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Thread: [WIP] My first map and first time as a DM.

  1. #1
      lothel is offline
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    Wip [WIP] My first map and first time as a DM.

    Hi guys,

    This is my first map and I'm still in the process of drawing it. My laptop is a tablet with Wacom so all of this was drawn on its tiny 12.1" screen in Adobe Illustrator. I would really appreciate some criticism/feedback! I haven't drawn anything since I was in high school so as I am progressing from left to right on the map, I'm starting to see my style change a bit. I've gone back and tried to keep things a bit more consistent, but I can't tell if it worked at all.

    The world is a typical fantasy type and we will be playing in 4e. On my list of things to do is coloring the map, labeling all the landmarks, adding in the rest of the cities/roads/navies. I at one point tried to make it geographically realistic but its wandered away from that

    Anyway, I wanted to share my progress so far and document the new things I'll be learning from these forums!
    Thanks for reading.

    3-12-12 Starting Map
    3-13-12 Added a few cities and ships
    3-14-12 Added some color, need to finish coloring and decide if I should keep the fine lines or get rid of them entirely.
    3-15-12 More Color, cities!
    3-16-12 Color >_>
    3-19-12 Done Coloring I think?
    3-22-12 Labels, import to photoshop to begin final touches, realize the file and resolution are HUGE at 300dpi
    3-24-12 Polish, labels, tentatively done?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails [WIP] My first map and first time as a DM.-worldmap_large-new-mountains.png   [WIP] My first map and first time as a DM.-worldmap_3-14-12.png   [WIP] My first map and first time as a DM.-worldmap_colors.png   [WIP] My first map and first time as a DM.-worldmap_3-15-12.png   [WIP] My first map and first time as a DM.-worldmap-3-16-12.png  

    [WIP] My first map and first time as a DM.-worldmap-color-done.png   [WIP] My first map and first time as a DM.-worldmap-3-20-12-resize.png   [WIP] My first map and first time as a DM.-worldmap-done.jpg  
    Last edited by lothel; 03-24-2012 at 09:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Guild Journeyer Gracious Donor Klaus van der Kroft's Avatar
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    You have a very unique style for drawing, and I like how it looks. That big tree on the left looks very nice, in particular.

    The coastlines are supposed to look that way, or you intend to make them more rugged? The tiny ovoid islands are the only things I'm not too convinced about.

  3. #3
      Korash is offline
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    Well, I think that you are off to a great start

    I also like the style that you are developing...sort of cartoonishy but still capable of passing on info. As long as that is where you want to go, I see nothing wrong with a non-realistic representation of coastlines. I even like those little islands...IMHO they work with the coastlines that you have already.

    I would suggest that you add a bit of color to the forests and mountains, just to break them away from the land masses. not too heavy on the color either, just enough to give them some "oomph".

    And for your first map in your first post, I will hit you over the head with a wet Spaghetti Noodle of Reputation....(I always have trouble telling if it is done)
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  4. #4
      lothel is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klaus van der Kroft View Post
    You have a very unique style for drawing, and I like how it looks. That big tree on the left looks very nice, in particular.

    The coastlines are supposed to look that way, or you intend to make them more rugged? The tiny ovoid islands are the only things I'm not too convinced about.
    Thanks, although I can't take credit for most of it. I saw a map done in a similar way and later on the artist threw together a tutorial for it: Linky

    The coastlines are a bit rounded probably due to the way I made them in illustrator using live trace. I am not sure if I will fix up the coast lines or leave them as they are for now. I think I eventually want to try making a more realistic looking atlas type map for the world as well and I'll make the coastlines more rugged in that version. My hope is to make this map look a bit more hand drawn as this is going to be given to the players as a map of the "known" world as documented by some old wizardly type of guy. Whether or not it lines up to the more realistic version is up for the players to discover as they travel


    Quote Originally Posted by Korash View Post
    Well, I think that you are off to a great start

    I also like the style that you are developing...sort of cartoonishy but still capable of passing on info. As long as that is where you want to go, I see nothing wrong with a non-realistic representation of coastlines. I even like those little islands...IMHO they work with the coastlines that you have already.

    I would suggest that you add a bit of color to the forests and mountains, just to break them away from the land masses. not too heavy on the color either, just enough to give them some "oomph".

    And for your first map in your first post, I will hit you over the head with a wet Spaghetti Noodle of Reputation....(I always have trouble telling if it is done)
    My favorite part about cooking spaghetti is throwing it at a wall and seeing if it sticks.

    Color is definitely coming and I'm trying to keep a khaki-ish color scheme going. I used to do a lot of pen and ink illustrations when I was younger so I'm not quite so used to adding color yet. Also, adobe illustrator sometimes seems to cause some neurotic tendencies to come up so I feel the need to go back and straighten all the little lines I've done. If I take too long to get this campaign started, my players are going to storm my house and carry all my material off

  5. #5
      jonpeto is offline
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    You should add a compass and a scale.

  6. #6
      lothel is offline
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    Just a quick update. I ended up playing Baldur's Gate with friends for a large chunk of the night instead of working on this map

    I added some cities and learned holding down shift in Illustrator makes you draw straight lines (mind blown). I don't know what I did with the perspective tool, but now I have an annoying little grid over the bottom corner of my screen =/

    I also added some ships from another illustrator sketch up that I made a while ago.

    I still need to add scale (spent way too long having fun designing a compass) and color.

    Anyone have any suggestions for good fonts for labeling? Or should this be done by hand?

    [WIP] My first map and first time as a DM.-worldmap_3-14-12.png

  7. #7
      lothel is offline
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    I've started coloring and could really use some advice. I think I found a method that I like, but the fine lines I've used for shading are driving me nuts (they're not straight and it takes forever for my tablet to render them on my screen.) Take a look at the image below? Do you think its worth keeping the lines? If so I would probably go back and redo all of them (maybe use a pattern of stripes instead of individually inking them in?) otherwise I can erase all the lines and be happy as it is.

    Opinions?

    [WIP] My first map and first time as a DM.-fine-line-comparison.png[WIP] My first map and first time as a DM.-worldmap_colors.png
    Last edited by lothel; 03-15-2012 at 01:20 AM.

  8. #8
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    It's ok either way for me. Since you have color shading, I don't know that it's necessarily. Another thing you could do is pick a few spots where the shadows should be a fill some with almost straight black. A great place for that would be that one big mountain where you currently have the fine lines...

    Note, when looking at the map from a macro level(not zoomed in), the one with the fine lines looks much better since it gives it a bit more depth.
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  9. #9
    Guild Journeyer rpgmapmaker's Avatar
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    I know that it is lot more work but the extra lines look much better to me. I realy like how this map is comming along. This will be one I keep for referance once it is finished.

    Note: The render time might be better if you copied just the layer with the mountains (one one set of mountains) to a new file and worked on it in smaller chunks them move it back into the main file.

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    Last edited by rpgmapmaker; 03-15-2012 at 09:14 AM.
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  10. #10
      lothel is offline
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    Thanks for all the positive feedback, the encouragement is definitely appreciated! I'm slightly ocd at times and I've been looking at the fine lines at times and wanting to scrap the entire map. I can't wait until the campaign is underway so I can use this style for all the dungeons and towns as well

    Added more color today and such. Trying to keep the colors subtle and blend well into the background color of the continents. I am fairly happy with how the swamp area turned out at least, but I am getting a tad sick of coloring in mountains by now. Those dwarves are going to be the end of me and my pen nib.

    Anyone as excited as I am about the new Baldurs Gate announcement? Also, can anyone recommend a good font for labeling the map with?

    [WIP] My first map and first time as a DM.-worldmap_3-15-12.png

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