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Alecthar
06-05-2009, 07:59 PM
I was working on translating Ascension's very cool tutorial on making Antique style regional maps over to GIMP, and was having a lot of trouble making things look right (still having trouble, but I'll get there eventually. I think.) I decided to back burner that idea and I took a look at a parchment making tutorial (also designed for Photoshop) and managed to get that working very well in GIMP. In fact, much of in translates directly, but the method of getting those rough edges on the parchment is different. I used Filter -> Map -> Displace to accomplish it, and they do require some follow-up work to eliminate any stray parchment pieces, but I think the effect you end up with looks really great.

After I finished my parchment, I decided it really needed a map on it, so I put this together. Basically all of the techniques I used I borrowed from RobA's tutorial on making Artistic Regional Maps (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1142), or from Ascension's tutorial I mentioned earlier (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3806). One thing to note is that I'm not aiming for a particularly realistic style here, I've no idea how ink/parchment maps really look, but I think this one's pretty.

This map doesn't have cities, or names for the rivers or mountain ranges, but that's something I'll be putting together for Ink/Parchment Map 2: Electric Boogaloo. I've fallen a bit out of love with the Vinque font I'm using there, but I think it has a certain appeal. The waves to represent the sea I made using the calligraphy tool in Inkscape. I think it works fairly well, but I'm trying to find a good way to make it look a bit more...random is the word I suppose I'm looking for. Perhaps a larger variety in waves (I only did about 4 rows originally, as I was mostly just interested in seeing if it would work) in the original image would help.

Other than naming everything and doing a bit more with the waves, I'm working on my hand-drawn element placement technique, so that I can do the mountain ranges in the next map with the various hand-drawn peaks I've found here on the Guild.

Tell me what you think.

Steel General
06-05-2009, 09:54 PM
I think you'd be better served to be more sparse with the wave texture for the seas. As it is now it tends to draw the eye away (for me anyway) from the other portions of the map.

Alecthar
06-05-2009, 10:10 PM
I think you'd be better served to be more sparse with the wave texture for the seas. As it is now it tends to draw the eye away (for me anyway) from the other portions of the map.

Yeah, I'm having trouble with saying "water is here" in the ocean areas of the map, without making it look, well, kinda bad. Working on it though. Maybe a nice cloudy layer mask will help clear things up.

Edit: Yeah, or not. When in doubt, make the waves a brush and distribute in a way that looks good. What do you think? I'll make more wavy patterns in GIMP for the brush next time, but how does that work...maybe stylistically is the word I want to use? You get my meaning.

Ascension
06-05-2009, 11:53 PM
This one looks much better, now to tweak the outer glows on the text :)

Steel General
06-06-2009, 11:27 AM
Much better, and I second Ascension's comment on the text glow.

Midgardsormr
06-06-2009, 11:42 AM
For some improvement on your parchment creation, try this old tut by RobA"
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=533

You could also try adapting the woodcut seas technique developed by S. John Ross (Ghalev) here: http://www.io.com/~sjohn/uresia-maps.htm

I don't know that anyone's posted a Gimp conversion for that technique yet, but I know it can be done because Helim3 used it for his Domains of Heva map, which can be seen in the Cartographers' Choice forum somewhere.

Alecthar
06-06-2009, 04:42 PM
Much better, and I second Ascension's comment on the text glow.

Could you guys be more specific? The ocean ones are, I agree, a bit dark, and the edges too hard. Mostly that's because the solid noise overlay happens to be particularly dark in those spots, though the outline for "Nerath-That-Was" I made darker intentionally to differentiate it a bit. I'm no longer as fond of that now.

As for the parchment...ouch. I thought it looked pretty good, but obviously I'll still be taking a look at RobA's tutorial. In re: woodcut oceans, I've been fooling around with that idea since I saw it in Ascension's tut on antique maps, without much success, but I think I may have found a solution. Or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof.

Ascension
06-06-2009, 04:57 PM
My thought is that you don't need the outer glow on the text. If you want the ocean labels to be different then use a different font or italics. Other than that I think you're coming along just fine on this.

Alecthar
06-06-2009, 07:47 PM
Okay, cool deal. I'm assuming you mean no glow at all, including on the nation names. I was planning on doing a ton more naming and switching fonts around and whatnot anyway, so this will be a good opportunity for that.

I've been looking at the WIP Cora thread, and the map style seems similar to this one in a lot of ways, and he's using what looks like a bit of darkening at the edge of his land area to indicate the transition to water. Would that work at all here?

Oh, and I have a version of the map with hand-drawn mountains I found here on the boards. I'm working on good-looking placement, but even at this stage the image pipe I made out of the mountains has done a cool job.

Steel General
06-07-2009, 09:10 AM
Either no glow or a very small one, just enough to "separate it" from the terrain behind it.

Alecthar
06-07-2009, 02:04 PM
Either no glow or a very small one, just enough to "separate it" from the terrain behind it.

I'll add the various glows to the layer mask on the noise overlay (to remove the coincidental darkening of the glows), then I'll try reducing the opacity on the overlays. I think I'll try to put something cool together for "Nerath-That-Was" to sit on. Maybe like a unfurled pennant flag or something.

I also started putting together some hand-drawn mountains to replace the squiggly lines.

Edit: Made some changes to the map, the pennant thing for "Nerath-That-Was" is ludicrously inappropriate to the style, but it was fun to do and I was bored. I'm still trying to figure out something cool looking to utilize there. I might make some additional thefts from Ascensions Antique Maps...

Oh, and there are cool mountains.

jfrazierjr
06-07-2009, 09:18 PM
Not sure how much time you want to put into this, but if you want to make each mountain unique, I am working on a similar concept map(started as playing and turned into something I could use). http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3653

If you want some more details, check out the link in my sig.

Alecthar
06-07-2009, 09:32 PM
Not sure how much time you want to put into this, but if you want to make each mountain unique, I am working on a similar concept map(started as playing and turned into something I could use). http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3653

If you want some more details, check out the link in my sig.

Thanks. I'm definitely going to look into that. Currently I'm using some mountain brushes ironmetal posted as part of his tut on hand-drawn mountains, but my plan is to eventually hand draw complete mountain ranges to scan in.

Alecthar
06-11-2009, 07:14 PM
Did some more work on things, and tried out RobA's older tut on making old paper/parchment type stuff. I like the new look. I think I'm gonna blotch in up a bit more, then get back to work naming everything.

Ascension
06-11-2009, 07:31 PM
This looks really nice. The only thing , IMO, is that the ocean waves aren't jiving with the mountains right now. Not real sure about how to to fix that, maybe make the waves smaller, I dunno.

jfrazierjr
06-11-2009, 08:11 PM
I would go back to the original pattern(I assume it was a tilable texture you made??) Put that on a layer below the land shape and then add a layer mask to mask out portions so they only show up in a few small splotches here and there.

Alecthar
06-11-2009, 10:05 PM
I'm gonna work on making the texture (yeah, did some waves using the calligraphy tool in Inkscape, brought it into GIMP as a PNG and then cropped it to a square, did a Make Seamless map on it, and scaled it down to work well) look good, but take a look at this in the meantime. The waves are half size, hopefully they challenge the mountains less that way, and I had to duplicate the layer twice, making one a bit blurry, to make the waves a little more clear. I merged them down together, then set it to overlay mode and duplicated that.

Ascension
06-11-2009, 11:42 PM
Lookin very nice there, good job. I like the darker ocean, smaller waves and well, pretty much all of it :)

Alfar
06-12-2009, 02:45 AM
Very nice map.

Maybe work a little with the labels? I know readability is important, but I think it would add to the parchment effect if the text followed the texture of the paper. As it is, it looks like someone put an old map through an inkjet printer and added the labels.
Maybe just curving the labels will do the trick - the mountain labels that are on a path don't seem to "offend" so much.

Oh, and the ⌘'s do seem rather on the large side.

Gandwarf
06-12-2009, 04:49 AM
Nice map...
Gotta love the ⌘ character.

Alecthar
06-12-2009, 06:47 AM
Very nice map.

Maybe work a little with the labels? I know readability is important, but I think it would add to the parchment effect if the text followed the texture of the paper. As it is, it looks like someone put an old map through an inkjet printer and added the labels.
Maybe just curving the labels will do the trick - the mountain labels that are on a path don't seem to "offend" so much.

Oh, and the ⌘'s do seem rather on the large side.

Why must you hate my ⌘s?

As far as the names go, I'll see what I can do. I'll play with colors and layer modes to see if I can find something that looks a bit more natural. I observed the same phenomenon of the mountain/river names looking slightly more "natural" than the rest, and I'm gonna see what I can do there.

Alfar
06-12-2009, 06:50 AM
I don't hate your ⌘s. I think they'd look better if they were smaller, that's all. Maybe that too is caused by them being printed on top of the parchment, so the straight lines (and blocky-ness) make them seem out of place.

Alecthar
06-12-2009, 07:27 AM
I don't hate your ⌘s. I think they'd look better if they were smaller, that's all. Maybe that too is caused by them being printed on top of the parchment, so the straight lines (and blocky-ness) make them seem out of place.

Just joking. The main problem I'm encountering is that I do want to maintain readability, but the black doesn't really show texture. I'm thinking I might add a very small blur to the city names to blend them a bit better, maybe the same thing will work for the ⌘s.

jfrazierjr
06-12-2009, 08:25 AM
Just joking. The main problem I'm encountering is that I do want to maintain readability, but the black doesn't really show texture. I'm thinking I might add a very small blur to the city names to blend them a bit better, maybe the same thing will work for the ⌘s.

Use a displace, with the displacement map from the layer with the texture on it. This will give just a hint of fuzziness and warp to the letters. Of course, it will only affect the side of the letters where the underlying texture is light colored though.

Alecthar
06-15-2009, 06:44 PM
Alright, I tried a displacement map on the names, and I didn't really get the look I was aiming for. I'm going to play around with things a bit, but I'm probably going to blur things a bit and leave it at that. I'm considering this one "done" except for naming.

But I'm working on my next idea related to this style. I'm finding that the "Grain Merge" Layer mode does a pretty good job of making things look a bit more painted/inked on, attached is a little test piece I put together to see how it would look with some hand-drawn elements. I think from now on I'll be doing more of the mountain/forest type stuff by hand.

msa
06-15-2009, 07:27 PM
Just joking. The main problem I'm encountering is that I do want to maintain readability, but the black doesn't really show texture. I'm thinking I might add a very small blur to the city names to blend them a bit better, maybe the same thing will work for the ⌘s.

If you haven't already, you might want to watch these two tutorials from ZombieNirvana. He really goes into how he wraps the objects on his map around the folds and creases of the parchment texture. He talks specifically about text vs. map elements.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDtNQpxj3Iw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I4gcyjWDAQ

It might be a little pedantic for you, but its probably worth watching since its what you are working on.

Alecthar
06-15-2009, 08:21 PM
If you haven't already, you might want to watch these two tutorials from ZombieNirvana. He really goes into how he wraps the objects on his map around the folds and creases of the parchment texture. He talks specifically about text vs. map elements.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDtNQpxj3Iw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I4gcyjWDAQ

It might be a little pedantic for you, but its probably worth watching since its what you are working on.

You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar.

jfrazierjr
06-15-2009, 10:46 PM
Alright, I tried a displacement map on the names, and I didn't really get the look I was aiming for. I'm going to play around with things a bit, but I'm probably going to blur things a bit and leave it at that. I'm considering this one "done" except for naming.

But I'm working on my next idea related to this style. I'm finding that the "Grain Merge" Layer mode does a pretty good job of making things look a bit more painted/inked on, attached is a little test piece I put together to see how it would look with some hand-drawn elements. I think from now on I'll be doing more of the mountain/forest type stuff by hand.

You may also like to take a look at a parchment map I started (and will eventually get back to) back in Dec. Once I started making the mountains, I ended up making a short tutorial for it. It may give you some ideas(warning, lots of hard work involved, but it's worth it in the end result)