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Thread: Tesunden

  1. #1
      nolgroth is offline
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    Map Tesunden

    Hi again folks. Been a while since I posted to the Guild forum. In truth, it has been a while since I did any mapping. The other day I got inspired to finish a project that I have been wanting to do for some time now. The Tesunden map is just a part of the overall project, but it is a vital part.

    A lot of folks helped me out on this one, even though they did not realize it. RobA and Ascension both have produced tutorials that have helped me learn some of the basics of using GIMP and Photoshop Elements interchangeably to get some pretty cool results. arsheesh created the technique that I used for the forests. Aside from them, there have been numerous discussions that I have read where I picked up little tidbits of knowledge. Thanks to those whose names I cannot remember but have helped me just the same. Now onto the map.

    I don't think I have ever created a map that I see so much that could be better and somehow like how it all came together. Of particular note, I am not really pleased with the way the farm lands came out. It works to demonstrate the concept, but it could be better. The rocks came out a little strange. I was playing with the Lighting Effects (in GIMP) and they came out really shiny. I was able to mitigate this somewhat with an accidental flood fill on another layer and a desaturation of the Mountain layer. The overall effect turned out OK, but I was hoping for a more gradual incline effect. That's okay though. I probably will never figure out exactly how to replicate that again.

    Those complaints aside, I really like the finished product. A good thing too, as I am under a (self-imposed) deadline and I spent longer making this map than I thought I would.

    Some other notes:
    1. I made a lot of use out of the Mosaic (GIMP) Plug-in. I also made use of the Layer Effects plug-in. Useful tools.
    2. Scale is 40 miles square. By that scale, some of the terrain features seem a little exaggerated. I wanted something like that, so I am pleased with the results. I was originally going to draw a more symbolic map using Campaign Cartographer 2 until I realized that I would have to retrain myself on that software as much as I would GIMP/PSE.
    3. While the map is technically "finished," I have some post-production work to do. Namely I am going to add some GM only information to it. I was going to paste it into another image with a legend and basic information below the map itself, but I think it would be better if I do that in Scribus later on.
    4. The original is 300 DPI. At the present 2000 x 2000 resolution it would only print a little over 6 inches. I decided to reduce the final DPI to 250. It makes the print size roughly 8". I don't really know how that is going to translate to quality on the printed page, but I honestly don't know if many people will actually print it. If anybody is interested, I may try a 275 DPI version with a border or something to fill out the page a little.
    5. Once I get the island description written up, I will post it in a follow up message. Just for completeness sake.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Tesunden-tesunden250dpi.jpg  

  2. #2
      Ascension is offline
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    I think you've got some good stuff going on here. The ocean is sweet (I love me some dark brooding colors), the overall land color is good, the font colors in the ocean are perfect but it looks like the other fonts don't have the same gradient going on. As to the farmlands, you're on the right track it's just that the farms are too big, I think, but I'm not sure of the scale. By the way, what is the scale? The forests suggest small scale but the mtns suggest large scale. The mtns don't match the forests as the forests have a heavy shadow, the forests could also use some stray bits sticking out of the edges instead of being such a crisp edge (but that might be a result of the shadow) and the little clumps also help, use more of those. Forest shadow wouldn't even be seen unless you're doing a village scale. But, not to worry, we all struggle with mtns and forests. Overall, not too shabby.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  3. #3
      cjs0216 is offline
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    Nice map man, personally, I'm not a fan of how dark the water is, but I love the way the land mass looks.
    "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." -Jiddu Krishnamurti

  4. #4
      nolgroth is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    I think you've got some good stuff going on here. The ocean is sweet (I love me some dark brooding colors), the overall land color is good, the font colors in the ocean are perfect but it looks like the other fonts don't have the same gradient going on. As to the farmlands, you're on the right track it's just that the farms are too big, I think, but I'm not sure of the scale. By the way, what is the scale? The forests suggest small scale but the mtns suggest large scale. The mtns don't match the forests as the forests have a heavy shadow, the forests could also use some stray bits sticking out of the edges instead of being such a crisp edge (but that might be a result of the shadow) and the little clumps also help, use more of those. Forest shadow wouldn't even be seen unless you're doing a village scale. But, not to worry, we all struggle with mtns and forests. Overall, not too shabby.
    Thanks for the constructive feedback. Allow me to address each of these in turn.

    Ocean color: I accidentally came across this when playing with gradients and layer styles. It seemed to fit the overall theme of larger than life that I was going for.
    Scale: I picture the map being about 40 miles square. I realize that a lot of the terrain features may be exaggerated, but I was going for that kind of thing. I suppose I was less interested in precision than feel.
    Mountains: One of the things I don't like about the map. Instead of being true mountains, I rather picture them as similar to some glacial formations relatively common to central California near Fresno. These ones just happen to be taller.
    Forests: I made the forests directly from a tutorial. I think I may have tweaked a setting or two, but other than that it was right down the line. I like the overall way they turned out. Good point about having a bit of a jagged edge around the drop shadow.
    Fonts: I made a conscious decision to make the fonts on the land different than the ones on the water. I really had no reason to do so. It just "felt" right when I did it.

    Thanks again for the words of advice. I have decided to keep this map finalized. I could tinker with it, but I have other things to do on the project I am working on. I will keep you suggestions in mind for the next map I make though.

  5. #5
      nolgroth is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjs0216 View Post
    Nice map man, personally, I'm not a fan of how dark the water is, but I love the way the land mass looks.
    I almost started over when I realized the pixels on the map vis a vis the PPI setting would mean that it would print out relatively small. It was the shape of the land mass that made me keep it. Then again, I like lots of little islands. I do like the water, but I can see where a lighter tone may have given the map a different "tone." Thanks for the kind words.

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