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Artwork Culsu's Art & Maps

The Northern Hemisphere - Commission

Culsu

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This one has been four years in the making. It originially started out just as a regional map for the Kingdom of Castitia, and eventually spiralled into half a dozen regional maps, then a combination of those PLUS three more regions. The original exceeds a size of 16K x 7.5K pixels; this one obviously has been reduced and is a bit larger than a third of that. Building this world (well, it's northern half) together with the client over the years has been a real treat, and now I can finally share the combined piece with all of you. Inspirations were obviously taken from real world cultures by my client.

And now I'm looking forward to eventually draw the southern half of the globe...

 

gral

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Aug 15, 2019
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Saw this one on DeviantArt, can't wait to see the southern hemisphere as well.
 
Aethandria (Wonderdraft)

Culsu

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I recently realized that I had tucked away Wonderdraft on my harddrive and started up the program after a long hiatus. I did the base map in a really short time, then used another day to retouch it in Photoshop, to a surprisingly good result, in my opinion. Given the relative speed in which I was able to complete this, I've been thinking about adding another category to the commissions I offer.

So, if you want a colored map, but don't want to spend the kind of money that usually comes with such a project and are willing to accept the stylistic limitations that come with a program like Wonderdraft, this might be an option for you. I think I may structure it like this: Wonderdraft-based map --> Wonderdraft-based map with additional custom Photoshop work --> custom Photoshop map.

I'll also create a few more maps to be sold as a bundle on DriveThruRPG.

 

Bear Ribs

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Dec 25, 2019
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I recently realized that I had tucked away Wonderdraft on my harddrive and started up the program after a long hiatus. I did the base map in a really short time, then used another day to retouch it in Photoshop, to a surprisingly good result, in my opinion. Given the relative speed in which I was able to complete this, I've been thinking about adding another category to the commissions I offer.

So, if you want a colored map, but don't want to spend the kind of money that usually comes with such a project and are willing to accept the stylistic limitations that come with a program like Wonderdraft, this might be an option for you. I think I may structure it like this: Wonderdraft-based map --> Wonderdraft-based map with additional custom Photoshop work --> custom Photoshop map.

I'll also create a few more maps to be sold as a bundle on DriveThruRPG.
I gotta confess, this one doesn't tickle me. I'm not entirely sure what, perhaps that there's only two lakes or the lack of adventure paths. It seems like a decent world map but not a decent map for an RPG or quest, if that makes any sense.
 

Culsu

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I gotta confess, this one doesn't tickle me. I'm not entirely sure what, perhaps that there's only two lakes or the lack of adventure paths. It seems like a decent world map but not a decent map for an RPG or quest, if that makes any sense.
Totally makes sense. For me it was just a decent way to explore Wonderdraft after having it tucked away on my harddrive for ages, to see what I can do with it maybe as a base to expand on later in Photoshop. I'm currently working on another map where I used my own custom assets in Wonderdraft and am now doing the rest in Photoshop.

Again, the program does have its problems (clipping issues with custom assets, for one) and limitations, but if you're willing to do some upfront work (ie. create your own assets for it) it's a really impressive way to streamline some of the usually more tedious and time-consuming steps involved with map-making.

Base exported from Wonderdraft on Thursday. Image quality isn't that great since it's from uploads on my FB page.


Did some fine-tuning and now have the map in Photoshop.
 

Culsu

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Still working on my #wonderdraft map with my first custom assets (hey, I hate having unfinished maps in my work folders ) since I was really positively surprised at how much I could speed up the mapmaking process when combined Wonderdraft + Custom Assets + Photoshop. I'm going for a mix of northern European and colonial themes.

That being said, I've started working on a whole slew of custom assets, most of which I'll eventually offer on DriveThruRPG and CartographyAssets. Down below is a screenshot of *part* of the list I'm working on. The points in yellow are the ones already completed. Each one consists of 31 handdrawn custom mountains, fully colored and shaded. And they work! I'll keep you posted, hopefully with some screenshots then.

 
Wonderdraft to Photoshop work process example

Culsu

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Diving into Wonderdraft really has proven to be a godsend. With some preliminary custom assets I've been able to greatly streamline my work process without much of a decrease in quality (especially with fully overhauled, clearer custom assets underway). Below you can see the three stages that I saved for this project.

Image one is what Wonderdraft gave me. Up front work here was creating the water texture, and the mountain and tree assets.

Image two represents the fine tuning in Photoshop of the textures, most of the shading, and placement of additional terrain features I wasn't comfortable with in Wonderdraft.

Image three is the final map, with custom features added and refined in Photoshop!
 
The Continent of Lórand

Culsu

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Spanning from snowy highlands and endless cold forests in its north to the rolling, wandering dunes of the Nanditan Desert in the south, the continent of Lórad is home to a multitude of realms of men, elves, dwarfs and other races, ranging from powerful kingdoms seeking to dominate to small communities content to live in peace with their immediate neighbors. Magic runs strong through the lands, and gates to realms of sidhe and the underworld alike can be found on focal points across the continent. Flanked in the north by the icy realms of Scandar, and the teeming jungles and grand deserts of Isthalan in the south, Lórand lacks neither danger nor opportunity.

This is the culmination of my current efforts with custom-made assets in #Wonderdraft, and the result is pretty much indistinguishable from a fully custom hand-drawn map to me.

 
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The Witcher Map

Culsu

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The Witcher 3 has been one, if not the all-time favourite game in my library, and the crowning finale of the trilogy of games that I've been playing for more than ten years. I never really got around to draw a map of the continent, though, getting bogged down, then losing focus, then having a thousand other things on my plate. But with the second season of the Netflix show around the corner (and hopefully it'll be better than the first season, which in my opinion was saved and carried on the shoulders of Henry Cavill and Anya Chalotra alone) I dug up the file and finally finished my take on the setting.

 
The Crusader Lands -- Commission

Culsu

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I was recently given the opportunity to recreate a small part of Atallas, one of my older maps that's still one of my favourites. Writer Aidan Hennessy asked me to bring the Crusader Lands to live, a region smack in the middle between a vast desert in the north and extensive mountain ranges in the south, dominated by lush jungles and wide plains. He didn't have to ask twice!

The map was the first commissioned piece done in my mixed Wonderdraft/Photoshop style (trees & mountains in Wonderdraft made from custom assets, everything else and post-processing done in Photoshop), which allows for the benefits of getting a full color map at a greatly reduced rate!

 

Culsu

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Damn, you even included the shadow that the planets would throw! Most artist would ignore that.
To be honest, I saw that on some screenshots for the game Falling Frontier (in development, looks really cool) and it was an eye opener. It adds so much atmosphere to the whole composition, and is a really easy fix.
 
Dusktown - Free City Map

Culsu

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Get it for free here!

Adventure awaits! Travel to the cozy streets of DUSKTOWN, a well-defended, mid-sized trade settlement ruled by the Barons if Craithe. Commerce moves across the river and along the eastern road, wjere bandits and river pirates ply their trade. Weird lights and noises echo from the Hundredfold Caverns to the south-west. The Ruined Tower at the edge of the forest is said to be haunted. The grave diggers speak in hushed tones of strange sights between the crypts at dawn. And there is a whisphered rumor making the rounds in the smal roads off the boulevard that the dead of Hangman’s Hill will rise with the new moon to have their revenge on the living.

Dusktown is a high-quality, colored town map that you can use as an easy means to set up an adventure or bolster your campaigns. The example labels are for a Dungeons and Dragons setting, however additionally to that version this package also provides you with versions without labels, without labels and the sigil, and completely without any decorations at all. Additionally you get each version as a day & night version.

 
Commission Info

Culsu

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The rates displayed below concern projects for private use, ie. for your tabletop group or for VTT use without the intent to publish them for financial gain. If you want a map for a commercial project, be advised that by my FAQ and Terms & Conditions the base price increases by 30%

Projects demanding larger sizes and/or more details – and thus, more work – will be priced accordingly. Prices are derived from the average expected working hours on the project. In either case, please go ahead and contact me with details for a personal quote adjusted for your project.

 

WolfBear

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Dec 18, 2021
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Parchment-style map I finished recently for E.M. Leander and her new book. It's a Roman-inspired settingthat was a joy to work on, especially the small location cut-outs.

I hope that you got generously compensated for your work! I myself could unfortunately never personally make maps as beautiful as these ones. :(
 
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