Add texture to your map

In my last post I published a map made in the black and white city style from the 2010 annual. As I said in that post I am very fond of black and white maps and the style is both fun to work with and have a nice selection of buildings. However I think that the end result is a bit to white. Sometimes, if you have large white areas in the map the white tend to be a bit dazing. To fix this I like to add some texture to my Black and white maps. This will turn down the white areas in them.

If you look at the picture below you will see a part of my Ponte Portore map, as it comes out of City Designer 3.

As you can see in the picture the white areas are very white, at least I think so. To tone down the white I open up the map in Photoshop. In Photoshop I’m going to add a new layer with a texture, in this case I’m adding a paper texture by Coyotemax that I’ve acquired over at the cartographers guild. Because this is a Black and white map I’m converting the coloured texture into black and white. The layer should be on top of the actual map layer. Now you will only see the texture. Change the layer setting from normal to multiply. This will let you see the map layer through the texture layer. The result will look something like the picture below.

As you can see it will make the whole map very dark, too dark actually. So we have to fix that.
Create a new adjustment layer, Curves…. This layer should be the top layer in the map. With Curves you can adjust the light in the picture. You do this by changing the vertical line in the curves settings window. If you get too much light in the picture, don’t worry. You can easily fix that with the adjustment layers opacity setting.
After having done this the picture will look something like the example below.

As you can see in the picture the white is now toned down and you have a nice texture in the map.
I actually use some sort of texture in nearly all my maps. By doing that you get more of a feeling that  the map is hand painted. An that is usually the feeling I’m after.


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