This map is pretty much what the thread title says. It is a map I have been trying out different techniques I have been reading about on the forum. I'm pretty new to mapping, as my only experience with it comes from using an old version of campaign cartographer that came with the D&D Core Rules cds back in the late 90's. Just about all of my photoshop experience comes from anime cell shading.
My art methods are pretty much find something you like and see if you can do it. Starting out that usually means I will try to mash multiple styles together to disastrous effect. I am inclined to think that that is what has happened here. I saw Ramah's Aronbor Revisited map and thought that was beautiful and then I saw Pasis Bretoria map and tutorial and they ended up mixing up in this map. I'm not sure they like each other though. Any ideas on how to make them get along? About the only thing I am sure of on this map is that the ocean looks pretty cool. As for the rest it may be a prime example of epic fail.
Probably the first thing one notices is that the forests and cities etc are in perspective, whereas the shaded relief isn't. Either both should be perspective views, or neither should.
Apart from that I've never even tried making a representational map so I'll leave the rest to those who have... >.>
I had to look up shaded relief. I think what you are saying is that the trees and city brushes that Ramah made cast shadows at an angle to account for the sun, but Pasis's technique of using textures and effects to create landscapes clashes with that. If am an interpreting that right then I need to add light and shadow the the landscape to get these two styles to mix better. Not sure if there is a fancy photoshop effect that can help with that or if it would all need to be done manually.
Kind of. The hills/mountains etc are the shaded relief. At present they look a bit like a satellite image—as though the viewer is positioned directly overhead. The trees and cities, on the other hand, not only cast shadows but are in profile, as though the viewer is positioned on the ground looking at them. Those two styles therefore can't mix because the viewer can't actually be in two places at once. I would thus either redo the trees/cities so that we see only the tops of the trees and the roofs of the houses/castles etc, with no drop shadows, or redo the hills/mountains as profile representations (e.g. big triangles or whatever).
If you want to keep the mountains as they are but integrate them better with the rest you'd probably have to tilt them to appear three-dimensional, which I'm not completely sure how to do. (Whenever I've tried using the perspective tool on GIMP it doesn't yield results anything like what I'm imagining :c)