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Sheyd
10-20-2009, 04:49 AM
That is a bit of a misnomer, more like my sixty-second attempt but only the second one I haven't cursed at and tossed into the recycle bin. I know my mountains are still problematic (nearly monochrome in color and their edges are too sharp). I shouldn't call them 'my' mountains, I was sooo depressed about my mountains that from one post on this board that someone posted a tileable image of a height-field I cut and pasted portions of said height-field into the places on my map. With the campaign this map is to be used for looming on my horizon I felt drastic methods were necessary. Okay enough talking on my part. Behold my lamentable work!

Much of what I did was garnered from Roba's wonderful regional map tutorial and that wonderful heightfield.

voidgere
10-20-2009, 06:12 AM
I don't think you did half bad here. I am not the best judge, however. I only have one map posted and it is still not up to my own standards. I am in the same boat as you as well. I cannot make mountains to save my own sanity. I have drawn and redrawn my map. Read and reread tutorials and still cant get them to look anything like any of the tut's I read.

Steel General
10-20-2009, 06:49 AM
It's a good start...couple of things I noticed;



Mountains - You covered what needs adjusting - otherwise they look pretty good
Rivers - I think I would "cut" them into the forests if you can, that way they won't look like they are lieing on top of the trees
Forests - I can't quite pin down what it is that looks 'off'. Might be the texture or maybe that the edges are so smooth. You might consider breaking up the edges a bit.
Fonts - The black & gold? font's (river & forests names primarily), are very hard to read, try lowering the opacity of the stroke or switch to an outer glow. You may even consider changing the colors you used. I'd also consider changing city labels in the same manner.

Looking forward to your next update.

Greason Wolfe
10-20-2009, 10:40 AM
I'll second what SG said, and add a couple of my own;

Roads - Just as was suggested for the rivers, I'd cut the road into the forest as well, rather than laying them over the top of the trees

Mountain/Forest Borders - If possible, I'd lay the forest over the mountains where they butt up against one another. With the mountains currently "on top" of the forest, they almost look as though they are floating above the trees. It's not so bad in the swamp and grassland areas, but even those might benefit from a bit of blurring and/or noise.

Now, with that out of the way. I think it looks good. The textures are clear and easily define the basic landforms in question. I particularly liked the way the swamps looked. RobA's tutorial is great and there are many parts of it that I incorporate into my own map making process even though I use different software. The same fundamental theories are still applicable.

GW

mearrin69
10-20-2009, 11:24 AM
Hardly lamentable - it's a great start. I really like the overall layout of the map. Looks like a good place to adventure.

I think most of the issues have been covered. On the the forests I think my biggest issue is how they have what looks like a transparent fade at the edges. An opaque but roughish edge might look better? Also, I'll second changing the black and gold font on the terrain features. I really like the kingdom fonts The city and town names are a bit tough to read. Don't know if it's the fonts or the largish white stroking on them.

Good luck.
M

Gidde
10-20-2009, 11:28 AM
I agree, this is a great start. Some icecaps on the mountains and a bit of a drop shadow on the forest would take care of a lot of the things you mentioned you didn't like about it. I agree with mearrin here, I certainly wouldn't call this a "woeful attempt" :)

RobA
10-20-2009, 02:11 PM
Pretty good first effort!

If you want to embed the rivers into the landscape there is a (real quick) description I gave on doing this with gimp, here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=20310&postcount=4

-Rob A>

Coyotemax
10-20-2009, 02:24 PM
Everything seems pretty well covered, i have nothing further to add for pointers.

Great start, lots of potential, and rep to you for being brave and posting it!

su_liam
10-21-2009, 03:32 AM
For my part, I like the mountains, especially the Stormforge. The swamp effect has some real potential, too. The forest doesn't appeal to me much, but I'll be damned if I can do any better. I concur that having the forest or whatever, "climb up," onto the mountains would help blend them in. For the forest edge, I would avoid the blurred edge and instead use a spatter effect on the edges. A much(much) smaller blur in addition wouldn't be off in addition, but forests don't fade to invisibility so much as fade down to isolated copses and then individual trees here and there at the edge.

Also, in terms of scale, those mountains look like something that would fit in a very large area map. The Stormforge Mountains, for example, look like a good stand-in for the Alps.

That's my two millipenny's worth, anyway.

landorl
10-21-2009, 09:34 AM
I think this is a great start. The mountains aren't too bad. They have a good shape and texture. If you could just figure out a more gradual transition, it would make a big difference.

Sheyd
10-21-2009, 06:38 PM
Thank you all and I really appreciate the advice. Working on this map has helped me learn more then I thought possible. Before I started working on this map I had no clue what Layers were let alone how to use them, now Layers are my Friends! Yay! Seeing all the wonderful maps here is what pushed me to at least try. You folks are all great sources of inspiration and while I don't post often I do come here regularly and get ideas just by looking at your creations. I appreciate once more all the positive feedback and advice on my map.