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Diamond
05-31-2010, 03:15 AM
I was bored today and just wanted to do something for fun, so I came up with this, a portion of a continent split by some ancient cataclysm, forming a sea rift in the middle. Too dangerous for regular sea-borne trade and travel due to unpredictable currents, storms, etc, lighter-than-air travel is used widely - hot air balloons, primitive zeppelins and biplanes.

Here's some preliminary work on the layout. I'm not sure how I'm going to go with this yet, either a 'painterly' style or more atlas-like. I guess I'll just have to see what develops.

tilt
05-31-2010, 03:17 AM
Great beginning - but a single thing made me think - if ships can't pass due to storms, can hot air ballons? Even painterly hot air ballons? ;)

Diamond
05-31-2010, 03:25 AM
Probably with difficulty... :D I guess I should've mentioned that in most places, the Rift is a mile or more deep, and acts like a funnel, combined with a pressure differential, makes the weather down at sea level very unpleasant, while above it's not quite as bad, allowing air traffic. Better? :)

tilt
05-31-2010, 03:29 AM
lots - then an airbridge will be in order - nay a must! ;)

Diamond
05-31-2010, 03:31 AM
I was thinking about adding in a massive bridge or two at different points - maybe relics left over from an earlier age. We're talking bridges so long and wide that they're their own independent countries.

tilt
05-31-2010, 03:41 AM
then you need us Danes, we're good at bridges ;)

Connection between Sealand and Fyn 6790 m ~ 4,2 miles [PIC (http://i19.tinypic.com/54lzsl1.jpg)]
Connection between Denmark and Sweden 15900 m ~ 9,9 miles [PIC (http://www.roskildefreden.dk/files/roskildefreden/zgroskilde.jpg)] I cross this one when I drive to work
Connection between Denmark and Germany 19000 m ~ 11,8 miles (being built) [PIC (http://images.erhvervsbladet.dk/node-images/5/650x/5292-femern-broen-bliver-en-pengemaskine--.jpg)]

All of those length does however cover some landbased stretches, so its not all "high-bridges" :)

Sapiento
05-31-2010, 03:52 AM
Cool idea!

Diamond
05-31-2010, 06:02 AM
then you need us Danes, we're good at bridges ;)
Well, I live in the San Francisco area, and we've got a few bridges here too. :D Including the San Mateo Bridge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Mateo_Bridge), the 25th longest in the world.


Cool idea!
Thanks!

jwbjerk
05-31-2010, 10:23 AM
Interesting start.

Diamond
05-31-2010, 07:40 PM
Put in the mountains and started adding rivers. As usual, forests are going to kill me. I think I may just use a real subtle green pattern/highlight in forested areas so they don't overwhelm everything else like they usually do...

Ascension
05-31-2010, 08:54 PM
Dude, that looks spectacular so far.

jwbjerk
05-31-2010, 08:55 PM
The bright yellow is plains, and the bright orange is desert?
If so, an awful lot of your rivers and/or river branches seem to be born from low rainfall areas.

Diamond
05-31-2010, 10:06 PM
Dude, that looks spectacular so far.
Thanks, O Master. :D

The bright yellow is plains, and the bright orange is desert?
If so, an awful lot of your rivers and/or river branches seem to be born from low rainfall areas.
Correct.
Yeah, I need to go back and correct that, especially on those large central plains which are very dry, except where that large river cuts through from the northern mountains.

pasis
06-01-2010, 02:31 AM
This sure looks great. Yeah it would be great to have a river(s) crossing desert or arid areas spreading life to a very narrow strip. As you said, you need to be careful with the forests not to overwhelm the mountains especially. Repped

Jaxilon
06-01-2010, 02:40 AM
Looking good Diamond. I look forward to seeing you finish this.

tilt
06-01-2010, 03:47 AM
Looking really good D - great mountains and rivers :)

Diamond
06-01-2010, 04:03 AM
A smallish update. I am so in love with TheImperial's SLUG map that I decided to try and do the text on this similar to the way he did his (hope he doesn't mind! :D). I also fixed a couple of the rivers in that plains section, and added the rest in. It's a pretty arid, land all around, so there's not too many large rivers, and not too many forests (still trying to come up with a good way of doing those). I also experimented a bit with city icons - what do you guys think of them? Yay or meh?

tilt
06-01-2010, 04:08 AM
I like the colors, but I'm not sure I like the shape - its almost a perfect circle and then not ... I'd rather see a true circle I believe :)

Diamond
06-01-2010, 04:11 AM
I like the colors, but I'm not sure I like the shape - its almost a perfect circle and then not ... I'd rather see a true circle I believe :)

Urr? Is confused.

tilt
06-01-2010, 04:17 AM
it looks like the circles are a little off - not quite round

bambua
06-01-2010, 08:52 AM
I love this map so far, the mountains look especially good!

PokealypseNow
06-01-2010, 01:38 PM
A smallish update. I am so in love with TheImperial's SLUG map that I decided to try and do the text on this similar to the way he did his (hope he doesn't mind! :D). I also fixed a couple of the rivers in that plains section, and added the rest in. It's a pretty arid, land all around, so there's not too many large rivers, and not too many forests (still trying to come up with a good way of doing those). I also experimented a bit with city icons - what do you guys think of them? Yay or meh?

Thanks for the compliments, Diamond.

I like the icons. Probably I'd make the star a little bit darker to match the border - it's easier to see that way.

I really, really dig your mountains. I'm trying hard to get mine to look as cool as yours but it just isn't working out too well yet.

Diamond
06-01-2010, 08:45 PM
Oh, I see what you guys are saying. Yeah, the icons are a little more oval than they should be; my initial circle was lopsided. :D I'll do some further experimentation.

@TheImperial: I used a modified version of Pasis' mountain technique; the bevel/emboss settings are substantially altered, sometimes even in the same chain they vary from place to place. The pattern is from a photo of a random cracked stone surface, although I had to change the scale & depth to get it to look right.

Diamond
06-02-2010, 02:35 AM
Another update: Added in all country names, tried out a better city/capital icon, and added in borders. I'm not really liking those borders, to be honest; I like 'em better as the muted gray color I had earlier. The problem with that is that they don't show up at all over the mountains. Meh. I'll experiment more with that.

tilt
06-02-2010, 02:45 AM
I'm reluctant to point out that the star doesn't look centered in the capital icon :) ... the city icon still looks a bit oval. I think the borders are nice, but a lot more dominating than the grey ones - perhaps you could make them a little thinner?

Diamond
06-02-2010, 02:49 AM
Ah, good point on thinning out the borders; I'd used a 3 pixel brush originally, which was fine when they were just a light gray. Maybe I'll try it with a 1-pixel and see what it looks like.

As for the roundness of the icons... well, I used the standard hard round 60-pixel PS brush and just sized it up to 150 pixels do the detail work before shrinking it back down again for placement. So if it's lopsided, it's Photoshop's fault, not mine. :D

tilt
06-02-2010, 02:53 AM
LOL ... I would probably have made a round selection and filled it - but perhaps you've let go of shift when you scaled it down? ;)

Eilathen
06-02-2010, 09:38 AM
Man, you can't make a bad map, can you?! :D ;)

As always, great work. Will you fill it with history for us to read? Or is it more a map-map (yeah, sounds silly, i know, but i think you know what i mean ^^ )?

Boslok
06-02-2010, 12:17 PM
Awesome map Diamond, excellent use of colors it feels as if it has a very light touch about it.

Diamond
06-02-2010, 02:43 PM
@Tilt: I used a filled selection originally, but my eyes are bad and I'd had too much to drink, hence the lopsided-ness. :D This new one looks even to me. The star is centered; I think what you're seeing is a more prominent black left edge to the circle - a result of a bevel that didn't show up too well when I placed the icons. I'll work on 'em some more.

@Eilathen: Thanks! :D As for history of the world, I started this just as a 'map map' (I know what you mean), but the more I work on it, the more ideas I get for it. I've started jotting down some notes, and I'll post them when I put up the finished map... which might be a while, because the damn forests are killing me.

@Boslok: thanks!

Eilathen
06-02-2010, 04:54 PM
... I started this just as a 'map map' (I know what you mean)...


:D



... but the more I work on it, the more ideas I get for it. I've started jotting down some notes, and I'll post them when I put up the finished map...


Cool. Looking forward to it.
And if i might be so bold - would you be willing to share the finished psd-file? The lay of the land really fits with what i envision for a certain manhwa (korean comic) inspired game i wanted to play (for the curious: i read Chunchu and i liked the underlying story of it. But as so often the case, comic-artists do not bother with providing maps for their worlds...which is kind of a shame imho).

Oh and rep-d.

tilt
06-03-2010, 01:36 PM
yep yep.. I, as always, respect your choices - even the drunken and tired ones *lol* ... and remember there are to kinds of alignment - "mathematical" and "optical" ;)
And get on with that map - my exam is done and I'm ready to critique ;)

arsheesh
06-03-2010, 06:13 PM
Diamond this map is simply stunning! First off, I love the way that you have narrowly framed the map. The eye is drawn inward to the center of the piece. Second, you've done just a wonderful job on those mountains and rivers. I'm definitely going to keep my eyes on this one.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Diamond
06-06-2010, 08:08 PM
I think I nailed down the forests; like I said earlier, this is a pretty dry place, so there's not many forests to begin with. Do they look subtle enough? Too subtle?

Also added in the rest of the cities (the ones that will be shown, anyway), some more names, and two big-ass bridges across the Rift.

pasis
06-07-2010, 01:43 AM
In my opinion the forests are bit too subtle and transparent. Could you add a bit more body to them keeping the texture size in its minimum and post a sample? I ask it because it could well be that stronger forest is a bad choice (but I would like to see it myself :) ). Anyway even as this is now it is really great.

Diamond
06-07-2010, 02:05 AM
I'll work on it tomorrow after I get home from work; too late and too tired to do much tonight. :D Right now all the forests are are pattern-stamped, and the layer's blend mode changed to soft light; I wonder if I put a drop shadow in there how that would look...

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

pasis
06-07-2010, 02:19 AM
I would not recommend drop shadow as the forests should not have one in this scale. But if you try it, dropshadow should be kept very small. For blending mode, try using multiply and add a new adjustment layer (exposure as multiply will make the forest too dark) on top of your forest and make it as clipping mask to affect only the forest layer.

tilt
06-07-2010, 04:22 AM
agree with pasis - the forest is a bit to subtle... and I'm not sure about the bridges - I liked the idea you had with the ballons and perhaps brave sea captains. And with seas like that, building such huge bridges would be almost impossible (especially some with width like a town)... So, if there should be bridges, I think they are made by magic, which could make them thin (but strong) and even then all the magicians of the land gathered to create them - perhaps eons ago... or you could have a bridge made by an earlier civilization, but now broken down due to weather and wear...

Diamond
06-07-2010, 02:31 PM
Hmm. I just noticed something weird, tilt. When I view the city icons on my home computer, the one I created them on, they look perfectly spherical. But on my work PC, they DO look slightly egg-shaped, narrower horizontally than they are vertically.

jwbjerk
06-07-2010, 02:48 PM
Hmm. I just noticed something weird, tilt. When I view the city icons on my home computer, the one I created them on, they look perfectly spherical. But on my work PC, they DO look slightly egg-shaped, narrower horizontally than they are vertically.

Sounds like your two monitors have different aspect ratios. In other words one of these monitors has pixels that are more rectangular than square --- at least at your current resolution settings.

If you can't fix this by adjusting your resolution, or you don't want to change your resolution, in newer versions of photoshop you can make the display it compensate for non-square pixels.

It's under the View menu: Pixel aspect ration

Diamond
06-07-2010, 08:25 PM
I thought it might be something like that, but I didn't know the techy newfangled name for it. :D

Diamond
06-12-2010, 08:29 PM
I tried out Pasis' suggestion for the forests, and I think it turned out fairly nice. Also added in many more place-names, etc.

Next step will be finishing up all those names, and then start work on the border.

tilt
06-13-2010, 02:43 AM
looking good... almost done I see :)

Diamond
06-13-2010, 02:56 AM
Getting there... I'm playing around with various border designs. I'm quite envious of the awesome job you did on your Mt. Kingdoms map border...

tilt
06-13-2010, 02:59 PM
ah, you flatterer you.. that old thing *lol* - I'm sure you'll do a heck of a job :)

PokealypseNow
06-17-2010, 02:46 PM
I tried out Pasis' suggestion for the forests, and I think it turned out fairly nice. Also added in many more place-names, etc.

Next step will be finishing up all those names, and then start work on the border.

Looking really good, Diamond!

Diamond
06-17-2010, 02:47 PM
Thank you, sirrah.

The-Somberlain
06-18-2010, 09:43 AM
Very nice...I like the colours, although they are a little bright for my taste. It seems like a nice place to have an adventure or two...