View Full Version : Transylvania WIP

09-25-2009, 06:00 AM
Ok, the wife got me a huge book on maps of Italy done by Joan Blaeu (1665). Amazing amazing stuff. And as I'm looking through, I realize that this style is familiar to me, so I went looking through my directory of maps that I keep around for inspiration, and hey, there it is! A map of Transylvania by Joan Blaeu. This is the map that I used as inspiration while I was working on the first map I ever posted here.

I said way back when that I would eventually likely redo that map, and so I shall. But to do a PROPER job of it, I really want to nail down the style. So until I do, I'm practicing on the Transylvania map.

i started off meaning to do something else entirely, borrowing from the style I used for the Oten-jo challenge map, so the border will look a lot more inked/watercolour than it should for this style, but that will change soon (I will be keeping this border for a different project, i really like the way it looks for what it is). The rivers are laid out, but will be completely redone, the lower right corner is for the cartouche, which is why the rivers there cut off suddenly :)

I'm especially proud of the mountains right now, I'm doing them with a 3 pixel custom textured brush. At the moment I'm doing more tracing than drawing (the original map is underneath the drawing layers at about 10% opacity), but there's enough mountains on this map that by the time I finish, I expect to be rather good at drawing them out on their own for any other map i work on. When it comes down to it, the mountains and the trees are what I really need to work on, and are what really makes this style what it is.

this is gonna take awhile :)

Steel General
09-25-2009, 07:11 AM
Looks like you got your work cut out for you. But I'm sure it will be a real beauty when it's finished.

09-25-2009, 02:55 PM
I dig the sketchy, watercolor appearance at the borders. Good luck!

09-25-2009, 08:42 PM
Much improved border (for this style) and a few more mountains.

man this is hard on the hands! I thought it was rough when I was getting used to doing carvings.. I use the mouse all the time, but these tiny shading lines are a whole new strain.
*not so patiently awaits being able to afford the graphics tablet*

(just as a quick note, I think I have more indivdual brush strokes in this one already than the entire oten-jo map)

09-26-2009, 01:24 PM
Yikes! Tablet, man, you need a tablet! Much less pain for all those brush strokes.

I really like the new border, but my eye keeps getting drawn to the places where it goes outside the lines.

09-26-2009, 09:09 PM
tablet oh yes, tell me about it :)

Once the entire map is put together, the brush strokes going outside the lines will fit right in. This stage with the harsh black/white mountains really brings out the flaws.

Mountains are done, started on the rivers to take a break from the tiny brushwork (the trees will be almost as bad).

Thwn I start putting in all the towns - that's going to be a pain too! But not as bad - the towns are prenamed, lol

Once I'm done the whole thng I'll upload the original (it's from 1665, so i think copyright issues are dealt with, lol) for comparison.

09-26-2009, 09:16 PM
I thought it would probably be something like that :)

Looking awesome.

09-28-2009, 01:03 AM
Almost done!

Just the cartouche left, looks like. Woot.

Looks pretty close to authentic, if I say so myself.

09-28-2009, 06:59 AM
And... Finished!

Plus I'm attaching the original for comparison. I probably could have spent a few more days on it getting the rivers JUST right, and more contour following with the mountains, but really, I'm more trying to get the style down than make a perfect copy. That having been said, I think it's pretty darn close :)

Now to get the map going for my wife! (plus with a bit more practice, i might start doing these on paper, too. I've still got several large sheets from when I was doing my celtic work... it'll just come down to how long my back can take while sitting upright..)

09-28-2009, 07:03 AM
Very nice indeed.
I recognize his style from other maps I have seen.

Steel General
09-28-2009, 08:18 AM
Holy poop! That got done fast and looks great.

09-28-2009, 09:11 AM
That took you 3 days? Jeez. I'd probably still be stuck doing the hills in the top left corner. :S

Another great map from Coyotemax. :)

09-28-2009, 10:07 AM
That's great work and quite different from the maps here. For drawing all those mountains by hand alone, you deserve the rep! Somebody send Coyotemax their old tablet - the man's hand deserves a break!

I think the style worked our really well. My one suggestion would be to place a more interesting paper texture under the whole thing. It's quite uniform where the scanned original has quite a lot of variation.

09-28-2009, 12:16 PM
Thanks for the comments,everyone.

Yes, I agree, better texture for the real version :)

I can't believe it only took 3 days too. What I remember most about the process was all the breaks i took, lol

Though I did discover the joy of using Illustrator for the names. SO much quicker than photoshop - not so much for the actual click, type, click click type ad nauseum, but you can make fine adjustments so much easier. you don't have to take the time for perfect placement when you first place the names - Illustrator lets you just move things around without selecting the layer first. *Sold*

09-28-2009, 02:29 PM
Man, that's a pretty spectacular map, and the style and appearance are solid. Great job!

Alas, I cannot rep you for I have not yet spread that joy around enough.

09-28-2009, 02:38 PM
Wow. I looked at your initial post a few days ago but didn't expect to see a finished product so quickly. Nice work. And inspirational...I've been wanting to do a modern Ravenloft-ish campaign. This might be a nice map to steal for it. :) Repped for immense speed...and pain and tabletless suffering!

09-28-2009, 05:56 PM

Ravenloft, YES!

I was rying to think of a good map to toss into this style. I'ts been YEARS since I played that (literally, almost 20).

*goes hunting for ravenloft maps*

Thanks! I needed that!