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Thread: [WIP] Surane Map (Delurking for assistance/critique)

  1. #1
      angelstyx is offline
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    Wip [WIP] Surane Map (Delurking for assistance/critique)

    Hi, all.

    I've been lurking for a while and experimenting with the various Gimp tutorials made available by the very talented individuals here. I'm not an artist, and I'm not a cartographer. I just wanted something nice to use as a reference for a fictional setting I'm working on. Then I realized how much fun it is!

    My attempts at an antique-looking map have not necessarily failed but have definitely gone wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.

    I began with the Gimp version of Ascension's Antique-style map tutorial for my current map (the one by Candacis). The setting draws inspiration from Central Asian, Persian, Japanese, and Native American folklore/mythology/legends. The fonts I managed to scrounge up online either looked too stereotypically Asian or too stereotypically 'Fantasy' so I went with Arial and Georgia for lack of 'good' fonts. I didn't like what Gimp did with the HSV noise background, I didn't like the look of the diagonal lines through my countries, and then Gimp crashed when I was making my mountains so I experimented...

    And ended up with a very clean, modern-looking atlas-style* map. Very much the opposite of what I was going for.

    Before I go any further, I thought I'd run it by you fine folk and see if anyone had any suggestions as to what I could do in Gimp to give it more of an antique feel and for a critique in general.

    [WIP] Surane Map (Delurking for assistance/critique)-whiteworld.png


    Things still to do:
    -Add the mountain range names
    -Add important town names (currently only one is named)
    -Add roads? Add important roads?
    -Figure out if roads are necessary
    -Figure out if a compass rose is necessary
    -Figure out scale (because LOL what is this i don't even)
    -Figure out how to place a grid or if grid is necessary
    -Pull out hair
    -Cry, eat a tub of ice cream and start all over for the eleventy-billionth time

    *I'm not sure if that's the term I'm looking for. Cartographer, I definitely am not.
    (FYI - All names were randomly generated via Astrosynthesis and an online name generator, so they aren't supposed to translate into English - and I hope they don't!)


    As an aside: I tried out RobA's parchment tutorial and ended up with something that's close but nothing I'm proud of. (I admit I had a little too much fun with the kanji and various Asian and Arabesque handwriting brushes I downloaded from DeviantArt.) Ignoring the over-zealous amounts of brushes and grunge, I don't think the map overlay looks good. I think it might be the font, but I'm not sure. I brandished a grunge brush eraser at 30% or so to lighten up the outlines around the countries, but I'm not sure it helped. Unfortunately I saved the wrong copy of my parchment paper file and saved the merged layers so I can't get rid of the layer with the brushes or edit it really. I'd have to make a new parchment file if I wanted to put my map back into it.

    [WIP] Surane Map (Delurking for assistance/critique)-worldmap.png

  2. #2
      Larb is offline
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    It does come across as a bit more clean and modern though I quite like it. Obviously it's not what you want.

    I think in the latter attachment, the parchment texture is too dominant so the map isn't clear. I'm not sure if you want that or not. When I add texture to maps I usually do it via a pattern/texture on an upper layer set to overlay. And I use a large soft brush to add subtle colour variation to the background. You could try something like that perhaps.

    You could also try a more tan/brown colour scheme. And a more handwritey/brush type font but I assume arial temporary until you find one you prefer.

    On a side note, the coloured national boundries where they meet the edge of the canvas, I assume it's because you used a stroke. It's worth manually erasing that (I get that which is why I do all my strokes on their own layer).

    If you do decide to add roads, at that scale I'd just add the important ones. I wouldn't pull out hair though, I hear it is quite painful.

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      Gidde is offline
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    Welcome to the lighted sections of the site, and yay for delurking with a map!

    You may find that running some noise filters on your lines and color (gimpressionist, tiny (2px-ish) blurs and spread filters are my favorites for this) will give it less of a computer-perfect line/color look. Also, one reason it looks so modern is because your font is so modern. Try hitting dafont.com or another free font site and looking through the Calligraphy/Script sections for a nice Antique-style font that matches your mood. It makes a world of difference. Another thing that might help is to take the smudge tool at a pretty large size and smudge the strokes of color around your borders so that they blend more like paint.

    The last thing that I'd suggest is precisely what you've done -- a parchment or other textured background also helps relieve the modernity.

    Still, even if it's not what you were trying for, it's pretty cool!

  4. #4
      angelstyx is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larb View Post
    It does come across as a bit more clean and modern though I quite like it. Obviously it's not what you want.

    I think in the latter attachment, the parchment texture is too dominant so the map isn't clear. I'm not sure if you want that or not. When I add texture to maps I usually do it via a pattern/texture on an upper layer set to overlay. And I use a large soft brush to add subtle colour variation to the background. You could try something like that perhaps.

    You could also try a more tan/brown colour scheme. And a more handwritey/brush type font but I assume arial temporary until you find one you prefer.

    On a side note, the coloured national boundries where they meet the edge of the canvas, I assume it's because you used a stroke. It's worth manually erasing that (I get that which is why I do all my strokes on their own layer).

    If you do decide to add roads, at that scale I'd just add the important ones. I wouldn't pull out hair though, I hear it is quite painful.
    I did not think of flip-flopping the parchment texture into the map file. I'll give that a try after I've re-made the texture.

    Yes. I used a stroke. It never occurred to me to manually erase. lol

    Thanks for the advice.

  5. #5
      angelstyx is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gidde View Post
    Welcome to the lighted sections of the site, and yay for delurking with a map!

    You may find that running some noise filters on your lines and color (gimpressionist, tiny (2px-ish) blurs and spread filters are my favorites for this) will give it less of a computer-perfect line/color look. Also, one reason it looks so modern is because your font is so modern. Try hitting dafont.com or another free font site and looking through the Calligraphy/Script sections for a nice Antique-style font that matches your mood. It makes a world of difference. Another thing that might help is to take the smudge tool at a pretty large size and smudge the strokes of color around your borders so that they blend more like paint.

    The last thing that I'd suggest is precisely what you've done -- a parchment or other textured background also helps relieve the modernity.

    Still, even if it's not what you were trying for, it's pretty cool!

    Figured if I'm going to delurk, I might as well bring goodies with me. Glad they were pleasing to look at instead being eye-sores.

    I haven't tried dafont.com for fonts yet. I'll see what they've got that might help.

    I tried applying canvas, but didn't try gimpressionist.

    Smudge! Why didn't I think of this? lol

    Thanks for the advice.

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      arsheesh is offline
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    Welcome Angelstyx, and way to go on your first couple of maps!

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh

  7. #7
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelstyx View Post
    Yes. I used a stroke. It never occurred to me to manually erase. lol
    I would use layer masks instead with each color on it's own separate layer. The layer mask will then keep the shape AND more importantly, you can chance a color instantly without having to retouch up.
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
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    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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