View Full Version : My first map (so far)...what think ye, guildmasters?

09-29-2010, 11:58 PM
I'm roughly following the Sederan tutorial for this world map, which intended to be the half of of a world above the equator. I didn't use the Sederan ocean but I followed the tutorial for land elevation, mountains, hills, rivers. So far, so good.

When I go to add vegetation and forest, though, it looks horrible. I'm 100% certain this is due to my own limitations as an artist (and not Sederan's wonderful tutorial).

I've made a few attempts and I'm wondering if perhaps I should just try a new approach. My remaining steps for this map are

Indicate grassland and forest
Indicate desert (or just leave areas unmarked by grassland/forest as desert)
Continental shelf
Arctic coloring

I'm thinking perhaps I may need to just do something different rather than use the Sederan-style vegetation steps. Anyone have any tips/advice?

Here is the pre-vegetation map, and the not-so-good post-vegetation added.



09-30-2010, 12:52 AM
Honestly, I don't see anything wrong with the forests; looks good to me!

09-30-2010, 01:50 AM
I have to agree with Diamond. I don't see much wrong with it. To me the thicker green indicates forests and woodlands. The thinner green indicates grasslands with copses of trees/forests.

Only major problem I see are the river splits. If this is a world map, then those deltas appear to be a might huge to me to explain the river splits.

Keep up the good work.


09-30-2010, 02:01 AM
I think that the map is great. The different biomes are pretty clear.

When I first looked at the map I was stumped trying to figure out what was wrong because I didn't see anything.

09-30-2010, 02:09 AM
Only major problem I see are the river splits. If this is a world map, then those deltas appear to be a might huge to me to explain the river splits.

I hadn't considered that. I was looking for something roughly on the scale of the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting map. I just looked at it and did some math. It's roughly 2200 miles E-W and 2900 miles N-S (using the units of measurement on that map).

Earth is about 12,400 miles from north pole to equator, so yes, you're right, my scale is a little off.

On the Pathfinder map, they do have many river paths that are similar to mine...I think I'll recast this as a regional rather than world map.

Thanks for the comment!

09-30-2010, 05:54 AM
This is an update of the map I posted earlier (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?12084-Kinda-stuck-on-this-map).

I've got the vegetation done. Decided not to do an "arctic north". The scale has also been changed...I'm thinking this is 2900 miles wide by 2400 high. The lat/long lines are reasonably correct (spaced at 69 miles).

The title will probably be something like "the Northwest Sea" or something, to show that this is a partial world map.

This is really the first map I've done and I more or less followed the Saderan tutorial. A few changes were:

I first made the rivers using the pen/stroke method, but I found that later vegetation could cover them up. So instead I took that layer and did some work to cut it out of the land instead. So the ocean shows through and the vegetation layer does not intersect with the rivers.
I obviously used a different ocean...the shelf is vaguely Ascension Atlas style and the ocean itself is blurred chromed clouds.
For the desert, I brushed in a "beach sand" texture I got.
I also brushed some hard rocky areas fairly heavy.

The source PSD is 7050x5850 pixels @ 300 (for 24"x20" printing). I shrank it to 1200x1000 for this post.

I would be happy to hear any critiques! The vegetation was probably the most difficult area for me.


09-30-2010, 07:41 AM
It looks good so far. I think that the mountain areas might need to have a different color because it looks a lot like desert.

09-30-2010, 04:41 PM
Agreed on the mountains...something more rock-colored might be good. Though not all of the mountains need be the same colour/texture, of course. Other than that, looks good. How about posting a larger resolution version so we can see some more detail?

09-30-2010, 06:47 PM
Thanks for the response. I've learned a lot by following the tutorials but have realized one can't just follow them literally. The Saderan tutorail works if you want a map like Saderan, but mine is different so I tweaked it a bit.

Here is the improvement! Mountain color is a better darker brown and the tundra in the north has improved. I added a few more touches and a name, compass, and scale. Hopefully this isn't too big but Soixante asked for larger resolution ;-)


09-30-2010, 06:48 PM
Hmmm, didn't really increase the resolution...must be the forum software. Well the 2000px-wide version is here (http://www.caissasmonastery.org/static/in_process/ostfell_2000.jpg).

Aval Penworth
09-30-2010, 08:38 PM
Looks quite good so far. Lets see the labels.

21 mile grid? curious.

10-01-2010, 02:09 AM
The grid is due to Lat/Long on the Earth being 69 miles per degree at the equator...round up that's 70. So each square is 70 miles...hence 210/420. I think I may just modify either the grid or scale because several people have asked about that ;-)

10-01-2010, 12:59 PM
Well, looking at the shape of the land, I'd say it looks like an archipelago like the Philippines, or the Kerguelen or Falkland Islands rather than a small scale world or continent map. Probably very rugged and rocky, and quite possibly volcanic, either at a hot spot (Like the Kerguelens) or a triple junction (The Philippines). Or it's a seriously bruised and battered bit of shelf that's been pushed up to the surface (The Falklands)

So you might consider reducing the size by a factor of 10 or so. That coastline would feel more at home if it were 300-400 km across.

10-04-2010, 07:42 PM
Hope you don't mind, I merged your two threads as they are of the same map.

-Rob A>