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View Full Version : The Golden Sands, Redux!



msa
07-30-2009, 10:26 AM
Well, I decided to take on two mapping projects, both larger in scale than any I've done before. Stupid me! I'll be plugging away on this one slowly but surely, but I wanted to get some feedback on it.

I'm converting the map that won me the lite challenge over from a realistic-style map over to a hand drawn one. So far I've only managed the coastlines, rivers, and a small section of mountains. This is meant to be printed on an 8.5x11 sheet of paper--I'd like a version that I can print and give to players during the game.

My main question is the mountains: do they look ok? They are sort of like some styles I've seen, but deviated from them a lot. I've intentionally made them evocative of pyramids and sand dunes to mesh with the arabia/egyptian feel of the world. I also decided to shade the valleys instead of doing a more natural lighting source, but I'm not sure I like it. An alternative would be to shade them as if the light was coming from the northeast.

For comparison, here is the original map:

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=5622

The hand-drawn version is a *lot* more time consuming so I am hoping for some feedback before I go too far down a bad path.

Steel General
07-30-2009, 10:29 AM
They look fine to me...

LamilLerran
07-30-2009, 02:02 PM
I think with this style of map shading the valleys is better than shading from a light source. I feel like my eye expects symbols more than it expects realistic images, and so I prefer the shading of the mountains to be consistent.

Also, in some sense, there is a fixed light source in this version: the light is coming from "behind" all the mountains (i.e., from beneath the paper).

Oh, and I think the overall style of the mountains is good too. I like the concave sweeps of their ridges.

Ascension
07-30-2009, 04:39 PM
Yep, looks fine to me as well. The hard part will be getting everything to mesh well with that very bold and stylish type of mountain with the big sweeping ridgeline. Keeping that style consistent will be the hard part, actually doing all of the drawing is the long part :) Good luck and good stuff so far.

msa
07-31-2009, 12:14 PM
Thanks for the feedback on my mountain shading--I thought it would actually be more clear and look better to shade the valleys. Although it wasn't nearly as well formed in my mind, that comment about symbolic representation vs. realistic representation was exactly my logic. I still lack the experience or confidence to be sure of these sorts of decisions, so its nice to hear from someone else.


The hard part will be getting everything to mesh well with that very bold and stylish type of mountain with the big sweeping ridgeline.

I'm beginning to see that! Its actually a whole lot harder to do a hand-drawn map than I expected! Particularly if you want it to look good in black and white. I never really thought about how much extra information color can convey until I had to make do without!

Ascension
07-31-2009, 04:34 PM
That might be a good idea for a challenge....B&W.

AslanC
07-31-2009, 08:39 PM
Very good stuff... I love black and white hand drawn maps... like at the start of fantasy novels.

msa
08-04-2009, 04:29 PM
That might be a good idea for a challenge....B&W.

I was thinking that too. Its really a much greater challenge than I expected, although in hindsight its obvious!

msa
09-08-2009, 09:17 AM
I'm all over the place on mapping projects right now... making very little progress per month on a large group of maps. This one was held up because my scanner/printer broke and I couldn't very well do the hand-drawing I needed for the project.

Here is the newest iteration, still only focused on the southwestern island, where I have added forests. I just want to see if there are any major problems with it before I move on the other other parts of the map and replicate the style.

Coyotemax
09-08-2009, 09:23 AM
that is great. Absolutely nothing wrong with those forests, in faced I'm so impressed with the way you managed to convey forest covered hill/mountains I'mm keeping this pic around for reference. Brilliant.

Steel General
09-08-2009, 01:20 PM
Looks good to me so far...

PokealypseNow
09-08-2009, 03:21 PM
My only suggestion would be that in some places, the top/side edges of the forest come too close to a river or shoreline and so from far away look either thick or smudged.

I think the largest of the three small islands looks really good - you might want to go that direction and let the edges of your forest double as the shoreline and give your rivers some more room to breath.

Other than that, I'm really digging the style you've got going on with this one.

Diamond
09-08-2009, 04:45 PM
It's always a struggle to accurately convey forested mountains in icon format, but I think you've really got something here. It's still a compromise, but it's by far the best I've seen. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the map come together.

I think the largest of the three small islands looks really good - you might want to go that direction and let the edges of your forest double as the shoreline and give your rivers some more room to breath.

That's a really good idea.

Ascension
09-08-2009, 05:25 PM
I think that you may have found your style msa...looks really nice.

msa
09-08-2009, 10:26 PM
Thanks for the positive feedback as usual all!


My only suggestion would be that in some places, the top/side edges of the forest come too close to a river or shoreline and so from far away look either thick or smudged.

I think the largest of the three small islands looks really good - you might want to go that direction and let the edges of your forest double as the shoreline and give your rivers some more room to breath.

I really appreciate this suggestion. I agree that the rivers look pretty sloppy, and the idea that I might be able to use the forests as an edge of the river is very promising. I think I can really do something cool with this suggestion and I'm looking forward to having the time to implement it.

This week looks promising to having some freedom and stability in my life. The next few days are heavy on interviews, and hopefully by the weekend there will be a real job on the horizon! And with it, some time to map (and have a real life in general)!

PokealypseNow
09-09-2009, 01:40 AM
...The next few days are heavy on interviews, and hopefully by the weekend there will be a real job on the horizon! And with it, some time to map (and have a real life in general)!

Best of luck with that, dude. I'm in the midst of revamping/updating my portfolio site and beginning the job hunt myself. Layoffs suck!

msa
09-09-2009, 07:52 PM
Best of luck with that, dude. I'm in the midst of revamping/updating my portfolio site and beginning the job hunt myself. Layoffs suck!

Good luck to you too. One down, two to go. Next two days are going to be very busy.

Diamond
09-09-2009, 09:26 PM
Good luck on your interviews, guys. Getting ready to start a new job myself tomorrow after a nice little five-day break.

R.E. the map: Is this going to be strictly B&W, or do you plan to color it?

msa
01-02-2012, 02:09 PM
Wow, I can't believe it's been 2 years since I last posted on this!

I made a few updates to this map that I wanted to share. First, I colored it--I'd like to convey a watercolor + line drawing feel to it (although I'm not sure yet how to do the watercolor look). I'm trying to make fairly subtle use of color here, with dark, unsaturated colors for the lines and light, washed out colors for everything else. Second, I incorporated the suggestion to start using the forests to help define the edges of the land and water to clean up the map a little bit. You can see this now in the interior of the southwest island, and since I like it I'll probably start trying to apply this to the shoreline too.

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