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Diamond
09-04-2009, 03:24 AM
This is for a story I'm currently writing (which, if any of y'all are interested, can be read here (http://www.counter-factual.net/upload/showthread.php?t=4224)).

I tried something new (for me, anyway) with the mountains, just used a drippy-type brush, with an emboss effect, and kept stippling on layers until it got some depth to it. I kind of like the way they turned out; they're not photorealistic of course, but you can tell they're mountains, and they're not boring old icons again.

I also tried to make the rivers pop a little by giving them a light emboss. I'm kind of meh about the way that turned out, so I'm open to suggestions.

Now I just need to find or make some good-looking city and town icons. I don't want to use the same old star-in-circle I've been using, I want something more representational of an actual city, but not ones that are so large they overwhelm everything else. Again, suggestions appreciated.

I thought for text, I'd use a deep yellow or gold for country names, black for city names, and white for natural features. That should go well with the terrain colors.

And of course, any other suggestions and/or criticisms are always appreciated.

Coyotemax
09-04-2009, 04:00 AM
for the emboss on the rivers, have you tried setting it to chisel hard? you should only need a 1 or 2 px bevel for that, and it should come out with sharper edges, that seems to work well for me, anyhow.

Speaking of bevels, have you tried playing with the contour settings under the bevel options? (not the gloss, but the subcategory you see on the left) That might help your mountains transition just that little bit smoother.
Darn fine though, overall. And I like the forested mountains, that effect turned out very nice!

Alfar
09-04-2009, 04:22 AM
Nice colors, and I kinda like the mountains. I think they look like plateaus, but it doesn't feel wrong, really. If you wanted to lessen that effect, I guess a softer bevel, maybe with some blur would help - and maybe what GIMP would call a shaped (dimpled) gradient to make the tops pointy.

Gandwarf
09-04-2009, 05:31 AM
Nice map! Interesting layout, good use of colors. All rivers seem to be in order :)
The mountains are well done as well.

My biggest nitpick at the moment is the bevel effect on the land. Or maybe it's on the water. It almost looks like the land is floating on the water. Parts of the coast seems to shine like a button (where the bevel effect is mostly used). I would tone it down a bit.
The rivers also look like they are sticking out, but somehow I kind of like the effect (it doesn't look natural, but you are onto something there).

What's the light green area to the south supposed to represent?

In a more realistic map like this I wouldn't use too complicated symbols for the cities and towns. You might want to experiment of course, but I think I would go for simple dots.

Steel General
09-04-2009, 10:29 AM
Looking nice so far, any critiques I had have already been covered by others.

Looking forward to seeing it develop.

Diamond
09-04-2009, 12:35 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions, guys. I'll try some of those out tonight. What I really need to figure out how to do is blend in the bases of the mountains with the underlying terrain more, while leaving the peaks sharper. I'll play around with the bevel on the rivers and land edges too, try to make that look better.

The light green area in the south (which actually looks tan or khaki on my puter) is a desert. I tried to give it a sand-dunes type of pattern; not too sure that experiment succeeded.

As far as cities/towns, yeah, I'll have to do some playing around with different styles, see what looks best.

Ascension
09-04-2009, 04:38 PM
Cover the edges up with forests...that's what I do to cover up my beveling anomalies. And if there are places with no forests then I blur the heck out of the edge or smudge the heck out of it.