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Thread: The land of Andoria & Realm of Telrith - [unpaid] commission (WIP)

  1. #1
    Guild Journeyer Facebook Connected rpgmapmaker's Avatar
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    Wip The land of Andoria & Realm of Telrith - [unpaid] commission (WIP)

    This is the first time that I have ever made a map for someone else. I love making fantasy maps, and having the chance to work on one that might be a novel is really cool.

    The first version of the map turned out well in my opinion. However, in the end it did not meet the intent of the author to have a map that looked like it might have been drawn by a character in the story. Mr. Wall, has been very helpful in providing the details needed to place features in the right locations. He has also provided several source images to make things easier. He also sent me the 12 page (single spaced) outline for the book!

    Here are two of the images he provided:
    The land of Andoria & Realm of Telrith - [unpaid] commission (WIP)-image.jpegThe land of Andoria & Realm of Telrith - [unpaid] commission (WIP)-draw2.jpg

    During the first exchange of information we focused on the region of Telrith. The process I used for making this version was to. First, draw each individual element. And second paste them all over the map! At first I used different types of trees for each forest, but in the end settled on using just one throughout the entire map. While the mountains look alright, I have never quite been satisfied with doing them that way. There are currently so many wonderful examples of hand-drawn mountains on this site that I would like to emulate. I might have continued to work on these particular mountains if the author and I have not decided to try and do a more hand-drawn look for everything.

    Here are some of the tests that I made for version 1:
    The land of Andoria & Realm of Telrith - [unpaid] commission (WIP)-test-1.jpgThe land of Andoria & Realm of Telrith - [unpaid] commission (WIP)-test-2.jpgThe land of Andoria & Realm of Telrith - [unpaid] commission (WIP)-test-3.jpg

    Here is the realm of Telrith - version 1:
    The land of Andoria & Realm of Telrith - [unpaid] commission (WIP)-telrith-7.jpg
    © C. M. Perry 2012

    So, there are so many good hand-drawn styles out there it is hard to pick one. For now, I tried to combine several different versions that I have seen here on the Guild. For this version I am also increasing the size of the file to 8.5 inches X 5 .5 inches at 300 dpi. While I like the solid mass of trees, I still don't know if I will go back to trying individual ones. Also for this version I am trying for just black and white with no gray scale shading or colored "Old paper" background. (that might change)

    Here's the first Mountain & Forest test Version 2: - (full resolution but cropped):
    The land of Andoria & Realm of Telrith - [unpaid] commission (WIP)-mount_forest1.jpg

    Sorry for the attachment overload! I am hoping that you all will get something out of seeing the map evolve as I go about the task of making it.

    Let me say a big THANK YOU in advance to anyone willing to critique/comment on this work or provide advice on ways to improve. Positive and negative comments are welcome!

    -RPGMM

    P.S. This was dictated to my computer using Dragon Naturally Speaking (Speech-to-Text Software)
    Last edited by rpgmapmaker; 04-30-2012 at 09:06 AM.
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  2. #2
      arsheesh is offline
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    Of all the styles shown, I think I like that of Telrith the best, followed by your second version of Forests and mountains. Telrith wins out for me both because of the nice subtle contrast between light & dark, and because all of the features of the map seem to be well integrated. Your second version of mountains and trees looks nice, but it seems a bit more busy. Perhaps if you had a bit less forest texture (aka canopy tops) it might be a bit less distracting. Overall though, I'd say this looks rather promising. Looking forward to seeing updates.

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh

  3. #3
      grangarian is offline
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    I'm a very big fan of the hand-drawn style maps and i always try to find something to improve it. There are many forms of the mountains, trees, roads, etc; and it's always nice to see something unique. Telrith map wins. I'm looking forward to see more of it.
    And i also have a question for you, how do you plant the trees? Click-drag until it looks nice or maybe you use some secret technique?

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    Guild Journeyer Facebook Connected rpgmapmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grangarian View Post
    ... how do you plant the trees? Click-drag until it looks nice or maybe you use some secret technique?
    Well, it's all starts with the little seed... add some love and tender care... They say that adding fish to the seeds can help (I am not a big fan of fish). Then you wait for about 300 years.........

    After I draw the outline of the tree and shade it. I add a layer under the tree and color the whole thing white (and merge the two layers). This makes the tree icon have no "holes" in it for other trees to show through from under it. Then I start at the top of the forest and work down in rows (this keeps the trees lower in the forest on top). The layer order is important and I "alt-click & drag" to copy and move all-in-one step.

    In Photoshop I use the layer folders to keep the trees all in one place and then once I have it looking the way I want it to... I merge the folder so that I don't have a file with thousands of layers

    I guess in a way I am making my own little "Campaign Cartographer Icons" in Photoshop. I draw and keep all of the elements in a separate file then drag them into the main map as needed. I hope that helps.

    ---------------

    Both of you told me that the "finished map of Teltith wins", but this is not a contest... that map has already "lost" in the sense as it does not meet the intent of customer. Don't get me wrong he likes the map, but there are too many complicated textures in gray scale for someone in fantasy world to have actually drawn.

    Quote Originally Posted by arsheesh View Post
    ... nice subtle contrast between light & dark, and because all of the features of the map seem to be well integrated...
    Thanks, this was supposed to be a more final version of this map.

    Quote Originally Posted by arsheesh View Post
    ...it seems a bit more busy. Perhaps if you had a bit less forest texture (aka canopy tops) it might be a bit less distracting. Overall though, I'd say this looks rather promising.
    You are right about the extra details being distracting. I guess, that I just needed a second opinion. I will try using a simpler more consistent texture on top of the trees and see if that helps. Some of the detail lines on the mountains also just don't look right to me... I think I will try some sort of "line shading"

    Thanks for the feedback, it really means a lot to me.
    @RPGMapMaker Check out my Video Tutorials & Vault of Free Map Elements
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  5. #5
      rdanhenry is offline
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    One comment on "Realm of Telrith, version 1". With the given compass, the Northland Woods are not north of anything but sea.

  6. #6
    Guild Journeyer Facebook Connected rpgmapmaker's Avatar
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    Default New tests

    Good point... that is my fault...

    The author named everything but I told him that the climate was not right as the "coldest" part was then in the Southwest (if the top was north). I tried to get the map turned but was told to just turn the compass and keep the landmass the way it was... I did not catch the name issue. I will ask him if it is okay to change the name of the forest... I guess if the book was in print I would just have to change the compass back...

    Here is a climate that seamed to work with the locations of his "hot" and "cold" places.
    The land of Andoria & Realm of Telrith - [unpaid] commission (WIP)-climate1.jpg

    Thanks for pointing it out

    -----------------------------------------------

    Also, here is a new Mountain & Tree test... I am still not sure what hand-drawn style to go with...
    The land of Andoria & Realm of Telrith - [unpaid] commission (WIP)-mount_forest2.jpg

    I am blocking out the land features, so that I know what will go where and try to figure out the rivers on the rest of the landmass. I just made some simple brushes for each type of icon to make blocking them out easier and faster. I have added some of the "New Test Style" Mountains and Trees to this but that is slow going as this time I am drawing each mountain with no "copy/paste".

    I am still doing the copy/paste for the trees... but I still might do forests as big masses. (900+ trees in that top forest and I was still not done with it)
    The land of Andoria & Realm of Telrith - [unpaid] commission (WIP)-test-1.jpg
    © C. M. Perry 2012

    -RPGMM
    Last edited by rpgmapmaker; 04-30-2012 at 09:07 AM.
    @RPGMapMaker Check out my Video Tutorials & Vault of Free Map Elements
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  7. #7
    Guild Journeyer Facebook Connected rpgmapmaker's Avatar
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    Default Update #1

    So, the client liked the new mountains and so I am starting in on version 2... I am not sure if the rivers work but I like them so far. The forests literally have thousands of trees at this point but I am not sure if the look is right. maybe some different sizes or other shapes... I am not sure what will look best... any advice on the forests is welcomed.

    With the size of this version I will only be posting the part I am working on

    Thanks again in advance for advice or criticism.
    The land of Andoria & Realm of Telrith - [unpaid] commission (WIP)-test-2a.jpg
    © C. M. Perry 2012

    -RPGMM
    Last edited by rpgmapmaker; 04-30-2012 at 09:07 AM.
    @RPGMapMaker Check out my Video Tutorials & Vault of Free Map Elements
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  8. #8
      Crudus is offline
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    I really like the little bridges over the rivers at various points!

    Perhaps one way to improve the forests would be to break up the uniformity of the trees? You could do it only slightly, but I think it would help with the hand drawn effect. I find it hard to believe that one person could draw the same little oval on top of the tree thousands of times... maybe make some of them a couple pixels wider, or taller, or having a bit shorter trunk? Just minute variations.

    Edit: It also occured to me that the shading on your trees is not as complex as that on the hills or mountains - just a little line off the trunk. Maybe a very slight shade on the right side of the leaves could make them fit the rest of the symbols better?
    Last edited by Crudus; 04-23-2012 at 01:36 AM.

  9. #9
      Freodin is offline
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    Some difference in the trees would definitly help. Have you tried to place them more sparsely?

    The mountains are great though, looks like the classic copperplate engraving style of the 17th and 18th century. Maybe you should look towards these maps for some inspirations for the trees?

  10. #10
      arsheesh is offline
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    I really like the new trees. The only critique I would have about them is that the brush stroke you've used for them is pretty thick, so that when you combine them into forests the forests turn out really dark. If you used a thinner brush stroke for the trees this might help. Course, that would mean going back and redoing a bunch of work. So you have to decide for yourself how cost effective that would be.

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh

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