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Sabbz
01-16-2012, 05:37 PM
So, after much helpful and appreciated constructive criticism over in here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?17103-Kingdom-of-Eshenor), I took what advice I could for the moment: as some of it is going to require a bit of trial and error to perfect, :).

Taking what was said into account, I'd like to show you what I have come up with since.
The favourite seemed to have been on what I called my "meh" style, which I'll now call my current style, lol :P

Attached is an image of what I have come up with thus far.
Both filenames are self explanatory; Regional_Unnamed is the Regional view of the map (just zoomed in to it's "Actual Pixels") and WorldMap_Unnamed is the worldmap view (zoomed to "Fit On Screen")

I'm working on it slowly, deleting and redoing different portions all the time. This is going to take some time so I figured I'd start this WIP post so I can build it and show you and you can comment and critique and I can adjust, delete and change where necessary. :)

What I've done:


Increased the overall scale of the original maps; the map is 2500w x 3000h at Grayscale 8bpc and 300dpi,
Scaled down the size of the mountains substantially (almost 50%); I felt that the mountains were too "big", too prominent,
Scaled down the trees to match the new mountain size; else the trees would be huge if one were to view this map at ground level,
I prefer "clumps" of trees as opposed to trees spread out over an area; the style I've chosen here is simply hundreds of individual tree brushes (yes, I put each tree down myself, lol .. with a mouse *hide*, lol) - hopefully giving the impression of dense forest (did it work?); much of the region is on the rain-side of the mountains, so it's very fertile and very foresty,
Decided to forgoe the "authentic" look when it came to names; now I'm just focusing on making a nice looking map for my novel(s),
Included, what I think is, a very nice coastal border style as in Uresia by Temphis on deviantArt (http://temphis.deviantart.com/art/Uresia-in-the-Round-2-21967703?qo=6&q=by%3Atemphis&qh=sort%3Atime+-in%3Ascraps),
Chose a font that is both legible and matches the style of the map (imo),
Tried a different Layer Style for the coastline as well.


I intend to make my geographical features as accurate as I can, to bring about a sense of realism to the map; I don't approve of fantasy maps that have deserts and lush fertile farmland separated by a small wall, or salt plains suddenly turning into overgrown jungle. With this map, I'm hoping to get the right sense climate and such throughout - you can see which are colder zones and which are hotter, etc - those geographically inclined will be able to see how certain areas were formed, how x-Mountain Range came to be where it is, etc.

With regards to the positioning of the mountains: They are there because the southern continent collided with the northern; this caused plate tectonics of the northern continent to move, creating many high mountains and deep valleys. The mountain range will stretch all the way across the bottom area of the map, tapering upwards before fading down into highlands and rolling hills (that's the idea anyway).
The portion that I've drawn at the moment is called Freepass and is reference to a time in my worlds history (involves Freepass Castle and Behl Tower); there will be other sections of the mountains with different names, all in reference to certain events in my people's history, but collectively they will have a title; (something like The Spine of the World, The Great Spread of Giant Ugly Rocks Which We Can't Bloody Get Passed Q.Q, or something).

As usual, criticism is always welcome; but, be gentle, still a beginner at this xD

Thanks. :)


Edit: History Lesson (for the lore inclined)

History of "Unnamed Continent":

High Tower and the Vortex:

Long ago, the Mages of High Tower sought to cross the gulf of space between worlds by creating a portal, a gate; the Crossing Gate. They were mistaken.
They erred in their spells and in their hubris and folly the Mages destroyed not only themselves but what was once a bustling and heavily populated city.

With High Tower along Gillfin Lakes' southern bank and Lakeside along the lakes' northern; both felt the blast as the Vortex tore into the fabric of reality, utterly engulfing Lakeside and rendering High Tower a ruin in a matter of moments. What few magi remained managed to seal the Vortex behind powerful magical seals. And, banned though magic may be, in darkness and in silence the Silent Magi* remain; studying the Vortex and seeking a way to close it, forever.


* History of the Silent Magi:
The Silent Magi are a clandestine brotherhood of magi who have taken a vow of silence; so as never to repeat the Words of Chaos** again. In silence, under the disguise of a monkhood, the magi work to seal the Vortex for the seals guarding it will not hold forever.

** Words of Chaos - magic
Chaos magic is a branch of magic that focuses on destructive power; the term Words of Chaos is no mere phrase, Chaos magic is extremely powerful and highly volatile, as such a mage is required to cast and control it use his/her voice. Chaos magic is formed through incantation, rhythmic chanting or powerful Words. The Mages of High Tower that caused the calamity - now known as the Vortex Magi - used Words of Chaos to tear a hole in the fabric of reality in an attempt to bridge the gap between worlds. They failed. The surviving members of the once powerful Mage Guild, publicly disbanded and, under cover of darkness, reformed under a new name - The Silent Magi. As part of their sacrifice, the Silent Magi took a vow of silence - a vow that cannot be broken - so as to never utter the Words of Chaos again.

Lukc
01-17-2012, 03:28 AM
It looks good, the only problem that comes to mind right off the bat is that when I first looked at the map, I thought the grey area was sea and the lighter, textured area on the left was land. I think the land border is partly to blame. On the right side of the white line you have a little bit of "burn" (I don't know precisely how to describe it ... the darker bits that look like a slight drop shadow) and that tricks my eye into seeing the land as lower than the sea.

And on the mountains you've got plate tectonics a bit wrong, it should go like this: Due to plate tectonics the southern continent ploughed into the northern one, folding and raising the mountains in the process. This kind of orogonesis (mountain-building) is basically a crumple zone - like when you drive a car into a wall - the edge gets scrunched up and lifted. Plate tectonics is the movement of the plates on the surface of the semi-molten magma due to the circulation of the magma - not the other way around. But the idea for how the mountains should look is correct. ;)

Keep it up! I think it looks really interesting.

Sabbz
01-17-2012, 03:37 AM
I felt the exact same thing when I opened the map last night; it even took *me* a few seconds to orient myself - to figure out what is land and what is sea; I'll fiddle with it tonight after work - what might help if is if I could get the same effect as was done here (http://temphis.deviantart.com/art/Uresia-in-the-Round-2-21967703?qo=6&q=by%3Atemphis&qh=sort%3Atime+-in%3Ascraps), another thing I'm going to try to lighten the sea area to draw focus to the continent itself. The layer style for the coastline on my continent is what causes it's greyness so I'll take another look at that.

Thanks for the FYI on the mountains, :) - I haven't done geography since high school (about 12 years ago now, lol) nor did I pay attention while in class; perhaps it's time I refresh my memory. :)

Thanks :)

Sabbz
01-17-2012, 03:39 AM
*deleted - double post*

Lukc
01-17-2012, 06:47 AM
I see what you mean ... I'm no expert on the "woodcut" style sea shading, but it should be easy enough to do if you make the sea-lines even darker, possibly slightly bluish, and leave the land plain white. The white land will automatically look to the eye as though it is "higher" and floating above the sea level.

Sabbz
01-18-2012, 04:34 PM
I've managed to come up with a rather pleasant woodcut style that I'm happy with and will show when I've added a few more things to the map, don't want to spam the thread with daily images of what I've done, lol. :)
With regards to the land, I modified it as you suggested but threw in a few tweaks here and there to make it how I like, you can see what is land and what is sea now; I approve. Thanks for the advice. :)

Sabbz
01-26-2012, 03:01 PM
Right, progress update.
This is what I've got so far after much redrawing and stuff.

The "Highland" cliff style is all hand drawn so may look a bit off - still trying to get the angles right. The idea of the Highlands is that when the Southern continent smashed into the northern it caused part of the latter to shift downwards along one of the plates, forcing what is now the Highlands up. At least, that's the idea - not sure if I have the geography right or not, lol.

This is just one portion of the entire map; I didn't realise the amount of work to be done until I actually started. My last post was almost 10 days ago and this is the current result.

I've taken the "meh" style you guys like and just spruced it up a bit; which has, to me, had a positive effect on the overall design.

The original has a black border around it, I've simply erased around the outside to give the actual image a bit more focus.

Let me know what you think, thanks :)

41576

Schwarzkreuz
01-26-2012, 05:34 PM
I realy like the rendering of your cliffs at the highlands, they blend perfectly to the style of the map.
Are the Mountainbrushes to large? I tried to make them for large printing, well perhaps a bit too large for normal maps.

occam99
01-26-2012, 05:46 PM
This is great. I really dig the "smudged pencil" look.

Should Tirley Lake have an exit point?

Sabbz
01-27-2012, 03:10 AM
I realy like the rendering of your cliffs at the highlands, they blend perfectly to the style of the map.
Are the Mountainbrushes to large? I tried to make them for large printing, well perhaps a bit too large for normal maps.
Thanks, :)

The mountain brushes are, to me, too large. If I make them smaller, the penciling (where the shading is done) gives the mountains a more "realistic" look as opposed to being visibly drawn in. I like them big, but I prefer the effect they give off when made smaller; I reduce all of them to 90px to get the effect they have at the moment. :)

Sabbz
01-27-2012, 03:17 AM
This is great. I really dig the "smudged pencil" look.

Should Tirley Lake have an exit point?

Thanks, :)

Tirley Lake is fed by Tirley Falls (my first attempt at drawing a waterfall xD) to the east which in turn is fed by the currently untitled lake (little tirley?) north of it. This small lake is fed by creeks and rivers (to be drawn in) from the unnamed mountains to the east. Tirley Lake is self-contained and drains off underground, feeding nutrient rich water into the bedrock of Farmcote Fields in the north-west, Aston Greensward to the west and Sheepwash Meadows in the south. :)

Sabbz
01-27-2012, 03:25 AM
The Sample looks a bit different from what I see in Photoshop .. it seems darker as a PNG, lighter while in Photoshop .. Anyone know how to keep the colouring identical?

Sabbz
02-02-2012, 03:14 AM
Right, progress update .. This is what I have thus far:
41810

Note on the mountains: As you get further away from the coast and closer to the edges, the mountains grow in size - the aim here was to bring about the idea that the mountains around this area are substantially larger (think Himalayas). :)

Eilathen
02-02-2012, 06:24 AM
This map looks very very nice! Totally looking forward to its development.
My only critic: The details are very hard to see because it is so tiny (even zoomed in), which is a shame, imho.

atpollard
02-06-2012, 09:24 AM
From a page layout perspective, I understand why the region labels appear as they do, but from a logical perspective they are a bit odd. Take the Eastcott-Windrush Road (for example), Farms along the North side of the road belong to (and pay taxes to) Farmcote Fields, while farms along the South side of the road belong to (and pay taxes to) Aston Greensward.

In my opinion, it would make more sense for both sides of the road to belong to the same 'district' (say Aston Greensward) with Farmcote Fields being defined as the area served by the Ferring-Windrush Road.

Graphically, the map is just beautiful.

Sabbz
02-06-2012, 09:44 AM
From a page layout perspective, I understand why the region labels appear as they do, but from a logical perspective they are a bit odd. Take the Eastcott-Windrush Road (for example), Farms along the North side of the road belong to (and pay taxes to) Farmcote Fields, while farms along the South side of the road belong to (and pay taxes to) Aston Greensward.

In my opinion, it would make more sense for both sides of the road to belong to the same 'district' (say Aston Greensward) with Farmcote Fields being defined as the area served by the Ferring-Windrush Road.

Graphically, the map is just beautiful.

Thank you for the compliment :)

With regards to Eastcott-Windrush, Windrush is what is called a "Principal Capital" and all taxes are paid to the Principalities treasury a percentage of which is then paid to the Kingdom Treasury every three months.

Eastcott is a town (marked because it is large enough to warrant notice) under the Principalities control of Windrush. Every 2 months, a "paymaster" (along with guards :P) travels to neighbouring farmsteads and collects a percentage of that farmsteads bi-monthly earnings. The paymaster then takes the money to the closest collection town/city, in your example, either Windrush or Eastcott (whichever is closer) which is then transferred to the Principalities treasury and finally to the Kingdom Treasury at the kingdoms capital (as yet unmarked).

I haven't yet drawn up the provincial borders; but when I have and uploaded it it should make more sense if my description hasn't already.

Thank you, if you hadn't mentioned that, I wouldn't have thought up how tithing works here (I made it up as I wrote it so it might need some grooming, lol).

Sabbz
02-06-2012, 09:46 AM
This map looks very very nice! Totally looking forward to its development.
My only critic: The details are very hard to see because it is so tiny (even zoomed in), which is a shame, imho.

Thanks :D

Which bits in particular are tiny, can you give an example? I don't see what you mean, sorry :)

Eilathen
02-06-2012, 12:27 PM
I rechecked the map in zoom-in modus and i retract my statement ^^ I can read everything. It would not hurt if you enlarge the tiniest font you use, but i guess it's just a matter of taste (and maybe of eyesight ;) ).
Hope to see an update of the map soon, with more details and more of the inland mapped out.

Sabbz
02-08-2012, 07:31 AM
I rechecked the map in zoom-in modus and i retract my statement ^^ I can read everything. It would not hurt if you enlarge the tiniest font you use, but i guess it's just a matter of taste (and maybe of eyesight ;) ).
\o/
I'll have a look at the font, the reason it's small so as not to draw attention away from points of interest (like cities, the High Tower, etc); I feel the environment and land itself is less important than the location of human habitations and places of interest - especially when one is using the map as a reference so as not to make mistakes with distances and locations during his story telling :P



Hope to see an update of the map soon, with more details and more of the inland mapped out.

Should be coming soon(ish), my computer did a swan dive for some reason I can't fathom and I had to format and reinstall, luckily I didn't lose anything :)

Ramah
02-08-2012, 07:57 AM
Really liking this map, Sabbz. Great stuff. Looking forward to seeing it progress. :)

Sabbz
02-08-2012, 08:13 AM
Really liking this map, Sabbz. Great stuff. Looking forward to seeing it progress. :)
Coming from someone with your skill in cartography (I love Vaniya!) that means a lot, thank you :)