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AaronAugustus
06-13-2011, 07:07 PM
*Deep Breaths Deep Breaths*

Okay the following two maps are for a play by post role playing workshop called Althanas. The challenge here is that the site is more than ten years old with an already established terrain and plenty of contradictions. I should know. I'm a moderator there. First I started out with a stylized canvas map. I even used the region's ancient name 'Al'Thayne' for this.

36502

I don't really care much about that one. I just used it as a tool to build a general consensus about the landmasses and the countries. Any constructive criticism is welcome though. What I'm really concerned with is the following map...

36503

... I used Ascension's Atlas Style Tutorial for GIMP to do this. I haven't put in any forests, rivers, boundaries or anything like that yet because I wanted to get some notes on what I've done so far before I continue. I feel like the sea board and the ocean in general are messed up in some way. I just cant put my finger on it.

Ascension
06-14-2011, 04:35 PM
To me, it looks like you deleted the area closest to the landmasses and textured the "deep" ocean part instead of the other way around. Delete the deep ocean and leave the shallow places and then give that the texturing for the continental shelf. If you want some bathymetry then do another deep ocean part and texture that but do it lightly.

AaronAugustus
06-14-2011, 09:40 PM
I think it's fixed. Thanks. That really helped.

36545

Are there any other notes you might suggest before I continue?

Ascension
06-14-2011, 10:07 PM
In my maps I use those tiny bump things as hills so you might want to fade out the edge of them so that they blend into the terrain better (use a big low opacity eraser). You could easily turn them into forests with a dark green color. The mountains in the north have some weird red thing going on, you could change that to a brown or a gray. Otherwise it's time for you to play around and experiment with things.

AaronAugustus
07-13-2011, 10:21 PM
I cleaned up the mountains and spruced up the snowcaps a bit. I haven't dealt with the forests yet. It's going to be kind of crazy because I have to create a cursed Red Forest on the eastern edge of the mainland.

37103

I threw some rivers in there just to try it out, and I moved on to the label's and boarders just for kicks. I do have a question about decor: compass, trade routes, fonts, and the like. I particularly would like to try to create a boarder. Any tips?

cantab
07-13-2011, 10:46 PM
On the latest map, the pair of craters in the NW look a bit too "regular" I think.

Fallien should probably be all shallow sea inside the bay/lagoon, unless your story says otherwise of course. With the inland sea, you might make some parts rather shallower, like the real Caspian sea which is very shallow in the north, deepening to about 1000 m in the south. Varying the width of the continental shelf for the mainland would add some interest and realism.

cfds
07-15-2011, 05:01 AM
Impact craters are pretty regular in real life. The splitting rivers are a far worse offense...

Juggernaut1981
07-15-2011, 06:43 AM
Yeah the energy released and the physics of cratering leaves basically circular marks. Take a look at the moon, all of those impact craters are near circular. There are a bunch of famous craters and they're basically circular.
Take a look at the satellite photos of this crater from Wikipedia... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manicouagan_crater

bartmoss
07-15-2011, 07:00 AM
Attention, attention! This is the River Police! We have you partially surrounded!

In addition to the forking rivers, and the branches that "go nowhere", you also have a river connect two coasts on the Corone southeast Island!

bartmoss
07-15-2011, 07:02 AM
Yeah the energy released and the physics of cratering leaves basically circular marks. Take a look at the moon, all of those impact craters are near circular. There are a bunch of famous craters and they're basically circular.
Take a look at the satellite photos of this crater from Wikipedia... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manicouagan_crater

DUDE. Thank you for that link. A circular sea, I love it.

AaronAugustus
07-16-2011, 03:23 PM
This is all very good, but how should I make the rivers?

Ascension
07-16-2011, 04:01 PM
Rivers don't split apart and stay split apart except in deltas because they run into the ocean before coming back together. I use this analogy all the time; think of a river as a tree where the roots are the delta, (very small delta/root system, these do not extend inland for hundreds of miles), then the main river is the trunk and the branches are up around the mountains and in the plains. Rivers come together...they might split for a short while to go around dense rock but they will come back together. Rivers carve out a channel thus they stay together and just continue to deepen the channel. Think of lakes like a dandelion, one main tap root goes out ie one river comes out of a lake, but many go in.

AaronAugustus
07-22-2011, 01:18 PM
Okay. I'll work on the rivers.

I can't seem to find tutorials on map decorations. Any suggestions?

Ascension
07-22-2011, 04:14 PM
The reason for that is 2 things: it's all hand-drawn work (and that just takes lots of practice to get good at drawing things) and the other is inspiration (each map has different intentions so the subject matter varies so widely). So if I were to make a tutorial on how to draw a certain kind of cartouche, then someone would come along and say that they need a different style and need a tut for that...you would end up with hundreds of tuts, one for each style. As to the subject matter, I could teach you draw a conquistador but then someone would want dwarves. And lastly, I can't draw a cartouche to save my life so I can't make a tut for it. :) So the best thing to do is to just look at other maps to get some ideas as to what you want and then do some rough drafts on paper with pencil. There are thousands of things that you can download, from around the web, that you can turn into decorations like swirls, swashes, banners, flags, shields, cartouches, etc. and with so much stuff available it is quite a deterrent to making a tut for such things. Although I do agree that someone who knows how to do such things would get high marks from me if they were to make a tut since I know very little about graphic design of decorations. The other thing that I found handy was to go to Barnes & Noble and go to the art section and pick up some books that have royalty free swirlies in them. I use them in my stained glass work often; there are art deco books, victorian books, edwardian books, art nouveau books, any style really.