Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation to create, for example, a more autumnal or wintery look.. You can also go back later on to add in new locations, or fill in place names as the PC’s discover other regions. You might also like white out areas of the map that are not yet known to the PC’s, and simply fill them in later on, or even have another GM only layer which you can simply hide when printing or emailing your map for your players, but which could hold information on encounters, enemy armies, bandit hideouts and the like. finishing touches? You’ll probably want to name your cities, landmarks and so on. Head to dafont. com and search for some nice free fantasy-ish fonts. Happy with one? Great - you can use the text tool to drop these wherever you might need. I actually prefer to use a vector based editor such as Illustrator (expensive!) or Inkscape (free!) for this, as I find their handling of fonts to be more intuitive, so play around and see what works best for you. I also grabbed a little compass rosetta from the internet to drop in - if it has a white background remember you can set the blending mode of that layer to multiply, as we did for the ‘Lines’ layer, and only the black parts of the image will appear, saving you a lot of time erasing white backgrounds! I also grabbed some parchment paper to use as a background. The finished piece? For something that shouldn’t take more than an 45 minutes, once you’re familiar with the tools, I’m quite happy with this. While discussing all the finishing techniques I applied here in detail is beyond the scope of this article brief summary follows: I faded the edges of the original map by feathering the edges of a border selection, and frayed the edges of the parchment
using the lasso selection tool. I also changed the opacity of the map layer to 75% to allow some of the parchment to show through - you can change this to taste. You may also notice that I added a drop shadow to some of the coastal lines to add some further depth to the landmasses.
So, why bother with all this when a sketch and some colouring pencils would probably do? There are several benefits, not least of which is having an undo button! Another benefit of having your map on a computer is flexibility - you can later change the hue of the colour layer by clicking
In any case, I hope that you have found this tutorial useful, and that it was easy enough to follow for a beginner. There is an absolute wealth of further information available online, and if nothing else I hope I may have inspired some of you to dabble in this area, as I have always found it a useful and extremely rewarding experience.
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