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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Ninja Makes Maps

    So. I got maps. I love maps. Love making them. Even if for no other purpose than making them.

    So I thought: Someone might like them. Maybe. So here's some.

    WARNING: Very large pictures!

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    Same map, different everything
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    Bad scaled city:
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    Greyscale
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    A couple of continents
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    Magic Ireland-style campaign
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    From my posts about Orcs
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    A village
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    So, what's everybody think?
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    They're good.

    Initial nitpicking...
    A lot of your rivers are very straight looking or follow very regular curves.
    Not all of them, but those that do look rather artificial.

    On your city map, you forgot to mark the gates.

    Marking forests like you did in maps one and six, while a good idea in theory, can be rather annoying.
    It needs to be done consistently, or it looks confusing.


    Other than those points, they're good.
    Last edited by Elemental; 2012-04-22 at 01:57 AM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    My rivers always suck. I try, but what can you do? Besides do better next time, I mean.

    The city map I've been re-drawing lately to actually be closer to scale (it's supposed to be like 5 square miles) but that won't be done soon. I drew the whole thing with erasers (the buildings are what's left of a layer) and then stroked everything.

    Forests are always hard to do on maps. On the first map, I tried to mix several types of forest to show the latitudes, but it looks a little garbled. The Sixth map was my first attempt at doing forests, so no surprise it was terrible/inconsistent.

    Nitpicking helps me. Thanks for the feedback!
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Yeah... Trying to get forests done is the worst part of map making for fun and/or profit.
    I usually just find an easy method that still manages to look good.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    I...

    I would like to add my support to this thread and to Ninja. I like maps too. Most of what I saw in the first post was good. More maps would also be good as would for Ninja to practice making them.

    My only real suggestion for improvement is to post the images with links rather than spoiler tags. Not every-one has a large monitor size for such artistic endeavors.

    Keep making more. They are worth looking at.

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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Personally, I suggest not posting as links -- you tend to get a lot less feedback with just links, as people are often hesitant to click on a link they don't know.

    You should check out the Cartographers' Guild -- they have a lot of cool mapping-related stuff (including a whole thread about rivers ).
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Quote Originally Posted by Savannah View Post
    You should check out the Cartographers' Guild -- they have a lot of cool mapping-related stuff (including a whole thread about rivers ).
    I originally used the Cartographer's Guild as my go-to place for tutorials when I started mapmaking. To be honest, I'm awfully intimidated by the stuff they got there. I didn't see that post on rivers though, so thank you! I'll look that over straightaway.

    @Elemental: So...does that mean you know an easy method of making forests? Cause that would rock.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    @Elemental: So...does that mean you know an easy method of making forests? Cause that would rock.
    It's easy in that it doesn't require me to do any more drawing that I usually would for a map. But it's not particularly descriptive in which a person can just look at a map and say; "Oh look, trees."

    The main advantage to the style I use is that it's easy to do, doesn't clutter the map and you can add things inside the forest.

    I'll see if I have a drawing somewhere I can post.
    Just be warned, I'll have to photograph it, and my photography is terrible.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemental View Post
    It's easy in that it doesn't require me to do any more drawing that I usually would for a map. But it's not particularly descriptive in which a person can just look at a map and say; "Oh look, trees."

    The main advantage to the style I use is that it's easy to do, doesn't clutter the map and you can add things inside the forest.

    I'll see if I have a drawing somewhere I can post.
    Just be warned, I'll have to photograph it, and my photography is terrible.
    Awesome. You rock!
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    Awesome. You rock!
    It's nothing awesome or anything.
    Hardly professional or fancy looking.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemental View Post
    It's nothing awesome or anything.
    Hardly professional or fancy looking.
    Same could be said for my maps . And most of my map making is just taking bits of other map making styles and mixing them up until something looks decent.

    Speaking of Maps:
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    This one I was using for a story idea that didn't pan out. Think Lord of the Rings meets Last Airbender, and then make humans = Cthulhu.
    Last edited by Ninjadeadbeard; 2012-04-22 at 11:32 PM.
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    ...I saw the map...and it was made of win.


    I'd...really like to learn how to do some-thing cool looking like that at some point. Is there a recipe?


    Also, "Hi, Savannah!"

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Quote Originally Posted by Story Time View Post
    I'd...really like to learn how to do some-thing cool looking like that at some point. Is there a recipe?
    I'll probably post a short guide to how I do maps. But in the meantime:
    Spoiler
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    A modified version of that last one (one or two posts ago). This one is a place I really want to run a Wuxia campaign through now. I'll put up a version with rivers and such later. I'm also trying to get a good wood grain texture for this one. I dunno. What do Ancient Chinese Maps look like? What are they made of?
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Parchment and ink? It depends on the area. It could just as easily be ink or burn-marks on the inside of an animal hide. Scrolls were made that way in rural areas.

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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    I suppose it depends on how much money is being spent on the map in question and exactly how ancient we're talking...

    All I remember is that prior to the invention of paper, they used books and scrolls made out of pieces of bamboo tied together or silk scrolls.
    They may have also used ceramic and metal, but neither is practical.

    They may have had other things, but I'm pretty sure they didn't have parchment for some reason. If they had parchment, they would have used it because it combines the lightweight properties of silk with the relative cheapness of bamboo.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    As requested. This is how I roll. Also how I draw maps :
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    1. Open Photoshop (yeah, I have no idea about other programs) and Open a new file that is 2000x2000 pixels (3200x3200 is, I'm told, the professional standard), set Resolution to 300 pixels per inch, set Color Mode to RGB 8-bit (experiment here if you think you've found something better), and set Background to Transparent.
    2. Make Black and White your main colors and click filter>render>clouds. This creates a layer of, well, black and white clouds. Duplicate this layer. Call the bottom one Ocean and the top one Base. Set Base's blend mode (via double clicking on the layer in the side menu or the drop down therein) to Hard Mix. Everything now looks like a Cow (very clear black and white).
    3. Take a soft brush and start painting on Base. You should use White for Land and Black for sea, but there's nothing stopping you from doing otherwise. When you have the landmasses and seas where you want them, Duplicate Base and Call it Base 2. On Base, click Select>Color Range and pick Black. Set the Fuzziness to 200, hit delete and then deselect. Hide Base layer.
    4. While on Base 2, Ctrl+click the thumbnail for Base in the side tray. Paint everything in the selection (On the unhidden Base 2) white. Select>Inverse. Paint this Black. This creates a permanent Black/White map rather than a collection of fuzzy clouds (which is what you'd get if you deleted Ocean). Deselect.


    After this, you can either make the map more realistic or more ideological (political). I'll show you how to do Political, as you can find all the info I use for Geographic maps here.

    1. Create a new Layer. Pick the general color of your map. This needs a bit more creativity. Once you have a color (tan or yellow or brown, or whatever) hit Edit>Fill>OK. Reduce the Opacity to 95%.
    2. Create another layer. Pick a darker color (preferably similar but darker than the first color) and make Base a Selection. Then Edit>Stroke>2 pixels.
    3. Make another layer. While still having Base Selected, Select>Inverse, then Edit>Stroke>5-8 pixels. Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur>14. Now your map has outlines and shading on it's sea borders. Erase whatever looks wrong (like where land meets the edge of the map).
    4. For aging effects, create a new layer (makes sure black and white are your colors) and Filter>Render>Clouds, followed by Filter>Render>Difference Clouds. Hit Ctrl+F a half-dozen times. Duplicate this layer and Filter>Render>Difference Clouds again. Ctrl+F another half-dozen times. Lower these layers' Opacity to around 10%. Adjust as you like. These should resemble stains. As an added touch, make another new layer and select all. Edit>Stroke>80 pixels. Then Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur>80. This should make an impressive border.
    5. For a Paper pattern, create a new layer, Filter>Render Clouds, Filter>Render>Fibers. Then stretch the fibers horizontally until it looks like paper.
    6. As an added touch, I export the Jpeg and reopen that. Then I add a Pattern Overlay to the Jpeg, usually something to rough it up or look like something a map might be drawn on. You can also select Filter>Texturize and look into Burlap or Canvas. I had to make pattern myself, but that comes with experimentation.



    That may not have been helpful. Uh...um...Another Map!
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    Last edited by Ninjadeadbeard; 2012-04-24 at 01:42 AM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Another round of maps. Technically the same map. But there's three of them! These maps are for a Dark Ages setting where the "Roman" Empire went up in a Magic Mushroom Cloud. And the fallout makes reality and physics cry uncle. So that big blank spot on all the maps is like where Cthulhu goes to feel intimidated.

    The first was an early test for one style I do now.
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    Different style, lots of extra filters. Some names different.
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    Lol, all the names are wrong, or updated.
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Neat! I still like the texture geograph maps. Thanks to this thread, and Ninja, I started messing around with making maps in G.I.M.P. I got places with it, but not very far, and nothing polished.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    You know, I only just started using this style and I already like it a lot!
    Here's another!
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    I like it too! I like it very much. Some-thing about that style appeals, though I'm not sure what it is exactly.

    That kind of thing was the type of map I was going for; the style that I mentioned in my previous post.

    That's just a good map, Ninja. Keep improving.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    I still need to work on rivers. They curve more realistically, but they're too noticeable in that pic. And I still need to find a better way to do forests.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    I still need to work on rivers. They curve more realistically, but they're too noticeable in that pic. And I still need to find a better way to do forests.
    Indeed. Your rivers are considerably better. And don't worry about them standing out. They are a significant geographical feature.

    Also, my apologies, I can't seem to find where I put all my maps. But I am in the process of drawing one at the moment, so I should be able to photograph it soon.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Used a new layer and a texturized brush to see if I could get a forest. Not sure if I like it. Any one else have an opinion?

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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    I think that I like it. The only real way to tell would be to texturize the whole map. It looks funky and odd currently, but I understand that it was a test.

    Try it, Ninja! See what it looks like all textured with blue rivers in the green forests. We all might be amazed.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Not as happy with this. I need a better water texture. Gonna experiment with some of the built in chrome/plastic-wrap textures this week.

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    And the rivers still suck!
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    It looks odd because you're only using three textures. The trees are dark while the land and rivers are light. My best suggestion would be to fill in all of the map with textures and then see what you feel over it. You probably are correct that the rivers should be changed. Balancing the contrast between the textures and colors while still maintaining some over-all homogeny in the map will be one of your next confrontations, I think.

    Keep at it, though.
    Last edited by Story Time; 2012-05-01 at 08:00 AM. Reason: Added Three Words

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Made a new map for a Tippyverse setting I'm thinking up.

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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Your rivers continue to improve.
    The only one I have issue with in this latest map is the one that dominates the south-western portion of the continent.
    Despite meandering at a local level, it's practically a straight line for much of it's length. Which is particular jarring when one realises that it divides that large valley almost exactly in half.
    Unlikely to occur naturally, but possible however improbable.

    Though, you did describe it as a Tippyverse, so it could have been the result of magic used to settle a territorial dispute.
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemental View Post
    The only one I have issue with in this latest map is the one that dominates the south-western portion of the continent.
    Despite meandering at a local level, it's practically a straight line for much of it's length. Which is particular jarring when one realises that it divides that large valley almost exactly in half.
    Unlikely to occur naturally, but possible however improbable.

    Though, you did describe it as a Tippyverse, so it could have been the result of magic used to settle a territorial dispute.
    Sure....let's go with that... Most of the straightness is probably from some variant Disintegrate spell that someone tried to cut the planet in half with. Plus, I liked the mountains where they were in a large circle around that area, so I ended up with the water runoff all flowing roughly the same way. Is there another way I should have handled that one?
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ninja Makes Maps

    Well, nothing says that valleys have the be a perfect V shape. They're just as likely to be asymmetrical.
    All I can suggest is grabbing a piece of paper and a pencil and experimenting until you find something that looks natural. (bearing in mind that Nature is hardly geometrically perfect)
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