View Full Version : Dark Sun - Village of Arla

06-28-2007, 10:04 AM
Hi all. This is my first actual try at making a map, using strictly photoshop. This village is set in Athas, a desolate land that... blah, blah, blah...

You might notice that instead of water it looks like sand. Well, that's the "silt sea". Fine powdery junk. It's supposed to blow about and drift and that is something I have yet to depict in the map.

Another thing is this village is a reclaimed ruins. Five buildings have been refubished but the rest of the 250 or so people living there are in tents. Not sure how to depict that. I'll probably need what looks like upwards of 70 tents if I'm interested in making it look accurate.

Also, there is going to be a single house overlooking the ville and I haven't any ideas for that as of yet.

What's been troubling me the most is how blurry the coast line is. I know it has to be some setting but every time I try to change it, ie get a harder line, the fill still gives it that radiant edge. If I weren't so concerned about ruining my drop dead gorgeous looks, I'd have pulled all of my hair out by now ;)

There's two maps... one without notes, one with. Opinions are hoped for, advice is prayed for.

Thanks for your time.

06-28-2007, 11:13 AM
Have you checked out the Dundjinni forums? You will find a veritable treasure trove of just the sort of things you are looking for. I know there are at least two different types of tents, but there are probably more that I haven't looked for. Use their search feature at the top and type in tents.

As for the coast line, you said you are using a fill? Have you tried changing the angle of the fill? If you are using a blend mode, you can try turning off the eye in the left column to find which blend mode is causing the effect. Also, you could try adjusting the scale of the fill.

Since I'm not entirely sure what you are doing to achieve the effect I can't give you any more guidance than that.

06-28-2007, 04:48 PM
Well, the Dundjinni forums should feel like a shameless little hussy. Cause I just used the heck out of it! Mwah ha ha ha ha!

Anywho. I think I may have it pretty close here. Coast line still isn't fixed and the "silt drifting" is no where near where I want it. On the coastline, I may have mispoken. I used the word "fill". What I mean is I'm using the paint bucket. I didn't see anything on that tool for scale, angle or blend mode. Unless you mean the layer blend mode but that doesn't click here.

Aside from that, I'd like to get general opinions. Thanks.

06-28-2007, 06:36 PM
Ok, I can't honestly say what I did... I forget. But I got the coastline a bit more to my liking.

There are parts... like the lightest land mass layer with the cracked earth texture that almost look plastic.

Any suggestions?

06-29-2007, 04:43 AM
Ok. This is Arla in all her glory. Started to post it in "finished maps" but I guess it goes here first.

06-29-2007, 08:44 AM
Looks good! I'm digging it, and its great to see something very different too as far as atmosphere.

If you want to get rid of the plastic look, change the way the lighting on the texture is...you could also apply some monochromatic noise to the plastic layer...I would definitely apply some noise to the silt sea.

06-29-2007, 12:59 PM
Thanks for the input! I made the changes you suggested and I lightened it up too. I know it's a minor thing but the pattern on the dock wasn't showing. Looked fine in photoshop but once I saved as a jpg and loaded it up here, it was very dark.

06-29-2007, 03:34 PM
That is why it is generally better to use a lossless format. PNG is far superior to JPG unless you are dealing with actual photos and even then, it is debatable. Try using a PNG and see if the result looks better to you.

I like how this turned out and I'm glad Dundjinni proved to be a useful resource.

06-30-2007, 02:10 PM
indeed, i try to use PNG 24 as much as possible when exporting my maps, not only is it a lossless format like RPMiller stated, but it also handles transparencies significantly better

06-30-2007, 03:48 PM


No commentary on the map itself?

I'm posting a PNG now for when/if it gets moved to the "finished maps" thread.

06-30-2007, 04:17 PM
Here's a few suggestions to kick the map up a bit.

Reduce the transparency on the white circles behind the numbers so that they are not entirely blocking the detail of the map, but still offer some contrast for the numbers.

I'm guessing the ruins of the buildings were not built from cement. You may want to "break up" the foundations some more to give it a more natural appearance.

Add some shadow to the house on the hill as well as the tents, ship, docks, and even the Kanks, to give some indication of height.

Shadow could also be added to the hills to give them an appearance of height and also their height in relation to the village.

06-30-2007, 04:27 PM

Good tip on breaking up the ruins even more.

Many of the things you suggested I'd done but obviously, I need to increase the effect. Grateful for the input though.

The shadows on the mountains I have had a hard time with. I think it's conducive to my chosen color scheme. Would it be advisable to lighten up some of the high points to show more relief instead of adding shadows? That lowest elevation color is pretty dark and the shadows I've added aren't really coming through.

06-30-2007, 05:49 PM
That would be a good idea to try. Also, I'm not seeing a shadow effect across the village. Is the hill so low that it doesn't cast a shadow? That could be easily understood given the angle of possible sunlight and all that so that is just nitpicky on my part.

06-30-2007, 08:51 PM
Ohhhh... I though you meant the shadows on the ruined structures themselves. You mean the shadow of the mountain, right? Cast over the village in it's entirety. No, I didn't think of doing that. I'll give it a go.


03-01-2008, 10:43 AM
Nice map.

Seems to correspond quite well to its description in Village of the Wastes.
Your map gives a new dimension to this place.

Good work !

07-01-2011, 12:36 AM
Okay, is there another, final version of this map? Such is implied at http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19839654/To_update_Villages_of_the_Wastes?pg=4 but the link is broken.

Steel General
07-01-2011, 07:27 AM
Try looking in the finished maps forum, the original thread is nearly 4 years old so keep your fingers crossed. :)