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Thread: Help making good map labels.

  1. #1
      SSJPabs is offline
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    Default Help making good map labels.

    I've been writing an alternate history for some months and one thing that I have continued to struggle with is how to label the maps. Making the maps themselves are not too tough but I struggle labeling them properly. No matter what I do I can't shake the feeling that the map labels are obviously added in photoshop. I try various fonts but the main issue is how to make it look like "ink on paper" so to speak.

    Uploaded below is a small inset from the map I made to show what I am trying to label. Any help would be appreciated.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help making good map labels.-testimage1.jpg  

  2. #2
      tilt is offline
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    I believe that Gidde wrote something about ink-bleeding in the tutorial named.....eh... mapping for the artistical challenged... or some such
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      hohum is offline
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    Yeah! Giddes tutorial is here

    The gist of it is make three copies of the "ink" then leave your original alone. "ink" copy gets mode set to "Grain Merge", Opacity to 50%. Then 5px gaussian blur and a Spread (Filter Noise → → Spread) of 3px. "Ink" copy#1 layer mode to Grain Merge, and the opacity to 55%. Apply a 5px spread and then a 2px gaussian blur. And "Ink" copy #2 layer mode to multiply and the opacity to 64%. (liberally copied and pasted from the tutorial).

    Hope that helps.

  4. #4
      Seretur is offline
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    I think he's using Photoshop, but the basic idea should be the same for both programs, even if the menus aren't quite the same.

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      Ascension is offline
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    I use an outer glow, drop shadow and on a separate layer use some noise dots (low opacity). I guess if you wanted it to look like an old printing then you could use the grain filters on the text. When I want to make it look hand-lettered I use a mask on the text and then use the pixellate filter and blur.
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  6. #6
      Gidde is offline
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    The biggest problem with translating that into PS is that PS doesn't have Grain Merge available as an option. Multiply or Burn should do the trick though.

  7. #7
      SSJPabs is offline
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    Thanks to all for the suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    I use an outer glow, drop shadow and on a separate layer use some noise dots (low opacity). I guess if you wanted it to look like an old printing then you could use the grain filters on the text. When I want to make it look hand-lettered I use a mask on the text and then use the pixellate filter and blur.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gidde View Post
    The biggest problem with translating that into PS is that PS doesn't have Grain Merge available as an option. Multiply or Burn should do the trick though.
    Yes, I'm struggling with the appropriate use of pixelation and noise--and that Gidde's tutorial doesn't translate awesomely to photoshop tremendously easily when it comes to the text parts. (BTW though, it's a great one for making those all-ink maps and I intend to use it as much as I can for that purpose...)

    For instance, look at the lettering in the image below. The problem is that the states are color coded in my map and so sometimes dark text is hard to read.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help making good map labels.-test2.jpg  

  8. #8
      Gidde is offline
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    Hmm, honestly it doesn't look bad to me. Even France shows up just fine on my screen.

  9. #9
      ravells is offline
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    An outer glow on the text against a dark background would fix any concerns you have there.

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