Here is the latest map that I have done following the tutorials here for Photoshop.
This one in particular is following the excellent tutorials by Pyandon. Its not finished yet and im still not sure on several elements, especially the forests which is made using a pattern fill from a photo of trees, just not quite looking how I want it yet and it kinda jars with the rest of the picture. The city buildings were done using elements from Pryandon’s tutorial and that of Gullside by AidyBaby. I did try to follow Aidybaby’s tutorial at first but had issues with the buildings when applying colour masks to the buildings. Still trying to fix that one. Anyway, here is the map, see what you think.
Other maps that I have done are on my blog as I mentioned in my hello post.
Site is here:
This is coming along nicely, will keep an eye on it to see how you progress.
As Steel General said, it's coming along nicely. Your roads have two sizes: huge and narrow, but nothing in-between. Maybe more varied road widths might help? Great start though!
You might want to scale down the forest texture, it's quite "large" at the moment ..or you could just go to the resources section in the forums and look for a texture there :) But you are off to a good start. Maybe some texturing & mountain tutorials will get you even further.
I really like your towns, they look great.
I would personally change the colour of the grass, since it's quite bright, but that's an opinion.
About the forest, maybe making it a bit darker? It is now lighter than your grass, which makes it a bit harder to see it's trees.
So here is the latest version of the map. Thanks to all the feedback I think it looks much better, but lets just say that its still a work in progress, especially the forests :D
I like it, it conveys a very neat idea of just how distant everything is. The way you've done the towns and cities it doesn't even need a scale on the map, you can get a very good idea just by seeing the buildings and their relationship.
As for the forests, one thing I'd try is this.
Get the forests on their own layer. (very important)
Select the area outside of the forests.
Go 'Select' -> 'Modify' -> 'Expand' and expand the selection by maybe 10 pixels. (How much to expand it depends on what resolution you work with).
Go 'Select' -> 'Modify' -> 'Feather' and feather about 5 pixels.
Hit the delete key.
And you'll have the edge of the forest neatly fade away instead of abruptly ending. This should be quite compatible with the blending effects you're already using and might make them work even better (as always with photoshop, play around a bit, try different combinations and see what works for you).
Also the towns and buildings are very clearly drawn from directly above while the forest picture you've chosen is more from one side, slightly elevated. The different perspective may be what makes them seem to 'jump out' of the page.
Maybe if you used a picture for the trees which was taken from directly above it might fix that up a bit.
Thanks for the advice on the trees Michaelk. Just tried it quickly and it seems to make them look much better.
I do already work with lots of layers, coming from a CC2/CC3 background layers are one on the things that I always over use, rather than not. Makes life so much easier in the long run.
I'll try to find a picture for the trees that better fits the prospective as well and see how that works out.
Something to watch out for is the orientation of your buildings. It's very easy when using a square brush for all of your buildings to be strictly oriented to the compass, but likely they wouldn't be. If you want to just add some random rotation, open your Brushes palette (F5) and under Brush Dynamics, turn up the Angle Jitter.
If you want the buildings oriented to the street, I think you have to put each building on its own layer and rotate them by hand before merging down. There may be a way to get the rotation to follow a path, but I haven't divined how to do it yet.