i basically ran a fractal noise effect in adobe after effects and looked for shapes that i knew i'd need and cut them out from that, then in photoshop i refined by hand the shapes into what i had in mind! the duplicate details are what's left over from bits that i chose but didn't notice because i was focusing on other parts at any one time! the little man waving is one of these bits, but there were many others that have now been redefined or removed! (although i have no idea how it ended up alongside parts that share no other features! so it was possibly left over from layers that were previously cut away!) so it was a mixture of by hand and by random process - but the most time was spent by hand!
the north west you mention was done by hand because i had a certain shape and "flow" in mind, but i don't think it may have been as troublesome as you imagine, once i had the shape down i attacked it with the eraser brush set from about 3 pixels to a maximum of 9, what you end up with is a kind of broken lands effect as you follow the coastlines and chisel away at it!
and also - yes, my river mouths are pretty sloppy!!
@Chashio - thanks, i'll give that a go - still getting to grips with how photoshop treats effects, i'm used to the forgiving nature of After Effects!!
The rivers in the middle are a bit dark compared to the coastline, maybe once you have the stroke issue figured out it will even itself out. Have you tried rasterizing the stroke before duplicating it? Sometimes photoshop handles vectors strangely. Good luck and great work!
re: the stroke issue, i followed the suggestions but to no avail! i got around it by duplicating the layer, zeroed the fill and plonked it on the top of the layer stack! there was something acting on the opacity of the layers that i couldn't pinpoint, i know this because the background layers are now in a background template ps document and by dropping the land layers into this doc does not create the same faded look! this is quite confusing as the only layers above the land layers are text layers!?!
i took a look through my old "practice" map attempts and found one with an interesting shape! it was a continent, not islands, but it had a "british" influence and i thought i'd have a go at making islands out of it! i don't know why i turned away from it in the first place as it seems closer to what i ultimately had in mind, maybe i just didn't have a clear enough "vision" at the time!!
here it is:
for some reason the file size is bigger, so the image quality is not the prettiest!
you can probably see the origin of many shapes that were used in the previous map, and i brought some shapes from that one (obviously)!
i am also a little happier with the scale of this one, using the same technique i used to scale the last one (putting it on an atlas = genius), this one stretches from the faroe islands to algeria, so about 2500 miles, much more acceptable than the shade off 4000 miles of the previous one!
i now have the problem of not knowing quite where to put mountains! lots of hints at river mouths though!
i did say that a redesign might be on the cards, there are quite a few possible arrangements and by the looks of things i'm not going to be happy until i've tried them all!!!! i was worried this would happen! curse my indecisiveness!
Awesome texturing and design, this is the type of map that makes me have that same awe and curiosity of what the world is like. It does not happen too often that I can see a map alone and want there to be a few thousand pages of good writing to accompany it so I can see it from within.
here's the newer attempt with texturing...
I prefer the 'paper version' from the previous update. The lighting on this new one is ... \: not a favorite kinda photoshoping. The land texture is interesting, tho. :) What would happen if you combined the land texturing with the paper version?
At first i thought you meant plonk the textured map on a paper background, but then i thought you may have meant JUST the textured layers on a paper background! so i did both just in case!
i tried it on the "gloomy" background but that didn't go too well, plus i'm beginning to think that darker colours=lower quality when saving as a jpeg!
i think it looks pretty cool, plus it may have solved the problem i was having with adding forest textures which were just turning everything black because of the layer blendings, i was at a point where i was thinking of changing the colour of the tree texture i was using from green to some other colour so it would not drown everything out!
That top one is pretty darn sweet, Timo! That contrast between the land and sea is luscious! I like the other too, had indeed originally meant that for my suggestion, but I think that just doing the textures as they are over paper (the bottom one) doesn't give enough definition to see details clearly, and the thumbnail tends toward blotchy.
Only other thought at the moment... wondering what the addition of a brushstroke or two of red paint/color on the logo behind The Nine would do for it as a whole. Mmm, but maybe not.