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Thread: My first map try

  1. #1
      ukie is offline
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    Wip My first map try

    My first try at a map. It is still WIP but I would appreciate comments and any helpful suggestions.

    My first map try-old-map.png

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    Guild Journeyer Freehand 5.5's Avatar
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    The map could have been nice. But there are two main reasons I don't like it.

    1. It is to dark. I've got problems to read the small names.

    2. You should have paid more attention to typography.
    a) Avoid to many different fonts and sizes and choose better font combinations.
    b) Each time you stretch or compress a font a typographer dies. Don't do it. if you want to run wider better insert some spacing.
    c) Choose the place of typography more esthetically.

    The stamp doesn't need a 3D-effect. Better give it some interesting colour and an inky look instead.
    Don't bend the stamp typo. That's wrong. Set it on a round line instead.

    The graphics of the mountains could have more variants.

    But besides all those details, I think you're on the right way.
    Last edited by Freehand 5.5; 01-13-2013 at 11:26 PM.
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      Diamond is offline
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    I like the color choices; they don't feel too dark to me. I don't necessarily think there's anything wrong with the mountain icons either; I like keeping them fairly uniform in my maps too, for the most part.

    I do agree with Freehand about the font selection and placement though. Keep the number of different fonts to a minimum and I think you'll be pleased at how it looks. The placement, especially on the seas, is jarring. Try not to angle text like that - it looks unnatural. Either keep it totally horizontal, or give it a proper aesthetic bend. In my opinion, there's no need to diagonally tilt any of that text, just select a smaller size and keep it horizontal.

    Definitely on the right track though; it has potential.
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      jbgibson is offline
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    The main font is okay - it's a bit hard to read, but if it's your peoples' typical script, I'm sure the locals read it just fine :-). One way to get the variety you need to distinguish easily between feature types is to vary size, weight, color, and style, all within the same font family. If that's only available in the one variant, you will have to be creative, but with most graphics tools you should be able to gen a reasonable outline version, as you might want for the city state label. You could gen an initial cap variant just by upping the font size on first characters. Area labels are well done by spreading a typical font for the map out w i t h w i d e r s p a c i n g. If you can master text-on-curve you'll improve your look; I've used free tools like Inkscape JUST for that one capability and imported the resulting labels back into my prefered main app.

    I understand where you're headed with the embossed ownership mark - my city library does the same thing. A different font there is fine, since one would hardly to expect the Bureau Of Bureaucratic Engraving to match the Cartographer's Department standards.

    If the sea-filling texture is supposed to just be parchment, I'm puzzled why it is almost invisible across land.

    The rivers are nicely tapered, the forests are pleasantly scattered, the mountains show as much variety as you could expect from ones not hand-drawn. Postulate a map department that uses literal stamps for such symbols, and you're golden :-). THe land outlines are OK, and river placement works. I like the overall effect a lot. I do have to agree the tilty text is askew from a design sense too.
    Last edited by jbgibson; 01-14-2013 at 02:36 AM.
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  5. #5
    Guild Journeyer Freehand 5.5's Avatar
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    One thing: The outlines of the lakes do not fit so well with the rivers.
    You could try to erase them.
    Or you can paint the outlines of the lakes in the dark blue of the rivers and fill the lakes with a bit lighter blue.

    *sorry, I somehow have to earn that river police badge*
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  6. #6
      ukie is offline
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    First of all thanks guys I really appreciate your input it's uber helpful.

    In terms of fonts you are absolutely right I was just playing around to see if it would make the map more interesting but I really like the idea of italics, bold and caps within the same font style. Can't believe I didn't think of it on my own > but it's a learning process as all of you know I will also address the placement problem in the next try.

    The reason I tried to make it darker is because I though it would give it more "authentic"/old feel. The overlay layer didn't come out on the land because of the burn color being too similar to the base color of the land. Dutifully noted I need to play around with parchment textures or land color.

    I'm glad jbgibson mentioned rivers. That's something I had troubles with. I loved the idea of putting the lakes on separate layer and outlining them with river color. What do you think of making them simply black coming out of black or dark blue outline (Effects>Stroke)?

    In terms of mountains I was going to try the overlay tutorial to see if I can make them more diverse.

    Once again thanks for your comments.

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      ukie is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freehand 5.5 View Post
    One thing: The outlines of the lakes do not fit so well with the rivers.
    You could try to erase them.
    Or you can paint the outlines of the lakes in the dark blue of the rivers and fill the lakes with a bit lighter blue.

    *sorry, I somehow have to earn that river police badge*
    Lol policing is what I want and need. One of the problems I run into when I do rivers via eraser with outline is that the outline on the rivers is too rough. Do you have any tricks?

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      ukie is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbgibson View Post
    Postulate a map department that uses literal stamps for such symbols, and you're golden :-)
    Sorry sometime my English understanding is... how should I put it... thickheaded what do you mean by that?

    I also wanted to ask you: Do you make makes in PS or GIMP and then hand draw the mountains or do you draw them with tools available in those programs?
    I'm really interested in doing my own original art for my maps but just don't understand the process of combining generated maps with hand drawing. Help!

    BTW awesome maps, man!

  9. #9
    Guild Journeyer Freehand 5.5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukie View Post
    One of the problems I run into when I do rivers via eraser with outline is that the outline on the rivers is too rough. Do you have any tricks?
    I don't understand that. Did you erase the rivers from the land?
    I guessed you painted them in a separate layer over the land.
    I think your rivers look very good.

  10. #10
      - Max - is offline
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    Not too bad for a first try : Besides what was already said, I'd say that the map is too filled. You should remove some elements, reduce font size to make it "breath"

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