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Thread: Procedural mapping style experiments

  1. #21
      Hai-Etlik is online now
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    Quote Originally Posted by gilgamec View Post
    This is neat! I'm most interested in how you captured the minor noise-like effects of the paper grain; that's something I hadn't even considered, and yet my brief experiments in that direction do increase verisimilitude. Thanks!
    It's a fractal noise turbulence filter that I then use as both a displacement map and as a mask. I also apply a Gaussian Blur and multiply everything with the background. Each colour has this applied separately.

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      alizarine is offline
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    Great-looking reproduction - even if it doesn't look as old as the original it does have that same "feeling". A great way to simulate oldness while still allowing the map to be legible! I'll have to keep working in Illustrator before I get to this point, but I think I'll have to give this a try (with some personal modifications) at some point. Thanks for the info on how you did this!

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      The Stoat is offline
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    I like this experiment. I note that you are think how to reproduce the style more accurately. I think one of the keys to this is to remember the source of the original, a printing press. I think if your map was turned into masks for the printing press of the era it would end up looking much more like the original. Some differences that are clearly part of the printing process is the resolution and the color densities.
    To recreate this best each color should be a separate layer with blur and noise should be applied to each separately to give slightly different effects. My reason for suggesting this is that in the printing process you can see they wanted some colors to bleed more like the yellow and blue. Others were meant to be sharper but suffered from flaws in the print proces, i.e. the J in Jamaica. Also all colors should be somewhat transparent, even the red and black to some extent.
    To simulate the paper the base layer should be off white and a light bump map over it all to provide some texture.
    I think you have definitely captured the style the maps were created in. My comment are directed at recreating some of the effects of how the maps were actually published. Definite cread for this.

  4. #24
      gilgamec is offline
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    The next map I'm going to recreate is from my Prentice-Hall "University Atlas", from 1983. This is about as recent as I'm going to get (past that and we start to get GIS-produced maps, which are interesting but not what I'm targeting).
    Procedural mapping style experiments-jamaicaprentice.jpg
    (Jamaica was at the inner edge of the paper and I couldn't flatten the atlas all the way, so there's a little distortion on the right hand side.) First thing to note is that the colours on this map are halftoned; as I mentioned a couple of posts back, there is no way I'm going to attempt to recreate that. (Or, rather, I attempted it but was unable to rasterize the image in such as way as to avoid any nasty Moire aliasing.) Solid colours it is, then.
    First, though, there's the standard vector stuff. There are different icons for cities depending on their size, and Kingston actually gets the "shaded area" treatment:
    Procedural mapping style experiments-jamaicaprentice01.png
    Next come railroads. I finally figured out how to make them run under the city icons! (In brief, if you use Asymptote: clip with even-odd filltype against a path list containing the city icons and the bounding box.)
    Procedural mapping style experiments-jamaicaprentice02.png
    Roads are in a slightly transparent red ink. The spoked-wheel thing is an airport; why the original map put Jamaica's international airport in the middle of the sea, I don't know.
    Procedural mapping style experiments-jamaicaprentice03.png
    The map has contour lines at 8000, 6000, 4000, 2000, and 200 m below sea level, and 200, 400, 1000, 1500, 2000, and 3000 m above sea level. The same height map I used last time gives:
    Procedural mapping style experiments-jamaicaprentice04.png
    (Wow, I really like those colours!)

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      gilgamec is offline
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    One nice feature of the original map is the shading implying slope. This was the hardest thing to get right (and even so, I can't get the same slopes shown in the original). It's simple in theory: we can calculate the slope from the height field, take the dot product with a "light" vector, and shade (with blend type "Darken"):
    Procedural mapping style experiments-jamaicaprentice05.png
    Alas! The slopes in the mountains (in the east) are so high that there are very few slopes anywhere else. In order to show the slopes elsewhere, I change the shading to depend on the square root of the slope; this means that much smaller slopes will still be dark-ish:
    Procedural mapping style experiments-jamaicaprentice06.png
    The spatial scale is still too small, though. A Gaussian blur will take care of that:
    Procedural mapping style experiments-jamaicaprentice07.png
    So close, but too dark! I drop the opacity to 0.75 and cut back the darkest colour shown to be about 60% grey to get:
    Procedural mapping style experiments-jamaicaprentice08.png
    which is very nice (but, like I said, doesn't remotely match the shading on the original). The underlying grid is a little too visible, but I'll leave that for another day (as it's not too bad at this scale).

    We add back in the vector elements to get a pretty good recreation of the original map:
    Procedural mapping style experiments-jamaicaprentice09.png

  6. #26
      gilgamec is offline
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    Help Font help?

    Now we come to labels. Take a look at the original map:
    Procedural mapping style experiments-jamaicaprentice.jpg
    There are no fewer than four different fonts used in those labels! (Compare the capital Ms in "Mandeville", "May Pen", "Montego Bay", and "JAMAICA".) identifont.com says that one of the sans-serif fonts (the one used for "Spanish Town" and "South Negril Pt.") is Gill Sans, and one of the serif fonts (the one used for "Montego Bay" and "Kingston") is Perpetua, also by Gill. The font used for "JAMAICA" looks like a Didot pastiche. However, I have no idea what the fourth font (used for "Black River" and "Mandeville") is. Any ideas?

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      Ascension is offline
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    It looks like an italic version of that sans font. Look at South Negril. Oh, and excellent job so far
    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.
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  8. #28
      gilgamec is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    It looks like an italic version of that sans font. Look at South Negril.
    Hmmm....It certainly looks a lot like it, but I was worried about the lower-case "a", which is very different, and a couple of other characters. Looking at all of the characters of the font on my system again, though, it looks like the italic version does indeed have these differences!
    Great! Thanks! Now I just have to find a font that approximates Perpetua (which is the only one I don't own); worst-case scenario, I use Didot.
    Thanks!

  9. #29
      gilgamec is offline
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    Well, thanks to Ascension's tip (good catch!), I've managed to put labels on the map:
    Procedural mapping style experiments-jamaicaprentice10.png
    Didot doesn't look as good with Gill Sans as Perpetua, but it works fine. The biggest remaining problem is the labels.
    You may notice that the labels are all straight (unlike the original map), whereas I've had no problem with curved labels in the past. The reason is that to get better font handling, I've moved from pdflatex to xelatex; unfortunately, the latter doesn't yet have the ability to fit text to a path. I'm in the middle of writing a (very crude) method to do that, but it's not ready yet; when it is, I'll try to curve the labels and add the JAMAICA label.

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      gilgamec is offline
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    Well, I found Perpetua on my computer at work, got the curved labels working, touched things up a bit, and produced what I think is going to be the final recreated version:
    Procedural mapping style experiments-jamaicaprentice10a.png
    Procedural mapping style experiments-jamaicaprentice.jpg

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