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Slylok
06-22-2010, 10:53 AM
Hello All,

This is the beginning of my first map of one continent in my small world. I'm creating it for use in a video game. It was created using Photo Shop. Before I go to the next step I was hoping to get everyone's input on it. I understand that rivers are difficult for beginners to make look convincing so I'm mainly worried about those. I used Old Guy's tutorial on breaking up the coastline and I'm pretty happy with the overall shape. I know this is just the first step, but since I'm new at this, I'd like to take it slow and gain as much input as I can on the road to the final product.

Critique away!

Slylok
06-22-2010, 10:58 AM
I was so excited about hearing everyone's input that i forgot to attach my map... Now im trying to figure out how to do it, lol. Do I first have to upload it to a website?

Thank you for the help:)

LonewandererD
06-22-2010, 10:59 AM
Hmmm, I have one problem with the map, I think you forgot to post it :)

EDIT: No sooner had I written this when you responded first. To attach a map go to edit post on your first post and then scroll down until you see "Go Advanced", click on that, then you should see a button further down the pgae that says "manage attachments", this allows you to upload maps.

-D-

tilt
06-22-2010, 11:38 AM
well, you're off to a good start, and here are some pointers
attachments are easier recieved in jpg - cause they show directly in the browser. And look in tutorials for a river guide - but basicly
1. rivers flow by the easiest route from high to low towards the ocean
2. the only merge, they don't split
3. they don't go from ocean to ocean (as this would require perfectly flat land - canals excepted)

Slylok
06-22-2010, 04:24 PM
That was some great advice Tilt. Those three tips really made sense and I was able to put the rivers where they should go instead of just randomly branching off.

In the first one I was painting the rivers going from the ocean into the land and painting the branching rivers going from the river into the land. Once i read your 2nd tip, i erased most of my rivers and repainted them. I made the main part of the river go from the land into the ocean and then painted the branches coming from the high ground into the main river. It worked so much better and i know it will pay off later on. I have a good idea where i want my mountain ranges so that is where most of the rivers are draining from.

Here is the finished alpha map. Ill be moving on to the next step now and Ill post it soon.

tilt
06-22-2010, 05:32 PM
looking much better... looking forward to seing more :)

and have some rep for your first upload :)

Diamond
06-22-2010, 07:15 PM
Nice continent shape. Have some rep from me as well, and welcome to the Guild.

Slylok
06-23-2010, 04:43 AM
Thank you for the compliments and the rep! :D

Here is what I have now that I've added some color and some texture. I'm going for the old weathered paper look. After messing with it for a few hours, I realized that I could well spend an entire day or two just trying different techniques and playing with all the properties. I'd love to hear some of your techniques for getting the weathered old map look. I pretty much just rendered clouds, embossed, and used a levels layer to darken the edge of the map. I may just be picky, but I'm having trouble getting the ripped edge to look right. Any suggestions?:?:

Next, I was thinking of adding some coastline, mountains, and forests. Is there any particular order, that is good to follow, when adding the different elements to a map?

tilt
06-23-2010, 06:41 AM
personally I like to "dirty up" the edges using darker colors, but also be aware that as soon as you tear the paper, you get 3D effects - that means shadows and highlights...

concerning the mapping elements, I like to work my way down sizewise.. so continent, mountains, rivers, forests and marches, cities, towns, hamlet, points of interests, pebbles, atoms, subatoms.. opps.. a little to far there ;)

Diamond
06-23-2010, 03:19 PM
I do my layout pretty much the same way as tilt, top down from mountains, rivers, forests, cities. Unless I already have a specific layout in mind for a particular region, then stuff gets added in no particular order. :D

Reason I almost always do the mountains before any other terrain features or human artifacts is that the mountains are the spine of your continent; everything else, from river placement to forests and deserts, is going to be dependent on where the mountains are. I think by adding the mountains in last, or near the end, it gives a map too much of an artificial feel.

Slylok
06-23-2010, 07:39 PM
Today I did the coastline. Next, I plan on doing the mountains and forests.

Slylok
06-25-2010, 11:36 PM
Whew...Mountains are no joke. I thought they would be easy, but au contraire. After making a bunch of different brushes and trying a bunch of different techniques I finally found my niche. It took a while to get the look I was going for, but I think I've got it. I also thickened the coastline by one pixel.

Forests are next...I'll try not to underestimate those too. :lol:

tilt
06-26-2010, 03:02 AM
those a damn nice looking mountains.. and nice placement too :)

simpfan1
06-26-2010, 03:23 AM
I dont know if you ever watched the cartoon, Avatar the Last Airbender, but your map style and the mountains are reminding me of it :] -thumbs up-

Slylok
07-01-2010, 11:36 PM
Forests are in place. It took me a long time to get the look i was going for. I got side tracked alot during this stage due to many failed attempts at forest creation. I redid the entire coast. i started dabbling with some color (not shown), played around with the labeling, and i started trying to figure out how to make a compass rose. I also roughed in a large cliff in the northwest. I plan on redoing it as well.

Next, i'd like to add the compass rose.:compass: I have a nice image in my head for one, but i couldn't figure out how to make it symmetrical. any suggestions?




I dont know if you ever watched the cartoon, Avatar the Last Airbender, but your map style and the mountains are reminding me of it :] -thumbs up-
I had never heard of this until you mentioned it. so, i googled it and before i knew it i was watching book 2 :lol: It is an awesome show with a good story and has given me some great ideas.

Diamond
07-02-2010, 02:49 AM
That is looking most excellent. I especially like the forests. Adding that shadow under the 'boughs' was just the right touch to give them some depth, but not too much. One thing you might want to consider is blurring that big cliff a little; it's very 'sharp-edged' compared to the softer look of the mountains and forests.

tilt
07-02-2010, 05:46 AM
when making a symmetrical compass you just make one side then mirror it... if you need inspiration look in my signature :)

Slylok
07-03-2010, 01:29 AM
Added some color, a compass, and an enormous tree in the northern forest. I also redid the western cliffs. Next I'll start adding the labels and some polish to the map. How do you think it is coming along?

Sharpe
07-03-2010, 01:37 AM
That is looking most excellent. I especially like the forests. Adding that shadow under the 'boughs' was just the right touch to give them some depth, but not too much. One thing you might want to consider is blurring that big cliff a little; it's very 'sharp-edged' compared to the softer look of the mountains and forests.
Agreed with above (except that you've fixed the cliff now)!

Also, the big tree and the new additions look good, too. :)

Slylok
07-04-2010, 05:13 PM
Well, I believe that i'm nearing the end of this project, but i have a question about what i should be labeling on this map. I've got the countries and the significant bodies of water. Should I also label the mountains and the forests? I'm thinking I should. This will eventually be an interactive map so when you click on the country, it will bring up a map of that country and all of its details. (lots of more maps to make ;) )

Next, im gonna tear the edges and flip up the corners.

Is there anything else you think this map may need?

The other 2 attachments are the original concepts of the continent and the world done in MS Paint. Schataria has come a long way, has it not?

Gidde
07-04-2010, 06:59 PM
This looks fantastic. I especially love the escarpment and the big tree in the middle of the forest.

Diamond
07-05-2010, 01:54 AM
I have no complaints. Two thumbs up. :)

tilt
07-05-2010, 03:21 AM
looks really good :) ... and yes, I'd label the mountains and forests too :)

Slylok
07-06-2010, 02:09 AM
Added some rhumb lines . I think they really give the map a good look. I think im gonna redo the north eastern forest as a coniferous forest. give the vegetation some variety on this continent. Also, gonna add some weather to the edges of the map then i think it will be finished. May add a nice border too.

ravells
07-06-2010, 11:34 AM
There's something really self contained and complete about your map. I really like what you've done. Fab work, Slylok. If this is your first map you'll be producing Da Vinci type works of art when you get to your 10th map!

mearrin69
07-06-2010, 03:19 PM
Sweet map!
M

Katto
07-06-2010, 03:43 PM
Wow, what a great first map! The only point I have is that the blue color is too bright. The olive color of the woods fits perfectly. Looking forward to your next map Slylok!

Seretur
07-06-2010, 04:34 PM
Awesome map. Really amazing. I have to agree with Katto on the blue, though. A little bit darker would look better, I think. But the other colors are perfect, and the mountains look really nice. It's come a very long way since the black and white image on the first page. :)

Steel General
07-06-2010, 04:44 PM
Nice, got a cool LOTR-vibe to it.

StillCypher
07-07-2010, 04:26 AM
Very nice. Simple and elegant. Are there going to be any cities, or would that be overkill? I almost hate to see the clean space interrupted by them...

Slylok
07-07-2010, 05:07 PM
Very nice. Simple and elegant. Are there going to be any cities, or would that be overkill? I almost hate to see the clean space interrupted by them...

There will be cities and towns and dungeons and points of interest and much more, however, I'm going to make sub-maps for this continent that will show all the details of each country. Within each country i will make maps of each major city and dungeons. Eventually, this map will be interactive. You will be able to click on certain areas of the map which will bring up a more detailed map of that area. that's the plan anyway.

Right now, I'm still working on polishing this one up and tweaking a few things such as the color of the water. I've been fiddling with that since I put in the coast and I think I've just about got it now. thanks to Katto and Seretur for pointing it out:D and thank you to everyone for your encouraging comments and compliments. It keeps me inspired and itching to get finished.:)

StillCypher
07-07-2010, 06:27 PM
Wow, that sounds complicated and involved!!! I hope we get to see the finished product. Sounds like it's going to be awesome. :)

Darkgamma
07-07-2010, 10:49 PM
Umm, deltas split :)

Seretur
07-08-2010, 03:37 AM
Umm, deltas split :)

Not necessarily. a wide opening into the ocean isn't impossible. And it's also possible to represent many tiny little rivers with one wider river. I don't know what he was going for there, but if I were him, I wouldn't have put infinite little sub-rivers on there either. It would clutter it up. ;)

Slylok
07-08-2010, 01:12 PM
are you guys talking about the little island below the southern bay?

Seretur
07-08-2010, 03:51 PM
Don't think so. I think he was referring to how all your rivers end in triangles, instead of lots of mini-rivers. I don't know whether you intended those to be deltas, and didn't want to clutter it, or if the river actually widens like that. Either way would work, and it looks better than a lot of mini-rivers.

Gidde
07-08-2010, 04:07 PM
It's also a fairly common stylistic choice for hand-drawn maps. I see it quite often on maps in books I read.

Slylok
07-08-2010, 06:22 PM
I didn't really have a reason for doing it the way I did other than thats what I thought a river would do once it got closer to the ocean. After looking at some coastlines on google earth and looking up some definitions, I see what Darkgamma was saying by how the river splits many times, pushing and depositing alluvial soil and empties into the ocean forming a delta. I also saw many places where the river just gets very wide and empties into the ocean which forms a bay. So, once I start making the more detailed region maps, i will define the deltas, coves, and bays. I think most of them will be bays since they can be seen from the continental map.

I'm so glad to be a part of this community. Its discussions like these that really help to refine and improve what we're doing. I don't think I would have thought of this unless it was pointed out. So, thank you all for your input.

(Have a look at how the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico. Its special to say the least :lol:)

Gidde
07-08-2010, 06:39 PM
I'm so glad to be a part of this community. Its discussions like these that really help to refine and improve what we're doing. I don't think I would have thought of this unless it was pointed out. So, thank you all for your input.
Well said, I totally agree, I love these conversations (even when I don't actively participate) :)


(Have a look at how the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico. Its special to say the least :lol:)

Yep, the Mississippi delta is certainly worth a look for anyone interested in this sort of thing. It's incredible!

Diamond
07-09-2010, 12:20 AM
Or the incredible mess of intertangled rivers and canals in southern Florida... that's enough to give a mapper a heart attack. :D

Ilvarin
07-09-2010, 02:01 PM
Fantastic map, especially since its your first. I love your cliff, it looks really good.

Slylok
07-10-2010, 08:38 PM
Well, aside from adding the tattered unrolled look, I also made the northeast forest dominantly coniferous and adjusted the blue color around the coast. Just a couple more things that I want to perfect before I consider it finished. I'd like to add some sort of sea creature/monster in the ocean and make a fancier compass.

I'm sure if you notice anything that doesn't look quite right you'll let me know :)

Ascension
07-10-2010, 09:33 PM
This looks great but you're missing towns. I haven't read through the previous text so I don't know if you're doing that or not but this style almost screams for a few towns. Nice job so far, though, and nothing that I would change.

RobA
07-10-2010, 11:34 PM
Really like the cartouche, too.

-Rob A>

StillCypher
07-11-2010, 01:02 AM
This is coming along very nicely! I like the change in the forest, the mountains and the cliffs are yummy. Beautiful colors, too.

Ramah
07-11-2010, 06:22 AM
This is a simply wonderful map. Great stuff. :) Looking forward to seeing this complete so you can shows us the regions in more detail.

Slylok
07-13-2010, 08:59 PM
I decided, since this is the continental map, that I'm only gonna label the countries and major bodies of water. I put an icon for each nation's capitol city. All the minor cities and towns will be on the regional map along with the labels for everything else in each region. I think doing it this way will make it more user friendly.

I also added a Kraken attacking the gallion and i moved it to the western ocean. Gives it a little more decorative flavor:D

any suggestions before I call my first map complete?

Diamond
07-14-2010, 12:34 AM
I like that kraken, but I thought the ship/kraken looked better on the right side; it helps balance things out a bit since you already have the cartouche and that big island on the left.

Slylok
07-14-2010, 09:52 PM
I like that kraken, but I thought the ship/kraken looked better on the right side; it helps balance things out a bit since you already have the cartouche and that big island on the left.

Yeah, I was debating that in my head, but I decided to put it there because once I added the kraken it took up too much space on that side. It looked too close to the edge and too crammed.

Seretur
07-15-2010, 05:05 PM
There are places it wouldn't be crammed. I'd try (very) slightly west of the rhumb line center to the northeast. There seems to be room there. Even on the center might look good.