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Ascension
08-15-2009, 03:39 PM
Thought I'd toss my hat in the ring and see what I can come up with. I reoriented the map to fit the angle of the river on his continent map and this also allows me to place the mountain behind the castle. Very rough right now, roads, rivers, and first wall in...probably many changes to come there when I get to the buildings.

Gandwarf
08-15-2009, 05:00 PM
I like your start! Hope you are able to finish in time.

Ascension
08-16-2009, 12:29 AM
Here is 12 hours of work, going to chill in front of the tv for a while.

Gandwarf
08-16-2009, 07:38 AM
12 hours? yikes!
Anyway, you have grown so much since I started visiting this forum a year ago. You are constantly improving your work!

armoredgear7
08-16-2009, 10:41 AM
Here is 12 hours of work

I believe it! All those buildings and roads take time to set up, not to mention the hugely-time consuming task of blending the textures just right.

Steel General
08-16-2009, 11:52 AM
Looking good so far...

Ascension
08-16-2009, 03:13 PM
Having worked out numerous technical things over the past year I thought I'd give this one a more artsy/drawn look. Filter - distort - ocean ripple = set the sliders at 1, Filter - stylize - diffuse = anistropic.

Left to do:
Merchant district, docks, temples district, military district, and castle but first I'm gonna eat some lunch.

### Latest WIP ###

Gamerprinter
08-16-2009, 10:26 PM
I like the skewed, non-north-south angle of the map - looks interesting, Ascension!

Just got back from Gencon Indy, about an hour ago. I met Jason Buhlman the creator of Pathfinder - he's looking forward to seeing the alpha rules for Kaidan. I look forward to whoever wins, so I can start work on the larger campaign where the winning map will be published in.

Keep up the good work!

GP

Ascension
08-17-2009, 12:12 AM
Here's today's 12 hours: lots of minor tweaks (put cherry blossoms on the trees, put in some branches, color adjustments, lots of detail stuff like that all over the place...even though no one may ever notice it) and put the temple, merchants, and docks in plus the real shadows. Shadows and detailing took up the bulk of the time.

Left to do:
Finish roads for today's additions, daimyo's compound, some buildings on the docks, bridges, military buildings, possibly chop out some houses for special buildings, labels or a key, maybe some boats and an island bridge tower, and finish graphics. Oh, and farms. Crap, I forgot the town squares again. I always forget those.

### Latest WIP ###

Gandwarf
08-17-2009, 04:26 AM
Looks like you will be able to finish :)
Beautiful stuff.

msa
08-17-2009, 02:33 PM
I really like those trees. Are they done mostly with noise?

Ascension
08-17-2009, 06:13 PM
Make a dot with the 45 pixel soft round brush tip but use it in pencil mode. Make a bunch of other dots so indicate trees. Oh and use white. Fill the rest of the layer with black. Crystallize it at 12. Hit it with spatter, then hit it with glass. Delete the black and the rest is layer styles: color, pattern, bevel, glows, etc. For the branches, create a new layer and fill it with the default pattern metal landscape, then hit ctrl+i to invert it and delete the blacks...leaving white branches. Erase around the trees and then color overlay it with brown. For the blossoms fill a new layer with 400% noise, double the scale, blur, delete the blacks, delete the stuff not on trees, then color overlay.

Now keep in mind that this is PS so I don't know how well it works with Gimp or PSP or Paint.

ravells
08-17-2009, 06:32 PM
Very lovely indeed!!! The rooves are stunning.

Ascension
08-21-2009, 01:39 AM
Haven't had too much time to get any work in this week, a couple of hours a day at most. Lookin pretty well close to done...gotta work on the bridges and rice paddies and of course labels and graphics.

### Latest WIP ###

Coyotemax
08-21-2009, 02:28 AM
Fabulous work!

There's 2 trees in the northeastern temple area that are edging their way outside the walls (from being on a lower layer I imagine), might want to send a monk out to prune those :P

I'm amazed!

Ascension
08-21-2009, 05:38 AM
Thanks for spotting that, I'll clean em up.

Gandwarf
08-21-2009, 05:48 AM
Amazing stuff...

ravells
08-21-2009, 10:26 AM
Absolutely brilliant! Were you using the min / max filters on the buildings? Some of them have the kind of shape that they produced when I tried them on the lazy man's style.

msa
08-21-2009, 10:49 AM
Haven't had too much time to get any work in this week, a couple of hours a day at most. Lookin pretty well close to done...gotta work on the bridges and rice paddies and of course labels and graphics.

I'm loving the style of your buildings and the way you've varied the ground and street colors in the different neighborhoods. I'm sure you already know this, but your bridges are in desperate need of a drop shadow.

Ascension
08-21-2009, 11:51 AM
All of the buildings use the new brushes (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2639) that I made except for the castle complex. For those I did 400% noise, then scaled it up 400% twice, patchwork filter, contrast maxed, delete the blacks, some minor hand tweaking, pick out the most interesting shapes and use as buildings, then layer styles.

Redrobes
08-22-2009, 07:49 PM
You cool with adding yourself to the thumbs or did you want me to do it ?

Ascension
08-22-2009, 08:51 PM
I've been busy this past week...I'll get to it sometime this coming week :) Maybe.

Ascension
08-23-2009, 02:14 AM
Got my rice paddies in and some fields. Gotta work on the bridges, dock buildings, miscellaneous dirt and garbage and junk laying around in the alleys and yards, and then the finish graphics.

### Latest WIP ###

Gandwarf
08-23-2009, 06:16 AM
I like what you did with the rice paddies Ascension. Shouldn't there be more water showing though? When I see pictures of ride paddies most of the time a lot of water is visible.

Ascension
08-23-2009, 11:14 PM
Just about done. Fixed the paddies, put in some inns, put in some miscellaneous junk that one always finds in any size town, finished the bridges, and finished the docks. Not gonna do any text whatsoever cuz I will have no time this week to work on it due to other commitments. I have the park left to do and then maybe some other special buildings for decorative/aesthetic purposes. A few more hours and then she be done.

###Latest WIP ###

Immolate
08-24-2009, 01:33 AM
Ascension... I've been spending too much time on my map to comment on anyone else's. I have considered yours to be the level of competition I have to rise to, however unlikely that might be.

But I know how focused you can get on a map and how sometimes decisions that seem good to you just fall flat with your audience. You inclusion of the litter, debris and other "noise" in your map just isn't working for me. It looks like a colony of roaches is nesting in your city. I think you need to rethink.

I could be fully of hooey of course and, as always, YMMV. Sometimes my color-blindness makes things look a lot different to me than it does to others. No offense.

Gandwarf
08-24-2009, 07:14 AM
Hmmm, I think it's a beautiful map and I have no problems with the noise. So it does seem we look at it very differently Immolate. You should certainly be able to say what you think though (as long as it's constructive and your last post is constructive). We don't improve ourselves if we don't get feedback.

Coyotemax
08-24-2009, 08:20 AM
Actually to me that looks like small stalls, merchant's blankets set out, maybe even people wandering around the market. At least in the merchant area.

I like the clean looking maps, but this is starting to make me rethink a few ideas I had :)

Ascension
08-24-2009, 09:41 AM
I sort of expected them to be like crates, piles, and stuff and I was experimenting. I should probably put more effort into sticking the debris into corners and along walls rather than just scattered around. I appreciate the honesty Imm, no hurt feelings here. You should have seen the very first town map I ever put up here, I actually put people all over it.

msa
08-24-2009, 09:53 AM
I personally think that this is a beautiful map that is full of exquisite detail. The trees and large buildings are my particular favorites.

That said, all the noise does look a little cluttered and busy when its not viewed at full size. I just don't know enough to know how it translates from the monitor to the page, and I'm sure asce knows better than me. But that may be something that is worth considering?

pasis
08-24-2009, 10:39 AM
I compared the 2 versions side by side and in my eyes the debrish looks good adding life to the city. Good work

Ascension
08-24-2009, 05:54 PM
The junk layer was 5 different patterns (stones, cracks, weaves, etc.) stacked on top of each other with different blend modes to eventually bring out little white shapes that I layer styled. I could have used noise but that was too organized and routine-looking. Maybe if I actually drew the crates and junk in by hand it would look better and less haphazard. I'm still thinking on this layer, maybe it stays maybe it goes. I'm also experimenting on how to do junk in general for a garbage heap on a different map...without drawing refrigerators, chairs, and stuff like that. I need to organize my junk...how crazy is that? :) Wait, that's what my mom and sister keep telling me to do with my house. Well, back to the lab to mess around with this some more.

Immolate
08-24-2009, 05:59 PM
After seeing the cities in your masterpiece, I have no doubts that you will find a way to make it work. It's funny that the highest form of any art is always finding ways to make imperfection look natural.

Ascension
08-24-2009, 08:56 PM
This is more organized and hopefully better. Maybe the whole idea should be scrapped, but I'm gonna get it one of these days.

### Latest WIP ###

Coyotemax
08-24-2009, 09:54 PM
Yeah, moving it off the proper streets really helped. Gorgeous now, and .. Dangit, I want to get into the map and explore :)

Gandwarf
08-25-2009, 02:39 AM
To me the "noise" looks too orderly now... seriously.

Jykke
08-25-2009, 03:04 AM
Looks very nice when zoomed out! But there might be just a bit too much distortion (mostly the structures) and noise (combined with stroke) to my taste on the closeup. I like the layout of the city and also the shapes of the fields. Overall it's a very nice map, which has a minor Achilles' heel, as the style might divide viewer opinions.

Ascension
08-25-2009, 09:41 AM
Here's a clean, non-artistic version. The image quality had to be turned way down to fit...from 12 to 7 (18megs vs. 3.7).

### Latest WIP ###

Steel General
08-25-2009, 03:36 PM
Personally, I like this latest version better than the others.

Great work my friend. :)

Gandwarf
08-25-2009, 06:25 PM
No, the latest version doesn't tickly my fancy. The version before that is way better.
That's my opinion of course :)

Ascension
08-26-2009, 12:16 AM
Playing around, I came up with this...I'm going to be using something like this on a commission (if vgunn likes it, that is). I probably blurred it out too much, but I was just experimenting.

Edit: Decided to put the non-blurred lines back in on top of the blurred ones...gives it a more crisp and technical look but less old-fashioned.

MysticMagellan
08-26-2009, 02:31 AM
I really love this map. I don't like to comment too much because I'm still pretty new here, but I had a couple ideas.

Regarding the clean vs dirty version: I like the clean a little better, but only because I think the dirty version looked a little over-rippled. Seeing that you can remove that effect pretty easy, have you tried using a regular "ripple" filter (set around 20-25%) instead of the "ocean ripple"? I think it has a more subtle effect.

On a different note, the trees in the districts NW and N of the canal look like they are missing shadows (they sort of look like piles on the ground rather than tree leaves above it).

Regarding the monotone version: I'm thinking of converting my Oten-jo to a sepia color after this challenge for a more classic antique styled map, so I'm curious about your method. I like it a lot, but is there a reason you blurred it or was that an effect of the process you used for the look? I'd like to see a non-blurred version if possible.

Coyotemax
08-26-2009, 03:11 AM
Hot dang, that's cool!

Ascension
08-26-2009, 09:31 AM
I'll take a look at those trees...I may have forgotten the shadows. After so much staring at it you can easily get lost and forget something. As for the rippling, I've tried a lot of things and nothing looks right as it usually gets over distorted or whacked out. Just trying to get something that looks hand-drawn without actually hand-drawing it :) As for the sepia look, I was trying to emulate these maps (posted here at The Guild previously) but with my own style and twists. The method was pretty simple: pattern overlay, color overlay to get the paper look right, select the blacks (which is why I used the heavy stroke around buildings and things) and fill with a dark brown, duplicate the layer and blur it a bit to give the ink some type of fade, stroke the river with a customized gradient of brown and clear, inner glow on the river of teal.

Steel General
08-26-2009, 09:49 AM
I'd say you're pretty darn close.

armoredgear7
08-26-2009, 11:45 AM
Regarding the monotone version: I'm thinking of converting my Oten-jo to a sepia color after this challenge for a more classic antique styled map, so I'm curious about your method. I like it a lot, but is there a reason you blurred it or was that an effect of the process you used for the look? I'd like to see a non-blurred version if possible.

It's really interesting you mentioned this; I was also considering going sepia! I've been fiddling around with it on and off in my working file, trying to come up with the right mix of adjustment layers. I think it'll have to be a project for another time though.

Ascension - I think I like the most recent experiment the best of the lot!

Ascension
08-26-2009, 05:26 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys. Much appreciated. My whole quest has been finding the balance between the technical and the artistic while keeping the flexibility to jump around and make changes with only a few clicks or adjustments...and I think that I'll add this one to my repertoire, as an adjunct to the antique style. Still got some work to do on the hand-drawn style...too rippley. I've got some ideas, but no time.