Your map has a nice earthly feel to it, and would remark that the roadways need to be made to stand out just a bit. Maybe a brown or even penciled in and scan again. Have you thought about coloring the roofs? I think it would also help contrast the objects in your map.
Larb / Arseesh
Iíve tried a tree line ink technique in the harbor map and in the issamont threads. They are ok, but just donít float my boat. The style consistency is there in these two previous maps but Iíd like something different. I like Larbís style as his treeline is similar to the above mentioned maps. Schleyís maps are nice, but the trees seem to be more digital oriented than the look Iím after. I know this is going to be something that will just have to develop over time into something I like and can call my own . The ink edge line in issamont will probably show back up, but a texture fill may or may not be the answer with it. I need to hunt down the mini tuts.
Rodan Still a work in progress, there will be more line definition of the road / grass edge. The roofs are colored atm, albeit subtle, as I prefer it for this technique. This is also a hard balance to pull off correctly and not have conflict with the overall style. I have a compass rose / border to add also. Just gonna keep peckin at it.
Hi Vellum, nice map. Thought I'd put in my thoughts about it. Although it looks great, there was something bothering me about the building's you'd labelled. There are a lot of different trades going on in a fairly small village - I don't know if a village of this size would have its own armourer, for example.
The other thing I noticed: where's all the farmland? If this is a typical medieval-type village, most of the buildings would be peasant houses, and those peasants would all be working the land. I remember you gave this map something of a backstory, re. the dyeworks, but if you mentioned farming, I don't remember (and, admittedly, haven't rechecked). That then leads on to the question of the mill - if they do not grow their food locally, what is the miller milling? what is the weaver weaving? what does the baker bake? etc.
- where does the potter get his clay?
- you have both a weaver and a tailor - can the weaver really make a living simply from weaving (historically, it was probably wives and widows who did the weaving for each household)?
- there's a cooper making barrels, but who buys the barrels? (scratch that, the inn would probably do its own brewing)
- you've got wagon-makers, cobblers, and harness-makers, but no carpenters, tanners or leather-workers.
- I think it is plausible that the manor-hold would be the place for administering justice, but who catches the criminals? who does the daily business of administering the village? Is there a sheriff/bailiff/reeve?
- Another medieval building you might expect to see is a gaol cell - nothing larger than a single room, but where prisoners can be kept while awaiting the lord's justice (of course, the prison could just be inside the lord's house).
- if the trade house is like a market hall, you might find a lot of specialist shops clustering around it. (I think I pointed out last time that some of those buildings - wagoneer especially - would be mainly facing the street, not the backyard. The sheds just seem to reinforce the sense that they're looking the wrong way).
- I was going to ask about honey and beeswax, but that might come straight from the woodland.
- Also (and you might disagree with this), I suspect there might be more fences and walls between different buildings - the dye-works would want to guard their business from thieves, and most other homes (even the homes of professionals) would have a small garden with a wall.
- Lastly, I do like the livestock pen - nice touch.
Sorry if that's all negative or unhelpful at this stage. I hope you don't mind me saying so, but I think there is a temptation to include too many assorted buildings/trades in what should be a humble village map. That said, it's your village, and your decision. And it's still a nice map.
That is looking really good! I do think HoarseWhisperer has some good points on the naming of things and a few of the layout details, but it looks awesome as is.
One label I'd change is the two references to coal should almost certainly be to charcoal, which is made from wood - so lime & charcoal kilns in the top left corner, not lime & coal, and a charcoal storage behind the smithy.
Now I'm going to be purely greedy - could we get a version of this without labels at some point? I'd love to be able to run a copy off as a player handout in an RPG session, and being able to re-label buildings (or just have players make their own notes on the map) would be great.
To play devils advocate, a number of the layout choices can be explained away. The sheriff (or equivalent) might reside in the manor. The "lockup" will likely be a spare secure room somewhere, like perhaps in the guardhouse or whatever (imprisonment was not a common form of punishment in the medieval, merely a temporary condition before sentence was passed). The crop fields could be a little further out. The clay pits could be a short walk downstream. The cooper might make "coffins" too if the burials are in barrel-like containers. Individuals might perform the services of carpenters and tanners to supplement their "income" between working the fields. Or the tanners might also be trappers or ranchers living further out.
On the otherhand, the charcoal (and yes, it would be charcoal) "kilns" would probably be in the middle of whatever bit of coppiced woodland is the main source of wood (at least from what I know of charcoal making). And yes, I imagine there should perhaps be a fence around all the hanging dyed cloth.
TheHoarseWhisperer I don’t mind the critic at all and I don’t take this as negative, I even requested some input about building naming conventions a few posts back. If you will notice not all of the buildings are labeled at this point for just this reason, or I haven’t made a decision ( or in some of your examples I really didn’t think about it) what some of the building naming conventions need to be. There is a back story which explains some of the reasoning for the town layout, but it is only a generic guideline to me. There is more working farmlands (grazing lands) surrounding the town, I just didn’t wish to address it with this town “center” map. You do have some good points as to the who what when were of the setting. Now don’t take the rest of my comments as a posture to defend my map layout, but you do need to keep in mind my major focus, which is not to build a fantasy place setting, it is to learn photoshop. This is the first real attempt at anything photoshop related that I have ever done, all my other posted maps are handdrawn (with the exception of blindly following tears tutorial) and scanned in the images. The learning experience has been my foremost goal, which I hope has improved my skills and understanding of the program. I still wish to employ some new techniques on this map, some may or maynot work, or I may not like, it’s just part of my journey. I would hope that this has given some incentive to the other new folks to give a shot at posting up some work and joining me in advancing our cartographic skills in a cooperative manner. That being said, now tell me how you did the stains on darenko empire map and add parchment to this beast
Wirelizard, yeah the coal label should really be charcoal, was late at night LOL.
Vellum, if this is an experiment, than it looks like a success. I will no longer nitpick over details.
As for Larithas' map of Darenko, and the coffee stains on it, those are from an image of old stained paper that I added as an overlay layer to the image, with a few adjustments thrown in for good measure. The overlay came from my brother, so I don't know where he found it, but it was probably just a google image search. Don't know if that helps.
I've been doing my own recent experiments on photoshop to create an infinite number of old grungy paper backgrounds, but they're still ongoing and look a bit digital. Once finished, I could post them/the method in the forums for everyone's use, if desired.
Hi Vellum, you did a nice job there. The buildings are nicely done and give a great feel to the map.
My two cents about how to improve it with photoshop : adding a bit of texture on background to give some "relief" to the whole map, adding specific textures for grass, roads etc... will help you to color it up. Textures on the roofs really give your buildings some character and adding shadow color and highlight color (even if they are subtle) on those roofs would improve the whole map. Adding some shadows outside houses could be fine too. And I'm notr a great fan of the blue you used on the river :p By the way, keep up the good job!
THW hey I donít mind if you nitpick this, I may not address the items you brought up with this exercise but I will think about them in future projects. Just trying to make PS work is giving me a headache there is so so much I donít understand or know how to manipulate that it frustrates me because I donít get the results Iíd hoped for. Simple issues like changing the canvas size to add a parchment background so that I could number / label the building in an index form and not have writing in the map proper area. Tried to do it a couple times with no results. Been putting off the border element, even though this seems simple to some, I have to take some baby steps here to figure it out.
Max Ė Oh the river water, how I hate that color LOL. I don't have the concept of opacity / texture combinations down. Iíd love to try some textured elements and shadow effects. I feel like I spend more time hunting down how to do things than actually working on the map .
If either of you have good examples, point me in their direction, Iíll take a look. I really want to get better at this.
Sometimes juts using some fine grunge style brushes (soft or hard) around with different layers modes help you in a great way to add texture. Try using some. And spending time hunting down how to do things is never a waste of time ;)