View Full Version : Fantasy map. Problem regarding rivers...
12-18-2011, 06:43 PM
I'm workin on a fantasy map using techniques learnt mainly from Pasis and Ascension's tutorials, and although I'm fairly happy with how it's coming together, I have one important concern: river rules violation.
This is a commision, and the client brought a map with some inconsistencies, mainly relating to rivers: Rivers that finish in a lake rather than on the sea, rivers that flow uphill, rivers that divide rather than join, rivers that end nowhere... the usual as you see. I spoke with the client and we both agreed to make some changes to avoid those flaws, but he insists on keeping with rivers that doesn't end on the sea and justifying it by saying that they go underground... I can live with that, and to stay on common ground, I was thinking of drawing some features on land to show the underground course of the river.
There's no much more I can do about it, but wanted to share my frustation just to alleviate its weight.
As for the map itself, the base map was done by the client using Autorealm, then I added some textures in PS, an underwater texture was made inspired by Ascension atlas style tutorial and mountains and forests were done a-la-pasis. I made my own forest texture, because I found pasis' one to be lacking on resolution but used his mountain texture together with some others downloaded from CGtextures. I then applied shadows, just like I were shading a miniature with ink, using a soft brush at 50% opacity.
12-18-2011, 08:11 PM
Regarding rivers that either vanish or finish in lakes; both do indeed occur here on earth. A fairly large number of rivers empty into places like Lake Balkhash, the Caspian Sea, and others and there the water remains. These drainage areas are called endorheic basins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorheic_basin). A lot of Central Asia is like this apparently, as are parts of Africa, Australia, and the Americas. And concerning rivers just ending in the middle of nowhere, there's always the example of the Okavango Delta (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okavango_Delta) which ends in an inland delta in the Kalahari desert rather than draining into a lake or a the ocean.
12-18-2011, 08:50 PM
Thanks a lot for the answer and for the links! I'll try to draw some features to make clear it's an endorheic basin, like a salt texture of some kind around the lake.
12-18-2011, 08:52 PM
Here in Florida, lots of small rivers and streams end in a sinkhole that drains to the aquifer.
as the other have already commented on the river-ending-in-lake "problem" I'll jump to the graphics ... very nice looking map - one thing I would change is to vary the width of the rivers. They mostly start of thin and go wider as they near the sea and of course when they connect with other rivers. So I'd taper those rivers a little :) ... imho the ocean floor is a bit dominating it is like there is no water - I'd tone that down a little :) ... looking good though - keep up the good work :)
12-19-2011, 04:43 AM
Thanks for the answers about my concerns regarding rivers, they really ease my mind.
And thank you very much for the comment on the map. It is a capture of the whole map and you are absolutely right about the rivers, I just sketched them to rest a little from making mountains. I still have to work on them and on the lakes also. I need to adapt them to the mountains shape, paint shadows to add depth, vary their width and add some features like river banks, falls, small islands and some affluents (if like in spanish that's the english word for small rivers joining the main one).
Regarding the coastline, although I was very happy with how it came and really enjoyed the method used to draw it, I think it's, as you say, too dominant right now, even after having blurred it to some degree... Maybe I have to obscure it a little or blur it even more. However, you have to take into consideration that this is a capture of the whole map.
Here you can see a capture of 'the inner sea' to better see the effect of the coastline:
12-19-2011, 10:39 AM
affluents (if like in spanish that's the english word for small rivers joining the main one).
"Affluent" is valid usage in English, but "tributary" is much more common, at least among non-hydrologists.
to me it looked like you removed the water - I think I'd add another layer with semi-transparency so you look through that and see the bottom of the sea :)
12-19-2011, 04:22 PM
The word "affluent" in English is usually an adjective describing a rich person or someone in high society :P
12-19-2011, 05:39 PM
I thought that would be 'influent'... (You may be joking of course, and I'm just false-starting...)
tilt: good idea, I'll give it a try. Thanks.
12-20-2011, 10:17 PM
Following tilt's advice, I made another layer with a blue color overlay and a sea pattern, set it to multiply and blurred the deeper part of the sea. I think it's much better now. Thanks once again.
much better - now, if you really want it to stand out you might add a wave/reflection layer on top of that to give some life to the water :)
12-21-2011, 03:18 PM
The rivers and the seas/oceans look really nice, on their own.
However, the sharp, sudden, and dramatic change in color where the rivers reach the coast is really jarring to me. Might I suggest that you either lighten the seas/oceans, or add a lighter color at the coast to lessen the impact? Another option might be to darken the rivers themselves, but I like the light shade of blue you've used there.
Really like your mountains, by the way, especially the snow caps. And the volcanoes are a neat touch, too! :)
12-21-2011, 06:58 PM
Thanks for the feedback!
By the way, sorry for the bad quality of the picture I posted before! I didn't check how it looked before uploading it and only later realised how much compression it had.
To try to blend the rivers and the sea and following your advice, I added two white layers to the coastline with different opacities in soft light blending mode, and duplicated the sea texture on top with a 15% opacity. I drawed the rivers into the ocean and then erased them with a low opacity brush. I think it looks much better now.
12-21-2011, 08:58 PM
Wow, nice! The whole coastline really pops now, and the rivers "reaching" out into the ocean looks quite realistic to me -- in fact, it's very reminiscent of the river that runs through my home town here where it joins with a very silty glacier-fed river nearby, and you can see the different-colored waters swirling together where the one pours into the other.
Not sure on the scale of your map, but the rivers might be reaching too far out to be completely plausible, but they definitely have a very nice artistic flair to them!
12-21-2011, 10:59 PM
Thanks, glad you like it! I've gone a step further and painted the texture of the rivers on all the coastline of the map and then I've blended it with the sea erasing the border with a 50% opacity brush. This has added lots of detail onto the coastline and the rivers now blend in a much better way. Thanks for the feedback once again.
very nice rapatuan - looks great now :) and so I don't forget later - have some rep :)
03-26-2012, 12:28 AM
I just finally completed the map after a lot of work, mainly with the labels. You can see the finished map here:
(I created another thread to avoid the confusing title of the rivers problem, hope I haven't messed up with some forum policy...)
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