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Thread: Avara - WIP

  1. #1

    Wip Avara - WIP

    Hey all, so this is my first post here on the forums, but fortunately not my first map. In this one (Avara) I tried to make it seem more real using different Photoshop Brushes to try and create a more realistic environment.

    The map is based off of Dominaria from Magic the Gathering Setting. I guess critique I'm looking for is how to make the ocean backdrop look better (I saw some tutorials on how to make good ocean spreads, so I'll look into that in the preceding days) but really if anybody has any advice I'm all ears.

    Also, what sorts of fonts look good for naming locations? I'm not sure whether Photoshop is the best editor for adding text, would I want to use a vector based program instead?
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  2. #2
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Ft. Wayne, IN


    First off... Welcome Aboard!
    Have some 'rep' for showing us a map in your first post *bonk*.

    What font to use is really a matter of choice - though if the lands have let's say have a asian 'flavor' to them maybe you choose a font that has a similar flavor.

    You can add a pattern overlay to your ocean (assuming it's on its own layer) or find a nice seamless water texture instead of using the solid color.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

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  3. #3
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    St. Charles, Missouri, United States


    Welcome. For me, PS does a fine job with fonts. I'm not out there doing anything for mass publication so my fonts don't have to look perfect...they just have to legible. Using a vector program for doing fonts at this size is sort of like using a bulldozer to weed my garden. Of course, having said that I'm sure someone will come along and disagree but if you just want to make something pretty decent a vector app would be overkill just for labeling. If you have one then use it by all means, though.

    For the oceans try doing up some random clouds then color the parts farthest away from land a darker color or a gradient map. The bad thing about relying on patterns is that they tend to repeat a lot and really irritate the eye.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)

    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  4. #4


    LOL! Ascension I use a vector for all my labelling, you can have everything on one layer and move it around as you want.

    Not driving a bulldozer...honest! But I find it so much easier doing the map in PS and the labelling in Drawplus.

    Mech: the ocean looks good to me for the present style, but if you want to try out some textures, I suggest you look at Genetica and download the free viewer and the free tiling texture set. fill your ocean layer with white and use the textures as a pattern fill (easier to scale). Then put two or three textures on top of each other using clouds as a layer mask and playing with the blend modes.

  5. #5


    Hey guys,

    Thanks for all the advice so far! I really do appreciate it since I'm always looking to try and get better, and this place seems like really good community to go to for improvement.

    Anyways I sort of messed around with PS and got this (see attachment). It still looks kind of phony, but at least its more of a step in the right direction. This is the first time I've really messed with layer masks, gradient changes, etc. so I guess you could say its all a learning experience.

    @ravells: I'll try out that software later this weekend once I get a chance to actually sit down and mess around with it.

    @Steel General: are there any good sites with archived custom patterns? The ones that come with CS2 are pretty crappy and look hideous.
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