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Ascension
12-18-2009, 12:35 AM
I had half of the day off today (bad back) so I had some new theories to test out - trying to push the artsy thing even further...ie getting closer to a hand-painted look.

The first image is my base terrain; my normal sat-style with some lighter colors and I drew ridge lines on the mountain layer before hitting the lighting effects. I airbrushed in some shadows to give them some drama, put some waves in the deserts for fun, and then painted over the desert band with some green to constrict it's shape. With a clouds filter, dry brush filter, and tan/brown gradient map I added some splotches. For the stroke I took a path from selection then stroked it with a 5-pixel soft round brush with a bit of spacing and scatter on it. The forests are a 3-pixel soft round brush with max scatter options and then lightly texture-beveled and given a very soft green color.

The second image is a bunch of filters - reticulation, watercolor, diffuse, and some blending options across duplicate layers. The light colors might be a bit too intense but I'm not sure how I want to go about changing them just yet. I also put the rivers on last because they get lost in the filters, like my sand dunes, and started putting in locations. I had political borders drawn out but I didn't like em so I scrapped em. Tomorrow night I'll finish putting places in and start labeling.

FAHall
12-18-2009, 12:56 AM
Interesting stuff Ascension.


I really love your sand dunes!

Ascension
12-18-2009, 01:32 AM
The dunes took me the longest time to figure out. I used the lasso tool to make a selection, feathered it, filled it with the default pattern zebra, blurred it, ran lighting effects on it, blurred it again, then gave it a ripple (I think it was ripple at 50% large, could have been wave or zigzag, though, cuz I was experimenting), and set the blend to overlay.

voo
12-18-2009, 02:36 AM
Very nice! Its definitely got the painterly strokes look going.

Some slight critique. I'd replace your blinding whites with some slightly darker values or perhaps try lowering the value range of the entire map. Also it looks like your filters wholly butchered the stroke, which I personally think is making your filtering stand out a whole lot(not in a good way). Going in with a small brush and touching up some of the "cut up" areas, or ditching the stroke entirely might be a good idea.

If you're going for the painterly look, going in with some of your own brush strokes would definitely up the realism. Filters tend to have a very methodical look to them, rather than the psuedo-randomness and imperfection of paint.

Regardless of above, great start and I look forward to see where you go with this

Jaxilon
12-18-2009, 04:06 AM
I'm liking some of those effects you have going on there. I spend most my time dorking around playing with filters just to learn what they do myself. I've started just today making notes of what is what because it seems like when I want something I know I can do I end up searching forever to find it again :)

Thanks for sharing.

Steel General
12-18-2009, 07:48 AM
I really like the modification you made to your normal 'satellite style' to get the first image.

I think I see where you want to get to with the second image, and that you're well on your way.

Great stuff as always!

Kelethril
12-18-2009, 08:47 AM
Oh my god...
You have just created my dream world...its EXACTLY like the one i imagine and try to create (and fail miserably...)
Its awesome...just awesome...
I really want to create my own but...if i don't make it ever would you mind if i use this for my campaign?It's totally for personal use only...

Ascension
12-18-2009, 08:52 AM
Kelethril - sure thing
Voo - it took a lot of planning to get that stroke the way it is, I don't want a nice clean one I want a rough one that's busted up and random.

Coyotemax
12-18-2009, 09:43 AM
Some very nice stuff going on here. Can't really come up with anything productive to add though, but I'm looking forward to seeing your next steps!

Map Vandal
12-18-2009, 10:11 AM
Looking at the thumbnails, I really didn't think I would like the second image at all, and I figured the first image would be amazing. But when I opened the two images, I really found myself liking the second image. The painterly look to it is really good and provides a lot of interest.

Ascension
12-19-2009, 07:15 PM
Ready to call this one done. It has served its purpose of helping me learn more and I think it looks pretty good.

Ascension
12-20-2009, 01:05 PM
Since that was so successful, not, I went back in and added forest texture, mountain texture, and made some color tweaks. The previous one was a bit more garish than Aalder and this newer one is a bit darker than Elosha.

Coyotemax
12-20-2009, 01:40 PM
I like both of them, for different reasons. The first one, you say it's more garish, but I like the more painted look it gives, maybe if you just took the saturation down a tad? The second one gives a better feel with the textures for sure. But really, which one would I prefer? Both, to be honest.

Question, do you have the Eyecandy/Xenofex filter by any chance? I took a break from things and was thinking over the way you say you're trying to get that handpainted look in there, and some of the filters you mentioned. I took my Zoeland map on a quick trip through the Shower Door filter, and I think it makes a great starting point for that impressionist look. I may work on this idea in between other projects over the next while.
Of course, I've also occasionally been looking at just painting a map up bit by bit, no filters or layers. I've tried a few times, but things tend to look like crap after I get the shorelines drawn in. So far I give up after about 10 mins :)

Ascension
12-20-2009, 01:52 PM
Yeah, I have the same problem...computerized brushes and a tablet just don't give the same feel and texture that a real build-up of paint does. I could do a real painted map but I haven't done painting on canvas since college (just painting on glass for my job). I'll check out that shower door thing, I have it but I try to only use the basic filters in hopes of tutorializing things. I tried the baked earth and swirl but couldn't get anything decent.

Edit: just tried that shower door and the settings of fuzzed out and nearsighted look pretty good.

Steel General
12-21-2009, 07:49 AM
I prefer the more 'muted' look of the last one you uploaded.

Ramah
12-21-2009, 08:45 AM
I like them both. I prefer the vibrancy and overall look of the first one, but like your earlier Elosha I cannot tell where the forests are and also, for some reason, the rivers seem to get lost more in it.
The second one while being more successful, I feel, as a working map, loses a little character. I think I prefer your more painterly mountains in the first one.
But meh, I still love them both. Great stuff as usual.