Campaign Maps WIP Thread

arsheesh
arsheesh
edited April 2011 in General Archive
Hey all.

While a WIP thread already exists here at the forums, I decided to create a WIP page specifically for anyone wishing to submit their current map projects to the forums for critique. Also, for those of you wishing to create your own maps, if you are not already familiar with the site, I would highly recommend checking out the "Cartographers Guild":http://forum.cartographersguild.com/index.php?referrerid=15127. It's a site devoted to map making and there are tons of really helpful resources there for people just getting started and for experts alike. In addition, I would also recommend taking a look at "A Magical Society Guide to Mapping":http://paizo.com/store/games/roleplayingGames/m/aMagicalSociety/v5748btpy82tc, a free pdf resource to aid in fantasy map-making. There is also a helpful thread here at the forums on the topic of "Designing Fantasy Countries and Cultures":http://forums.obsidianportal.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=1171. That said, I look forward to seeing your contribution to this thread.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh
2

Comments

  • Poutine_Paladin
    Poutine_Paladin
    Posts: 285
    Arsh, do I need to register with the guild or something? It won't let me see your link saying I'm not logged in (or some such wording). I'm kinda considering putting in some mapping time this summer (and have no...that's right I said no...experience with mapping without paper) so I'd like to see what I'm in for here. I should probably just sign up for the damn site anyway, then, right?
  • arsheesh
    arsheesh
    Posts: 850
    I guess the images don't display automatically if you are not registered. But I logged off and then hit the image link at the bottom and it let me view the pic, so... don't know exactly why it won't let you view them. Regardless, I think it would be more than worth your while to sign up at the Guild. There are tons of helpful tutorials to help get you started in the wonderful world of fantasy mapping.
  • gaaran
    gaaran
    Posts: 740 edited April 2011
    First, let me say, DAMN! That's a fine piece of cartography you have going there. Do you have a link to the tutorials you might have used to make this map? Also, for the rivers, do you seriously paint them all in by hand, or do you have a trick for making it easier?

    Second, I'm not currently working on a map, but I thought I'd share a couple that I made with help from those same forums that Arsheesh mentioned. The cartographer's guild is an amazing resource if you want to make your own fantasy maps.

    "My World Map":http://cdn.obsidianportal.com/map_images/185519/World_Map_-_Web.jpg
    "The Town of Highmoor":http://cdn.obsidianportal.com/map_images/197930/highmoor.jpg

    EDIT: Also, thanks for those links, I downloaded a couple of those PDFs.
    Post edited by gaaran on
  • arsheesh
    arsheesh
    Posts: 850
    Thanks Gaaran. In making this map I've drawn techniques from several tutorials and done a fair amount of experimentation on my own. You see there are tutorials on how to make maps using GIMP, and on how to make maps using Wilbur, but there's only one that I know of that combines the two, and it's not really what I was looking for. However (if I remember correctly), you're using Photoshop, and there are some nice little "tutorials":http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?2557-Award-Winner-Making-maps-in-Photoshop&highlight=tutorial done by Jeremy Elford (Jezelf) that combine Photoshop with Wilbur. Also, check out Joe Slayton's (Waldronate) "tutorial":http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?1768-Award-Winner-Fun-with-Wilbur-Volume-1&highlight=wilbur on how to use Wilbur to create terrain. I'm considering writing a tutorial for GIMP users on how to combine GIMP and Wilbur to make photo-realistic looking maps, but that may be a while from now.

    Oh, and to answer your question, no, I did not draw all those rivers by hand. Except for three of the main rivers (which I did draw), these rivers were generated in Wilbur using the "Incise Flow" erosion generator. Glad to here you got something out of the links though. As for your maps, very nice indeed!

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh
  • gaaran
    gaaran
    Posts: 740
    Thanks again for the links there Arsheesh, I think I might have a remake of my world map in order sometime soon. Don't get me wrong, I like the way my current map turned out, but I think I could still do better. I also like the idea of making a hand-drawn style map, rather than a photo realistic map. Projects projects...
  • gaaran
    gaaran
    Posts: 740
    I blame Arsheesh for this, but I've started work on a series of hand-drawn style maps for my world, starting with the continent that my last game took place on. I have the outline and style done for the map so far, and tomorrow I think I'll add in the geography and text. Without further ado, here's the "base map":http://cdn.obsidianportal.com/assets/48054/Amrush.jpg for the continent of Amrush.
  • arsheesh
    arsheesh
    Posts: 850
    Ooh, very nice! I like the color and texture of the parchment. I'm eager to see this map progress.

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh
  • gaaran
    gaaran
    Posts: 740
    Well, I still have a little bit to add to it, but I'm almost done. Just need a break, so i thought I'd share what I've got so far. Any comments or criticism are welcome, as this is my first attempt at a map of this style. I'm liking how it's coming together.

    "Link":http://i.imgur.com/VVwLt.jpg
  • gaaran
    gaaran
    Posts: 740
    And here's yet another update, I think it's pretty much done now. Haven't decided if I'm going to include a legend, I don't think it really needs one.

    "Linky":http://i.imgur.com/yMZsb.jpg
  • arsheesh
    arsheesh
    Posts: 850
    Wow Gaaran! This is looking fantastic. I've already commented on the map over at the Guild forums but let me just say it here as well, this is my favorite of your maps so far.

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh
  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,303
    I agree. It looks excellent!

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • arsheesh
    arsheesh
    Posts: 850
    BTW, here is a link to the "finished version":http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?14541-Veskar-Frozen-Lands-of-the-North&p=152095#post152095 of my Veskar Map.

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh
  • gaaran
    gaaran
    Posts: 740
    Thanks! Sheesh, do you have a trick/resource for coming up with names of places? Or are you just good at coming up with names? I find that is often my biggest challenge.
  • arsheesh
    arsheesh
    Posts: 850
    Well, sort of a little of both. I've compiled a list of "Handy Geographical Terms" which contains allot of archaic geographical terms. While I do make up allot of the terms from scratch, I also rely upon these terms for (at least partial) place names within my maps. E.g. The term "firth" refers to a wide inlet of the sea; estuary: a river estuary. So I just tack on a prefix such as "Frost", to get "Frostfirth".

    Check out "this sticky":http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?1320-Cartographic-Terminology&highlight=geographical+names over at the Guild too. You will find some good resources there.

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh
  • ChainsawXIV
    ChainsawXIV
    Posts: 518 edited April 2011
    Some very nice work there guys, but I'd expect no less from you all.

    None of my maps really qualify as 'in progress' at the moment, but I have done a couple of things in the past few months.

    For my campaign "The Company of Captain Black":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/tcocb, I created this map of the "Phalanx Coast":http://omnichron.net/external/maps/phalanx_coast.jpg, a more detailed close up of an area of "Koar":http://omnichron.net/external/maps/koar.jpg, which I originally mapped for my "Sanction of the Athar":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/sanction campaign.

    For the Exalted campaign I'm participating in, "Sins of the First Age":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/sotfa, I created a map of a neighborhood in the city of "Nexus":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/sotfa/wikis/nexus we call "Cor Ignus":http://omnichron.net/external/op/src/Nexus.jpg, a chunk of the city my character got to literally "remake to his own design":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/sotfa/adventure-log/essence-darkness using magic, from the population to the plumbing.

    Further back than that, I also created a pair of high resolution battle maps for use in a one shot adventure I ran for volunteers at last year's Game Developer's Conference. One map is set along a "road through the wilderness":http://omnichron.net/external/maps/encounter_maps_road.jpg ("No Grid":http://omnichron.net/external/maps/encounter_maps_road_clean.jpg), and the other is set in "a nearby keep":http://omnichron.net/external/maps/encounter_maps_keep.jpg ("No Grid":http://omnichron.net/external/maps/encounter_maps_keep_clean.jpg).
    Post edited by ChainsawXIV on
  • gaaran
    gaaran
    Posts: 740
    Very nice maps Chainsaw! Are they done by hand, did you follow some sort of tutorial or just come up with it on your own? If the former, I would love to take a look at what you used :). Either way, they look great!
  • ChainsawXIV
    ChainsawXIV
    Posts: 518
    The Phalanx Coast and Koar maps were done more or less by hand using Photoshop and a Wacom tablet. All the elements were hand drawn, as were the land masses and rivers, and then I converted a selection of trees, mountains, hills and so on into custom brushes to speed up the process of populating out the mountain ranges and forests. Layer styles were used liberally for things like the edges of the land masses (Stroke), and the shading around them (Outer Glow), supplemented by more quick hand shading work.

    The Cor Ignus map was also more or less hand done in Photoshop, but using a very different technique. To create the geometric lines of a city, I started with solid blocks of space created using the polygonal lasso and fill, then used the line tool in layer masks to mask out nice tidy streets and alleys, and more polygonal lasso work to cut out open spaces. The edges of all the shapes are outlined using the Stroke layer style, and both light and dark inner glow layer styles are used to break up the flatness of the shapes. Masked texture overlays are also used heavily to texturize things - an assortment of tiling textures, and a large satellite photo of a slum, all filtered with the Pallet Knife filter for a more graphic look.

    The battle maps were created in three dimensions using 3D Studio Max, with texture work and post processing in Photoshop. Nothing hand drawn about those unless you count making models of ferns and rocks and things, and arranging them in the scene.
  • gaaran
    gaaran
    Posts: 740 edited April 2011
    Last post for this map, I am officially calling it complete: "The Former Amrushi Empire":http://i.imgur.com/1Sl0r.jpg

    All in all, I'm very happy with the final result, not something that I usually say about my own work :P.

    Edit: fixed a spelling error on the map.
    Post edited by gaaran on
  • arsheesh
    arsheesh
    Posts: 850
    @Chainsaw, beautiful work! I have yet to try the hand drawn style, but you are inspiring me.

    @Gaaran, really nice job. The fonts and elements you chose really work nicely for the hand-drawn style you used.
  • ChainsawXIV
    ChainsawXIV
    Posts: 518
    That looks great Gaaran! The extra texture and grunge, plus the chart lines and hand written notes give it a lot of character it didn't have in the previous iteration. I think the only thing I'd suggest changing is the outer border treatment - you've got a nicely authentic look going, and the precisely edged lightness difference there has a decidedly digital feel.

    Thanks Arsheesh. I love drawing them that way. Takes a while though, lol.
  • gaaran
    gaaran
    Posts: 740 edited April 2011
    I can't stop: "Another Update":http://i.imgur.com/5Carh.jpg

    I redid the border and background, added some folds... I think I'm going to finally leave it alone, but we'll see. Perhaps I should start working on the next one instead :P.
    Post edited by gaaran on
  • arsheesh
    arsheesh
    Posts: 850
    Just keeps getting better Gaaran! Pretty soon people are going to be seeking you out for commissions.

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh
  • gaaran
    gaaran
    Posts: 740
    Haha, I'd be totally fine with that ;). Thanks Sheesh!
  • ChainsawXIV
    ChainsawXIV
    Posts: 518
    Very nice! I especially like the folds. That's a great touch.
  • Poutine_Paladin
    Poutine_Paladin
    Posts: 285
    Seriously? Wow, guys....just....wow. I don't even know what else to say....

    Maybe I'll figure out some mapping tools and come ask you for tips some day...or maybe I'll just hand draw some continents and scan them in and send them to you to do up like that in your spare time just to help me out? Haha.

    Seriously impressive work, gentlemen.
  • arsheesh
    arsheesh
    Posts: 850
    Poutine, I have every confidence that you can do this too. Just head over to the Cartographers Guild and spend some time over in the tutorials section. There are tons of great walk throughs to help you get started.

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh
  • DarkMagus
    DarkMagus
    Posts: 425
    Gaaran that's an awesome map!

    Arsheesh I'm intending to sign up so I can check out your map, just been rather busy lately.
  • arsheesh
    arsheesh
    Posts: 850
    No prob DM, I've actually got it up on the "Maps":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/age-of-legends/wikis/maps section of my site now so if you want you can check it out there as well.

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh
  • gaaran
    gaaran
    Posts: 740
    I've gotten started on a second map for my campaign setting, this one for a less populated and wild part of the world. I've been having trouble deciding on a good method for depicting the desert, but what's in there now isn't too terrible. I also can't find a set of icons that I like for the cities that matches the rest of the design. Any thoughts or suggestions for those or other things would be more than welcome :).

    "Cormand and Barithani":http://i.imgur.com/ZUm5R.jpg
  • arsheesh
    arsheesh
    Posts: 850
    Looking good Gaaran. I don't know of any dessert symbols off the top of my head, but I know that several people have uploaded symbol sets over at the Guild. Might search around in the Mapping Elements section... wait, I'm there now and I see you've left a post of your own. Guess you've probably already been through whatever the Guild has to offer. Well, you can always create your own. It's actually not too difficult. There are some tutorials on how to do it over at the Guild. Best of luck.

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh
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