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Thread: May/June Lite Entry: Devil's Head (Working Title)

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    Community Leader Immolate's Avatar
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    Wip May/June Lite Entry: Devil's Head (Working Title)

    The working title of this entry, "Devil's Head" is based on the happy accident of the shape of the land mass that evolved from my effort. I made many choices that led to the end result, but I assert that I did not realize how diabolical my coastline looked like until I was almost done.

    This region was created using Photoshop and a version of Ascension's excellent continent building tutorial. Now I am neither an experienced Photoshop user or a skilled instruction follower, so any shortfall in this presentation can be attributed to me, not to my teacher.

    Having learned much from my first complete run-through on the tutorial, especially the need to go very easy on the mountains, I decided to make another map for the purpose of this contest, this method being the only tool I own. The results you see below are preliminary. I have coastline, and Island, some rivers and plenty of mountains, but no forests or settlements yet. There is little time left, another nine days, but I will post any significant progress I make and make sure to include a finished product before the deadline of June 10th.

    Although I have only been here a short time, I have been made to feel welcome and have been offered much encouragement. Thank you all for your hospitality. I hope I can someday repay you by offering the same to others.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    This looks nice, the mtns look really good. OK for the next step in the process, I would suggest taking out the eraser tool, set it to brush mode not pencil (at the top of the screen) then use oh about a 100 pixel airbrush tip and set the opacity at 10-20% and erase some hills around the rivers. Go back with some yellow or tan color and lightly airbrush in some plains areas, do it lightly so that you can build up the color to suit what you want. Oh and make sure that this color is on its own layer just above the land layer but below other layers like mtns and rivers.
    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

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    What Ascension said!

    But also use the hightfield (grayscale) that you have there (or your cloud layer but it doesn't look as good in the end) and make a selection using the select by colour tool (next to the wand i think) feather/blur out your selection and use that selection to paint into, some accent colour (tans, browns, or texture) this way your "random" spraying of colour when zoomed out will every so subtly follow the relief bump map you have on top. Here is an example from a map I was working on... I selected the dark part of my height map, so the dirt starts at the bottom and blurs as it comes "up hill".
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    Ascension: I did as you suggested, but wasn't happy with the end result. I suspect I was a bit ham-handed. I removed a large number of hills, and don't regret that a bit, but the brown-shading was perhaps a bit over the top. I am not a good judge of that and have to substitute experience for instinct.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Lathorian: I understand the technique you describe. It is one that Ascension uses all the time, though I am not sure what tool you're referring to. However, can you tell me what I am picking in order to expan upon? Something to keep in mind is, though my rivers follow the terrain as well as I could manage, they are not actually a function of the terrain or the height map underlying the map.

    I apologize for not "getting it".

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    Looks good man. Here's another bit of advice that I adhere to...listen to experienced words of wisdom but always go with your gut. Most of what I say is just to try to help folks, it's not always the best way or the perfect way so take it and use it or tweak it if you like. I'd say you're about ready for cities and towns and labels...good job.
    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

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Are you gonna put a city named 'Demon/Devil's Eye?

    I see the perfect spot for it, right on that small bay where the island points in toward the land.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.



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    Ascension: no worries. I've been too many miles down too many roads to substitute another's judgment for my own. On the other hand, I've been wrong too many times to disregard suggestions from others who have gathered more experience.

    Steel: I've thought about something like that. I haven't really decided the theme of my region yet so I'm not sure if I can get away with a gag or not.

    Anywho, here is the latest version. All I've really done at this point is added some forest. Now I don't know whether this forest looks good at all. It took some hours of work with me and my youngest daughter trying various filters and layers and you know the drill, but we finally came up with a combination that looked something like trees from overhead. I can't possibly tell you the steps to get there. Half the guys here could probably take one look at it and whip it out in five minutes. I can tell you there was some clouds on a huge image (6k x 6k) and some hard mix on a grey layer to b/w them, then a color select to contract the size of the black areas. Color got applied somewhere in there and the a variety of filters and layer styles including multiple instances of spatter and craquelure were applied, maybe some emboss and satin. I am positive it was all completely wrong, but it worked... I think.

    I am including the PSD along with the PNG so if it is a worthwhile pattern, others can use it. It is tilable.

    The forest is a pattern fill. I paint white on the layer and it "reveals" the trees. Added a 5px drop shadow @ 75% opacity because it made them pop. FYI, I am aware that trees are completely invisible at this resolution. But this is a map, not a photograph. The purpose is to engage and inform.

    Props to Butch Curry's podcasts for some good ideas.

    PS: sorry about the weird looking thumbnail for the PSD file, assuming it stays that way. I removed and reattached it and hit didn't change.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yeah, the thumb-nailer built into the board software doesn't handle .PSDs very well.

    I've been doing some experimentation with forests and had some pretty good results with the following steps;

    1) New Layer
    2) Set foreground/background colors to shades of green (or whatever is appropriate)
    3) Filter > Render > Clouds
    4) Filter > Render > Difference Clouds (at least x2 - but use even number)
    5) Filter > Brush Strokes > Ink Outline
    6) Select > Color Range {darkest shade(s)} and remove [optional]
    7) Filter > Sketch > Bas Relief
    Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur (adjust to taste) [optional]
    9) Filter > Noise > Add Noise (Mono & Gaussian - adjust to taste) [optional]
    10) Apply pattern overlay of choice (usually with adjustment to Soft Light or Overlay)
    11) Apply Layer Mask > Fill With Black
    12) Use soft/brush eraser on the mask to reveal the forests where desired

    You may want to repeat the process changing the colors to "break the color monotony" of the larger forests.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

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    Here is a minor update before I go too far down the wrong road to see what you guys think about the text choices...

    I am also considering including an inset with a rough map of the main city and I'd like to hear what you all think.

    I still have towns and minor features to label, for which I plan to use a simple, visible font, perhaps Lucida Sans Unicode.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    The forests look a lil too vivid green to me, maybe something more like in the terrain but darker, I dunno. I didn't really intend for this style to have forests so that's untested waters. The inset idea is a good idea and will get you some practice with cities. Oh, and labels are my kryptonite so I can't really help much there other than "is it readable?"...if yes then good, if no then bad
    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

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