View Full Version : Novelist/mapmaker at your service :)

11-28-2010, 11:11 PM
Hello :)

My name is Keith, and I'm another new cartographer here... it seems like there's been surge the past few days! I discovered this site recently as I was searching for tutorials on fantasy map making as part of the novel I'm in the process of writing (http://illath.wordpress.com). I originally came across Hapimeses' post about creating simple mountains in Photoshop (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?1669-Award-Winner-Simple-Mountains-Photoshop-GIMP-Painter-etc.). Although in the end I settled on hand-drawing mountains, finding this site was a great first step in the process!

I made these maps with Photoshop CS4, with some hand-drawn elements. The world map and the regional map both showcase those hand-drawn mountains, which I actually had to photograph since I was living in Europe at the time and had zero scanner access! Although it took more time than just scanning, in the end it worked out quite well. The magic-wand tool saved the day, as usual. I also spent a lot of time tweaking the coastlines to get the shadowing/waves just right (zoom in to see!). In the Eldeholm map I used the VERY simple program Paintbrush (for Mac) to make the buildings, and then I added a lot of shading and brush-strokes in Photoshop.

World Map (http://illath.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/mapoftheworld-large1.png)
Andan (regional) Map (http://illath.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/andanmap-large1.png)
Eldeholm (city) Map (http://illath.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/eldeholmmap-large.png)

Also check out this map video (http://www.davecotter.com/keith/keys_of_illath/andan.mp4) that a good friend of mine made for me using Adobe AfterEffects! It also features music (http://illath.wordpress.com/podcasts-music/) I created for the project.

These maps were created as part of my novel, The Keys of Illath (http://illath.wordpress.com). I am publishing it chapter-by-chapter online, and if you like these maps I'd love it if you checked out the novel too! Here is a brief write-up of the novel from my website:

The Keys of Illath is a cross-genre journey that draws from the realms of fantasy, science-fiction, action-adventure, unsolved mystery, martial arts, epic romance, spiritual exploration and magical possibilities – all while (hopefully!) transcending the expected forms and attempting to arrive at an entirely new understanding of who we are, and what we’re capable of.

Because these maps are part of a copyrighted novel, I sincerely hope that they offer inspiration but I also ask that they be respected and used fairly under the copyright! I intend to be making some tutorials soon to offer up the tips and tricks that I used.


Cheers, and thanks for making this community so awesome! I look forward to getting to know you guys.


illath.wordpress.com (http://illath.wordpress.com)

11-29-2010, 03:59 AM
Hi Keith, welcome to the guild. Nice maps you've made, if you plan to make more for your novel (or just for the sake of mapping) post in a WIP thread as you go along for help and critique :)

11-29-2010, 02:46 PM
Thanks for the welcome! Just a quick newbie question...... what exactly is WIP? Help and critique are always good :)

11-29-2010, 02:54 PM
we have a section here called "Mapmaking Discussion & Philosophy (WIP/Critique)" - if you post there, in the relevant subforum - we know its a work in progress (WIP) and you can ask for advice, help and general critique :)

11-29-2010, 05:45 PM
Welcome to the guild, Keith.

11-29-2010, 06:06 PM
welcome to the guild Keith!

11-30-2010, 11:35 AM
Welcome to the Guild!

11-30-2010, 12:29 PM
Great first post complete with maps and all sorts of goodies :) Welcome to the guild and thanks for sharing.

Steel General
11-30-2010, 12:43 PM
Welcome Aboard!

11-30-2010, 03:57 PM
Thanks for all the support and feedback! The welcome was warmly received :) And thanks for the clarification on the WIP post (it now makes perfect sense that WIP='work in progress'--oh hindsight!). I'll definitely throw them up there for critiquing, especially the Eldeholm map...pulling off a believable city map was more difficult than I had anticipated.

12-09-2010, 04:53 PM
Welcome To The Guild !! :)

12-10-2010, 05:32 AM
Yay, another NorCal! Excellent work on that regional map; I don't think there's another type of map that looks quite as nice as a well-executed hand-drawn one.

12-10-2010, 08:46 PM
Cheers Diamond! I very much appreciate that :) Although I have a slight confession to make... the map is only half hand-drawn! The mountains were drawn by hand, but the terrain itself was drawn and colored in Photoshop. I think the sheer quantity of the hand-drawn mountains plus the final antique paper wash I added gave it that look... but that was the look I was after :)

Thanks again!

PS NorCal pride! :) I'm down in the Santa Cruz area, and I love it!

12-11-2010, 08:58 PM
I'm actually a transplanted SoCal guy (Riverside), but I've discovered NorCal is much more awesome. Shhhh, don't tell anyone. :D