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Thread: Turn a detailed hand drawn map into an ink-and parchment style

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    Default Turn a detailed hand drawn map into an ink-and parchment style

    Like I have a very detailed sketched map, with mountain shading, tree shading, hill shading, everything all very detailed... how do i use photoshop (im very good at photoshop) to create an ink and parchment style map? Like the classic middle earth map; something like this http://war3.incgamers.com/uploads/Mi...4287.w3x-1.jpg

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    Community Leader Gracious Donor Lukc's Avatar
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    The map you've shown is drawn with pencils, probably a range from H to B4. The lettering is done with a simple text tool, probably in PS, no type on path used. The textures used are a distress frame to make a grungy edge set to multiply and an old paper texture also set to multiply.

    I think there's, like, quite a few suitable tutorials in the, like, tutorials section .

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    Could you, like, be kind enough to point the way to these, like, tutorials?

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    As you state you already have the map sketched, just create a flattened copy and put it over a parchment background, set to multiple (or overlay) or some blend of the two.

    -Rob A>

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    RobA- would it be better when using multiply to darken the outline of the rivers, coastline, moutains, shading etc? And if so, should I make it darker by marking it darker on the paper or should i use the pen tool and create outlines for everything in photoshop?

    Also should I write the names of everything on the paper, or would it be more preferable to do that in photoshop?

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    Administrator RobA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Michael View Post
    RobA- would it be better when using multiply to darken the outline of the rivers, coastline, moutains, shading etc? And if so, should I make it darker by marking it darker on the paper or should i use the pen tool and create outlines for everything in photoshop?

    Also should I write the names of everything on the paper, or would it be more preferable to do that in photoshop?
    If you could provide an example of your source drawing - the "detailed sketched map" it would be easier to make suggestions.

    As it stands, the answers to your questions would all have to be "maybe" as I'm not sure what your starting point is

    -Rob A>

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    Community Leader Gracious Donor Lukc's Avatar
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    From my experience with hand-drawn maps, I'll make two suggestions to your questions (though Rob A's point about maybes is very relevant).

    1. Darkening lines on the drawing / sketch is almost never the best way to go, since you're losing detail and texture. In Photoshop you can do a lot of emphasis on the relevant lines in many different ways. From the totally basic (hand draw with a 1 to 10 pixel thick black pencil tool) to various combinations of multiply, darken, adjust levels, using masks to emphasize certain areas, etc. To give a precise suggestion of how to do it, a scan of the sketch would be useful.

    If you insist on emphasizing areas by hand, to keep the map completely hand-made, I recommend the use of tracing paper, scanning both pages separately and combining in photoshop.

    2. Writing names. If you want to hand-letter a map you have two options. First, you can write all the labels on the same page you will add the textures, outlines and so on, but you have to write the names first, before inking the rest of the layers. This is really important! Otherwise you'll get texts that look wonky and strange. Fortunately, with software you can now correct some misplaced texts or straighten out labels that look weird. In general, when making a hand-map this way, first sketch out the regions in pencil, then use a ruler and guide to make label paths, then hand-letter on top of them, then ink the outlines, add forests, etc. etc. This is the way I did this map.

    The other way to hand-letter a map you've already drawn is to use tracing paper and repeat the process from part 1 (scan separately, combine on computer).

    If you decide to letter the map digitally, you should use paths and such. Anyway, I won't go into that, but here's a little selection of tutorials. I particularly recommend the .pdf in section 5.

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    Okay thanks for the rec's guys I will scan my map tomorrow hopefully so you all get a better understanding of what I'm dealin' with c: in the meantime though, Lukc can you explain the second half of the second paragraph, beginning with "In general,"

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    Community Leader Gracious Donor Lukc's Avatar
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    I should possibly do a tutorial on this, but anyway - hand-lettering maps. Like I mentioned, if you're doing it by hand, on a single sheet of paper, you have to do the hand-lettering first, but this is a process in itself.

    1. use a pencil to sketch out the coastlines, rivers, mountains - just so you know what's where. Use a soft pencil and press lightly. This applies to the subsequent 2 steps as well.

    2. use a pencil to make lines, straight or curved (see aforementioned .pdf in previous post), indicating where the lettering is going to go. When you are lettering a large region, you will usually have to s p a c e o u t the letters more to fill the whole area, so it's a good idea to have those lines as guides, so you know where the letters have to go.

    3. lightly sketch where each letter goes; if you're really trying to be precise, you can use a ruler to help you space them, but I usually eye-ball it and then fix oddities digitally.

    4. do the letters in ink. Depending on what look you're going for, it's important to choose the right kind of paper (smooth, rough, absorbent, bleed-proof ... depends), the right kind of pen (dip or non? calligraphy or point? modern fine-liner? calligraphic marker? brush even?*) and the right kind of ink (black? blue? sepia? red? watery or thick? lacquered?). This will take a while, but it's better to take your time, since it saves you work fixing it up later. Put on some nice music and meditate while writing. I recommend working from top-left to bottom-right if you're right-handed, just so you don't have to worry about smudging. This also applies to step 5.

    5. ink the coastlines, the forests, the mountains, the cities, the roads, etc. I recommend you practice how you're going to ink them on a separate sheet of paper first. When you ink them, leave a white space around your letters, so they're nice and visible even in the middle of a black forest or high mountains.

    6. wait until ALL the ink is dry. Even the spots and dots, those sometimes take much longer to dry.

    7. lightly and carefully as hell erase the pencil marks. Depending on your ink and paper, if you press too hard, the eraser might lift off ink pigment as well, making your work look washed out.

    8. scan your work and digitally clean it up a bit, if you want (trust me, sometimes you're going to have spelling mistakes and such, those can be fixed digitally and nobody need ever know ).

    9. post your work.

    Simple as pie!


    *hey, there's an idea ... I should do a brush-lettered map for a joke.

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