Great start. The lines for the road seem incongruently sharp compared to those on your caterpillars, and the blue and black variation on your mountains doesn't carry information well for me.
A new map from the same shared world as the other two I've posted on this site. I wanted to try out Bill Hook's "caterpillar" mountain brushes, and I'm pretty happy with the final result.
The final version will have a lot of grunge, annotations, and marginalia, but before I add that, I would appreciate feedback from the guild. What works, and what doesn't? Do I have enough labels? General critiques?
Really nice! I love the Turkish theme, it's very unusual. Awesome border. I agree with MCC's points, and would like to add two more: the rivers seem too straight, and there's a lot of empty space. In a map this size, I would expect to see much more stuff.
I agree with the general complaint that my roads are too sharp, particularly in comparison with the mountains. I intend to apply a Gaussian blur to it before the final version to fix this.
@MCC: Good catch with the multi-colored mountains. When I was placing them, I was experimenting with slight hue and color variations in my brushes - although why I thought this would be a good idea, I am unsure. I subsequently forgot I had done so, and became so accustomed to them that I stopped noticing, but have since returned them to being purely black.
@Lingon: I see what you mean about my rivers, having spent some more time looking closely at other maps. They should be fixed by my next WIP. As for the lack of additional labels, I understand what you mean, but I have a couple of reservations. Firstly, I intend to annotate the map heavily, and am worried that adding much more could cause it to be obscured by the writing on top. Additionally, the number of towns currently on the map implicitly conveys information about population density which I think is useful; adding many more towns would remove this implicit information. I could avoid this by using a separate marker for village size settlements, however I fear that the number I would have to place would be problematic given that I need to finish the map within the month.
That said, I was thinking I could alleviate some of the empty space by adding a few more natural landmarks (lakes, plains, mountains, etc), adding political divisions, and then also adding shipping routes between the cities and other cities outside of the map. In your opinion, would this be enough to fix the problem? Are there other things on the map I could mark that I haven't thought of?
@Schwarzkreuz: After I add all of the grunge and marginalia, my hope is that this map will appear very beat up and heavily used. To this end, I actually may blur the mountain brushes further!
Thank you all for your feedback; it is much appreciated.
New WIP. Finished adding searoutes as well as air routes. Do these new additions sufficiently crowd the map, or should I add more? I'm also of two minds about labeling them - especially the air routes. On the one hand, I think listing their origin and destination is interesting, but I fear it may add too much clutter and convey too little information which is already readily available to the viewer (as they could tell where the routes start and finish without the labels). Perhaps I should only label the routes which begin / end outside of the map?
In any case, I think I am almost done with the base map, and am planning on adding notes and marginalia soon. Before I do so, is there anything I have missed that needs to be added, or anything I have added which doesn't need to be there?
New WIP. Made final changes to the base map (blurred roads, etc.), and added first round of marginallia.
I'm generally happy with the way the map is coming together, although I worry that some of the fonts I have used in the writing will be too easily recognized as fonts instead of handwriting due to some clearly repeated characters. I'm hoping to fix this in the final version by manually adjusting these areas - rotating, distorting, moving them, etc. I'm likewise not entirely happy with the sigil in the bottom right, as it looks too perfect and not hand drawn. Any ideas on how to fix this?
Nice progress! The text is really cool, looks pretty handwritten to me, though it could perhaps be faded a little, so it look like the ink has seeped into the paper a little. The easiest way to make the sigil look more hand-drawn would probably be to draw it by hand If you don't have a scanner or camera, I think it's perfectly fine as it is.
I still think there's too much emptiness to be honest, but I know you don't want to add more stuff, so I'd suggest to shrink the map instead. As far as I can see, there's no need for this size, everything would be legible and also look better if you resized the map to maybe 2/3 or even half the current size. It would be easier to get the overview and lessen the feel of emptiness. Some text might need to be enlarged a little, but most could probably stay as they are.
New WIP; finished up the marginalia and made it look more organic via the application of a variety of layer masks.. Now, on the additional grunge - inkstains, etc.
@Lingon: With regards to the size, I think it actually is around the size you recommend. The actual size is 2 ft by 2 ft (or 61 cm by 61 cm), however, it's resolution is 300 ppi resolution. For whatever reason, this causes problems when attempting to view the map on a computer screen, as 100% zoom is much, much larger than 61 cm x 61 cm. I've gotten an approximate idea of the real size by zooming in until the units on photoshop's ruler look to be about the right size, and I think it looks about right.