Kingdom of Gorian - WIP
Yet another run-through with Ascension's tutorial, this time concentrating on a single kingdom (not from the same world as the Pathania map - this one may actually be used for something... :D).
Again, I changed a couple of things to suit my own tastes - got rid of most of the sea shelfing, fiddled with the rivers (added a slight blur), and put in a solid black stroke around the landmasses instead of a lighter gray. Mainly just cosmetic tinkering. I think I'm going to try Ascension's method of border-making this go round though, see how it looks.
Well, I just wasn't feeling Ascension's borders, so I ended up doing an inner/outer glow thingy (and not in red this time :D). The slightly thicker borders are national boundaries; the thinner inner ones are ducal borders.
hmm. might just have to have a go at that tut some time soon. very nice landshapes.
Hmm. I don't know... I think there's a rather abrupt feel to the coast lines - it's "Oh, lovely, rolling hills rolling hills, up and down, up and *splash* water?"
Also, it's like there's a bit much clouds in it. Some areas seem almost foggy, and some are way dark.
Out of curiousity, where does the light come from? I'm having difficulty figuring it out from the shadows, and when I think I have it down, I see a river that contradicts it.
As always, feel free to disagree :)
On the plus side, I do like the shape of the land, and the inland seas feel kinda right for this map.
Thanks for the input, Alfar. Basically, I got to thinking the sea-shelfing effect made this map look too busy, too crowded, so I got rid of 90% of it, and just left a hint on the shorelines. As far as the darkness/clouds, yeah, I'm kind of not digging that either, but I'm at a loss as to how to lighten up the darker patches at this point. All I can tell you is this is really mountainous terrain. :D The only part that is really, REALLY bugging me and that I might have to go back in and redo is that area in the north of Marcovy - there's a patch there that has a kind of rainbow-effect that looks... off.
I'd assume you've made everything in separate layers, so maybe it's just a matter of adjusting opacity and/or blend mode?
I guess about the shores, I was looking for a sloping out towards the sea. The mountain to sea transition looks like it's a clean cut.
Edit: Again, this may be the lighting that confuses me.
Edit2: I just saw another map based on Ascension's tute. I think the problem is the heavy stroke on the coast line. The Pathania map uses a much weaker stroke, and while it still has a bit of a cut-off effect, it doesn't hit me as hard as yours does.
Lookin' pretty good - can't go to wrong with Ascension's tutorials and I like the fact that you are modifying/adjusting things to your own 'style'. :)
Though I do agree with Alfar - I'd lighten up the stroke on the coastline.
As for the dark cloudiness, you could try to add a new layer (fill w/white and set to overlay) above that layer than merge them. Not sure how that will work, but might be worth a try.
Okee dokee, here's another stab at it. I've lightened the stroke around the coastlines considerably. Also put in some marshlands and forests*, as well as 'national level' text and text for mountains, etc., and some city and town icons I've had sitting in my hard drive for god knows how long - finally found a use for them. :D
Let me know what you think of it now - all comments, critiques, suggestions welcome.
*With the forests, I tried to use them as a tool to not only better define the mountains, but to cover up a lot of those annoying black patches.
That does help a lot. Now it's only a few places that seem cut off. The northwestern mountains (am I the only one who sees King Kong in there?), right at the top of the map, and the east coast of the Duchy of Osmarden, where the shadows seem to imply a hill top right on the shore. Again, though, I may be confused by the lighting - where is it supposed to come from? Top left? Straight top?
I think the forests are a great help too. Maybe you'll want to add a slight bump mapping on them to show them following the slope of the land, as they do look a bit flat. (I know, there's no pleasing the critics ;))
I think... I'm gonna scrap this map. It's just not coming together the way I'd hoped it would. I think what I need to do is restart it in a different style; this one seems more suited for large areas, like continents.