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nijineko
09-14-2009, 01:38 AM
i have been working on a map for a while, thought i'd post some of my progress here and request some feedback:


i've searched and searched and cannot seem to find a map that matches my desires.

so i'm making one. ^^

i started with the abyss-darlene-terence hunt-589-map. i have been cutting and pasting (for weeks) and have accomplished the following:

removal of all text to a separate layer.
creation and population and clean-up of a legend-map key-layer containing one of every kind of city tile and every kind of terrain tile.
the removal of all rivers to another layer.
creation of a hex-grid layer which is the precise size of the tiles.
some general clean up.
patching all the holes made by removing the text and rivers with clean terrain tiles.


i have the following goals, and thought i'd get some input from some fellow grey-talkers, just in case there is something else that would be useful. ^^ better speak up now while i'm still working on it! =D

here is my to-do list:

complete redrawing of the rivers in a more appropriate lighter blue color, plus my cut and paste work has left holes in the rivers due to text and cities and so forth. i also wish i had maps of zoomed in areas so that i could "accurately" place the rivers. i know there are some around certain regions, but that is a whole 'nother order of work. ^^ in any case, the rivers will all be on their own layer.
cleaning up the text, or replacing it entirely with a known and findable font. i have quite a few i've downloaded, but none look quite like the font used on the existing map. when i'm finished with the text, it will be on it's own layer.
all cities will be replaced with a clean terrain tile underneath, and my cleaned-up-with-transparency city tiles on top. city tiles will also be on a separate layer.
contemplating including a political layer with faint transparent coloration for all the various geo-political boundaries.
contemplating including all the referenced non-humanoid and otherwise minor kingdoms passingly mentioned in the gazetteer and living gazetteer, plus any other sources. would have to pretty much make up the boundaries which might result in two layers, one defining the general region, and the other coloring made-up specific boundaries.
contemplating a layer coloring the territories claimed by dragons and such like various entities.
contemplating making a new tile to represent the great rift.


at the very least, my end result will be a map having a background base layer, and layers which can be selectively turned on or off: rivers, cities, and text. thus you can have a clean flaaness map, or you can rename the cities or whatever else you care to label. or the entire map can be tossed and you could use the existing city and terrain tiles from the legend-key layer to make an entirely bright-new map. ^^

feedback and suggestions are welcome. if desired i can post some screenshots of the work-in-progress highlighting the various accomplishments.


i finally settled on the darlene map because i did not find anything better via google and other forms of trawling. it had the most regular tiles, instead of a hex grid that appeared to be lain over the an irregular drawing.


update:

i have completely finished merging the new background tiles with the original layer of the map. as i was working in raster, some of the copied tiles are sharper and more contrasted than the rest of the map, though this gives a slight flowing feel at 100% zoom or less; it only becomes highly distinguishable at closer zoom ratios. at some point, i may give consideration to converting or redrawing each tile in vector format to eliminate that. on the other hand, that basically entails retiling the entire map.

the palattes i used are on a special layer, just for them. by default this layer is turned off.

the legend consists of a row of tiles and descriptions across the bottom where there was some extra room.

next up are text and rivers. i was wanting some input from everyone. as i simply cannot seem to find a reference to what font was used, nor a similar font anywhere, are there any feelings for or against using a completely new font for all the map text? it would be fairly simple to use a new font. but i'm open to any suggestions, especially knowledge of any free fonts and most especially if anyone knows of a font resembling that on the darlene map.

i am also going to include a 'legal' layer, to notate previous mappers (terrance hunt, abyss, darlene), and myself. this layer will also be turned off by default. should the new font be a go-ahead, then i will notate the name and origin of the font, for future use and reference.

once i have the initial steps done, i was also contemplating making layers which contain changes over time; for example: cities becoming ruins, or changing names... new cities or towns being built and so forth. thoughts on this? anyone excited by this prospect?
each layer would indicate the year it covers. i could probably use some help with a master timeline to check off against. this idea could also be expanded to include sub-layers containing population movement, political changes and boundaries, and much more.

another thing that i have contemplated is the creation of some new tiles. i've already mentioned that a rift and/or separate cliff tile is needed for the great rift. but i've also noticed that a number of tiles in the arctic region do not have a corresponding cold version of the tile. the dense mountain tile has an arctic version, as does the swamp/marsh tile and the dense forest tile.
but the light mountain, light forest, and grassland tiles do not. another thought is more variance in the water tiles, increasing the represented depths to four or five or more tile colors might be handy, especially for the nyr'dyv. opinions?

feedback is welcome, please give your opinions!


(if you are not familiar with the darlene version of the flanaess map, here's a link to one export of the map, all rivers have been turned off. hosted on filefront.) (http://www.filefront.com/14529327/nijineko_cy589_th-a-d_flanaess_norivers.jpg)

Windstar
09-14-2009, 05:35 AM
Nijineko, looked at the map, looks really good. Must admit I have no idea what you speaking of in referance to how your doing things. But I can tell ya that it is a improvement over the last Greyhawk Map I seen.

I do not use Greyhawk much anymore, but keep up the good work, as a DM I do know the value of a great map.

nijineko
09-15-2009, 01:15 AM
ah, all the how-to references are with regards to graphical manipulation and using image file formats that support multiple layers. turning a layer on or off is done within the graphics program, however. i've heard that pdfs now support this on the user/viewer side, i'll have to look into what it would take for me to convert to that.
--- Merged from Double Post ---
i should get some screenshots up of the map without the text and without the cities....

here is the one with no rivers and no text. (http://www.filefront.com/14535505/nijineko_cy589_th-a-d_flanaess_norivers_notext.jpg)

and here is the one with no rivers, no text, and no cities. (http://www.filefront.com/14535549/nijineko_cy589_th-a-d_flanaess_norivers_notext_nocities.jpg)