View Full Version : [WIP] Near

08-19-2010, 10:51 AM
I love this forum and have been a long time reader, although I believe this is my first. I'm a programmer by trade but am pretty obsessed with maps, you'd know if you could see my office. Typically, I have one of my artist friends make maps for my games, but finally decided to take the plunge into hobbyist cartography. As this is my first map, I decided to use Ascension's Atlas Style rather than create my own style (this is also my first foray into Photoshop).

I am looking for critiques. The map is of the land of Near (props to Clinton Nixon for the setting).

Here it is:


08-19-2010, 04:22 PM
I wouldn't change a thing so far, but I'm biased, and you've done a great job. All you're missing now are some places and towns and stuff to liven it up and give it some character.

08-19-2010, 04:28 PM
sweet, good job!

08-19-2010, 04:34 PM
I dig what you have so far! As just a creative suggestion, perhaps darkening the ocean a bit? Right now it's a very even tone and the ares of ocean further out to sea would be darker because of depth, while the coastlines would be lighter like you have already. Not sure for how realistic or stylized you're going. I like the names of the locations. Like the others have said, put some roads and towns in! :D

08-20-2010, 01:27 PM
Yeah, I'll definitely be putting some roads and towns in once I get everything finalized.

Good call with darkening the ocean as it gets deeper.

I'm also going to try to put a couple lakes in.

08-20-2010, 06:22 PM
Looking forward to seeing those lakes :)

08-27-2010, 02:06 PM
Hmm... I'm having some trouble creating convincing lakes. The closest I got was to create a lake outline and delete the area from the layers below it. See attached image:


Anyone have any suggestions on how to add a lake to a map that already exists? It seems like it would have been easier had I put it in at the beginning when I was creating the continents.

08-27-2010, 03:12 PM
In order to add a lake at a later stage you have the right idea...chop holes out of certain layers. What I do is find a cloud brush, using the pencil tool and not the brush tool, and on a new layer place the cloud/lake. By using a cloud brush we get something more free-form and not so perfect. Ctrl-click on this layer to load it as a selection, hide this layer, the click on the other layers and hit the delete key on each layer to chop out a hole...but remember to not delete the ocean layers. Now then, the shelf layer might make your lake too light for your taste so unhide the cloud/lake layer and apply a color overlay or play with the blend modes to darken the lake up a bit.

08-27-2010, 09:45 PM
I love how that texturing on the green areas gives the impression of trees. awesome work

09-01-2010, 11:53 AM
Okay, so I got the lakes working, thanks Ascension! I wouldn't have thought to use cloud brushes for lakes, but it totally makes sense now.


I think I'm going to keep this as a base map for my Shadow of Yesterday games, but go through and add cities, towns, and travel markers as the players journey around the world.

Thanks for all the suggestions and comments. Looking forward to putting a new map up some time.