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Thread: Illustrated map needed for TV documentary - quick turnaround!

  1. #1

    Default Illustrated map needed for TV documentary - quick turnaround!

    Hello brilliant map makers! I make animated maps for television documentaries. Normally these are based on satellite imagery. (Here are some examples: ) For my current project, however I need an illustrated map. This would mainly featuring Europe, but stretch to the Caspian Sea in the East, Greenland to the West, North Africa in the South and to the top of Norway in the North. I will need to zoom in close enough to see features such as Gotland in the Baltic. This image will become the base of a texture I will use in a 3D animation application.

    With this in mind, I'm thinking of a scale of approximately 60 miles to the inch. So I think the final would be around 30,000 pixels.

    City names are not essential, but if you wish to choose a font and add some text great, but this would need to be on a separate layer which I can use selectively.

    The Map will need to be delivered to me in a digital raster format, either tiff or psd. At this resolution I understand it may need to be output in tiles. I can supply ftp details for delivery.

    I don't mind if you prefer to produce it with good old pen and paper (or the other tools of your trade) but I will need a high quality, digital

    I have already shown my client some examples from the Cartographer Guild Galleries. In particular he likes the colour and feel of this: But I'd like to hear from anyone who has examples quality work in a similar style.

    As for the detail, the map obviously wouldn't feature small details like buildings, or even cities. It would be lovely to have some suggestion of mountains and other geographical features. Bear in mind that this is for HD TV and some very small details can produce a lot of unwanted noise when viewed in video.

    Now for the hard part:

    The fee: I have £500 UK Pounds for this. This would include one opportunity for my client and myself to give detailed feedback on the map and for you to make changes.

    The schedule: This has landed on me quite quickly and I need to get moving. I need to have some bit of reference artwork I could use by the end of Monday June 4. I don't mind if this is a rough sketch but it would need to have the same proportions as the final image. You could then have another week to complete and deliver the map.

    Copyright: My client is a major broadcaster and insists on full ownership of material I deliver. You would not retain copyright over the materials. However, once the project has been transmitted you are very welcome to show it as an example of your work, and I can supply you with final animated video clips.

    Assets: if you require I can supply you with vector outlines of all landmasses and rivers in an Illustrator format.

    So please post some links to your work. I can't draw a decent line to save my life, so whatever you've got I'll be impressed. But please be professional or willing to work in a professional way. This is my livelihood and I need to be able to count on you.



  2. #2
    Community Leader Gidde's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Michigan, USA


    Hi Will,

    This example is of a similar style, but done on paper (with dip pen and watercolor) in 3 days. A digital version would be smoother; is this the sort of style you're looking for?

    The way the map is drawn, what I could have by the 4th would be a basic sketch of the entire map with a smaller section done in detail; would that work for your client?

    Good luck in finding an artist, whether my example works or not! What a great project.

  3. #3
    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Schwarzkreuz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011


    Hi Will,

    Here are some examples of my maps.


    I am working booth in digital and traditional. A more smoother/cleaner style is no problem so Video Noise can be avoided.
    The Time I need is similar to Gidde. This project sounds great, cant wait to see the results, from whoever gets this Job.

  4. #4
    Professional Artist cereth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    Wow, this sounds like a very intriguing project.

    There are links to my portfolio and albums in my signature where you can see some examples of my work. Here are a couple of my most recently completed maps as well.

    East Gaithuann

    The Realms of Xendria

    Lots of luck with your project!
    "Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government."

    My Albums - My Portfolio

  5. #5


    Hi everyone. Thanks so much for posting your amazing maps. I'm blown away by the quality of work here. I will be sending all your examples to my client.

    As is typical with projects like this, yesterday's urgency is now today's postponement. I think I now have a few weeks before I'll need to insert any finished artwork into my animation. With this in mind, please disregard next week's deadlines. I now have more time. Which means that I still welcome your examples.

    As I said before I'll be showing my client everything that's sent my way - including those of you who contacted me directly. And I'll be in touch shortly.

    Thanks again for sharing your skilled and imaginative work - you all obviously love what you do.

    Have a great weekend and I'll be back soon.


  6. #6
    Guild Expert Hai-Etlik's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    48° 28′ N 123° 8′ W
    Blog Entries


    I'd be interested in this. I know how to use GIS and real world map data, and am familiar with how to use map projections, etc. If you want, I could design the map as a conic, then reproject the map into Equidistant Cylindrical for easy mapping onto a UV sphere/spheroid (This would still be a limited extent map, not a whole globe though)

    Examples of my work that seem relevant to your project include:

    Canada in Black and White
    Lampshade of Earth (Yes, I really made a lampshade out of it.)
    Lands of the Inner Sea

    More examples are here:

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