View Full Version : Northern reaches of Ewlah

11-27-2007, 04:55 PM
Hi, folks.

My constructed world is called Kalieda - it's existed for over three decades in my head. The world has 3 continents, only one of which (Ewlah) is currently inhabited. The continent stretches from 50degN to 10degS and is surrounded by ocean on all sides. Oceanic plates are pressing in on it from the north, east and west, and there is a fair amount of mountain building and volcanic activity going on.

Kalieda is not one of those planets you can just land on and start farming - soil has to be "brewed" before it will support terrestrial life. This limits the various settlements and plantations. Also, the planetary system has recently entered a dust cloud, triggering climate change.

Anyways, the map: I drew this using the Gimp. I first made a greyscale digital elevation map of the continent, then did Gimpstuff to get the mountains, then added colours, rivers, borders, labels, etc. I've uploaded a sample of the map for comments - the whole map is over the filesize limit for uploading!

11-27-2007, 05:10 PM
Well done, Rik! Wow--this is very rich and interesting. Impressive! Did you complete larger zooms of the "provinces" too?


11-27-2007, 05:26 PM
Well done!! I take my suggestion to read RobA's thread, and instead I'll ask if you can create a tutorial yourself of how you put this together.

11-27-2007, 05:52 PM
Yes, Tutorial please!

I've never used GIMP, but, maybe I should start ;)

11-27-2007, 07:30 PM
Hi Rik!

I love what you are doing (GIMP you say?)

The colours are nice and subtle, the relief is very nicely executed. I like the details like the river valleys being greener than the surround terrain. And your rivers are beautiful - I know it is much easier to make them using a tablet!

Can you share some of your techniques?

-Rob A>

11-27-2007, 07:33 PM
Also forgot to add - GIMP 2.4 can shape text to a path (or at least create a text outline path that can be used to the same effect)... This would allow you to change the linear labels on the rivers (the one thing that jarred for me).

-Rob A>

11-28-2007, 01:52 AM
RobA, can you elaborate on how Gimp 2.4 shapes text to a path? I really need that feature.

I remain

The Cartographist
11-28-2007, 05:03 AM
Beautiful map.

11-28-2007, 05:29 AM
What a beautiful map! It reminds of the 'atlas' style that HandsomeRob posted up.

Such dedication to put in a 'realistic' number of rivers. I'm always staggered when I look at a real world atlas and see how many rivers there are in any reasonably populated landmass. The colour gradations are beautiful and I would love to see a tutorial too!


11-28-2007, 06:44 AM
I love your choice of color, it appease my eyes when I look at it.

The only thing that tickles me is that you should put all the names at the horizontal to make the reading easier. Also, I would put country border in the same color as the border name.

Also, a tutorial would be great, because we never get enough of them.

Keep up the good work,

11-28-2007, 08:26 AM
Wow - thanks everyone for such a welcome!

re the tutorial request. I did do a dog-rough tutorial for the folks on another forum, but searching this site I see you've already got a thread on the article that inspired me to try this mapping technique:

CG shaded mapping relief tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1002)
Original Photoshop Roadmap tutorial (http://www.photoshoproadmap.com/Photoshop-blog/2006/07/17/rendering-a-map-using-relief-shading-technique-in-photoshop/)

The bulk of the work was creating the greyscale DEM map from my existing (poor) maps - it took a lot of hours, and I couldn't have done it without a graphics tablet. After that, I just followed the Photoshop tutorial, adapting it to meet my needs.

re rivers: once you've got the greyscale DEM, drawing rivers becomes easy - just start a river on the side of a mountain and follow (on a new layer, obviously) the line of least resistance, moving most quickly from light grey to dark grey. With lots of starting points in the mountains, I found the rivers soon joined up into nice looking river systems.

I've yet to come to terms with bending text to a path - a quick tutorial on that would be very welcome!

One thing that disappoints me with this map is that when I tried exporting the greyscale DEM to Terragen (to see if I could get nice 3D images of valleys and stuff), the mountains came out like step pyramids - my DEM is too coarse to make realistic maps in that program, even when blurring the DEM in Gimp before exporting it. Something to do with 16bit vs 32bit greyscales - but I can't face the thought of having to do the entire thing again!

Here's a link to the complete map (http://www.rikweb.co.uk/kalieda/ewlah-huge.png), for those who are interested.

11-28-2007, 09:56 AM
Wow that is incredible. Man, I wish that I had a graphics tablet... Maybe for Christmas.

11-28-2007, 12:37 PM
I covered bending text to a path using GIMP 2.4 in this post where I added labels to the terrain (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=9999&postcount=25). That should be enough to get you going with the basic idea.

-Rob A>