View Full Version : Cruenti Dei world map

10-26-2010, 07:22 PM
This is a work in process in tiny, tiny steps.

A bit of background: Cruenti Dei is a fantasy PBeM that I've been running for several years. The basic idea is that each player is running a country, doing all the sorts of things a country does: trade, ally, war, research, and so forth.

Until recently, the players have been confined to a single continent, Sahűl.

As technology has improved, a new Age of Exploration has blossomed. The players (at least some of them) are aware of three continents now, at least one of which has nations (and thus, new player positions) already present.

It recently occurred to me that the quickie world map I made several years ago was not going to cut it:


So I conceived the idea of putting together a full-colour poster map of the world. Because I apparently go from "easy" to "ludicrous" in just one step.

I figured I'd start by cutting and pasting outlines of my finished continents (suitably reduced) to a single Photshop doc and then use jezelf's first tutorial to put together the coastlines and major rivers for the remaining continents.

Here's a reduced version of step 1: importing the three "finished" continents:


(Note that I'm reducing these posted WIP maps considerably from the actual working map. The final poster will be 24 x 36 at 300 dpi - though I'm considering dropping to 200 dpi to prevent my old Mac from suffering a coronary).

Here's step 2: adding the first of the new continents


At this point, I got hopelessly distracted by the wonderful WIP map that Slylok is working on, featuring a beautiful double-hemisphere frame. I decided right away that I wanted my poster map to have the same motif.

Thanks to the very kind advice of Hai-Etlik (Stereographic Azimuthal projection indeed!), I was able to whip up a version with a twist:


Now to finish those other pesky new continents and marry them to the frame.

And then the fun really starts!

10-27-2010, 12:50 AM
OK, I've got the last of the continents "inked" in.


Tomorrow I get to play plate tectonics and scootch them around a bit. And then on to the next tutorial!

10-27-2010, 05:01 AM
nice... looking forward to seing it progress :)

Steel General
10-27-2010, 09:44 AM
I'm with Tilt, looking forward to seeing how this progresses.

10-27-2010, 10:14 AM
I'm also with Tilt on this one.

10-27-2010, 12:10 PM
Thanks for the encouragement, guys. As I said, I'm posting this in tiny steps as I walk through this process, rather than putting up something nearly done right off. I hope it doesn't get too tedious, but it's already been helpful to me, since I'm thinking through next steps as I post the current one.

This morning I married all the elements together and did something that a real-world cartographer never gets to do: I moved some of the continents around so that they wouldn't be sliced by the projection I'm using. ;)


As you can see, I was not entirely successful. In fact, I've had to cut one continent (Efan, for those keeping score) pretty much in half. Since this is one of the continents the players have already discovered, there wasn't much I could do to move it.

I also distorted some of the landmasses near the poles to give the illusion of conforming to the projection I'm using. Since this will (hopefully) be a 16th-century style map by the time I'm done, I'm not exactly shooting for 100% accuracy here. The players obtain regional maps as they explore, and this chart is mostly to show how they all go together.

Here's one of the regional maps to give you an idea of scale:


This is centered on the star-shaped lake on the south-westernmost continent (Sahűl).

My next step will be to walk through jezelf's tutorial on making fantasy/parchment maps.

10-27-2010, 12:40 PM
This is going great so far!

10-27-2010, 12:58 PM
Actually, for a project like this, you might just find some more 'serious' geospatial software useful. QuantumGIS for instance.

This would provide a way to store data about your world and analyze it. (A simple example would be: Find all regions with average temperature above X, and all regions with more than Y cm of annual rainfall, and then intersect them to find tropical areas.) It can also convert projections for you.

It's more software to learn, but it's free.

10-27-2010, 08:18 PM
Well. I took a look at QuantumGIS, but I'm afraid that several hours in I'm finding it quite beyond me.

Back in Photoshop land, I've aged my map.


I can't say I'm too happy with it. Although it looks much better in the larger size than this one, it's still not right.

There's nothing I can't fix, but the sheer amount of fixing is enough that I'm leaving it for another day.

For one, it's much too dark - dark enough that any other use of colour is going to look like mud.

Then there's the fact that the tan frame is not working with the parchment effects. It's going to have to be a different colour.

And for some reason, I have one river that's standing out like it's on fire.


10-28-2010, 10:38 AM
love your regional map :) ... but agree, the aged map needs more work and to be lightened :)

10-28-2010, 12:00 PM
Thanks, tilt. How's that "community leader" hat fitting you? :)

OK, here are some of the fixes I thought about yesterday in action. Plus, oceans!


Still to do:

Bolder colour for hemisphere frame. Maybe a royal blue?
Lighten the latitude and longitude lines. The planet looks like it's in prison!
Add numbers for latitude in hemisphere frames.
Equator? Tropics?
Terrain - I've got some great brushes I want to try out.
Names. Main font will be Dominican. I'll probably use Platthand for the ocean names. Maybe Clerica (caps) for major land masses.

And then I need to start thinking about images for the poster outside the map proper.

10-28-2010, 01:07 PM
*lol*...thanks fits very well, the throne arrives tomorrow and the smith has got the plans for the crown drawn up ;)

like the new colors... lots of water on that planet :)

10-28-2010, 01:11 PM
Looking great so far! I'm definitely with you in making the gridlines less prominent, maybe make them thinner and lower the opacity rather than lightening them?

10-30-2010, 03:19 AM
Hey thom, beautiful work so far!

10-30-2010, 04:42 AM
Beautiful work there !
I'm looking forward to see the finished project :)

11-01-2010, 04:22 PM
I'm working on the fiddly details now, but I'm not really happy with how it's turning out.

Here's a WIP shot at full size.



11-01-2010, 04:29 PM
Try to avoid solid black. Make the trees a very dark gray or dark brown and same with the text. Put a tiny outer glow on the text (same colour as the text set to multiply) to suggest the text is drawn on the map and has bled into the paper. Take a look at the link in my sig as to placement of text labels.

Those mountains rock!

11-01-2010, 09:52 PM
Try to avoid solid black. Make the trees a very dark gray or dark brown and same with the text. Put a tiny outer glow on the text (same colour as the text set to multiply) to suggest the text is drawn on the map and has bled into the paper. Take a look at the link in my sig as to placement of text labels.

Those mountains rock!

Thanks, ravelis.

Let me give that a whirl. And I just downloaded the PDF on labels - looks interesting!

11-02-2010, 04:39 PM
I like the sandy colours. I would suggest to extend the advice on the the text to the mountains, sort of basement suggesting foothills and rougher lands. just my five cents.

Aval Penworth
11-02-2010, 05:35 PM
Hmm. Along similar lines already mentioned, I feel the mountains look good but the text, tree outline and coast outline are too heavy by comparison. :)