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Thread: June Entry: Wheel of Time - from Falme to Fal Dara

  1. #11
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    I'm really looking forward to seeing how this one turns out. I'm also a WoT fan, and did a map myself about a year and a half ago: http://www.bryanray.name/illustration/randland.png Feel free to use it for reference—being vector, it's a little easier to read than Mitchell's painting, on which it is based. Apologies for the missing northern border of Andor, though.

    You currently have some labeling issues. The high ascenders and descenders of the font you're using make a two-line label almost impossible. For instance, the Fingers of the Dragon label is overlapping itself. And given the amount of space the labels are taking up, I think you should either use Paerish Swar or Darkwood, but not both. Pay close attention to your type hierarchy. Nation labels, being on banners, are probably okay to be a bit small, but I think your town names are overwhelming, and some of the features are certainly too big. I think all of the non-nation labels could do with being shrunk significantly. I love the reversed-out labels on the ocean.

    You have a couple of misspellings: Aryth Ocean and Plains of Maredo. I think you could safely lose the "the" from The Fingers of the Dragon. Oh, and I think World's End is actually that peninsula to the left of where you've put the label.

    The woodcut texture you're using is cool, but it's too fine across the land, I think. It puts me in mind of the interlacing on an old black-and-white television. Maybe that will improve as more features go down, though. I like the mountains at Windbiter's Finger; see if you can't get them to integrate better by using the same sort of hatching that you have on the banners, or at least the same quality of shading as you have in the banners' shadows.

    Again, I'm eager to see your finished product!
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  2. #12
      tilt is offline
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    yep, agree with Midgaardsormr, lot of interlacing going on - making everything really hard to read. Maybe you should resize to 50% before making the jpg you upload to reduce size also
    regs tilt
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      Immolate is offline
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    Ah yes, I'm familiar with your map Midgardsomr. I've been using it extensively in this process.

    Thank you for the thorough critique. I feel that the best way to honor that sort of an effort is to take it seriously, and I have. I'm surprised I only made two typos. I can't tell you now many typos I've found looking at other people's published maps. The mapper at the 13th depository is probably the most prolific Wheel of Time mapper but even he or she made a dog's dinner (WoT phrase) of the map of Sheinar, putting Faldara north of Tarwin's Gap. I've also found numerous maps equating a league to four miles.

    Just FYI, the labeling of the World's End vertically as I did it was the same as the book map method. I agree though that it's more useful and accurate to have it horizontal.

    The labels are a struggle of course. There are a lot of important places on the map. My first attempt did have some really big labels that needed to come down. I've been through four fonts with the place names before I found one that didn't annoy me too much. I'd love to hear everyone's opinion on that. One thing you learn quickly when you're dealing with big maps: you immerse so deeply that you can't really see the map objectively anymore.

    I've collected and added some names to the map, along with rivers.

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      Gidde is offline
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    I like the new font for place names, it differentiates from political names beautifully. The rivers are gorgeous!

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      Ascension is offline
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    The hand-written Timesesque (heh, I made up another word for ya there ) font looks great but I think of Aquilline much like Papyrus...overused. No biggie, it's a nice font. The ocean has me scratching my head, though. It has some subtle colors, which are cool, and I'm wondering if there will be some more subtle color in the land. It also has this kind of "fields" pattern on it that I'm still pondering...don't know if I like it or not. I leaning towards liking it but maybe turn down the opacity a bit...shrug. You might want to hide those rivers that are showing through the banners with a solid color instead of a lower opacity. It looks pretty damn sweet, though, so these are just some minor nits.
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      Immolate is offline
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    Thanks for the pointers Ascension. I haven't used the font myself so I wasn't aware of its overuse. I don't notice that sort of thing in the maps of others. I tend to see the whole thing and not notice the components. The ocean is actually a pretty standard crosshatch pattern with a filter of texturizer-grain-clumped-low intensity-high contrast. I've toned it down a bit.

    It's hard to hide the rivers as they are actually a carved out part of the land. However, I can put a blank behind the banner to keep the river from bleeding through, or crank up the opacity of tha banners in general.

    Some changes to the mountain methodology, plus some added low mountains on Tremalking. I've also blended in some woodcut texture to the land. I know that traditionally, the woodcut goes on the ocean side, but I wanted to try this to see how it feels. Feedback from others is welcome on this especially.

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      tilt is offline
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    As Ascension said I also noticed the rivers looking through the labels, and feels that spoils the labeling a little. I feel the wood cut in the land is making everything harder to read, liked the look before that, however it did look a little like the rivers were hovering over the map, and if anything should hover it should be the country names instead
    regs tilt
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  8. #18
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    I'm surprised I only made two typos.
    Two that I noticed, anyway. I won't assert that I saw all of them, particularly now that you've added some less significant names to the map.

    I've also found numerous maps equating a league to four miles.
    I don't remember what conversion Jordan was using, but "league" is an uncertain measure, being the distance that can be traveled in an hour on foot. Four miles is not outside of the range of acceptable values. I've seen examples of leagues as small as 1.5 miles (the Roman league) and as large as 5. I did not bother to try to convert to miles on my map, since leagues is the unit used in the books, and the only really useful scale statement I can recall was the distance from Tar Valon to Tear.

    Anyway, back to the art:
    Even with the additional visual interference from the new woodcut, the new labels are much easier to read and less chaotic. You're definitely going to want to make an apostrophe for that font that doesn't have one, though. Incomplete fonts are a pain, aren't they?

    I'm definitely liking the hatched mountains, but they need to be blurred a bit to integrate properly with the map. Are you using a version of Photoshop that supports Smart Filters?

    I love that huge watermark. I didn't notice it when I was looking closely at the map, but it's clearly visible in the thumbnail. Very nice touch.

    Incidentally, I notice that you've used the name Aridhol rather than Shadar Logoth—is there a reason for the anachronism?
    Last edited by Midgardsormr; 06-01-2010 at 11:26 AM.
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      tilt is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midgardsormr View Post
    ..."league" ... Four miles is not outside of the range of acceptable values.
    ...to make an apostrophe for that font that doesn't have one, though. Incomplete fonts are a pain, aren't they?

    I love that huge watermark. I didn't notice it when I was looking closely at the map, but it's clearly visible in the thumbnail. Very nice touch.
    Agree with Midgard, stay with leagues and incomplete fonts ARE a pain - especially when you live in a country with letter like æ ø å Æ Ø Å (don't know if they'll show up properly) but they cause big problems when I convert books from US to European format as the designer in the US don't care if those letters aren't there, which leaves me to desperatly try to find a like font thats "complete".
    Didn't see that watermark either - thanks for drawing my attention to it - cool
    regs tilt
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  10. #20
      Ilvarin is offline
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    This is looking awesome. I gave up after book four (I have a crippling case of literary ADD I think, I got distracted and didn't finish the test) but I always loved the look of the world and thought it would be great to visit. I'm really impressed with how this is progressing. I started working on one for the movie Stardust, but now I'm scared. My only real nitpick would be that the grungy background in the latest iteration makes it a little muddy in a wide view. Maybe play with the opacity some, or is it just me? I am new to this style of mapping. Anyway, looking forward to seeing this develop further.
    Sláinte

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