View Full Version : [Suradan-WIP] Created by: Deadclock7

04-25-2011, 11:15 PM

So I've been around for about a year and been
letting the top ones work on my ideas, but now
I'm going to try to "SHOW MYSELF" to the world
of cartography with my new map, created
100% by me. This will be a work in progress,
and decided to post my map so far for some help.


:compass:x~ Deadclock7 ~x:compass:

PS. - I'm only 14 and have only 2-3 hours a day for my
Cartography, cuz' of of homework and all, but I'm also
getting my Books, "Fields of Suradan" and "Down To Balmir"

Steel General
04-26-2011, 06:37 AM
Looks like a good start.

04-26-2011, 09:12 PM

Here's part 2 of the map. xD

Questions & Requests-

1. Can someone help with rivers, I will provide the need layers if necessary.

2. Need some help on deciding a realistic or cartoony map concept.

3. Anything that will help me on my way.

4. Should I change the map to realistic colors or the brown and blue color scheme?


Don't know what's wrong with the image, but it still works fine.


Looking for a style like this, but with a little more realism.


:compass:x~ Deadclock7 ~x:compass:

04-26-2011, 10:02 PM
I love that map :3 And, best luck to ye'.

04-27-2011, 01:16 AM
Well, first you have to get the mountains and hills in. Since rivers flow downhill it's generally a good idea to get those higher things in at this point. Sure you could put rivers in first and then decide where the mountains are going to be but that usually ends up looking slapdash and the arrangement of mountain chains is almost impossible at that point. So we do it like mother nature does it, put the mountains in then decide how the water will flow. If you feel like you have too much open space then put a few lakes in before the mountains. Remember that mountains come in chains, not circles or squares or mish mash here and there little clumps. Hills can be a lot more freeform. You might want to read through the tutorial section on rivers and mountains and whatever else is there to get some better understanding of natural geography and the processes that shape the terrain.

Once the mountains are in, put a bunch of foothills around them and then fill up some space here and there with more hills. Then you do up the rivers.

Think of a river as a tree growing from the sea going inland - put the trunk on the coast and the branches in the mountains. Make your river curvy and bendy, not straight. Sometimes there are deltas in lowlands so those can be like the roots of the tree; just don't make too many deltas unless you have a lot of swamps. Connect the lakes to the river system. Lakes have many creeks that flow into them but only 1 flowing out - it's a physics thing. Depending on how far zoomed out you are (like you're hovering up in space looking down) you don't have to put in every single creek, just the rivers that are big enough to see (ie big wide suckers) or are important for a story. I always put in a rough sketch of where I want some rivers but hold off until the very end to put in the final rivers.

Next decide where you want the forests. Forests can be put anywhere but if you want to get technical about it then you need to take into account things like latitude, temperature, climate, rainfall, jet stream, seasonal winds, rain shadow, etc. That's a lot of stuff to think about so if you don't want to then you don't really have to...but it helps for realism. Generally, I put forests around mountains, lakes, and rivers and always on the west side of mountains. Then I'll stick some in at the end to fill up space.

Plains go on the east side of mountains (this is the rain shadow) and in temperate zones. This area can take up a great deal of space if you want it to. Savanas are hotter and a bit drier versions of plains and I put these between plains and deserts.

Deserts are drier savanas so put those where it is hot and dry - not way up north and not right next to a swamp. On earth the deserts are generally located on the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn but there are some others not on those latitudes.

Next you'll need some swamps (marshes, fens, bogs, moors, etc.) and those go where ever it is wet...cold and wet is a fen while hot and wet is a swamp. I put these around lakes and deltas.

Jungles are just hot and wet forests with different trees than in temperate or cold climates.

Once you have the basic terrains in (mountains, hills, forests, plains, deserts, swamps, jungles) then you can get exotic if you want and put things in like mesas, plateaus, cliffs, canyons, volcanoes, craters, etc. You can also get more specific terrain types like loess, tundra, tableland, scrubland, rainforest, etc. but you don't really need those.

With the terrain done now you think about towns. Cultures around the world (it's a human thing) always build settlements around where rivers join other rivers or where they join the sea or a lake so put your big cities in those places. Connect the big cities with roads and where the roads intersect that will become an important trade center so put some towns there. Villages are usually put where people need access to certain raw materials like iron or marble. Connect the villages and towns to the road system.

Next you have to think up names for all of those towns and cities and mountain ranges and creepy forests and foreboding deserts and pirate-filled gulfs. This is usually the longest part. Pick a font that fits the genre of your setting - don't use a Star Wars font on a fantasy map. The font should also be legible and clear; save the fancy fonts for the big title.

Lastly, put a scale bar on there so you know how far it is from one place to another. Put a compass on so everyone knows where north is - seems that it should go without saying but sometimes maps are made to fit the paper and therefore landmasses get rotated a bit. Put a fancy border on if you want and a pretty title. You can add some decorative illustrations around the edges if you so desire. If you really want to get technical put on some latitude and longitude lines and rhumb lines.

If you want to look into these things further then good ole wikipedia has lots of things to help you learn about them....or geography classes. As for the style that you show as an example, you'll just have to practice...experience is the best teacher anyway. If Clercon ever does a tutorial where he shows you step by step how do it all then that would make things easy. One last thing...we were all 14 once and drawing maps and dungeons n stuff but now many of us are in our 40s with kids of our own and jobs to go to every day so we don't have a lot of time either to walk people step by step through every little technical detail of the programs we are using. That's where the tutorials come in and you should practice some of them to learn the various techniques and tricks of the trade. Not all feedback may be as helpful as you want it to be but the cheerleading feedback should still be appreciated as it means some other person thinks you're doing a fine job...plus that person might be noob as well so they may not have all of the answers you're looking for. Everyday I say to someone here "looks good, man" or "nice job so far". Most of the time I really mean it but sometimes I just say it to keep people from getting discouraged and quitting. So just be polite and say thank you. :)

04-27-2011, 07:32 PM
Hey Ascension, do you know where I can grab some pretty good rhumb lines and map scales?
And one of those borders where it's like a scale and it alternates between black and white.

04-27-2011, 07:55 PM
This is for photoshop but the procedure is the same for GIMP Easy Neatline borders and Graticules in Photoshop. (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?12355-Photoshop-Easy-Neatline-borders-and-Graticules-in-Photoshop.)

04-27-2011, 08:03 PM
Thx man, Now I could use some rhumb lines, a compass, and map scales.

04-27-2011, 08:55 PM
There are some rhumb lines in the Elements section. Compasses are all over the web, and here, as fonts or images. The scale bar you will probably have to do yourself.

04-27-2011, 09:14 PM
Thx for the help. xD
Your Amazing!

05-05-2011, 06:43 PM
Part 3

Its been a while, but im working on placing rivers and moutains.
Might take a while. (Not much new)


:compass:x~ Deadclock7 ~x:compass:

Steel General
05-06-2011, 06:36 AM
Picture not working, need help.
Where can i post a 6mb jpg?

:compass:x~ Deadclock7 ~x:compass:

You could try DeviantArt or there are other free image hosting sites, whose names currently elude me...

05-11-2011, 06:15 PM
Sorry, but the map was deleted with a crash of my computer, i'm gona try to get back to where I was, thanks to all of you for your support.

Could some one make a black and white outlne of the map, just the landmass?

05-11-2011, 08:23 PM
Here ya go.

05-11-2011, 09:45 PM
Could yah get the islands too?
And Make it a 3 pixel width outline and all the rest white.
Thx for the help.

05-11-2011, 10:04 PM
I has PS open at the time so I won't be able to get it until tomorrow night. You can do it just as easily as I did, though. Download your first image, use the magic wand tool to select the landmasses, new layer, fill with white and you're ready to roll.

05-11-2011, 10:13 PM
Sorry, but my computer is down and i'm posting this from my ipod, but I can wait as long as you need.
Your amazing with the community, since your helping a loser like me and all.