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Thread: Elvrae

  1. #1
      dmjohn235 is offline
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    Wip Elvrae

    Well, as I said in my introduction, I've been working on this map for quite some time, using a conglomeration of several different tutorials. My artistic skills are pretty mediocre, so I need some advice from some people that actually know what their talking about.
    Anyway, here is my map. I have a color version and a B&W version, but I'm just posting the B&W at the moment because that's the one that will be used if I ever get my book published. That, and the fact that the color version takes up 5 times the amount of disk space, and I'm too impatient to wait for it to upload.
    Elvrae-elvrae-map-v4-lines.png

  2. #2
      fabio p is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmjohn235 View Post
    I need some advice from some people that actually know what their talking about.
    I do not always know what I'm talking about (especially when talking about maps) , anyway here's my two cents on your map.
    I must say I like it, it's pretty detailed and still clean and neat. If you're aiming to a simple yet complete way of illustrating a regional geographic area, I think you're on a good road.

    I think the mountains need a reworking, it's ok they're basic in this kind of map, but their shapes don't convince me, they seem to be more rushed compared to other features of the map.
    I would also add a border (even the most simple one generally improves the overall work.) and maybe a legend and a title.

  3. #3
      dmjohn235 is offline
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    Thanks!
    What kind of border do you think would look good on this type of map. Maybe something like this?
    Elvrae-elvrae-map-v4-lines-border-cropped.png
    Or does it need something more substantial?

    In all actuality, I think I've spend more time on the mountains than on any other one feature on this map. (Except maybe the forests. Maybe.) I can't for the life of me seem to get them right, which is really sad considering I live in a small valley with mountains on every side...
    Personally, I like this style from fantasicmaps.com:
    Elvrae-isomountain2.jpg
    My attempts at emulating it don't look quite so nice, but do you think it could work?
    Elvrae-mountains-test.png

    Anyway, thanks a lot for your advice!

  4. #4
      Lingon is offline
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    Mountains are worth spending a lot of time on. They become real attention-grabbers when you add shadows, because the eye is drawn to areas of contrast. So experimenting a lot to find the perfect look for them is good!

    The example style is quite close to what I often use, and if I would try to offer some advice, I'd say that your mountainsides are too steep. If you draw them more gently sloping, they'll flow together with the flat land and make it look like the range has risen out of the ground across millions of years (which most probably is what happened!). You can also make the "spine" more jagged, which adds a feeling of size; the more detail you add, the bigger the mountains will look

  5. #5
      fabio p is offline
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    You’re welcome!
    As for the mountain’s, I think Lingon’s advice is precious so I would stick with it. Also, you can experiment drawing not only mountain ranges but individual ones (as you did in your map) adding more detail and shadows. You have tons of examples on this site and even great tutorials and walkthroughs to look at. I think observation, experimentation, trial and error, are the keys.
    The border you propose is ok, it’s really essential but also consistent with the style of the map. If you have time and do not have to "deliver" the work within a deadline, I’d try also to experiment with something more complex just to see how it fits; usually a visual comparison among different version can get you nearer to what you’re aiming for.

  6. #6
      dmjohn235 is offline
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    Thanks guys! I think I get what your saying.
    What do you think about something like this?
    Elvrae-elvrae-mountain-test-2-noshadows.png
    Or do you think it looks better with shadows?
    Elvrae-elvrae-mountain-test-2.png
    Or am I even on the right track?

    I really appreciate you guy's advice.
    - Max - and Lingon like this.

  7. #7
      - Max - is offline
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    I think you're on the right track, keep it up

  8. #8
      fabio p is offline
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    Both seem ok to me (and if you have Max approval you’re surely doing good); if you put them on the map you will more easily see which one fits better.
    I’m not expert in shading, but for the shaded mountain range I would check that the light side of the range don’t have shadows that can’t be explained given the position you chose for the sun.

  9. #9
      Slylok is offline
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    Definately much better mountain range. i would make the shadows a bit darker though and if you really want to get crazy with them then make the shadow darker at the peak and fade into nothing as it gets closer to its base. Keep it up. Theyre looking great!
    Our sense of the stability of the earth is an illusion due to the shortness of our lives.
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson


  10. #10
      Lingon is offline
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    Huge improvement! Only thing left to do now is to choose a side the light is coming from, and remove the shadows on that side. Personally, I also like when mountain shadows are quite dark, but that's a matter of taste

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