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Thread: Island Nation - Khemli

  1. #1
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    Post Island Nation - Khemli

    I'm going to be running a new campaign over the summer and for this campaign I've drawn up a map of the setting, the island nation Khemli. While I would normally say it's done, I would love to hear what you cartographers have to say on the subject.

    If you see anything you dislike, let me know, tell me what to change, and I'll see if I can't make this map a little better before the campaign starts.
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    Administrator Facebook Connected Robbie's Avatar
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    Very interesting approach to mountains...I never would have thought to use that style. My only critique is that the mountains do appear too glossy. Maybe if you could somehow overlay them with a rough pattern or texture to kill off the shine of the bevel? Other than that its a pretty neat approach!
    Robbie Powell - Site Admin

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    Community Leader pyrandon's Avatar
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    Hey, Jharviss:

    Well done! This is bright & vivid & full of interest. I must admit it is just a tad too bright for my tastes--feels neon & out of keeping with what I assume is the medieval setting (is it? If sci fi don't change it). I would subdue the colors a bit, but that's 100% a matter of taste.

    I am not sure of the scale of the map, but I'm assuming this is either a continent or a very large island? If so, I wonder if you could/should increase the number of geological features--if you think you can do it without cluttering the map. Additionally, the manner in which you rendered the mountains give the impression there are only three or four mountain peaks vs. them being mountain ranges. Finally, do you think you show enough rivers?

    I would also play with the shadow/bevel on the continent itself give the appearance that the place is floating over top the water, vs. rising from it. Was that purposeful? This may be the same reason the texturing "pops" out at the viewer, seeming a bit artificial.

    I really like the flow of the composition, & I like the placement of your cities; very believable. Your players are lucky to be able to play in this world! Great start!
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  4. #4
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    I would definitely put a scale on the map, somewhere, and a compass rose if north is not up.

    The style is unique - not for everyone, but personally I like it. My impression is that this is a volcanic archipelago similar to Hawaii, with a handful of large, solitary peaks and a basaltic bedrock.

    Nice placenames, too.
    -Rob

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    Awesome critiques. Here's my responses and a Version 2--

    The mountains always feel a bit glossy and it's hard to change. It's one of my biggest qualms with this style. I duplicated the mountain layer, took away the bevels, and then peppered it. I put it over the mountain layer with about 25% opaquity. I'm wondering if that just made them seem blurry rather than getting rid of the gloss.

    I also put a light gray film over the water. The water in this map was largely a test in using what I learned from the city tutorial Pyrandon graciously supplied. Hopefully that will keep the water without getting rid of its pretty contrasts.

    After I posted last night I realized there were several things I hadn't done. One was the scale, and that's a huge point for this map. Handsome Rob is pretty much right--Khemli is an archipelago of three islands that aren't very far apart and so just fused. The scale will show that Khemli is only a little over 300 miles across, and very small compared with the rest of my world.
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    Very interesting labeling style! Although it may be a turn off for some, I really like the way that the labels seem to actually be a part of the landscape.

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    Administrator RobA's Avatar
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    I really like the forest texture. I think I'll have to steal that look

    -Rob A>

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    I use photoshop, and for the forest I use the airbrush with the dissolve form at about 25% strength, and then I bevel that layer. The thicker the forest the more it pops. I think it works well.

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    Guild Member heruca's Avatar
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    The second version is looking much better, IMO.

    It may just be me, but one of your fonts seems a little too "Flintstones" for a fantasy map.

    To get rid of the "gloss" of your mountains, you might try duplicating that layer, inverting it, and playing with the compositing style and opacity of the new layer.
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    I knew somebody would mention the Flintstones feel of that lettering. I was thinking the same thing, but by then, I just didn't care. In a way, it's kinda entertaining. And fits the map (it's a nation of humans and ogres, and you can see for yourself the type of names they use). Odds are good that I'll change that font eventually.

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