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the-golem
01-14-2010, 06:17 AM
Yeah, I know that this little gem isn't as large, or as well done as Anna's. However, it's my first ever map attempt.

First, I took a pretty large map of the Flanaess, and zoomed in on roughly the area of Ulek. Then I cropped it and did a canvas resize to make it roughly 8.5x11. After that, I made a bunch of layers, two each for the mountains: One for background, and one for the mountain-y sketches. I also planted in some key cities, and borrowed the idea of the divisions from Anna's map.

I'm sorta happy with this -- mainly because I actually completed the bugger.
Only sorta. Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to work on a better map. I was considering hand-drawing one, but I think all my architectural pens either dried up or ran out of ink.

What do you all think?

Rythal
01-14-2010, 07:38 AM
I think that I speak for the majority here when I say that we all love seeing hand drawn maps, regardless of how pretty it is.

As for your map here, first off, looks pretty good! the trees seem a bit big (or the hills and mountains a bit small). also, maybe you could change the colour of the rivers to that of the ocean.

Personnally, I really like the ocean and the green land, and while the trees are a bit uniform, if you could add a bit of variety in there, I think it would look great.

BTW, what software are you using?

Steel General
01-14-2010, 12:01 PM
I think the colors are a bit 'saturated' (but that might just be me). I agree with Rythal on the size of the tree symbols.

Looking forward to seeing this develop.

Syt
01-14-2010, 01:42 PM
First of all, I like your map style - symbols, towns and labelling are very clear and give a nice "fantasy novel" feeling. The trees could be a bit smalle, agreed.

I'm not sure I like the colors. Just for comparison (I hope you don't mind) I went and turned it black/white, and I must say I like the result a lot better (the trees would need to make more room for the river, though, and the letters could maybe be red, and the rivers not quite so black, or thinner).

Then again, this is your map, and you will know best what you prefer. :)

the-golem
01-14-2010, 06:31 PM
As for your map here, first off, looks pretty good! the trees seem a bit big (or the hills and mountains a bit small). also, maybe you could change the colour of the rivers to that of the ocean.

Yeah, the trees are pretty large. I although, they were in scale with everything else that got blown up. However, you're right. I don't really like the overly largeness of them. I drew them by hand - rather, mouse - in the program itself, then copy-pasted it like 80000 times. There was a slight amount of pixilation, so I did a 1px blur on them after I got them all into place.


Personnally, I really like the ocean and the green land, and while the trees are a bit uniform, if you could add a bit of variety in there, I think it would look great.
I really like how the ocean turned out, the technique i used for the shoreline - which i found by accident - was pretty cool. I think the trees need less detail


BTW, what software are you using?
For this, I used Paint.NET (http://www.getpaint.net/)


First of all, I like your map style - symbols, towns and labelling are very clear and give a nice "fantasy novel" feeling. The trees could be a bit smalle, agreed.

I'm not sure I like the colors. Just for comparison (I hope you don't mind) I went and turned it black/white, and I must say I like the result a lot better (the trees would need to make more room for the river, though, and the letters could maybe be red, and the rivers not quite so black, or thinner).

Then again, this is your map, and you will know best what you prefer. :)

Funny you should mention this. In my welcome here thread, I actually specified that I want my maps to be black and white. I'm going to try a few things, and see if I can tone down the sharpness of the trees, and turn down the color of the river. We'll see.

the-golem
01-14-2010, 07:33 PM
Okay, so I tweaked a few things.

First, the rivers: I selected the rivers, then went to the land layer and deleted the space they took up. Then I used the same technique I used for the coastline on the rivers, I think it really softened them up and made them now quite so overbearing.

Second, I fiddled with the selection sensitivity until i could just get the forest canopy without the trunks. I created a new layer, and filled with a dark green. Then I used the cloud tool, and made it pretty condensed, and after that I did a gausian blur on the whole thing. Then I went back to my forest layer, deleted the old forest, and hand/mouse drew in all the little trunks. I feel this makes them less and oversized, but I'm still not sure of the effect. I think its kinda too dark.

Edit: You know, the decompression that Paint.NET does when it saves as a 8-bit PNG actually made the forest look better. I rather like it now, in its attached state.

the-golem
01-15-2010, 06:17 PM
Here is another approach I'm taking. So far, all I really have is the Ocean, Rivers, and the Landmass. Also done in Paint.NET

I also started a handdrawn map, but my stupid Micron ran out of ink.

the-golem
01-19-2010, 06:00 AM
This time I'm taking another approach.
Right now, I'm focusing on the area around Gryrax of Ulek, basing my model off the Darlene Greyhawk Map. For comparison, I've included a section of the Darlene Map with my map semi-transparent over the approximate area.

It corresponds roughly to an area 10 leagues square. (10 by 10)

Ive also included my current progress on the zoomed area. I plan on also developing a city map for Gryrax, but ... am unsure how to approach, or how large to make the city.

paladin_of_light
01-22-2010, 02:28 AM
What time period (or perhaps more accurately technology level) are you trying to emulate for your city? Is Gryrax the largest city in Ulek? What type of a population do you want? What do you want the city to feel like?

There's a lot of resources out there about how to build cities (check specifically in the city mapping section and I think you'll find some great inspiration... I did.) But I think you at least need to know the approximate time-period, and what you want from the city, before you can really begin.

Good luck!

the-golem
01-22-2010, 03:36 AM
Gryrax had a population of 17k before the war, and 10-15 years after, swelled up to almost 30k. I started a thread about city planning (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?8903-Getting-started-with-city-building) over in the Town/City Mapping forum. My campaign takes place right during the war .. sorta half-way through really, so I'm planning for a population between those two.

Gryrax itself is centuries old, and has been the seat of power for roughly 300 years, ever since the current Prince took the throne. The Principality is dwarven ruled, but this city itself has more humans than demi-humans, considering it's concentration on trade. Humans are more adept at sea-faring than dwarves, hence this saturation. Also, many of the villages closer to the right border (the river) have been transplanted as a result of war, and have migrated to the outskirts of the town, seeking refuge.

My vision consists of a semi-popular port town that grew organically around a protected cove. When the Prince moved the seat of power to his hometown, Gryrax, He built the castle, and worked with his best engineers and architects to develop the city. So, the innermost portion of the city is concentrated on the ports, with the middle-portion being more planned and structured, and less organic. There would be designated centers of commonality, such as an area of industry next to the warehouses next to the smiths. The market and merchant quarter would be centered in the city, and would serve as a crossroads for the major axes (as in plural of axis, not axe). There would probably be a pre-planned religios district rather close to the market area, but I would expect to find religious centers intersperses all throughout the town. The outskirts of the town will most likely be temporary structures, somewhat shanty like and quite organic; this would most likely be where the refugees live. There would also be an obvious area where the affluent/nobility live. If you look at the thread I linked earlier, you can see an *idea* of how the city might look. It's rather rough, and I'm not really sold on the layout.

As far as the technology level, *shrug*. Since it's basically a Dwarven city, I would expect the stonework and structures to be master-level quality, but it would still be high-medieval society. I sorta treat my dwarves as slightly more advanced than the human counterparts. Well-paved roads. Working aqueducts. Almost Roman Empire in terms of quality of work, I would guess.

the-golem
01-22-2010, 01:49 PM
Using the quickie-not-so-random-coastline method I stumbled on for PDN, I was able to develop a more realistic coastline, building off of the Darelene map a few posts up.

I'm really proud of the coastline result, much more than any of my other previous efforts. Unfortunately, I find myself rather stumped. The idea is to create a "fantasy novel" type map, similar to the tweaking Syt did to my first approach...

*shrug*

The image is actually A3 size, reduced to 25% for ease of viewing.

the-golem
01-29-2010, 05:36 PM
I'm just a mapping fiend! Okay not really ...

Anyhow, earlier this week, I stopped by University Art for kicks, and they had on sale some awesome waterpaint paper, normally $6, but marked down as $1.50. The sheet is approx 22"x30", and is made from (as I understand it) cold-press cotton rag, acid-free and archival. It's very similar in comparison to Arches Coldpress Watercolor Paper (http://www.amazon.com/Arches-Cold-Press-Watercolor-Paper/dp/B000HXQ8OM) Unlike Arches' papers, this sheet doesn't have the manufacturer embossed in the paper, so I really have no idea who made it.

Anyway, so far I've gotten the shore and riverlines done on the paper, using a 1.0mm wide Copic Multiliner (similar to Micron Pens)

Sharpe
02-01-2010, 01:13 AM
Wow, Golem, this map has come a looong way since you started! Keep it up, man! :)

the-golem
02-07-2010, 02:01 AM
Right. I worked on this map alot last night. For the most part, I really enjoyed it, and I like the overall turn-out. However, some parts I don't like. I'm not too pleased with the hills; the rivers are far too large. I should have just inked them in rather narrow and solid. The mountains though, I like rather alot. I tried to make the distances pretty accurate between cities. The distance between Gryrax and Havenhill is just over one day of travel by horse -- roughly 30 miles. I used that distance to guestimate the distance to Rittersmarche, which is said to be three days of rather rapid travel. The collection of towns around Rittersmarche I grabbed from the Patriots of Ulek adventure module itself, so the placement of them are fairly accurate, although the scale might be a bit off.

The map itself is just about complete. I'm not sure if I'm going to draw provincial lines or not. I kinda would like to do something with the empty areas on either side of the Lortmil hills. I'm also probably going to throw in a legend of somesort below the compass/north arrow.

I took this foto at around 9PM, so without natural sunlight, the paper color is a bit off.
Well, uh, ... tadah, I guess.

the-golem
02-10-2010, 05:55 PM
Just another update. This past week(end), I've been working on the digital edition of the map. Here's what I have so far, although I'm not sure if I'm too enthused on how the mountains turned out. The forest is simply a copy of my hand-drawn version, with contrast tweaked to make everything true black and white.

Ascension
02-10-2010, 06:04 PM
Coming together now, lookin good. I don't have any critiques just a tidbit that you can use or not - put a white stroke around your text so that the black doesn't all run together. The compass looks a lil like Star Trek but I'm cool with dat.

rdanhenry
02-12-2010, 07:00 PM
I had the same thought about the compass. It would look great on a Federation or other sci-fi map. It seems a bit out of place for Greyhawk, but if you like it, it works.

Things I like: the forests, your font choices.

Problems: The mountains (and in just a couple of places, the hills) have overlap that doesn't make sense. You see through the mountain to more mountain behind it. This can be cleaned up with the eraser and I think you'll be pleased with the results if you do so. Another option is to redo the mountains and space the symbols out a bit more. After all, when you're repeating the same symbol over and over, you aren't showing individual mountains, just marking the region generally as "here there be mountains", so the spacing is arbitrary.

the-golem
02-12-2010, 11:36 PM
You're quite right. I kinda like how the mountains ended up looking, but yeah, it does overlap in places. Part of the problem of not having a solid brush. Also, I think they're far too dark. I should have done them in a lighter tone -- a medium to dark grey perhaps -- or I need to find another brush thats more "sketchy" and less "inky" ... I didn't really want to repeat the same symbol .. it just happened to be the only one I have in my current set of brushes that I liked. Im looking for more brushes as I write this -- okay not literally, but I will once I hit 'submit'

the-golem
03-24-2010, 05:34 PM
Not to beat a dead horse, but, heh, I'm still working on this.

I've finally got the mountains in a style I like, and I think the same can be said for the rivers.
Attaching a preview sample. The real image is gigantic 22x30 inches at 300ppi. (Works out to 9000px by 6600px)

torstan
03-24-2010, 06:11 PM
Looking good. I like your forests. Is this going to be a black and white image, or are you planning to colour it?

the-golem
03-24-2010, 06:26 PM
Probably just black and white. Cheaper to print, only 6 USD for the 22"x30".
Unfortunately, its on bond paper, I was hoping for somethign with a bit more tooth to it; not card stock, more like novel paper.

I tried adding texture to the mountains, but anytyhing I do just looks too dark to me. If I do color it, it'll probably be by hand, with color pencil. I would *like* to color it digitally, I've been trying different things, but I'm really not very good at it. Plus, this is supposed to be a "war map" and I don't think having something colored all pretty like would be something they'd invest in. Maybe colored political borders, but I haven't really found a good technique I like for that.

torstan
03-24-2010, 06:32 PM
What software are you using for the digital version?

the-golem
03-24-2010, 07:03 PM
Photoshop Elements. Came with my Bamboo Fun. It handles large images supurbly also. GIMP with this same image (at full size/resolution) hangs alot.

Gamerprinter
03-24-2010, 07:16 PM
I can print a full color map at 22" x 30" onto 190 gram Satin Photo media for $13.70 + shipping ($9 with tube) to anywhere in North America, more if shipped to anywhere else. Look at my Sig.

GP