So I've been a bit busy the last week and a bit, which has slowed progress on my Oregon map. But I have managed to get a bit more done.
Here I've laid out the rivers and mountain ranges as well as the patchwork of land.
For the first couple of maps I made, when it came to the patchwork I just used a clipping mask to cut the edges, however at the end stage I like to drag the map into Photoshop to apply texture and do some overall colour tweaking and that creates a small problem.
If you select everything in your Illustrator file and drag it onto a document in Photoshop, it automatically converts it into a smart object. This allows you to change the size without losing quality, but Photoshop ignores clipping masks, which resulted in patches crossing over lines and such. So now I use pathfinder to actually clip the patches at the edges of the state and avoid clipping masks where I can (Oddly not all clipping paths are ignored. For example, I use clipping paths on the waves under the boats in my previous maps and those come through fine. *shrug*)
I've also been working on creating some unique assets. The bottom row are the ones that have been made for Oregon so far.It's kinda nice to see this AI file grow every time I create some more objects. I sorta hope to one day have a massive A1 size artboard filled with these little things.
The results of my time tracking have been a bit surprising. I spend a lot more time on each little asset than I expected, being able to get about 4 done in an hour. Overall, I've put in just over 14 hours on the map so far. Is that fast or slow? I haven't got a clue. Feels slow though.
Anyway, the next steps are adjusting the gradients on the mountains so they blend in with the ground colour they sit on, checking the edges of the rectangles to make sure they line up properly, and adding a bit more detail to the rivers.