View Full Version : Forcing myself to do something

03-21-2010, 09:53 PM
I had some ideas for new mountains, mainly making the shadows and highlights more prominent so that you could really see the undulations better. To that end I made myself open PS for the first time in about 2 months and just start messin around. The mtns look a lot like my normal mtns but I think they look better, shrug. Now I've got my colors all messed up for other stuff :) Ah, well...can't have everything I guess. It's not big and it's not the greatest thing but at least it gets me working again.


03-21-2010, 11:21 PM
Yay! New goodness from Ascension! :D

What do the gray X's on the mt. peaks represent?

03-22-2010, 01:46 AM
Hey looking good, indeed they are a little better than your other ones, but your other ones were great anyway. My only gripe is they are a little too white but i that's minor.


03-22-2010, 08:25 AM
The whiteness I've been working on cuz I feel the same way. I'll trim em back a lil more. The gray Xs are dungeons, didn't want to go with red dots...might just leave them out altogether.

03-22-2010, 10:39 AM
This is very nice. i am particularly fond of the forests/vegetation. If you don't mind my asking, did you use something like a scatter brush and paint the texture in or did you use some sort of layer style texture overlay? I love the dithered edges.

03-22-2010, 11:14 AM
good te see ye back in the saddle showing us new and more mapping greatness! Agree that the mountains and shading look fab (also the terrain color/texture is very nice). Only thing is that the shades of the higher peaks look a little too dark/black in my opinion. cheers!

03-22-2010, 09:28 PM
If you've done my atlas or continent tut then the forest is familiar...clouds, diff clouds (twice), 5% noise, lighting effects, delete the darkest colors, then add a small 5 pixel emboss and a color overlay.

03-22-2010, 11:11 PM
I thought I'd take a crack at that Swiss Atlas/shaded relief/National Geographic style recently posted. Re-uploaded the image now with roads, forests, buildings, and proper contour lines.

03-22-2010, 11:32 PM
The contour shading is looking great!

03-23-2010, 03:53 AM
Very pretty. One minor quibble about contour lines and rivers is that rivers cross contour lines at right angles as a general rule. For the most part these rivers are in deeply incised canyons and they "pull" the contour lines around themselves, but there do appear to be a couple of places where they are crossing at an odd angle.

It's good exercise to draw one map in several different styles (ideally to show different information). You get to learn a lot that way. A nice painterly style like the first one, a "modern" painterly style such as the Swiss style, a simple ink physiographic style such as done by Raisz ( http://www.decorative-maps.com/map-symbols-raisz-physiography.html has some good examples), and a hachure-based style such as was popular in the 1800s will all cover a good range of techniques.

If you need inspiration, I heartily recommend the books Cartographic Relief Presentation By Eduard Imhof and General Cartography by Erwin Raisz. They provide overviews of types of presentation of terrain and maps. Cartographic Relief Presentation is a good overview of cartography written by one of the masters of the Swiss atlas style. It was reprinted by ESRI a few years back so it's much easier to get these days than it used to be. General Cartography is an older textbook that discusses many aspects of cartography. It's long out of print (published in 1948 as part of the McGraw-Hill Series in Geography) but there were lots of them printed and they turn up on eBay regularly for a reasonable price.
I also like Principles of Cartography by Erwin Raisz because it's a textbook on cartography. It was published in 1962, so it's mostly geared around pre-computer technology, but it has a great many discussions on various aspects of cartography and exercises for drawing features. Copies show up on eBay regularly for not too much.
An amusing read with some nice Raisz plates is An Outline of Geography by Preston E. James (the ones I have are copyright 1935). Reading this book shows how much the political world view has changed in the last 75 years. It predates plate tectonics as a concept and some of the assertions have been shown to be incorrect, but many of the discussions about climate are still applicable. I will admit that I bought a copy on eBay for $5 (badly written in and worn) just to scan some of the pictures. It's a great read, with quotes like "Of course, the regions which already support a dense native population are not open to European or American colonization."

OK, I think that's quite enough rambling for now.

03-23-2010, 05:38 AM
Yes, I'm aware of the 90 degree thing, I just didn't follow it because I didn't draw the contour lines by hand. Anyone who has that kind of time needs better things to do. I used 12 layers of Filter - Stylize - Trace contour. Quick and easy is better than taking the next 5 months :) I'm replicating the style, that's all...but thanks.

03-23-2010, 04:37 PM
so... i guess its up to you, how would you like your children? bare? or bear? :P

looks good.. i really like the scattered yellow effect along the rivers (lone trees, or something? either way i think it looks bitching). and the swiss style is coming along nicely, i just really like the way it makes the mts pop...

i've been attempting some mts on my own, i think i'll give it a break for now and try to finish a whole map... but i plan on getting back to them in the future.

i r impressed.

03-24-2010, 12:14 AM
Tonight I put in some color tweaks on everything and then did more roads and buildings and spent most of the night trying to get a good font (century gothic...closest thing I could find to match). Oh, and I redid the contour lines so that they would be more precise and not so haphazard...it all depends on setting up the grayscale properly (I was overthinking it before and messed it up so I did a simple job and it worked much better). The first pic is the original that I'm working from and the second is where I'm at so far with my reproduction. You'll notice that mine has a bit more vivid color...can't help it, the last one was kinda plain.

Aval Penworth
03-24-2010, 08:19 AM
You are so clever.

03-24-2010, 10:17 AM
lookin great!

Steel General
03-24-2010, 01:00 PM
You da' man!!! :)

03-24-2010, 01:02 PM
agreed, a very cool new style again!

03-24-2010, 01:39 PM
That's glorious!!! Nothing more satisfying that making a style!!!

03-25-2010, 12:10 AM
No work on this tonight, I made a tut for it so that I wouldn't forget my steps.

03-25-2010, 12:18 AM
Just when i think to myself "ascension's da man" you do something like this :P

I can see definite influences from that Swiss style that was posted not long ago, bloody hell.

You scare me :)

03-28-2010, 07:00 PM
Here's something else that I just started diddling up in order to make myself do something. Needs labels and graphics still.

Steel General
03-28-2010, 07:43 PM
I like it, but I think the town/city/etc. icons may be a bit 'cartoony' for the map.

03-28-2010, 07:53 PM
Here's something else that I just started diddling up in order to make myself do something. Needs labels and graphics still.

The envy... ah, it burns! :D

I kinda like those city icons, but it seems like there's too many of them. Once you label everything, all that gorgeous terrain is going to be hidden.

03-28-2010, 10:23 PM
I was thinking the same thing...on both accounts.

03-30-2010, 10:03 AM
I like it, but I think the town/city/etc. icons may be a bit 'cartoony' for the map.

agree with the general, the icons don't really fit the landmass ... and yep, there are a lot of them :)

03-30-2010, 10:30 AM
I am not sure if the icons themselves are cartoony... Maybe it is just the contrast of color with the map itself... I was experimenting with my icons and found that using layer blending options like Overlay, and Soft-Light can really help "blend" icons with this sort of map. Maybe I am crazy, but it might be worth a try.

03-30-2010, 04:40 PM
I just got fixated on making icons and didn't care if they fit this map or not cuz I'll use em on another map. I haven't done much to make them fit or try other things because I'm putting the finishing touches on a new tutorial. When that's done I have some real work to finish for money and then I'll get back on this.

03-31-2010, 02:26 AM
Don't get me wrong I like the icons, they would fit a computergame nicely and they easily convey the sizes of the cities etc. :)