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aeronox
12-16-2007, 05:59 AM
Today I filled in the outline, created jagged coasts in the south, and did everything from climate to currents to geology to vegetation type. I fixed up my mountain chains, painted rivers and even cracked 300 MB filesize, til I split it up.

I have produced a large-resolution greyscale map suitable for printing, and was surprised to find a neat tool within Photoshop called "Zoomify".

You can see the result here: http://world-makers.com/SNRM_ZoomMap1/SNRM1.html

Eilathen
12-16-2007, 07:02 AM
Wow, i really like that style. Well done. And the zoomify is a fun tool.
Tell us more of this world and hopefully there will be more maps?

aeronox
12-16-2007, 07:12 AM
It is the setting for a fantasy story my friend & I are writing.

At the moment there are NO names for anything - my original sketch was labelled "A Map of Someplace during the reign of Some King"!

I am keeping it in this simple greyscale style, until everything is named, borders and roads are drawn, etc. Then I'll make some other styles.

EDIT: here's the general process I followed...

1) Rough shape-sketch on paper
2) Scanned it in to the computer
3) Painted a rough shape, applied RobA's randomiser with large clouds
4) Resized the image, and repeated RobA's randomiser with smaller clouds
5) Painted additional islands, gulfs, channels, peninsulas & seas. I did this by applying the RobA method, then adding it to the rest of the map using Lighten/Darken mode depending on whether I'm adding water or land.
6) Copied the land-base layer, Filter->Stylise->Trace Contour, Blur More, Image->Adjustments->Threshold. This gives me my thick outline.
7) Used my Mountain brush/layer style to draw mountains and hills (adjusting the opacity for smaller mountains).
8) Following the contours of the mountains i'd generated, I painted rivers, just zoomed in to 200% and manually wiggling them.
9) Painted in the following regions and added various pattern/overlay effects: Forest, Marsh, Desert, Continental Shelf.

TIPS:
1) Learn about the Wind circulation, Coriolis Effect, etc. This affects ocean currents and precipitation.
2) Keep your vital maps at a very high resolution. It's better to start high-res, it saves you from blurryness. For maps that don't matter much, like temperature, rainfall, geology, just copy the map and resize it to something quite small; you won't need a super high-res version of these maps.
3) Precipitation = moisture. Lack of moisture -> desert. Type of desert depends on soil composition, temperature and altitude.
4) At extreme coldness, glaciers form. Glaciers are 'moving rivers of ice', and they grind down mountains, causing them to be jagged, and leave huge pointy gulfs to the water. Think fjords.
5) Rivers flow downhill. If it cannot continue, it forms a lake or marshy area. Rivers come from rain, ice/snow, and springs; apart from the latter, this means that the direction of wind, and therefore the moisture-laden air hitting the mountain slopes, affects where your rivers originate.
6) Think of climates as combinations of Hot/Normal/Cold and Wet/Normal/Dry.
7) Climate affects vegetation types, which affects animal types. Examples include Rainforest, Savannah, Forest, Grassland, Tundra, etc. Think of the whole picture; the 'biome'.
8) Look at the Pacific Rim to see how 'island arc chains' appear - and how much volcanic activity there is!

nikonguy
12-16-2007, 09:12 AM
Excellent map! Sounds like you really did your homework for that one. What were your references? Did you research the information in dead tree form or did you find some great resources on the web?

aeronox
12-16-2007, 06:22 PM
Uhh, no references as such... I just love geography!

What is dead tree form?

mmmmmpig
12-16-2007, 07:45 PM
I believe "dead tree form" is a book, but I am just guessing. I really like the fact that you have thought about geomorphology in the context of your land-forms. I would suggest trying to keep that in mind as well when political boundaries are generated.

I think you are dead on about the Hi-res first thing. You may even want to break the map into tiles so you can really res it up. I look forward to seeing this one progress.

aeronox
12-16-2007, 08:00 PM
I'll have a whole bunch of more tips as I get around to the civilisation-side of things.

My map is around 10,000 x 10,000 with 200dpi - the biggest I'm daring to go! I had around 20 layers at one point, but it was taking forever to save and apply effects, so once I had the land-base settled, I split the PSD layers into several different files.

mmmmmpig
12-16-2007, 09:38 PM
What did the file size end up being? Just curious, it had to be a bear. Any chance you would be willing to chat about what your layers were?

aeronox
12-17-2007, 03:50 AM
up to 350 MB at one stage. now the individual files are around 100MB.

layers included:

Ink Outline
Land
Water
Mountain Relief
Altitude
Rivers/Lakes
Ice
Forest
Desert
Marsh
Wind Currents
Ocean Currents
Water Temperature
Rainfall
Air Temperature
Tectonics
Volcanoes
Seismic Activity
Continental Shelf

Future layers:
Cave systems
Rock types
Artesian basins

mmmmmpig
12-17-2007, 10:55 AM
Thanks Much!

aeronox
12-17-2007, 11:07 AM
Hmm I'm still getting to know this site. I probably should have posted this WIP in the Regional Mapping section. Please move :D

nikonguy
12-17-2007, 12:53 PM
Off topic a bit but to clarify: Dead tree... it's a phrase we use in journalism all the time. And as mentioned it is usually in reference to books and newspapers...anything printed on paper. I'm a new media journalist (online/multimedia) so whenever my work goes into print in a traditional manner, I tell my associates that it will be appearing in a dead tree publication.

aeronox
12-18-2007, 01:42 AM
Please change this topic title to "Unnamed - Various Styles" thx :)

Took about 4 hours to colour the map (attached)... This will be the 'pretty' version of my map :D while the other greyscale one is for quick reference.

When it comes time to put a civilisation overlay on it, I may have to reduce the contrast of all the natural layers.

I have made this at twice the resolution of the attached image - which itself is half the resolution of my master copy (which is also the size of the greyscale one).

aeronox
12-18-2007, 04:00 AM
..and a compass rose to go with it:

aeronox
12-18-2007, 07:48 AM
Some lettering...

I've started naming places, using names from another world I've made. Just to see what typeface I'd use, and what colours.

Eilathen
12-18-2007, 09:07 AM
Again...great maps! I really like your style.

The only thing that bothers me a bit is that the yellow/orange colour comes off too strong/aggressiv ... I'd bleach it to a softer tone. But that is just personal taste.

mmmmmpig
12-18-2007, 09:08 AM
careful with the fonts, you don't want to lose readability. That font for the large area names is close to unreadable.

aeronox
12-18-2007, 09:26 AM
Eilathen: which yellow/orange? On the title/compass or the desert?

mmmpig: thanks, I'm still trying other fonts. I have over 500 so it takes forever to go through them

Midgardsormr
12-18-2007, 11:07 AM
I like the vibrant colors for this map; they give it a kind of adventurous flair. It's bold and exciting and doesn't take itself too seriously.

The trouble with the font is that the capitals are decorative--they work great if they're used as starting caps, but not so well when used to make an entire word. I think AlgerianBas would work well. You can find Algerian on some free font sites, but it has a drop shadow for some reason. The Base version doesn't have the shadow.

aeronox
12-18-2007, 01:07 PM
I like the vibrant colors for this map; they give it a kind of adventurous flair. It's bold and exciting and doesn't take itself too seriously.

Thanks :)
The objective is to create a map that is colourful, stylistic, yet still have accurate details (I mean, if it shows dense forest, then it's dense forest). It is useable. It isn't something that one of the world's inhabitants created; I made it, the author, to portray a vibrant world. In this respect I believe the bright orange BOLTSS components is suitable.


The trouble with the font is that the capitals are decorative--they work great if they're used as starting caps, but not so well when used to make an entire word. I think AlgerianBas would work well. You can find Algerian on some free font sites, but it has a drop shadow for some reason. The Base version doesn't have the shadow.

I've been aware of Algerian for many years, but never liked it. I have altered the fonts and colours, and added sea/river examples, and some routes.

Rivers are particularly tricky: how to get a very small-size text readable, but not stand out, is difficult. Placing a label on those mountains is hard.. I don't like going too vertical, nor splitting the words up too much.

I did paint some borderlines in, but decided against it, at least for this region. It's sparsely populated, therefore little national conflict, hence borders are meaningless and arbitrary. Amarkin is the largest nation - and Luthea is also very large. The rest will be much smaller, and will involve conflict.

Eilathen
12-19-2007, 09:26 AM
Eilathen: which yellow/orange? On the title/compass or the desert?



The desert yellow/orange. It just comes off too strong for my taste...especially considering the more subtle greens. But as i said, this is just a matter of taste...and if you want the map to look more "modern art"-style, then this is doing it, i'd say ;)

pyrandon
12-19-2007, 04:54 PM
I have a couple geographical questions to consider. And please feel free to correct me (anyone) for I am not in any even tiny way a geographer--just a guy who likes art and maps.

First, are there enough rivers and water to support such a lush area as is depicted? Normally, this sort of place will have many, many, many both justifying the "green" and explaining where the rain goes that supports it. This will depend upon the scale, of course, but judging from your moutnains and such it seems a valid question.

Also, you have lakes fed by rivers, but no other outlets. This is, of course, possible, but without odd/unique circumstances, won't river-fed lakes overflow into streams and such running into the sea. (I pose this question mainly because I live by the Great Lakes, but I am unsure and will do some checking).

I really must compliment you on your mountain texture; it is one of the few cases in which I really, really like the use of PS's powers in this regard: they look very believable and not like big crumpled pieces of papers or chiseled blobs. But, you include no other elevations, such as hills, valleys, and such. It seems highly unlikely to me that there would be mountains on flat plains (though, of course, it's possible.)

Finally, I agree with the others that the color choices are about 10% too bright. I like how vibrant things are, but this is just a hair's breadth over the edge, IMO.

I hope these questions--even if completely rejected by you--were at least a tad helpful. You have a nice style. I likey! :)

aeronox
12-19-2007, 07:09 PM
First, are there enough rivers and water to support such a lush area as is depicted? Normally, this sort of place will have many, many, many both justifying the "green" and explaining where the rain goes that supports it. This will depend upon the scale, of course, but judging from your moutnains and such it seems a valid question.

I will be adding more rivers. It's funny how I came to this realisation: I wanted more political separation. And I didn't have enough rivers, either as borders or as simple indicators of abundant population.


Also, you have lakes fed by rivers, but no other outlets. This is, of course, possible, but without odd/unique circumstances, won't river-fed lakes overflow into streams and such running into the sea. (I pose this question mainly because I live by the Great Lakes, but I am unsure and will do some checking).

Water can erode its own path, yes, but it is still subject to the lay of the land. If there is enough water to fill a lake, without overflowing it, but not too little to evaporate, then I suppose it is possible.


I really must compliment you on your mountain texture; it is one of the few cases in which I really, really like the use of PS's powers in this regard: they look very believable and not like big crumpled pieces of papers or chiseled blobs. But, you include no other elevations, such as hills, valleys, and such. It seems highly unlikely to me that there would be mountains on flat plains (though, of course, it's possible.)

Thankyou. What is a mountain, what is a hill? I have use the same layer and brush for both, simply lowering opacity for hills - and in effect lowering the bump-map, and decreasing the amount of relief shading on that section. I could make another layer for hills, and make them rounder.. but I wouldn't think it's really necessary. There is a bump-map covering the whole map, all within the mountains layer - however the lower altitudes are at extremely low opacity.


Finally, I agree with the others that the color choices are about 10% too bright. I like how vibrant things are, but this is just a hair's breadth over the edge, IMO.

I'll take note. However I must say that the fantasy cartographer's addiction to dull, dreary tones is something I'm trying to avoid here. It is supposed to jump out at you, so that if you had it printed and pinned to your wall, your eye would keep going back to it. I wouldn't find myself doing that with Middle Earth.

Thankyou all for such constructive criticism, and please keep it coming. :D

Baziron
12-22-2007, 12:31 PM
Holy S***... this is so awesome, I'd tattoo that on my back.

Can't say anything else. Looks marvellous - at least, excels in making people uttering compliments by overwhelming them.

But I mean it the way I say it. I'd agree on the rivers bit - especially when you put so much effort into Wind Effects and Precipitation. But it - the coloured map without text - is still great, even without them visible.

And the google-earthish zooming in on the greyscale map is made of win.

aeronox
12-22-2007, 06:52 PM
Thanks Baziron! I can't wait to use the google-earthish thing for my finished map!

Yesterday I was driving my brother's car, and he has a GPS navigation system. I zoomed into inland Australia (just to see how detailed the map database was), and was really surprised to see rivers everywhere.

So i'll definitely be creating alot more rivers, especially in the north.

And while I'm at it i'll look at making the lower altitude hills more visible.