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Thread: GP's Fantasy Cartography & Illustration

  1. #1
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    GP's Fantasy Cartography & Illustration

    Hello, though I'm known as Gamerprinter on a dozen or so forums, my name is Michael Tumey. I am a graphic designer that runs his own shop, but on the side I am a professional fantasy cartographer and light duty illustrator.

    I will be posting maps in reverse order, that is the most recent up front, then older going back until I've posted most of the work, then I'll start adding new stuff as I create them and post to the end of this thread.

    Many of these were previously commissioned works, some of it contest entries, some personal experiments, and several for a publication I will soon release for the Pathfinder RPG, called Kaidan: a Japanese Ghost Story setting.

    My work varies from strictly digital creations to hand-drawn work that is scanned and color/enhanced in Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0.

    First map posted below, my most recent work for Kaidan. The river island castle town of Tsue-jo...

    GP

    GP's Fantasy Cartography & Illustration

    Link to larger file: Tsue-jo Castle Town map
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    Agoya Shrine for Kaidan

    This next map is an encounter scale map of a Kaidanese shrine. This like the previous map is hand-drawn and digitally enhanced in Xara Xtreme Pro.

    Agoyal Shrine map...

    GP

    GP's Fantasy Cartography & Illustration

    Link to larger file: Agoya Shrine map
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    Yonshu Island for Kaidan

    The map below continues with my hand-drawn style, but this time I utilized map objects I created back in January to depict Japanese Ukiyo-e styled art for mountains, etc.

    Yonshu Island is one of three large islands among dozens of smaller ones that comprise the Kaidan island chain. Yonshu is the location for the first three adventures for my upcoming, mini-campaign arc, called The Gift, set in Kaidan: a Japanese Ghost Story setting.

    GP
    GP's Fantasy Cartography & Illustration

    Link to larger file: Yonshu Island, Kaidan
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    Here's an earlier map - contest winner

    Here's a map I did in September 08, as a monthly challenge at the Cartographers Guild, the site I spend most of my time.

    This is called the Archaen Trade League, and its the first map I used my hand-drawn and digitally enhanced style.

    Enjoy!

    GP

    GP's Fantasy Cartography & Illustration

    Archaen Trade League map
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    Assassin's Lair map

    Here's a recent one of the hand-drawn digital-enhanced style. This was my last contest entry, which I won at the Cartographers' Guild (the previous map above was a winner as well.)

    I call this the Assassin's Lair or the Cerene Map.

    Most of these maps were created in less than 10 hours, some a few more, but I work very fast.

    Enjoy!

    GP

    GP's Fantasy Cartography & Illustration

    Link to larger file: Cerene Map
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    Link to a digital only map

    Unfortunately, I don't have a thumbnail of this map uploaded online. It was a winning contest entry at Iron Crown Enterprises first map contest in January 09. I call this Sargoseum, the temple of the Sea God - a kind of Greek Agora styled temple done completely in Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0 with 3D objects placed within. In the Cartography Chamber in the upper right, you'll notice I placed a couple maps of mine as art in the chamber, including my Archaen Trade League map above.

    I know there are many here, who do not care for digital only work - oh well, I like it just the same. I am always experimenting with different styles of maps.

    Again, sorry, its just a link, but the map is huge! Enjoy!

    GP

    http://www.gamer-printshop.com/cbg/sargoseum-final.jpg
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; September 1st, 2009 at 02:20 PM.
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    Hey Micheal, welcome to ca.org. I'm not much of a gamer myself, but i know what i like, and i like the assassins lair map the most ;-)

    Can you explain a bit as to how these maps are used? I mean are these the actual images used during gameplay? or are these like background images to the interface?

    Post more too ;-)
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    Thank you for responding!

    Thank you for responding. In RPG Gaming, there's two formats the final art will be used. For the "Pen and Paper" variety of games that use lead miniature painted figures as game pieces, especially for the encounter scale maps, like the Assassin's Lair, the maps are printed. These are used right on the playing surface, game pieces placed directly on the map - so I usually laminate these for more durability.

    I run Gamer Printshop a POD and custom digital print studio, the art I create for maps are printed onto an Inkjet printer in sizes from standard letter size up to 42" x 72" or longer, most fall into the 18 x 24 up to 36 x 48 print dimensions.

    There's a whole other market though called VTT (Virtual Table Top) meaing playing the same type of game but online using among a small group. The maps are shared between the game referee and multiple players. The application simulates the miniature figures with moveable tokens placed on the map. So for this maps are kept digital only, usually in JPG, BMP or PNG formats and never printed.

    The maps I create are for Dungeons and Dragons, Star Wars, and that type of game, not for MMORG (all those advertised systems like World of Warcraft)

    The market is much smaller, but a dedicated geek market that voraciously needs maps for their games.

    So in most cases the maps are actually used in game. For the regional maps (continents, cities, etc.) those are used for reference, not actually in game. Sometimes they are mounted to the walls of a game room as art. In most cases these maps are used directly in game.

    GP

    PS: I'll need to resize lots of these other maps of mine to post them here - give me a day or two, I'll squeeze in a dozen or more!
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; September 2nd, 2009 at 01:45 PM.
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    Ryukyo: Sea Dragon City map

    Here's my latest map, just finished this, this morning. This is my more digital style map. Software used: Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0 was used to create the landforms, the depth effect, and the brown lichen-like coral. The map was also composited in Xara. PD Particles was used to generate the seaweed/kelp and some of the sea grasses. Zbrush 1.13 was used to create much of the live coral and anemone like objects. Finally I 3D modeled the gate, most of the structures, some of the coral and some of the plants.

    This is supposed to be the site of the Ryu, or Sea Dragon King (god) of Kaidan, the gate is the entrance to the seamount lair of the Sea Dragon.

    Enjoy!

    GP

    GP's Fantasy Cartography & Illustration

    Link to larger file:
    Ryukyo - the Sea Dragon City map
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    A few things to note...

    A couple of points I haven't mentioned. Obviously, I create fantasy maps for RPG games. What you don't know is that I'm soon to become an RPG publisher with my own setting and adventure modules for both an introductory and planned long running campaign.

    Although I do some illustration myself, I am not a complete one man band. I am doing a collaborative publication with Dementia 5 Publishing House. I've created the setting, the story outline for the initial three adventure modules, some illustration, working as the primary game developer and the cartographer. However, I have two writers, one from Dementia 5, the other a freelance writer from Perth, Australia (I'm from the US.)

    I have also been commissioning art from three artists: Simon Turnbull, Jan Pospisil and Mark Hyzer, the latter is one is quite well known having painted illustrations for Magic the Gathering CCG.

    So I'm not just an artist, I am also art director, publisher and an employer of artists.

    My first product, adventure one, The Gift, for my Kaidan: a Japanese Ghost Story setting is scheduled for publication, Monday, September 14, 2009 - just around the corner. Several of my maps will be in each adventure.

    GP
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    Nice work Michael!
    Good variety of map content and I love all the little embellishments.

    Keep up the good work and I'll keep an eye out for new posts.
    Mike Schley Illustration and Design
    http://www.mikeschley.com
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    Celtic Slavers Map

    Thanks, Mike - hey, I don't see you at the Guild much these days, we miss you!

    OK, haven't posted in a couple weeks, but I've been working on a publication with writing, editing, art direction and map making for that, which will be published before I post anything major from it.

    Here's a map, just to get my mind off all the oriental flavored work I've been doing, something on the side just for fun.

    I call this the Celtic Slavers map. In a region primarily inhabited by Celtic peoples, the city of Ambrathas on the northwest coast is ruled by a council of sorcerers who have become slave masters, conquering neighbors and converting their population to indentured field workers. Lately however, the slave population is aging and not reproducing fast enough, so more slaves are needed.

    An explorer from Ambrathas, named Bran the Bold has discovered new Celtic peoples far to the east across the great mountain ranges and this map was created to aid slave traders in finding the source and bringing back slaves from there (Dernallion.)

    This map is completely hand-drawn, though the text labels and the Celtic knotwork border are digital fonts. The entire map was composited in Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0 - my software app of choice!

    Here's a link to a larger version of the map...
    Celtic Slaver's Map

    Enjoy!

    GP
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; October 13th, 2009 at 10:33 PM.
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    Yuleblood Map - December Mapping Challenge

    For the December Mapping Challenge at the Cartographers' Guild, the theme was "create an Orcish Christmas Map" - so I went overboard and first created a 14 stanza poem (tongue and cheek), then created 14 illustrations to accompany it in the style of a children's book with one stanza and illustration per page.

    I prefaced the poem/story with the following map, that describes the raiding trek of the orcs from their wasteland in the northwest corner moving in a clockwise path to each "nation" on the map. The map has a kind of "cartoony, yet realistic" look about it that matches the illustrations and content.

    Note the site location icons are huge and not to scale, as this is more to show what's at a given location, not so much as to proper scale - it was a fun design.

    Here's the map:

    GP's Fantasy Cartography & Illustration

    Here's a link to a larger version of this map!
    http://www.gamer-printshop.com/kaida...dmap-final.jpg

    Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

    GP
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