View Full Version : [CG Choice Map] C.G. inspired maps

05-27-2009, 11:10 AM
Using what I see and admire from the many wonderful maps posted here, I made a few of my own for a DnD game I'm helping with. The DM had the basic world map sketched out, but it needed some work.

Both maps are done in photoshop. The parchment type map is many layers set to color burn over a blank parchment type background. The little images are public domain clip art I found on line. The scale is vague on purpose as the DM and I were not really sure about scale.

The Port Tinker map is a map of the port town on the northern edge of the lower continent on the world map. The basic city shape and coastline is taken from a map of Gijon, Spain. It is supposed to be a gnome port town that has an old west or steam punk feel. The town has stripped the land thanks to quick over expansion. The humans don't get along much and don't blend in, so I tried to show this by drawing the human district the way I did with grid roads and fences and such. The farm land and building styles were inspired by a great city map from these forums. Thanks so much for lending me your creativity.

05-27-2009, 12:06 PM
Wow, they're great! I love the watercolour feel of Port Tinker. Did you create the background yourself?

Great maps and welcome!

05-27-2009, 03:30 PM
I love the maps. I just the wished the city was more crowded.

05-27-2009, 03:32 PM
Those maps are simply breathtaking! Really beautiful... kept staring at them for at least a few minutes. Have some rep.

So you seem very skilled with Photoshop? These maps have a real professional quality (same kind of quality as the maps of the industry professionals on this forum I think).

05-27-2009, 06:24 PM
I'll throw in and say dude, I gotta learn how to do that...awesome. I'm a big fan of "map as art" and that first one is stupendous...the fields kick so much booty that I can't even begin to give you enough credit. The illustrative feel of the buildings fits in really well too. Excellent stuff.

05-27-2009, 09:20 PM
Thanks. However I must deflect some of the compliments to others here because like I said, some stuff like the farm fields were ideas from other maps I saw here, I just did my best to copy their styles. What is the saying, imitation is the ultimate form of flattery?

As for the background and if I drew it. Yes and no. The shading and such I took from google maps, but I manipulated and re-painted it so much that it is hardly a direct lift from google. Still, much of the foundation wasn't from my direct painting. I added two or three textures to it to show some clear cutting and some farms and such. I also added a few things like the sink hole area and some more ridges. Then I colored the whole thing several times to get the feel I wanted right.

05-28-2009, 06:00 AM
Awesome map! Could you perhaps create a tutorial on how you created those maps? I would love to be able to create a map or two in that style for the steamfantasy campaign I am working on.

05-28-2009, 08:29 AM
So which maps did you use for inspiration?

05-28-2009, 09:09 AM
That city map is fantastically beautiful. I love the way you have done the fields. I'd go as far to say as it's the best looking city map I have seen on CG, and that is saying a lot.

Awesome stuff.

05-28-2009, 10:18 AM
For the city map, I studied this one primarily: Aerius's City Map (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3069)

For the world map, I used ideas from This (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3972) one by Wag mostly.

So, maybe you can now see why I say mine are cheap imitations. ;)

As for a tutorial...that would be one long tutorial! There are many steps I did. I can answer questions, tell you how I did a specific thing.

I hand drew a great deal more on the city one than I normally care to. Almost all the buildings were hand drawn with a pencil brush using layer effects to put color and the outline around them. Once all the buildings were drawn, I created a wash of various colors using clouds and a soft brush set to vary the hue and color some and painted over areas. Then I selected the buildings and used that selection to mask out the color wash, leaving it to color only the buildings.

For the farm land, I used the attached texture. I made a fill layer using the texture, and then masked it out. Then I refined the mask by hand painting using a round brush and just putting in roughly square farms next to each other, trying to make thin hedge like places of texture. I added a subtle layer effect to the texture layer to help it stand out a bit, a dark outer glow I think. Once I masked out the texture, I made a new layer to color it. I set it to 22% opacity and just painted bright colors over the 'crops' with a soft brush. I also put another texture/pattern I made under it for more color and variety. I'll attach that too. I think I took that patchwork texture and applied an effect to it to make it look more like a watercolor painting, but I can't remember specifics.

For the terrain shading I took a screen capture of google maps set to the topography setting and pasted that in as my base layer. I then rotated and edited it some to make it more of what I wanted. I panted more ridges and such here and there. I took out the elevation lines, city roads, labels, color and all that. I then applied many filters until it looked like what I wanted. I can't really remember what filters I used. Then, I just piled the various layer effects and textures on top of this foundation.

I'll also attach the pattern I used to make a brush to make some of the buildings after I got tired of hand drawing them all.

Steel General
05-28-2009, 11:01 AM
Beautiful work, thanks for sharing some of your techniques. :)

05-31-2009, 02:37 AM
Those maps are fantastic! I ended up drooling all over my keyboard once I clicked on the thumbnails. :P

06-09-2009, 08:32 PM
Those are really wonderfully done maps! I especially like the one of Port Tinker. You've done a superb job with the painting style, although I would also like to see a little less 'space' between the buildings.

06-13-2009, 08:19 AM
Absolutely superb, Still Pond and thank you for sharing your techniques with us. Port Tinker rated a 5 five from me. Would you have any objections if I used Port Tinker (duly credited of course) as an example map in my ongoing depiction of fantasy cities book (link in my sig below).

all the best