View Full Version : WIP town map--need suggestions

07-28-2007, 11:04 AM
so i've been working on this map for the past few days, trying out new things, from a sketch that i scanned a long time ago. i'm having trouble with the farmland. i'm not sure why, but nothing looks good artistically. if anyone has any suggestions, please feel free. i'm not so sure about the forests either. i seem to be still searching for a style that i like and this is the closest to what i was looking for. anyway, take a look and tell me what you thin k i should do to make this a little better.

mind you, i'm still working on the buildings so don't worry, there's more of them coming. :)

07-28-2007, 05:23 PM
i'm not sure why, but nothing looks good artistically. ... i seem to be still searching for a style that i like and this is the closest to what i was looking for.

Speaking personally, you just hit the nail squarely on the head: its the style that always takes up most of my time. Once I know how I want my map to look, I'm decent enough a graphics hack to produce a map in that style. Unfortunately, like you, I usually flail around with each and every map, never content with how I want "this one" to come out. Anyway, for starters, let me say I feel your pain, and also let me encourage you to not accept same-o same-o!

On this particular map, the entire look is very rich and textured, which works in the sense that it's 3-D, but not in the sense of being an authentic, hand-drawn map. Many objects have different textures, so this appears to be "paper art" in which someone cut & pasted a bunch of different swatches together, one in the shape of rivers, another for forests, etc. I would perhaps keep one texture as the background "map paper" & have it be the underlying texture viewable in each layer. (In Photoshop, set the layers atop it to "multiply" blending mode).

There's also a discrepancy between the hard & soft lines, which adds to the cut-n-paste feel: the farm fields & the houses are hard, the river & forest edges are soft. I would choose one or the other so the entire map holds together. I myself would choose hard lines, since I really like your buildings, the overwhelming texture is very soft already, and hard lines would allow more detail (which could eliminate some of the "cartoonish" qualities of the current incarnation)-- but all this is just my opinion. :)

Hey, great start & keep it up!!

07-29-2007, 08:36 AM
okay, thanks for the suggestions. i kept the colors for the farms, but did a sketchpad look to them. figured that was what was missing. then, i took out the woods because i didn't like the look. went back through my map symbols library and found a relly cool looking forest i did a long time ago and modified it here and there. crops and masking and erasing later, i had enough different styles of wood that i could cut and paste. then, added a little black underneath them here and there and blurred it to give them a shadowed look. if it looks out of place, let me know.

07-29-2007, 10:59 AM
Now we're talkin'! Soften the lines on the buildings and I think you'll be there.

07-29-2007, 02:11 PM
Nice, nice, and very nice. Much better!

I agree with RP about soft lines for the buildings. I would also do something with the river: the patter is too prominent, I think. I would try this: copy the river color/pattern layer, take the smudge tool & run down the length (to simulate the flowing water), then play with the opacity on the original & the smudged layer until they combine well. That's at least one way to fix it.

I'm not sure when all is said & done if I love the style, but I certainly like that it's new & interesting! Very artistic.

07-29-2007, 03:06 PM
Wow! That looks beautiful! I love the soft focus touch and the paper texture.


08-07-2007, 09:58 PM
Wow! I am speechless! This looks just like crayon on parchment. Great use of texture!

-Rob A>

08-09-2007, 02:09 AM
I like this style a lot - very unique and, to my mind, in a good way.

One thing I'd personally like to see is something to denote the scale. To be honest, the map doesn't need it to look good. But, for my purposes (gaming), I find having the scale always puts things into perspective (so to speak) and answers a question from my fellow gamers before it's been asked.

Cheers and thanks for sharing!