Everything has pretty much been said, so I'll just add that I think the map is too dark as well. Even if its supposed to be a dark medieval feel, could look less... foreboding. Also, couldn't make sense of some of your rivers in the top right... Maybe it's just me though.
Other than that, it's way better than anything I could do :D
Thanks so much, everyone, for your encouragement, and thanks just as much for your critiques--they truly helped, although whew! You gave me some tall orders! :)
The brightness was an easy, easy fix. Some vegetation & shadow issues also decently quick to fix. Other issues--like the roofs and the roads--were tough, mainly because after much a-playing I was never completely satisfied. I did end up making the changes for the better (IMO), but I also realized something: I posted the map too large. I never intended this to be scrutinized that closely, and I never drafted it at that high of zoom; so I reduced the size so that 100% zoom is where I intend it to be. (It also struck me that this is something we don't discuss much as cartographers). Hopefully that resizing eliminated many of the problems you see. :)
I do have a couple lingering, minor beefs with this map (ex: the bridges), but I am too pooped right now to fix 'em. Maybe as I post the tutorial. :)
I will post the tut soon. Thanks again for all your help. That is why the Guild rocks!
It looks absolutely beautiful now. And you are so right about the level of detail in the maps in relation to its intended final size.
That is very nice! This really does look like a photo of a painted scale model now.
I hope I wasn't too hard on ya. ;)
Looks much better now. Yea, that zoom thing is definitely worth considering in the future; that made a difference.
I'm still seeing something odd with the roads that is bugging me, but it just may be the way the shadows are playing over them.
I think it is the lighting from 2:00. Not something your brain is used to seeing :)
That must be it.
The roads gave me a hassle, I'll admit. If going for the realistic look, they would have no hard, stroked outline, they would be two-tracks and waver a lot, but whenever I did that they looked too blurry...so I bounced back and forth and tried 2 million different things, and then--gave up. :(
No way, RP--you weren't too hard at all. I appreciate it. The comment you made about this seeming like a scale model threw me back for a minute, though--for that was not at all the look I was shooting for. Admittedly, I have no idea WHAT I was shooting for, but it was not a model. :) Not sure how to fix that one, either, short of getting out my 20000x zoom lens and drawing a dog peeing on an ant in the butcher's back yard, etc.
But, as I originally claimed, speed and PS filter versatility were my goals, so at least at these I think I have succeeded well enough. Also, I had to keep telling myself this is a map, not a satellite image. Someone once mentioned the grey line some maps in the digital age walk between cartography and photography, and I sure ruminated a lot about that while creating this! :)
A model? I never said any such thing. :) Perhaps you confused me with that other Rob. ;)