Sorry to post so many times in a row, but do you think that this mountain style is OK, or is it really too busy? I have never done an atlas-style map, but I'm thinking that if this becomes too busy, I might be better off switching... :?:
Any way to salvage this?
edit: that border is supposed to be behind the land...
I think the mountains you have there work well with the rest of the map. If anything I think the 'busyness' helps them compete for attention.
As far as the colors to show national boundaries I like what you have. Take the color for your country and make a border to go around the colored areas that is a bit darker and see how it looks maybe.
I'm not a big fan of the drop shadow though. Makes your map look likes its floating over your paper rather than drawn on it.
Nice colours on this map.. But I have to agree on Albrechtw4's drop shadow comment. You should re-think that effect, either scrap it or tune the effect so that it doesn't look like the continent floats. There's also some pretty washed out text on the paper texture. I am not sure if I have to be able to read it or is it just for decoration? :) I look forward seeing the labels for the cities etc. Keep up the good work!
Overall, I think it looks good. Other comments made cover my only criticisms, at the moment. I like the washed-out text. It helps with the feel of old (possibly reused) parchment.
Update. Let's hear the good and the bad!
Actually, mostly good I think!
Really like the aged feel of the map, the border colors work well with the rest of the color palette and the mountain symbols are great. As is the legend (cute symbols :D )
As for the bad:
Some of the rivers worry me. Rivers mosly spring up near mountains and you have some rivers originating on what looks like plains.
Edit: just noticed a weird, thick black line on the scroll (almost near the map border to the south).
Thank you, Gandwarf!
The mountain sketches are from ironmetal250's mountain tutorial (which is super), and the legend symbols are from a font called Imaginary Creatures.
I made the scroll from expanding a tiny vector image into a huge image. That odd line at the bottom of the scroll looked fine in the tiny image, but now that it's bigger, I see what you mean - it looks a little out of place. I'll try tinkering with it.
I do plan to put hills symbols in, but do you think it's necessary to put forests? Maybe if I fill the rest with cities and roads (actually, I'm not so sure about roads...), there will be no more room for trees.
I plan to use this map for a D&D campaign, and I'll have little sub-maps (probably done in CC2, for simiplicity) that go into the details (forests, roads, swamps, streams, forts, dungeons, etc.) of each region. This map is simply a world map, letting players know about the terrain & cities. Is vegetation a huge part of terrain?
A lot of maps display both mountains and forests, so I think mappers consider them important features. I would definitely put them in my own maps. There's nothing like a few dark or mysterious forests in a D&D map. The naming is a blast, like "The Forest of Gloom", "Deadwoods" or "Silk Woods" (there be spiders there) :D
But it isn't necessary and also it depends on the scale and purpose of the map. Don't put them in if the map is getting too crowded with symbols. You can always experiment of course.
As for roads: not many maps display them. I wouldn't put them in, unless they are very important to your D&D campaign. Again, you could experiment.
Keep up the good work.
Some more progress.
Truthfully, I'm having a lot of trouble with the forests. In your opinion(s), what style of woods do you think I should incorporate?
I'm happy with the city symbols, but I'm not sure about the town symbol. Currently I'm using a size 80 period in the "Dungeon" font. If you have a better suggestion, please tell me! Haha ;)
I opted for a simple font for cities/towns because the city symbols are exotic enough. The simple font helps address the background clarity issue - I think it's not too hard to read?
Anyway, that's it for now. I've got a lot of work to be done so I might not update in a few days. But thanks for the input so far - you guys are great! :)
edit: Thoughts on the changes to creatures in the legend? Was it better before?
Well, you have some quite interesting city symbols :)
I wouldn't personally use them, but not saying it's bad or anything. I would probably go for more simplistic symbols, lik the dots you use for towns.
(didn't realise before you were going to use the symbols from the legend as city symbols).
I must agree the city and town symbols don't really work well together at the moment... at one hand you have some quite detailed symbols (cities) and then there are the more simplistic symbols (towns).
The font is a great pick.