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Diamond
12-15-2009, 02:24 AM
I'm going to be undertaking a massive mapping project pretty soon, and I'm wanting a simple yet tasteful style to do each section in. Since I plan to be able to link every map section together into one uber-map, I can't really do something in the theme of my recent maps, that is, with Ascension's or Pasis type landscapes/mountains, etc., as much as I dearly love those styles. :D

So I've come up with what I think looks pretty nice so far. It needs some work yet, specifically, I want to gradually fade out the edges of the woodcut effect on the seas, and I want to find a simple pattern to put over the forests in lieu of the bog-standard CS pattern that's on there now.

Anyway, here's a small test sample. Is the text legible? Is it obvious which are towns and which are cities? Suggestions? Criticism? Comments?

Jaxilon
12-15-2009, 02:55 AM
It looks very clean to me.

I have to work just a bit to read the smaller type but my eyes are not what they used to be. The small ones look a tad fuzzy to me.

Cities are the larger circles but maybe you can do something to make them stand out as different from the towns like double circle them or something? I wouldn't clutter it up too much though if I were you. It looks good.

Diamond
12-15-2009, 03:01 AM
Good point on the cities; I'll try a double circle there, maybe a thin outer ring and a thicker inner ring.

As for the type size, it should be easier to read on the actual maps; I used a smaller font size for this sample, since it's a relatively small area. The town names are in Times New Roman, 2.5px, but that will likely be 4px on the official maps, with the city names a bit bigger yet, maybe 6px. Alternately, mayble I'll keep the size the same (I kind of like the way the tiny type looks), but work on cleaning it up and making it more readable.

rdanhenry
12-15-2009, 04:14 AM
I like this style. The size difference between city and town is enough to tell them apart, but a little more distinct would make it easier. You might also want to create a symbol for the capital city/town. A dot or cross that goes inside the circle symbol would make a good marker for the capital.

Steel General
12-15-2009, 05:51 AM
I think it looks good.

Like Jaxilon I had problems reading the smallest text (but it was still legible), but you have a plan to fix that so it's not a big deal.

Map On! :)

landorl
12-15-2009, 09:23 AM
I like most of what you have, but the forest bothers me a little. I think that it might look better with either an outline, or possibly some sort of subtle texture. Maybe both.

jfrazierjr
12-15-2009, 09:33 AM
So I've come up with what I think looks pretty nice so far. It needs some work yet, specifically, I want to gradually fade out the edges of the woodcut effect on the seas.

Note sure if you know how to do this or not, but I almost always promote using layer masks and fill the image with your "texture" and then masking out the bits you don't want shown(perhaps with Blur and a nice large fuzzy brush on the layer mask instead of the image.

Diamond
12-15-2009, 11:41 AM
I like most of what you have, but the forest bothers me a little. I think that it might look better with either an outline, or possibly some sort of subtle texture. Maybe both.
There's a very very subtle texture on there now, perhaps too subtle. :D I want to come up with one that will make the forests pop a little bit more, but not too much; I don't want them to dominate the map. For that reason, I'll most likely not put an outline around them; espcially since that could confuse the path of rivers to the viewer's eye.


Note sure if you know how to do this or not, but I almost always promote using layer masks and fill the image with your "texture" and then masking out the bits you don't want shown(perhaps with Blur and a nice large fuzzy brush on the layer mask instead of the image.

Yep, I do know how to do that, and that's what I've got in mind for this. I just didn't get too in-depth on the sample. :D

Ascension
12-15-2009, 12:00 PM
For feathering out that woodcut there are a lot of different techniques. The easiest is to select the landmass, increase the selection, feather the selection, invert the selection, then delete. If you want your lines to be pointy on the end then you'd have to make a dotted line around the coast then use some wind or motion blur. If you want squiggly lines then you also have to add a ripple or a wave. Myself, I use a small black and clear checkerboard pattern, then wind, then ripple, then feathered selection delete to soften the points.

What you have so far looks pretty nice :)

Juggernaut1981
12-15-2009, 05:27 PM
Maybe add some icons into the region. A good smattering of tree icons (without trying to tile the area) will give the idea that the coloured region is a forest... You can then use similar techniques for swamps, jungles, etc

Kronski
12-15-2009, 06:45 PM
I really like how the forests are done, and the whole piece is very crisp and streamlined. The only thing that doesn't really fit - at least to my eye - are the parallel lines adjacent to the coast. Maybe it would look better with some noise, or randomized somehow.

Diamond
12-17-2009, 02:54 AM
Here's a little bit bigger sample. Fixed the feathering effect on the ocean woodcut, and added an overlay crumpled paper pattern (which, now that I look at it again, makes things look too cluttered).

Ramah
12-17-2009, 03:02 AM
I really like this style, Diamond. Very clean and very clear. I like the forests as they are and don't think you need to do anything to them.

Great stuff. :)

Diamond
12-17-2009, 03:08 AM
Yeah, I think the temptation is to over-work things, especially the forest. As it is now, the forests have just enough detail with that light pattern on 'em so that they're defined, but don't overwhelm everything else. I wanted the mountains to be just a bit bolder than other natural features, seeing as they're the spines of the land, and I think that turned out okay.

I think the only other thing I want to do is come up with some simple swamp and desert icons; probably just very small two- or three-pen stroke symbols.

Then it's off to the races! :D

Coyotemax
12-17-2009, 03:48 AM
nice stuff so far!
The woodcut effect is similar to one that I've used a few times, though your stands out more (which isn't a bad thing).

The forest detail doesn't really show up clearly on my monitor, but I'm not missing it, it's pretty clear to me what's forest, so I wouldn't change it unless you get a lot of people going "what are those grey blobs?"

Steel General
12-17-2009, 05:56 AM
Overall I like it, but I'm not sure the 'crinkled paper' effect really adds anything to it. *shrugs*

Ascension
12-17-2009, 07:25 AM
I'm fine with the paper thing but I think that some grunges brushes might go a longer way to providing some miscellaneous bits rather than the wrinkles. I always save that sort of stuff for the very end cuz sometimes it isn't needed. This looks pretty smashing, though, and if you didn't change a thing I'd still like it.

Diamond
12-17-2009, 07:09 PM
Thanks, guys!


Overall I like it, but I'm not sure the 'crinkled paper' effect really adds anything to it. *shrugs*
I agree. It's unnecessary.

I'm fine with the paper thing but I think that some grunges brushes might go a longer way to providing some miscellaneous bits rather than the wrinkles. I always save that sort of stuff for the very end cuz sometimes it isn't needed. This looks pretty smashing, though, and if you didn't change a thing I'd still like it.
That's what I was thinking too. I think I'll be better served finishing a map first and then playing around with stains/grunge effects, etc.

Since my overall map is going to be 9000x9000 pixels, I think what I'll do is create the entire continent first, at that size, and complete all terrain features. Then, split the thing into 81 1000x1000 sections. Since it's the text and additional special features which suck up so much puter memory, I figure I'll save those things for the individual sections.

It's going to be a massive undertaking, but I think it'll be worth it in the end... I hope... :D

Ascension
12-17-2009, 11:52 PM
Holy cow, have fun with that. Yeesh, sounds like a ton o work.

Diamond
12-18-2009, 12:28 AM
Holy cow, have fun with that. Yeesh, sounds like a ton o work.

I hope not; if it ever becomes work I'll stop doing it. :D

Locution
12-18-2009, 01:10 AM
Thsi is not quite identical but very similar to a style I have been playing with (The coastal waters at least). I also have applied a wood filter to achieve that look. I think you have done a wonderful job with this map.

Diamond
12-18-2009, 01:49 AM
Thanks, man. I quite enjoyed yours as well.