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Thread: First World Map

  1. #1
      indigo7 is offline
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    Wip First World Map

    New to this forum and so far loving it! :-)

    This is a world map that I'm currently working on. I'm about to paint in the forests, I'v already started at the mountain base to the north.

    This is obviously a mixture of styles, top-down and orthogonal. This post asks the right question that I'm also struggling with.

    A thing I'm not quite satisfied with: I don't really like the color transition between the mountains (grey) and the grassy/hilly parts (light green).

    How do you like it? I'm open for any criticisms/suggestions...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails First World Map-worldmap.png  

  2. #2
      Sirith is offline
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    Nice map! (sorry, I don't really have much more to add.. i just like the way it looks and am curious as to how it will evolve )

    On the colourtransition: assuming it's possible (i don't know what program you are using), perhaps pick a colour between the mountain grey and grass green, making the trnasition between colours seem less abrupt.
    It seems that you have a light green surrounding the mountains in most cases, perhaps try a less saturated tint of green in between the grey and lighter green?

    I'm curious to see the progress

    And of course welcome to the guild!

  3. #3
      ravells is offline
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    Indeed, welcome to the guild! Having a colour outline to mountain zones with drawn mountains in the zone is used pretty frequently in drawing fantasy maps (one of those tropes), so it doesn't jar with me. It could be that maps which use that convention rarely (I've never seen one from memory) have feathering between one land type and another, so there is a consistency or internal rule that land types on the map is defined with solid colours. It might be worth carrying on and seeing how it goes for a bit and then revisiting the issue later.

  4. #4
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    You can probably make a more gradual transition between mountain gray and foothill green by simply blurring the gray layer. Unless, of course, the mountain symbols are on the same layer as that gray. Really, though, the other transitions in your topography match it, so if this were my map, I'd probably leave them be.

    I like the orthogonal mountains and forests approach, but it's not suitable for a map that is intended to be accurate. In this case, since you're clearly shooting for an artistic look, they're perfect. You could create some city icons with that same approach, or you can stick with the geometric icons you have. I'm not sure I like the white--they don't contrast enough with the map, in my opinion. That's purely a matter of taste, though.

    One other thing that jumps out at me is the aforementioned painterly look of the land. The different colors look brushed-on, which is quite lovely. The coastline glow, though, fades very gently from light to dark blue. I think it would look nicer if you painted the shallows on, so the water and land matched.

    You could instead try to make the transitions on land less distinct, but I think that would weaken the hand-painted feel.

    It's a very nice map, and I am looking forward to seeing where you take it!
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  5. #5
      indigo7 is offline
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    Thank you all for the replies (and the warm welcome!)

    I guess what (intuitively) bothers me concerning the color transition is the stylistic mix. I decided not to shoot for an "old parchment" look, but rather move towards an artistic/light/fairy-kind of direction which suits my campaign style better.

    Having a colour outline to mountain zones with drawn mountains in the zone is used pretty frequently in drawing fantasy maps (one of those tropes), so it doesn't jar with me. It could be that maps which use that convention rarely (I've never seen one from memory) have feathering between one land type and another, so there is a consistency or internal rule that land types on the map is defined with solid colours.
    Exactly. At one point, I re-worked all transitions and used a hard-edged brush instead of a soft-edged one to give it a more painterly look. Good decision: What had been quite indistinct and washed-out now looked better and also made more sense from a semantic point-of-view. I guess this is what you mean by "solid colors". I tried to walk a fine line between "color banding" and blending colors seamlessly.

    You could create some city icons with that same approach, or you can stick with the geometric icons you have.
    I thought about this as well... geometric icons work surprisingly well, but I guess even those I need to paint by hand to stay consistent.

    The coastline glow, though, fades very gently from light to dark blue. I think it would look nicer if you painted the shallows on, so the water and land matched.
    Good idea. Gotta try that. Not sure if that's leading inevitably to a buccaneer-style map though (ahoy mateys! where's my parrot?) ;-)

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