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Thread: APRIL / MAY 2014 LITE CHALLENGE: Vals of Saintonge

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    Guild Journeyer Francissimo's Avatar
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    Default APRIL / MAY 2014 LITE CHALLENGE: Vals of Saintonge

    Hello there, this month challenge has a theme that speaks to me. With that project i want to apply a fantasy style map on my territory, quite a classic subject and this isn't my first attempt to do that but let's take a fresh start for this contest
    Here is my basis, some data about land use (corine land cover) open with a GIS and then exported to Photoshop:
    ### Latest WIP ###
    APRIL / MAY 2014 LITE CHALLENGE:  Vals of Saintonge-base.jpg

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    Guild Journeyer Francissimo's Avatar
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    First step redraw the rivers with a tablet for a more "natural" feeling, gis data are usefull but not always cosmetic. I also add a few hills with bevell effects
    ### Latest WIP ###
    APRIL / MAY 2014 LITE CHALLENGE:  Vals of Saintonge-step1.jpg

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    Guild Journeyer Francissimo's Avatar
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    Hello there, i've been trying new techniques with hillshade for relief that i reworked a bit with wilbur. Wilbur is really an amazing tool for his incise flow purpose, not perfect, rivers had some artifacts when you zoom in but still a great tool! The project of the map is now to represent an hypothetic future of my region with a sea level 15m above present day.
    ### Latest WIP ###
    APRIL / MAY 2014 LITE CHALLENGE:  Vals of Saintonge-may_challengewip.jpg

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      ravells is offline
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    It's looking *really good*, and I love your work flow - the rivers look fabulous. My only comment is that the field texture does not quite work for me because they 'fade out' at the edges rather than have hard edges, often bordered by vegetation (hedeges, trees etc). I often have this problem and the only way I've found to solve it is to use a layer mask and hard edge brush to follow the edges of the fields. Again, it is one of these things which the eye forgives when you are zoomed out but which looks more obvious close up.

    The colours you are using are really lovely.

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    Guild Journeyer Francissimo's Avatar
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    Thanks ravells. For the fields, thats the problem of texturing, as you say, looking good zoomed out but not so much when zoomed in. Your mask solution seems a good idea for a high quality but also a high time consuming render. You mean manually paint on a mask every field border in contact with another surface like the grass around rivers right? That's already a mask i used but with somes progressive borders, i was too lazy to try your solution at first
    I've tried to add somes details to fields with more layers based on my original texture, including wheat fields and a soft bewell effect to give a furrow feeling on fields. Also tried a bewell effect to represent cities, for that i'm still not sure if i'll use symbols or bewell effects, i thought bewell suits well with the aeriel imagery tone the map, but same problem if you zoom in you'll see troubles
    APRIL / MAY 2014 LITE CHALLENGE:  Vals of Saintonge-may_challengewip.jpg

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      ravells is offline
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    You are absolutely right, it does take ages to use the mask technique - that's why I try to stay away from drawing fields . I have not found an easier way to do it though. Drawing good fields is really hard without drawing them individually rather than relying on a texture. I have the full version of Genetica and must try having a play around to see if I can find a way to do it, but these days I'm stuck for time on mapping.

    I think the towns look great without the bevels and keeping the outline.

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    Guild Journeyer Francissimo's Avatar
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    ### Latest WIP ###
    APRIL / MAY 2014 LITE CHALLENGE:  Vals of Saintonge-may_challengewip.jpg
    I've tried to paint the mask on fields like you suggest ravells, but the task seems so huge that i rather focus on adding small islands around rivers and rework a bit the roads and textures. I've start labelling, not completly decided about the style but i think i'll take a sci-fi orientation, as the map is suposed to represent an hypothetic future after global sea level rise.
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    ### Latest WIP ###
    APRIL / MAY 2014 LITE CHALLENGE:  Vals of Saintonge-may_challengewip_-01.jpg
    I start to play with illustrator for the borders and labels, the borders were realised with some metal gradients and clipping masks. I also tried to draw docks and boats on coast cities, not a big success but zoomed out everything looks better
    Lingon, Ilanthar and Larb like this.

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      Lingon is offline
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    Wow, this looks awesome! I love the just-bold-enough colors and the overall style. I can't help with the technical side here (though I agree that it would be better if the fields didn't fade out), but I'll offer a couple of thoughts on the aesthetics. Your three main fonts don't match, in my eyes; one retro-modern sans-serif, one fantasy Roman style (Charlemagne, I think?), and one quite flashy sci-fi. I'd suggest changing the two latter for something cleaner, similar to the city font. I also think the title and border is a little over-worked – when the map is this packed with small detail, you don't want anything distracting from it

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    Guild Journeyer Francissimo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback Lingon! Fonts choice isn't my strong side and your feed back confirm i still have to work that point, I'm hesitating between sci-fi and fantasy fonts and end up with that bad mix Maybe the borders are a bit too much, i had quite fun doing it but i never know when to stop adding details
    ps: Yep it is charlemagne font

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