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Thread: loose-looking maps?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    12

    loose-looking maps?

    Hi All!

    I'm creating grayscale maps for my books. Am deciding whether to go with a "tight" style (using Technical Pen) or something looser and more casual (using Pencil tool). And need to show water as well as land. Anyone doing maps or can point me to AR map examples/styles? I checked the Gallery but nothing there.

    Any direction appreciated! Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    22,517
    Maps would be as open ended stylistically as any other kind of picture making. What I would take into consideration is the feel you have for your books. Maps can be dry and stark, or you can do a line with an ink wash in which the wash can help separate the regions (like water vs land), or you can take it all the way to where you kinda sorta render some of the featured spots, like with Game of Thrones intro.

    I have even seen maps in which the illustrator mixed a 3/4 down shot that graphically showed roads and such, but the featured buildings were more illustrated and traffic and pedestrians were stylized and expanded (like a map ballparking a big city in a shorthand way). Then there's the theme park map where things are somewhat rendered more like an actual aerial view realistically or cartoony).

    All depends on what you're wanting to do and how interesting you want it to be and what the function is for it. If it's strictly informational, make it clear and simple. If you want it to also tell something of the story or inspire a feel, consider what would make that happen. But you are allowed to get creative with maps, believe it or not, unless of course it's a proper road map kind of thing. But a map does kind of set a mood, of an era, a genre and a sense of place.

    Could be really fun. If you don't have much experience as an artist or mapmaker, I would start by blocking in the stuff you want to show. And your tool selection for the finish would follow as you try things out on layers that can be seen or hidden for comparison.

    Have fun. There may be people who actually have done maps and can answer your question more specifically.

    Last edited by D Akey; 08-05-2016 at 08:48 PM.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by D Akey View Post
    Maps would be as open ended stylistically as any other kind of picture making. What I would take into consideration is the feel you have for your books. Maps can be dry and stark, or you can do a line with an ink wash in which the wash can help separate the regions (like water vs land), or you can take it all the way to where you kinda sorta render some of the featured spots, like with Game of Thrones intro. [...]
    Excellent reply DAkey! All good things to think about. Thanks.

    Other responses also welcome.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Auckland, NZ
    Posts
    1,852
    Yeah, as D Akey says, it's too vague a question to answer easily

    If you know what you want it to look *like*, we can recommend tools based on that - e.g. how to import a custom parchment background, tweaking the ink pen, or pencil settings (assuming you want a sketchy map or a nicely inked one?), or how to do watercolour washes... (When you say 'loose looking', i think of the Tolkien-style fantasy maps - sketch out the landmarks and just add colour washes behind the lines).



    One tip:

    You can create grayscale after the fact by adding a layer of white over the top of everything and setting it to use the Exclusion blend mode. So you can work in colour if you prefer.
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    Go forth and read the tutorials. Also, check out the featured artists!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    12
    Thanks, Hannah! I guess I was looking for other map-makers here, but if none, I'll just start working on it and come back with specific questions as issues pop up.

    I'll probably be back! Thanks again.

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