PDA

View Full Version : Continent of Dyrna (WIP)



ObsidianBlk
02-28-2008, 08:32 PM
This is a map I've been working on for a few days now.

It's a map of the continent I'm using in a story I've been putting together. The continent is called Dyrna in which two nations are resident. The map itself is still very much a work in progress.

The basic ideas are that over a thousand years ago there was a war between the two nations (one situated on the Dyreen Plateau, and the other in the Dark Lands). The war ended abruptly when two great catastrophes occurred. The first was the collapse of a HUGE chunk of land which formed the Tears of the Fallen as well as the Gulf of Sorrow. The second was a horrible plague that swept through the Dark Lands. These events weakened the two nations too much to continue their fighting.

The Lost Lands is not my excuse to leave a huge whole in my map, but a mysterious effect that prevents people from exploring anywhere within that very well defined region. A traveler that attempts to simply walk in will find themselves walking right back out without ever having turned around.

So... lol... now that I've rambled on a bit too much about the setting, I'd love to hear any suggestions anyone might have about the map. Any at all!


-----------
EDIT
-----------
Added some major updates to this map. Hope everyone enjoys. (updates are in a post further down:) )

pyrandon
02-28-2008, 09:54 PM
First of all, great first post! This is very interesting and in many, many respects it's admirable!

Now, for suggestions I would first of all say it is an odd amalgam of three different styles: symbolic (the mountains & hills), realistic (the forests & rivers), and painterly (the deserts & coastal waters). These three can coexist, of course, on the same map, but I think on your map the gulf between them is too great and thus jarring to the eye. I suggest you find a middle ground: make the mountains a litle more realistic by adding shadows/cliffs/snow/line variations; and add a but more realism to the painterly elements as well such as grain or splotches.

(Plus, the Lost Lands is a giant eyesore--perhaps because it's so bright? I'd try it very dark brown or black, etc.)

I really like how dark the sea is in comparison to the land, although I wonder if the land is just a tad too bright. This would, perhaps, be dependent upon the tone of the story you are writing: is this a hopeful tale of high adventure, or a tale of dark times. Make the map fit that, I say.

I think this is the best starting place for the next stages, IMO. I look forward to seeing more! Great post!

HandsomeRob
02-28-2008, 10:56 PM
I think we really need to see a scale somewhere on this map. Also, I'm having a lot of trouble reading the font. Colors are nice though.

-Rob

PrismShard
02-28-2008, 11:55 PM
I like the map a lot. The textures of the terrain, especially the forests and lakes are particularly nice. I also like the overall color scheme. I would recommend doing something different with the text's color, however, since it's hard to make out some of the words. Also, if this is a populated world, I'd like to see some roads, towns, cities, ruins, etc. What program did you use?

ObsidianBlk
02-29-2008, 12:55 AM
On the subject of the texts on the map... forgive me for not mentioning it before, but they were simply thrown in there for this WIP to give everyone some general names to go with the map. Those will definitely be given far more attention than the five minutes I gave them before uploading the map here :)

The Lost Lands are bright, I agree, but only because I actually haven't gotten to painting any of that area yet. That will definitely change.

I can see what you're saying, Pyrandon, about the mountains, but before I completely change their style from the symbolic they are now, I have yet to give them texture, so I'm going to do that before examining how it looks on the map over all... but I will definitely keep the idea of changing their style in mind. (I'm also going to do this because, I'm not familiar with the more natural way of painting mountains :D)

Roads and towns are on the "to-do" list for this map. Still have some detailing to finish (none of the islands have been detailed yet, and the Lost Lands needs to be attended to)

Sorry for not having a scale. It'll be in the final version, but, for an idea, I'm picturing the continent to be roughly the size of the USA in width.

Last but not least... I'm using Painter IX to draw the map. The original rough sketch was done by hand on a very boring work day, but I scanned that in and drew over the original (adding to it in places) and painted it in Painter. The map above is only 1/7 the size I'm actually painting.

Thank you guys for the great comments! I'll have an update to this map soon :D

pyrandon
02-29-2008, 01:00 AM
Oh--I'm not saying completely change the mountains: just touch them up so they come a bit closer to the painterly style. Richt now they seem plopped on there in all their cut-and-paste glory, and to my eye stick out too much. That's all I meant. No changes (to anything, really) just play, editing, and touch-ups. :)

ObsidianBlk
02-29-2008, 01:03 AM
Oh--I'm not saying completely change the mountains: just touch them up so they come a bit closer to the painterly style. Richt now they seem plopped on there in all their cut-and-paste glory, and to my eye stick out too much. That's all I meant. No changes (to anything, really) just play, editing, and touch-ups. :)

Yeah, lol, after I posted I reread what you said and realized I misunderstood what you were saying about the mountains. Hehe... don't worry, though. Like I said, they're going to be getting a bit more work to them then a simple, flat color :D

ravells
02-29-2008, 06:33 AM
Ohhhhh you have rivers forking downstream...rivers very rarely, if ever do that. There was a good tutorial posted on doing mountains in painter recently. You might want to have a look at that one - it may give you some ideas. Looking forward to seeing how this one develops. I think painter is a really underused mapping tool here at the guild and I'm glad that we have another 'painter guy' in the house!

RobA
02-29-2008, 11:38 AM
Ohhhhh you have rivers forking downstream...rivers very rarely, if ever do that.

C'mon Rav's...you beat me to it!

I took a good look and it seems all your rivers tend to defy what rivers typically to. Think of them as roots of a plant, with the surface of the soil being where the river ends (ocean, large lake). Small rivulets combine into brooks, which combine into streams, which combine into rivers, and so on, with the. They also tend to flow downhill. (This makes me question the river that appears to be flowing from the SE side of the lake in the Dureen plateau). Lastly, the slope of the terrain (and material) determines the river's "feel". it takes a flat, level, area for a river to widen out and meander. Sharply sloped areas will make water channels deeper and straighter.

I do like the artistic look of the map, and especially how you cluster forest growth near water. Looking forward to its evolution! (and how the lost lands are eventually handled...)

-Rob A>

ObsidianBlk
02-29-2008, 01:14 PM
Hmmm... about the rivers...
When I drew them, I tended to think of them as coming from the mountains and flowing down toward the oceans. So, I'm guessing while the source (the mountains) to the destination (the ocean) is correct, my thought that they can be split as they head to the ocean isn't. Ok, I'll have to see about redirecting the rivers some.

Thank you

RobA
02-29-2008, 02:12 PM
Hmmm... about the rivers...
When I drew them, I tended to think of them as coming from the mountains and flowing down toward the oceans. So, I'm guessing while the source (the mountains) to the destination (the ocean) is correct, my thought that they can be split as they head to the ocean isn't. Ok, I'll have to see about redirecting the rivers some.

Thank you
Don't worry - the river thing is one of the most common mistakes people make. You see it on a fir number of "professional" (or at least commercially published) fantasy maps, as well. I think it is because we often see depictions of rivers branching in delta regions, so we think it is applicable to the whole river system.

ObsidianBlk
03-30-2008, 11:51 PM
Here is a major update to my map of Dyrna.

No... no river fixes. On one hand, I'm lazy and didn't feel like changing the map up (this may change). On the other hand, there ~is~ magic in the world, and, as I reviewed my rivers, I saw some structures in the rivers that could come about by some interesting magical phenomenon.

Also... nope, no compass or scale has been added yet. Sorry about that. Part of it is pure laziness (compass), and part of it is I haven't nailed down my exact scale yet, but I'm still picturing the continent to be roughly the size of the United States.

Three maps have been attached. The first is a completely clean map (except for the title). Nothing is labeled and you can see the drawing in it's uncluttered entirety. The other map is a labeled map where many many major features and locations are labeled. Not all of them are, but a number of them are. The third map contains colored territories for major empires, and territories of importance.

Hope you enjoy :-D

NeonKnight
03-31-2008, 01:38 PM
Welcome to the group, and I agree, a very nice map.

Midgardsormr
04-01-2008, 03:32 PM
Much improved! I like what you did with the Lost Lands. It gives a hint of the shape of the land, but no details, and it doesn't look out of place as a blank spot any more. The mountains and hills are also looking quite nice, and I'm liking the way you've depicted vegetation following the river across the plains. As a plains-dweller, I can attest to the accuracy of that depiction, although I never thought of showing it in that fashion on a map.

ObsidianBlk
04-01-2008, 04:13 PM
Much improved! I like what you did with the Lost Lands. It gives a hint of the shape of the land, but no details, and it doesn't look out of place as a blank spot any more. The mountains and hills are also looking quite nice, and I'm liking the way you've depicted vegetation following the river across the plains. As a plains-dweller, I can attest to the accuracy of that depiction, although I never thought of showing it in that fashion on a map.


I may not know too much about cartography myself, but I am familiar with the idea that, if there's not much rain in an area, there's not much vegetation either, so, in an arid region, the best place to find denser foliage is near lakes and rivers.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "although I never thought of showing it in that fashion on a map". If you're speaking about how I'm drawing it, basically it's a very simple custom brush in Painter IX that I made up and it's drawn onto a white layer which is multiplied over the rest of the map. Work's pretty well, in my humble opinion.

Midgardsormr
04-01-2008, 05:15 PM
I simply meant the way you've shown it. I've done and seen maps where there is a greener area along the rivers, but I never thought about throwing down symbols to indicate those trees.

The brief description of your technique is much appreciated, too, though.

loogie
04-02-2008, 01:15 AM
i agree nice map and the changes make it look much nicer

just have to say the rivers still stand out to me, kind of backwards and looking a little to neat (as in they go wherever they're needed). everything else looks great.

ObsidianBlk
04-02-2008, 04:44 PM
i agree nice map and the changes make it look much nicer

just have to say the rivers still stand out to me, kind of backwards and looking a little to neat (as in they go wherever they're needed). everything else looks great.

Thank you, but I'm not exactly sure what you mean by the rivers looking neat. I know they're a little backwards, but, as for where they're placed, I had no place that the rivers "needed" to be. I just started them by the mountains and sort of just went out from there. I had no actual plan for where they were going to be placed.