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Thread: City map test - honest opinion

  1. #1

    Question City map test - honest opinion

    First of all - Hello fellow cartographers !
    I just registered so that I can share with You some artwork that I created.

    I want to create full size big scale city map, but before i jump in deep water I have created this sample and I just wanted to ask Your opinion if this looks ok, good, so so etc.
    Mostly I am interested in things like : scale , colors / saturation, contrast / brightness, shading.

    One picture is with frame and clouds - secound without - decide which is better.

    Let me know if You have any remarks :)
    I obviously look for some constructive critisim, but remarks such as "it sucks" or "it doesnt suck" are also welcome :D (from me, maybe not from board admins :D )

    Thanks a lot in advance ;)

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  2. #2
    Administrator waldronate's Avatar
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    The elements generally look fine, but it's always hard to get a sense of how things fit together from just a small test piece. The dark shaded areas in the trees seem a little overpowering at full resolution, but aren't too bad at thumbnail resolution. It might be related to my over-sensitivity to line thickness variance in a piece that looks due to mechanical considerations (the linework separating the individual roof cells as opposed to the fence as opposed to the cart: experience tells me that the real-world scale of those things isn't quite in keeping with the scale of the linework). The hard shadows on the building and corresponding lack of shadows on the scene dressing (animals, carts, fences, trees) look a little odd.

    Whether the clouds (and smoke and cart in the street) are useful is entirely a matter of the purpose of the artwork. If it's mostly a piece of art with some minor mapping purpose, then the clouds might be good as a way of breaking up things. If the purpose of the map is to help the viewer find things, then they might be pulling attention from the areas of interest that will be keyed to the map description toward relatively uninteresting areas.

  3. #3
    Guild Expert Wingshaw's Avatar
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    I personally have never been a huge fan of this style of texturing on a map. I feel like it looks very digital. And in the case of your samples, you've got some very nice hand-drawn linework, and that doesn't match the textures (in my opinion). If I was you, I'd consider an alternative approach to colour and texture (my personal preference is a more painted look). Keep the linework style that you've got, but maybe reduce the intensity of some of the outlines (the trees and fields, for example, are very heavy black lines; you could try using a thinner line, a different colour than black, or reducing the opacity a bit, or a bit of all three). Can't say much about scale from such a limited sample. Saturation, shading and contrast seem good to me. Maybe the shadows are a bit too hard-edged, but not much.

    But that's all just my opinion. Overall, a good start.

    Wingshaw


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  4. #4
    Guild Expert Facebook Connected XCali's Avatar
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    I love the building. It's a cool style. The other assets around the building is fine. I do not however feel the trees fit with that style. They are quite a bit more cartoony than the building.

    On your question about the border, that type of border feels like a very repetitive texture. I feel simple lineart of a page with some tears would maybe fit better. Borders are a bit tricky sometimes. If in doubt leave until you feel ready to tackle the border, or just maybe leave it.

    A good start!
    Again REALLY cool building.

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    Administrator Redrobes's Avatar
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    I have to say I like the style trees and all but I think the clouds distract from the map esp when there are elements like the chimney emitting similar looking smoke. The border is ok but I agree with XCali in that the texture is too small and repetitive. If your going to have a border then something with a distinct pattern works better than a texture.

    But overall I thought the test map looks great.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by waldronate View Post
    The dark shaded areas in the trees seem a little overpowering at full resolution, but aren't too bad at thumbnail resolution.
    - trees definitely need some rework, thanks for remark - that streghtened my feeling about them

    Quote Originally Posted by waldronate View Post
    The hard shadows on the building and corresponding lack of shadows on the scene dressing (animals, carts, fences, trees) look a little odd.
    - animals, carts etc. drop shadows, but I tried to keep it real, so its not that visible as they are way smaller then building, which drop way bigger shadow. It may be a little sharp - ill rework it .


    Quote Originally Posted by waldronate View Post
    Whether the clouds (and smoke and cart in the street) are useful is entirely a matter of the purpose of the artwork. If it's mostly a piece of art with some minor mapping purpose, then the clouds might be good as a way of breaking up things. If the purpose of the map is to help the viewer find things, then they might be pulling attention from the areas of interest that will be keyed to the map description toward relatively uninteresting areas.
    - clouds were just something to experiment - but You've opened my eyes about pulling attention to other areas with it ! THANKS !

    Quote Originally Posted by Wingshaw View Post
    If I was you, I'd consider an alternative approach to colour and texture (my personal preference is a more painted look). Keep the linework style that you've got, but maybe reduce the intensity of some of the outlines (the trees and fields, for example, are very heavy black lines; you could try using a thinner line, a different colour than black, or reducing the opacity a bit, or a bit of all three). Can't say much about scale from such a limited sample. Saturation, shading and contrast seem good to me. Maybe the shadows are a bit too hard-edged, but not much.
    - many many thanks for those comments. I am actually pretty happy about ground textures (that is what You are refering too right ? ). I try to keep everything in style - so that one thing doesnt look comic like and other looks more realistic. Need to find balance.

    And what about those textures below? Better ? Worse ?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by XCali View Post
    I love the building. It's a cool style. The other assets around the building is fine. I do not however feel the trees fit with that style. They are quite a bit more cartoony than the building.

    On your question about the border, that type of border feels like a very repetitive texture. I feel simple lineart of a page with some tears would maybe fit better. Borders are a bit tricky sometimes. If in doubt leave until you feel ready to tackle the border, or just maybe leave it.
    - Im glad to hear that You like building - that is my main focus actually. About borders - i know it sucks, just made it quick to see how it closes the picture. About trees - I already wrote above - they will be reworked ! THanks a loT !

    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    I have to say I like the style trees and all but I think the clouds distract from the map esp when there are elements like the chimney emitting similar looking smoke. The border is ok but I agree with XCali in that the texture is too small and repetitive. If your going to have a border then something with a distinct pattern works better than a texture.
    Thank You for Your comment - i will probably drop the clouds for now, as well as the border. I also like those trees, but I feel like it need a little bit more work !

    Thank You guys !

  7. #7
    Community Leader Kellerica's Avatar
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    Others have already given out good feedback, so I won't bother repeating their points.

    Regarding the textures: I'm not sure if this is what Wingshaw meant, but my slight issue with the textures is not necessarily things like roof colours (and I have to say I really liked the previous green look of the roof!) or the amount of grass, etc. As you said yourself, the clash between the more comic, handrawn look and the more photorealistic textures. I think right now the buildings are more the former, while the ground textures are very much more the latter. Both look good on their own, but don't quite go together. Especially since the trees and buildings have such a strong black outline that further strengthens the hand-drawn look. So the new textures look fine, but I don't think they really change much from the original ones in regards to this.

    As you said the border was just a placeholder I won't comment on it further, but I do like how the overall layout looked with a border in place. So if you find something that works better for you, I think a border could be a nice touch here.

    I think you are off to a nice start here! What software are you working with, just out of curiosity?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kellerica View Post
    Others have already given out good feedback, so I won't bother repeating their points.

    Regarding the textures: I'm not sure if this is what Wingshaw meant, but my slight issue with the textures is not necessarily things like roof colours (and I have to say I really liked the previous green look of the roof!) or the amount of grass, etc. As you said yourself, the clash between the more comic, handrawn look and the more photorealistic textures. I think right now the buildings are more the former, while the ground textures are very much more the latter. Both look good on their own, but don't quite go together. Especially since the trees and buildings have such a strong black outline that further strengthens the hand-drawn look. So the new textures look fine, but I don't think they really change much from the original ones in regards to this.

    As you said the border was just a placeholder I won't comment on it further, but I do like how the overall layout looked with a border in place. So if you find something that works better for you, I think a border could be a nice touch here.

    I think you are off to a nice start here! What software are you working with, just out of curiosity?
    Thanks again for all those remarks - i will work on trees tomorrow probably.. I have to draw it on paper with 005 instead of 01 and then scan it and put it in PS.

    And is anyone using different software than PS actually ? I dont know even its competitors. Are there any ?

  9. #9
    Community Leader Kellerica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inc View Post
    And is anyone using different software than PS actually ? I dont know even its competitors. Are there any ?
    I don't think there are that many worth mentioning

    Honestly though, for the record, I do actually do some of my own linework in Clip Studio Paint even though I'm a sworm Photoshop guy. The brush engine is a bit more versatile than it is in PS, as it's a 100% art program. But for any actual image editing Photoshop is my go-to, always.

    I think one option you could maybe consider is try running some of those ground textures through some of the flter in the Filter Gallery? I've sometimes found those to be a good speedy way to get more of a painterly look out of photo textures when I've been in a hurry. I do like to sometimes pile 2-4 of them on top of each other to get a look that I think works.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kellerica View Post
    I don't think there are that many worth mentioning

    Honestly though, for the record, I do actually do some of my own linework in Clip Studio Paint even though I'm a sworm Photoshop guy. The brush engine is a bit more versatile than it is in PS, as it's a 100% art program. But for any actual image editing Photoshop is my go-to, always.

    I think one option you could maybe consider is try running some of those ground textures through some of the flter in the Filter Gallery? I've sometimes found those to be a good speedy way to get more of a painterly look out of photo textures when I've been in a hurry. I do like to sometimes pile 2-4 of them on top of each other to get a look that I think works.
    I will try to play with it a little bit maybe. FOr now its just plain textures and masks all over. Show me some sample to get the better idea if You can

    For now I reworked those trees a little bit

    I feel it will look better.

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    Ill put it together tomorrow.

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