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Ascension
06-07-2009, 08:14 PM
I tried a completely different method but still ended up in pretty much the same place...so that's cool. I tried doing something like Su Liam's recent tut but only from memory; had I actually followed it I may have had different results. This hybrid method got me going quite quickly and I had the basic map done in about 10 minutes. But because I need definable areas to create masks I had to go back and re-figure everything out and that took some time. Then I had to clean up artifacts that can still be seen in some places along the coasts (banding) and that killed a few hours. Getting the ocean right was probably the hardest part so that's why I had to re-figure things in order to mask it off. The forests went quickly, scattered dry brush, pattern overlay, textured bevel, and some color tweaks. The rivers, as always, killed most of my day. Various other experiments killed another few hours but I think I'm ready to put a bunch of dots and words on this. Heck for the first time I even have a title so that's good progress right there :)

Steel General
06-08-2009, 06:40 AM
Lookin' good so far...

Weero
06-08-2009, 07:35 AM
I really like how the forest sort of covers the rivers, though sometimes it makes it hard to follow some of those streams. Though overall, those rivers look awesome.

edit: I also just now noticed that the forests tend to follow along the rivers. Nice detail.

Aegeri
06-09-2009, 02:17 AM
First have some rep :lol:

I was thinking of running a campaign in Eberron based on being shipwrecked in Xen'drik and I was looking around for a suitable map. Then I see this map and think "There is a LOT of space there". Then it dawned on me it was perfect for what I needed and I have so much room to play with.

Best of all there isn't anything labeled or named on the map, making it my playground.

This all goes to plan.

If you update the map let me know.

Ascension
06-09-2009, 03:07 AM
I ran across this photo and thought that it fit perfectly with the mountainous region in my map. Now if only I could get a shot from an airplane of this spot :)

Alfar
06-09-2009, 03:22 AM
Definately beautiful, and a great match. Good find!

There's a challenge in there somewhere... Draw a map based on this photo?

su_liam
06-09-2009, 03:52 AM
I like the look of the forests. Definitely like that waterfall! :)
There's something about the mountains, though... It may just be a matter of taste, but they look kind of ethereal. Somewhat like a semi-transparent overlay over a flat forest texture.

Unfortunately every attempt I've made at a forest texture either overwhelmed the mountain shading or was overwhelmed by the mountain shading, and in any case was just terrible.

In any case kudos on trying out the burpwallow technique. Ten minutes? Jeebus Cripes! I wish I could go that fast.

Aegeri
06-09-2009, 05:29 AM
What are you planning on changing about the map sir? It would look good with some destroyed temples and other things =D

Ascension
06-09-2009, 05:27 PM
The mtns are two layers, an outer bevel of chisel soft with a big size and a second layer of inner bevel chisel soft with a small size (plus a color overlay of brown at soft light). The outer bevel looks horrible where the bevel edges meet up, forming a crease, so I put the rivers and forests on top to cover up those creases...it cuts into the sides of the mtns but I didn't really care too much about that since mtns have a treeline anyway. Here's 2 screenies, one before rivers and forests and one after.

Ascension
06-13-2009, 12:07 AM
Here's an update, taken a long time to make some icons that I like and then get the colors right. There will be a key, eventually, but for now the red squares are inns, orange dots are dungeons/camps/encounter spots, light blue dots with rings are shrines, purple dots with lobes are towers, yellow-gray squares with accented corners are forts, scattered yellow-gray dots are ruins, and cities/towns/villages should be pretty obvious.

Edit -- threw some fields in, another brush that I made.

JakeWoods
06-13-2009, 05:42 AM
Rept.... Really nice work

Ramah
06-14-2009, 06:55 AM
Wow, this map is now just as amazing as your last island and I thought that one was your best yet. Awesome stuff. Your ability makes me very envious. :)

Gandwarf
06-14-2009, 07:07 AM
Beautiful map so far. The farmland is one of the highlights for me.

I don't care much for the mountains though, they look too much like thunder clouds when zoomed in I think.

ravells
06-14-2009, 07:28 AM
Wow, Ascension this is beautiful. I love the way you've given the cities such definition - it really allows the eye to instantly scale the map. Really magnificent job. How did you do the cities if you don't mind me asking and at what resolution are you drawing this?

Ascension
06-14-2009, 10:38 AM
It's 4000 x 4000 at 300 ppi. The cities are a 14 pixel scattered dry brush (comes with PS but I scaled it back from 449% scatter to 200%). Color overlay of yellow-brown, inner glow (set to center) of gray...this gives me gray middle parts to resemble stone buildings and tan buildings around the edge to resemble shacks, slight bevel, brown stroke (at 50% opacity), small drop shadow (at 50% opacity). Then on a new layer I use a pattern of something called "metal landscape" (it is white with black lines). Then I invert that to get white lines, delete the blacks, trim to fit, reduce opacity, a low opacity stroke and it now looks like I have some streets in my larger cities.

I've uploaded all of the layer styles used here as a zip. Make sure that you use white when painting/drawing or the results might vary because I use a lot of blending modes. At any rate, you can play around with them and see what you can come up with.

slovakism
06-15-2009, 02:17 AM
Awesome map. The only really suggestion I can give is you have some river branches that don't seem to have a source. The main rivers that follow out from the forest down to the coast are fine, most likely sourced by the melting snow from the mountains, that's fine. But I noticed you have a few small branches that begin outside the forest and quickly join one of these main rivers, but no clearly defined source for them. At this scale, I imagine we'd be able to see even small lakes that would possibly source them.

Amazing work, though

StillCypher
06-15-2009, 09:39 AM
Once again, a really beautiful map. I especially like your ocean. :) The mountains... I'm having a little trouble with. They seem too 'fluffy' to be mountains, and the shadows on them seem to be pretty hard to the ease, whereas the shadows on the forested parts are more to the southeast.

msa
06-15-2009, 06:08 PM
Wow, Ascension this is beautiful. I love the way you've given the cities such definition - it really allows the eye to instantly scale the map.

I wanted to add that I also think the cities are a real highlight for the map. The map has got great texture and detail is virtually every area, but the cities to me are the most special. I will definitely try to remember that look.

I'm not as upset by your mountains as some of the others, but I do think they might benefit from deeper shadows. If you used some sort of emboss/bevel filter, you might try to re-run it with a greater height and see how it comes out?

PS. Your field brush reminds me of Sun Microsystems in a few spots! LOL :)

http://www.glenridgesolutions.com/images/sunlogo.jpg

Ascension
06-15-2009, 08:39 PM
Snagged a copy of that logo, gonna play with that and make it into a new field brush :)

Ascension
06-20-2009, 10:20 PM
After a week of looking thru some 15,000 fonts and some 9,000 styles I've finally got something close to what I want for my title (Wilhem Klingspor and Xenippa). Cities are labeled with Gaze, forts with Seven Swordsmen, ruins with Allembert, and terrain features with AL Afternoon Delight. The flower was fun to draw, a mash-up of primrose jasmine (color and shape) and jasmine (stamen) but the veins on the leaves gave me a lot of problems. I didn't want to do anymore veins so I cut out a bunch of leaves to save my sanity. I'm not very good at drawing frames, banners, or cartouches so this one is just about done unless you all see things that I need to correct. Oh and I also made up a bunch of new brushes to use as fort icons which was a ton of fun.

Auth
06-20-2009, 10:39 PM
Simply astounding. I am speechless.

Gandwarf
06-21-2009, 05:28 AM
Very pretty map, consider yourself repped.

Still, as I said before, the mountains look too cloudy to me. It's my only regret :D

Katerek
06-24-2009, 08:38 AM
Very nice map. You make me extremely jealous. What are the odds of getting an upload of those various brushes you created? I use photoshop as well, but being self taught, I still haven't quite gotten the hang of making my own brushes.

Ascension
06-24-2009, 04:51 PM
Thanks for reminding me...I was gonna do that but my PS had a crash and I lost them. Once I get this file back open then I'll copy these and turn them into brushes and post em up in the Elements section...probably sometime tonight.

Karro
06-25-2009, 05:02 PM
= gorgeous.

MysticMagellan
07-09-2009, 10:26 PM
Amazing. I especially love all the cities. Each one is almost a miniature city map unto itself.

Immolate
07-11-2009, 01:26 PM
Ascension,

I just saw this map for the first time. Stunning. It is a masterpiece. Bravo!

Jagash
07-14-2009, 07:03 AM
I am astounded by this excellent work, so good that it inspired me to register here. Thank you so very much for sharing.

Ascension
07-14-2009, 08:42 PM
Here's a zip for the layer styles in the title.

Yves
09-03-2009, 07:43 AM
Hello,

First I want to congratulate you for your work: it's astounding!

I registered on CG forum to learn a few tips but I discovered your Jasmine map and I cannot draw anymore.

I learned CorelDraw by my self and, over the years, I was able to create these maps for the games I play (both stored at
www.esnips.com/web/Jorune:
- Fracasse for a simple naval wargame;
- Sillipus a part of Jorune (for Skyrealms of Jorune RPG).

I would love to create a map like yours. Could you _please_ [nearly crying] post a tutorial?

And I'm not kidding about being stuck: completely in love with your work.

Y.

Ascension
09-03-2009, 07:55 AM
Well, first, thank you. Second, everything you need is around the site somewhere. I have many tutorials that cover the various aspects of what I do. I'd suggest starting in the Tutorial section and use my Continent tutorial, Atlas tutorial, and forest tutorial. Once you have learned the techniques then you can start experimenting. I have no idea how well the Photoshop specific things transfer over to Corel. If you look through the Reference section you will also find the brushes that I have. Now, granted you will not end up with something exactly like what I have...I don't think that I have ever done any two maps that are exactly alike. Oh, wait, I did one time, on 2 maps for Jexl.

My best advice is to follow the tuts, do your best to emulate the look, post your progress to the guild here, and I (and others) can help you along. And again, thank you very much :)

Yves
09-08-2009, 05:54 AM
Hello Ascension,

Thanks for your reply.

After a few hours my guesses were:
- I'm not good enough with Corel Photopaint and I don't think Coreldraw is good enough to achieve these results
- I cannot find enough stuff on the net to improve my Corel skills _a lot_ but it may be the case with Photoshop

So perhaps it is the time to learn Photoshop
And I've just started my first Photoshop tutorials with the Lynda.com DVD.

I'll have a look at your tutorials -and the others as well, thanks to you all.

I'll be back, Yves

Coyotemax
09-08-2009, 06:36 AM
Just remember, it's not the tools that make the artist :) In order to make something that looks very much like someone elses style it may help to use the same tools they use, but it's okay to develop your own style as well.

Just to give an example, we have one member who used MS Word to create a series of maps - almost as unexpected a tool as you can get :) But they made it work, and a lot of people are (still) going "oh neat".

that having been said, oh yes, definitely try out as many tutorials as you can get your paws on, the more tricks you learn (and Ascension is an excellent guru to learn from, goodness knows he's had a heavy influence on me, heh), and the more your own style will develop.

As much as photoshop gets used, there are a number of alternatives out there, and don't be afraid to go back to your corel roots at some point to give something a try :)

Ascension
09-08-2009, 05:59 PM
I'd certainly be interested in using other programs to do more artsy stuff, so anything you can contribute is always a welcome bonus. For some reason I just can't get used to painting with a tablet and stylus when I've got hundreds of brushes and mix my own paints at work. Photoshop is just for the easy stuff :)

Finis
09-08-2009, 11:38 PM
I think, as others have said, it's amazing. My favorite part is the cities though, brilliant work.

Yves
09-10-2009, 03:11 AM
Just remember, it's not the tools that make the artist :)

In order to make something that looks very much like someone elses style it may help to use the same tools they use, but it's okay to develop your own style as well.

Alas, my artist skills are: zero, nada... or close to at best. I don't think it'll exist a "my style" ever.

I can build a decent map from vector graphics because is just an assembly of pieces like lego (as Sillipus in my first post).

But bitmap is another story: I know I cannot create a map from scratch. I confess the best I can do is create something that's looks like someone else's work without the master's touch.

Thanks for your advice, Yves

Molch
01-11-2010, 05:00 PM
Jaw-droppingly beautiful!
Are the little dots scattered throughout the land signal fires?

Again, amazing work!

Ascension
01-11-2010, 05:02 PM
Ah, the little orange dots are meant to be places for encounters - like dungeons, caves, ambushes, etc.

Molch
01-11-2010, 05:10 PM
That makes sense, too.
Have you come around to posting those brushes you used for marking the forts? I checked but didn`t find them. They look great and would be great to have for someone with little to no drawing ability like myself.

EDIT: Nevermind, you did post them already. Searching for author did the trick.

Jaxilon
01-14-2010, 01:19 AM
I love the texture you have on the forests. I want to see if I can get that down myself.

Sharpe
02-01-2010, 06:33 AM
Jaw-droppingly beautiful!
Are the little dots scattered throughout the land signal fires?

Again, amazing work!
Totally agree with Molch! Awesome!