View Full Version : Continent of Val'Gaard

05-24-2010, 02:40 PM
Hello everyone,

Here is my first attempt at the continent of Val'Gaard for my role playing group's setting. I have drawn on the immense knowledge and tutorial's of this site, incorporating a lot from Gidde's conversion of Ascension's Atlas Style. I have also learned a lot from RobA and his tutorials. I used Fractal Terrains, Wilbur and GIMP in the creation process. My next step will be to lay out the rivers. After reading numerous posts on this site, I decided to not rush the rivers as i don't want the River Police to come knockin' !!:D

05-25-2010, 04:05 AM
looks like a nice map from the thumb of it :) ... a little advice would be, upload your pictures in jpg format - for one thing jpg takes up much less space than bmp - and in addition to that - when you click on the photo in the viewer, if its a jpg it opens directly in the browser for easy viewing, whereas bmp has to be downloaded and opened in for instance photoshop :)

05-27-2010, 02:33 PM
I'll swithc to jpg on the next update :)

Would love some more feedback on the colors and general look to this continent. This is my first real map, I had attempted a satellite styled map previously but after looking over so many of the works out here, it seemed lack luster. Any comments/critique would be appreciated.

I have made my river mask and plan on drawing in the major rivers next and hope to have that done in next couple of days.

05-28-2010, 02:14 PM
Okay, I have brightened up the land areas and added Rivers. They are exagerated with the color here so that it is easy to see the river placement. In reality, I will change to multiply on that layer and fade it out.

To get an idea of the size of this continent it is similar to the size of North America.

Now that I have my rivers, I will be able to outline the political borders and label the countries! :)

05-28-2010, 02:23 PM
looks really good - and no river violations :) ... however when you lighten the rivers, remember to taper them making them start as thin lines and getting stronger as they meet up. The lands look very green and lush - maybe a little to green... all in all a really cool map - have some rep for your firsts postings :)

05-28-2010, 02:52 PM
Thanks Tilt!
Now I am reading about river tapering ;)
Also noticed I had moved a layer on accident creating a blurred coast, so fixing my last upload now!

05-28-2010, 08:35 PM
Nice layout of the land!

05-29-2010, 04:34 AM
This is looking really good. It is a bit green and might benefit from some "roughening up" like adding some not-so-grassy/green areas, although you certainly shouldn't get rid of the grass entirely in any area unless it's supposed to be barren. I like your mountains, although the rough land around it (which I assume area hilly regions) appears a bit too tiny-bumpy (wow, what great language there ^.^; ). Personally, the coastal shelf (or whatever) around the land in the ocean is a bit strong, especially as it surrounds all the land, not just portions. The rivers are well-placed although they appear to have lots and lots of curves set close together, but that might just be my perception (& I am certainly not that great at rivers myself - if you like them, by all means leave them). All in all, despite me critiques I am liking how this map is turning out. The overall colors are excellent and both the thumbnail and larger map look quite good. Oh, the ocean is especially good looking; you didn't live it out when giving this map some attention!

- Alizarine

06-06-2010, 04:11 PM
I fixed up the rivers and added some taper to them in this version. The first pic is with the rivers exaggerated, second pic is how subtle they will actually be.
Next step will be to roughen up the land color some, to get some not so green areas in the continent:)
Good tips so far, thank you for the comments!

06-06-2010, 04:32 PM
nicely tapered, but I feel the rivers get a little too week in the second map, so somewhere in between the two maps would be nice :)

06-06-2010, 05:21 PM
Great work! I'm particularly impressed by the realistic way the land gets stretched/curved near the pole. That's tough to pull off, and you've done so beautifully. As far as the rivers go, try taking your first version and changing the layer mode around. Multiply, grain merge and hard light are all modes that come out still noticeable, but not eye-popping.

06-11-2010, 04:10 PM
Here is my next version, I've worked on the colors for the land and worked in non-green areas on the map. I'm still not happy with the rivers, but wanted to put this up for comments on the land coloring, thanks.


06-12-2010, 12:16 AM
Touched up land coloring a bit here, and then did a bump on the rivers to give them a little bit of definition.

06-12-2010, 02:50 AM
still feel the rivers are a bit dampend... I would like them to "shine" a bit more - but that's my opinion :)

08-06-2010, 04:20 PM
Worked some more on the land colors again, and the rivers. Here is latest version:


08-06-2010, 04:38 PM
All I can say is that you might want to go with thinner rivers since this is at continental scale...unless they're are titanic rivers, then it's cool.

08-06-2010, 04:53 PM
I agree Ascension and will have to rework the rivers to be thinner.

What size do folks usually create their continental maps with?
This is roughly 1/4 of the overall world map and I used 4000 x 2000 for the size. Is that good?

08-06-2010, 05:59 PM
1 or 2 pixel solid line (don't cut out the land to show the ocean underneath, just make the line a dark or medium blue or teal).

09-17-2010, 04:43 PM
It's been a while since I last posted an update, but now is a good time. I've been busy with a lot of different elements in this map. I have reworked some of the colors and cleaned up a lot of the remnants that had crept in over time in this version. Redid the Rivers as suggested, where this is a continent, they were just too massive before. :) Most of the major areas have now been labeled. With regards to cities/towns/villages, I plan to only put capitals on this map. I finally am starting to like how this is shaping up and feeling better about my skills as they improve with time/practice. Thanks for any comments/critiques.

09-17-2010, 05:44 PM
That looks really outstanding. The rivers look much better now (easy to see, but not overpowering), and the color scheme is great. Repped.

09-18-2010, 02:38 AM
looks really good, you missed a drop shadow on wyldwood :) ... now throw in the capitols, a border and a compass and you're done :)

09-18-2010, 03:11 AM
Not bad att all! Though I smirked when I read "Halo mountains". It makes me think of a certain game franchise ;P

09-20-2010, 10:53 AM
Thanks for the comments guys!

09-21-2010, 12:15 PM
Yes, very pretty map, rep-worthy indeed.

Aval Penworth
09-23-2010, 10:50 AM
Hey! You know what might make this map look kinda epic?! If you gave the lables a bit of the "star wars" prologue perspective, to match the land. Whddaya reckon?

11-13-2010, 07:01 PM
Finally had the time and inspiration to name all the regions of the map! I have added a border and a compass rose and think I am close to finished.

I'm wondering if I label the major cities or if that would clutter up this continental map too much - thoughts anyone?

11-13-2010, 07:29 PM
With that much text already present it feels weird not to have any towns labeled. The overcrowding can be fixed by making the present text smaller but spaced out more.

11-16-2010, 07:56 PM
This map looks really good! I agree with ascension on the labeling. I also think the map would benefit from a different texture for the forests. great work!

11-19-2010, 01:15 PM
I have nothing to add beyond what Ascension and Sylok have already suggested. Just wanted to complement you on a very nice looking map so far Torius.


07-20-2011, 05:04 PM
I finally got back to this project and have made some updates to the labeling, I am very close now to be being finished.


07-20-2011, 05:13 PM
This looks very good. One negative: your coastlines and rivers look a bit jagged. Have you tried anti-aliasing them?