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Thread: The Aralor Empire and the lands to the north-west

  1. #1
      Gallien is offline
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    Wip The Aralor Empire and the lands to the north-west

    Hello!
    I'm a bit late to write a "member introduction" - my first visit to this fantastic site happened slightly more than a year ago Still I think its better late than never

    Inventing worlds and drawing maps was my hobby since childhood. I used to play RPGs with my friends, but nowadays I don't meet them often. Several years ago I decided to take the best from each world I had made and make a new one from these parts. (Sounds funny ) Of course I needed a new map. I made several sketches untill the main idea was clear. Then I decided to make a computer-made map. I didn't have much experience in digital map-making: as a child I preferred using pencils. So my first attempt at map-making began.

    The Aralor Empire and the lands to the north-west-north-west.jpg

    The work stopped, when I found this site. The amount of different map-making stiles (and tutorials!) here absolutely overwhelmed me. So I abandoned my map and started playing with Photoshop and Gimp, trying different methods.

    So you see where my work has stopped. The map is unfinished and it has serious flaws.
    1. Resolution is too low. You cannot zoom in and look closely at the details without seeing pixels.
    2. The mountains and forests were drawn by hand (using a mouse ). It was absolutely exhausting - and that is one reason why the quality leaves much to be desired.

    These are 2 main problems that are most difficult to overcome. Of course, there are also many minor defects. And it well may be I don't see more fundamental drawbacks.


    Now I don't know what to do with this map. On one hand it would be better to start from scratch and to use the knowlege found here on this site from the very beginning. But... It would be really great to find some tricky way to make a decent map out of this.

    Can something worthy still be made of this map? Can it be fixed? Or is it just a waste of time?
    Should I finish this map or start a new one?
    I cannot decide. Please, help me.

    P.S. May be some kind of extremely worn-out map can be made from this low-quality image?
    Last edited by Korash; 05-23-2013 at 10:14 PM. Reason: title edit on request

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      Korash is offline
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    Well I think the resolution issue would depend on how much you want to be able to zoom in, and how good a graphics computer you have. At 1400x1600 px this is not bad for a regional map, but if you want to be able to zoom in on each town and see a layout, I hate to tel ya, it is way too small. That sort of goal will be almost unobtainable. I would suggest that at this level of map, that you just place the towns and cities using symbols of some sort and then do layouts of the cities/towns as you need them. If you want to double the res. (I am not too sure what the res is on your working map) Gimp does allow you to change the resolution and size of the map (Image>Scale) and I believe that PS can do the same, and I don't think it would take too much of your detail. This will of course greatly increase the size of the file.....

    As foe the map itself, I do like the layout of the mountains and you river network.....with the exception of your southern rivers. They do seem to "gather" a bit too much. If you do increase either the size of the map, or the res. (I would suggest doing the size and res. or just size)I would either try to make brushes of your mountains or look for some that you like in the Mapping Resource forum to compensate for a slight blurring of those images.

    I wish you luck with this project.
    Art Critic = Someone with the Eye of an Artist, Words of a Bard, and the Talent of a Rock.

    Please take my critiques as someone who Wishes he had the Talent

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    1) as Korash said before - resolution depends on how crazy you are and how much detail you want to get into the map itself. if your'e only going to label nations and maybe capitals, i think this is good enough. if not, making it bigger might be a bit troublesome as if you just double the size its gonna get pixelly. i just tent to increase the size to something i want and then add a new layer and trace it with a pencil/brush tool.

    2)the mountains are fine for a first go though like you said, it gets exhausting making each individually. a method that's commonly used is to make a set of mountains (often handmade on paper and scanned into the pc) with various sizes and orientations and then copy/paste or clone them from that onto another mountains layer. youre still placing them individually though as your not drawing each one-by-one is saves more time and lets you concentrate more on the layout

    EDIT: also, i sugest copying this thread (or getting a mod to move it) to WIP so you can get some more input

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      Korash is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by vorropohaiah View Post
    EDIT: also, i sugest copying this thread (or getting a mod to move it) to WIP so you can get some more input
    Yeah that just might be a good idea VP consider it done
    Art Critic = Someone with the Eye of an Artist, Words of a Bard, and the Talent of a Rock.

    Please take my critiques as someone who Wishes he had the Talent

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      Gallien is offline
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    Thanks for your comments

    I think I'll continue working with this map. You (both) are right, I have planned too much detail for it. I hope the map will look ok, if i place only the main cities and names. May be I'll even make it a bit smaller than it is now - I hope it helps to improve the quality a bit.

    As for the map itself, I do like the layout of the mountains and you river network.....with the exception of your southern rivers. They do seem to "gather" a bit too much.
    I also had doubts about those southern rivers... You're right. I'll turn some of them into new riverbeds. Anyway, as a law-abiding citizen, I have no choice, but to obey the River-Policemen

    also, i sugest copying this thread (or getting a mod to move it) to WIP so you can get some more input
    I'll definetly make a new thread in WIP - but only when I really have some progress.

    Thank you again!
    Last edited by Gallien; 05-20-2013 at 06:33 PM.

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      Gallien is offline
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    I changed the rivers - I hope its better now:
    The Aralor Empire and the lands to the north-west-north-west-without-woods.jpg

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      Korash is offline
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    Oh BTW, this thread is already in the Regional Maps forum...(just in case you didn't notice). And I think those rivers do look a bit better arranged the new way.
    Art Critic = Someone with the Eye of an Artist, Words of a Bard, and the Talent of a Rock.

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    I think it looks like a nice update. I like the new geography a lot.
    Don't be afraid to start from scratch, or import your old one and use the outline, etc. The tutorials are great for deciding how you like to map and teach you some useful skills.

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      Gallien is offline
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    I hope I'm crazy enough for 2400x2400px And the res is 300 px per inch. Are these settings ok?

    I tried to make a hi-res coastline, but it seems I overdid the fiords. More than that - it seems I do not understand fiord geograhpy. So the north-eastern coast isn't finished yet...
    The Aralor Empire and the lands to the north-west-north-west.jpg

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      Korash is offline
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    I believe that the setting you have should be okay as long as you realize that the map will be 8 inches x 8 inches if printed out 1:1. As long as it doesn't slow down the computer you should be good. Now, in order to know how much detail you can put on that map, try and figure out a scale (ex. if the map is 2400 miles north/south, then 1 inch equals 300 miles and each pixel is 1 mile) and that would tell you what you can do as far as details go. Using that example, most small towns would fit inside the 1 pixel and would most likely be represented abstractly if at all (either way is good, just be consistent - maybe showing important towns but not necessarily all of them). All this to tell you that a scale goes a long way to making a believable map.
    Art Critic = Someone with the Eye of an Artist, Words of a Bard, and the Talent of a Rock.

    Please take my critiques as someone who Wishes he had the Talent

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