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Thread: First Map, done quickly

  1. #1
      Brodiggan is offline
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    Post First Map, done quickly

    As the title says, this is the first map I've submitted here, so be gentle. I was trying to go for a rough, ink and watercolors look, nothing too detailed as I'll be using this as a campaign handout and I want to leave plenty of room for added details later.

    The whole thing took approximately 4 and a half hours, and is mostly done freehand in photoshop (with the exception of the decoration around the map title, which was lifted from a 17th century german map to add a bit of punch to the map, and for which I can claim no credit).

    Comments and criticism are definitely appreciated, just keep in mind I was more worried about speed than perfection on this map, since the handout needed to be ready by tomorrow afternoon at the latest.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails First Map, done quickly-heilegwald_large.png  

  2. #2
      Gidde is offline
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    Looks very nice, and I'm incredibly jealous of the speed. It'd take me days to do that

    Have some rep for your first map!

  3. #3
      Brodiggan is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gidde View Post
    Looks very nice, and I'm incredibly jealous of the speed. It'd take me days to do that

    Have some rep for your first map!
    Thanks! As for the speed, there was one big thing that helped me there, and that was just drawing everything I could at 10 to 20 times the size I planned on it being in the final version, very quickly, and very roughly, then using the transform tool to reduce it to the appropriate final size. A lot of the roughness is lost in the reduction, and a quick sharpen brings out the important lines again. And hey, it only takes a moment to scrawl out a mountain or a bit of coastline when it's the size of the whole map.

    Can't say the same trick would work at all if I hadn't been wanting the whole thing to look roughly made anyways. For something more finely detailed I'd have to take much, much longer drawing it all at scale.

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      Ascension is offline
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    Looks very nice. I've been meaning to try out my watercolor brushes to do an ocean like that and now you really spark my interest. Well done.
    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

  5. #5
      Brodiggan is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    Looks very nice. I've been meaning to try out my watercolor brushes to do an ocean like that and now you really spark my interest. Well done.
    Danke! It took a bit for me to find the right watercolor look, that wasn't a pain to create, in the end the easiest/fastest method for me was to very quickly draw in the entire area I wanted to paint with a 'wet edges' brush in a light blue/green/whatever, duplicate the layer four to five times, set them all to multiply and begin erasing sections of each layer, starting from the outside and working gradually inwards using a soft low flow/opacity brush. The inevitable blots and fades and subtle shifts in saturation are juuust close enough to watercolors to pass. (To my eye at least, I could definitely improve the realism a bit by adding a droplet watermark or two.)

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      Coyotemax is offline
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    Nice! I'm actually working my way into that style myself, just started a few days ago.

    good work!

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

  7. #7
      Brodiggan is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyotemax View Post
    Nice! I'm actually working my way into that style myself, just started a few days ago.

    good work!
    Thank you very much. (Absolutely blown away by the Celtic knotwork you have in your profile by the way, stunning, stunning stuff. I think Aquos was my favorite, but they were all impressive enough to make me jealous.)

  8. #8
      Coyotemax is offline
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    Thanks (but really, it's jsut developing patience, and practicing over and over and over and over again, heh).

    Are you familiar with Joan Blaeu? He did a lot of maps in a very similar style, the one that inspired me to start this whole journey. The way you did your border looks almost exactly like the one I'm working on, which is directly based off Joan Blaeu's

    Google-Fu! hi-ya!

    Pay close attention to this one..
    Last edited by Coyotemax; 09-27-2009 at 01:30 AM.

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

  9. #9
      Brodiggan is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyotemax View Post
    Thanks (but really, it's jsut developing patience, and practicing over and over and over and over again, heh).

    Are you familiar with Joan Blaeu? He did a lot of maps in a very similar style, the one that inspired me to start this whole journey. The way you did your border looks almost exactly like the one I'm working on, which is directly based off Joan Blaeu's
    Heh, I am indeed, the border I used on mine was based on one of his maps, the Waldeck Comitatus - 1645 (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Blaeu_1645_-_Waldeck_Comitatus.jpg) and I copied the decoration in the corner from the same map to add a bit of color and fill some negative space I didn't want my players asking too many questions about just yet.

  10. #10
      Coyotemax is offline
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    It's interesting looking at the maps from different dates, you can actually see the style change a bit (not much though). In the map I'm working on, Transylvania, the lighting is from the right on the hills, the hills are a lot more craggy looking (though that might very well be intentional) and the trees are more round - these ones have a bit of definition to them.

    Did you use a tablet at all for this? (i so so so need one, lol)

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

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