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Thread: A little advice?

  1. #1
    Guild Artisan industrygothica's Avatar
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    Help A little advice?

    I've started about a million different world maps over my brief (vary, very brief) cartographic career, and abandoned every single one of them.

    I can get decent coastlines, or at least what I consider to be decent. I can get decent effects for the water and land--decent, but it could use a little work.

    The mountains are killing me. Seriously.

    I prefer the hand-drawn look for mountains, rather than the top down beveled style. I don't have a graphics tablet, so that's out. Someone please tell me, how in the heck does one go about getting decent, hand-drawn looking mountains onto a map? Is it as easy as drawing them on paper and scanning them in, albeit with a bit of cleanup, I'm sure? Is there something more to it, or should I just suck it up and beg the wife for a Wacom?

    And then there are the trees....

  2. #2
      NeonKnight is offline
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    What software are you using? That would be the first question for most of us. I can tell by your question you are not using a commercial mapping software program like Campaign Cartographer or it's ilk.
    Daniel the Neon Knight: Campaign Cartographer User

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    MY 'FAMOUS' CC3 MAPS: Thunderspire; Pyramid of Shadows; King of the Trollhaunt Warrens; Demon Queen's Enclave

  3. #3
    Guild Artisan industrygothica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeonKnight View Post
    What software are you using? That would be the first question for most of us. I can tell by your question you are not using a commercial mapping software program like Campaign Cartographer or it's ilk.
    Photoshop CS2. I suppose that would've been handy information, eh?

  4. #4
      overwatch is offline
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    To be honest, if you are going to be doing anything hand drawn on the computer.. definitely invest in a tablet. Freehand drawing with a mouse is messy and takes forever for good results.

    If tablet is out, your best bet is to draw them by hand and scan them in. Once you have your drawing in photoshop follow these steps.

    -make a new layer over your sketch
    -on this new layer zoom to around 200% and pick a suitable paintbrush.
    -trace over your hand drawn sketch with the mouse, at this level of zoom you should maintain a 'decent' amount of accuracy
    -delete your sketch layer to complete the process

    Extra:
    *if you are low on time, define your new mountains as a brush, or duplicate the layer several times
    *on a seperate layer beneath your mountains, do any shading, color, or detail so you don't mess up your new linework
    *note that if you increase the scale on your new mountain layer, you will get sloppy edges and it wont look clean. As a rule of thumb, try to only scale down, and whenever you scale be sure to retrace over all your mountains to maintain line weight.
    Adam Watts

  5. #5
      MadLetter is offline
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    Hi!

    I am feeling similar to you, for I have a great many maps in the making, but abandoned much of them. By now I have a set few ones im trying to finish.

    As I am drawing every single map myself by pencil I might simply give you one answer to your question: draw 'em & scan 'em.

    I have an example of my style for mountains attatched. I draw them by hand, trying to gain variety while not overdoing it with that variety and then I shade one side of the mounain slightly. Gives you a nice effect on paper and if you go with Photoshop, make the mountains dark brown and give the shaded side either a slightly darker or brighter tone. Looks quite nice, I think.

    Just look at the pic's !

    Although one work of warning... get a bucket of ice ready. Just like drawing the forests "tree by tree", your hand will hurt like hell >_<
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A little advice?-01.jpg   A little advice?-02.jpg   A little advice?-03.jpg  

  6. #6
      Arronis is offline
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    Or since you are using Photoshop you can always go on DeviantArt.com and search for "old map brushes" and you will probably end up with the brushes I found for my map. It's brushes that are already shaped as elements of a map! Very fun to use!

  7. #7
    Guild Artisan industrygothica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arronis View Post
    Or since you are using Photoshop you can always go on DeviantArt.com and search for "old map brushes" and you will probably end up with the brushes I found for my map. It's brushes that are already shaped as elements of a map! Very fun to use!
    Excellent advice. Going there now.


    -IG

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