it.


Considering the aspect ratio of the overall map, it makes sense to patternize the ocean rather than leave all that blank space. And since maps also often follow standardized paper sizes, cropping would be bad. So what better way to fill the space than with a line pattern.

If it's not too much trouble, could you explain the above statement to me? I'm not exactly sure what my "aspect ratio" was or how I did it... I assume that means the size of the drawing (?); I upped it from the standard 8.5 x 11 because I once heard that it's better to draw in Photoshop larger than you want, then scale it back for printing time (although since I play online, I really don't do much printing.) Is that right?

Thanks again!

Arcana
02-14-2007, 08:17 AM
Yes :D Sorry, the aspect ratio is the ratio of height to width...in the case of 8.5x11 the ratio is 1.3 I think. standard screen resolutions for example are 1.33. (640 divided by 480, 800 divided by 600, etc.)

Talamar
02-14-2007, 01:07 PM
@pyrandon:

really great map, especially since it seems to be your first try with photoshop. really marvelous.


now sth other (and thats not advertising):
If you like to create more maps like this and if you want to do it in a lot easier way, you should lock an eye on the Campaign Cartographer 3 software by ProFantasy. (www.profantasy.com).
Especially the new Cartographers Annuals addons bring styles with them, which could help you perhaps.
You really should have a look.

Here: http://www.profantasy.com/products/cc3.asp

and I have to repeat: that is no advertising since I am just a logntime user of the software suite.

pyrandon
02-14-2007, 09:22 PM
Thank you, Talamar, for the compliment. And no need to qualify the recommendation of CC3 (unless, of course, Profantasy gives you a financial kickback! :)) I need all the help I can get!

I did look into CC2 awhile back due to its popularity, and unfortunately was not overly impressed. CC3 is much, much better (kudos to the Profantasy guys!), but I'm going to stick with Illustrator/Photoshop since I've already started learning them; they are much more flexible and powerful, albeit with a steeper learning curve. I do own Dundjinni & have had much success & enjoyment with it, but I think I'll even start making my floor plans with the Adobe suite--especially since I found tutorials such as this (http://www.khulsey.com/photoshop_tutorial_color_ship.html), which I am definitely going to try to adapt to my RPG! (Or just steal outright, if a luxury cruise ship ever pulls into one of my medieval ports!)

Thanks again so much for your compliment & input; both truly mean a lot to me.

--Don

Django
02-15-2007, 11:55 AM
This site provides some cool tools:

http://www.terraficta.net/?Welcome

heruca
02-24-2007, 10:26 AM
I get a Page Not Found screen when clicking on the link in the opening post.

Kepli
02-24-2007, 10:34 AM
Same here ... :cry:

RPMiller
02-24-2007, 01:23 PM
Must have recently fixed it. It is working for me.

pyrandon
02-24-2007, 01:50 PM
I'm sorry, everyone--I recently had to move the source file. Here is the corrected link: http://www.ormonds.net/rpg/westaven/index.php/Image:Pollexia_985.jpg

Thank you very much, and I apologize for the incorrect link.

--Don

heruca
02-24-2007, 02:44 PM
No problem. Thanks for the new link.

I like the old-style look of your map. And I don't mind the hash lines on the ocean at all. Good job on this.

Sir Alain
02-25-2007, 05:04 PM
I think it's outSTANDing! Can't think of a thing I'd change. Congrats on the featured map selection, it is well earned.

Gruudock
02-25-2007, 06:48 PM
Beautiful map! The only thing I looked for and couldn't find is some type of scale bar to determine distance and size. Omitting it may be intentional, but I thought I'd point it out.

ravells
02-26-2007, 07:46 AM
Utterly beautiful. You should be giving lessons!

Ravs

Kepli
03-08-2007, 03:07 PM
That's an amazing map :D

Naryt
03-12-2007, 04:38 PM
Beautiful map! The only thing I looked for and couldn't find is some type of scale bar to determine distance and size. Omitting it may be intentional, but I thought I'd point it out.

Heh, it's intentional—confounded map maker anyway!

My character, Gereth (http://www.ormonds.net/rpg/westaven/index.php/Characters/PCs/Gereth_Hargold), was just happy to get his hands on a fairly decent map, finally.

pyrandon
03-12-2007, 10:02 PM
Actually, as my buddy Naryt wrote, the lack of a scale was in fact intentional. As I said in my initial post, I was trying to create something between an historical map & a useful campaign map. Historical maps, from what I ascertain, did not boast scales as we know them until after the medieval era. (Correct me if I'm wrong here; I'm no historian.)

I was planning to place mileage numbers on major roads indicating the distance from city to city, as is seen on the Gough Map (Great Britain, 1360; http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/guides/maps/goughmap.htm), but when I began to do this it looked a bit too sloppy for my taste. I may still do it, though--or perhaps rely on the old standby: have the current map be the player's handout map & create another more "modern" map to use as just GM's guide.

I'd love input from you all on this plan, other ideas, and such. And thank you all for your compliments on this little project here.

--Don

RobA
04-19-2007, 08:26 PM
Just took the time to look closely at this map.

What I like the best is that the "paper" is the dominant texture. It does look like an inked map that had washes of colour placed on it for emphasis (blue water, green woods, dark rough terrain).

Extremely well done. My complements.

-Rob A>

Ishmayl
05-10-2007, 12:04 PM
That's a great looking "old-style" map. I would love to hear some of your thoughts on the creation process you used. I really like the "chicken-scratch" shading you did around the mountains as well.

pyrandon
05-10-2007, 03:09 PM
Thanks, Ishmayl! (By the way, I can call you Ishmayl, can't I?)(sorry, bad pun, but couldn't resist...)

I actually have not looked at this map as its creator in quite some time, only as a GM. (I've been working on city drawing lately.) I will, however, very soon need to make a continent map in the same style since those wild and wooly characters of mine will soon be heading south, out of Pollexia. I think I will make a tutorial as I draw that map, much as I did for the city of Eneini.

If I can answer anything right now, however, I'd be glad to--just ask! I'm a novice, but I'll do whatever I can!

Naryt
05-10-2007, 06:48 PM
I will, however, very soon need to make a continent map in the same style since those wild and wooly characters of mine will soon be heading south, out of Pollexia.

AAAAHHHHHHH....MY EYES!

Must stop reading Pyrandon's posts.

pyrandon
05-10-2007, 07:52 PM
AAAAHHHHHHH....MY EYES!

Must stop reading Pyrandon's posts.

Hahaha. Well, at least I didn't say anything about the three Giants waiting in ambush for you guys on your way of the country!

Oh....uhhh.... Did I type that out loud?.....

:)

pyrandon
05-10-2007, 11:07 PM
Since a few new posts were put in this old thread, I just remembered I forgot to post that E.R. Eddison map I mentioned way up above, so here it is. One of the sentimental favorites from my youth--I used to copy its style in my little map sketchbook I kept as a kid. Enjoy!

Naryt
05-11-2007, 10:15 AM
AAAAHHHHHHH....MY EYES!

Must stop reading Pyrandon's posts.

Hahaha. Well, at least I didn't say anything about the three Giants waiting in ambush for you guys on your way of the country!

Oh....uhhh.... Did I type that out loud?.....

:)

FLEEEEEEEEE

Ishmayl
05-13-2007, 09:06 AM
I will, however, very soon need to make a continent map in the same style since those wild and wooly characters of mine will soon be heading south, out of Pollexia. I think I will make a tutorial as I draw that map, much as I did for the city of Eneini.

If I can answer anything right now, however, I'd be glad to--just ask! I'm a novice, but I'll do whatever I can!

I can't wait to see that tutorial. I think your style of region mapping is my favorite I've seen thus far. I love how the icons you used for cities and towns and such actually blend in with the map, as opposed to how often-times, icons like that stand out and look out of place on a hand-drawn style map. How did you do the coloring for your map? The rivers and forests just have such a nice look to them (even though they're only just one shade as far as I can tell); my coloring (which I do in a very old version of Paintshop Pro) always looks very flat.

pyrandon
05-13-2007, 10:54 AM
I love how the icons you used for cities and towns and such actually blend in with the map, as opposed to how often-times, icons like that stand out and look out of place on a hand-drawn style map. How did you do the coloring for your map? The rivers and forests just have such a nice look to them (even though they're only just one shade as far as I can tell); my coloring (which I do in a very old version of Paintshop Pro) always looks very flat.

Wow! Thanks so much for such high praise. I really--and this is 100% honesty, 0% humility--I just play until it feels right.

Mainly I do two things to my maps:

1) make sure whatever is in the background (in this case, the parchment) is rich and interesting, then either turn the opacity down to about 80% so that richness and interest shows through OR play wiht the blending mode of the layers (failure to do this is the main reason for the "flatness" in maps, I think).

2) soften the hard lines when the entire map is complete--in this case I applied very light blur & soft light filters.

I hope that helps at least a bit! And thanks again for your kind words.

kalmarjan
06-04-2007, 01:22 AM
One thing I find works really well is to apply a color burn to all line work in my maps, so it looks as if it was actually drawn on the parchment.

Hope that helps..

Sandeman

pyrandon
08-02-2007, 12:25 PM
For no other reason than that I'm an organization freak (meaning I'm freakishly poor at it most of the time), I'm posting a link here to the second map in this series, Aenea: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?p=5731#post5731

Zenfar
06-26-2009, 04:05 PM
I like the style of this map. Well done.

Arabascan
06-02-2013, 01:44 PM
Hey!
I loved the Pollexian map... not just the map itself with its details but something that made me fall in love with it especially were the names. This may be a tiny detail but they don't just SOUND good, they also have a real meaning... great work and well done! I wish you'd still do stuff here!

Gumboot
06-06-2013, 02:42 AM
It must just be me, but when I follow the links to the map all I get is a blank white page. I've tried modifying the URL to get back to a root address but everything I put in comes up with the same blank white page.

ravells
06-06-2013, 07:46 AM
Hi Gumboot, this is a very old thread and Pyrandon hasn't been around for years, so I guess that somewhere down the line the links broke and Pyrandon has not updated them.