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Thread: Kingdom of Eshenor

  1. #11
      jbgibson is offline
    Guild Expert jbgibson's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    Alabama, USA


    Your "meh" is really good. The main thing it lacks is contrast. Sticking with monochrome, you're already challenging yourself to get enough distinction between elements.

    Like I commented on your newer style over in your duplicate post :-) there's some mixed messages going (here commenting on the supposedly "meh" Ahalgain & Greater Setis). The light outer glow on the text does improve its legibility ... but think just HOW would a man with a piece of parchment and a nib pen accomplish that? All your elements run right up to the light halos like they had been drawn completely then had text-shaped holes erased. But if your cartographer lettered the text, how did he erase background without erasing the label? Or if he erased in advance of the label THEN put in the labels, well WOW was he ever precise. See what I mean? I don't have a complete solution to suggest, just an angle you can think about.

    In addition to Lukc's suggestion on tapered rivers, you need to take a look at their branching. Think "roots of plant" or "branches of tree", not "spider's web" .... on its journey from high to low, water is almost always going to join, never rebranch. Islands in rivers are going to generally be tiny compared to the length of the whole river network. Take a look at Redrobes' tutorial on How To Get Your Rivers In the Right Place. <wonder if I can make a macro to speed me dropping that suggestion into a post :-).... > For instance, your River Deratan in the Ahalgain map has all those alternate ways to the sea. Except for the restricted case of a delta, if water has two apparent choices, it will always flow in the even slightly lower course, leaving the slightly higher one dry. Even if two choices are temporarily equal, one will quickly erode more and be the "better" choice, and will capture all the flow. Sure, in flood time maybe there's so much water that other channels get we too. But that is a temporary situation.

    The font is fine, at the smaller sizes. It's way more legible than many script fonts, yet still looks a little fancy/calligraphic. But when you make use of the same thing as a display font for the title, it goes to looking typeset. Think - how would the guy who so meticulously lettered in all the little labels do what you have as "Greater Setis" -- with a pen nib a third of an inch wide? Naaaah - any self-respecting calligraphist would do something fancier, to show off :-).

    The hills and mountains are really well done, and the forests are nicely randomized.

    For enhanced contrast how would it look if you brought your coastline up to the darkness of the text?

    I like the embossed-parchment new style, but I like your older stuff just as well. Nice work!

  2. #12
    Guild Member ScotlandTom's Avatar
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    Nov 2011


    I'm going to second some of jbgibson's points, especially regarding contrast. It would be really easy to do a levels adjustment in Photoshop to really bring up those dark values and keep the whole piece from looking so washed out.

    Really liking all the details on this one though. Excellent use of brush work.

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