View Full Version : Blandine's Primaterra project

12-13-2007, 01:23 PM
This thread is for the development of the maps Blandine commissioned here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1243

Since both Ravells and I have agreed to work on the maps, I thought it would be a good idea to have a place where we can communicate so we don't create any conflicts.

So, here's an image of what I've done so far with the world map. It hasn't received a rubber stamp yet. Ravs, if you need a detail shot of coastline or anything, I can export at whatever resolution you'd like. I'm working in CC3 at the moment.

12-13-2007, 01:27 PM
So then I guess I should attach the pic!

12-13-2007, 03:07 PM
Lol! I'm not even sure what is required yet!

12-13-2007, 03:15 PM
Ah OK I've received an email from Raphael who likes the style I've used in the Absalon maps (see the link in my sig). Might be best (for consistency since I'm not using CC (although I have CC2)) if I did regional maps but I'm open to suggestions! Perhaps Raphael would be happy with two different styles, or we could drop the Absalon map style altogether and use the style that you've used for the continental map (which is looking really nice)?

12-13-2007, 04:17 PM
Thank you for the compliment.

I was thinking along the same lines: if you do some regional maps, then I can polish the world map for a little while longer. He hasn't said anything yet about site or city maps. He said the campaign is beginning in the country of Rublo, which is the southern of the two islands off the eastern coast--the purple one. For the sake of easy reference, here's the information he sent me about the features on his rough map:

Our setting is non-chronological, is neither medieval fantasy nor modern fantasy; it could best be described, if necessary, as "renascentist fantasy" though that is still pretty far from what it gets.

About the realms on the map:
(the suggested colors are just in case you wanna give a light colouring to each territory. If you think something comes out ugly, please do whatever you find appropriate; the borders are also to be made much more rougher than the thick curved red lines we had drawn. Actually, we don't have any "official" map, so whatever you draw will become official).

Ivoire (color = white) is a militaristic empire; those lands are very hot and overally based on Ancient Babylon/Egypt.

Longinus (color = blue) is also an empire, but now dedicated to peace, lightly orientally influenced and recovering from a large proportions civil war. Its lands are fair and most of the year it looks like it's spring. It is based on Greece.

Faris (color = golden) is a large republic formed off the union of city-states that recently warred against Ivoire. We tend to compare Brazil to Faris socially, but it's more like a prosperous and much less ethnic/religious India.

Sangaria (color = gray) is a protetorate formed off Faris that became very rocky and arid with the action of sorcerers. It is supposed to be much more coastal than shown on the map, so, please, make its territory smaller along the coast.

Cédara (color = light orange) is a merchant republic also formed off Faris. Its lands are wetter. Agustine and Ramona are colonies of it.

Odenheim (color = red) is a prosperous snowed kingdom that once was a land of knights and now is becoming an industry-ridden land. It's overally based on Germany.

Rublo (color = light purple) is a socialist newfound republic that got its independence from Odenheim recently. It's overally based on Russia.

In case you want to draw geological features, here are the translated names for all the indications on the maps:

Baía do Meteoro = Meteor Bay = a giant meteor struck the land here
Baía de Velian = Velian Bay = there are many coral barriers and shipwrecks on this bay
O Planalto de Lorena = Lorena Plateau = ravaged by war
Costa Escarpada Farisi = Farisi Coast = a rough and high coast
Ilha da Cerração = Mist Island = the name says all
Baía de Buriash = Buriash Bay = a very atlantic bay
O Belvedere Selvagem = The Wild Belvedere = ample canyon region
Montanhas Altas = High Mountains = those mountains come down until the glass lake
O Lago de Vidro = The Glass Lake = a reflecting lake with emerging statues
Os Gêmeos Aesir = The Aesir Twins = two big mountains about the same shape
Terras Baixas de Glen = Glen Lowlands = wetlands with low vegetation
Agustine, Ramona, Aislin = Agustine, Ramona, Aislin (these are names for the islands)
Terras Baixas do Sul = Southern Lowlands = drier lands
Florestas Aquáticas de Alagos = Alagos Oceanic Woods = woods that come down the coast
Estreito de Rix = Rix Narrow = a very rocky narrow piece of earth between the two islands
Cordilheiras de Turim = Turim Mountain Ranges = mountains along the narrow
Campos Primaveris = Spring Fields = that setting's better not come out in English! hahah

Now the sites, in case we have icons for them:

Cidade Sagrada dos Altíssimos is a kind of giant trench on the land with remains from ancient angelic civilizations.
Pedreiras de Aesir are stone mining complexes along the two giant mountains
O Poço das Botas is a well where travelers gather and leave their boots for luck
A Alcova is a temple dedicated to Andarta, spirit of rebellion
A Torre Secreta is a tower hidden among the canyons where dervishes worship the spirit of dreams
Falha dos Heróis is a site where a giant minotaur-beast is chained to the ground
Estação das Gôndolas is a mechanical station where "boats" are lifted and carried to the highlands
Casa do Sol Nascente is a temple to Carlin, crop spirit
Labrys, Impatiens, Vervain and Bealeheim are fortresses dedicated to deceased god-spirits
Os Fiordes means "the fjords" and that's what they are.

And here's the map he sent:

12-13-2007, 06:20 PM
I'm not sure I'm going to have the time to do loads of regional maps and city maps etc...

But I'll do what I can!

I'll digest this lot and come back to you anon.


12-13-2007, 08:26 PM
Hello guys! It's very fancy to see this happening! Thanks for starting this thread, Bryan! I am already enjoying that very much! It's a shame all the material we have written about Primaterra is in portuguese language, I'm beginning to think of translating everything but it'd be two years of nonstop work supposing I quit the university :)

I already feel like I owe you two a lot of description and scenery works. I will do a lot of that for this weekend and begin working around Bryan's piece. I will now email you both with some points and thoughts.

A gazillion thanks!

12-14-2007, 06:35 AM
Hi blandline. If the stuff you have written is on a computer we could try running through an online translator. The results may not be perfect but it will give us a better idea and we can always ask you to clarify.

I have been through the map and the explanations and have a few questions:

1. What is the scale of the map? I assume the planet is spherical. How big is it compared to our earth? Are the landmasses shown the only landmasses on the planet? Does left hand side of the map 'curve' to meet the right? Where is the equator?

2. Can you tell us a bit about the global climate, regional climate and terrain type? It would be helpful if you could make a copy of your map and just draw in pencil which areas are tropical, temperate etc and major terrain features but in particular:
a. Mountain ranges.
b. Major Rivers.
c. Deserts.
e. Forests.
f. Farmland.
g. Ice / glaciers.

You only need to do the major land features (we can invent the rest) but obviously if there is a small area that you want to represent geographically in a particular way then details would be helpful.

3. Population Centres: I take it that the circles with the holes in the middle are capitals and the solid circles are towns or cities. Is it important to you that the map reflects the population size of these habitations? If yes, then can we have some detail? You can just put numbers next to each pop centre between 1 - 5 representing small villages to big cities unless you want something more precise.

4. Country Borders: These are perfect curves or straight lines. Usually borders follow natural boundaries. Are the borders you have drawn suggestions / a rough idea or are they meant to be exactly as drawn?

Those are my questions for the time being, but I'll post up more as they come to me.

Midgauardsommer: Would you mind making a large png of the coast outline (landmasses in pure black and everything else in pure white) and emailing it to me please? Ta!



12-14-2007, 09:17 AM
Just wanted to jump in and that you both for willing to "publish" this process here in the forums - I think it will end up being an invaluable resource!

-Rob A>

12-14-2007, 10:55 AM
Sure, if blandline and Mid are happy. Rob if you (or anyone else for that matter) can think of other required data to compose the map, please don't hesitate to pitch in!


12-14-2007, 11:00 AM
Thanks Rob!

Ravs, you have a PM. Raphael said the original borders weren't correct. My map reflects somewhat rougher borders, though they're still rather too smooth and perfect when they're not following a river.

12-14-2007, 10:36 PM
I am happy with everybody, everything, and in every moment. :D I will email you now, Ravs!

12-15-2007, 05:23 AM
I am happy with everybody, everything, and in every moment. :D

But that's because you live in Brazil where the weather is lovely, the girls are pretty, the mojitos are tall and music makes you dance!

The Cartographist
12-15-2007, 06:19 AM
Ravells - There is NOTHING wrong with life in the UK!

12-15-2007, 07:45 AM
Lol! It's a good place indeed (when the tubes are running and there isn't a train strike!)

12-15-2007, 09:57 AM
Just make sure to mind the gap.

12-15-2007, 11:54 AM
From Raphael:

The only time we applied a time measure to a place was when we said a character had crossed Faris on foot from the borders of Ivoire to the eastern coast in three moons (that'd be about 75 days). It was a very heroic character, he struggled a lot but might have had ways to do a faster crossing, so that doesn't help much.

So... I'd ask you to pick up that measure. It's not a big world at all (did I tell you it is flat?). Faris could have a Greece size.

Across flat land, a person could be expected to travel 30 - 40 km in a day. Since Faris has a lot of mountainous terrain, and the character had to struggle, figure on perhaps 15 km per day for this journey. That makes the width of Faris, from the Ivoire border to the eastern coast, about 1125 km. At its widest, from the southernmost island in the archipelago to the Turkish city of Edirne, is about 800 km. That's as the crow flies--measuring across the water.

My current map in CC3 measures that distance at about 680 units. Miraculously, if we assume that measurement is in miles, it falls somewhere between the two measurements given (1094 km).

12-15-2007, 01:33 PM
Bryan, would you mind emailing me the stuff that Raphael has emailed you so far? It'll save on repetition. I'm holding fire until I hear further from Raphael with sketches / more info.

Thanks for the scale information. Can you pop a scale bar on your existing map and post it?



12-16-2007, 10:33 AM
Can do. I've sent the email, and here's the map with a scale bar. It's in miles at the moment, but I'll customize one in "kilorods" for the final version. I've also bumped up the resolution for greater legibility.

12-17-2007, 08:21 AM
About the posted map!

Way to go!! :D The borders could follow natural borders and be rougher, and I would discard the glowing borders effect for a overall color hue over the territory of the country (if that's possible, of course). Problem is, I believe a "colored political" map wouldn't take rivers and mountains as easily as a more natural map as we are doing. The natural map would be richer, including geographical features and such, and the political map would be more obvious. In case we make a "natural map", I think the borders should be more neutral-colored and discreet, maybe without all those colors. What do you guys think?

I'd like black or a deeper blue for the sea color. A black sea color would fit a "political" map better, while a textured deeper blue map would fit a "realist" map better.

I will myself try to work in a frame that fits the scenario better. The font on the "Scale in Miles" thinglet could also be changed!

I'll soon send more geographical information!!

Thank you very much!!!!!!!!

BTW: Music, check; weather, check; girls, well, my girlfriend is very lovely, so, ok, check; but what are MOJITOS? What are TALL mojitos?


12-17-2007, 05:10 PM
Hi both, I've now got the coastline ready to go, and will await further information on locations of mountain ranges, rivers etc.

blandline, is there a particular country you would like to start with after you've done the macro details?


p.s. mojitos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mojito)are Cuban, but I assumed they had made their way down to Brazil!

12-18-2007, 10:29 AM
I'm sure he's also sent this to you, Ravells, but I like to keep my reference material handy, and it might be enlightening to those in the gallery, so here's the climate map.

edit: And the revised political map, with very dark blue water, the requested coloring changes, and temporary settlement symbols. When I finish the map, the cities and labels will be done in Corel because CC3's anti-aliasing is lousy. I also moved some rivers around a bit so they'd justify the locations of the cities.

12-18-2007, 11:41 AM
Thanks Brian - now that Raphael had given us the climate / geography map we can make a start on the major features, yu may have to move some mountains around a bit!

I'll make a start on the purple area as a regional map and post up my wip anon.

12-18-2007, 03:32 PM
Yep. How's this strike you? New mountains, rivers, and border, and now a temporary compass rose.

The neatline (border) measures the map in miles. When I take it into Corel, that should allow me to make a new scale bar in kilorods without having to import a CC3 scale on a separate layer. I had some trouble with scaling when last I attempted to export CC3 sheets individually.

12-18-2007, 04:03 PM
Looking good...but maybe the blue needs to be desaturated and made more blue? Not sure if it's my monitor but it almost looks purple here. I know Raphael wanted a really dark blue / black sea, (Raphael have you thought about what this is going to do the ink in your printer?) but anyway it's early days yet and easy to fiddle with once the land masses get populated.

12-19-2007, 03:40 PM
Everything is looking very alright now!!

Before I forget, Ravi, I'd like your part of the project to begin in Rublo!

Other elements now depend on how much effort and time all of us are willing to put on this map. I mean to mail you, within the next days, a map containing much more city spots, places and stuff. I was looking forward to see a very detailed map, if possible very polluted, and if possible very beautiful also :D ahaha

I'd like the borders to be rougher between the countries on the continent. They can have a different countour from the rivers' one. I also think I maybe have made a poor choice in indicating a yellowish colour to Rublo since it occupies most of the map. Maybe it would help if it was made a little goldier, or we could just forget the "political colors" altogether and pursue a realistic map, I don't know. I just wanted it to be really polluted and full of information, information I had yet to give you.

Do you have many "place icons" at hand, or the possibility to draw them? As I plan to print this map in very large scale, it wouldn't be bad to have lots of details. Terrains, forest textures, all of that. First thing off, I'll give names to all of those chains of mountains you placed. Some of them already have names by now (the Aesir Twins and the Barum Ridge to the north) and I'll name them all next.

This world also has a very particular touch to it. Astrologically, each single star on the heavens has a "spot" where it shines brighter on the world. That has to do with the cosmology of the game, in which the temples to the Avantesmas, where the pregnant women have to be taken so as to give birth, determine the places of the towns. Because of that, lots of constellations could be drawn over the map like a "skies map", where many spots would be the same spots as already placed cities and locations.

I have a great desire of having a very complicated map printed, full of textures and illustrations and overally hard to understand :D ahhaha

Tell me what can be done!! :D
All this can be done, we just require the details!


Dear Raphael,

How big do you plan to print out the maps? This is important to know as if we are using non vector textures, we will need to make them at the proper resolution.

My interest at the moment is purely in Rublo and Bryan's is in the map of the whole continent. I don't intend to colour the local maps with a political border colour, I think that is best left to Bryan's continental map (although a bit of the political colour in the border may look nice). Don't worry about the names for now, just give us enough information to do the drawings, putting the names on is easy and can be done at any stage, but better left until the end so that we can place them properly. (I hope Bryan agrees with this!).

In terms of place icons, the choices are using something abstract, like a dot or a square, or representative, like a little city or town drawing. Or, if you want to highlight that a habitation has a particular type of building, for example a church or fort, we can use little icons to indicate this. It is probably best to do the main drawing first so you have an idea of the feel and then to attend to the details later - we can send you ideas you can pick from.

Another idea I had is that we can make each country in a different style (as if they had been drawn by different cartographers) which tells more about the country in question. For example, a place you want the players to know little about can be done in a sketchy black and white style, and places well known can be done in full colour. This would also be helpful as Bryan (who is using different software to me) can make local maps as well.

I'm copying and pasting this email to the board as it is a part of the thought process.


12-21-2007, 01:57 PM
I have roughened the borders. That took a bit longer than I expected; CC3's trace function isn't very efficient.

Now, I'm not sure what to do with the political color for Faris. You said "goldier," but I'm not sure precisely what you mean by that. Can you point me toward an example of the color you want on the web somewhere?

Working on some geographical features, but it's slow going at the moment--too many other obligations.

12-22-2007, 02:43 PM
If I may comment on the climatic map:
I am no meteorologist, however, something about this feels odd, especially when thinking that the whole place isn't really big (in comparison to earth). Do you have any indications for why, for example, the desert is placed right where it is? (Maybe there's magical influence mentioned in the background)

And yet, I don't have an exact problem with it - since you said that the place is flat, it was most likely created, with makes it easier to overlook any "flaws", since you already must suspend your disbelief.

12-22-2007, 03:41 PM
I've made a start on Rublo. I'm playing with ideas at the moment. Raphael describes this bit as 'Great spring plains' (so no forests etc). The darker texture on the land isn't meant to represent anything in particular - it's just there to give the land a bit of interest.

Would appreciate thoughts on:

The dissolve edge mountain range?
town circle colours?
Or should I use icons for towns?
More rivers?
Should I use the mountain icons around the central lakes instead of the dissolve style?



12-22-2007, 06:35 PM
That looks nice, but it looks suspiciously like what I've been labelling Longinus, not Rublo. According to the original map, Rublo is the southern of the two large islands on the eastern edge of the world map. It's sort of a pink-magenta color right now thanks to the transparency I've got on it. I have yet to tweak the political colors.

12-22-2007, 10:09 PM
Eek! No worries, I'd better do the real Rublo then!

Thanks Mid!


12-23-2007, 01:38 PM
I've been trying to get the mountains right, but I think they're horrible beyond redemption, so - new style. The idea here is to use shaded relief, but I've posterised the colours so it could be seen as more like an illustration quality. Subject to Raphael's thoughts, I think this is probably better.

12-24-2007, 02:25 PM
And here's a draft of the world map with cities and labels. Still to do:

Convert scale to kilorods
Find or make a cool compass rose
Texture more geological features
Add Farisi caravan routes

Oh, and the final print sizes are 20cm X 30 cm or 50cm X 75cm. I'm shooting for the 50 X 70 (19" X 29"), as that's about the same size as my old poster map of Middle Earth, and it seems like a good size for a map of this type.

This map should appear approximately that size when viewed at a screen resolution of 800 X 600 on a 17-inch monitor. I was trying to get it to look right at 1024 X 768. I must have made an error in my arithmetic somewhere.

Edit: I revised the map, adding the capital cities, landmarks, and geographical labels. I also moved a couple of cities around, so they'd make more sense in relation to the rivers and mountains. The scale bar and compass rose didn't make it onto this draft, but they were temporary, anyway.

Raphael expressed delight with the current colors, so I'm going to consider those good for now. Finally, I have replaced the fonts with those provided by Raphael.

01-20-2008, 11:51 AM
New draft of the map. I didn't shoot for any particular print size this time, but just made it as large as I could considering the file size limits. The only things I've added here are the Farisi caravan routes, and I cleaned up some rivers that were jutting out into the sea.

01-21-2008, 11:48 AM
This is looking really great Bryan! I'd better get back to Rublo and start getting some stuff done!

Blandine, are you happy with the style I've used for Rublo? Would you prefer a different style? (For example one that looks more like the style that Bryan is using for the main map?)



01-25-2008, 07:41 AM
Hello back! Long absence here, sorry! :O I missed some things.

Bryan's last exports are looking very good! Not much is missing now. I just wanted it to look heavily crowded with information so it's a matter of having new places put on the map.

The colors are also beautiful, you had a very good taste in picking the tones after the political colors I indicated!

I was busy with other projects concerning the game and ended up not giving proper attention to this since the end of the last year. I'll mail you more later about the maps and with new information!

Thanks!! :D

01-25-2008, 09:32 AM
Great to have you back, blandine ... would you like me to continue with the Rublo map as I've started or did you have a different style of map in mind?

02-01-2008, 08:39 PM
OK, I've had another stab at Rublo, is this more what you wanted, Blandine? It's like the Absalon map but I've made it a little brighter.

Tell me if you want more details etc, or changes.



Bryan, some of the cities were marked with squares others with circles and some with Capital letters but Rublo was in lower case...not sure what the significance is.

02-01-2008, 09:48 PM
The squares are landmarks, and the circles are cities. The circles with a ring are capitals. The capitals and landmarks are in all caps, the other cities have an initial capital. Except it looks like I missed Lodis--it should be in all caps and larger.

02-02-2008, 12:27 AM
Rublo is looking a lot like something from Anna's Atlas of the Flanaess. Did you use Bryce? I liked your Longinus map, but this is head shoulders and horns better. Stick to this style would be my recommendation.

HandsomeRob and Anna are two of my touchstones for map design. Completely different styles, but each on top for their style.

02-02-2008, 07:25 AM
Ah thanks Bryan. I'll ask Bladine what the landmarks are - maybe we can put in a drawing of something.

Su Liam, - yes I used Bryce to get the shaded relief on this one. Thanks for the compliment.

02-02-2008, 04:04 PM
Hi Bladine,

Thanks for your email - is this closer to what you were looking for?



02-02-2008, 06:19 PM
Ah thanks Bryan. I'll ask Bladine what the landmarks are - maybe we can put in a drawing of something.

The translations for the landmark sites are conveniently on the first page of this thread:

I really need to try some photo-styled approaches, I think; that's beautiful!

02-02-2008, 07:36 PM
Thanks Bryan - not sure about the little iceberg symbols I used though...lol, may have to redo that bit - and thanks for the translations for the landmarks...I just made up stuff now I know what to use! In fact I think if I'm going to do the fjords justice as I know know that's what the name means (should have guessed!) I'm going to redo the map from scratch...I'll try to do a tutorial as I go, but so much of what I do us just fiddling and undoing and trying again so I'm not sure how the tutorial will turn out.



02-03-2008, 05:39 PM
I hope this is going to be the final one, Blandine - because we need to start to get a faster work flow going as I won't have time to finish the rest of the maps if they are taking as long as this one with all the changes!



02-08-2008, 04:05 PM
Hi Blandine....here is the other style as discussed (see email).