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Tom_Cardin
10-28-2009, 04:19 AM
The Empire of Voradin is young and small, occupying the lands west of the Inland Sea and south of the great independent port that is Waterdeep City. Though it is young, the empires' strength lies in ancient roots, for both the dwarven home of the Red Peaks and the famous college of Ganlan are united under the banner of the Emperor.

Voradin City, seat of the Empire, is a small sparkling jewel. It's magic and strengths are impressive sights to all free peoples who travel through its gates. Artistry and strength show in the towering, iron girded buildings and the walls upon which massive guardian defenders stand.

For all the Empires' power, there are still many dark dangers lying wait in the vast forest wildernesses and among the heavy earthen roots of the Starfall Mountains. The cursed lord of the forest, Timberjaw, still prowls among the great trees. Meanwhile, a mysterious evil is also roaming the land, growing in strength, whispering many lies and striking with great subtlety...

Ramah
10-28-2009, 04:30 AM
Wonderful map. :)

It looks like you've had another pass at the mountains which has cragged them up a little, made them less smooth. It looks good. The new font is better than the first one too.

Great stuff. Repped and rated.

Edit: Ah... well... rated anyway. I'll rep you when I can.

Tear
10-28-2009, 04:35 AM
I found a small glitch while looking at it a second time. There are some green spots looking out of place on the mountaintops south of the Deepwood Inn and southeast of the Mistvale Inn.

Tom_Cardin
10-28-2009, 06:15 AM
Wow..thanks for pointing those out. I completely missed them, popping my forest layers on and off made them stick out like sore thumbs...I am embarrassed at how much of it there was =(. Updated image above with fixes

Gandwarf
10-28-2009, 07:16 AM
Very, very nice Tom Cardin! One of the better maps I have seen in some months on the guild. One with a pretty unique style as well. A tutorial might be nice ;)

Sapiento
10-28-2009, 07:54 AM
Great map! Repped!

Steel General
10-28-2009, 08:27 AM
It was cool watching this progress to the wonderful work it has become. Great job!

ravells
10-28-2009, 09:56 AM
Wow, that's a stunner. The forests are gorgeous!

Great work!

Nian
10-28-2009, 10:08 AM
The forests are awesome. I wish I knew how to make those.. rep of course =]

Clercon
10-28-2009, 02:15 PM
Really nice map. Reped

Tom_Cardin
10-28-2009, 05:59 PM
Ramah - Thank you! The mountains were the foundation of this map and I wanted them to have a lot of character and dimension.

Tear - Thank you for your feedback, you have a very good eye and I appreciate you taking the time to give my map a good critique.

Gandwarf - Thank you! I am going to break down all the different elements and try my hands at tutorials for making those elements. A lot of it was trial and error for this map as this represents a learning experience for me of compositing elements together from 3D rendered mountains and trees, freehand painting, texture overlays, more overlays, and some overlays on top of overlays to get the overlays looking right. My plan is to remake a few of the elements that make up this map in a tutorial form that I can share - I need to understand what I did as well, a lot of it is a blur that I will need to structuralize if I am ever going to be able to reproduce these techniques.

Sapiento - Thank you!

Steel General - Thank you! I am very happy with the feedback I recieved while this was on the WIP thread. This guild provides a wonderful service to artists at any level of ability, for which I am very grateful.

Ravells - Thank you! I don't think they would have come out as well without the lot of you pushing me to go past my own level of satisfaction. Again, thanks!

Nian - Thank you! I have posted my forest texture, 100% the same as what is used on this map, though rescaled, in the mapmaking elements thread under "forest texture"...On this map the forests are made up of three layers - a color overlay on top of the grey stone texture of the ground (this is cut out of the grass plains texture)...this is necessary because the main layer of forest that has the actual tree details is a pure overlay so that the shading of the mountains and land beneath the trees carried through. The last layer of forest is a few thousand individually pasted trees around the edges of the forest. I believe about 75% of the total time making this map was spent on the forests.

Clercon - Thank you!

Ruedy
10-28-2009, 06:19 PM
Really great work, wow!

torstan
10-29-2009, 08:18 AM
Lovely map indeed. Your texture work is great. I'm not sold on the border - the perfect computer generated bevels contrast a bit too much with the hand drawn elements and layered textures of the map. However if that's a criticism then it's really just to say that your map is too sexy for its border :)

Wonderful work. I love the way your style is going.

Pruneau
11-02-2009, 11:49 AM
Tom Cardin, I just saw your map thanks to Gandwarfs mention. I'm blown away by the beauty of this. Amazing mountains, real looking and still fantasy, fantastic forests - how did you do that? -, lots of detail in attention in all things, really a beauty to behold. I love the forest names, delicately laid over the forests with just enough contrast to read them perfectly, but still not disturbing the image at all. Perfectly fitting fonts all around. Excellent water masses, lovely textures throughout - I love the north plains with the cracks, I can't fault anything in it. I'm jealous.

Looks like the pixies themselves made it!

Tom_Cardin
11-02-2009, 12:20 PM
Ruedy - Thank you!

Torstan - glad you like the direction I am going, I do too. I could spend a lot more time with the border and I think I will be when I get the time (under the gun at work atm). Thank you for your critique - I really want to explore what I can do with a border for this map that doesn't break the floating overhead illusion. One thing I want to try is actually bording it with clouds.

Pruneau - Thank you for the praise shower! The way I did the labelling is just something I saw done here by some of the really fine cartographers here - I wanted to get the same effect on the mountain labels but there is just too large a variety of things going on underneath those. All the details are just extrapolated from the simple map sketches I made around the gaming table while running my friends around this land. I think that is what really helps bring things to life, having a working vision of the world in my head.

torstan
11-02-2009, 01:05 PM
Glad to be useful, and congratulations on the featured map - you definitely deserve it.

Clouds might work, but then you have an issue with why there are no clouds on the rest of the map. I'd be very interested to see what you come up with for that.

Perhaps some form of rough textured stone border? That would tie in with the mountains? Equally, a more ornate leafy border with some stylised foliage might work, tying in with the forests.

Turgenev
11-04-2009, 01:10 AM
Very nice, Tom. I'll have to spread the rep around before I can rep you again.

IngIngsvar
11-10-2009, 04:32 PM
I really like this map.

coffeefery
12-06-2009, 12:34 AM
Wow! Beautiful work! May I ask how you achieve that beautiful looking forest?

Raven Moon
07-13-2012, 07:57 AM
OUTSTANDING WORK!!! Favorite map so far. I want to create this style with topo lines as well as a few other features.

Raven Moon
07-13-2012, 11:21 AM
I keep coming back to this map. I love it. I would also love to see a map of the Voradin City. Its wide view and structure look very interesting architecturally. I would like to know if the city just bridges the river, has some kind of lock system for river going boats to collect tolls or even some kind of dam to power a giant cog works for the whole city....Just very curious.