View Full Version : Thaalmyn-Duhr : The Re-load

Greason Wolfe
09-08-2011, 08:38 PM
As some of you might know by now, I suffered a major computer crash recently. Sadly, I lost retarded amounts of data even as I was trying to create back-ups for that data. The Thaalmyn-Duhr project I was working on, unfortunately, was one of those data files I lost irrevocably as far as the actual maps went. Fortunately, however, I had enough forethought to hand-record the world generation parameters used for this world in FTPro, and that has allowed me to start anew on this project.

Obviously there will be some changes, but I see that as a good thing since there were little bits and pieces of the world I wasnít particularly happy with. Additionally, I wanted to narrow my focus to a particular region of the world and really concentrate on developing it as fully as possible

Thus, I present Thaalmyn-Duhr : The Re-load

For the most part, Iíve been following the same initial process as before, starting with fairly small land masses (based on the original world parameters) and slowly building up the continental shelves until I had room for one major continental mass, a few smaller continental masses and some areas that would work well as island chains. At this point, Iím pretty well set as far as the western portion of the map goes. Iíve got, probably, a couple more hours of shelf/sea editing to do in the eastern portion of the map, and then Iíll set about building up the actual land masses.

The area depicted is roughly 4000 miles east to west and 2100 miles north to south. Itís not quite a 2:1 ratio, but I believe it will work well with what I have in mind when I make the transition from FTPro to Terragen via Wilbur. Before the crash, I worked out a way to import non-square height fields into Terragen that leaves all sorts of room for map keys and/or legends, borders, and other details that can be added in as part of the rendering process or as part of the post-render editing.

In any event, here is the first ďre-loadedĒ WIP. As always, thoughts and suggestions are more than welcome.


Edit : Included a larger version of the original attachment. I keep forgetting that, along with the new system set-up, I got a larger monitor as well. :lol:

Greason Wolfe
09-09-2011, 12:10 AM
Got a little more work done, mostly in the north eastern portion of the map. I also isolated the island chain in the south mid-western portion of the map. The last bit for now is going to be the smaller continental mass in the south eastern portion of the map. I definitely need to trim some fat off of it, but am undecided about whether or not I want to keep it closely related to the main continental mass (as it currently is) or try to isolate it a bit more. A third option would be to eliminate it completely and replace it with a series of larger islands. Thoughts? Suggestions?


09-09-2011, 12:15 AM
I'd say leave it as is. Always good to have a (relatively) narrow channel somewhere.

09-09-2011, 07:09 AM
They look better than before, I would also keep them.

09-09-2011, 07:49 AM
I think it's nice to have a variety of channel sizes. Keep them close to the main continent.

Greason Wolfe
09-09-2011, 09:31 AM
So the general consensus thus far is to keep things close, and after thinking about it for a while last night at work, I'm leaning that way as well, though it will be more of a straight than a channel. With that in mind, I'll probably beef things up in that area and do a little trimming along the southern and eastern sides of that smaller continent. Thanks for the input though, it's always helpful know what looks more aesthetic to other sets of eyes.


Greason Wolfe
09-09-2011, 10:49 AM
So, this is the first stab at that final bit of rough editing. Reshaped the southeastern mass a bit and sucked it up a bit closer to the main mass in an attempt to give the impression that it is a "break-away" portion of the continent. Not sure if I'm 100 percent happy with it just yet, so I'm gonna let it stew for a bit, try to get some sleep before the temperature hits 90 and take another look at it when I get up. Made this image a bit larger, roughly one half what I intend for the full size to be, though I may have to go even larger than intended once I get down to the detailed portion of the work.


Greason Wolfe
09-09-2011, 09:06 PM
Got quite a bit of work done on this map this afternoon. Built-up the actual landforms and started eroding them in FTPro. One downfall/difficulty I'm facing is the editing resolution limitations in FTPro, particularly when it comes to the smaller islands. I should be able to do more with them in Wilbur once I get started there, but will have to wait and see.


09-10-2011, 02:36 AM
That looks lovely :)

Greason Wolfe
09-12-2011, 11:15 AM
Just a bit of a progress report here, but no attachment.

After giving this a couple of days and taking another look at things, I decided I wasn't entirely happy with some of the elevations. The original process had pushed the upper elevations to almost double the limitations I needed them to fall in, so I've backed up a couple of steps and started re-working that process. It's a bit slower and involves a lot more "by hand" editing, but should let me keep things in line much better than before while allowing me to better define some areas as they were/are meant to be. It'll probably be another day or two until I'm ready to post another image, but hopefully it will have a better, more varied appearance in terms of both elevation and climate.


Greason Wolfe
09-13-2011, 10:07 AM
So I've managed to re-build quite a bit of the terrain. I've still got some mountain building to do in some areas, but things are getting much closer. I changed the coloring scheme and shifted to a climate overlay that has a bit more contrast to it. At some point, before I start working on the erosion, I'll have to adjust some of the temperatures and rainfall amounts, but I'm moving forward on this once again. Not sure how much time I'll have to work on this over the next few days, but hopefully I'll make some progress.


Greason Wolfe
09-14-2011, 08:14 PM
Had a chance to work on this for a little while today. For the most part, I've been concentrating on fine-tuning the northwestern portion of the main continent. The workflow is pretty straight forward;

- Build-up and/or dig out elevation as needed
- Fill Basins
- Smooth Pre-scale Offset
- Find Rivers
- Evaluate River flow and adjust elevations as necessary to eliminate uncharacteristically long rivers
- Rinse and repeat

My initial estimate was that it would take me a couple of days to work all of this out, but I suspect it is going to take a bit longer than that. I haven't even considered any erosion yet, though I know it will change some of the river flow once it's completed. For now, two updated versions, the first showing general climate, the second showing elevation. One point to note, the climate version of the map is showing a lot more tundra-like climate than there actually will be in the final version of the map.


09-15-2011, 04:04 PM
Looking great so far. I prefer the elevation version, but that`s just personal taste ;)

Greason Wolfe
09-15-2011, 08:04 PM
Bah! Suffered a major set-back on this project today.

Normally, I export the FT file to Wilbur to check things there every time I complete a major update on the terrain. Having got in a bit of a rush to move forward on this project, I didn't bother with that step over the course of several update. This morning, I decided to give things a look and, much to my dismay, something had gone terribly wrong. The .mdr file loaded up in Wilbur just like it was supposed to, and, for a little bit, I got to playing around with it, a little erosion here, a little erosion there. Then I did a basin fill and that's when things got crazy. The terrain went from having a highest peak of around 9000 meters to a highest peak somewhere around 10^19th meters. I'm thinking that might be just a wee bit too high, yes? :D

I have, fortunately, managed to backtrack through the updates and found the last file before this corruption occurred, and it looks to have had something to do with elevations along the coast, though I can't be 100% sure on that. This does, unfortunately, mean a bit of back-tracking on my part and some major rebuilding, yet again. Still, I'm not giving up on this project as it is turning into a good primer for my next major project once I've ironed out all the little steps that need to be tweaked for better results. As it stands now, I imagine that I won't have any significant updates on this project until Monday or, at the latest, Tuesday of next week.


Greason Wolfe
09-19-2011, 12:55 PM
So I spent most of the weekend toying with a variety of approaches to re-building the land masses and finally came upon a solution that gets things fairly close to what I want. It ended up being a rather lengthy process, and there's still a fair amount of work to do regarding designated island areas and the mountains (both trimming and adding), but things are moving forward again ( wonder how many more times I'm going to have to say that with this project :?: ). One of the things I'm actually quite happy about with this update is that the coastal regions have taken on a rougher look than they had previously.


Greason Wolfe
10-14-2011, 07:46 PM
I think, at times, that there are some maps that just aren’t meant to be, and this map seemed to be one of them. After several weeks of frustrating attempts to edit the land masses and get them where I wanted them to be, along with repeated problems with that “high point” I mentioned before, I was about to close the book on this project.

Then a strange and rather wonderful thing happened.

As part of one of my monthly cleaning projects (I’m a bit of a pack-rat), I started sorting through unlabeled CDs. Most of them are music mixes that I listen to when I’m on the road, but I came across one CD in particular that wasn’t a music mix. I can only imagine that I must have used it when testing a new R/W DVD/CD drive I had recently installed and, as it happens, I had selected an early stage version of the original map for this project. I had only just started filling in the interior land masses, so most of the world was nothing more than deep oceans and continental shelves.

This has opened the door to “fix” some of the things I didn’t like about the original version of this map and let me get back to working on both a local and global scale. The best part of all of this is the fact that most of those things I want to “fix” don’t exist yet, so I won’t have to delete them in order to re-build what was “wrong.” Even better is the fact that with the hardware upgrades (after the disk drive disaster) is letting me work at a much higher resolution than before, so I can be a bit more detailed about things.

So, again, no real update in terms of the map itself, but more of a progress report of what’s been going on since my last post. My focus is still on this map, and even if it takes me another ten years to finish it, that is exactly what I’m going to do. Hopefully, though, it won’t take that long. :D


10-15-2011, 08:23 AM
I am also giving a try in FT3 for my world map. Can you give some indications of the steps that you used to achieve your current map? I mean what parameters of Incise Flow you normaly use, if you use Global Smoth, etc.



Greason Wolfe
10-16-2011, 07:07 PM
I haven't (and I'm not sure if I will) upgraded to FT3 yet, though from what I can tell, most of the work I've done in FTPro is equally applicable to FT3. As for the parameters I'm using, I haven't gotten to the incise process yet, though, in general, a2area's "Genesis of Israh" tutorial ( http://www.worldofgotha.com/PF_TUTORIAL/israh_index.html ), and a few of waldronate's tutorials ( http://www.ridgecrest.ca.us/~jslayton/wilbur.html ) for Wilbur and FTPro will be a starting point. Once I've reached that stage, I will be posting the parameters I've used (possibly as part of a larger tutorial), but I don't expect to be ready for that for at least another week or so given the scarcity of working time I'm experiencing as of late.

As for the rest of it (base generation to where the map is "now") it's mostly been a matter of starting with rather small land masses, rather large seas and then a lot of pre-scale editing to get things into the general shapes I was looking for. Much of that work was based on a tutorial by waldronate for FTPro. I'll try to dig up a link for that tutorial as well as the original thread where this project started.


Edit : The original thread for this project is here --> http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?12996-Thaalym-Duhr-%28WIP%29
It includes a link to the tutorial by waldronate in the first or second post of the thread.

Greason Wolfe
10-17-2011, 08:02 PM
Yay! An actual update on this project.

I managed a few hours of rebuilding from an earlier version (1st thread) of this map and things seem to be moving smoothly. There's been a lot of re-shaping when it comes to the main continental bodies, and a number of islands have been eliminated for the time being since I wasn't real happy with their original placement. I've got some more land expansion to do, particularly on the eastern continents, but the western continents are pretty much set as far as overall shape goes.

As a recap, I started with this;


Got it to this point of development;


Then suffered the hard-drive crash, and, for the most part, had to start from scratch with nothing more than the world generation parameters to work with. That file, for whatever reason kept getting corrupted and was leading to no end of frustration. Lady Luck smile upon me and led me to an early stage version of the original file that has allowed me to rebuild a number of areas that I wasn't particularly happy with, and now I'm up to this point in the rebuilding process;


And that's it for now.


Greason Wolfe
10-21-2011, 10:47 PM
At this point in the game, I've got the most significant land masses shaped out in general terms. I've still got the smaller and coastal islands to do, but they're going to have to wait for a little bit while I start tearing up the coastal regions to give the whole thing a bit more flavor. This "tearing up" process might result in some of the intermediate land masses being turned into island chains, but that's fine with me and should give everything a bit more character in the long run. I'll probably have to move a few mountains (or mountain chains) in the process, but, again, that's okay with me. I never expected this map to be done quickly, so the slow, almost steady progress is making me rather happy.


Greason Wolfe
10-26-2011, 09:04 PM
More progress. Again, slow and steady. The north-eastern continent is starting to take on a better shape now, at least IMHO. It's mostly been a rinse and repeat cycle of simple river plotting followed by a little coastal trimming and moving of high points. It is a tedious process, but things are moving along pretty much as I hoped they would. Still a long way to go, though. As a side note about the changing color patterns between posts . . . I'm using four different altitude coloring schemes as I work on this. When I save a WIP image, I save it under whatever color scheme I happen to be working with at the moment. They range from very generalized to moderately detailed depending on what level I happen to be working at. This particular coloring scheme was designed to allow for quick identification of key elevations that will become even more important when I'm ready to start the erosion process.

Anyways, here's the latest update.