Monday, October 1, 2012

Darlene Map Techniques

As reported by Havard's Blackmoor Blog, the old D&D setting forum The Piazza has recently been treated to the start of a Q&A thread with World of Greyhawk map creator and classic D&D illustrator, Darlene. As an artist myself, sometimes it's not enough to look at a piece of art; I also want to know how they made it. Darlene's most recent anecdote tells of how the Greyhawk maps were assembled on her drawing table, and I must say it really puts a perspective on how relatively easy and forgiving today's computer aided art can be. Her layering technique involving acetate and Pantone color sheets is some really old school printerly stuff. I'm not even sure Pantone makes adhesive color sheets anymore. While Darlene's method of producing full color maps may have been more common back then, it still bears alot in common with today's layered computer art except as she mentions there was no room for error. Gotta love it.

5 comments:

Mystic Scholar said...

Seems to me that you need to lasso Darlene into "the Ring of Five Questions." ;)

Mwahahahahahahaha!

Hedgehobbit said...

Do you understand what she's talking about? I sounds to me like she had a sheet of clear acetate with hexes printed on one sheet and then she had color and then her drawing. Like a sandwich. I just have a hard time imagining how it worked in practical terms. How do you line up the art with the hexes?

mortellan said...

It's possible it was as you describe, though I think she says in the thread she drew directly on the hex layer. The pantone sheets IIRC were meant to be cut with exacto knives and are like stickers so those would require a layer of their own. But the process is like layers on photoshop I'm sure.

JDJarvis said...

In the olden days we used to draw wit pencils and ink. Colors were separated onto different layers. You could fill in those colors with ink or to save time and be consistent you could use any number of products that you cut out the areas where the color wasn't. Most commonly there would be a layer for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black for full color work. For precision or colors that couldn't be duplicated well in CMYK there were different sets of industry recognized color sets: such as pantone.

mortellan said...

Thanks for the clarification JD! I myself still sport the pencil and ink method. My experience in color processes is still limited though so I'm always fascinated by these old methods.