1. Mountains - The ones on the left are fantastic. The thing that I don't like is their crispness compared to the coastlines. Since it'd be a shame to blur out all that excellent detail on the mts, I recommend sharpening your coastlines (or at least darkening them a bit more).
2. City Symbols - I like 'em. Very cool and unique.
3. Font - Pretty, but a bit illegible.
As far as the coastal rings - I like them, but Freehand's right about them messing up the clarity of the map. If you sharpen your coastlines OR lower the opacity on the rings, I think it'll balance better.
Changes since last time:
- sharp-lined mountains removed
- detailed mountains redone, adding hills/foothills this time
- coastal waves redone (hopefully not as messy this time)
- page border tidied
- new towns, several villages, and a couple of forts (the star-shaped things)
- various tweaks to blurriness, although probably not as much as people were suggesting
- scale bar left in by accident
I'll look into different fonts later, but the current one is fine by me, for now.
I'd really like to know what people think of the redone mountains, especially now that the hills have been added. Somehow they don't look right to me - the colour doesn't quite match the paper, and the area they merge with the flat country around look wrong (the island might be too small a sample to judge, though). Anyone have any suggestions for fixing these problems?
Vorropohaiah, couldn't bring myself to hide the paper texture. I don't find it too distracting there, but maybe I'll give that a try sometime, and see how it goes.
Think that covers everything for now. Glad people like the cities, and hopefully the towns/villages/forts will also be popular.
[EDIT: just looked over it again, and finally noticed what everyone else saw from the beginning. The blurriness really doesn't look good near the crisp towns and mountains, does it? Guess I'd better do something about it pronto]
My initial instinct is that there's too much white in the mountains, but as you say, it might be too small a sample to tell for sure. It seems like they're going to totally cover up the texture of the parchment though.
I like your moutains, your icons :) but....unfortunately there' sa but....Harmony is missing a bit here, not on the whole map feel, but with the several elements : coastlines, waterlines, border are (too) blurry, moutains sharp with thick lines, icons sharp with bigger lines...Imho, that's the things you may have to work on, since it attracts eye more than it would normally does! Hope it will help to achieve some improvements ;)
*Edit* damn forgot about the mountains thing : they looks good to me. Just maybe a little more colors on shadows and highligntings ( more contrast) will help to do well...
I'm with Diamond on the white of the mountains, they stand out even in the thumbnail, stand back and take a look and see what you think. It might also be that the mountains are "hardlined" while the sea area is "softlined", I think there may be too much contrast between the two elements, and maybe this is where Max finds the disharmony? I like the parchment and the city symbols. This is still coming along nicely, and as we all know sometimes ya just gotta tweek stuff LOL. Tweeking is part of my life style!!
More mountains added, and some foothills. Coastlines redone. Probably the most important change is that the mountains and hills have been recoloured, so that they merge with the background a bit better. More work will be done on the colour of the hills in the bottom centre, which have too high a contrast with the rather pale background, but that'll have to wait till much later.
The stained paper texture has been (temporarily) removed, as Vorropohaiah suggested. The paper that remains was unfortunately flattened, and so cannot be removed so easily. The text has also been temporarily removed.
Love the mountain brushes your using...are they your own creation? If not, mind sharing where you got them from so I can try them out?
MUCH better looking coastlines! Mountain color looks great now (maybe because of the change in parchment), and I got to say, I think I like this modified parchment/background better.
@anomiecoalition: all my own drawings. I try to never use other peoples' brushes because it feels kinda like cheating.
@Diamond: I also like the parchment now, but I wasn't going to make a decision until I've finished. That was, before...
I'd been working on my mountains as a smart object, and somehow they've ended up getting rasterised. I still have the image, of course, but it is much less editable now. I'll salvage what I can, but this could end the map. Even if the damage isn't too bad, the motivational blow is pretty huge.
I'll update my progress when I find out if the map can be saved. Until then, watch this space.
Ouch. I know that pain all too well. If it's any consolation, the times that's happened to me and I've worked up the motivation to keep working, I've usually liked take two better.