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Thread: Middle Earth, by JRR Tolkien

  1. #1

    Default Middle Earth, by JRR Tolkien

    I've decided it's finished. I've been working on this for quite a while, and pretty happy with the result. My own version of Middle Earth:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	WIP ME Engels.jpg 
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    Just realized I forgot to give Ramah credit for the base icons of the towns and the trees, I used his black and white icons and coloured them myself. I also placed the trees with his Tree Thing, which saved me a lot of work, so credit to Ramah for that as well .
    Last edited by Saule; 05-25-2012 at 02:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Administrator Redrobes's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Very nice & repped !

  3. #3


    Nice! Really like the mountains. Did you draw them yourself or were they brushes? And how'd you do the trees?

  4. #4


    Thanks . I drew base of the mountains myself, then made them into different sizes and used those as 'brushes', in the way that I copy - pasted them into mountain ranges . The trees are from a base by Ramah (forgot to put that in the first post, I'll add that in a moment), coloured by myself and then placed with Ramah's 'Tree Thing'.

  5. #5
    Guild Journeyer
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    Sep 2008
    The world inside my head.


    Turned out great! A map to be proud of.
    Upon the Creation of the World the First Dragons cast their seed in the light of a Sun and a Thousand Suns, beneath the Moon and a Thousand Moons, on a World and a Thousand Worlds.

  6. #6
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Apex, NC USA


    Looks pretty good.... A few things for your next project(I am assuming you won't go back and change this one). Make sure your line styles are consistent, specifically, the hills have a outline stroke roughly double(or perhaps more) that of the mountains, so it looks a bit odd(and it may take people several looks to realize "why"... especially since I did not catch it until now!!!!). EDIT:hmm.. actually... it looks like it's not even consistent with the mountains... some are a quite thin line and some are noticeably thicker lines, likely because of drawing at different times over the course of months(I have this exact same issue too unfortunately since I don't get to map very often... so at least from me, it's totally understandable.)

    Also, pay attention to all of your element's shadows(this I would actually suggest going back and fixing). Specifically, the mountains and most elements have light from the East and shadows on the West, but a few towns have them reversed(specifically Minas Tirith, Osgiliath, and Felargir... there are likely more, but I stopped looking).

    I would also suggest scaling down the brush size for your swamp area's. The currently are as big as the trees(unless those are some REALLY tall reeds!)... This is not really a huge issue, just something to think about for the next time.

    On a side note, one thing I LOVE for helping to blend elements (mountains and hills mostly) into the underlying ground is the smudge tool. Not just for the colors, but also for the line work. This is especially useful if you have a tablet and tie the pen pressure to "rate" so that you get a gentle transition... it's also good for hills(with a fairly low rate and zoomed WAAAAY in) to draw down a bit of the black line color into the "shadow side" for a bit of extra "umph".

    In any event, good stuff and congrats on actually finishing it(I am still trying to get back to a map I started 3 years ago)... Sorry I did not mention this stuff in the WIP...
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  7. #7
    Software Dev/Rep Guild Sponsor waldronate's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    The High Desert


    The stylistic elements of the map are very nice. It's a well-done map that shows a lot of care.

    The spelling on the labels is a little off in places and there's a semi-consistent use of "elvishname of mannishname" rather than "elvishname or mannishname" and the greyflood river didn't get translated into english from your original source material. I'm a fine one to talk, about spelling and labels, though, as that's the part I tend to leave off my work.

  8. #8


    Thanks everyone for the comments .

    The lines actually happened because I used the same mountains in different sizes, but that is something to be less lazy about next time . The towns I might go back to, but I'll have to see how since I used base Icons for this. The reeds were actually just as big as in the base map, not fully in scale, but I think I'll keep them as they are since they would be invisible if they were small enough

    As for the labels, thanks for pointing out the Greyflood, I thought I'd translated them all, but I see I missed that one. The placing of the labels and choice for the elfish/man name is actually not my own, but taken from my base map, which was a Dutch translation from the original map by Christopher Tolkien (

    Here's the version with the correct labels (I hope )

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    Last edited by Saule; 05-30-2012 at 10:16 AM.

  9. #9


    Hi Would love to get in touch regarding possible usage in a board game. my e-mail is

  10. #10


    hydewire: You should be aware that the Tolkien Estate is rather aggressive with regard to its intellectual property enforcement. If you are looking to release a board game based in Middle Earth, make sure you address the licensing before spending any money on assets.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

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