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Thread: [WIP] World Map as basis for local maps

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      Llannagh is offline
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    Wip [WIP] World Map as basis for local maps

    Hi all!
    First, let me say how glad I am to have found this place! Amazing stuff on here!

    So, this is my WIP-thread.
    Iím going to give you some info on my gear, mapping background, why Iím making maps, what kind of maps I want to do and show you some previous work.

    1. ďGearĒ
    Software: PS 6, Hardware: Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch
    At the moment I use Photoshop CS 6, but I also have Gimp, Illustrator (the whole CS6, actually) and CC3 with DD3.
    I use PS because I a) have it and b) my new Wacom seems to work better with it than with Gimp.
    Although I like CC3, it seemed to not match my expectations. Plus I found it a bit too laboriously to get the outcome I was looking for.
    2. Mapping background
    I have always loved maps, and still do. One of my favorite ďtoysĒ is Google Earth.
    Being a fantasy and, to a certain degree, science-fiction nerd quickly led me to RPG and then, of course, to making up my own worlds/scenarios.
    Even since before playing RPGs I wanted to write a novel. A fantasy one, naturally. Over the years I have written bits and pieces in different settings. One of the first worlds I came up with is also the one I kept coming back to.
    I started drawing maps on paper. The basic shape evolved more and more, as did itís background story (donít ask for it, itís still pretty fuzzy and by no means complete! ).
    Now I moved to digital mapmaking, because:
    3. What kind of maps do I want to make?

    Alright, let me break up the column here.

    As it says in the threadís topic, I want to create an atlas like world map. From that map, IĎd like to copy sections for regional maps, so the coastlines stay the same.
    Iím aware that I need a pretty detailed and probably HUGE world map to achieve this. Also, I forgot to mention that I have never worked with Photoshop before! My drawing skills outside of maps are almost nonexistent, too.
    Is this insane? Honest answers welcome.

    I havenít settled on a style yet. Yesterday I found the map of the High Empire Of Korachan by vorropohaiah. I really like that map, and itís style. Plus it seems to be a very, very large map that could suit my needs.

    Following is the first map I created in Photoshop, of the continent Skahria, and itís subcontinents Kanotraea and the home of the crumbled empire of the Hen, the mountain people.
    It was create in an all-nighter I pulled in a frenzy following Kindariís Tut. I saved an early step, so I could copy segments just as coastlines.
    In the third image I tinkered around a bit with various lightings, layer effects etc.

    Any input and critique is welcome!

    Cheers,
    LLannagh
    [WIP] World Map as basis for local maps-skahria.jpg [WIP] World Map as basis for local maps-skahria-basic.jpg [WIP] World Map as basis for local maps-hen-sketch-2.jpg

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      Llannagh is offline
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    Default Update

    Okay, Update!

    I finished outlining the worldmap. It's all hand-drawn digitally with my tablet. Originally I planned on drawing a huge map on A3 papers (420 X 297 mm), 3 sheets wide and 5 sheets high. I transformed that to photoshop and created a document with the appropiate measures. Overdid the resolution though (200 px/cm).
    Went ahaed anyways and divided the thing in 15 units. Then drew 14 single sheets and inserted them as layers into the big one.

    So now I have an outline of my world, almost exactly as I want it to be. Looks like this:

    [WIP] World Map as basis for local maps-skahria-overview.gif

    I named the continents, just so it doesnt look too barren.

    I will add details in the future, and concentrate on the single segments.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails [WIP] World Map as basis for local maps-skahria-overview.gif  
    Viking likes this.

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      Llannagh is offline
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    Default

    And another Update.

    I still need to find a style for my maps(s), but this is a first tryout. I'm trying a perspective thingy here, but I'm not that good at it.

    [WIP] World Map as basis for local maps-3_1-persp.jpg

    What do you guys think?

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    Another try, this time without the perspective. I worked the outline with a brush, to set off:

    [WIP] World Map as basis for local maps-3_1-styletest.gif

    Tried out some mountains, too. It's a start, but although I like the texture the brush gives, I'm looking more for a stylized style, top down view.

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      Freodin is offline
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    Default

    Nice artistic tryouts. It will be interesting to see what kind of style you settle for.

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    Default

    Thanks Freodin.

    Here's another tryout I did on a little Island. I think I will work on that particular image until I have found a style that suits me.

    [WIP] World Map as basis for local maps-island.gif

    I used the smudge tool on the mountains and the coastline.

    The Problem is, the more I try things, the more it progresses to a style that is fun, but not one that I'm aiming for. As mentioned above, I really dig vorropohaiah's style in his Korachan maps.

    Is there a WIP for this? I can't seem to find one.

    Anyway, have fun, space cowboys.

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    Though you've been here a week I haven't said it so: Welcome!

    About size: if you want to maximize the size of your world map to be able later to zoom in and retain a lot of pixels, try using a simpler style for the overall world map. The more layers and gradients and details, the fatter your file will be for a given set of dimensions. One solution might be to generate a raw world map at an insanely high resolution, without detailing it. save that as a master that you can clip put regions from, and finish doing your world detailing on a reduced-side copy. For instance do put cities on the biggest world map- at least main ones -- just leave them as simple dots. Only make pretty icons for then ( if your style calls for that) with a somewhat cut-down version destined to be your detailed world map. Do indicate rivers on the biggest, but maybe not stroked with a nice taper. Do put borders on the biggest version, just not symbolized or color-rimmed.

    About this world map you're showing us early stages of... Where does that fit on a globe? Most projections are going to be wider than they are tall. Decide on a reasonable projection for your main world map - based on the arrangement of land masses one might suffer less distortion than another-- or at least less awkwardly placed distortion. When you do generate a reasonable world, don't clip the view so close to the land masses. Some small-scale maps you're going to want plenty of ocean shown, whether to focus on ocean characteristics, or just as a convenient no interfering place to put legend info. Just search go the word "projection" and read the first 25 threads that mention it. Some will have good tips - particularly commentary by Hai Etlik, who is one of our resident advocates for plausible geodesy and projection choice.

    You *could* call what you already have a world map, if that world is mostly water that you aren't showing; also if what is shown only goes to mid-latitudes. Hmmm - in other words if it isn't a comprehensive world map but essentially a regional one ;-).

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      Llannagh is offline
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jbgibson View Post
    Though you've been here a week I haven't said it so: Welcome!

    About size: if you want to maximize the size of your world map to be able later to zoom in and retain a lot of pixels, try using a simpler style for the overall world map. The more layers and gradients and details, the fatter your file will be for a given set of dimensions. One solution might be to generate a raw world map at an insanely high resolution, without detailing it. save that as a master that you can clip put regions from, and finish doing your world detailing on a reduced-side copy. For instance do put cities on the biggest world map- at least main ones -- just leave them as simple dots. Only make pretty icons for then ( if your style calls for that) with a somewhat cut-down version destined to be your detailed world map. Do indicate rivers on the biggest, but maybe not stroked with a nice taper. Do put borders on the biggest version, just not symbolized or color-rimmed.
    Thanks for the welcome, jbgibson!

    I kinda did what you suggested already. The 14 coastline sheets were merged into one big, hi-res document. That was when I found out that I was aiming too high with the resolution and had a conversation with friend. He's a filmmaker and knows his way around a little regarding ppi and that stuff. He asked me if I wanted to plaster a wall.

    I created a new document, size A0 (9933 x 14043 px at 300 ppi) and pasted the original outline into it and rescaled it. Much better now.

    Once I have general idea of how it will look like, I'll finish a worldmap first, so I have a good overview. After that I'll be doing regional maps.

    About this world map you're showing us early stages of... Where does that fit on a globe? Most projections are going to be wider than they are tall. Decide on a reasonable projection for your main world map - based on the arrangement of land masses one might suffer less distortion than another-- or at least less awkwardly placed distortion. When you do generate a reasonable world, don't clip the view so close to the land masses. Some small-scale maps you're going to want plenty of ocean shown, whether to focus on ocean characteristics, or just as a convenient no interfering place to put legend info. Just search go the word "projection" and read the first 25 threads that mention it. Some will have good tips - particularly commentary by Hai Etlik, who is one of our resident advocates for plausible geodesy and projection choice.

    You *could* call what you already have a world map, if that world is mostly water that you aren't showing; also if what is shown only goes to mid-latitudes. Hmmm - in other words if it isn't a comprehensive world map but essentially a regional one ;-).
    Well, the size of this world is roughly Europe including the Middle East. So about 5000 miles from north to south, the top regions being almost arctic.

    Thanks for the tip on projection, but I don't know if I'm going to need that. It's a flat world, with no curvature.
    And it IS a comprehensive world map, at least for this one!

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    Default Gettin there

    I came up with this:

    [WIP] World Map as basis for local maps-island-2.gif

    Gonna work on Hills and Forests next.

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    Default Trees! Mountains! Peril!

    High time for another update.

    I struggled with trees and mountains for the last week. Let me show you what I came up with.

    First, trees. We all love em and hate em, right?
    I started by making custom brushes and had the old transparency problem. You know, where the one brush shows through the other when they overlap? Hated that. I read all (well, many) of the very helpful tutorials, but found nothing to my satisfaction.
    In the end I made up a custom brush that was just a black, filled shape of a tree. Then I activated the color dynamics in the tool menu and tried that. That way the shapes don’t show through and have a variety in color aswell. You have to be careful to draw from top to bottom though.
    Though that wasn’t what I originally looked for, I quite like it. Plus if you don’t want it in black and white, you can just change the fore-/background colors and have a nice green forest.
    Would that be worth a short tutorial? I haven’t seen my solution anywhere, but I don’t want to spam the forum with ANOTHER forest tut…
    Looks like this:

    [WIP] World Map as basis for local maps-stylefinder.gif

    Which brings us to number two: Mountains. We all love em and hate em, right?
    I encountered the same problems as with the trees, read many a tutorial, but again found nothing to my satisfaction (no offense to the great tutorials out there, great jobs from the authors).
    The clone stamp solution isn’t to my liking, so I just hand-drew the mountains from scratch.
    I know they probably don’t match the scale yet and have a few problems with perspective, but I’m learning Photoshop AND drawing/painting from scratch at the same time here. Considering that I’m already quite pleased.
    The mountains basically have three layers: one is just a slight grey background, the second is the details and the third for snow.
    I drew the outlines first, using a thin, hard pen tool, and then, after putting in the details and the snow, hid that layer. For the finishing touch I used the smudge tool on both the detail and snow layer.
    As you can see, I also outlined the coast with a light brush, as in an earlier try.
    Gonna move on to rivers and general landshaping (hills and such) next, I’ve had enough of mountains and trees for now!

    Would be glad for some feedback on everything!
    Last edited by Llannagh; 09-05-2013 at 01:18 PM. Reason: picture upload failed first time.

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