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Thread: A comprehensive map of Avani

  1. #11
      Nomadic is offline
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    Wow that is real nice, I think I would just about cry if you made your incredible trees, mountains (and cities, simple but elegant double circle symbol) into photoshop brushes.

  2. #12
    Wag
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    Ascension, you are correct that the mountains and trees are all brushes, but after a few smaller trial forests, I determined that it was too time consuming to place each tree with a brush. I tried different spacing’s and variables for the brushes themselves but they still looked too repeating, so instead if did created a pattern from my brushes.

    Using the offset filter and a variation of the some twenty tree brushes I ended up with I created a fairly large pattern that I was unable to detect any perceivable pattern. Also, instead of simply pouring the pattern into the foreground, I actually created a new fill/adjustment layer with the pattern. That way I can actually change the size of the pattern at any time and simply paint in the trees where needed. This lends to far more flexibility than static layers. I could even change textures on the fly.

    The mountain ranges were painted after the placement was determined. They are also brushes and were painted individually. I was unable to create an acceptable mountain range pattern and since there are considerably fewer mountains than trees, that was just fine by me.

    A note about the font. The one I'm using is primarily is called Zothique Demo which is certainly difficult to read in many cases. That's why I'm also using one called "Treasure Map Deadhand" which is far more legible but still has many of the same overall characteristics. You can see a distinct difference at the bottom middle of the map. "The Horn of Avani" is in Zothique Demo while the "Sea of Minawara" is in Treasure Map Deadhand. I was reluctant to use two fonts, but Zothique Demo is just such a beautiful font when large enough to read I couldn't resist.

    Nomadic, I can try to put together a brush pack at some point. I've got a whole slug of them at this point. Not all of them made the cut for the map. I went thru various styles of mountains before arriving at these. I modeled these after the ones used on the Ystraad map by Bohunk (which is most certainly the inspiration for this map.)

    I've probably got some 120 brushes at this point made up. Of which only about a third are any good. When it comes right down to it, custom brushes are incredibly easy to make. What I've found especially effective is creating a 1 inch by 1 inch blank white canvas in photoshop with a resolution of 600 Pixels and drawing your trees, mountains, and other doodads with a brush between 3 and 13 pixels. When you shrink them down you can both cover your mistakes (as they are so small at that point) and also get a wonderful softness/crispness/detail balance.

    Keep in mind that I now have over 35 mountain brushes made, but only used some 7 of them in the map. That means a LOT of trial and error.

    Thanks again for the comments!

  3. #13
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Are you using Photoshop or GIMP or something else?
    My Finished Maps
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    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
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  4. #14
    Wag
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    Photoshop exclusively. It's what I've used for years and its what I'm comfortable with. At this point I really don't know any other programs.


    Also, I uploaded an additional map with a trial run of the Woodcut. It is posted next to the current version in the first post.

    I'm going to work on a new compass that should be considerably more fitting to the map when i get a chance. Didn't get a chance to do much of anything tonight I'm afraid.

    Obviously I'll have a few text things to iron out before the woodcut is really complete, but I thought I'd get some feedback on it before I spent a lot of time making it look pretty.
    Last edited by Wag; 01-08-2009 at 12:56 AM.

  5. #15
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    I really like the woodcut version, but the shadowing (or whatever) seems very heavy. Is that a result of using the woodcut (I've not used it before) or something you intentionally put in there?
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

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  6. #16
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wag View Post
    Photoshop exclusively. It's what I've used for years and its what I'm comfortable with. At this point I really don't know any other programs.

    I was asking because one of our members (RobA) had created a random density script for GIMP which fills in an area with a brush in a randomish pattern. But, since you don't use GIMP, it's not much use for ya.

    Those brushes are really nice. If you have any you wish to share, I know tons of people would be thankful. If so, post them up in the Mapping Resources forum.
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  7. #17
    Wag
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    I had actually looked for a similar script for photoshop. I kept looking for a way to alternate brushes "on the fly" and have it keep switching up the variables. I was unsuccessful. Ultimately, creating a fairly large pattern that I can make adjustments to thru the fill/adjustment layer provides me with more flexibility. At least it seems like it does.

    I have to admit the woodcut looks better than I expected. It is really a first run with it on there and I'll need to make some adjustments to make it work. It messes with a lot of my text areas which will require fixing as well. The beauty of it all is that I can keep my other layer with the glow in a separate layer and completely change the style of the map should I decide to go back. I'll keep messing with it and see what works best. I really do like the simplicity of the border with the slight glow. I messed with those settings too and could easily tone it down a bit.

    It’s all trial and error.

    I'll try to get a brush and texture pack together once I've got the map finished. I just really want to finish the map and to make and effective brush pack will take some time. The original images for the brushes are all really large and for the little bit I did, I just keyed in the resizing as needed. To actually make a custom brush pack, I'd probably go the extra mile and make sure they default to a reasonable size and have the proper alternating variables.
    Last edited by Wag; 01-08-2009 at 10:04 AM.

  8. #18
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wag View Post
    I have to admit the woodcut looks better than I expected. It is really a first run with it on there and I'll need to make some adjustments to make it work. It messes with a lot of my text areas which will require fixing as well.
    I assume you probably have a channel/mask which limits the scope of the woodcut effect? I would probably just mask off using that channel and wherever you have text, just manually "paint" the mask so that the woodcut effect is lessened under the text.
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  9. #19
    Wag
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    That's where I'm heading with it. This trial run was actually done a lot simpler than that just by copying the landmass layer to a new document and giving it an exceptionally large glow then switching the mode to bitmap with a soft line texture and upping the dpi to 2200 or something big. Then resizing the image to match the original and pasting the new layer into the existing map and switching to "multiply." It literally takes a minute or two to do it that way but provides me with no way of altering it once in place.

    The channel/mask is the way to go because it will provide all kind of flexibility, but I just didn't have a chance to mess with it yet. I'll probably still have to change some of my text around but at least I’ll be able to go "around" it for the most part.

  10. #20
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    And now that the digital look of the coasts has been ameliorated, the labels jump out at me as being obviously computer-generated. A slight blur and a little bit of texture would probably help match the labels to the features.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

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