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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2018 edited
     
    I have entered my first cartographers Guild contest. We have to map a building in our home town, so i have chosen our pub. (typical Aussie!).
    I am doing it in the Horror House style (Annual 10, 2016, No 118). When it is done, I will strip it of Non Atlas sources (like the photo, which I took and rendered the way it is, though I need to fix it a bit).
    The building walls are just guidelines at present. It is true to the actual building, as the licensee, Peter Aitken, gave me a copy of the fireplan (ground floor only)
    Please help me get this right, and even brutal comment is welcome.
      Interstate Hotel (Horror) forum.PNG
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2018
     
    Well... you DID say...

    Brutal truths:

    1. STOP thinking about how this needs to be altered to go into the atlas until the Challenge is over and done with, because it seems to be limiting your imagination about what can be done for it to compete in the challenge with other maps that are not similarly restricted!

    2. The frame has been constructed from a single line of broad width on a sheet with a sharp edged bevel effect? For some reason this never works very well in the top right and bottom left corners, which detracts from the effect that this map is contained in a real frame in the real world. An alternative to using a bevelled line is to construct the frame from shaded polygons (3 for each side to show all the angles). Also use a nice subtle good quality wood texture rather than a plain colour. Wood is homely and a common framing material. It also doesn't suffer the 'missing reflections' of CC3-faked plastic or metal frames. An alternative is to use a textile covered frame, like the one that Scott used to good effect in one of his recent challenge entries. Get rid of that bevel!

    3. The dark glow inside the frame is also a bit on the strong side. It seems to me to be screaming "I AM A GLOW, LOOK AT ME!" Try reducing the size and intensity of it quite significantly - the intensity most of all. You will be surprised at just how subtle an effect you need to make it look a whole lot more real. Barely visible is good.

    4. Think of the texture of the framed artwork as a piece of real paper or parchment would appear in this nice wooden frame - even if there was glass in front of it (don't try adding glass it never works). I would strongly recommend adding a sheet called something like "Parchment effect sheet" just under the frame sheet and filling it to the whole extent of the map with a good quality parchment fill, then adding a Blend Mode effect to that sheet set to 'Multiply'. Adjust the opacity of the effect until there is a nice subtle 'key' to the paper - your map. This will unify the map so that it appears to be printed or drawn on a real sheet of paper. Having no texture at all makes everything look extremely digital and false. The effect doesn't need to be severe by any means. Try to be as subtle with it as you can - like the frame glow - barely visible.

    5. Compositional divisions. Dividing things into roughly 4 equal parts is one of the big 'no-no' things at art school. Try to rearrange the map so that thirds are used instead. Thirds or fifths. I don't mean that you have to have 9 or 25 small images. Only that you might think of making the title and the photo a lot smaller so that they each occupy only a third of the width and height, and expand the two maps so that they take up the remaining space and are each 2/3 the width and height. I realise this means they will overlap in the middle, but if you are clever you can just enlarge the area, keep the maps themselves the same size as they currently are, and incorporate all the little extras, like a key, a scale bar, and any other additional info (try adding a note about the source of the data, or an acknowledgement to the cartographer... "draughted by...", if you are desperate to fill in space. All these additional bits and pieces will fill up space in the map area, and they will also add authenticity, since most maps acknowledge their data sources and authors in the real world.

    6. I see no problem with keeping the photo - unless it is covered by some kind of 'thou shalt not use this in a map in a competition' copyright fandango? Give a REAL acknowledgement of the real photographer and the real publication from which it was taken as a small lettered line of text directly under the photo. If you use GIMP at all, open the original image file in GIMP, from the menu choose "Color/Color to alpha" and get rid of that nasty white shading effect. Save the resulting mostly transparent image as its own filename next to the original and load and use that one instead. What this will do is make the image 'sink' into the paper as if it was inked or printed there.


    OK. Now its your turn to beat me up :P
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2018
     
    Also - please reconsider using those orange patches to denote the extent of the maps. Try a very very faint and very fine line, or even better - nothing at all. Big orange patches are... well, they just don't really 'do it', if you see what I mean?
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2018
     
    The backgrounds were just meant as fillers for the moment while I concentrated on the map, but you have given me heaps of ideas, thank you so much, especially for the layout thing. The photographer and the renderer into the style you see was me, and I couldn't care less about copyright for my stuff. I would if it had been someone else's though. I hardly ever (probably never) use other people's photographs - i have some pride about that.
    I'll put up progress tonight, but it will be of the map proper, not the background of frame. I will do the rearrangement first though, as this was my main concern - as a person with a very scientific bent, i tend to see things in an orderly way, and artistry comes a bit harder for me, so I am very grateful for your insights here. (I have never had any art lessons, so I am behind the eight ball here).
    And we Aussies are thrashing the Poms in cricket- yeah! :D
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2018
     
    LOL!

    Fortunately for me I'm not a cricket fan :P

    Photographers are told to do the opposite to painters. I've read a couple of books about photography, and always frowned at the insistence on putting the focus right in the middle of the photograph. An artist would gasp in horror and shout: "Go for the thirds, man! Go for the thirds!"

    Play around with it and do a whole load of five minute postage stamp layouts with pencil and paper. One of them will just grab you as being the 'right one'. And if it doesn't, post a scan of the sketches up here and we'll help you choose ;)

    I would still make up a fictional credit for the photograph/drawing - to add authenticity.

    Its a pub, so how about adding a bit of story? Every decent pub has at least one totally scandalous story! You could fill up space in the empty rooms by adding little historical captions about who killed who and for what reason in this very room on [date and time]. Anything. Just really tiny italicised print captions. You know how they LOVE a story over at the Guild ;)
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2018
     
    Here is my latest attempt. Is the layout better?
    I quite like the frame bitmap, but will work on the shading etc.
    The story was always planned (stop jumping the gun), but will go in last.
      Interstate Hotel Horror forum.PNG
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2018
     
    That's an improvement, kind of :)

    You still have a half and half division down the middle, but its nowhere near as 'crosshair' in design as it was in the first version.

    The paper texture is a bit OTT. You can tell because its noticeable. Half the opacity again. Take it right down to barely visible.

    Not at all keen on the frame bitmap! Sorry! Far too 'busy' and distracting.

    Do you have any nice realistic looking wood textures?

    I can provide, if not...

    There's the cedar I used for the frame around MC if you want?
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2018
     
    Not keen on the font. Its kind of scruffy if this intended to be a serious main attraction picture on a wall.
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2018 edited
     
    The font will go with the building style. It is meant to be a horror style.
    I don't want a wooden frame, may change it to sandy, and see what it looks like.
    And I will take your advice on the layout. I also will change the positions of everything from left to right, so the photo is pointing in to the centre, not out, as it is at present - a photographer no-no
    I may get a better parchment bitmap, this was just an experiment, but I see what you mean.
    BTW, photographers think in thirds and fifths too - Somehow, I forget when doing a map!
    And you will get the story - already in my head, but you will have to wait till the rest is finished (evil grin).
    I'm off to bed.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2018
     
    Aaaah, I see :)

    You need to put the paper right on top of everything but the frame - text included, so that the texture affects the whole image ;) Tone the text down a bit from blacker than black. No 'ink' is ever 'singularity black' (as I call it - total blackness without any subtle detail at all). Mostly its various shades of black or grey. The less experienced PS mappers tend to get that bit wrong as well, so if you get the colours, shades and textures just right you'll be one up on them before you even start with the serious stuff :P

    No Singularity Black!
    • CommentAuthorScottA
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2018
     
    Someone obviously has a frame fetish, eh Sue? (wink)! LOL! I know you were really on me about the frame on my last Guild entry, but the advice was spot-on and HIGHLY appreciated! It's nice to be able to get advice, even when it may seem brutal at first, from someone who creates spectacular ARTwork and not "just" maps. There are a couple bits of advice here that I am going to swipe and use, myself...
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2018 edited
     
    I'm awake again, looking at the magnificent view from my desk, with a lovely cup of coffee. So back to the map. I'm going to actually do the mapping bits first, then tweak frame, background and story. I have altered the text, thanks for the tip.
    So I would really like advice on the map itself at this stage, and I will come back to frame, background and that sheet for blending later. Bear in mind this is a horror map. I have thought of doing it on a blood-stained rag, with no frame, but I'll see what you think first.
    My photo of the view I have right now.
      View from Menythmor July 2015 (2).JPG
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 8th 2018
     
    Well here is today's installment. Walls and doors done, windows and columns to finish, and more work on the layout and frame. Next task is furnishings and monsters; then labels (numbers and a key) and a short backstory. THEN, I'll try to work on that frame, sue.
      Interstate Hotel Horror forum2.PNG
    • CommentAuthorScottA
    • CommentTimeJan 8th 2018
     
    I like that checked flooring.
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 10th 2018
     
    Here is today's work. Furnishings and monsters are being added. Then labels, frame, and at the end, the story (as a tease!)
      Interstate Hotel Horror forum3.PNG
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 10th 2018
     
    Oh no! Not the grid!

    Please! Not the grid! :P
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 10th 2018
     
    Sorry, I forgot to turn it off - it was there just to aid me in the drawing. It certainly won't be part of it. I must remember to add a scale though
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 10th 2018
     
    LOL!

    I thought you were serious!

    Need.... more... toast....
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 10th 2018
     
    With honey - perhaps even honey mead!
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 10th 2018
     
    Naturally :P

    Ahem... getting back to the map...

    I think you aren't doing yourself any favours with that extremely busy and very snow-white frame. I still think a nice simple wooden one would look nice - classic.

    Also, have you tried using the paper texture over everything else with a Multiply blend mode? Perhaps not that particular paper, but a more homogenous texture without all those horizontal stripes? They're not helping me to focus on the map. Too many stripes all over the place.
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 10th 2018
     
    Don't want a wooden frame, so that's out. I will work on the frame in 2 days (I am away tomorrow). I'll think about the rest of the advice.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 10th 2018
     
    Ok :)
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2018
     
    Here is my penultimate version - just got to tidy up the furniture in the first floor, then untidy it. Please give me some critical comment. Even though I may decide to not take the advice given, it is always useful, perhaps for future reference.
      Interstate Hotel Horror forum4.PNG
    • CommentAuthorTonnichiwa
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2018 edited
     
    No critique from me, I think it looks great! I think it will be the favorite of the competition! And you've GOT to show it to the owner of Flinder's Island Pub!
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2018
     
    I promised Peter I would - don't know what he'll think though.
    • CommentAuthorTonnichiwa
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2018
     
    lol...that you're one crazy Aussie!
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2018
     
    'Crazy Aussie' is a tautology.
    • CommentAuthorTonnichiwa
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2018 edited
     
    Lol....ok.
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      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2018
     
    Well, here is my final version. It will be changed somewhat and recycled into the Atlas, in the Rocky Valley map in the Dunor Valley in Ezrute. But this is my first ever entry in the Cartographer's Guild competition.
      Interstate Hotel Horror forum5.PNG
    • CommentAuthorWyvern
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2018
     
    I like the font (and the map!), but the "Toilets" and "Dining" labels could be clearer - the first could be "Forlecs", for instance. Similarly, I missed the "Bath Room" label entirely at first; same problem with the checkered floor, of course.

    Maybe put the story text in quotation marks?