RPG Map: The Commonweath (An Island nation)
First post here. I'd nearly forgotten that I made an account a year ago, just for browsing.
But now, I've made a map, mostly following Butch Curry's Fantasy Cartography tutorial. It's my second attempt at mapping, so any critique is very welcome. As are any tips for my next attempt.
The map's for an RPG I'm running. GURPS is the system, for those curious about such things.
I was going for a watercolour, hand-drawn style. I understand that the map is quite distorted due to the paper's texture, that IS intentional. The player characters have an old, dusty map that hasn't been cared for. I am working on a cleaner, "newer" version; if they decide to replace it as the campaign progresses.
Full Size Image Approx Image size: 7.5MB
For comparison's sake, here's a map I made 2 years ago for a different game.
Materials & Resources used:
Bamboo Fun Tablet
Superglue, when my tablet pen broke.
Wooden Planks by Baq-Stock - Not used in current version.
Sketchy Cartography Brushes by Starraven (also used in older map)
Green Texture by dirtygentlemen
Moss by Shardinite
Last edited by Legendsmith; 05-06-2014 at 11:11 PM.
Reason: Updating resource list.
I'd say you've done extraordinarily well in replicating the watercolor look! If not for the edges of the paper, which look like they've been hit rather heavily with the burn tool, I would have thought it was a physical painting. Well done! When looking at the full size, there are a couple more things that break the effect a little: the difference in sharpness between the mountains/hills and labels, and the tear in the edges which doesn't look very natural. I also think the full size is unnecessarily big, making everything look a little blurry.
Oh, and welcome to the forums
I want the story of how you broke the pen. I use so much pressure I break mechanical pencils and my cheaply bamboo is holding up fine. The map is wonderful, though I find the background distracting due to the high level of contrast. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for the positive feedback! I've made some changes, taking into account the feedback so far.
(For anyone wondering what it looked like previously; I kept this preview. )
Lingon, thank you for pointing out the edges; Upon changing it, I have to agree with you. It looks better without the heavy burn.
As for the size and blurriness, that is definitely an issue. Throughout the process of making this document, I changed the size twice. It's more than twice the size it was when I started out. I will admit that the image size is too large for viewing at full size on a computer monitor. But if I had the map printed (which I might), I'd want it at this size, as the text should retain its clarity on paper, which was my main concern.
Next time though, I'll start at an appropriate size, so as not to create that blurriness upon rescaling.
I've changed the background to plain black, thanks for the feedback there. If only JPEG supported transparency, I'd have a transparent background.
Originally Posted by madcowchef
As for the story of how I broke the pen; It's quite mundane. It slipped out of my hands when I was doing some of the brush strokes that required a light, but fast touch. It landed in such a way that the ferrite core in the nib broke. I'd dropped it before, and it hadn't broken. But that was apparently the last straw. So I disassembled it and glued the core back together. It was such a relief not to have to buy another.
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