Fantasy Village Map

There comes a time in almost every fantasy writer's life when we have to make a map. They can be kind of a pain and they take forever to make. Since my funds are limited, I couldn't hire someone to do it for me. So, I did research. I pulled out all my fantasy books and checked out the maps.

The one in R.A. Salvatore's book, Homelandis close to what I wanted.

Most of the action in my first book, The Sciell, takes place around one area- Raesul (Ray-sul), so this is the map that'll go with it.

The colors are just for fun. It's gonna be black and white in the book. I created this using stock photos, Photoshop and Illustrator.

The trees and grass are stock photos from 123RF. I just cut and pasted them. For the buildings, I had to find a picture of a house I liked...
Opened it in Illustrator and, using the pen tool, traced over the picture to create this vector:
Then, I opened the file in Adobe Photoshop and moved it into my map.

Here's a video on how to create a vector:
Tips for Tracing with Illustrator

Adobe Creative Suite may be expensive, but it's awesome! Transferring images from Illustrator to my map in Photoshop was so easy.

The map for the second book is going to be nightmare. I have to make a digital version of this:

Don't know how I'm going to do it, but it'll be fun.

Here's a site that gave me inspiration for my map:
A Fantasy Reader: Index of Maps

Comments

  1. Nice work. I did all my maps by hand and edited them in GIMP. I found that I get better as time goes on. You have good methods. The important thing is that it's easy for the reader to see what everything is. :)

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    1. Thanks John. When I was doing researcher, I realized the maps didn't have to be this gorgeous piece of artwork. It's as you said, "the important thing is that it's easy for the reader to see what everything is."

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  2. Thanks, this is informative. I love the tracing idea. I always wondered how people were able to duplicate pictures. I agree with John's observation that it should be easy to see everything. I've seen some maps that were beautiful but unreadable.

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    1. Glad this helped, Cora. It's interesting, before this post, I thought maps had to be beautiful. They just need to be functional.

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  3. I really need to get Photoshop. I swear one of these days I will.

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    1. I won my year’s subscription. It runs out in February. Don't know what I'm going to do with myself without Photoshop ;)

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  4. I got into map-making at the start of the year, and it's so much fun I have to ration my time, else I don't get any writing done :)

    If you're interested, there are some really great tutorials on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KO4XZfaSAoA) and you can pick up some funky Photoshop brushes at DeviantArt.com.

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    1. Thanks for the awesome video. I'd always wondered how people created those maps with the cool textures. Thanks for the DeviantArt tip. I'm on it, but I haven't explored it yet. I really need to.

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  5. MAPS!

    I'm working on a blog for story collaboration and I built this map using Google Earth and Photoshop. I'm not done with setting up the story config, but you can check out the map still. Awesome tools out there for map making. Love it!

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  6. I did all the maps in my own book, Realmwalkers, Auden. Like you, I did them all in black and white as I wanted it make it easy for the reader to see and follow. Now that the book has been out for some time, I have embellished some of the maps with more detail and color using Photoshop, MSpublisher and Fireworks MX. Check out the country of Vawdrey here: http://tiaera.blogspot.com/2013/07/world-creating-country-of-vawdrey.html .

    There are several paint programs now available. They may not be as fancy as Photoshop, but for this type of mapping you are doing, they are very suitable. Just Google "free drawing programs" and look around for something you may like. Good luck and happy mapping!

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    1. Thanks for the tip! Love your map! You reminded me, I have to decided how large, in miles, my world is. I'm still trying to figure out how to include geography like forests and mountains ;)

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  7. Very handy tools of the trade, Auden! Thank you for sharing it.

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