View Full Version : Aalder

10-25-2009, 09:58 PM
The mad scientist strikes again. I've been experimenting with a more painterly style; slowly but surely moving away from digital-looking. I've whipped this up in about 12 hours and I think it looks pretty cool. I've still got a ways to go with finishing up the labeling and then the finish work but it's time to get something to eat and watch some football.


10-25-2009, 10:19 PM
Once again you've done it, great work dear sir. I do however have one nit to pick. Its very likely that this is just me but I'm thinking that the light blue coastline contrasts a bit too much with the earthy tones of the land.


10-25-2009, 11:05 PM
ooooh that is gorgeous! Love the colors and fonts you used. Lots of style!

Steel General
10-26-2009, 06:17 AM
The things I really like;

1) Mountains - they look great
2) Overall color scheme - though I agree with LoneWandererD about the bright teal

Things that 'don't work for me';
1) Forests - they seem to get lost in the terrain
2) Fonts - Even though it looks like a hand written font, it still seems to 'perfect'. Love the title font though

10-26-2009, 09:46 AM
I love those mountains, and the color/texture of the desert. Not too sure about the hills though, they look too ... sharp? ridge-y? I can't put my finger on it.

10-26-2009, 11:18 AM
Lots of terrain tweaks. Also is a tweak that I have used in the past, and am resurrecting, for mountains. Using the tablet (you could use the mouse combined with the smudge tool for tapering the ends) I draw some ridge lines then emboss them. The emboss is set to soft light and multiply, 40 pixels, with a contour of Gaussian (not gloss contour). Then set the layer's fill at 50% and opacity at 75%. The second image shows what it looks like on a 50% gray background. I changed my roads to look like wagon tracks and added some shadows for the cities. Might need to go a skosh more on toning down the aqua color around the coast.

10-26-2009, 11:33 AM
Looking pretty good. I like the ridgeline technique. Your city icons are cool...even though they're pretty simple I think they look nice. Agree that the forests are a bit hard to read as such. This reminds me (palette, shape) of a "painterly" map I just saw somewhere...maybe as an example in the request forum or something. I liked that map, so that's a good thing :)

Repped...in appreciation for your constant search for new, cool styles

10-26-2009, 11:51 AM
Mearrin, I think the one you're thinking of is Albion (the Fable II map); it reminds me a bit of that too.

Love the ridgelines, thanks for the tip on creating them. I've been looking for a way to do that without spending days on it. The city icons look very exotic and cool.

10-26-2009, 12:29 PM
The lil city icons are a brush and I think I got them here, don't remember. Anywho, they're just lines so I backfilled the empty space with stuff to make them stand out. I then flipped each lil section of this (can't flip the whole layer) and colored it black then skewed each section (can't skew the whole layer) for a shadow.

The Albion is exactly it. I've seen it requested here twice in the past month so I figured I should try to do something more painterly - which I've been moving towards anyway. Albion appears to have satellite mountains chopped and composited in so I went with my own techniques. There's a pattern here of satellite mountains and I tried that but didn't like the results. The forest is a pattern, too, but with my own colors and then given a textured bevel. If you want to look for the brush and the patterns they're probably in the Resources section somewhere.

Mostly, this map is a bunch of color layers with masks that are grunged up to show/hide colors in various places. Kinda fun and easy to play with and significantly faster than what I usually do - but since I tend to be perfectionistic the time is creeping back up...all in all I'd guess about 20 hours so far but redoing this same style would be much lower since I don't have to experiment anymore. I'm hoping to wrap it up by the end of the day cuz I finally got a day off (21 straight days finishing an entryway for some big muckety-muck's house) - so I ate Sir Robin's minstrels; and there was much rejoicing, yay.

10-26-2009, 07:24 PM
I for one love the bright teal coastlines! I'm not an expert, that's just my gut - It looks Kool!

10-26-2009, 10:37 PM
Things were getting dark so I lightened things up a bit and then grunged it all up. Put in some fields, tweaked just about everything, and spent way too much time searching my hard drive for stuff that seems to be on my old hard drive - c'est la vie. I used one of CM's crusty paper things, too :) Steel was right about the font so I went with DeiGratia for a cooler look. I want to put some dungeons, caves, and places of interest in before doing the finish work and maybe a few more symbol thingies like the skull and sea beasts.

Steel General
10-27-2009, 06:51 AM
I like this last version much better (of course the earlier versions were still darn cool as well).

10-27-2009, 08:14 AM
I love it, but I have to disagree with the City shadows. It makes it difficult to distinguish the shape of the icons.
Also, I liked better the water in the previous attempt, but if you want it to have a more hand-drawn feeling it is better now. Your rivers are great. They always are.

10-27-2009, 09:13 AM
Bravo, really digging it now, especially the title, its gorgeous. I have to agree and say that the shadows on the city icons doesn't seem to work right. How did you do those forests, they're brilliant.


10-27-2009, 10:07 AM
Beautiful work, as usual. The "grungy" version is easier to read but I prefer the atmosphere in the darker version. I have one minor nitpick on the name, "Islands of the Mystics"..."Mystic Isles" seems a better fit to go with "Faerie Island".

10-29-2009, 10:54 PM
This one is about done. I'll be in Boden fighting off the vicious werecows.

10-29-2009, 11:34 PM
Just got a "what planet are you on" look from the hubby for laughing out loud at "Big furry things." Lovin' it.

10-30-2009, 01:57 AM
"House of Chants" sounds like a franchise.

Steel General
10-30-2009, 08:17 AM
"House of Chants" sounds like a franchise.

It's a chain of Gregorian Hostel's :D