After some thought, I didn't care for my labels so I changed them. I made the borders less bold. I changed the city labels placed in small rectangles and smaller size, so I can later add mountain and river labels to accommodate the gazetteer information. I needed more room. The red city markers are castle towns, while the white markers are smaller towns. I added major roads on this map.
I didn't get to Yonshu and Genshu yet, as promised, but I had an exhausting last three days of work and working long evening hours on the map was too much for me. I should get some work done this weekend though.
Next update, the Island of Yonshu has been added and labeled. Note Yonshu is the island of Kaidan, that the entire Curse of the Golden Spear trilogy of modules introducing the setting takes place here.
I will be doing Genshu Island next. Genshu sits in the empty space at top left and top center. It's larger than Yonshu yet smaller than Anshu. It is largely wilderness with the lowest population of the main islands - it's cold here, like Hokkaido is, similar to southern Alaska in climate.
Just about done!
Done for now! 8)
I added Genshu and placed it's labels. These are all the islands of the archipelago and all within the cursed empire of Kaidan. I'm not sure what I will do with the water (as you noticed I changed the color/style multiple times over this thread). I added a legend to describe the border, road and city symbols, and a scale in squares. I don't need a border as this will be an inset map in a printed softbound GM's guide to the setting - each page already comes with a border.
This same map will be sliced into appropriate rectangle divisions by province within the gazetteer portion throughout included with text describing the selected province - as a map/illustration. In those closer in map divisions, I plan to add river, mountain, village/town labels to each one. The labels are too small to read at this scale/dimension of the map.
The GM's Guide to Kaidan as well as the Player's Guide to Kaidan will each feature this map. The GM's guide will be 200 pages long, softcover, B/W interior book printed through Cubicle 7 Entertainment, this October/November - can't wait to see the release of both guides. I'm getting hardback covers of these books however.
Edit: I see some labels under a hand-drawing layer, will need to fix...
Wut type the map it is called GP? Using that topography symbols?
Type? It is the hand-drawn/digital style of Michael Tumey (me). It's the map style I've developed over the past 6 years. It's just a top down view artistically created with hand-drawings and vector layers. I don't think this map has a type, beyond that...
I asked coz never saw something like this, looks like a lots of diferent features that fits really right. Looking me as noob :D i tried to ask to undertand the style. The GPMT style 8)
I use Xara Xtreme Pro 4 (current version is Xara Designer Pro 6), which is $200, vector drawing application - something like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape. I use the software in my daily job as a graphic designer and digital printer for my own shop. Because I use the software in designing banners, signs, posters, etc, I am very familiar with it and use it very quickly. So it became ideal (for me) in using the software to design maps. While it's not as robust as Illustrator, Xara does things that Illustrator does not, and to me the bevel tools, shadow, transparency tools are great, fast and easy to use. Plus it's not a memory hog (though this map did make it close, having so many layers.
Originally Posted by aquarits
Since I run my own graphics shop, I have access to large format printers and scanners to assist my cartography process, which gives me an advantage for this kind of map design technique.
What I do is a 3 step process.
1. After imagining what I want to create, I use Xara to create the general coastlines, location of the mountains, hills, lakes and rivers. Then I print a large format b/w laser print at whatever scale I plan to create the map, either as a single print up to 36" x 96", usually 24 x 36, but for this map I printed 30" x 60" in five prints to cover the 3 parts of Anshu, 1 for Yonshu, 1 for Genshu (the three main islands of the map).
2. Once printed, I tape the prints, one at a time, onto a glass topped table (4 x 12 feet). I then cut a matching sized sheet of 18# translucent bond paper off a 36" roll (tracing paper). I tape that to the top of the printed map outlines. Now I use a micropoint pen (nothing fancy) and hand draw all the terrain features. Once complete, I scan the hand-drawn sheet at 200 dpi monochrome TIF format. I do this for each printed sheet until the entire map is hand-drawn.
3. From my primary design PC, I import the TIF scans into Xara Xtreme to a preset design area to hold the entire map (in this map's case 60" x 96"). Once in Xara I can apply a 'stain glass' transparency filter - which makes black 100% solid and white 100% transparent. I use a pen/drawing tool in Xara and mouse to trace all my hand-drawn lines. Once the shape is created, I apply a color scheme (usually a soft watercolor palatte), apply that to the shape, then use the bevel tool to create then adjust the shape until I'm happy with the look. Then I move it behind the hand-drawn image, and can now see what you see in the map. I usually feather the edge of the shape so it blends better with the background textured shape. I continue this process until all lined shapes are complete.
In this map's case, I create the forests as separate drawn lines on tracing paper taped on top of the previously hand-drawn terrain. That way I can cover some of the hills, mountain bases, avoid the rivers, lakes and coastlines. Then I scan, import to Xara and finish as the previous pieces.
The salt marsh areas of north eastern Yonshu and marshland in south central Genshu, and the forest 'leaf' textures, are hand-drawn areas made into a repeating texture and applied as a 'stain-glass' transparent layer on top of the forest shapes.
I apply labels and grid last, along with the title block, and for other maps' cases any borders - that's the whole process.
Does that help?
yes :D interesting and cool :) Nice job going here ( liked the places with some cliffs/ beach in the coast)
BTW some labels are with transparency and other under shape/icons :)
Yes, I caught those misplaced labels - what happened is some of the islands (shapes and scanned image) weren't grouped, as I should have done. When I was placing the grid down, putting it on top of the backwater was easy, but the light blue, coastal/interior waters wasn't all one shape, so were on different layers, and I was having a tough time getting everything in appropriate layers - I got lazy and messed up. Next time I'll group necessary parts of the maps then all the pieces, so they could be in a unique layer separate from the water background and labels on top.
I already fixed them and sent it off to the writer. I will probably post the corrected final version in the Finished Maps Forum, eventually.
Well, I, for one, always enjoy watching your work, GP. As for the bevel issue . . . Whether others like it or not doesn't matter so much, as long as you're happy with it. It doesn't bother me in the least. I think it looks fine just the way it is, and I'll be watching/waiting to see the other islands as you develop them.