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Watercolor Map design?

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#1
MapMedia

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Once in a while I get a request for an artistic map design. Today it is WATERCOLOR.
The budget does not permit hiring a real-live-authentic artist to do the job , so am wondering....

if anyone has a good example of a decent watercolor effect using Photoshop/Illy on a small scale map (US or World map).

:)

#2
frax

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I think you should look at Michael Reagan's work. One would be able to make a somewhat decent looking copy by using a backdrop with some effects/photoshop painting/smudges and then do the rest of the work in Illy on top.
http://www.new-work.com/mrthumb.htm
Hugo Ahlenius
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#3
MapMedia

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I think you should look at Michael Regan's work. One would be able to make a somewhat decent looking copy by using a backdrop with some effects/photoshop painting/smudges and then do the rest of the work in Illy on top.
http://www.new-work.com/mrthumb.htm



I will certainly try that. Yes, Regan has skill!! Thanks.

(No stopping Sweden in the playoffs!)

#4
DaveB

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I wonder what you could do with Photoshops Artistic filters? Maybe use those on a base map (minus most line work, points and text), then add the line work, points, and text after, possibly applying some effects to them as well.

If you do make a watercolor-like map it would be cool if you could post an image of the result. :)
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#5
Dennis McClendon

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That's what I did for a client a couple of years ago. I took the basemap layers into Photoshop and did a subtle job with the artistic filters, then brought that back into FreeHand and registered it with the labels on top. I'm sure you could do the same in Illustrator now that it supports images.

Posted Image
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#6
Nick Springer

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Not in color, but I tried to get a watercolor-y "bleed" around the coastlines in this map. It was done with various combinations of filters in Photoshop, with vectors overlaid in Illustrator.

Posted Image

Nick Springer

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#7
MapMedia

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Not in color, but I tried to get a watercolor-y "bleed" around the coastlines in this map. It was done with various combinations of filters in Photoshop, with vectors overlaid in Illustrator.


Oh I like that one a lot. Nice job!!

My client is thinking along the lines of this sort of work, which is hard to replicate digitally, but knowing the limitations, it should be doable for a small scale map.

#8
Adam Wilbert

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Here's an out there idea: How about using actual watercolors?! :P Don't get me wrong, watercolor painting takes incredible skill not just with the brush, but knowing how the paper will respond to the brush and pigment, so I don't want it to sound like I'm discounting any of the discipline that the medium requires. But if you're just looking for a simple color wash to add texture to the background, I'm sure a couple of paints and a half hour of experimentation would yield decent results. You could even simplify it to the point where you just do one wash in blue/green tones for water areas, and a separate wash in brown tones for land. Then scan those into the computer and get creative with your vector masks in Illustrator to separate them into their proper shapes.

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#9
Geographic Techniques

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I had played around with this a few years ago and this is what I came up with. It's map of Madison, WI created in ArcMap- B/W orthoimagery, WISCLAND land cover color raster overlay, vector street data, etc., and exported to a jpg. I then used Paint Shop Pro to add the watercolor effect. Frame it and it's almost a Monet! :lol: Fun stuff!

Attached File  msn_paint1200.jpg   527.31KB   137 downloads
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#10
MapMedia

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Here's an out there idea: How about using actual watercolors?! :P Don't get me wrong, watercolor painting takes incredible skill not just with the brush, but knowing how the paper will respond to the brush and pigment, so I don't want it to sound like I'm discounting any of the discipline that the medium requires. But if you're just looking for a simple color wash to add texture to the background, I'm sure a couple of paints and a half hour of experimentation would yield decent results. You could even simplify it to the point where you just do one wash in blue/green tones for water areas, and a separate wash in brown tones for land. Then scan those into the computer and get creative with your vector masks in Illustrator to separate them into their proper shapes.


I would try that but all my art stuff is packed for a big move.

Thanks for the idea! I was thinking to create a set of watercolor effects to use as backdrops, paint brushes for the oceans, etc.

#11
natcase

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The fundamental problem with trying to imitate brush strokes using GIS-derived linework, is that the shapes of the fundamental lines doesn't look like a hand-drawn line. Even the very nice Japan map Nick showed doesn't in the end look irregular enough. Very nice, but it clearly evokes rather than truly imitating watercolor work. Look at the irregularity of a drawn or engraved line; it's that slight twitchy blotchiness that makes it work.

No solutions here, mind you, just sayin'...

OK, one solution is to render the art in GIS/AI, and then bring it into Photoshop and redraw the whole thing (preferably with a tool like a tablet that gives you a sense of hand stroke). Seriously.

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#12
Dennis McClendon

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I also did a project a couple years ago where the client wanted to present a one-of-a-kind world map to the retiring CEO who had made it a global corporation. I started with a clip-art outline map, added the cities where the company had operations, and then had the file plotted onto "watercolor" paper. A former employee, who was quite talented with watercolor, then added various washes to the oceans and land masses, giving very vague hints of depths and elevations (nothing much more than putting a cordillera along the Andes, etc.). She then glued small jeweled beads over the city dots.


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#13
MapMedia

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I also did a project a couple years ago where the client wanted to present a one-of-a-kind world map to the retiring CEO who had made it a global corporation. I started with a clip-art outline map, added the cities where the company had operations, and then had the file plotted onto "watercolor" paper. A former employee, who was quite talented with watercolor, then added various washes to the oceans and land masses, giving very vague hints of depths and elevations (nothing much more than putting a cordillera along the Andes, etc.). She then glued small jeweled beads over the city dots.


Posted Image


Nice workflow there Denise. Especially printing on special paper.
I will be sure to post my finished product for all to see how a truly digital effect looks. Of course I will be hand tracing coastlines and borders here and there with brushes.

#14
mikeb226

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in my early days of design, we had a demo of a vector program called Expression. It attached brushes to vector strokes in a very artistic and unique way. You could easily do believable vector water colors. It was beautiful.

http://en.wikipedia....ouse_Expression

Unfortunately (or not) the company was bought out by Microsoft and they repackaged the program to work with rasters as well as their Expression Studio

http://www.microsoft...on/default.aspx

#15
frax

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Expression was mentioned a while ago - you can still download the last creature house version for free from microsoft.
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