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Thread: Skahr - Heartland of the Ionic Empire

  1. #11
      Lingon is offline
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    Those mountains are better, but even with the perspective change, I'm not sure that they match the trees… At least if you plan to use the first style, I noticed that they look different in the last pics. But I think the first is so unique and cool that it would be a waste not to use them!

    Trying to think of what sort of mountains would fit… The trees are very much silhouettes, single color shapes that overlap into interesting patterns. What if you'd draw the mountains in the same way? Not as just one big triangle maybe, but compose each mountain from sharp color blocks? I'll try to illustrate what I mean if you want, I'm not the best at explaining things

  2. #12
      Llannagh is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lingon View Post
    Those mountains are better, but even with the perspective change, I'm not sure that they match the trees… At least if you plan to use the first style, I noticed that they look different in the last pics. But I think the first is so unique and cool that it would be a waste not to use them!

    Trying to think of what sort of mountains would fit… The trees are very much silhouettes, single color shapes that overlap into interesting patterns. What if you'd draw the mountains in the same way? Not as just one big triangle maybe, but compose each mountain from sharp color blocks? I'll try to illustrate what I mean if you want, I'm not the best at explaining things
    Thanks a lot for your input Lingon!

    The style for the trees is the same, I just scaled them down to match the map scale. And the color is a little different. I might just split this map into 2 or 4 pieces, since it still covers such a huge area.
    I'll give your idea for the mountains a try, I think I know what you mean!

    I'll try and give you some rep, you're being very helpful!

  3. #13
      Llannagh is offline
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    Default An actual map...

    ... or at least sort of.

    So I got fed up by poring over the mountain problem for what by now seems ages and just drew a map. Without giving too much thought to anything, all I wanted was something to look at that resembled a rough direction of what I'm going for.

    Of course, somewhere it took a different turn. Now it's a mix between a drawing of a landscape and a map (without any towns and roads etc.) with messed up perspectives. But it's something to look at and to work off.

    Lingon, I tried your suggestion but wasn't able to come up with anything that I liked. So I'd like to take you up on your offer to demonstrate your suggestion! I think it would already be a big improvement to contrast light and shadow more.

    So, here it is, the fruit of 2.5 hrs of doodling:

    Skahr - Heartland of the Ionic Empire-skahr-skizze.jpg

    Blast away, though I'm quite aware of all it's flaws. That being said, finishing this one at least gave me some satisfaction and rough ideas.
    Oh, and don't call the river police yet!
    Last edited by Llannagh; 09-29-2013 at 07:29 AM.

  4. #14
      Lingon is offline
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    Here are some quick pencil sketches I made. Quite fun, they turned out pretty different from my usual mountains. I hope they can provide some inspiration Something along the lines of the fourth from the left might look good on your map, I think, and I will definitely be using the second sometime, maybe for something sci-fi-ish.
    Skahr - Heartland of the Ionic Empire-berg-1.jpeg

    Nice to see the layout of the full map! I suppose you will work more on the individual elements, but I must say that grass looks good. It's one of PS's default brushes, right? Been thinking of using it myself sometime. A yellow background instead of white could be something to try?

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      Chashio is offline
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    "Mix between a drawing of a landscape and a map." Panoramic / Bird's-Eye-View / Overland maps are very cool. I personally love them because they combine two of my favorite activities. And, this from experience, the more you doodle, the better you get. I have sketchbooks filled with the sorts of pictures in this thread.

    You mentioned wondering how to make your mountains look more isometric. Simply... A lot of your mountains have flat bottoms. If you think of a mountain sitting on one block of an iso grid, with the outside bottom corners of the mountain beginning and ending at the horizontal corners of the grid diamond, you want to pull the bottom center of your mountain down to the middle point of the diamond, and imagine that the far side which you can't see does the same. If that makes sense? Here's a quick example...

    Skahr - Heartland of the Ionic Empire-iso-mountain-example.jpg

  6. #16
      Llannagh is offline
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    Default More Tryouts!

    Thankyou guys! You have helped me a great deal here. Much appreciated.

    @Chashio, in a way I knew how I had to change those mountains to get the perspective right, but I couldn't for the life of me keep those gridlines in my head! Now I can, thanks to you. Seems like someone had to show me.
    I also really like the panoramic/iso style in maps. What I don't like about my general layout is that it all seems to bend to the centre of it. That's what I meant by messed up perspectives.

    @Lingon, very nice mountain sketches! Those have also given me some inspiration. Glad you had fun doing them!
    The grass brush is indeed the PS preset. That's the one that gave me the idea for my forest style.

    Okay, I doodled around again and came up with a few things.

    Firstly, I went astray a bit (of course) and created a topdown view brush for forests inspired by my original one. Then I watched Torstan's tutorial video on topdown mountains and gave those another try. The outcome is this little demo of a style that I'm very probably going to use for the worldmap. Here it is:

    Skahr - Heartland of the Ionic Empire-topdown.jpg

    Secondly I went back to the original style I want to develop and fiddled around with your suggestions. I changes the forestbrush slightly by adding wet edges. That gives it a more natural look and fits better with naturalistic mountains.
    On top is the first try, more leaning towards Lingon's suggested method, beneath is what I made of it. Not completely satisfied with that, but it's a good direction.

    Skahr - Heartland of the Ionic Empire-localmap.jpg

    And this is something I tried out mixing everything together and peeking over at the technique Wynn's using:

    Skahr - Heartland of the Ionic Empire-wynnmix.jpg

    (Wynn's WIP and video can be found here: WIP - Ara World Map )

    I will use a mix of all three shown techniques for my local maps.

    Right thanks again! I'm going to make a cup of tea now and then get back to drawing the map!
    Chashio likes this.

  7. #17
      Llannagh is offline
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    Okay, I think I'm finally getting there (although I might have said so before...).

    I found a nice background texture to which I added a greenish yellow. I might change the color still, but so far I like it.

    Here's what I have come up with, including two variations of my forest style. I personally like the darker better, but the lighter one might fit the style a bit more.

    Skahr - Heartland of the Ionic Empire-skahr-demo-2.jpg

    This is the north-eastern part of the map. I left out the rest of it because it's empty.

    And one last time a big Thanks to Chashio and Lingon! You boosted my skills by a very large amount! Maybe you can see how I made use of both of your suggestions in the above!

  8. #18
      Llannagh is offline
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    And more Variaitons of trees:

    Skahr - Heartland of the Ionic Empire-treevariations.jpg

    Still don't match the mountain style though. But, blimey, this is fun!

  9. #19
      Lingon is offline
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    You are going to be the forest master when this is done All of them are great, but the darker one in the latest post is brilliant.
    Mountain-wise, I think the bottom one in the third picture in your 09-30-2013 post has the most potential. The style you are using in the latest experiments is cool too, but a bit smooth I think. Try letting your hand shake a little when drawing, or fiddle around with the brush settings in PS and see if you can get a more randomized line

  10. #20
      Llannagh is offline
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    Default style? finally?

    Okay.

    I actually started a file that could end up being the final map with the final style.
    I took all of your input to heart and came up with the following:

    Skahr - Heartland of the Ionic Empire-skahr-ne.jpg

    This is a zooemd in section of the (otherwise empty) map. It's the north-east corner, as seen before. The pic contains about a quarter of the whole map.

    Mountains:
    I "unsmoothed" them as suggested by Lingon. Feels more natural that way. I also heigthened the contrast between light and shadow, so the black outline on the ridge doesn't/shouldn't be so confusing anymore and the somewhat comicbook-stylish look of them is reduced.

    Forest:
    It's a three-layered technique now, that, in my opinion, serves the perspective and drawing style of the mountains.

    I also settled on the background texture to make it look more gritty and used, as well as a general color.

    I feel quite satisfied with this and will continue this style. Let'S see what challenges rivers, lakes,hills and settlements will have for me!

    As always I'm glad for any kind of input, critique or encouragement!
    Chashio likes this.

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