View Full Version : First Map - Taerinar

10-11-2009, 07:12 PM
Couldn't figure out how to get the image in the post, just go to the link.
Made with Photoshop CS4, and a Wacom Tablet. Buildings are not brushes, they are hand drawn with a tablet. I can post tutorials for certain elements in it if you want such as the trees, or buildings, just let me know (PM me or post here or something). Most of the stuff in the map is from video tutorials by Butch Curry.

P.S.-Thank you ravells for telling me how to post the map.

10-13-2009, 08:40 PM
Nobody has any costructive criticism or praise or anything nice like that? :(

10-13-2009, 09:25 PM
I got nothin really, I think it looks fine as is. The only thing I might add is a little earthwork-wall or fields around this small village but that's not for me to decide. The execution of your map looks good (in terms of style, color, composition, etc). Nothing to tweak there at all (IMO) except maybe make the forest edge less straight. You might want to put in a key as to what some of the important buildings are (inn or a pub or a blacksmith).

10-13-2009, 09:31 PM
My only critique would be the large squarish shape that contains the town, why are all the trees cut back in a square pattern. If you'd placed farm fields or a surrounding wall it would make more sense. If you cut down the closer in trees for an open field of fire, in case of attack, or cut down all the trees for timber needs in building the town this might make better sense to me. However, the town is rather small indicating, not so much timber necessary to build. If there were a timbermill in the town and trees are commodities sold abroad - all this would make sense.

Otherwise I think you need to bring the forest closer to the village, and not so much in straight lines. Have the odd tree laying just outside the forest, or break up that straight line with a more jagged "tree, not tree" area.

Since you are doing all this with a tablet, I would have like to see detailed roofs to better describe your square black buildings.

The trees look nice for this kind of map, though.

How's that for constructive criticism?


10-13-2009, 09:53 PM
Wow, I never really thought about all that stuff about the forest. And the trees in the large square areas was actually be accident. I was going to add detail to the roofs of buildings, but I wanted to get out my first map finally. I am already working on the next, so look for that texture in it. As for your comments Ascension, I know that what you said is a great idea, but I don't really like to put that much detail as to what certain buildings are. I suppose I could though. Ill experiment with the next one and see what looks best.
Thanks for the comments guys.

P.S. By the way, how is this for a 14 year old, (seriously I'm just a 14 year old with a lot of time)

10-13-2009, 09:59 PM
One more thing that strikes me as odd. The village is laid out square with the maps edge, but not with the water. If you made the bottom part of the squarish part of town to be parallel with the water it would look better. Since the water is obviously important for the village, the village should more closely lay along its shore. So the village should be rotated slightly, perhaps 45 degrees to line up with the water.

Hmmm, didn't notice that before.

Also the roads are very "rectangular". I would opt for more curvy, rounded roads instead of straight ones with 90 degree corners - small critique. It depends on when this city exists, in our modern times towns are laid out in grids of straight roads. In old European cities, this is not the case, the roads should follow the terrain, and the buildings should be constructed after roads are placed.

All around decent map, though, just a few details that experience, research and looking at other maps should clue you in for improvement.


PS: I sketched lots of map at age 14 myself, practice makes perfect so keep on knocking out new maps, you'll get better. Have some REP for a decent 14 year old's map!

10-13-2009, 11:06 PM
GP's point about the town being oriented to the lake, and not the page, totally slipped by me. Nice catch. 14, wow. I was drawing cars and busting my shins doing bike tricks, got my first D&D adventure while laid up then as well. Think of how far ahead of us you will be by the time you get to be our age (many of us are old fogeys in our 30s and 40s). Excellent work.

10-14-2009, 07:13 AM

Get your docks over your woodcut pattern and make them 100 opaque so the pattern doesn't show through. Redraw your waves using a soft brush, not a pencil.

Like the road and the town itself, all of the building are at precise right angles to the map. That is unlikely and it draws the eyes.

The shadow on the rooftops is odd, somewhat random. Consider letting PS draw the roofs by adding a 15 px soft chisel bevel to the buildings instead, and use global lighting so all of the light comes from the same direction. Barring that, put some analog buildings in using Butch's method for that since it's so fast, then do the bevel and see how the light is supposed to fall and use that as a guide for hand-creation.

Consider using a higher-opacity glow on the forest labels so you don't get so much bleed-through of the pattern from behind. You might also like the effect better if you use a smaller glow.

It's funny how even a simple map can really be refined by using subtle techniques and attention to detail.

10-14-2009, 08:00 PM
I dont know that much about PS, just enough to do basic map kind of stuff, so uhh, how do you do all that global lighting and soft chisel bevel stuff?

10-14-2009, 08:13 PM
This is the window for the Bevel & Emboss layer style.

Style has some options like inner bevel, outer bevel, emboss, pillow emboss, etc.

Technique has some options like smooth, chisel hard and chisel soft.

Depth refers to how much the bevel interacts with the light source, higher numbers = darker shadows and brighter highlights.

Use Global Light sets the light source for the whole image if checked, unchecked means you can change it around for different layers and different effects.

Gloss contour refers to how the highlights and shadows ripple, default is this no gloss contour.

10-14-2009, 09:29 PM
Oh yah the layer stules menu, I knew that heh.

10-14-2009, 10:06 PM
Ok I tried the bevel idea and stuff, but I dont really like it. It looks too 3D-ish and I'm going for a hand-drawn look. I liked how they were before, except the shading of course. I could try the bevel thing again if anyone has some tips or techniques to make it look more hand-drawn.

10-14-2009, 10:20 PM
Tell ya what, instead of fixing the old map completely, Ill just be sure to put all of this nice stuff you guys have suggested into the new one I'm making, and maybe later, I'll remake the Taerinar Map. The one I am currently working on looks like it will turn out very nice, especially the colors. I'm hoping to get it on the site by the end of the week or middle of next week. But please keep posting comments on this one if you notice anything so I can carry it over to the new one. Thanks everybody.

10-15-2009, 12:00 AM
I wasn't suggesting at all that you use a bevel, I was just posting that to show you the Global light thingy :) No harm no foul. ciao 4 now.

10-15-2009, 09:43 AM
No I was talking about Immolate, he suggested the bevel on the buildings.