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Thread: Pretoria - WIP

  1. #1
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    Wip Pretoria - WIP

    Hey guys, first map. Just learning photoshop. I started with Ascension's Antique Map tutorial but I made a few changes. (Couldn't do the mountain squiggles well with a mouse, so my mountains look WAY out of place and I know that!!)

    The Eastern Continent isn't used for the gameplay of my campaign but I'll add it if the adventurers decide to explore. Tell me what I can improve on to make it better since it still looks REALLY amateur.
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    Last edited by SereneParadox; 05-28-2010 at 12:59 AM.

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    Pixel dimensions is around 4000 x 4000...I've never been able upload anything larger. In terms of file size it's 4.7 megabytes for a jpg. So what I do is make a 4000 x 4000 image and then use the "reduced quality" slider in photoshop jpg saves...11 or 10 usually fits. Discounting the mountains, I think it looks great so far.
    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)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    Pixel dimensions is around 4000 x 4000...I've never been able upload anything larger. In terms of file size it's 4.7 megabytes for a jpg. So what I do is make a 4000 x 4000 image and then use the "reduced quality" slider in photoshop jpg saves...11 or 10 usually fits. Discounting the mountains, I think it looks great so far.
    Got a 3.8 mb version up. It was the 10 on the slider, 11 put me over. Thanks for the advice
    Last edited by SereneParadox; 05-28-2010 at 01:04 AM.

  4. #4

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    I wouldn't say this looks amateurish, I'd say it looks like a preliminary map! I like the shapes & placement of the landmasses, although the coastlines seem a bit over-scraggy (sorry 'bout the lack of better language). I know smooth coastlines are a bad idea, but yours just seem too rough.

    For your mountains, I woud suggest using a rough brush (if you want, I could upload a couple I like using) on a very low opacity setting (not in the brushes panel - see along the top of Photoshop, there's an option to change opacity and flow). Just click multiple (okay, a dang lot of) times in the mountain areas to build up your mountains. Incidentally, I'm kinda talking based on the idea you'd use something like Pasis' terrain tutorial like I did ^.^ If you're not, it's still a viable option; you could also manipulate DEM files in photoshop to build up your map - this would be a lot of work and would be more satellite style, so I dunno what you want this map to look like in the end. Oh, and I also like the placement of your mountains - dunno if you figured out where they'd "really" be based on totally analytic "real-world" geographic stuff (like tectonics) but they appear to be pretty well placed. Good luck!

    - Alizarine
    "If they get too nosy, you know, just shoot them."
    "Shoot them?"
    "Politely!"
    ...
    "Sir, I think there's a problem with your brain being missing ... at last, we can all retire to a life of luxury!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by alizarine View Post
    I wouldn't say this looks amateurish, I'd say it looks like a preliminary map! I like the shapes & placement of the landmasses, although the coastlines seem a bit over-scraggy (sorry 'bout the lack of better language). I know smooth coastlines are a bad idea, but yours just seem too rough.

    For your mountains, I woud suggest using a rough brush (if you want, I could upload a couple I like using) on a very low opacity setting (not in the brushes panel - see along the top of Photoshop, there's an option to change opacity and flow). Just click multiple (okay, a dang lot of) times in the mountain areas to build up your mountains. Incidentally, I'm kinda talking based on the idea you'd use something like Pasis' terrain tutorial like I did ^.^ If you're not, it's still a viable option; you could also manipulate DEM files in photoshop to build up your map - this would be a lot of work and would be more satellite style, so I dunno what you want this map to look like in the end. Oh, and I also like the placement of your mountains - dunno if you figured out where they'd "really" be based on totally analytic "real-world" geographic stuff (like tectonics) but they appear to be pretty well placed. Good luck!

    - Alizarine
    I totally agree on the coastlines, although I hadn't noticed it previously. I used Ascension's incredible and simple cloud technique to generate the landmasses so perhaps I should direct the question of how to "de-scraggify" the coastlines to him. If you're reading this, A, let me know if you have a quickfix handy

    As for the mountains, I love Pasis' technique but I don't think it would suit this map very well. It's trying to be an "antique style" map (although I know I've practically ruined this by colouring the rivers and a plethora of other factors -- it makes it easier to use as my campaign map) and I don't think I want to take it in a 3d direction so I think that "raising" the mountains would look out of place. Sorta like looking at something from a 45 degree angle but seeing the mountains from a 90 degree angle (top down). Thanks for the compliments on the mountain placement too, I had studied plate tectonics a little for some previous (really crappy) mapping efforts and for this one, I basically guestimated placement based on what "looked right" and I'm glad it looked right to you too.

    Thanks so much for the constructive criticism, it's much appreciated and if you come up with any other strategies for the mountains or other suggestions, I'm all ears.

    SP.
    Last edited by SereneParadox; 05-28-2010 at 03:18 AM.

  6. #6

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    Well with that in mind ^.^ I agree that mountains like the one in Pasis' tutorial would look out of place. to clear up the coastlines, maybe go back to the flat black & white map created from the clouds and play with the sharpness? You might actually have to do some serious hand-editing. For the mountains, if you're going for hand-drawn antique style you should try the photoshop brushes created by PickeBu (on deviantart). At least one is called the "Old Map Brushset"; there are 3 sets, all of which contain quite a few very nice brushes. There's a forest set, a mountain set, and a sort of miscellanesou set. Everything looks like hand-drawn ink. I haven't used them yet, but I've played around with them and they're really nice looking. Hope those work for you, and looking forward to whatever you come up with, using these brushes or not! Good luck!

    - Alizarine
    "If they get too nosy, you know, just shoot them."
    "Shoot them?"
    "Politely!"
    ...
    "Sir, I think there's a problem with your brain being missing ... at last, we can all retire to a life of luxury!"

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    Once you get your landmass how you want it and then merge things so that the land is white and the sea is black on one layer then use Filter - Noise - Median with a setting of 1 or 2 and that will take out a bunch of tiny pixels. OR you could use the magic wand tool to click on the landmasses, then Filter - Select - Modify - Expand = 1, new layer fill with white and merge down. This also takes out stray pixels. OR you could use Filter - Pixellate - Crystallize = 12 (then go back with a 9 a 6 and a 3) then Image - Adjustments - Brightness/Contrast and max the contrast. OR you could make up a new technique. The bottom line is that there are many ways.
    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)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    Once you get your landmass how you want it and then merge things so that the land is white and the sea is black on one layer then use Filter - Noise - Median with a setting of 1 or 2 and that will take out a bunch of tiny pixels. OR you could use the magic wand tool to click on the landmasses, then Filter - Select - Modify - Expand = 1, new layer fill with white and merge down. This also takes out stray pixels. OR you could use Filter - Pixellate - Crystallize = 12 (then go back with a 9 a 6 and a 3) then Image - Adjustments - Brightness/Contrast and max the contrast. OR you could make up a new technique. The bottom line is that there are many ways.
    I think a lot of that pixelization comes from the type of brush you use to 'create' the landmasses before merging the layers to create the base layer. It looks like Serene used a soft brush instead of a hard-edged circle brush, which creates that coastal effect. If you want smoother coastlines that still have interesting shapes, just use a hard-edged brush with a very low flow and change the size as needed.
    "I like a look of agony, because I know it's true."

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by alizarine View Post
    Well with that in mind ^.^ I agree that mountains like the one in Pasis' tutorial would look out of place. to clear up the coastlines, maybe go back to the flat black & white map created from the clouds and play with the sharpness? You might actually have to do some serious hand-editing. For the mountains, if you're going for hand-drawn antique style you should try the photoshop brushes created by PickeBu (on deviantart). At least one is called the "Old Map Brushset"; there are 3 sets, all of which contain quite a few very nice brushes. There's a forest set, a mountain set, and a sort of miscellanesou set. Everything looks like hand-drawn ink. I haven't used them yet, but I've played around with them and they're really nice looking. Hope those work for you, and looking forward to whatever you come up with, using these brushes or not! Good luck!

    - Alizarine
    Thanks. They look awesome, I downloaded them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    Once you get your landmass how you want it and then merge things so that the land is white and the sea is black on one layer then use Filter - Noise - Median with a setting of 1 or 2 and that will take out a bunch of tiny pixels. OR you could use the magic wand tool to click on the landmasses, then Filter - Select - Modify - Expand = 1, new layer fill with white and merge down. This also takes out stray pixels. OR you could use Filter - Pixellate - Crystallize = 12 (then go back with a 9 a 6 and a 3) then Image - Adjustments - Brightness/Contrast and max the contrast. OR you could make up a new technique. The bottom line is that there are many ways.
    I'll try this, thanks Ascension.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond View Post
    I think a lot of that pixelization comes from the type of brush you use to 'create' the landmasses before merging the layers to create the base layer. It looks like Serene used a soft brush instead of a hard-edged circle brush, which creates that coastal effect. If you want smoother coastlines that still have interesting shapes, just use a hard-edged brush with a very low flow and change the size as needed.
    Yeah, you're correct, I used a soft brush (the one mentioned in the tut), I will experiment with a hard one next time.

    Thanks guys,
    SP.

  10. #10

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    Glad you like 'em, even if I didn't make 'em ^.^
    And @Ascension, that actually answered a lot of my own questions about coastline-fixing, so thanks for sharing all those methods!

    - Alizarine
    "If they get too nosy, you know, just shoot them."
    "Shoot them?"
    "Politely!"
    ...
    "Sir, I think there's a problem with your brain being missing ... at last, we can all retire to a life of luxury!"

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