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Thread: May/June Lite Entry: Golden Sands

  1. #21
    msa
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    Totally random. I'm not even sure if they are real hieroglyphs.

    Also, my current thinking is that I might should lighten the wood grain so the frame doesn't dominate the picture. If anyone has any comments on that thought, feel free to voice them.

  2. #22
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    I think the issue is more that the yellow/gold color in the frame is nearly the same as that of the terrain. Maybe change that... move it a little more toward orange-y gold than yellow *shrugs*
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  3. #23
      Ascension is offline
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    I'm with the Steel one, add a lil red into the color mix to orange it up and I'm also down with lightening the wood as well. A diagonal gradient (set to overlay or burn or dodge) could give you some added pop because I'm not sure what sort of bevel tools you have access to with Gimp (in PS I can use various contours to define how my bevel looks and how that interacts with light to produce various shine and gloss). What I'm getting at here is that your frame looks kinda plasticy and not metally/shiny. The gradient should be b&w but have many stripes in it of varying thickness. Here's a screenie of what I did with a gradient...it lightens up the wood as well adds drama...it's not masked off of course but you get the idea.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails May/June Lite Entry: Golden Sands-screenie.jpg  
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  4. #24
      Immolate is offline
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    Beautiful stuff msa, very nice indeed!

  5. #25
    msa
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    Thanks for the advice. I was hoping to keep the gold frame and the gold sand similar in color--they are supposed to be evocative of each other. But I appreciate that if it doesn't look good then it doesn't look good, so I'll try to differentiate between them better.

    I don't know what kind of bevel tools I have in the ole' gimper. I've been using its fairly limited emboss for just about everything. But I'll see if I can pull off something like you describe, asc. There are almost certainly other tools and techniques that I don't know about and could stand to learn!

  6. #26
    msa
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    Here is the newest iteration of the Golden Sands. I took a lot of the advice from y'all, and tried to differentiate between the metal and the map. In particular, thanks Asc for his recommendation on the metal. I used a technique similar to the one he suggested and I feel like it added some real depth to the look. I also bumped up the saturation of the map a little bit... I tried to keep true to the muted look, but I felt like it looked a little too washed out. So now it pops a little more and I think it was worth it.

    I thought I was done, but it looks like I didn't remember the rules so I need to add some settlements. I need a little more space I think, so I have to decide if I want to go through and shrink all the existing text (a real pain, but it has some benefits) or just turn off the minor geography items and add cities. Such are the trials of life!

    I'm really happy with my competitors maps in this contest. I'm also really happy with mine. I am looking forward to the vote coming up
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails May/June Lite Entry: Golden Sands-golden-sands.jpg  
    Last edited by msa; 06-05-2009 at 04:25 PM.

  7. #27
      ravells is offline
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    That frame and compass rose are worth the price of admission alone. Lovely work! It's probably just me, but the sea and the land (not sure if its the texture the colours or if it's just in my own mind) looks mis-matched. Can anyone else see this or is it my imagination?

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    Being a color-blind fool as I am, the colors could be pretty mangled and I wouldn't see it, but they look good to me. I love this map. The striking frame and the machined compass really appeal to me and the subtle features are very easy on the eye. When voting day comes, this one will get my vote.

  9. #29
    msa
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    Alrighty... probably the last version of this map. I'll update the OP with a new version too. I did end up redoing all of the text on this version, which went much faster now that I know what I'm doing. This fixed some of my anti-aliasing mistakes, although I'm afraid the compass is probably unfixable... at least in the time I am willing to commit to this. Next time I'll know better.

    The only major change is that I added major cities on this version. I also tweaked the forest color and some of the geography names, but nothing serious.

    Oh, if anyone can elaborate on Rav's comment, I'd love to know.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails May/June Lite Entry: Golden Sands-golden-sands.jpg  

  10. #30
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    Perhaps Rav feels that textured land looks best with textured water. Your land is noise-based and your sea is cloud-based. For me, the mountains kind of tie the two together. Perhaps you could experiment with gauss a little on the water and see if anything works. Another thing to look at is Ascensions's continent building tutorial. He has some sea methods in that that might add some dimension to your water. Or perhaps a bit of a ripple. Not sure what would look good.

    Another suggestion I have for you is to put some color in the recesses of your rose and scale. Perhaps a glossy black enamel? It doesn't cost anything to try and take it out after.

    For what it's worth, your presentation is very clean and simple, and I think that anything you do that detracts from that is probably a mistake.

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