View Full Version : WIP - Regional Map - untitled atm

09-23-2009, 05:46 PM
Thought I'd just dive right in. Never did like introduction posts.

Mostly created following the awesome tutorial by Jeremy Elford, with a few tweaks here and there. I'm at the point that the tutorial ends and I'm starting to add bits of other tutorials I've watched/read here and there, including those of Butch Curry (also awesome). I'll be doing some subtle coloring around the coasts and forests (when they're added), adding region names and important landmarks, adding foldmarks and edge-tears, etc.

I'm going for a tolkeinesque look and feel, hopefully it looks at good as I think it does (father's love ftw :P)

I included what it looked like before I started playing with filters, layers, etc, too...just as a before and after comparison.

I've attached two versions, the only difference between the two being that one has a less saturated and slightly darkened ocean, the other a brighter one. I like parts of both of them, but I can't really decide between the two right now. The darker ocean gives the land more pop, but the brighter gives the whole map a warmer feel. I think I'll wait to decide until I get the colors down.

Created in photoshop.

Steel General
09-23-2009, 06:03 PM
First off...Welcome Aboard!

This looks quite good so far - I like the first version a bit more than the other. Looking forward to seeing where you take this.

09-23-2009, 06:03 PM
Looks good and you even have good rivers...nice job. For what it's worth, I like the darker ocean one.

09-24-2009, 05:21 AM
Thanks for the compliments. Nice to hear that my rivers came out well (I obsessed over them a little), and from a River Police officer. I'm flattered :D

I had a feeling most people would like the darker ones better; it's growing on me more and more too. Still like the warm feeling of the lighter ocean though. I may try fiddling between the two tones and see if I can reach a compromise. That's for another day though.

Got the mountains and forests onto the map and did some coloring. I've attached the map with and without added color. I like the color, but I'm trying to decide whether to desaturate it just a tad so it's less in your face. Couple of other tweaks like that going through my brain, but we'll see where it goes. Words and towns come next.

Scale style borrowed from a (I can only guess) tolkein fan-map. Compass was all me. Mountains and trees came from one of any of a thousand of the basic trees/mountains tutorials kicking around everywhere.

Steel General
09-24-2009, 06:40 AM
I like the colored versions, and don't think they need any de-saturation.

Not so sure about the mountain symbols, they seem very 'heavy-stroked' when compared to the rest of the map. But that may just be a matter of preference. *shrugs*

09-24-2009, 02:49 PM
The mountains are one of the tweaks I'll probably end up playing with. They're at the same opacity as the trees, but since the lines are thicker, they look heavier. I'm going to bump down their opacity and maybe run them through a filter and see what I can do about their heaviness.


09-25-2009, 10:16 PM

Spent today before work getting this thing closer to being done.

Now that many of the titles and words are on the thing, some background will be required lest some of you roll your eyes for my lack of originality.

The names of the towns, obviously, stem from many well known sources (Final Fantasy 1, 6, 7, Pokemon Red/Blue, Dragon Warrior, and Big Bunny...yeah, just keep reading). The map is a regional map for an upcoming DnD campaign I'm cooking up. I've named the beast "Of Carrion and Crossovers".

I want to give my players (who are all 90% new to DnD) something familiar to giggle at while playing through. The players are starting in the woods just outside of Pallet Town looking for a "rumored, terrible, gigantic creature" of unknown origin at the request of town elder Professor Katchem. Townsfolk are getting worried. Upon investigation, the party will find none other than Big Bunny (please google that if you've never seen the flash animation series, if your sense of humor is anything close to mine, you'll find it wonderful). So much of the game will be original fantasy, based upon actual events in the above sources. Later on, Tim the Enchanter, Don Quixote and the Knight of Mirrors, and bear cavalries will be making appearances as well.

Big Bunny will be the first of several quest hook generators. Starting with the search for Big Bunny's "delicious little doggy" Muffin (a dire wolf that is anything but fuzzy and fun). The reward for bringing the puppy back is a story, which ends up (if the group deciphers it) being a metaphor for actual past events, leading them to ancient ruins and a tomb of ghouls and goodies. If they don't try to kill Big Bunny, there will be several stories lined up. If they do he will run away to keep up his cute fuzzy bunny gag (good thing for them, as I've created him to be a level 7 solo creature).

Anyway, now that you have the backstory and won't be telling me "Get some original names", here's where the map's at right now.

Hopefully the mountains are looking a bit better. I dropped their opacity and ran them through a light blur filter. I think they fit the rest of the map significantly better.

09-25-2009, 11:41 PM
That's rather nice! I like the muted palette, it's a nice break on my eyes from my current project (I haven't smoothed out the colours yet, so everythings a bit harsh, lol).

The mountains look fine to me, and I love the way you coloured the ocean. I wouldn't be worried about the names myself, I never let names get in the way of a good map (and not being overly familiar with the sources you mention, I wouldn't have said anything anyhow, lol)

I'm finding it difficult to come up with any kind of constructive criticism. the only thing I can think of (and only after trying really hard to find just one thing) is that a few town names conflict a bit with the things behind them - Lavender Towna nd Plumper Pastures to be particular, but even those aren't so bad at all. If I have to work that hard to find something to point out, I think that's a good map :P


09-26-2009, 02:26 AM
Thanks a lot! The problem with those two towns in particular is the road dashes behind their names. I used Butch Curry's tutorial technique of making a layer mask over layers blocking things like names and semi-hiding them to make the names pop. I really like it because it does the job of preserving a hand-drawn feel by getting rid of the need foe glow around words. It also allows words to be ever-so-slightly blurred and for the opacity to be slighty dropped without ruining readability. Unfortunately it didn't work as well over the top of the road dashes as, say, over trees or mountains. I think I'll just hide them further or totally cover them up until the words are as readable as the others. Maybe hide the shoreline's shadow a tad too.

Thanks again!

09-26-2009, 04:51 AM
I don't know that you need to get that drastic with it. Like I said, i had to work at it to find that :)

Perhaps just relocate the place names a bit? Lavender town could go above, and offset Plumper Pastures so it's in the lower left a bit and not crossing the road?

Personally i wouldn't touch anything else, it's gorgeous.

09-26-2009, 05:57 AM
I would bump the names around a but, but I really want to keep all of the place-names' positioning consistent. All of the two word names have the first word lined up with the place indicator, with the second word offset underneath, and all of the single word names have the word offset underneath. I really hate to mess the consistency up for only two names.

And looking at it again, there's a couple of layers that I haven't dimmed that I have with other placenames (the shoreline and shoreline shadow at Plumper Pastures, and the shoreline shadow at Lavender Town) that I can dim slightly with (hopefully) great effect and without anything on the map noticeably changed.

Thank you for your compliments and (however minor) CC. I'm really glad you (and everyone else) are liking this map so much. Nice to know my obsessiveness paid off .

Thank you to whoever repped me as well :)

Incidentally, thanks for the ocean color compliment. Just in case you were wondering how I achieved it, I followed Butch Curry's example in one of his world map tutorials, don't really remember which off hand. I had my Alpha map under channels, which I made my selection. With the oceans within the selection, it was a simple matter of finding an appropriately large soft-edge brush and tracing the ocean border. Then I Gaussian Blurred it at something like 80px or something. It's a really easy way to get a nice looking subtle coloring around a landmass. I loved it when I saw it (like I loved most of everything else in those tutorials. I wish his life hadn't got so busy to force him to stop the FCAP vodcasts. Can't wait for him to start back up.)

09-26-2009, 06:22 PM
Next Update:

Got the rest of the names I'll be putting on the map on there. I'd like to add some points of interest, but truth be told, most of those are going to be determined by the way the game shapes up. And as I'm going to be printing this map and giving it as a handout...I can't really give away the points of interest before the players know they exist. :P

I'll be ripping and tearing up the map a bit, doing some crumpling, maybe some creasing, and adding a couple more subtle bits, and it should be ready for the Finished Maps forum. Unless anyone has any other CCs for me.

09-26-2009, 06:32 PM
I really like it.

The only criticism I could level at it is that some of the lines are a little angular in places, I.e. the coastal strokes etc. But that is just nitpicking.

I'm sure your players will love their handouts and will be able to visualise their world really well.

09-26-2009, 07:57 PM
Great map! Have some rep :)

That font is fantastic, what is it?