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Ascension
03-18-2009, 08:13 PM
Didn't feel like doing anything around the house, didn't feel like doing an in-depth map that'll take me a week to finish...just felt like killin time. So I doodled this up in about an hour. Don't know if I'll go anywhere with it, just wanted to see if I could still hand-draw a map while forcing myself to learn the tablet at the same time.

Ascension
03-19-2009, 01:44 AM
Played around with some color. Learned at least one thing...draw on a new layer otherwise you (meaning I) spend hours painting by hand around the coastlines.

Jykke
03-19-2009, 02:50 AM
I like more the non colored version at this stage :D But the colored version has a nice coastline and water texture. I hope you'll come up with a good solution in regarding the mountains, as they might cause you some headache when you start coloring them :D It will be interesting to see how you are going to proceed from here on.

overlordchuck
03-19-2009, 07:10 AM
"Doodled?" Your doodle looks like something at the front of a fantasy novel--minus the stray lines, of course.

EDIT: Oh hey, I'm a Guild Member now.

Steel General
03-19-2009, 08:01 AM
@Ascension - Coming along nicely, I'm sure before to long you'll have several fine methods for various things worked out. :)


EDIT: Oh hey, I'm a Guild Member now

Your title will change as your number of posts increase.

pasis
03-19-2009, 08:11 AM
Coming along nicely indeed. I love the water and the coastal line...

Ascension
03-20-2009, 12:49 AM
Tweaks, color changes, lots of pen work. Comin along pretty well.

pasis
03-20-2009, 04:23 AM
It can be seen that you use tablet here, its very artistic. I liked the previous version of the sea though.

Steel General
03-20-2009, 07:38 AM
Dude, you should definitely use the tablet more often, this is really quite good.

Ascension
03-20-2009, 10:14 PM
Bit of messin around while I watchin hoops. Strengthened my hills along the rivers a bit, put in some forests, then I got all weird and made a travel brochure out of it.

Towser
03-20-2009, 10:55 PM
I love your rivers! The shading on the mountains and woods are excellent as well! The only thing that really bothers me is what looks like a sandy outer glow on the coastlines, I would change that to maybe a light blue, or very light sea green, but that's just me. Have some REP!

Towser
03-20-2009, 10:56 PM
Well imaginary rep anyway! I need to spread it around!

CartoGeo
03-20-2009, 11:38 PM
Bit of messin around while I watchin hoops. Strengthened my hills along the rivers a bit, put in some forests, then I got all weird and made a travel brochure out of it.

How did you do the rivers and the rivers? I really like the rivers which CUT into the land and the hills that are that have a strong presence. Did you use Photoshop and a tablet and that is all? How long did this drawing take, I am very curious... I like your style and want to get to a point where you are.

Ascension
03-21-2009, 01:39 AM
Thanks, Towser. The beach will get drawn in later, for now it's just an outer glow as a placeholder...trying to do this one all the way with my tablet and no layer styles or filters when done.

Carto...just PS and a tablet. The sea has a texture overlay (and the land has an outer glow) around the coast right now until I figure out what I want to do with that part but otherwise just drawing. The rivers were just making wiggly lines as in the first post. I then went back over them with a wider tip in a brown and then a little bit smaller tip with blue and light blue. Then I took a brown 1-pixel brush and drew hill lines at every curve of a river then a 3-pixel brush for some shadowing. Here's a screenshot at 300% zoom to give you a better idea. The tablet allows for pressure sensitivity like in real drawing/painting. If you don't have one you can get something similar with the blur and smudge tools. As for time...these darn hills around the rivers have taken the most time, about 5 hours, the rest has taken about 5 hours combined.

Karro
03-23-2009, 12:45 PM
My only critique is the geometricocity* of the shorelines, especially evident in the islands. The lines of those shores are just strangely straight-looking.

Is that an artifact of the tablet?

Also, what Chaos said (below)... the rest of the map is great looking.



*trademark pending

Chaosorcerer
03-23-2009, 12:53 PM
I agree with Karro. Most of the small islands look like rectangles. But that's only the coastline. The rest of the map it is wonderful! :D

Ascension
03-23-2009, 10:04 PM
Yeah that happened because I had to do a lot of work trying to put the black lines onto their own layer (too many grays keep sneaking in). Since this one started as just messin around to learn my tablet I didn't think about layers...my brain's been dead since I finished the islands. I'm probably gonna stop on this one and do up a cleaner and bigger second version so that I can draw in more detail (palm trees, firs, buildings, maybe animals, etc). Altho, since my brain is dead, I probably won't be doing much of anything for another week or so.

Ascension
04-03-2009, 12:56 AM
Wanted to put some finishing touches on this one before calling it done. I'm going for something playful and not too serious.

Steel General
04-03-2009, 08:00 AM
I'm going for something playful and not too serious.

I think you have that nailed pretty well. :)

Gandwarf
04-03-2009, 08:05 AM
Well, more rep coming your way Ascension.
I really like this style and you could make some classy fantasy maps with it I think. I very much like the trees and mountains and the different colors you used for the land.
The only criticism I have is that I think the islands look a bit too "blocky".

Ascension
04-03-2009, 06:01 PM
Yep, I totally agree with the blockiness of the islands...it's mainly due to the small size of the overall image so only so much variation in the coastline can fit in. I learned a whole heckuva lot doing this and I'm probably going to do more like it just to see where it goes...of course they'll be bigger as well since this was intended to be just drawing practice. Oh. and the font is Tibetan Beefgarden.

Ascension
01-08-2010, 01:05 AM
A new version just for me to practice the hand-drawn style, since I'm pretty weak at it. Hopefully my line work is more refined and my coloring more subtle. Very time consuming for me as I struggle and learn but anything worthwhile is supposed to be, right? Drew the continent with a 5-pixel hard round brush and everything else is a 2-pixel hard square (with shape dynamic of size jitter set to pen pressure). The woodcut I can't even remember...started with a pattern of black and white lines, rippled, winded, thresholded, and who knows what else.

philipstephen
01-08-2010, 06:37 AM
i dig it.

there are some interesting features on some of those mountains you've got...

from a distance, the lines of them look strange, but zoomed in they are very sweet looking...

i am thinking that will take care of itself as more detail is added on other parts....

nice start!

Ramah
01-08-2010, 07:34 AM
Looks great. I especially like the fire on the volcano. :)
And yes, your linework and colouring are great. Good stuff.

Vorhees
01-08-2010, 10:47 AM
as always even when your just doodlein some thing great comes out lol nice work mate.

a Question what size tablet do you have im debating on getting one

torstan
01-08-2010, 12:55 PM
Coming along nicely. The grasslands pattern and colours has come out beautifully, and I love the volcano. Perhaps a fade out for the smoke as it gets further away from the volcano? I really like the crevasse with cliffs on the main landmass, and the woodcut effect is great. Not sure it fits with the style of the rest of the image - if one bit's done with a woodcut surely all of it would be, but as this is an experimental map I think it's great.

My one comment would be that your mountain ranges are awfully straight :) Otherwise, coming along nicely. Why did you decide to use a square brush for the detailing?

Ascension
01-08-2010, 05:35 PM
I have an old Intuous 2 seven by nine - since it works just fine and I'm not real heavy into using it I don't need anything bigger or newer. I make long lines and anything smaller would cramp me. I could work more zoomed out but I have a shaky hand and it shows so I work at 200% nearly all of the time. Mostly, I just do rivers and details with it. Plus, in my day job I make stained glass windows so I'm more used to working with big paper (2 feet by 4 feet is the smallest) and big lines. And thanks for the compliment :)

Well the soft rounds (in brush mode) come out very weak and I have to push really hard. The 3-pixel hard round often turns out to be too fat because I press pretty hard to begin with...but I use that and the 5-pixel hard round for rivers most of the time on other maps. Pencil mode with a .5 blur didn't look right to me either, nor a 1.0 blur (.2 looked okay). Anyway, since the hard 3 comes out too fat for me and the soft rounds are too light I had to find a 2-pixel hard something...all I have is a square. Straight up it comes out jaggy so turn on the size jitter set to pen pressure and I get something that I wanted. Basically it's more like a technical pencil than a standard pencil. If I were to work larger and then shrink the final down I'd probably go with the 3 or 5 hard round...very comfortable with those. But since I'm still learning this I haven't really gotten the touch and feel just yet.

As for the mountains, yeah I can't seem to get something more natural looking...mental block kind of thing so I'm waiting to hit my eureka moment there. I've done them 6 times over the past 3 days, trying different styles (and trying to avoid pre-made brushes in order to teach myself) but they all end up looking pretty much the same and killing 5 hours each...this style goes faster with a simple hatch. If I made them smaller then I could whip through them in an hour but those end up looking like my current hills. If I were to space them out it looks empty to me...still searching there.

The woodcut I have to agree as well, it would look great on an antique style, though. The smoke could use a fade for sure as well as some scatter at the top instead of being pointy - I was just so happy that I got something decent on first try that I didn't want to start tweaking and mess it up :) Of course, they don't really fit the style either but hopefully it will come together as I add the other areas of interest. I'm trying to create a simple hand-drawn style that I can adapt for adding color to make a painterly style. Much like my satellite style can be adapted to atlas and antique. Kill 2, or 3, birds with 1 stone kind of thing.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback guys. :) I'll keep pluggin away at it.

torstan
01-08-2010, 05:50 PM
I see your point. I stick to a 5px hard round brush with pressure sensitivity for my lines. Not as sharp as your stuff but does the trick for me.

I think your mountains are coming along fine. Looking forward to seeing the next versions.

Ramah
01-08-2010, 06:16 PM
I've done them 6 times over the past 3 days, trying different styles (and trying to avoid pre-made brushes in order to teach myself) but they all end up looking pretty much the same and killing 5 hours each...this style goes faster with a simple hatch. If I made them smaller then I could whip through them in an hour but those end up looking like my current hills. If I were to space them out it looks empty to me...still searching there.

I can certainly sympathise with you here. I thought I was the only one that could waste time in such massive amounts. Everyone else seems to whip out a map every third day or so. :S

torstan
01-08-2010, 06:35 PM
Ascension, when you say you're looking to make the mountains realistic looking - are you talking about the layout or each mountain individually?

If it's each mountain individually then I'd suggest that you're trying to make them a little too triangular.

Here's some suggestions on shape and style that might be useful. Feel free to ignore though.

20154

Djekspek
01-08-2010, 08:08 PM
looking pretty sweet Ascension. As for the mountains i think they look great individually but indeed together the ranges dont seem natural. they look like a collection of peaks and not like an "interconnected range". so maybe you can try to link peaks more by using shading and more complexe shapes as torstan picted above. Also maybe more variation in range-width and more branches may help. mountains take ages to create (so unless you're god it probs will take more then 7 days ;) Still in general I really like where this is going. cheers

Ascension
01-08-2010, 09:53 PM
I was referring more to the general layout than the individual shapes - my range is straight and not really free-flowing. Regarding the shapes; I have a vast amount of individual shapes so it's hard to vary them up a lot. Mental block there for me - I try funky shapes but they look stupid so I stay basic. I do like that tower looking thing with the sharp peaks around it but trying to come up with hundreds of individual stylish peaks kills me. Also that ridge running down the side, I can never get mine to look good - another block there. At any rate I'll give em another go and keep trying. Maybe I should make them even bigger, muhahah :)

torstan
01-09-2010, 01:20 AM
Ah, in which case I'd go with a more fronded shape rather than srtaight lines. Give your central spine some branches and make it wander. Also, by adding a lighter central line on your mountain that acts as the edge between the light side and the dark side of the mountain you can use it to define the ridge of the mountain range:

20167

Ascension
01-09-2010, 02:39 AM
Yep, that's the style I just can't seem to do. I was trying this tonight. I think the shapes are a lil better and it has a bit more natural feel...I hope.

torstan
01-09-2010, 12:56 PM
Looking really good. I like it.

Ascension
01-11-2010, 12:48 AM
After trying out 2 new mountain styles I said to myself, "Self, this sucks and takes forever. You're over-thinking it, wasting time, and it doesn't even match the trees or hills so why don't you just do mountains like hills...you know, the way you used to do it 25 years ago?" So to that end I scrapped everything and redid it all - in about 5 hours. New forests, new hatching, finished the rivers, and it all fits together. Sometimes it's best to just go back to the beginning and start there. The rivers are the 2-pixel hard square and everything else is the 3-pixel hard round...but I did double up on the layers to make them darker and put a light black glow around the lines. I'm finally somewhat happy and ready to move on - thinking up new terrain ideas to put in for practice...like swamps, mesas, and dunes to start with.

moutarde
01-11-2010, 03:33 AM
It's looking really nice :) Did you draw the squigglies for the coastlines too, or is that a filter?

Steel General
01-11-2010, 07:46 AM
Neat stuff here Ascension!

torstan
01-11-2010, 09:39 AM
... and all the time you've put into it has paid off. That looks great. You're dead right about the consistency of style. It all ties together nicely. If I didn't know you were going to colour it I'd say stick some labels on it and call it done!

jfrazierjr
01-11-2010, 10:06 AM
Ascension, when you say you're looking to make the mountains realistic looking - are you talking about the layout or each mountain individually?

If it's each mountain individually then I'd suggest that you're trying to make them a little too triangular.

Here's some suggestions on shape and style that might be useful. Feel free to ignore though.

20154

I agree. While mine are still a bit more equalatiral triangle shape than not, if you notice on my Baldimar map, that I use quite a bit of different shapes throw in. Perhaps I should add some that are a bit more wider that flatter...

RjBeals
01-11-2010, 01:17 PM
Ah, in which case I'd go with a more fronded shape rather than srtaight lines. Give your central spine some branches and make it wander. Also, by adding a lighter central line on your mountain that acts as the edge between the light side and the dark side of the mountain you can use it to define the ridge of the mountain range:

20167


Fun reading through this thread and watching the map develop. I also got my tablet for christmas and have been learning many new techniques.

I just wanted to highlight this post from torstan because for being such a short sweet & simple statement - it's an extremely helpful point. If I had rep I would throw it your way :)

And earlier in the thread I read about wasting hours and hours on small little details. My hand is also in the air - but sometimes it takes me months to work on a map.

torstan
01-11-2010, 02:21 PM
No problem, glad it was useful.

Sapiento
01-12-2010, 01:36 AM
The new style works very well. Looks great!

Ascension
01-17-2010, 03:55 AM
Here's where I am right now, mostly decorating with little things and redid the woodcut...not sure it's any better, though.

torstan
01-17-2010, 09:55 AM
Love it!

The iconography is clear - the spider is really great. The mountains look really good and blend nicely into the hills. Excellent work all round.

Two minor points at this stage:

1. The farm texture is too top down, it needs to be shrunk in the vertical direction to blend into the isometric perspective. At the moment the pattern is almost square.
2. Your trees drop shadow needs to come further forward (down the map). At the moment, the tree shadows are just covering the trunks - suggesting a lightsource from SW or due W. Everything else is lit from NW. Also, I think the tree to the SE of the spider is tall enough to not be in shadow there.

Your town symbols are great. The woodcut shadow works like a dream. It really ties the map together with one style. Excellent work.

ravells
01-17-2010, 05:35 PM
Don't know how I missed this.....lovely work Ascension! The guild seems to be taking a very arty turn (for the better).

Ramah
01-17-2010, 05:47 PM
It looks great, Ascension. Loved the spider. :D

I have to agree with Torstan though on the farmlands being too top-down with the perspective.

Other than that, great stuff as per usual.

rdanhenry
01-17-2010, 06:45 PM
This just gets better. Love all the little details developing around the map.

Steel General
01-18-2010, 10:10 AM
Cool stuff here my friend.

Ascension
01-23-2010, 10:55 PM
Ok, I've just about had it with the illustration stuff. As Popeye says, "I've had all I can stands, I can't stands no more." Gotta get back to work on other things for a bit but I'll color this up and put some labels on sometime soon.

Steel General
01-24-2010, 09:42 AM
Not sure it needs coloring at all... :)

Coyotemax
01-24-2010, 10:18 AM
I agree. Slap some parchment in there and let's see what it looks like :)

torstan
01-24-2010, 04:35 PM
Looks good to me. I love the feel of it, and the shadows are looking great. If anything I'd say that you might want to distort the shadows a little as all the lines are a bit crisp and clean at the moment and produce a magic eye effect when you scroll the map. A slight wave on those would fix that. But really, that's tiny.

I love the way they make the new forests look. They really jump out of the page. Well done!

Karro
01-25-2010, 11:39 AM
Very rep-worthy but, things being what they are, I am instead in rep debt. Great job. I agree with Torstan's assessment on the shadows, though.

Ascension
01-29-2010, 12:51 AM
You know how I like to do one thing and have it be flexible enough for other things so here are three versions: a for antique, b for black and white, c for color...plus a b c is handy :) Just needs the finish work but I'll see how much free time I have over the weekend for that.

ExMachina
01-29-2010, 01:00 AM
Hot damn! :!: The colored version is gorgeous.

I adore all of the little drawings, I spy with my little eye...stonehenge, a cow and a unicorn. :D Simply stunning work!

Ascension
01-29-2010, 01:03 AM
The cow was most fun to do...my homage to The Far Side...I love his cows. Thanks, man.

Coyotemax
01-29-2010, 01:04 AM
how I wish I could actually draw.

(just because i'm artistic in some ways doesn't mean I am in all of them, heh)

Bloody amazing! Nice job so far!

Jaxilon
01-29-2010, 01:21 AM
I have to say, this is a really cool map. Putting all the little illustrations in makes it more fun than most to just fly around looking at. The Mountains do look great as does the entire thing. I enjoyed the colorized one myself. Great work!

ravells
01-29-2010, 04:55 AM
That is fantastic. I really love this style of mapping and being able to flood the map with character. Give me one of these over a sattelite map anyday for fantasy work. I like the bear best.

Wonderful stuff Ascension!

Steel General
01-29-2010, 08:51 AM
To quote an high school teacher of mine... "Neater than sneakers!" :D

torstan
01-29-2010, 10:01 AM
That's really excellent. I love the red of the devil (demon?) in the middle. It really pops agains the greens and browns.

I'm really pleased that you kept at this one to the end. Looks wonderful.

jfrazierjr
01-29-2010, 10:15 AM
nice jackalope....heh

Ascension
01-29-2010, 01:41 PM
The demon thing is actually my take on a vampire...not all elegant and suave but a real predator of the night - half man half bat.