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Thread: Book commission

  1. #1
    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    Post Book commission

    So after a few months and all the excitement they have involved, I finally have something new to show! This is the map that I have been working on for the commission mentioned in this post:

    http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2632

    Here is the current version:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I have kept the labels off on KillerWhale's request - I guess you can mostly see where they are. I'd be interested in any C&C as this is a new style for me. Doing this solely in B&W was quite a challenge.

    Edit: Of course, as this is a commercial piece, the map and any further versions of it in this thread are an exception to the Creative Commons licence in my sig. This one is copyrighted.
    Last edited by torstan; 10-23-2008 at 11:35 AM.
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    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
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    My only suggestion is that since everything is done in elevated view then maybe the coast line and river banks of the river look top down. How about thickening up on the vertical bits - i.e. the top line of the horizontal river therefore showing the river bank on that side. There was a really great map done a while ago by a chap on these boards as well as on RPGMapShare where there was a region all done in elevation where all the hills and valleys folded into one another. Cant remember enough to search for it now tho. It was a bit exaggerated for artistic purposes but it looked great.

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    Good catch! I'll have a play with that and see if I can't get it all to tie together a bit more.
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    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by torstan View Post
    So after a few months and all the excitement they have involved, I finally have something new to show! This is the map that I have been working on for the commission mentioned in this post:

    http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2632

    Here is the current version:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CG.jpg 
Views:	136 
Size:	586.6 KB 
ID:	7297

    I have kept the labels off on KillerWhale's request - I guess you can mostly see where they are. I'd be interested in any C&C as this is a new style for me. Doing this solely in B&W was quite a challenge.

    Edit: Of course, as this is a commercial piece, the map and any further versions of it in this thread are an exception to the Creative Commons licence in my sig. This one is copyrighted.

    I REALLY like the lower to mid right mountains and the fact that they appear to be a single ridgeline varying in height(peaks to valleys). I would like to see the same on the others if you think you can pull it off(I have not quite got there yet).
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    The three different hill/mountain regions are supposed to be distinctly different. The ones to the East are a serious and almost impassable ridge of mountains. The ones to the north are a lower and more broken series of mountains and the ones to the south are really just broken rocks and badlands. This is the reason for the different styles on the three regions.
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected delgondahntelius's Avatar
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    Very nice ..... Love IT!
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    Administrator RobA's Avatar
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    It is an interesting style, Torstan.

    Do you have any tips/hints on mapping for (what I assume will be) a printed novel? B&W vs. greyscale, resolution, etc?

    -Rob A>

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    I have to say that this is the first image I've constructed for a black and white book print so I've mostly relied on the (more comprehensive) advice elsewhere on here to sort out the technical details. A few things that I've picked up as I've gone along though in the process have been interesting.

    1. Use the Gimp presets to get a 300dpi A5 landscape document.
    2. Work at 100% when drawing the details - otherwise the ink tool can often look pixelated when you go back to 10% even though it shouldn't
    3. Uncheck View Dot for Dot (under the view menu) whenever you need to step back and see how it looks at the correct scale.
    4. Work in greyscale and then change to indexed black and white at the very end.

    To that end, here is a version with changes that Redrobes suggested to the river banks and coast. I have also behaved myself and put this into black and white and made sure its the right pixel dimensions. I also replaced the compass that got lost when I output the map without the labels.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now that I've put it out in black and white I can see a few things that need to be changed - the compass could do with a bit of darkening for one.

    DETOUR - Did you know that in Gimp 2.6 if the main window has focus and you press tab once, the other Gimp windows get folded into the main window in the windows bar at the bottom so that there is only one entry for Gimp? Just noticed it today - nice little change in my book.
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected delgondahntelius's Avatar
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    I've actually done quite a bit of extensive study on this area (my book maps thread) and Torstan has great advice to give. If I may be so bold as to add some advice to this effect? ...

    I prefer to know the exact dimensions of the book and where you bleed marks are going to be. Unfortunately, the printing and publishing industry doesn't really have a set book dimension, take a look at a bookstore shelf some day and just notice all of the different sized books out there. Unless you are publishing under some major name, the book might not be your standard paperback size. If you create a map or piece of artwork at one dimension, and it has to be printed to fit into another sized area, it could skew the effects. (I found this out with my Phenomedom Map.)

    Less IS MORE. I like to make the map at least twice or three times the size of the original print. Once the work is done, condense it the size it needs to be printed at. Don't try to add too much detail into something, because once it gets resized, it might become meshed and mired and looking like a blob. When saving to a PNG or JPG to look at it, save it at the size it will be printed so you can get a look at the final piece.

    Gameprinter might have some more useful information or more correct information, but most printers have a definite distinction between Greyscale and Line Art. Line art must be made only from lines and usually must be sharp and crisp with no screens, grays or middle tones. They usually need to be saved around 600 dpi. Greyscale usually is accepted at 300dpi, but different printers have different requirements when it comes to printing interior artwork and greyscale.... from what I've gathered, most of the time it has to be Line Art.

    Depending on who is actually putting the book together for print, also determines how you should treat Text. All text should probably be left seperate and off the map (keep your layers all seperate for text) DONT compress the whole thing and save over it cause (as mentioned before) Different printers have different requirements on how they handle typesetting, tho now adays it is probably safe to assume that if you embed the text into the file, they can handle it.... this is just a safety net ....

    I do know that printers usually love PDF's ... and where everything is already set up for them to print (using their guidlines of course) .... so keep that in mind

    Ok... I'm done blabbing have fun!
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  10. #10
    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    Thanks Del - that's a lot of food for thought. I'll have to discuss the details of the output format requirements further with the person commissioning this. I'll post any useful tips that result from the process of getting this from here to print.

    Any further thoughts on the aesthetics of this? I've got the file open at the moment and I'm doing some retouching (some bits more extensive than others) and am happy to experiment with further fiddling at this point.
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