Friday, February 18, 2011

Map Maker

"You can't map a sense of humor. Anyway, what is a fantasy map but a space beyond which There Be Dragons? On the Discworld we know that There Be Dragons Everywhere. They might not all have scales and forked tongues, but they Be Here all right, grinning and jostling and trying to sell you souvenirs." - Terry Pratchett

I always loved this quote by the master of fantasy humor and generally agreed with it. What was much the point of fantasy maps for lands that didn't exist? And so smugly I went about my life not making maps for things I didn't create anyway.

Then comes November and out of a caffeine fueled month of insanity fell my first novel and thanks to me basing it on the humor of fantasy cliches held up to the glare of reality I suddenly found myself actually having to come up with topography and boarders and cursed mountains.

Late at night I'd curl up with pen and pencil in hand and sketch out and give form to half thought and barely considered brain puffs onto my sketch pad. After weeks of shading, sketching, and god damn mountaining out came this:
Nice, but it doesn't quite have that classic aged parchment look. Enter photoshop

Okay, it's working pretty well but time to up the contrast more. Really make all the different lands pop.

Probably the hardest part - aside from those damn mountains - was choosing a font for the main title. I scoured the internet before stumbling across one that gives the same sense of scrawled but fancy I was looking for.

Slap on a boarder and boom:
It still needs some more smoothing of edges and lands, and of course the addition of the names of all the placed, but this is my first ever fantasy map.

May the paragon's of fantasy have mercy on my soul.

1 comment:

Lady Jaye said...

Love that map! The final result is just amazing. :D

Always loved maps in fantasy novels, in fact my current wallpaper at work is the map from Dragon Age Origins...