Don't worry about the relatively empty west, there has to be some less detailed areas in any painting to keep it from getting cluttered, so it's only good :)
I like the mountains! Your own, or some brushes you found? Either way, they could blend in better I think – especially the colored one looks a little like it's on top of the map rather than in it. A longer transition from ground to mountain color should do it.
I really like your mountains so far and about the west, well you could put some sort of wasteland/ jungle depending of the latitude.
Lingon - Thanks, they are my own. They look extremely similar to yours I noticed, which was unintentional. If it was I would've definitely tried harder to do the spine thing you did :). I'll try blending the bottoms in with an transparent eraser when I get all the painted terrain elements done. Or something. Thanks for the suggestion.
SO progress has been slow. I've been spending a long time painting these mountains. If I had known how bloody much work it was I wouldn't have started. Or I would've done them with painted brushes instead. But I think they are looking good and I'm half way done with them so its pretty cool to see 'em get done. I've also been testing colours for the hills, but stopped half way through since I need to make a bunch more brushes for them; the repeats get too noticeable with the 20 or so hills I have now.
I've been debating on the large land features being drawn in like the bluffs I put in near my test city. I plan on doing forest brushes, and have been debating some sort of swamp type brush for use near the river delta since all that lowland there is swamp (I'm thinking Louisiana bayou sort of).
It's hard to figure everything visually with the background still being the height map, but I figured things are easier to see with the colour back there. I've tried painting it but that is way beyond my skill level. So other than painted features like hills mountains etc. I think I'm just going to leave it an extremely subtle and simple tan/aged paper sort of look. Lowering the opacity on the mountain paint makes them look pretty good with a simple background.
I think I may skip doing any sort of roads or whatever, I can't really decide. There really wouldn't be many anyways due to the geopolitical situation though so I wouldn't really feel like it was missing something.
For the city icons I thought I was just going to do some simple thing like crossed circles or whatever but decided to test out these little picture like things. I kind of like them, but it kind of jumpstarts my thought on these cities in that I have to figure out important structures in the cities before I have their ideas fully nailed down. I got the flavours I want from the cities but not the specifics so much. There wont be too many of them though since I'm only doing the really major important notable locations. Maybe like 6 or 5 total.
So you tried to paint the background but it was not good ?
I had to do a lot of test to get something nice. It's pretty hard considering that I'm not a natural painter/drawer either. My advice (but I use photoshop) is to avoid saturated colors. They don't render very well and you can't print them. Also, if possible, try to randomize the opacity and the tint (only a little) of you brush.
I've found that monotony is you yorst ennemy. http://cdn.leviathyn.com/wp-content/...ap-555x416.png But the bad thing with opacity is that it's harder to make subsequent modification (sometime), so it's best to change opacity in the layer instead of in the brush setting.
Finally, I would say that you should keep some sort of background and paint over it so you get some sort of texture (I used a parchment image but other thing may serve).
haha! I've said that a time or two... usually about trees. I'm glad you didn't know. They are looking good. :)
Originally Posted by Falconius
Love what you're doing here. I think the hand painted mountains look nice, so definatly keep going with that! Axel or is right too, different settings on your brush really help, especially if you're using a pen and tablet.
Progress is slow. I haven't touched the land colours since my first failed attempts to figure them out. I went ahead and made some tree brushes but screwed up the first set and it ended up with a ton of white pixel artifacts so I have to remake them properly again. They take a long time though so I've been lazy and avoiding them. Not even sure if they work with the map. I'm really not sure how to represent the forests at all. I think some form of representation is necessary however as forests seem to add a lot to a map.
As you see I've laid out where I want my hills and laid in the plateaus I wanted. It looks kind of honky right now but I'm hoping that painting the hills will help alleviate the way they look out of place. Overall the colours are too saturated for the maps style. I'm definitely leaning to a plain tan background with these elements and the trees sitting on top.
My city plan didn't work out well since even tiny vignettes of the cities (I included a couple of examples) were too dominant and didn't fit the scale so I'm just going to use simple circle type icons. Maybe save some of them for border illustrations.
I'm happy with the scale I decided on for the map. The Scale Bar and the Compass Rose I'm happy with for the most part, I haven't planned their positions or anything really yet, just dropped them in for now. The scale will probably move to the map legend. And I think I'll reduce the size of the rose and perhaps re-orient it if I ever decide on where I actually want the equator. I'm definitely going to have to figure out a text solution that fits in with the map. I'll probably have to do labels by hand and scan them in to fit everything else that has been done that way.
I saw a map here today from a while ago that I love, and he weaved the text in with some features. It looks super cool: http://www.cartographersguild.com/fi...-durthaen.html I don't think I could get away with similar style though.
Hey, basically I've made no progress as I've been slightly busier than expected. Right now I'm still hung up on the brushes which have to be done before anything happens, they are going to take a couple of days probably to redo. Trying to fix them has gotten them heavily darkened and takes longer than just doing them over.
I figured I just post where I'm at about as I'm going to be gone on vacation for a few weeks. Anyways I did the hills and threw down some of the crappy trees to show what I'm at. Obviously I'm going to have to split the layers more specifically to accommodate the trees.
Yeah... not digging those trees. :D For one thing, they're HUGE compared to the mountains. I do love those mountains and plateau/tableland things though, and the overall layout of the map is great. Keep it up!
Decided to overhaul the line work of the drawn topography since the way the old mountains were just wasn't doing it for me. Unfortunately it means I have to go back and paint everything again, since that was one aspect of them I liked. Perhaps I'll take a different approach though. It also gave me an opportunity to include the cataclysm scar I had planned from the beginning which I'm happy with, even if I did have to redirect a river and blow up an island.
Not having a tablet I lay my screen down on the table and traced the coast lines and rivers onto paper then drew in my new topography with pencil, then traced it to new paper with ink and then copied it and put it into GIMP. This is just the rough work I haven't cleaned it up any at all (if I'm going to), but it gives an idea of the new direction I'm heading. I'm not really how I would clean the lines if I was planning on it. Maybe take it to Inkscape and fool around with it there? Some of the lines definitely didn't make the translation from paper to the image very well. Also I noticed I missed the cliff lines on one of the plateaus which shouldn't be too hard to fix with the mouse.