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View Full Version : My First Attempt - Continent Nytoga



Mancer
05-13-2010, 01:30 AM
Welp, here's the first map that I've really tried to show anyone else. The tutorials (namely Ravells' and Soixante's) gave me some great stuff to start with, and hopefully I went "in the right direction."

I'm going to post this WIP as I go. My eventual goal is to have a polished terrain map, a social-political map (of sorts), some trade route maps, and maybe even a couple detailed maps of the capitol cities (which intimidates me greatly). This project is to set the groundwork for a fantasy webcomic I have in the works. The story of the comic is going to be following several different people, from different sides of a war for space and resources. So, here's the first day's work on the basics of the continent.

This is the northern half of Nytoga. The watermass in the middle is a massive saltwater lake (a trapped sea, from when two continents collided ages ago). The southern portion of Nytoga reverts to mostly uninhabited desert.

I figured I'd go ahead and post what I have now for some constructive criticism before I go much farther.

alizarine
05-13-2010, 01:44 AM
That is one beautiful map. I'd definitely say you're going in the right direction! The highlight on the mountains feels a bit white/clean and gives them a very slight plastic-y look just where the highlights are. Gorgeous shapes, fantastic mountains. It's just that highlight. Also, along the coastlines in the water there's a lighter "boarder" with a rather hard cut-off line. That kinda looks out of place on such a well- (but not over-) blended map. Other than those two minor points, this is a gorgeous map. The colors are well-chosen and everything works together really well. The water looks really nice too; personally the light looks like a spotlight a bit, but the color you chose is great. Dunno what to suggest about that semi-spotlight-effect, since the colors and lighting are nice and the texture is just great. Probably just leave it alone, actually - it looks fine, it's really just my personal preference. Keep this up; love to see more.

- Alizarine

Steel General
05-13-2010, 06:48 AM
This is quite nice...couple of things that 'jumped out at me'


The texture on the water seems a bit overwhelming to me, you might consider toning it down a bit.
In the southeast you have what appears to be a river going from coast to coast. As a member of the 'River Police' I would be remiss in not pointing out that this doesn't normally happen. Of course if you have a reason for it, then just ignore this.

Keep up the good work.

arsheesh
05-13-2010, 10:17 AM
First the praise. Nice overall landmass shape. The color palette is very nice, and the blending of colors in the land and on the mountains is particularly good. All in all this is an excellent beginning to a first map. Next the critique. The "crumpled paper" sea texture is, as Steel General mentioned, too prominent, it could definitely be toned down a bit. Conversely, the sea shelf surrounding the continent and its islands is not textured, or at least blended, enough. Up close the shelf looks like a lighter blob of color plopped down over the sea texture. I would recommend that you try to give the sea bumps texture surrounding the islands and land a bit more emphasis (e.g. more height). Likewise, I would try gradually blending the lighter hue with the darker to try to give the impression that the land is gradually emerging out of the depths of the ocean floor.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Rythal
05-13-2010, 06:34 PM
In the southeast you have what appears to be a river going from coast to coast. As a member of the 'River Police' I would be remiss in not pointing out that this doesn't normally happen. Of course if you have a reason for it, then just ignore this.


It seems to me that that is an inland sea (can the OP confirm this?), in which case it is perfectly acceptable to have a river going from it to the ocean.

as for the map, great job

Mancer
05-13-2010, 06:53 PM
Alright, did a little bit more work today, and also worked on separating out the major nations that make up the area (still working on the key, so bare with me). For basic clarification, until I do get the key done, the khaki and purple countries are the two at war with one another, with the blotches of greenish tan land around them being land that's in depute. Green, Brown, Red, and Blue are other countries (some allied with one side or another, some not) and the white regions at the bottom the desert area. The blue country has control of the bottom bit of the lake, not pictured.

As much as it pains me to say it ('cause separating the nations was a pain and a half) let me know if the borders don't make sense, please. They're not set in stone and I'd rather be told "oh, that looks like a dead donkey" now then farther down the line.


...the coastlines in the water there's a lighter "boarder" with a rather hard cut-off line. That kinda looks out of place ... personally the light looks like a spotlight a bit...
The original intent of the "spotlight" area was to help convey a bit of the roundness. I've added the longitude and latitude lines.. not sure if it helps, hinders, or makes the lighting look even more out of place. I actually fussed with the water for a long time (I couldn't figure out what I did to make the "border" in the first place until I actually got a full nights sleep... heh.) but I think it's looking a bit better now.




The texture on the water seems a bit overwhelming to me, you might consider toning it down a bit.
In the southeast you have what appears to be a river going from coast to coast. As a member of the 'River Police' I would be remiss in not pointing out that this doesn't normally happen. Of course if you have a reason for it, then just ignore this.

I agree on the water. It was over done. I think I was trying for a hand drawn old map and a satellite image at the same time. Not my goal image. I calmed it down some, blued it up more.
I'm not really sure what you're pointing to in the south east... I do have those three major rivers coming off of the mountains, but they're not intersecting. Maybe I should pull away the mountains some? In the Nations map it might be a little clearer. On the southwest side I have the one river running from the "giant lake" (yes, I need to come up with a name for it) and going to the ocean. Not appropriate, maybe? I'm definitely not as experienced as I would like to be in geography, so any advice would be appreciated.


...the sea shelf surrounding the continent and its islands is not textured, or at least blended, enough. Up close the shelf looks like a lighter blob of color plopped down over the sea texture. I would recommend that you try to give the sea bumps texture surrounding the islands and land a bit more emphasis (e.g. more height). Likewise, I would try gradually blending the lighter hue with the darker to try to give the impression that the land is gradually emerging out of the depths of the ocean floor.

I tried adding more "island texture" around some of the masses, and I'm not completely sure if the effect works enough to spend hours on it... and I'm not exactly sure of the effect you're going for. Could you point me to someone else's map or a google map that shows what you're trying to describe?

Thanks so much for all the help already everyone!

Mancer
05-13-2010, 06:58 PM
It seems to me that that is an inland sea (can the OP confirm this?), in which case it is perfectly acceptable to have a river going from it to the ocean.

as for the map, great job

First, thank ya =)

Yeah, the watermass in the middle is an inland sea, with the only connection to the ocean being that little river. I was playing with the idea of shrinking the image until I could show all of the lake and its surrounding desert, but I feel like that would take away from the focus of the image, which is the two "main character" nations.

arsheesh
05-13-2010, 08:09 PM
Hey Mancer, this map is progressing nicely! As for my earlier comment, by toning down the sea bumps and adding consecutive graded hues of blue you have managed to achieve the sense of height that I was referring to (in fact, your sea shelves loos somewhat like what you would expect to find on an atlas style map). Great job, and have some rep for such a great beginning.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Steel General
05-14-2010, 08:41 AM
Ooops my bad, I meant SouthWEST and since the body of water in the center is an inland see, you can just ignore my comment about the river.

Mancer
05-24-2010, 11:00 PM
Haven't had as much time to work on things as I would like, and dealing with tiny edits always drive me batty...

I started making the most recent to be my trade routes map; I figured having the lighter middles would make it easier, but still wanted the different nations to be visible. When I went to change the layers up there were some funky artifacts between the edges of the territories and around the rivers, so its been a lot of little fixes. See some of edges did change a little bit to make things clearer, I hope.

Oh, and some points for everybody for helping me so far. =)

Next I"m going to work on putting names to everything and getting some Keys in.

alizarine
05-25-2010, 02:17 AM
I really like both these maps - I personally like the 2nd one better, and those colors are excellent. Not too bright, but not too dull ^.^ Looking forward to seeing the names - you've got plenty of space to name quite a bit of stuff there (although of course what you label is up to you ^.^) Liking the way the sea and land "blend", but in such a way that it's easy to differentiate the two. Neither one commands too much attention, so no one will lose the labeling in the water or in heavy geographic features or something. Looking forward to seeing those labels!

Mancer
05-25-2010, 07:00 PM
You're wish is my command, Alizarine!

...or something.

Been feeling under the weather, so it was the perfect excuse to glue myself to my computer and work on the names of all the countries and major cities.

I debated writing all the names in "English," but putting it all in their individual nations' letting systems would also make it less than functional for me in the long term. (I'm also ignoring the whole, since Dasimoncia and Fenja are at war, there's be issues with "who wrote the map" and all that.) So, I took an idea from Google and did both the "native tongue," along with a readable translation or transliteration for the reader.

I saved this one at a larger resolution than the others, since there are lots of names. Please feel free to rip into any/everything. I'm not 100% sure about the key... is it important to note different countries colors if they're labeled in the map itself? Are there other things that I should be noting in the key that would add to it that I've forgotten?

Thanks for all the help so far folks

Rythal
05-25-2010, 09:22 PM
looks like this is coming along very nicely. At the moment, my only complaint is that Osar is coloured blue. My geography teacher always said "never colour in land blue on your maps". It looks to much like the water.

All in all, though, I absolutely love the style.

As to the Key, while i dont usually label my nations in the key, I think it is good to keep it like you have it, what with having deserts and unclaimed land as well.

alizarine
05-28-2010, 01:43 AM
Thanks for the labels ^__^ looks absolutely fantastic. I do agree with Rythal about the "nation colored blue" thing (as well as how nicely this is coming along), and actually the key is a good idea. Quick list of nations & people looking for a specific nation can see the color and find the nation easily. Looks like there are 3 x's down at the bottom sorta over to the right that are (still) black - are those supposed to be red, or do they mean something other than "destroyed city" (there's no black x's on the key, so just wondering). All-in-all, however, this looks excellent.

- Alizarine