PDA

View Full Version : Thank You Cartographer's Guild



helium3
10-06-2007, 04:57 PM
I've had a style in mind for my campaign world maps for quite a while, but I've struggled to actually create them so far. I only found this website a few weeks ago, but the tutorials have helped me to get so much closer to what I want in such a short amount of time.

The style I want is essentially that of a colored in woodcut. I'm still experimenting with the ink lines and the ratio between the different lines used for features of different types. Here's what I have so far.

http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t276/helium3/Heva_Map.png

pyrandon
10-06-2007, 05:01 PM
Hey, Helium: Welcome to the Guild. We're glad to have you (you're OURS now!!!!)

That post looks great, just great! Hopefully you've found the S. John Ross maps in our resources section--he, to my mind, uses the woodcut style to its best effect for medieval (or fantasy) maps.

Keep posting your progress, I'd love to see your maps & pick your brain as to how you do that voodoo that you'll do so well!

ravells
10-06-2007, 06:14 PM
Very nice! Can't wait to see more!

Midgardsormr
10-06-2007, 06:36 PM
I do so like that woodcut style. Very nice job so far!

Be sure to keep us well updated on your progress--that's a style I'd like to use for a project in the near future, so the more input you get, the better my map will be! hee hee.

helium3
10-07-2007, 01:26 AM
That post looks great, just great! Hopefully you've found the S. John Ross maps in our resources section--he, to my mind, uses the woodcut style to its best effect for medieval (or fantasy) maps.

It was his tutorial that clued me in to how to get the effect I was going for. That and downloading the GIMP. The process I'm using is a bit different from his and there are some effects I'm still trying to figure out. I'll post the details once they're nailed down.

helium3
10-07-2007, 07:16 PM
http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t276/helium3/Heva_Map_002.png

Added color for the land and sea. I was going to use a couple of different colors for the sea, but decided that didn't look very good.

RobA
10-09-2007, 09:55 AM
It was his tutorial that clued me in to how to get the effect I was going for. That and downloading the GIMP. The process I'm using is a bit different from his and there are some effects I'm still trying to figure out. I'll post the details once they're nailed down.

Hey Helium!

Nice effect there! Please share on your technique. I couldn't duplicate his results in GIMP because it doesn't seem to have that "bitmap as halftone" function....but I did come up with my own technique I have been meaning to write up as a tutorial that involves the newsprint filter and displacement maps...

helium3
10-09-2007, 01:31 PM
Actually, it's a combination of gimp and inkscape. Essentially, I use gimp to make the coastline, put down an airbrushed layer of black along the coastline in a lower layer, then fill in below that with the ocean pattern. Then I save it as a .png and import it into Inkscape. Once that's done I do a bitmap trace and then simplify the whole thing. That's pretty much it.

Also, I decided to re-jigger the map a bit because I needed to use thinner line strokes for the land features, which looked really wonky with the thick lines used for the coast and sea.

helium3
10-09-2007, 01:34 PM
http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t276/helium3/Heva_Map-1.png

Made changes to the pattern that makes up the sea feature, added the Gam Jo River and started penning in the Tallwall Mountains.

helium3
10-11-2007, 10:50 PM
http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t276/helium3/Heva_Map-2.png

Added in the rest of the Tallwall mountains. My next task is to figure out how to shade them and fill them with color in a way that matches the style of the rest of the map.

I also need to work on that lake, since it doesn't match the ocean for some reason.

RobA
10-11-2007, 11:22 PM
I would keep the lake like the river, concentric lines rather than horizontal lines.

-Rob A>

helium3
10-12-2007, 11:57 AM
I'll try that and see how it turns out.

pyrandon
10-12-2007, 06:25 PM
Looking great!

helium3
10-13-2007, 09:12 PM
http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t276/helium3/Heva_Map-3.png

Changed how the lake looks and added shading to the mountains. I'm still not sold on the river, but I think I just need to do the lines a few times until I get one that I like.

RobA
10-13-2007, 11:58 PM
I like the mountain shading very much! It really ties in with the sea style, giving the entire map an etched and colourized look!

-Rob A>

pyrandon
10-14-2007, 02:07 PM
Hey, Helium: Looking great! Very, very impressive. Keep 'em coming!

Did you achieve the shading for the moutnains with the same method as you used for the coasts?

Also, how did you get the lake & river ripples?

ravells
10-14-2007, 02:39 PM
I love seeing new ideas being developed, and this is one. Like RobA, I think the mountain shading adds a really nice consistency to the woodcut feel of the map.

RobA
10-15-2007, 09:18 AM
Another thing that just jumped out at me is the way the river is drawn (wide). While not "realistic" (respecting measured distances) it is very similar to many sea/ocean charts I have seen by explorers hitting a new coast. All of the waterway features are magnified to show useful details (for navigating) while the inland features are distorted to fit.

-Rob A>

helium3
10-15-2007, 12:37 PM
http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t276/helium3/Heva_Map-4.png

I added in color for the mountains. I'm not 100% sold on this addition, as I wish I had a better way to handle the border between the mountain color and the basic land color. I've thought of a couple of ways I could work with this, but none of them really work for me any better at the moment.

helium3
10-15-2007, 12:40 PM
Hey, Helium: Looking great! Very, very impressive. Keep 'em coming!

Did you achieve the shading for the moutnains with the same method as you used for the coasts?

Also, how did you get the lake & river ripples?

I used a similar method, yes. I drew the basic outline of the mountains using bezier lines in inkscape, then exported them as .png files. In gimp, I added the shading in the form of a pattern fill and then imported the .png back into inkscape. Then, I traced the .png and simplified it to get what you see on the map.

The lake and river used the same method.

RPMiller
10-15-2007, 03:54 PM
I added in color for the mountains. I'm not 100% sold on this addition, as I wish I had a better way to handle the border between the mountain color and the basic land color. I've thought of a couple of ways I could work with this, but none of them really work for me any better at the moment.
Just an idea I tossed together. If you take the midpoint between the two colors, mountains and plains, and then put that in as a backdrop for the mountains, would that give you a good transition?

Here's an extremely fast example.

helium3
10-16-2007, 01:50 PM
Just an idea I tossed together. If you take the midpoint between the two colors, mountains and plains, and then put that in as a backdrop for the mountains, would that give you a good transition?

Here's an extremely fast example.

That's an interesting idea.

The other idea I was kicking around is similar in a sense. I'll export it as a .png and open it in the GIMP. Then I'll smudge the borders between colors not separated by a black line.

I'll try both and see how it looks.

helium3
10-17-2007, 11:49 AM
http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t276/helium3/Heva_Map_002-1.png

Basic mountains are finished. Forest is next.

I'm not going to worry about the mountain/land interface issue until later in the project.

helium3
10-19-2007, 01:52 AM
http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t276/helium3/Heva_Map-5.png

And then there were trees. I also fixed the lake so that it's style more closely matched that of the river.

pyrandon
10-19-2007, 03:16 PM
I have to say that thetrees are the first thing about your map I do not like. They seem too "canned" and cut-n-paste, which differs from the rest of the richness of the map. Although the perspective style may be appropriate since the mountains are likewise, the actual lack of variety and simplicity of the tree shapes is a bit weak, IMO. At the very least I'd add some crosshatching shadows to the forests to add interest.

I hope the criticism helps--this really is a great map!

PS: Have some rep for keeping this map going!

landorl
10-19-2007, 03:36 PM
I like the crosshatch shadow idea that Pyrandon mentioned. It gives a little depth and character to the forests.

I have to say that I love the way you did your mountains. They look great and unique which is hard to do when you are using symbols.

helium3
10-20-2007, 02:14 AM
I'll try the crosshatch idea, and maybe some other stuff.

It's actually amusing in that the forest is the first part of the map that actually has been cookie-cutter.

helium3
10-20-2007, 02:23 AM
http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t276/helium3/Heva_Map-6.png

Hills have been added. Also, between the last map update and the most recent I mucked around with the forests.

Note, this "mucking around" does not take into account the earlier comments regarding the forests looking too cut and paste.

helium3
10-21-2007, 02:33 PM
Here's a potential solution to the forests looking too "cookie cutter." I've deleted the other forests but will re-place them with the new technique if I decide I like it. If this still looks too cookie cutter, my next move is to hand-draw the forests and scan them in.

http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t276/helium3/Heva_Map-7.png

ravells
10-21-2007, 02:54 PM
I really like the way this is coming together - great work!

RobA
10-22-2007, 09:40 AM
Thats a real nice improvement - I like the variation in both the shape and size of the trees.

-Rob A>

helium3
10-22-2007, 02:29 PM
http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t276/helium3/Heva_Map-8.png

Revamped the rest of the forest with the new style. I have to say that I like it a lot more as well.

This map is almost done. Still need to do desert terrain, population centers and travel routes, legend and compass rose, descriptive text and those idiosyncratic drawings that you see on most older maps.

helium3
10-24-2007, 05:04 PM
http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t276/helium3/Heva_Map-9.png

Desert has been added. Already working on roads and locations, but yeesh it looks unpolished.

ravells
10-24-2007, 06:42 PM
stick with it, it's a very individual style and that's a rare beast around here! I would suggest though that if you are going to have a desert area that in addition to the dunes which look great you use a broad outline of a yellowish colour to denote the desert.

RobA
10-24-2007, 09:45 PM
I'll agree with Ravs on both points. I initially said "what desert" until I identified the dunes. Taking their fill colour and washing the area might do the trick.

And please see this through. It is a clean, distinctive style that I quite like. For the particular type of map I believe you have polished it quite well.

-Rob A>

helium3
10-31-2007, 11:31 PM
http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t276/helium3/Heva_Map-10.png

This last bit took a might longer than the other parts, mostly because each location had to be drawn individually.

I still plan to fiddle with the mountains and desert in the ways that people suggested, but that'll happen after the rest of the map is done.

The next task to tackle on this map involves issues of naming and a compass rose.

Robbie
11-01-2007, 07:39 AM
Wow that map now has twice the character it had before with the addition of all the places...I look forward to seeing your compass rose...Thats always my favorite part of the map as if you couldn't tell by the site logo.

pyrandon
11-01-2007, 07:17 PM
This thread is a perpetual delight, helium. Coming along wonderfully. You're just about to the fine-tuning stage, aren't you? (That's my favorite part: after raw materials have been put in, tweak-tweak-tweaking!)

Keep it up! :)

ravells
11-01-2007, 07:59 PM
Truly delightful! It's like a page out of a storybook!

helium3
11-05-2007, 10:32 AM
So I just have to say, when I do my next regional map, I'm going to figure out where the descriptive text will go BEFORE putting in the details. I'm having a tough time putting in names that don't make the map look incredibly cluttered.

RPMiller
11-05-2007, 03:18 PM
That's what legends are for. ;)

helium3
11-05-2007, 04:15 PM
Hah hah. :) That's not exactly what I mean. I'll post the map with descriptive text turned on at a later date and you'll see what I mean. It goes from clean to cluttered. It's not a HUGE deal because of the way I'm using the map, but it'll definitely be something I'll think about for the next one.

In the meantime, I've added what I'm calling "Doo-Dads" to the map. I may still fiddle around with the "Sea Serpent."

http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t276/helium3/Heva_Map_Large.png

helium3
11-05-2007, 04:59 PM
And here's what it looks like after I, as some posters suggested, added in a region of half-tone color underneath mountains, hills and sand dunes.

I don't think it detracts in any significant way from the map, but I'm not sure that it adds all that much either. The sharp color difference between the various features and the underlying green of the land was not as big a problem as I thought it would be once all the features went in. It does help a lot to identify desert regions so it'll probably stay in for that reason alone.

http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t276/helium3/Heva_Map_Large-1.png

RPMiller
11-05-2007, 05:12 PM
It looks much more complete with the underlaying color.

Midgardsormr
11-05-2007, 06:40 PM
I think the half-tone fields do a lot for the deserts, but not so much for the mountains.

I had some reservations about the way the map was hanging together stylistically, but the addition of settlement symbols completely changed my mind; that map looks terrific. And I am in love with your compass rose.

Robbie
11-05-2007, 08:22 PM
I'm REALLY digging the way this is comin together...I like the underlying color too...I do wanna see the labeled version and as a Compass Rose connoisseur I also like yours a lot.

helium3
11-07-2007, 12:24 AM
I agree that the underlying color adds enough to the map to warrant keeping. So, it stays. As requested, here's the map with the regional labelling. This is the actual map I'll be sending to my players for a D&D campaign I'll be starting and it'll need the labels for it's purpose, so that layer will be on no matter how ugly it makes the whole thing look. The nice thing is I can turn the regional labels layer off, zoom in a bunch (since it's a .svg map) and do more detailed sub-regional mapping with labels that don't cover everything up. I'm also going to post the map in the completed work forum, since this map is now done!!

http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t276/helium3/Heva_Map-11.png

ravells
11-07-2007, 05:42 AM
Bravo! Absolutely wonderful! I like your choice of symbols (the junk underlines the Ukioye feel of the map) and the font you've used (slightly japanesy but not too much) which fit in with the style of the map which too me is a cross between ancient greek and japanese. You could stick the lettering of 'The Golden Coast' in the sea next to the coast perhaps? Have you tried playing with using the text only horizontally and not curved or at angles? One of the reasons that the text might appear to jar is because you have so have so many horizontal elements in the drawing and the text conflicts with it. Not sure how you'd label the desert just using horizontal text though. Beautifully done.

helium3
11-07-2007, 12:02 PM
Bravo! Absolutely wonderful! I like your choice of symbols (the junk underlines the Ukioye feel of the map) and the font you've used (slightly japanesy but not too much) which fit in with the style of the map which too me is a cross between ancient greek and japanese. You could stick the lettering of 'The Golden Coast' in the sea next to the coast perhaps? Have you tried playing with using the text only horizontally and not curved or at angles? One of the reasons that the text might appear to jar is because you have so have so many horizontal elements in the drawing and the text conflicts with it. Not sure how you'd label the desert just using horizontal text though. Beautifully done.

Wow. You totally picked up on the feel I was trying to create for the map. How cool. My original inspiration (when I first started fiddling around with this style) was that fairly famous image of the waves and boats with Mt. Fuji in the background.

I may fiddle around with the placement of the text, but at this point I probably need to move on to other projects (like writing some adventures and updating the website the map will be posted to). I did initially try doing the text horizontally, but I thought it looked much worse. Interesting idea though that the wonky-ness of the text may have more to do with it's lack of horizontals. I'll have to play around with that next time.

Anyhow, thanks for the praise. I really appreciate it.

pyrandon
11-07-2007, 11:14 PM
Thanks for sharing the process, Helium. Your final map is neat. If you do ever feel like playing with it more, I could easily see this being placed on parchment (a bit stereotypical, perhaps, but I think this particular map could really benefit from that sort of rich texture and the opacity/desaturization it would entail.)

I must also say your naming is a bit too "cheesy" for my tastes--but that is being said without any knowledge of your storyline; perhaps these make perfect sense in that context. IMO, they are very fairy tale-ish.

Thanks again for posting all your progress. This thread was a constant delight! :)

Beowulf
11-08-2007, 12:27 AM
Very nice work! I love it, very unique.