View Full Version : Durra - The Land of Shivers

10-28-2009, 07:13 PM
Here is one of my recent projects.

Some background:
Durra is a large island on the northern hemisphere of the world of Vaimon. It is the northenmost spot of solid land in this world and its basic climate is roughly comparable to taiga-ish regions in our world. It is subject to harsh weather conditions throughout the year, though. Depending on the season there are a lot of storms, heavy rain, fog, blizzards, and hail.
The southern regions are quite fertile during the summer, though the area tends to suffer from heavy thunderstorms during this period frequently. Most of the years food imports are required to support the whole island.
Despite these rather unhabitable conditions, Durra has a high population density. The main reason for this is the vast amount of natural resources that are mined there and the trade that comes with it.
The northern part of Durra is dominated by a dwarf-like race that even dares to keep on mining during the winter months. This race was in fact the first one to settle here. Durra is actually a word in their language which roughly translates to "Glitterstone".
The southern part is dominated by humans these days.

I created this map using Photoshop, as always, using slight variations of techniques and styles I developed during my time here in the Guild. I used this map as an opportunity to speed up my workflow, which was quite successful. The entire map without labels took no more than 5 or 6 hours of a Sunday, which is a great improvement for me, personally.

But I digress.

10-28-2009, 07:50 PM
Beautiful. I really love how sinuous and fine your rivers are, they taper so well. Anything you want to share about your methods would rock.

10-28-2009, 08:09 PM
I used stroked paths with the fade option activated in the brush settings for this map.
If you'd like to see any particular settings just ask away.

10-28-2009, 09:25 PM
That's beautiful. Have some rep for doing it in just 6 hours. Would take me days.

10-29-2009, 04:33 AM
Absolutely beautiful!

I'm very interested in the trees and the mountains. :)

10-29-2009, 04:46 AM
I like the style of your maps, nice work!

10-29-2009, 05:41 AM
Very nice work indeed, Tear. Especially considering it only took you 5 to 6 hours.

10-29-2009, 06:29 AM
Thanks all. Once you have set up a template for yourself in a particular style it really helps a lot in terms of speed.

I'm very interested in the trees and the mountains. :)


The mountains are based on a tutorial by Pasis. Basically, it's three layers of beveled texture stacked on top of each other. I use layer masks on all three layers to paint the mountains in, because I'm faster that way. Then I used a layer at the very top to increase the overall contrast to support the harsh background story of the map.

The forests are pretty straightforward. It's a texture layer set to multiply with a slight bevel and drop shadow. Again, I use a layer mask painted with small brushes set to scatter depending on pen pressure. This makes variations in the forest edges pretty easy and quick.

10-29-2009, 06:39 AM
Excellent! Thanks very much!!! :)

Steel General
10-29-2009, 06:50 AM
Beautiful work Tear!

Your methods are very similar to what I use in my maps.

10-31-2009, 10:59 AM
Here is a sepia version of the map.

11-01-2009, 08:01 AM
Drool... totally loving it man, especially the sea area, loving the texture of the water, its unique. The sepia map is also great, almost looks like someone pulled it out of their bag and unrolled it. Now quickly look the other way while I steal your talent >:)


11-01-2009, 08:18 AM
I love the two versions.
Very beautiful style.

11-01-2009, 08:40 AM
Another wonderful map. Your talent amazes me.

11-24-2009, 09:17 AM
Sweet! I love it.

11-25-2009, 11:52 PM
Woah! Looks like you're going to get yourself a fan, Tear. ;)

I saw this map about a week ago and never noticed the author... then I saw your reference to it in the spectacular work on your "first world map" thread and realized it was you again.

Both are great! To be honest, two of the best pieces of work I've seen here so far!

11-20-2011, 10:05 AM
I want to do multiple versions of the same map. How do you layout your Photoshop file, and how do you produce a second version (like sepia) after you have already made the completed map?

11-21-2011, 01:15 PM
Paul -
What sort of graphics tools do you have at hand? Doing varied versions is vastly eased by using an app with layers, which is a Photoshop basic. Instead of flattening things as you go, you'll want to preserve as separate the bits that will be common - coastlines, rivers, city locations, etc. If a particular version gets to have too many layers to deal with -- say, your computer starts to bog down -- save off a version that concentrates on that version, and delete those layers from the main file. Or if the new version has things you'll want to refer to while building other versions, flatten it in the main and keep the composite as one layer - save a bit of filespace.

Granted, your query has a bit of applicability to the way Tear did this - still, you'll get better response by posting a how-do-I in its own thread, in the "How do I???" forum or one of the genre-specific forums.

Tear, to include on-topic commentary against an old thread, I'll just say this was another crazy-awesome map, and since I didn't rep you then I will now :-).

11-21-2011, 10:27 PM
thx for the hints.
Yes, "non-destructive" is the way to go.
At present, as I learn techniques, I'm trying to see if there is a way to do them non-destructively.
Good call on the memory issue though.

Ah yes, well if Photoshop were written worth a damn (by programmers instead of designers) then it would be able to INCLUDE (as layers) files saved separately. But then, most designer-oriented tools are not modularly programmed by any stretch. (/snark ;-)

I'm kidding, sort of. I actually straddle the world between design and architecture. There's plenty of stuff written by programmers with bad design, or by designers with bad programming. It's next to impossible to get them both right.

12-01-2011, 04:56 AM
Fascinating to see how you put this together. Thank you for laying out the steps. The end result is lightness above dark and conveys the "cool/cold" feeling of the title. The title upper right is very nice - matching the map exactly.
Regards, Gary

12-09-2011, 05:55 PM
Wow, I'd love to get a copy of this map without labels and use it for a new campaign I'm starting. It's absolutely amazing.