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Thread: WIP - Tirwen

  1. #1
      waverlyt is offline
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    Post WIP - Tirwen

    Tirwen is a campaign world I've been working on since December 2007; I've been working with the map, a little at a time, since April 2008.

    I started with AutoREALM to make the outline of the continent and islands using its fractal line tools. Once I had what I wanted, I printed it, went over the lines with a medium tip Sharpie, and then scanned that as a black and white bitmap, which I then imported it into Inkscape. Inkscape was used to thin the lines a bit, fiddle with a few areas (having all of it as a vector graphic made this easy), and smooth everything out.

    Once I had my outline done I rasterized it in Inkscape, grabbed Paint.net, and set to work on the basic color palette I wanted. When I started, I wan't planning on something as complicated as what this turned out to be. I quickly found that Paint.net couldn't do everything I wanted to do and switched over briefly to GIMP and then to Photoshop CS3.

    Looking back, that all seems like a lot of unnecessary work.

    Fonts used are Ale and Wenches BB for everything except for the runes in the corners and the non-numeral text under the distance scale, Viner Hand ITC for the numbers under the distance scale, and WizardSpeak for the runes in the corners. Ale and Wenches BB and WizardSpeak are from blambot.com.

    Critiques would be greatly appreciated, since I'm really enjoying this and want to get better. The rivers, in particular, are frustrating me.

    Thanks!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WIP - Tirwen-tirwen08oct2008.png  

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      Redrobes is offline
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    Very nice - like it a lot. Lets start boosting your rep rating right from this point...

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      RobA is offline
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    That is just yummy!

    I had recently played with something similar to your forest effect in inkscape for some other reasons. Did you scan it then simplify?

    On the rivers, what don't you like about the rivers?

    -Rob A>

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    I really like the effects you you used on the land and sea - very cool, great color scheme.
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      waverlyt is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    Very nice - like it a lot. Lets start boosting your rep rating right from this point...
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by RobA View Post
    That is just yummy!

    I had recently played with something similar to your forest effect in inkscape for some other reasons. Did you scan it then simplify?

    On the rivers, what don't you like about the rivers?

    -Rob A>
    Thank you!

    The forests were made by drawing lots of circles next to each other with a pencil on a sheet of regular printer paper, going over them with a fine-tip Sharpie, scanning that drawing as a black and white bitmap, and finally importing it into Inkscape and then PS. After getting it into Photoshop, I realized that I forgot the 'trunks' of the trees, so I added those in there.

    The rivers just don't look ... right, I guess. I feel like most of the other things on the map 'fit' while the rivers stand out. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that the rivers have an outline that I can't seem to get rid of -- they look like they've got a pixel-wide white line on each side of the blue line. That, and I'm not sure what to do where the rivers meet the shoreline. Currently they just sort of terminate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steel General View Post
    I really like the effects you you used on the land and sea - very cool, great color scheme.
    Thanks! I've worried that it's too colorful, but am unhappy with the results I get if I try to tone it down.

    Which effects do you like? Much of the texture comes from an 'old paper' texture that was blurred, smudged, and warped until I was satisfied with its look. A similar process was used for the forests (a picture of clover, which had noise added and was blurred until it was just a mottled green) and mountains (a Photoshop stock filter).

    The shading on the land was done with a 75% transparent gray brush set to color burn on a layer above the land layer. I'm not sure if that was the best or most efficient way to do it, but I think it turned out ok. It doesn't show elevation was well as I'd hoped it would.

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      torstan is offline
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    I like this map a lot. The colours of the land and the sea are great and fit very nicely into the style of the map. I've a few comments to make. Firstly, I think the over-colourful aspects of the map are the text. I'd take that coloured background away. I'd also suggest reducing the saturation on the rivers and lakes - I think they are good, but a little over coloured for the map. Compare the colour of lake Feydusk to the colour of your ocean. I'd also suggest outlining the rivers - all the other elements of the map have clear outlines so it is a little odd that the rivers don't, especially as the lakes have an outline that makes them look separate from the rivers!

    I'd also suggest not italicising Tirwen - you've got a nice font that looks great everywhere else - no need to italic it for the title.

    I love the border and the worn paper. The care and attention to detail you've put into this really shows and is a testament to a great map. Excellent first map to post here. Repped!
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  7. #7
    NymTevlyn
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    You might try putting a relief on the river. I don't know how to do that, but it might solidify the rivers as part of the land.

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      RobA is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by NymTevlyn View Post
    You might try putting a relief on the river. I don't know how to do that, but it might solidify the rivers as part of the land.
    Good idea- here is a quick mock up putting a relief on the river and removing the land border then smudging the river colour into the sea a bit:

    WIP - Tirwen-river.png

    What do you think of that?

    Alternately (and possibly more in line with the map style) is just to stroke the river outline with dark:
    WIP - Tirwen-river2.png

    -Rob A>

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      waverlyt is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by torstan View Post
    I like this map a lot. The colours of the land and the sea are great and fit very nicely into the style of the map. I've a few comments to make. Firstly, I think the over-colourful aspects of the map are the text. I'd take that coloured background away. I'd also suggest reducing the saturation on the rivers and lakes - I think they are good, but a little over coloured for the map. Compare the colour of lake Feydusk to the colour of your ocean. I'd also suggest outlining the rivers - all the other elements of the map have clear outlines so it is a little odd that the rivers don't, especially as the lakes have an outline that makes them look separate from the rivers!

    I'd also suggest not italicising Tirwen - you've got a nice font that looks great everywhere else - no need to italic it for the title.

    I love the border and the worn paper. The care and attention to detail you've put into this really shows and is a testament to a great map. Excellent first map to post here. Repped!
    Thank you! I left the WIP file on my work machine, so I won't be able to edit anything tonight (need to set up a subversion server...). Your advice is wonderful, and I'll get to making those changes tomorrow.

    As far as the colored text goes -- do you think the labels are clear enough without the color-coding? The reason I went with the different colored glows in the first place was because I was afraid it wouldn't be clear what the labels were ... well, labeling.

    Quote Originally Posted by NymTevlyn View Post
    You might try putting a relief on the river. I don't know how to do that, but it might solidify the rivers as part of the land.
    Thanks for the advice! In fact...

    Quote Originally Posted by RobA View Post
    ...just to stroke the river outline with dark:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	river2.png 
Views:	45 
Size:	430.3 KB 
ID:	6940
    ...thank you RobA for the visual -- I definitely think that's what I'm going to go with! Could you tell me a bit more about what it is that you did? Will a dark-colored stroke layer effect work on the layer I have the rivers on?

    As an aside; how should I go about posting updates? Do I edit the first post with the new version, or do I put the new version in a whole new post in the same thread?

    Thanks again, everyone!

  10. #10
      RobA is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by waverlyt View Post
    ...thank you RobA for the visual -- I definitely think that's what I'm going to go with! Could you tell me a bit more about what it is that you did? Will a dark-colored stroke layer effect work on the layer I have the rivers on?

    As an aside; how should I go about posting updates? Do I edit the first post with the new version, or do I put the new version in a whole new post in the same thread?
    A stroke layer effect will also cause strokes to appear at the end of the rivers. I just made a black outline stroke on its own layer , reduced the opacity, and erased it at the river mouth.

    ...And in the WIP threads just keep appending posts. It is nice for people to see the development as it progresses.

    -Rob A>

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