As I already started with a map in my "Hello" post I think it might be a good idea to keep you updated and maybe get a hint or two on which things might look a little out of place. Since this is the place to discuss artistic values of a map I decided to start this thread instead of continuing in the other one.
The map is supposed to be useable by a DM and look good while being zoomable. For the "usefulness" there need to be quite a few labels, so that will give some limits on the colors. I also intend to print them, so I stick to CMYK compatible colors ...
So from the picture (Aglarond for those who know the Forgotten Realms) in the post linked above there have been some changes:
- a texture has been added to the water,
- shadow / highlight effects of the water has been changed to make the water look lower than the land and to improve the coastal look,
- a texture has been added to the basic landmass to make it look a little less flat,
- two textures have been added to the plains & hills: rocky / infertile and fertile, which makes it possible to have rocky or rolling hills instead of just hills,
- a texture and two colors have been applied to forests to get a nice range for different forest types, densities and occupants ...
Many of the textures are added by repeatedly adding and subtracting with a non-100%-opacity brush in their layer mask. This simply tries to get rid of drawn lines that might be noticed and look unnatural. Fiddling around with the fill method also brought some unexpected and good results (the lively green for fertile areas and the strong dark gray for rocky areas for example).
Still on the "to do" list:
- ridges / cliffs (no decent idea yet apart from painting them by hand ... "automatic" process would be desirable, but in the end its not that much),
Sooooo ... any constructive input is welcome.