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Isadore
10-12-2009, 09:29 AM
Hello guildies!
I have decided to make this an official wip because this is my first map using gimp with this style. Im shooting for a somewhat monochromatic, hand drawn map here. So far this is just the background of water and the parchment colored area for the land. Ill be throwing the forests, hills and mountains on there shortly and Ill post that as soon as I get something satisfactory. Part of my reason for going to more of a hand drawn map is A) This is how Ive always drawn my maps in the past, and B) I just cant seem to get consistent results I like making the mountains with any of the techniques I have learned. Critique away! Any pointers would be helpful! The only thing I know Im going to have trouble with is finding some symbols for towns/cities that I like. Im not thrilled with the prospect of simply putting down some dots or squares! Take care and Ill post here again soon!

Ascension
10-12-2009, 04:42 PM
Looks good so far except for that unfinished river. The only pointers I have are to look at lots of maps in this style to see how they doodle up little town icons (like a castle in profile or 2-3 huts) and for forests and mountains you can browse through the Elements section for ideas.

Isadore
10-13-2009, 07:39 AM
Ugh! Have I finally been caught by the river police? Let me guess...rivers never end in lakes? What unfinished river were you meaning?

Isadore
10-13-2009, 07:50 AM
Here is the map with the mountain and hills outline drawn in. Im betting it would look better with the use of a tablet, but Ive yet to purchase one. Im already thinking of redoing the forests, which is why Ive skipped ahead to the mountains and hills. After I shade them in, Ill be able to decide whether to redo the woods.

Greason Wolfe
10-13-2009, 09:05 AM
I do believe that Ascension is referring to the lake/river towards the right hand side of the map.

If the lake serves as the beginning of the river, then the branching near the upper right would be "in violation of River Ordinance something or another." If, on the other hand, the river(s) are feeding into the lake, there is no clear violation, though one might expect some sort of discharge. Technically speaking that discharge could come from evaporation or some underground path which, if that is the case, I would imagine you might explain at some other point in the map making process.

Beyond that, I like the feel of things so far and look forward to seeing more.

GW

landorl
10-13-2009, 09:49 AM
Generally, a river of that (apparent) size would not end in a lake that small. It would be ok if you had a large swampy area that drains to the sea. (Like the everglades in S. Florida)

The Jordan river flows into the Dead Sea and ends there, but the Jordan is a pretty small river.

If there is an underground stream, I think that it would might surface before it reaches the sea, but that could also be an explanation.

Juggernaut1981
10-13-2009, 11:34 PM
I'd have suggested that the lakes on the right hand side of the map would all be interconnected (and drain the way they presently do). The "little lake" could just be a spot where the river went "extra wide" for a while before narrowing back and speeding up again.

Isadore
10-15-2009, 06:33 AM
Ok, I widened the lake in question and added the river draining out of it to the ocean, which I assume would be created by its overflow. I added a lake I had forgotten by the foot of the northern mountains also. Ive shaded a chunk of the mountains but as you can see, it is not yet done. I wanted to post this shot for some possible feedback on the issue I feared - I dont really think the forests match up. I used a brush for the trees, just a single little tree brush I found in my growing map images folders. I think Im going to try hand drawing the trees also now to make it match up - which I shouldve just planned on in the first place. The forests could use some variation anyway. The coast and river outlines are also a bit harsh now too, so Ill figure out how to soften them later down the line. All in all, I do like the mountains, its just slow going.

cereth
10-15-2009, 09:47 AM
Those mountains are looking amazing. I love the shading.

The forests are maybe just a little too dark/harsh.

Karro
10-15-2009, 05:25 PM
Yeah, I like where this is going, so far. I agree the forests do seem a bit dark... like they overpower the mountains with their darkness, but those mountains that you have shaded in look just absolutely fantastic.

Juggernaut1981
10-15-2009, 08:56 PM
Other than your "apparent free-standing lakes" the River Police will probably not arrest you...

elemental_elf
10-15-2009, 09:06 PM
I love your mountains! How'd you make them? :)

Coyotemax
10-15-2009, 09:27 PM
I think what it is for me is that the forests look too digital compared to the rest of the map. You're definitely on the right track with the mountains (I may have to borrow that, slightly blurred tip? I've been working so hard on perfecting the finley engraved line style, i forget how nice this kind can look!). If you can find some way to draw out the forests quickly with the same tools you're using for the mountains, not only will it look consistent, I'll just have to steal it for inspiration :)

Isadore
10-16-2009, 11:27 AM
I wish I could claim credit, but the technique Ive used for the mountains was based off a small tutorial from jfrazierjr on making isometric mountains in this type of style. And yes, Ive erased the forests layer entirely and still have a bit of tweaking on my lakes and rivers to do. Heres a post of the mountains again, they are almost done, but you can see the stages of the technique somewhat if you look far in the top center of the map.

Karro
10-16-2009, 02:08 PM
I wish I could claim credit, but the technique Ive used for the mountains was based off a small tutorial from jfrazierjr on making isometric mountains in this type of style. And yes, Ive erased the forests layer entirely and still have a bit of tweaking on my lakes and rivers to do. Heres a post of the mountains again, they are almost done, but you can see the stages of the technique somewhat if you look far in the top center of the map.

Yeah, jfrazierjr's iso mountain technique is pretty great, but you're doing a great job of making it your own!

Isadore
10-16-2009, 08:28 PM
Thanks all for the compliments and advice! I didnt mention that in my previous post so I just wanted to say I appreciate it. Ive completed the mountains and now...the forests! Argh! I think Im going to scan a few of my hand drawn trees and make them into brushes..Ill try drawing them with gimp first, so I should have something for preview here shortly. I also changed some of the river/lakes and hopefully now I have them accurately portrayed. Thanks again!

Isadore
10-20-2009, 10:34 AM
OK! Here is another post on the map progression so far. Ive moved the rivers/lakes a bit and hopefully made them more true to nature. This is an example of one of the various attempts at the forests. I am still undecided about putting tree bases in, but in any event, I am not pleased with the results and will be scrapping the forest layers to begin anew! I made only one brush from scratch and varied the sizes of it while painting in the forests. Im going to make several more that are different and try again. I like the softness of some of the forest, it matches with the map/mountains, but I am still unsatisfied.

Gidde
10-20-2009, 11:24 AM
Those forests don't look bad at all, especially if you added slight trunks along the edges and a bit of shadowing.

Also (and I have to keep reminding myself of this as well) don't forget that the perfect is often the archenemy of the good.

Juggernaut1981
10-20-2009, 07:59 PM
OK! Here is another post on the map progression so far. Ive moved the rivers/lakes a bit and hopefully made them more true to nature. This is an example of one of the various attempts at the forests. I am still undecided about putting tree bases in, but in any event, I am not pleased with the results and will be scrapping the forest layers to begin anew! I made only one brush from scratch and varied the sizes of it while painting in the forests. Im going to make several more that are different and try again. I like the softness of some of the forest, it matches with the map/mountains, but I am still unsatisfied.

In an effort to save you from future interrogation by the River Police...

Your North-Central lake should drain into your "central big river" but otherwise... BIG YAY on having a good lake/river system!

Juggernaut1981
10-20-2009, 08:01 PM
Those forests don't look bad at all, especially if you added slight trunks along the edges and a bit of shadowing.

Also (and I have to keep reminding myself of this as well) don't forget that the perfect is often the archenemy of the good.

My advice would be to have the "lightest" part of the forest brush be nearly transparent like the mountains and also "grainey". Your mountains look great because they are very "brushey" and "internally textured" but the forests look a bit like you got a little circle, gradiented it and then copy-pasted it everywhere. I think it just needs some of that "mountain lovin" and "brushey-ness".

landorl
10-21-2009, 10:14 AM
I love the mountains! Some of the best HD mountains I have seen. I agree that the original forests did not fit the map. These ones are much better, but could still use a little work. I think Juggernaut had a couple of good suggestions.

Keep it coming!

Sicuropoli
10-21-2009, 03:13 PM
I actually enjoy the Forests as they are. It's a lovely representation.

Isadore
10-27-2009, 08:50 AM
Alright, well Ive tired of mulling over the forests, so here they are. Im not disappointed with them but not entirely thrilled either. I have decided not to put bases on them as it looks messy and from the perspective of range, I dont think theyd be visable anyhow. Anyway, Ill be starting on finding some icons to put down and the roadways next. Ill also throw in a few marshes near the coast and rivers. Here is the map with the forests completed.

rdanhenry
10-28-2009, 03:22 PM
I agree: those are good forests, but not great forests. I do think this map would look better if you could use a darker "ink". I know true black wouldn't be authentic, but I've seen darker inks than that and right now the contrast is a little low.

Sapiento
10-29-2009, 02:04 AM
The map looks very good so far. The mountains are really lovely.

pengod
10-29-2009, 09:06 AM
Isadore your forest are definately darker than needed but I would suggest that your large bodies of water are too dark as well. The strong dark colour implies a solid object but water is obviously fluid and has movement, the colour works for your rivers so perhaps fading the intensity of large bodies of water or appling a glow to the coastal edge might help it to read better.

I've used a transparent white mask to lighten the bodies of water in my WIP, I'll attach it to show you what I mean. I also used transparent darker masks to define the land mass.

jfrazierjr
10-29-2009, 11:24 AM
I wish I could claim credit, but the technique Ive used for the mountains was based off a small tutorial from jfrazierjr on making isometric mountains in this type of style. And yes, Ive erased the forests layer entirely and still have a bit of tweaking on my lakes and rivers to do. Heres a post of the mountains again, they are almost done, but you can see the stages of the technique somewhat if you look far in the top center of the map.

I have to say Isadore, I am IMMENSELY pleased at how you were able to take my little tutorial and come up with such INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL mountains. Your take on this has pointed out something I have known for quite a while but real life has been getting in the way of fixing: I need to go back to my tutorial and update it to better define the methodology of getting a more isometric look, specifically, the original tutorial has quite flattish bases and they need to be more UN-uniform about the bottom base to really bring out the ISO nature. It looks far better when your using just two colors as you use here (shading and transparency), but when adding colors on top of a background as I did in the original, the problem stands out much more and makes the mountains look more flat. I hope to eventually get around to doing some nice mockups and fixing the tutorial.

Anyway, again, AWESOME take and thanks for the credit given for the inspiration.

Ascension
10-29-2009, 06:00 PM
I use darker colors for my oceans as well since I see lighter as being higher and somebody called me on that once as well. It's all personal preference.

Juggernaut1981
10-29-2009, 07:55 PM
I like the "dark lakes/rivers" but I think of fading them out. It lets you decorate all over them if you really want...

Isadore
12-12-2009, 10:06 PM
Alright! Sorry for taking so long to get back to this post and the work, but Ive been extremely busy! Though its not actually completed, Im going to call this map quits due to creative burnout and time constraints. Most of my free time lately is spent writing! I threw in a couple swamps/marshes and added some labels. The town icons I threw together and it was fun, Id like to spend more time on making some nifty looking ones someday! Ive learned an awful lot in the progression of this map and Id like to thank everyone for their comments and encouragement. Again, in particular, I would like to thank jfrazierjr for the mountains inspiration, I really am pleased with them myself!

Andartar
12-12-2009, 10:42 PM
Great map! I must say that I really like the names used on this map they're not the usual "doom of that" and "lost something else". Their consistency also makes for a believable feel to the map.

Ascension
12-12-2009, 11:46 PM
I was wondering if you'd get back to this because I was looking at in my inspiration folder and thinking..."been a while".

Juggernaut1981
12-13-2009, 06:51 PM
Dude, it looks like a great background to then "add" something to later... Like marking a journey or someone adding in the movements of boundaries of empires or duchies...

asdel
12-15-2009, 10:46 PM
Very, very nice. Lowering/softening the contrast/edge of the water was critical.

And it bears repeating: excellent mountains.

But beyond that, good job on defining and executing a theme.