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Thread: Shadowfell Map

  1. #1
      Ishmayl is offline
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    Post Shadowfell Map

    Hey guys,
    A friend of mine created a beautiful map for me, and I would like some advice on what I should do for borders, kingdom names, etc. I don't know much about making fonts stick out, and I don't really know much about drawing nice-looking borders, so techniques would be useful, as well as recommended fonts. Here's the map. (it's large)

    Thanks!
    -Ish
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Shadowfell Map-alsa_eru_with_compass_891.png  

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  2. #2
      pyrandon is offline
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    Hi, Ish. What software do you wish to use to add the text, borders, etc.? This will help us help.

    As for fonts, my suggestion is "Fire of Yzgard" at http://www.dafont.com/theme.php?cat=402&page=4 ; I say this because your map is too modern/realistic-leaning to support truly medieval or hand drawn fonts; Yzgard is a nice compromise--although click through those Gothic>Modern fonts at Dafont; there are hundreds of possibilities.

    When you place text in, I'd say perhaps go reddish with a light, white shadow. This will allow them to stand out. But color coordination is my weakness, so I'd just play with it.

    I would not put this map on parchment (again, it's too photorealistic), but give it either an ornate frame of a repeated pattern or a simple series of black lines. It may be a nice effect to have the color of that frame to play off the same blue of the ocean's blue (or a close neighbor).

    I hope this helps get you started with some ideas! Keep us posted!
    Don
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  3. #3
      Ishmayl is offline
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    Thanks Pyrandon,
    I use the Gimp and PaintShop Pro v 7.0 for all my graphics needs. I'm still learning the Gimp, but I know Paintshop pretty well, so if you guys know it and want to give tips based on that, I should be able to follow along pretty well.

    That's a nice-looking font you recommended, with all the font-searching I do, I'm surprised I've never seen it before!

    Yeah, I had planned on it being a pretty realistic-looking map, and for the finer details (when I do individual kingdom maps), I plan on going down to a hand-drawn style. I'm not positive exactly what you mean by a frame of lines for the map.

    Thansk for the advice!
    -Ish

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  4. #4
      pyrandon is offline
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    Ish: By "frame lines" I simply meant a rectangle that forms the border of your page, which can be as thick as you wish. Sometimes a really thick one can form the main border, with a thinner line (or 2, or 3...) as the rest. It's a simple technique that really has only one purpose: create a non-distracting border.

    If you are shooting for a realistic map, and if you have the original GIMP layers/files (or, if you feel like playing around a bit) I would kindly recommend you redo a few of the textures your friend used. For example, the forests look a lot like swatches of rug (I assume this was the canvas filter on green or something); break that up & do something less regular & less "filtery". Ditto on the grasslands & the desert.

    Also, the colors are a bit too pastel & too regular for a realistic map. Add variations--especially darks--to the land & water. The mountains, I think, are basically fine though.

    I would finally recommend that when you're all done you use some sort of filter to mute just slightly the sharpness of the entire map (ex: blur or noise); hard, crisp edges rarely look realistic INHO.

    I hope that all helps at least a smidgen!
    Don
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  5. #5
      RobA is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyrandon
    Ish: By "frame lines" I simply meant a rectangle that forms the border of your page, which can be as thick as you wish. Sometimes a really thick one can form the main border, with a thinner line (or 2, or 3...) as the rest. It's a simple technique that really has only one purpose: create a non-distracting border.
    Something like this attachment (I just quickly threw this over your map as an example).
    Last edited by RobA; 04-27-2010 at 10:21 AM.

  6. #6
      kalmarjan is offline
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    What also may be nice to blend the transitions would be a feather selection, then a slight erasing of the edges of main geographical elements (such as your desert) This would look like it blends in, and would look more realistic.

    Hope that helps

    Sandeman

  7. #7
      Ishmayl is offline
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    Okay, I see what you mean by the border now. Also, I contacted the original artist about getting his gimp files, and am awaiting a response, so hopefully I'll be able to touch up some of these parts you guys mentioned.

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