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darren_kitlor
08-16-2010, 03:47 AM
The Forgotten Realms - Toril
by darrenkitlor

UPDATED: 25 July 2011 -- New Map; Higher-Res Landscape, Coloring

Introduction

Hello everyone! I'm a long-time lurker but I wanted to share a massive map I'm working on.

Project Summary

It's a 16000x9000 pixel map of Toril (the world upon which the Forgotten Realms exist). I'm a huge D&D buff - so I wanted to get the entirety of the game world looking nice for a wall-mount poster.

Right now, I've got most of the landmass, rivers, and beachhead figured out for all of Toril. I just need to hunker down and bring 60% up to 100% (and also remove artifacts that cause irregular shorelines)

That's the hard part. It's a fine line and I don't want to post many textured screens till I get it just right.

Design Log

15 August 2010 - Project Started; got basic outline completed, utilized blending options for shoreline, rough beaches, etc.
16 August 2010 - Height Map is temporary until I have all the rivers updated and other continents added (note: coloring and sea texturing is still on the docket).
20 August 2010 - Huge coloring and height map breakthrough. Finally found something I like in a tutorial but made some parts my own.
25 August 2010 - Texture methods are more or less finalized. I still need to fine tune the landscape before approaching it. Also, have maps of virtually every continent for authenticity's sake.

25 July 2011 - Return to editing the map; updated coloring, biomes, improved texturing on oceans


Sample Screenshots
notes: (waiting to complete rivers and remove artifacts before applying height map and final coloring)
Latest Shot:

1% Zoom of Toril - 25 July 2011 (1600x900)
37332

Jaxilon
08-16-2010, 10:14 AM
Wow, that is massive. At least I'm pretty sure my computer would chug out on me. It's funny because it's not a bad setup, few years old but built for pretty hardcore games....and now I realize how much MORE I need for doing the real stuff, creation.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing how this comes out. I played some of those games myself so it's nice to see the maps again. Keep it up!

waldronate
08-16-2010, 07:56 PM
Looks like a good start.

The world map appears to be a vertically-cropped image based on the globe data in the Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas. If so, there are some systematic distortions in the uppermost and lowermost areas of those maps. The Plate Caree projection puts some serious distortions of its own on top of that. Just an observation.

darren_kitlor
08-16-2010, 09:12 PM
Thanks for the feedback.

Yes, I used the 2.0 edition Interactive Atlas as a base and am upscaling. Many details, however, are being added from the 3.0 edition Faerun map (by far the most beautiful of FR maps).

I've considering trying to warp the layer to projection that doesn't distort polar regions. There's a chance people might not recognize it as much though.

Tough dilemma.

I've spent the better part of the day removing artifacts (since I use layer blending for shoreline effects - I have to remove rogue pixels) and drawing the rives. I'm close to completing roughly 75% of the rivers. I have to go back and decide if I want to "add-in" rivers to "terra Incognita" sections of the map.

I've established a color/drop shadow scheme for cities, capitals, countries/affiliations, geographic regions, varying bodies of water, and mountain ranges. Very cool stuff. :D

Anyways, I hope to have the artifact stuff done by Wednesday so I can start adding coloring layers and using blending options inventively for mountains to complement the height map.

darren_kitlor
08-20-2010, 10:46 AM
Big Update:
While I haven't finalized the colors or the political map data, this is the closest to a good map I've felt (this is only a 12% zoom - the full scale is actually 16000x9000 pixels or a staggering 144 MP)
28200

There may or may not be professional interest in this map.

Soixante
08-22-2010, 04:15 PM
Looks good. I believe you've misspelled 'Zakhara' though? And Faerūn is missing its u-circumflex.

darren_kitlor
08-23-2010, 09:56 AM
Looks good. I believe you've misspelled 'Zakhara' though? And Faerūn is missing its u-circumflex.

You're absolutely right! The most recent one has the k and h flipped. I'm reorganizing the layer grouping now to make it easier to track. I have maybe 1/10th of the labels I'll want and am trying to ensure all the fan-favorites are there.

Thank you very much!

(haven't added the ū yet - I need to do it by hand as the font I use doesn't include that character) :)

Hopefully, as I get more done, I can spend more time fine-tooth combing to ensure the great details of the realms are kept in-tact.

On the plus side, I've noticed a couple continuity errors between maps (especially after finding all the original Oriental (Kara-Tur), Hordelands, Al-Qadim, Maztica, and Zakhara maps). I'm combining those to ensure each continent is particularly detailed and refined.

Thank again thought for catching my misspelling! I'll strive to do better now!

Darren_Kitlor

Soixante
08-23-2010, 04:11 PM
Keep us posted on your progress, I like what I'm seeing. I know I've spent way too many geeky hours pouring over the 3rd edition Faerūn poster map, so I'm definitely interested to see the final world map.

tovette
08-23-2010, 04:16 PM
That looks great so far!

darren_kitlor
08-24-2010, 12:31 AM
Keep us posted on your progress, I like what I'm seeing. I know I've spent way too many geeky hours pouring over the 3rd edition Faerūn poster map, so I'm definitely interested to see the final world map.

Faerūn in 3rd Edition was represented very, very well. :D I almost went the hand-drawn land feature route because of it.

Does anyone have an idea if later Realms lore uncovered what the other continents were named?

Steel General
08-24-2010, 08:52 AM
I believe they've all been named, one of them is Anchorome (or something like that - not sure which one it is), though 4th edition really screws things up.

darren_kitlor
08-25-2010, 10:56 AM
Big Changes/Fixes:
I'm creating both a 3rd Ed. and 4th Ed. map. Fortunately, I'm using Photoshop's PSB format (as I broke the 2 GB filesize early on). This allows me to create a separate layer group when I need to start working on 4th edition's carnage (4th edition really just said "f' it" to the Realms by putting a good portion of my map underwater). :(

Continents:

Anchorome (North of Maztica, connected as far as Realms lore says)
Faerūn (what most of us are familiar with)
Kara-Tur (east of Faerun; analogous to Asia)
Katashaka (landmass south of Maztica)
Osse (huge continent SE of both Kara-Tur and Zakhara)
Zakhara (SE of Faerūn; Al-Qadim / "Arabian Nights" setting)


Big Fix:
The planet Abeir-Toril was cleaved in two by Ao. Toril is the world we're familiar with via Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, and all the 2nd/3rd edition Settings. Abeir is seen more in Spelljammer.

darren_kitlor
08-26-2010, 03:28 PM
Updated:

Add true sea coloring (hand-brushed using three layers to convey depth subtly)
Improved land coloring/texturing (heavily hand-brushed - each geographic type is a separate layer)
Fixed misspelling of Faerūn


To-Do:
Improve Coastlines and Sea of Swords Islands (they have irregular coast upon close inspection)
Improve coloring and texturing (deserts need the most love)
Add snow and grasslands coloring/texture layers


Sneak Peek:

16.(6)% Zoom (very detailed but you can see the flaws in the islands quite clearly - it's a tedious but easy fix though):

28454

darren_kitlor
08-26-2010, 04:44 PM
Snowfall / Cloud Test Image

It's really quite challenging but this will greatly enhance the realistic feel of the map (I can disable the clouds and snowfall via layers for a more readable/political map experience).

I'd really like some feedback - is this a critical hit or fail?

28464

Ascension
08-26-2010, 05:00 PM
I don't think clouds are needed unless you wrap it around a globe and with the title at the bottom it's more of a wall poster. The clouds look ok but I'm not a good judge of clouds.

Steel General
08-26-2010, 08:49 PM
I'm with Ascension on the need for clouds - though I don't think they look to bad so far.

darren_kitlor
08-26-2010, 10:50 PM
Thanks!

Since I'm very layer-grouping oriented, they'll be four version of my map:
+3rd and +4th edition variants
+with or +without atmospheric effects (i.e. lava near Neverwinter, snow falling over the spine of the world, etc.)

darren_kitlor
09-21-2010, 06:47 PM
Here's an update -showing coloring of the Zakhara coastline- (3 coloring layers; 2 depth layers for land - 3 layers for water effects) 50% zoomed-out:

Ascension
09-21-2010, 10:50 PM
That looks really nice, man. The mountains in the brown areas might need some beefing up (I can't tell if there are mountains there or not but the relief is mostly lost there).

Big Mac
10-17-2010, 06:03 PM
Abeir is seen more in Spelljammer.

I'm a big fan of Spelljammer and have no recollection of seeing Abeir in any SJ source. As far as I know, the only information about it comes from the 4e FRCG. I think there is someone, somewhere, making a world out of the bits of Toril that got "lost" and filling in the details with Abeir-like stuff. But I can't recall exactly where they were.


Snowfall / Cloud Test Image
It's really quite challenging but this will greatly enhance the realistic feel of the map (I can disable the clouds and snowfall via layers for a more readable/political map experience).

I'd really like some feedback - is this a critical hit or fail?

I'm with Ascension and Steel General over the cloud layer. If you wrapped this into a sphere (sans your top and bottom boarders) and gave it to Silverblade's Suitcase for inclusing in a 3D space picture, the cloud layer would be great. But as it is, it just gets in the way of surface details.

That aside, I think this is one of the most attractive maps of Toril I've ever seen. But you might want to check your sources on Osse, as I've seen other maps that have gigantic lines (like the Nasca Lines). I believe the lines are supposed to be big enough to be visible from space.

So far I've not found anyone who knows why the lines are there, but they generate interest in the Spelljammer community.

Werthead
10-23-2010, 07:23 PM
Yeah, in 1E-3E the world is called Abeir-toril because it's just Auld Wyrmish (the most ancient language still used on the planet) for 'Cradle of Life'. 4E rather ridiculously retconned this as that the one world of Abeir-toril was long ago split into two worlds coexisting in different dimensions at the same point, Abeir and Toril, and the Spellplague (the highly controversial 'Realms-shaking event' between 3E and 4E) saw the two worlds smashed back together resulting in lots of magical craziness such as Maztica exploding and being replaced by a new continent called 'Returned Abeir' (the current Realms writers have issues coming up with new names that don't suck).

In my Realms campaign, the Spellplague never has and never will take place and Maztica is still there :)

Big Mac
10-25-2010, 07:20 AM
Yeah, in 1E-3E the world is called Abeir-toril because it's just Auld Wyrmish (the most ancient language still used on the planet) for 'Cradle of Life'. 4E rather ridiculously retconned this as that the one world of Abeir-toril was long ago split into two worlds coexisting in different dimensions at the same point, Abeir and Toril, and the Spellplague (the highly controversial 'Realms-shaking event' between 3E and 4E) saw the two worlds smashed back together resulting in lots of magical craziness such as Maztica exploding and being replaced by a new continent called 'Returned Abeir' (the current Realms writers have issues coming up with new names that don't suck).

In my Realms campaign, the Spellplague never has and never will take place and Maztica is still there :)

I like Maztica (and some of the other FR sub-settings) too much to move onto the 4e world. But I have heard a couple of people talking about getting the bits that were lost during the Spellplague, putting them onto a new map, and then filling up the rest of the world with stuff similar to Returned Abeir (to create an Abeir that contains all the bits of Toril that vanished). That seems like an interesting mapping project.

But if someone ever did that, I think I would like to see them put Returned Abeir back onto the world Abeir and then use the pre-Spellplage Abeir as an alternative world to Toril (during a campaign set during the 3e or earlier version of Forgotten Realms). A project like that would be the thing that would be most likely to get me to buy the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. If I had a fan map like that, I could use it alongside Maztica.8)

thyssyk
03-01-2011, 02:16 PM
Just stumbled on this site, and I have to say that this map you're working on is just fantastic! Good luck in your continuing endeavor.

darren_kitlor
07-25-2011, 10:48 AM
Guess what? I started working on this map again, after nearly a year-long hiatus.

Update:

37333

That's 1600x900 (or 1% zoom of the full-size map)

Improvements:

Increased variation in ocean layers (darker, more textured)
Increased biome diversity on all continents (mountains, deserts, and forests that transcend the old map's limitations)
Changed fonts (more readble; I'll upload another to demonstrate)
Improved texturing for biomes (i.e. erasers and new brushes to give cracked appearances to steppes/plateaus, ridges to mountains, etc.)

arsheesh
07-25-2011, 11:25 AM
Hey this looks fantastic! Glad you decided to return to it, otherwise I probably would never have known about it. Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

darren_kitlor
07-27-2011, 01:21 AM
Thanks.

Does anyone have a particular preference as to what I should improve or add onto?

Today, I started working on Tundra, Glaciers and polar terrains--as well as new border backgrounds.

Gan
09-15-2011, 12:25 PM
A massive map for a massive world. I like it all.

Voll-ka the Deceiver
03-02-2012, 12:04 PM
Good-bye, Grandfather of games (Gary Gygax) in your passing you shall be missed. I wanted these to be my first words ever used on a computer. My wife just taught me how to go on line (no more stone and chisel) and this is the first sight I looked up. I swear it's true. That being said, I hope I can contribute in some small way to the passion we evidently share - Dungeons and Dragons in general and The Forgotten Realms in particular. Your maps are the best I have ever seen of the entire world of TORIL, and I would love to know where some of your info comes from so I can read up on it myself. Further, having played the game steadily for 30+ years, I have accumulated thousands of books and supliments in hard copy and may be able to supply you with some obscure tidbits. In any case, map design of the entire planet is the Holy Hobby Grail, and I can't wait to hang this bad-boy on my wall - The bigger the better!!!

Klaus van der Kroft
03-02-2012, 12:56 PM
Very nice map indeed!

I have some Forgotten Realm crazed friends who will love it. I'll send them here to check it.

Voll-ka the Deceiver
03-05-2012, 08:45 AM
I'm so new at this, and have so much to learn (albeit a labor of love), I would never presume to comment on your mapping skills. I speak only from the position of "playable practicality". Unless this awesome map is destined to be a wall hanging decoration (which it easily could be!) I would disable the clouds but keep the "snowfall". It has been my hard won but happy experience to note that game maps are tangible things, made to be folded, "rolled"on, and written on - and towards this end sometimes less is more, so to speak. Good games require good maps, but great ones require customization to some degree. This customization is often (usually?) done in little bits, by hand, over time. I cherish most fondly my oldest maps that are covered with years of "character" by my own hand and that of my players - 3+ generations worth! Having said all that, I would personally keep two copies of this map. One with clouds to "hang", and the other without to "use". In short EXCELLENT work, and I would love to see more.

Javelin Divine
04-08-2012, 06:03 AM
Could I get this fantastic full-size map version?

Javelin Divine
04-08-2012, 06:46 AM
editing the map, updated coloring, biomes, Improved texturing on ocean
Your work is very good, I'd like to get a map in full resolution

Javelin Divine
04-12-2012, 11:17 AM
[QUOTE=darren_kitlor;124054]
The Forgotten Realms - Toril
by darrenkitlor

UPDATED: 25 July 2011 -- New Map; Higher-Res Landscape, Coloring

Introduction

Hello everyone! I'm a long-time lurker but I wanted to share a massive map I'm working on.

Project Summary

It's a 16000x9000 pixel map of Toril (the world upon which the Forgotten Realms exist). I'm a huge D&D buff - so I wanted to get the entirety of the game world looking nice for a wall-mount poster.

Right now, I've got most of the landmass, rivers, and beachhead figured out for all of Toril. I just need to hunker down and bring 60% up to 100% (and also remove artifacts that cause irregular shorelines)

That's the hard part. It's a fine line and I don't want to post many textured screens till I get it just right.

Design Log

15 August 2010 - Project Started; got basic outline completed, utilized blending options for shoreline, rough beaches, etc.
16 August 2010 - Height Map is temporary until I have all the rivers updated and other continents added (note: coloring and sea texturing is still on the docket).
20 August 2010 - Huge coloring and height map breakthrough. Finally found something I like in a tutorial but made some parts my own.
25 August 2010 - Texture methods are more or less finalized. I still need to fine tune the landscape before approaching it. Also, have maps of virtually every continent for authenticity's sake.

25 July 2011 - Return to editing the map; updated coloring, biomes, improved texturing on oceans


Sample Screenshots
notes: (waiting to complete rivers and remove artifacts before applying height map and final coloring)
Latest Shot:
[INDENT]1% Zoom of Toril - 25 July 2011 (1600x900)
37332
[/INDENT

If I have a map at 100% size, I will put names in and send it to you

Javelin Divine
04-12-2012, 11:52 AM
A very nice map that surpasses all the maps I have seen

TwistedFaith
08-12-2013, 09:35 AM
Hi I'm EXTREMELY new to this site and I happened to find this post. I'm curious as to how far you have gotten by now on The Forgotten Realms - Toril map? and did you upload it so it can be downloaded yet? My friends and I are playing D&D 3.5 in the Forgotten Realms area and your map IS the BEST I've seen so far.

Finrod Cuthalion
08-22-2013, 10:25 AM
Hi, I'm stunned by your great work and I'm currently searchign for a Toril worldmap for the creation of Toril for Minecraft.
So far your map seems to be the absolutely best I've come across by far.
I'd love to get the full scale map to see if I can actually use it for my project.

The problem i have with most other maps is thast they're not topographic.
To clarify what I'm looking for:
-A map with realistic colours for grasslands, mountains, rocks, water, ice/snow and desert
-A map which depicts the height of a region by brightness/darkness (that directly fits the first map)

I hope you have success with your project and also i hope that you can give me a full scale picture.
thanks.

edit: its the world of Baldur's Gate that i would like to have.


edit:
have you considered using other existing maps to make your map?
i was really impressed by those of http://markustay.deviantart.com/ but they're useless for my project.

xiliaster
09-10-2013, 01:29 PM
Hey Id love a copy of this map with names and cities and roads in place how are your work komming along ?

Javelin Divine
11-22-2013, 05:16 AM
Hey Id love a copy of this map with names and cities and roads in place how are your work komming along ?

Hi you may well get the map
but for unknown of cases can I upload on Cartographers' Guild - a community for maps of fantasy, sci-fi and real world locations (http://www.cartographersguild.com) are you on fb?

Xandegar
11-24-2013, 05:26 PM
Beautiful maps, great detail.

Would also love a full size copy. Will print it up, frame it and mount it!!

bcwhite
12-09-2013, 03:09 PM
Darren, if you're still working on this, send me an email. I'm working on something I think you'll be interested in. bcwhite@pobox.com

-- Brian

flyarmy182
12-15-2013, 05:50 PM
I also am new to this page, and getting back into D&D after a long separation... I was looking for either a Toril or a Golarion Map that I can import into ArgGIS, and use it for my campaign, and to make persistent world data. There is a Golarion map on this forum that I was able to import, and I posted globe screenshots. The full-sized map you are creating would be ideal. I was hoping you may have some news as to the progress of this map, and if you had a full-sized edition available anywhere? This map is incredible.

blackEyEz
03-10-2014, 04:01 PM
Hello, do you still work on your abil toril map? I wonder if you can share it with me, i would like to import your map into outerra to create a 3d world. Outerra (http://outerra.blogspot.nl/) my mail is blackeyez(at)ziggo.nl

tmexx
03-23-2014, 04:53 PM
Hi Darren,
Any chance you would be willing to share this file? I am looking for a good background to place the Forgotten Realms political data on for my son who is just getting into D&D. He wants to make a wall poster of the world and the info I have found so far is too low res. I am quite proficient with Photoshop and would love a copy of the PSB file to just use the background layer.
This is not a commercial request, just a dad who wants to make a great poster for his son.
Please let me know if you might consider it.
Regards,
Steve

Chris Skandaliarys
03-29-2014, 10:43 AM
This is some fantastic work , does anyone know where to get the full map file ? :)

mako1975
09-03-2014, 03:25 PM
I would also Love to get the full size version of this, I am starting a 5th Edition campaign and want to use FR as my setting.