My first Regional Map
Attached is my first regional map attempt using PS CS4. I used the 'painterly style' in Butch Curry's excellent FCAP tut's.
Any feedback, critique is welcome. I have not put a scale on the map as it is purely illustrative.
This map is for use in a semi-commercial product and hence all rights are reserved.
Looks like a good start. I like the color palette you've chosen. I have a couple of suggestions for you. 1. Your rivers end abruptly at the "stroke: around your land mass. The easiest way to fix that is to move your river layer up so that it looks like your rivers are draining into the ocean. 2. If your going for a "hand drawn" or painted look the forest and mountain textures are kind of throwing that off. The blur makes them softer but they still look "photo-realistic" instead of hand drawn. There are many free brush sets for PS that feature hand drawn mountain and tree symbols that might be better suited for this style of map. Overall it's a great start and I look forward to watching this progress. :)
Thanks for the advice jtougas. I will certainly take your advice re the rivers. However, regarding the other comments - I'm not trying for a hand drawn look, I want it to look 'painted' like with a sponge type effect for the forest and mountains (with shadowing).
The author of the scenario it's for has sent me a revised copy with some additional roads and place names etc so once I've updated it I'll post up the modified version.
Pretty cool "splotchiness" / paint brush, really ads to the feel of the map :)
I was actually going to say in my first post that it looked like the mountains and forests had been "sponged" on but I couldn't for the life of me remember the name of the technique. I'd say you nailed it. It's an interesting feature I don't think I've seen before. :)
Originally Posted by damonjynx
Very nice map! There are a few things I would like to comment on, in a rather unstructured way.
- Your colour schema is indeed very pleasant, though it makes the area seem rather arid. Is that intended?
- You could solve the problem with the rivers ending at the coast if you change the colour of the coastline to that of the rivers. A method I have seen in several modern maps.
- All of your linework - rivers, roads, coast - would benefit from a little blurring. They look very pixely the way they are now.
- They style of your hills looks rather nice, but the layout of these hills could use a little more... variation? Fragmentation? Especially the eastern range in it's wiggly form looks more like a human made structure, a dyke or such, than a mountain range.
- The background / base layer is a little plain. Perhaps you might want to add a little structure, like a parchment texture or something similar?
This is a sort of...volunteered commission. The author of the adventure this is for didn't really give me much detail regarding climate so I just picked colours I thought looked good together. I guess the arid look comes from living in Australia where we suffer either drought or flood it seems. I was thinking of adding a 'canvas' like texture to the background and then experimenting with blend modes, I think the one I want is dodge or something like that. I agree the mountain structure could do with a bit of work - the author got back to me with some names and the Eastern ones are called Wyrmcast Hills so obviously the shape was evocative for him. I'm going to do a bit of playing around with it tonight so if I achieve anything worthwhile I'll post it up. I suppose given the fact it will be modified I should change the tag to WIP!
Here is the finished version. As usual, any comments or feedback is welcome and appreciated.
Thanks for the like jtougas!
I realised I have my rivers layer in the wrong position and so I've moved it between the Land layer and the blue fill layer for the NE corner to get rid of the bit that sticks out at Esplanade.
Oh, the reason Snowspike Forest looks very different from the rest of the forests is because that is apparently (according to the author) a conifer forest whilst the rest are deciduous.
Also, I used a 'sketch' layer to roughly lay everything out and then used the pencil or a brush to do my roads and rivers. What I should have done, is use the free form pen tool on the appropriate layer and then stroked the path(s) with an appropriate brush - which would have been much easier I think and allowed a lot more flexibility.