View Full Version : August Entry: A Star to Guide Me

08-14-2007, 11:57 PM
I originally wanted to do a compass rose based off a snowflake - but then discovered photoshop elements does not allow me to easily draw strait lines!

So here is my first draft. There are still a few elements I need to add, some cleaning up to do, and I have to redo some of the rope as it is not completely opaque. (I have a habit of setting the background to some color while drawing so as to catch stray marks - but then when I turn it off I realize that the opacity of my work is all off and half of it is still partially transparent.)

I wanted to incorporate stars and rope, and found ways to add both which made me happy. Unfortunately, the stars are not very visible as such if the image is shrunk to less than a couple of inches, so this compass rose would ideally be made for much larger maps. It actually works quite well at small sizes, but the stars are not noticeable.

I placed it on a parchment color background, as posting it without a background it turned out on a black background which I disliked. I am not very familiar with the PNG format yet. Time willing, I will finish it and place it on an actual map.


08-15-2007, 12:47 AM
If you increase the size of each "star view" so that the red background is not necessary they could be more easily scene. So about double the "height" of each constellation.

The problem in photoshop is GIF89 export is built in, I don't have a current version of PS, but PNG was not allowed to export its transparency properties in the version I have. (I don't know about CS versions)

But as a work-around, you could always export to GIF89 format, though only 256 colors allowed.

I like your using stars (as seen from a telescope) with nautical hardware - it kind of reminds me of interstellar navy, although could just as easily be used in a fantasy setting, where sailors have an extraordinary understanding and method of viewing the star.

Nice design idea!

08-15-2007, 06:05 AM
Welcome, Amonite!

That looks lovely! I particularly like the southern ordinal turning into the anchor. Nice work on the shadows in the red areas too, which are all consistent with the top left lighting. How did you make the rope? Did you use a custom brush?


08-15-2007, 11:09 AM
Talk about a great first post! Welcome aboard Amonite and a wonderful entry into the contest!

I agree with GP a bit about the stars...maybe make the red bits half as many degrees around the circle as they are and that will increase the size of your starfields...

I am also a BIG fan of te southern pointing anchor...very nice touch, and this would look phenominal over an ocean map.

08-15-2007, 03:19 PM
No, I did not use a custom brush... I have not figured out how to make them yet. ;) I painted the rope first in sections of three varied colors for the dark/light bands and the medium base. I then used the smudge and burn tools to add deeper variance, then went over pulling out the new colors to add detail and fix it up.

08-20-2007, 12:15 PM
That star is pretty awesome, Amonite. Are you planning on releasing it for public use when you're done? :)

08-23-2007, 09:24 PM
Yes, I do not mind if people use it :) Although I have not had time to work on it much since I last posted - I am attending PAX (giant gaming convention, many industry art professionals will be there, and some will be critiquing art portfolios) this weekend and preparation for that has consumed most of my free time. So I may have to enter my draft into the contest as I doubt I will make the 8 day before month end deadlines - well, since that would pretty much be today....

But I do plan to finish it, and will post the finished versions. If I can get my scanner working, I might scan in some of my concept sketches on their original graph paper as well :)

08-24-2007, 02:46 AM
I did not have much time, but I made a few tweaks and a very simple 5-minute map to go with it! Ironically, I resized the compass it to make it smaller, but it saved larger...odd.


08-24-2007, 11:27 AM
I am attending PAX (giant gaming convention, many industry art professionals will be there, and some will be critiquing art portfolios)

Are you going to Wil Wheaton's presentation? He's been posting about his nervousness at speaking over on his blog...

-Rob A>

08-25-2007, 10:59 AM
No, I attended the game testing panel instead ^.^ PAX is very awesome though :):)