The Old & The New
About a week ago I sat down with a mission: To examine all the cartography brushes (for photoshop) I have collected over the years, throw out the ones I don't like, and catalog the ones I do. This led me (of course) to Deviant Art to find more brushes. When I was done I had found a few really solid sets that I could see myself re-using for a long time. I then made a document to display those sets in a single location, so I could more easily choose brushes when starting a project. And when I was done... I was in love.
I had found a set by an artist I was not previously familiar with which was just my style, and I couldn't resist using it. The following is a map that took around 4 hours to make, start to finish, using those brushes. My very heartfelt thanks go to Moraey for her "Fantasy Map Brushes." Thanks also go to Mouritsa for the "Brush Pack Scrolls" used in the titles of major cities. Finally, the landforms were done on the fly with a little tool I found kicking around my computer and have deleted by mistake I believe it was made by either StarRaven or Calthyechilde, who are the source of most of the brushes I have used previously. It's a pair of little blobby shapes set up as brush presets using size/shape jitters and a scatter to make unpredictable coastlines easily. If this sounds familiar, would you be so kind as to help me find it? I haven't been able to track it down and would like to credit the artist properly.
The map itself was done on a whim, pretty much just wanting to use the nifty new brushes. I made up some naming conventions on the fly, assisted by Mithril & Mages random generators for some of the names.
I rather imagine it being the sort of map made within the setting through a collaboration, hence the varying fonts. Major cities have multiptle names, based on what they might be called colloquially (banners show traditional names that predate the modern culture, a large-script name for how it is most likely known in distant parts of the kingdom, and a couple colloquial names for how it might be referred to by those in or near it). Larger icons are intended to suggest larger sorts of settlements, and I used a combination of origins for the name roots (assuming an English-speaking nation with French roots/old tongue in a land where once lived a people with a Malinese tongue). The smallest settlements are hamlets & villages, although by far not the only ones in the area. Rather, the ones that travelers or distant experts might have some chance of knowing about. My assumption is that there are indeed many more unlabled, just as many regional or geographic terms are left out by the mapmakers.
Over the sea, white flags indicate the landing places of invading colonists from the main kingdom, black flags lost, ruined or abandoned colonies, and iconless names the local tribes by general area. The whole is without scale on purpose, to allow the viewer (and in fact, the artist) the lattitude to imagine any amount of extra, unrepresented features at will - Although I advise a minimum of 30-50 miles for the width of the channel.
The map, overall, is hardly the quality turned out by the senior members of the Guild, but I'm very pleased with it for the beautiful brushes, simple but busy style, and the sense of whimsy I get. Also the fact that it's exactly what I wanted it to be, whipped up in an evening. For my first properly finished map, I am well pleased.
(That said, I believe in the value of peer review - comment away! I will take all you comments into consideration in my future works. Thank you)
Last edited by Tomalak; 09-24-2014 at 11:34 PM.