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mrrkyl
01-31-2010, 09:51 AM
This work in progress is the result of a combination of Ascension's, "Antique Style" tutorial and Tear's, "Saderan" tutorial, as well as a few "You Tube" tutorials by Zombie Nirvana. I've attempted to use Tear's elevations, mountains and hills to emulate a shaded relief look.

I have yet to label the geologic features so I haven't merged any of the text layers (from what I've seen, PS7 won't allow me to alter merged text so I've been holding off). I've given a few "city" names an outer glow just to see how it looks and I'll finish that after all of my other labels have been placed to make sure they don't overlap. It bothers me that I haven't included any lakes but I probably won't add them.

Map notes:

This map is for a sci-fantasy setting with low populations; it is based loosely on a map I drew in CC2.
Neutral Zones are the only international safe havens. Contested Territory, the Hot Zone in particular, are "free for all" areas even for people whose nations are not in a state of war. Most nations enforce a "closed borders" policy to foreigners.
Circles mark outpost (italicized letters), stronghold (normal letters) and city (blue outlined letters) locations.
Squares represent existing landmarks, man-made and otherwise; blackened squares are ruins. If a landmark is also an outpost/city, then it is shown as a dot rather than a square.

Coyotemax
01-31-2010, 10:22 AM
I do like the shaded relief effect, reminds me of the atlases from grade school :)

I recall seeing this map before (earlier version in another thread) and thinking to myself that the borders were unusual - the only example I know of where a country is completely enclosed within a single other country is Lesotho surrounded by South Africa (does that even still exist like that?). But your explanations make a lot more sense for this map :)

Nice! And I can confirm that in ps7 the text layers will rasterize if you merge them. No smart object for that version. (no ability to group in folders either, owch)
I feel your pain :)

Ascension
01-31-2010, 11:31 AM
That looks really nice. I didn't go over it with a fine tooth comb but she looks done to me.

Steel General
01-31-2010, 11:32 AM
Other than the text being a bit difficult to read (due to the hatching), this is quite nice!

Keep up the good work :)

Jaxilon
01-31-2010, 11:34 AM
It's a beautiful map. My favorite is the volcano in Antani.

The only thing I can think of that might need a tweak is the lettering looks a bit fuzzy to me. With my already less than stellar eyesight I think it's the grey highlight behind the black letters that gives me the impression it has been blurred. I leaned towards my monitor as I was looking at this because of it.

I really like the style you have going on here and it does remind one of those popular globes. Good Work!

mrrkyl
01-31-2010, 05:57 PM
Thanks everyone for the comments. The fuzzy text annoys me too and bold facing seems to fix it but I can't do that to warped text so I'll have to figure out how to path my text.

Coyotemax: PS7 does allow grouping into sets and that helped minimize clutter.

Ascension
01-31-2010, 07:17 PM
Yeah, the Faux Bold thingy won't let ya warp text so what I do is to put a black stroke (or whatever color your text is) on it to fake a faux bold and still be able to warp it to a path. The caveat is that the fatter the stroke the rounder the pointy bits get so use a small stroke. Strokes also disrupt things like outer glow and drop shadow so if you are using those then duplicate the layer and put the stroke on its own.

Diamond
01-31-2010, 07:31 PM
Wow, that's pretty darn nice! Not meaning to be overly critical here, but to me, the rivers look a little angular, like they don't curve naturally.

mrrkyl
02-01-2010, 11:16 AM
Wow, that's pretty darn nice! Not meaning to be overly critical here, but to me, the rivers look a little angular, like they don't curve naturally.

Thanks; I've got a new mouse so I'll go back and fix those.

arsheesh
02-01-2010, 02:49 PM
Looks really good so far Mrrkyl. I was going to comment on the fuzziness of the font but then I read the other responses an looks like that's been covered. So I have not constructive feedback to offer, just a pat on the back.

Cheers,

-Arsheesh

mrrkyl
02-02-2010, 04:39 PM
Update: rivers and text have been adjusted; map border and scale added; & ocean tweaked. I am thinking the Territory names are a bit dark...let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Diamond
02-02-2010, 04:43 PM
That looks verra verra VERRA nice. :D

Coyotemax
02-02-2010, 04:47 PM
If you lightened them a bit it would be a more consistent with the rest of the map. That having been said, i don't think it would have registered if you hadn't pointed it out.

This is absolutely great. I spent a bit of time looking over the territories themselves and how they relate to other areas, and I totally love this. fires the imagination!

(edit - and i have to say, the thumbnail came out *extremely* well.. one glance at it and you can't help clicking on it to see the details! lol)

moutarde
02-02-2010, 04:51 PM
Very nice! Your mountains look really good in there ;)

arsheesh
02-02-2010, 04:58 PM
I like the border you've chosen to frame your map. It complements the atlas style of your map well, drawing the viewers attention to the main event. Yet if you zoom in to take a peek, the border has a rich character all its own. Good work.

Cheers,

-Arsheesh

mrrkyl
02-03-2010, 09:09 AM
Thanks all for the appreciation.


If you lightened them a bit it would be a more consistent with the rest of the map. That having been said, i don't think it would have registered if you hadn't pointed it out.

This is absolutely great. I spent a bit of time looking over the territories themselves and how they relate to other areas, and I totally love this. fires the imagination!

(edit - and i have to say, the thumbnail came out *extremely* well.. one glance at it and you can't help clicking on it to see the details! lol)

I'll adjust the opacity level of the territory names and I might unmask a few landmarks - I had to hide them because the map was getting too cluttered.

Here's a bit more background to further fuel your imagination. An'farun is a realm of high magic and advanced technology - which could be considered as another form of "magic" for, although it can be tailored for specific purposes, it's workings are not clearly understood. Technology, or "Tekhne" as it is called in An'farun, is directly linked to the symbiotic relationship between humanoids and payas grass (both of which are heterochthonous). The bond between people and payas exists on more than one level and is vital to the survival of both species. Persons who have immigrated to the realm through Rainmaker Gate (a rare occurance) generally do not connect with payas grass and are considered to be "Outsiders". Outsiders reside in or near one of the four southwestern towns around Rainmaker Gate.

The Neutral Zone in the northern region has been established near a natural landmark, the Spirit Shrine, which rests atop a large, round mesa (Teylinth Mesa). The mesa is considered to be the center of the world and a source of unearthly power. There are other similar sources of energy throughout the realm but none are as strong. Most of An'farun's inhabitants can feel this energy and are drawn to it but not all are willing to share it; this why the area around Teylinth Mesa is in constant turmoil.

Racial Notes (all of these people have roots in another realm and migrated to An'farun through an inter-dimensional gate):

The Aktel Alliance was formed in An'farun and is comprised of three powerful, independent nations who share interests, goals and philosophies ("Aktel" is an acronym). They are considered to be self-serving and immoral by other races, but this is a common sentiment among those who are disadvantaged or are without what they need or value most in life. The Aktel have accumulated vast quantities of resources as a means of passive control. They are the dominant force here and are currently at war with the AGE.

The AGE is an alliance of two self-reliant nations and a third, smaller group ("AGE" is an acronym for the two principal races). Over time, the three races have become inseperable. Although the people of the AGE are generally benevolent toward those outside their borders, they will not suffer intrusions upon their privacy. The AGE and Aktel are mutually at odds with each other and the one known as, "Ahn".

Estun Alliance (EA) - the militaristic Estun originally made this alliance in their former homeland as a means of establishing a single, world government, under their direction. Needless to say, despite their superiority in Tekhne weaponry and numbers, they were not lastingly successful. However, it should be noted that their intent to unite dissimilar cultures and people has created one of the strongest and most enduring alliances in the history of two worlds. Now, the Estun rarely venture into hostile territory and have taken a passive stance against would be enemies, which is contrary to their nature.

Antani Nation - the passionate and opinionated Antani accrued many enemies with their intolerance of cultural differences, were once the greatest rivals of the EA, and were nearly decimated as a result. The survivors of a war-torn world, the Antani assimilated new concepts into their old way of life in An'farun. They are vehemently opposed to the policies of the Aktel but are not strong enough to wage war against them.

Four Nations - this is a loose alliance of three races, one of which has formed two nations.

The Sharos Sanctuaries were formed by the altruistic Sharos People and are havens for the dispossessed and freewilled but, like most inhabitants of An'farun, they do not welcome Outsiders.

Elves (Esu) - there are three races of Esu, the Niunath, Lithukari and Kalessi. The former two were duped by Moszag'roth, a demigod, and were instructed to exterminate the Kalessi, their wayward kinsmen. The Kalessi survived by taking refuge within AGE borders until Moszag was slain by Ahn and the diurnal Niunath and nocturnal Lithukari regained their senses. Although the long-lived Esu tend not to hold grudges, racial tensions linger and the Kalessi remain suspicious of all foreigners.

Coyotemax
02-03-2010, 06:18 PM
Wow, that's really got me thinking.

Now if I could only channel those thoughts into something that's actually productive :P