Help with the basics
So i have been watching alot of great tutorials for making maps in diffrent styles and stuff but i still have a problem getting started
my problem lies in that i dont know how big i want my world to be. I would like to start drawing and expanding my map as I go but is that possible in photoshop and if so how do I do it?
i thought about breaking the map up into 1000x1000 bit images and then putting them together in a HTML page but i fear that the squareness will shine through and the edges might not line up if i use filter to weather each image.
Also on a scale from 1-10 from important is it to have a drawing pad? i find it very hard to draw with a mouse :/
1) How big should it be? -- Don't go crazy. Committing to a huge world when you're just starting out is over-committing. Do a region. A valley. A mountain range. Djekspek has some great, simple, step-by-step tutorials over on DA like this: [ Fantasy map - Step by step tutorial by Djekspek on deviantART ]. Also, there are wonderful tutorials here, of course. Pick something SMALL, then follow through and try your best to finish it.
2) You can do a ton of great work without ever using a tablet. Non-tablet methods can produce beautiful results without ever having to do "drawing" motions with your mouse. You can buy a relatively cheap, small tablet--like under $100--and open up a new and interesting world of pressure-sensitivity to yourself. Also, I'm a big advocate of the OTHER kind of tablet: I use an iPad for most of my work. The app I use, ProCreate, is powerful and amazing and less than ten dollars. Plus, I've never seen a Cintiq or other Wacom tablet on a PC or laptop that can come close to the speed and fluidity of drawing on the iPad in ProCreate.
3) Worry about the big decisions for your world later, after you're already comfortable doing small areas. You can always (easily!) stitch the smaller maps together into a bigger map. Think of it this way: if you start on a huge map and don't finish, you've got an unfinished big map. If you start with small areas and work steadily, after a while you'll have a bunch of cool little maps--whether or not you eventually make a whole world.
Thank you for your advice
any hints on how to stitch together smaller map parts?
If you want to stitch together the map seamlessly, you'll want to go with some CSS absolute positioning. You can control it down to the pixel that way. Heck, you wouldn't even need a table. Just load in the images, assign each to a CSS class, and position each one. If you're not that well versed in CSS, W3Schools has some awesome tutorials. CSS Tutorial
Personally, I stitch together my maps with the GIMP, but if your machine is a bit old, slow, or low on RAM, I suppose the HTML way wouldn't be bad.
I can also offer a bit of advice that will save a lot of headache. If you do your map in small squares, make sure each section has overlap into the sections around it.That way, you'll be 100% sure to get seamless transitions. You can crop each piece back down after you're done with everything.