View Full Version : The Small Nation of Vumhine

12-23-2009, 07:31 PM
Been a while since I tried my hand at any regional maps and though I am currently planning a little campaign and had a rough idea of the nation involved it wasn't until I found this (http://www.jezelf.co.uk/tutorials.htm) set of tutorials that I got motivated to give it a go.

The following is what I came up from by partly following the tutorial, doing a lot of playing around with Wilbur going back and forth to photoshop trying out a few different styles and in the end combining a the layers from a couple to get the following result.

The full map is 2000x2000 pixels and the area in detail is only a small corner zoomed in 200%. The rest will remain hidden and maybe never seen, so I'm not bothering detailing if it may never be needed.

The font being used just happened to be whatever was the default on photoshop at the time and something I need to look at. Though when I was creating that map yesterday looking through fonts was not high on my interest list.

Be grateful for any suggestions on improving the map.

12-24-2009, 04:37 AM
Yes, you need to change the font. It is too cartoonish to fit the sat-photo style of the map. (It is also so fat that I don't think I'd use it for a map it actually fit, either. It covers too much of the terrain underneath.) Otherwise, I think it passes inspection. Note that Vumhine is going to have to be quite moist to support those miles-wide rivers, but given the Zeresian Jungles, that looks to be your plan.

12-24-2009, 08:57 AM
Yeah good call the rivers are rather wide and I think I might have to go in with photoshop and narrow them. They are just how Wilbur put them out after all I put through it. My plan is that Silverwater does get wide and shallow as it drains into the swamp. But Bluewater is meant to have some bridges across it....

12-24-2009, 12:27 PM
At some stage I'd like to do a drawn style version of this map which could have a consistent theme and fonts to match. I like these fonts better though still not sure they are the most appropriate for the texture of the land.

Fixed the incredibly wide rivers and added a border. This map is all about the Nation of Vumhine and it's neighbors and is currently untitled and I'm not sure I will change that as it'll probably have a title in the document that it's going to be used in.

12-26-2009, 11:13 AM
Started work on a hand drawn version.

Was initially planning it to follow the style Mike Schley used for his Sarifal map. But I couldn't get my mountains to work with that style. It's a bit of a mess of styles and perspectives at the moment as I try out different things so would welcome comments.

My major issues at the moment are translating the style I've used for the main mountain ranges to the islands. My first attempt failed so miserably my attempt to fix it turned it into a different style altogether. I don't think I need to point out how ill fitting those hills are now... but at a loss how to approach them.

I'm creating it in colour as it's easier for me to keep things in order but the final will be probably shades of brown similar to this test shot.

Steel General
12-26-2009, 02:51 PM
I actually prefer these 'hand drawn' versions more than the original.

12-26-2009, 03:41 PM
I have to agree with the General.... The hand drawn looks better to me. With the hand drawn the cartoony font would work well. It sort of reminds me of Asterix and Obelix cartoon style.

12-26-2009, 11:59 PM
The original helped me get a more realistic geography but I also prefer the hand drawn version. Sadly it also takes a bit more time, damn me and my addictive personality.

Took me a dozen or so attempts but finally came up with a mountain style that I am partial to. The hills are a bit more jagged than I really wanted but I couldn't find a softer version that I could look at for more than a second before the delete button was struck. If anyone has any ideas for making the outer houses a little rounder but sticking with the style I'm all ears...

Tried different styles of pieces of grass but they all ended up looking way out of scale. Think I might just play around with texture filters a bit for the grass and the desert area when I get to it. More hills to do first.

Working at 4x final resolution now.

12-27-2009, 12:10 AM
Those are some good-lookin mountains but the forests don't compliment it too well...unless they're still WIPish.

12-27-2009, 12:33 AM
Everything is pretty much a WIP at the moment. The style of the lower left forest (West Woods) is roughly where I want to go however I'd like to add some perspective feel to it without changing the shape. Might also reduce the drop shadow a bit to show off the tree trunks a bit more.

12-27-2009, 12:46 AM
Wow, those mountains are beautiful! They really pop up out of the page :)

12-27-2009, 08:42 AM
Thanks for the compliments on the mountains. Have tried my hand at adding some colour to them though I think I still need to work on the contrast levels and texture.

Have did a test run of some more gentle hills nearer the Eorn forest. Turned out better than I expected though I still need to redo them.

Have tried a new style for the West Forest, i think it's an improvement but I might be biased so am interested what people think of the new version.

12-27-2009, 09:25 AM
Whoa, that's pretty awesome.

12-28-2009, 10:50 AM
Filled out the rest of the hills and the forest outlines on the mainland. Keep noticing a few areas that need fixing so guess I'll be bouncing around those layers for a while longer.

Still not sure how to handle the grasslands and the wastelands, they both look rather plain to me. Also considering adding some sort of detail to the sea but not sure what yet.

Couple of mesa's to be added to the wastelands that I haven't even started thinking about how to go about drawing.

First test of giving it a parchment style look. Outside edges need sharpening and the outer background will need to be removed but don't mind the overall look.

Think I'll focus on the islands next though.

12-28-2009, 10:52 AM
I agree, that mountains work well, the vegitation not so well. The vegitation seems kind of bold with the general subdued look of the mountains.


Steel General
12-28-2009, 12:25 PM
The forests seem very 'bold' compared to the mountains, maybe softening the shadows on the forest will help "bring them together" *shrugs* - just an idea.

12-29-2009, 10:22 AM
Finished most if not all of the details. Was planning to add some trees to the islands but now considering leaving the islands as is. Also plans to add mesa's to the wastelands have faded. They aren't meant to be so big and high that they'll work on the map.. also haven't sorted out actually geography of them in my head yet.

With all the details finally in I've started to address the colour balance issues. Having a B&W filter made it easier to balance the greens/browns/blues in the final version. I hadn't actually realised how dark the forest was compared to the mountains until I saw the thumbnail of my last post here.

Also made an effort to bring the fonts inline with the overall style. I find the style of title of the focus nation a little glaring but currently best I have been able to come up with. Wanting to get back to designing the campaign and spending way more time on the map than I had planned so this is probably going to be declared finished pretty soon.

12-29-2009, 11:29 AM
Wow! Great looking map. I think that it is looking pretty complete also.