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Thread: Neverwinter Maps

  1. #1
    Professional Artist Schley's Avatar
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    Sep 2007

    Default Neverwinter Maps

    Hey Folks,
    Now that GenCon's done and the Neverwinter Campaign Setting is on the shelves, I can finally post the poster maps I created for it.

    The process for these was similar to my typical work-flow, just on a larger scale. Like my other maps, I usually start in Photoshop with a rough outline forwarded from R&D or the author and begin developing the stylistic elements like textures and border treatments. Sometimes the maps are following an already established motif though. For example, in this case I was trying to stick with the flavor I have been developing already for my other Forgotten Realms maps. Once I have the working file set up with an outline, borders, text, textures, and a background, I then begin sketching my ink layers. I've created a series of custom ink brushes that allow me to hand draw the details of my maps. Once I'm progressing with the ink layers, if need be, I can cut and paste some elements in a randomized fashion making sure they don't look repetitive. I've also built a library of inked brush stamps that I can use to cut down the drawing time. In addition, I make sure that there aren't any gaps in object outlines if they will be colored separately, this way I can isolate them with a wand tool later on during the coloring phase.

    Once the inked details are complete and all the text is placed, the file gets sent off for approvals/edits and then, barring any major revisions, I get down to painting. Again, In my opinion, custom brushes and textures are worth their weight in gold. At this point I usually build some quick alpha channels to separate out the major elements of the image and begin painting on multiple layers. Each map can have dozens of individual ink and color layers since keeping the artwork well organized allows me to edit, paint, and mask off portions of the image quickly and cleanly. I love playing with my layer and brush setting and probably use multiply and hard light almost as much as "normal".

    Once the inks and general colors are finished, I take a long look at the image as a whole and try to address any overall color, contrast, or readability issues before forwarding on the final streamlined file to my art director.

    So that's basically it. I could go into a lot more detail but would probably need a book to pack it all into.

    Hope you like the artwork.
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    Schley's Tutorials
    Mike Schley Illustration & Design

  2. #2


    Truly awesome. You are the best.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Guild Adept moutarde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    Amazing as usual, these are beautiful!

  5. #5
    Guild Journeyer Moe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Mannheim, Germany


    Quote Originally Posted by Schley View Post
    So that's basically it. I could go into a lot more detail but would probably need a book to pack it all into.
    Oh, good heavens! Then pleasse - do it
    You can't have enough details on the creation process of such masterpieces.
    I love the details - e.g. the increasing number of graves in the 'lava'-version and tons of other things, truely amazing.

    If I stare at the country long enough
    I can prise it off the paper,
    lift it like a flap of skin.
    - Moniza Alvi, 1993 -

  6. #6


    Love your work, thanks for sharing!

  7. #7


    So nice. Thank you for sharing and thanks for just the tidbits on how you do your work flow. I'm not sure I have settled on mine yet so the more I hear how others do it the better.
    “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

  8. #8
    Community Leader Guild Sponsor
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    tilt's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Trelleborg, Sweden
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    Beautiful maps as usual - I'm curious about your ink-brush-stamps - do you have whole buildings as stamps?
    regs tilt
    :: My art on Deviant Art :: My work Catapult ::
    :: Finished Maps :: WIP Breakwater - Gungnerhafn -Battle City :: Competion maps - A Ghastly Rest ::
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    Works under CC licence unless mentioned otherwise

  9. #9

  10. #10
    Guild Artisan Clercon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Eslöv, Sweden


    Really fantastic maps. You really set the standard of maps nerly too high.
    My finished maps

    Mapping Worlds (My blog about mapping)

    Imaginary maps (My facbook page devoted to mapping)

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