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Thread: Maps by Mike Schley

  1. #1
      pyrandon is offline
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    Link Maps by Mike Schley

    Mike Schley is a wonderful artist, designer, and cartographer who is truly inspirational. His work will be familiar to anyone acquainted with Wizards of the Coast, and his "hand painted" style maps are to be studied and emulated. Not only is his work pleasing to the eye, but the underpinning thought to his body of work only adds to the effect.

    Here is the link to Mike's website: http://www.mikeschley.com/index.htm

    Enjoy!
    Don
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    My gallery is here
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  2. #2
      Schley is offline
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    Whoo Hooo! Glad you like the work.

    Let me know if you have any questions about the process. Some secrets can only be pried from my cold dead hands though.

    Mike

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      ravells is offline
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    Very beautiful Maps, Mike!

    If you could bless us with a simple tutorial or two about your techniques (without giving away the crown jewels, of course) that would be marvellous.

    Lol it seems a bit odd to read 'novice' under your name, Robbie will change it 'Industry Pro' I should imagine!

    Welcome to the guild!

    Oh, and please vote in our monthly competition. It's an odd thing but although we have about 165 'active members' on the site, only about 12 or so participate in the voting.
    Ravs

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      pyrandon is offline
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    Thank you for the inspiration, Mike. I especially like your Elsir Vale map in the Red Hand of Doom section. (Check that one out fellas, it's really interesting!)

    Now Mike, do you use Photoshop or Painter, or...? And can you give a hint as to how much of your work is by hand (ala tablet) & how much you rely on post processes & filters?
    Don
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    "Keep your mind in hell, but despair not." --Saint Silouan [1866-1938]

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      RPMiller is offline
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    Wonderful maps Mike! If I could have you explain only one element of your maps it would have to be the roads. In every scale, your roads really stand out for me. At the encounter level they are simply amazing. I would love to learn how you create those, or even just the basic thought processes that you go through to create them at every scale. Even at the city level the roads are still stand outs.

    Oh, and I've repped you to get you started.
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  6. #6
      Schley is offline
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    Check out some of my newer maps here:
    Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk
    Exemplars of Evil

    OK. So 100% of my cartography is done in Photoshop, I use a Wacom Intuos 3 graphics tablet, and I haven't touched a Windows operating system in 10 years. They carry disease by the way. (Not viruses, DISEASE)

    Typically I'll find a decent background/compass rose and work out a skeleton of the layout with brushes that emulate crisp ink pens. I'll go back later and clean them up as well as add ink details. Once I've got a black and white line drawing of the map, I'll start with the color work. Using the selection wand, I'll group sections like floors and walls into alpha channels so that I can create masks with them later. (This helps greatly when your painting) The rest involves a lot of brushwork and texture manipulation that will take quite a while to discuss.

    Alpha channels and layers! The best things since sliced bread and cheese.

    More to come...
    mikeschley.com
    Schley's Tutorials
    Mike Schley Illustration & Design

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      NeonKnight is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schley View Post
    Check out some of my newer maps here:
    Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk
    Exemplars of Evil

    OK. So 100% of my cartography is done in Photoshop, I use a Wacom Intuos 3 graphics tablet, and I haven't touched a Windows operating system in 10 years. They carry disease by the way. (Not viruses, DISEASE)

    Typically I'll find a decent background/compass rose and work out a skeleton of the layout with brushes that emulate crisp ink pens. I'll go back later and clean them up as well as add ink details. Once I've got a black and white line drawing of the map, I'll start with the color work. Using the selection wand, I'll group sections like floors and walls into alpha channels so that I can create masks with them later. (This helps greatly when your painting) The rest involves a lot of brushwork and texture manipulation that will take quite a while to discuss.

    Alpha channels and layers! The best things since sliced bread and cheese.

    More to come...

    Well Mike, I am please to say that your style of maps from Ruins of Castle Greyhawk inspire me the most, and is a style I am strting to try and emulate.

    Thank You sir!
    Daniel the Neon Knight: Campaign Cartographer User

    Never use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice!

    Any questions on CC3? Post them with CC3 in the Subject Line!
    MY 'FAMOUS' CC3 MAPS: Thunderspire; Pyramid of Shadows; King of the Trollhaunt Warrens; Demon Queen's Enclave

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      Robbie is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravells View Post
    Very beautiful Maps, Mike!
    Lol it seems a bit odd to read 'novice' under your name, Robbie will change it 'Industry Pro' I should imagine!
    Of course! I deliver! VERY glad to have you aboard Mike!
    Robbie Powell - Site Admin

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