9/24/2014

Free Map(s) 037: A Natural Obstacle

Free Map(s) 037: A Natural Obstacle
It has been far too long since I put a map up. I'd gotten some consulting work that kind of pushed some of the "fun stuff" out of the way for a while.

Of course it didn't help me losing my beautiful widescreen monitor either.....but at least I have a small backup until the new one arrives. I might be able to fix the old one, but if I do it'll have to find another good project, like a portable digital battleboard.

I wanted to create some shapes that I could pull out of the scan for use individually later. As this wild doodle of a map started coming together I decided to deliberately avoid filling large sections of the map. To me it looked like maybe a twisty series of paths running through a large amount of rock....maybe underground or a layer of a mountain. I did go in an backfill those sections, but I didn't try to tie it into the central series of paths.

Map037a "normal"
Map037a
After scanning it in I didn't do too much playing around in Photoshop. I just did my stippling, added a dirt background, and ported it over to Adobe Illustrator to smooth things out a bit for me. I really like the way AI takes and jumbles some things up, creating patterns I could never do by hand.

Map037b "inverted"
Map037b
On a whim I decided to re-do the Photoshop work and reverse everything. I thought some might like there to not be a series of paths so much as large irregular open spaces within the rock. You'll probably need to insert some secret doors or tunnels between the open spaces, or maybe the party has to break out the mining tools!

After AI was done I went in and removed the white space and saved them as PNGs so anyone that wanted to could simply overlay this on another background. I thought it would be way more useful than a simple JPG. The maps are 8.5" x 11" and saved at 300 DPI (the examples above are much smaller JPGs for viewing here on the site).

Since there are two maps I'll have to forgo my normal linking method. You can find Map037a here and Map037b here. If you end up using these maps, please let me know.