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Thread: WIP - My first map

  1. #1
      Jaxilon is offline
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    Wip WIP - My first map

    I created this using GIMP which I am still learning.

    This is a local region map for an area I GM a group of friends in when we have time.

    Eventually I want to do my entire world so this is kind of a proof of concept for me. I haven't been able to get the bending of text to work for finishing the labels so very little is labeled as of yet. Also, I had no brain on starting with the right DPI scale so it is what it is.

    My wife is probably tired of my asking, "What looks better?" and "What is wrong with this picture?", so feel free to C&C me you experts.

    Pretty much the whole dang thing is hand painted because I can't seem to follow a tutorial, LOL.

    One final note, thank you Ramah for the Markers you posted for use in the elements section. I tweeked them a little (just cleanup and painting) but I'm sure you will recognize them.

    Working with a mouse sucks...I need a tablet.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WIP - My first map-holmkeep-local.png  
    “When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best that you were capable of? If so, the score does not matter. But if you find that you did your best you were capable of, you will find it to your liking.” -John Wooden

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      Ascension is offline
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    I like what you've got going on here style-wise. Keep at it and you'll refine it in time and be teaching us.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


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      Coyotemax is offline
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    First off, I'll second what Ascension said, this is great, I haven't seen anything quite like it, and I'm looking forward to giving it a shot

    Secondly, since you asked for it.. C&C (as gently as possible)
    Your river mouth seems to be covered by the beach.. easy to fix
    Your streams in the mountains appear to start on the ridgelines ('m assuming that's what the lighter strokes are). Most streams would come down through the valley portions of the mountain slopes, unless I'm mistaken.
    I might recommend tossing some trees in the mountain valleys, trees are notorious for liking to live in those kinds of places You say you're still learning so I'll mention that you might want to consider a layer set to multiply (i *think* gimp can do those if i recall) so the trees follow the slopes (though might take some tweaking to get the colours to match your other forests).
    I was thinking the forests looked a tad blurry at first, then i realized I didn't have my contacts in, so that's my bad

    The only other thing I can think of is that the icons' don't really fit the style of the map as they are, not sure what i can do for suggestions there. I think what's happening is the the icons look very sharply defined, while everything else is a bit more soft and shaded.

    I do like the shadow on the town, that's nicely done and fits with the rest.
    I love the way you did the oceans and the islands! I like the plains, the forests are great, the roads and bridges work well. The mountains I have no trouble believing (and am looking forward to hearing how you did them!).

    This is all my own personal take of course, take or leave what you will

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  4. #4
      Jaxilon is offline
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    Thanks for the encouragement.

    Your river mouth seems to be covered by the beach.. easy to fix
    Your streams in the mountains appear to start on the ridgelines ('m assuming that's what the lighter strokes are). Most streams would come down through the valley portions of the mountain slopes, unless I'm mistaken.
    I agree absolutely with you on this. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I stroked those rivers in. It was around 3am when I did it. I'll have to fix that. The river was more of not knowing exactly how I wanted that to look and then forgetting about it.

    You say you're still learning so I'll mention that you might want to consider a layer set to multiply (i *think* gimp can do those if i recall) so the trees follow the slopes (though might take some tweaking to get the colours to match your other forests).
    I vaguely know what you are refering to and yes there is a multiply feature...not sure what it does (like so much of the rest) but I will take a look at it and see if I can use it.

    I see what you mean about the icons not fitting the style - I was going back and forth on the color for the tower but now that you mentioned it I might be better with some simple symbols for the locations. Eventually I will do my own brushes for this type of stuff but I'm not taking that on with my mouse. I'll be looking into a tablet soon I think.

    and finally-
    The mountains I have no trouble believing (and am looking forward to hearing how you did them!).
    arrg, the mountains...those are first of all a botched attempt to follow RobA's mountain tutorial. After I got fed up with the crappy result I kept ending up with (I'm sure it's my doing something wrong by the way) I just gave up and hand painted them.

    Once I make sure I can repeat them I will explain how. I think I can streamline it so they don't take quite as much time as I spent on these.
    “When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best that you were capable of? If so, the score does not matter. But if you find that you did your best you were capable of, you will find it to your liking.” -John Wooden

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      Coyotemax is offline
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    Glad you found the critique useful

    Basically what the Multiply feature does is "multiplies" the values of th pixels under it with the values of the ones over it - in effect it is slightly transparent and sort of textures the layer underneath with whatever is on the layer over it. In this case, what it would do if you painted forests overtop of the mountains while set to multiply, the forests would follow the contours of the mountains. The ridgelines would show through, you would see the forest textures, and you would also see the mountain textures under it - though green. Really, the best way to understand it fully is to play around and experiment a bit, but at least you have the underlying theory behind it Different blending modes do different things of course. It's always fun to experiment, and one of the things I typicallt do while looking for something that gives me the effect i want is just to take the layer I want to do something with, and cycle through the blending modes. you can get some interesting effects that way, let me tell you

    I think you can get those icons to work with the map, btw, maybe just soften them up a little. not sure, really. I'd have to play with it a bit, but I have so many things going on right now (2 maps, plus RL intruding for once).

    I look forward to your mountain explanation.. though i'll admit just looking at the current ones is giving me some ideas already that I may have to try out soon.

    Keep up the great work, i look forward to your next upload

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

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      Jaxilon is offline
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    Ok, I can now put names on paths...seems like a pain but alright.

    I changed the color on the Keep and softened up the town icon a bit. Still not sure if it's what I want but..

    I have to put some names on the forest road and I'm not sure how it's going to look since it's kind of dark I am unsure of how the effects work/fail on pathways so that will be my next experiment.

    I also moved the rivers off the highpoints so hopefully those make more sense.

    I really appreciate the helpful suggestions guys, thanks.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WIP - My first map-holmkeep-local.png  
    “When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best that you were capable of? If so, the score does not matter. But if you find that you did your best you were capable of, you will find it to your liking.” -John Wooden

    * Rivengard * My Finished Maps * My Challenge Maps * My deviantArt

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      Gandwarf is offline
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    Wow, this is pretty cool! Have some rep.
    I really like the style. Love the mountains, forests, little islands and the symbols you used for the town and keep (did you make those two yourself?). You might want to post a tutorial yourself... I am sure people would like to mimick this style. It's very painterly.

    Labeling is still basic and uninspiring I think. There are better fonts out there... also, I wouldn't use a very obvious drop shadow.
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

    Gandwarf has fallen into shadow...

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      Coyotemax is offline
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    The icons are definitely working out better.

    Everything else is progressing nicely One of the things you can do to offset dark text on a dark surface is to give it a bit of a glow.

    I know there are some people who will comment on your use of red text against a green background. It can be made to work, but it takes a certain finesse, otherwise you can still lose it against the green, even with emphasis.

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyotemax View Post
    I know there are some people who will comment on your use of red text against a green background. It can be made to work, but it takes a certain finesse, otherwise you can still lose it against the green, even with emphasis.
    I am one of those people

    But in this case, the red is so dark (nearly black) that it doesn't suffer from the 'bleed-in' problem that a more typical shade of red would create. Though I think this could still use a bit of a glow to set it off.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

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      RobA is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxilon View Post
    Ok, I can now put names on paths...seems like a pain but alright.
    I agree. The workflow for text on a path in Gimp is poor. I like to export my maps as a jpg, then import that into Inkscape, do my labeling there, then export the SVG text out as a transparent PNG and back into Gimp (or just use open as layers with the SVG file.)

    -Rob A>

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