The Marauder's Map v5.2
That's right, another version of my Marauder's Map replica! I just can't seem to get over it, I wanted to create another pages and extend the v4 replica, but I ended up revisiting the entire prop. When I was working on version 4, I developed a project and a collection of tools to help me generate the pages. I turned those tools into the AAE Map Maker and used it to create this version of the map. The AAE Map Maker was developed for creating Marauder's Map pages, but it proved to be quite useful for any type of map or document - I used it to create my replica of Thorin's Map, and the Deed of Contract as well, and it worked brilliantly.
This version has much more pages than the previous ones, I designed a lot of new pages and included one last part from the movie, which I totally forgot in the all the previous versions - but more on that later. I also used a different paper than before... again.
All of my projects start with research. This time (it's the fifth version) there wasn't much that I could find online that I didn't see before. However, I was re-watching all the movies one day, and I noticed that I totally missed that the Marauder's Map makes a quick appearance in the Deathly Hallows Part 1. In the scene, Harry is watching Snape in the headmaster's office, so I fixed my mistake and now you can see that page in my replica as well:
Once the research was over, I started the designing process. I reused a lot of my designs from the previous version, because they were compatible with the AAE Map Maker workflow. Well, they are the reason the workflow is the way it is, the AAE Map Maker was developed from those pages, so it makes sense. Anyway, the idea is that you can use a toolbox to design your pages in black and white (quite simple) and then use an AAE project that will convert those designs into a printable page. It gives it an ink-written look, which is fully customizable and you can use two layers. It also generates infinite ultra HD parchment texture, so you can chain multiple pages together, and the connections are seamless.
Anyway, I revisited all the previous pages, got rid of my previous designs and designed a lot of brand new pages. I also had to tweak the overall layout of the prop, so that it wouldn't be just a loooong piece of paper, but something more intricate. I tried to use the opportunity of designing the pages myself to cover the remaining parts of the castle - the library, the Great Hall, the boathouse, Quidditch pitch ...
Version 5.2 vs 5.1
The latest version is v5.2 (above), but the previous version is 5.1 - for a month, that was the final version, but that was before I accidentally found the paper I was looking for. The difference between 5.2 and 5.1 is minimal, mainly just the paper and a little different render settings. The difference in paper is not only the color, but how authentic it feels when you hold the map in your hands. Before I made the final prop, I did a lot of test prints to establish the final look. I do this with all of my paper props, and it's always worth the time and money, because I can be sure that I'm printing the final prop with the best settings possible. These are the test prints I did with a regular white paper for version 5.1:
The paper I used for v4 seemed a little too dark, that's why I tried experimenting with the white paper... however, the regular white paper just wasn't good enough for me - that's why I decided to keep looking and that's why v5.2 now exist. Anyway, here are more images of v5.1 printed on regular white paper:
Version 5.1 vs 5.0
Before v5.1, there was v5.0 - so, what's the difference here? There are two very distinctive differences. The first one is a multipage Hogwarts grounds design - the v5.0 version had the original design twice (yep, the same design). This was deliberate, because it made the two pages interchangeable when each side of the map was opened on a different 'level'. However, after I finished the prop, I decided that I wanted to create something more unique. I originally intended to create the map of the entire castle as a page, just like the rest of the designs, but I left the idea open for the time when I decide to create version 6. Once I saw the final prop, however, I realized that the castle map would fit perfectly in place of the duplicate design, so I went for it.
Just in case it's still not clear - the original design is present in both v5 and v5.1, the difference is that v5.0 uses the design twice. On top of that, I also drastically redesigned one of my own v5.0 page designs:
This page was not present in the previous version (v4), but it contains a part that was in the movie - the Headmaster's Office. This part was featured in one of my previous v4 page designs, but i've decided to get rid of it and design a completely new page around it. The first version of the v5 page is on the left. I wasn't quite pleased with the final look, so for the v5.1, I completely redesigned it. You might have noticed that I was aiming for a look similar to the Half Blood Prince page with the seventh floor corridor. I like the compass rose on that page, so I created a new one with similar design for this page - it's not the same design component.
I always love to create new pages for the map, so it's entirely possible that this is not the last version. Especially now when I put together the AAE Map Maker, which makes the design process much easier. Putting the final prop together is still a loooooot of work, but I think that the final result speaks for itself. If you're interested, I also created the version of the map that insults Severus Snape, with a few of my new ideas, so check it out!
If you're interested in a more detailed look at the piece, feel free to watch the demo video on my youtube channel, here it is: