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View Full Version : World of Agrobathe - Primary fantasy map/project



LordJR
07-17-2010, 01:56 AM
:compass: Debated if I wanted to post this to the world or not, but I do what it to be the best it can, so feedback is welcomed. This is the map to a fantasy world I'm building in order to write a novel about and possible screenplays/games later down the road. The map in its current form was created using Fractal Mapper. I really like the random look of the land mass, yet can stand the fill graphics. Also, I've had a hard time with making the land cover, mountains, forest, etc look anywhere close to how I envision it. After I found this place earlier this week and that goldmine of a Corel Photo-Paint tutorial in the Tutorials section, I think I've found the method I will be using to get the look I've been wanting for over a year now. Crazy what a good tutorial and having the right software can do for you in the matter of a night.

World of Agrobathe
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The software used so far has just been Fractal Mapper 8. I now plan to re-export this as a mask map (black/white) and use the same technique that I used for my Heartland map.
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After creating the fills for oceans, mountains, land and forest, I plan to import this as an image into CC3 for doing the towns and additional artwork. Of course this is just the broad overmap of my world.
A few starter questions for everyone. Should I do what I normally see done here and place every ruin, village, city, special interest location on this one map and just scale it up really big or should I just keep it to national boundries, major cities, and major locations. Later to go back and create larger area maps for each of the nations and locations?

LordJR
07-17-2010, 07:03 AM
Well put about 5 hours of work into this map tonight. Most the map is done, just messing with snowy peaks at the moment. Also need to add lakes, rivers, and stream next.
Not entirely happy with the look of the mountains, most likely will try to improve them more. But it's a start. Because of the sheer size of the work file 116MB my very updated PC almost came to a halt the original make is 5000px x 3600px. I had to import the smaller 500x300 map that Fractal Mapper 8 made and convert the islands into vectors. From there I could scale it up to 5000px x 3600px. Still a 22.5MB PNG file so I scale this one down here to 1024px across. The map is huge and I like how most of it turned out. A major improvement from the original.

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hohum
07-17-2010, 09:02 AM
Looks decent. If the map is super huge you might try cutting it into sections and working on the sections and then stitching those back together for the final map. If I may, I'll give a few suggestions for the mountains. They need another layer of noise to liven them up a bit. Try looking at RobA's tutorial here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?4335-Simple-Mountains-in-Gimp). Also try adding a mask with a slight blur to the mountains to soften your transition between terrain types. Lastly you might want to add a coloring layer to change the mountain color slightly so that it matches the background terrain (ie greener in the temperate areas, tan/brown in the deserts, white in the arctic). Good start to your map, keep at it.

Steel General
07-17-2010, 09:04 AM
Looks like a good start.

Mountains are always tough, so many ways to create them - just need to find the style that fits best.

LordJR
07-20-2010, 08:45 AM
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Tonight, I worked on the mountains a bit more. Shaved a bit on the ranges as some of them looked too clumped together. Also created a 2nd layer for the moutains/hills and the peaks. Hopefully, I can just use a dodge tool to later go back over the peaks and fill in snow tops for the highest peaks. For some reason this map is not working out as well as my Heartland map even though I followed the methods to create both. Once I'm happy with the mountains I'll be moving on to lakes, rivers, and streams.

What does everyone think about the map right now in regard to trees? Does the current green represent forest enough or should I go back and add tiny little trees. Keep in mind that I resampled this image down 50% from it's actual size in order to post here. Things look much better up close.

hohum
07-20-2010, 10:12 AM
The mountain edges are softer but they still seem too uniformly smooth. I feel that the edges should be a little rougher, like the coastlines, just not too big. The green splotches for forests should work, just bump map them to give some texture. You might try the technique of making a 50% grey bump mapped layer that you can set to overlay to keep things editable.

Ascension
07-20-2010, 06:33 PM
I've never had 2 maps come out the same until I wrote it all down (and made it into a tutorial). Now everyone can make a map look exactly like I made it. So I had to try different things and found that the experimenting is the fun part. So there you go, you have 2 options - try something new every time or write it all down. As far as the map goes, the mtns don't look natural, they look like beveled shapes. If I had Corel maybe I could help ya there but, alas, I don't so I can't.

terjebol
07-22-2010, 11:58 AM
I agree on what's been said earlier about the mountains, but I have to say I really like the shape of your continents :)

LordJR
07-23-2010, 02:04 AM
@terjebol - Thanks.. shapes of continents from Fractal Mapper 8. Looks like I got a fish, half moon, and Italy with the alps there. ;) Of course these were all randomly generated over and over until I got one I liked. The center one kind of reminds me of a Dragon, but is home to the Aquanauts. The half moon is where the dragons live.

LordJR
07-23-2010, 05:13 AM
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Ok so tonight I attempted the "Yet Another Mountain Tutorial or Gimp" in GIMP 2. I then removed the green background and exported just the mountains as a PNG. I then imported this file as a layer into Corel Photo-Paint and re-adjusted the size to fit the landmass (for some reason it shrunk). Looks better than Corel mountains I had, but I think my main problem is the sheer size of the map. It appears the instructions I'm following are for regional maps and I need settings for a much later map, which when not calculated for appears to make hill mountains like this, which look fake. This was my first time to see if I could work between the two software packages and so far so good. Will attempt the long tutorial again tomorrow and see if I can't make the mountains look better. Apparently, I need much much more line noise. Any recommendations for the GIMP mountain, I would be grateful for. Need to know how to scale that tutorial up to a 3600px across size map.

hohum
07-23-2010, 10:21 AM
Looks like you are on the right track. The edges are softer. I haven't looked at that tutorial in awhile but increasing the noise might be one thing. Also changing your bump map settings to be more extreme.

cjs0216
07-23-2010, 11:58 AM
I really like the way the mountains look