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Thread: August/September 2014 Lite Challenge: Deverin Isles

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      chick is offline
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    Default August/September 2014 Lite Challenge: Deverin Isles

    For the last month or so, I've been hanging out on here quite a bit. I've been looking through a lot of old maps, in the gallery, in the challenge archives, and so on, just getting an idea of what I like the best.

    There are certainly some among you who really stand out in skills and artistry, and there are so many different styles, even for the same type of map.

    Then there are are so many types of maps, dungeons to inns to castles, villages to entire worlds, and some that don't fit any category easily.

    I feel like an ancient art apprentice studying the masters, the kind that began by copying their master's work, to gain skill and eventually to develop a style of their own. It seems like that's what I've been doing.

    This blob challenge appeared easy at first, and I dashed off a map, trying to use some of the mapping symbols to make forests, towns, roads, etc. That is in the thread "Blobland".

    But as I continued to look through older maps on here, I got more and more interested in trying out some of the things I saw.

    So I have started over again with this challenge, and this time, I'm trying to emulate the styles of some things I've seen in maps I found attractive. There are so many choices of map level, small local (caverns, for example) to global, and of art techniques (atlas or CC3, for example), and of realism or symbolism, it may take me years to try out most of them.

    To make this long story a little shorter, I decided to try a bunch of them. The result is this map, containing a larger, more global, view of the lands, an underground cavern, a village, an interior of rooms, and a wilderness spot for fun.

    It was a really fun project. Comments, critiques, suggestions are always very welcome.

    I just hope there's no rule against one person submitting two different maps to a single challenge. (Three in fact, since the mines are also "the blob".

    Cheers,
    Cornelia




    ### Latest WIP ###
    August/September 2014 Lite Challenge: Deverin Isles-blob-challenge-number-2-cornelia-yoder.jpg
    Last edited by chick; 08-31-2014 at 09:40 PM.

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      Mark Oliva is offline
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    It's always interesting to know what software you're using, if any. I've seen this style - more or less - in handdrawn maps in some fantasy novels, but it's the first time I recall seeing it here. I like everything but the trees. For me they come out a bit too much like doodles among graphics that are more realistic. But nix für Ungut, as we say here.
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    Hi Mark, It's photoshop, and I have to admit I've learned more about photoshop in the past month than I had in the past 2 years I've had it. The frame was done in Ultrafractal, a fractal art program.

    The trees and the main mountains and foothills are photoshop brushes that I got from tutorials on here. I found three different sets for trees and these were the best, although I agree none of them look very realistic. In my previous image (Blobland thread in this forum section), I tried using a forest pattern, and that looked more realistic, but I could not find a satisfactory way to make the edges look good.

    The images that I was mostly looking at for style ideas were

    Central Alemnia by Daelin
    Skenth: The known world - By Viking
    Hyranden: The Eastern Lands by TheRedEpic
    Westeros - by Tear
    Grey Worlds: Silver and Jade world map by TheRedEpic

    I especially loved the last one for the background texture and detail in the ocean areas.

    Thank you for the kind words!

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      Diamond is offline
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    The map itself is lovely, as are the inset pictures/maps, especially the Fall of Deverin - that is a very clever idea, what you've done there. And the roc food is great.

    The only real criticism I have is that the thing looks TOO big to me. It creates a lot blurriness and pixelation. I think the legend and map may look better if you can 'zoom them out' a bit, while somehow keeping the inset pictures roughly the same size as they look at normal zoom. That may not be doable/practical, but it's a thought.

    Now you just need to decide if you want this one or the first map to be your entry because, yes, you can only have one...
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    You may remove the thread with "Blobland", if only one entry is allowed. This one will be my entry.

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      chick is offline
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    Diamond, Thank you for your suggestions. Perhaps this will look a bit better.


    ### Latest WIP ###
    August/September 2014 Lite Challenge: Deverin Isles-blob2-challenge-cornelia-yoder.jpg

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    Hi! I like your map so far. The 'food for chicks' was an especially nice little detail. I've also been more or less lurking in the forum for a while, and this is the first challenge I think I've participated in since last year. So, I guess we're 'experimenting buddies'!

    Just something small I noticed... some of the trees are hanging out in the ocean. It's hard to see when you're zoomed out though.
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    Thanks, daemaree, it's good to know I'm not the only one experimenting

    The trees suck. I've tried several things and don't like any of them. Here is my latest, and at least I think I have them all out of the oceans and lakes

    I also decided that the legend taking up 1/3 of the space was too much, overpowering, so I crowded it into the main picture instead. It makes it very busy, but at least the map is the primary focus now.


    ### Latest WIP ###
    August/September 2014 Lite Challenge: Deverin Isles-blob2-challenge-composite-11a.jpg


    It's cute that folks like the "food for chicks", but there are some other details I hope you notice, too. I especially liked making the rune rugs for the guest rooms in the inn, the veggies in the kitchen, and tearing apart a sailboat with photoshop. The chicks in the eggs are of course stolen, but I made the roc myself from several bird parts. By the way, as disclaimer, all photos I used and abused are from free wallpaper websites.
    Last edited by chick; 09-04-2014 at 11:59 PM.

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      Mark Oliva is offline
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    To me, the new trees look much more compatible with the graphic styles of the rest of the map than the doodles with which you began. They're a big improvement.

    One thing that pokes its head up for me in the latest version, and in a not quite positive manner, is the shading behind the larger texts, for instance behind "The mountains of the clouds" to the lower left. The sharp edge of the shading hits one rather abruptly over the head. You might want to try putting a feather blur on the edge, so that the shading fades in gradually rather than coming down like it was sliced with a knife.
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    Mark Oliva
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    Hi Mark, When I redid the forests, I made a point to not put them behind the town and terrain names, so I had already noticed that the need for that back glow was mostly gone. Your helpful comment inspired me to go ahead and eliminate it. By some judicious erasing of background terrain, I've been able to get rid of it everywhere except the mountain region, and I think I've managed to make it much better there.

    It's a good thing there is a deadline for this .... the tweaking could go on forever ....


    ### Latest WIP ###
    August/September 2014 Lite Challenge: Deverin Isles-blob2-challenge-composite-12.jpg



    I should make a list (it would be a long one) of all the photoshop techniques I've had to learn for this project.

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