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elemental_elf
04-12-2012, 05:28 PM
I'm slowly working on rebooting my oldest setting Amalga. I'm making it more fantastic and less gritty. Right now I am working on the map.

I started off with a basic sketch of the continent. I wanted the continent to look interesting, so I created lots of bays, channels and peninsulas.
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From there, I created added terrain. I decided I was tired of the hand drawn look I usually go for, so I went with terrain that showcases the elevations of the continent. Its more realistic and is strikingly different than kinds of maps I have been creating lately (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?14422-A-*new*-map-of-Aeolond&highlight=aeolond). I really wanted to emphasize how mountain ranges cut people of from one another, which leads to new nations being born. So I made sure to include lots of mountains. I have a weird idea for a Ghost wall where the souls of the recently deceased go for a period of time before heading off to heaven/hell/wherever. Denizens of Amalga can go to the wall and meet and converse with the dearly departed in a safe environment (as opposed to traveling to other plains to do so). The wall is represented by the pink line. As a by product the line also cuts the continent off from the rest of the world.... Or maybe Amalga is a plain and that line represents its eastern edge? I haven't decided yet.
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(LARGER IMAGE) (http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2011/292/2/5/amalga__10_19_2011_by_elemental_elf-d4dcq15.jpg)

From there, I decided I did not like the green coloration of the terrain, so I switched it to shades of brown. At this time, I also added the rivers. Rivers serve as the arteries and veins of a medieval world. I often feel I neglect rivers, so I really wanted to try and include as many as possible. I'm still working on creating more tributaries but for now I have the big rivers on the map. I also began testing how to create undersea terrain.
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(LARGER IMAGE) (http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/103/d/e/amalga__a_test_picture_by_elemental_elf-d4w1ot0.jpg)

At this point, I realized the ocean was looking a bit lacking. My land looked fairly detailed but the seas were just a giant blank blue area. I created undersea terrain. After a few different tests (as seen from the above picture), I found a style I liked. The inclusion of underwater terrain is helpful because I want to include a few Mermaid/folk kingdoms. Having more than wide open blue plains helps make the sea-world appear more realistic. During this iteration, I also sketched out the land and sea borders of the principle kingdoms and empires.
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(LARGER IMAGE) (http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/103/8/c/amalga__a_new_map_by_elemental_elf-d4vuita.jpg)

Finally, I began the process of adding cities. I have only included a few capitals because I am not sure the icons look appropriate.
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(LARGER IMAGE) (http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/103/a/9/amalaga__with_some_labels_by_elemental_elf-d4w1me0.jpg)

Well, that is the evolution of the map thus far. What do you guys and gals think? Any and all concerns or criticism is welcome.

arsheesh
04-12-2012, 07:35 PM
Oops, looks like your final map is missing the different grades of sea elevation. Otherwise it looks quite nice. Can't make out too much of the detail at the current resolution though. Overall I like it.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

elemental_elf
04-12-2012, 09:38 PM
The last image was not meant to be there, sorry about that.

I have included links for almost every picture to a larger image. :)

elemental_elf
04-13-2012, 05:37 AM
Updated the map!

This time around I added more cities and towns. As I am drawing the map new ideas flow from my head, hence the changes to the undersea landscape out in the ocean. I went from having a single Mermaid Queendom to now having a Shark-man nation, a whale-man nation and a nation for the creatures that dwell deep beneath the ocean's surface (or at the very least a demarcation of their range).

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(LINK TO THE TRUE RESOLUTION OF THE MAP (which is too large for the site to handle)). (http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/104/9/7/new_amalga__1_2_by_elemental_elf-d4w3qv7.jpg)

Eilathen
04-13-2012, 02:21 PM
Very nice!
Amalga amalga...is that your DnD 4e setting you laid out on the CBG? If so, i like the new map a lot more than the old one. Not that the old one was bad, just that the new one is much more pleasing to my eyes (especially the new landform).
Have some rep.!

elemental_elf
04-13-2012, 04:01 PM
Very nice!
Amalga amalga...is that your DnD 4e setting you laid out on the CBG? If so, i like the new map a lot more than the old one. Not that the old one was bad, just that the new one is much more pleasing to my eyes (especially the new landform).
Have some rep.!

It is the same setting! :)

I like the new map as well, it is more detailed and better all around (in my opinion) :)

Lukc
04-13-2012, 07:05 PM
Very nice! Looking good, indeed!

elemental_elf
04-14-2012, 05:59 AM
Very nice! Looking good, indeed!

Thank you! :)


Ok, another update for everyone.

In this installment, I made most of the country names look a bit better ascetically. They feel less rigid now and a little more fluid. Honestly, I think I need to work on it a bit more. I also added some texture to the rivers to make it look as if they are apart of the world and not just squiggly lines on a map. It is not a perfect solution but its the best I can manage at the moment. The biggest change is the addition of lots of towns and castles to the map.

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(LINK TO THE TRUE RESOLUTION OF THE MAP (which is too large for the site to handle)). (http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/105/c/6/amalga__more_detail_by_elemental_elf-d4w7qrj.jpg)


What do you guys and gals think of the Capital, town and castle icons? Do they look good or should I switch to something that looks more representative (like a little images of towns and castles)?

elemental_elf
04-14-2012, 07:37 PM
I've created a few Coats of Arms for some of the countries I have the most amount of fluff for. I think each represents the nation's origins and national stories. From Adeland's former preeminence as the dominant Empire, to Colina's mastery of the seas, to the mythic Golden Dolphin who lead the Dwarves to Dacima after their megalithic city was destroyed by a volcano, to the mighty War Ostriches and Gretta's Comet that lead Rechtsland to freedom from Adeland, etc.

Props go out to Inkwellideas (http://inkwellideas.com/coat_of_arms/free-version/)for creating such an amazing Coat of Arms generator program. :)


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I will be including a Coat of Arms for every nation, most likely located off to the blank side in two columns.

arsheesh
04-14-2012, 07:43 PM
Those look really nice. My only remark would be that the colors are vibrant and so might distract from the map. I'd reccomend toning them down to more subuded pastel colors so that they don't look incongruous on your map.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

elemental_elf
04-14-2012, 07:50 PM
Those look really nice. My only remark would be that the colors are vibrant and so might distract from the map. I'd reccomend toning them down to more subuded pastel colors so that they don't look incongruous on your map.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

I had not considered that... Hmm. How does this look? It is a bit more faded out and less eye popping.

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elemental_elf
04-16-2012, 11:46 PM
Another update!

This time I faded the grid a bit, added a ton of new towns and castles and restructured some of the political borders to match the fluff I am generating. I also included the first batch of Coats-of-Arms.

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(LINK TO THE TRUE RESOLUTION OF THE MAP (which is too large for the site to handle)). (http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/107/b/d/amalga_1_7_by_elemental_elf-d4wjy8x.jpg)

Sapiento
04-17-2012, 01:09 AM
Huge! Great map so far.

Lukc
04-17-2012, 03:31 AM
This is fascinating - and huge. I really like how it's coming along.

A question: what software are you using?

Two comments: 1) are you sure a drop shadow is necessary below the town labels? To my eye it doesn't quite fit - the town labels seem to float, while the country labels are flush against the terrain. I find consistency in design is always a good thing. 2) your rivers have outlines - I don't really see what the purpose is, while it does make the rivers a little bit more visible, it also makes the map seem much busier.. It might be worth trying to see how it looks without the outlines.

Jahobius
04-17-2012, 05:55 AM
At first I looked at the smaller resolution attachment and really liked it, but then I clicked the link to the high-res image and was stunned. But I'm not sure whether I like the bevel/emboss effect on the different hight layers. I really like the 2D effect of the low-res image.

Sapiento
04-17-2012, 06:06 AM
This is fascinating - and huge. I really like how it's coming along.

A question: what software are you using?

Two comments: 1) are you sure a drop shadow is necessary below the town labels? To my eye it doesn't quite fit - the town labels seem to float, while the country labels are flush against the terrain. I find consistency in design is always a good thing. 2) your rivers have outlines - I don't really see what the purpose is, while it does make the rivers a little bit more visible, it also makes the map seem much busier.. It might be worth trying to see how it looks without the outlines.

I think the outline shall portrait lower terrain around the rivers - that's how I see it. But it could be narrower.

elemental_elf
04-18-2012, 02:00 PM
Thank you all for your suggestions, I really appreciate them! :)

I use Adobe Photoshop CS3 but nothing I am doing could not be accomplished with an older copy of Photoshop. :)

Here's the latest update, which includes your guy's advice/suggestions. The elevations were made less embossed/raised/elevated. The drop shadows were removed. The River's background was removed. I also created a few new countries, mostly in the upper triangular peninsula which is a mad house of barbarians and miners constantly fighting over large deposits of gold.


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(LINK TO THE TRUE RESOLUTION OF THE MAP (which is too large for the site to handle)). (http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/109/4/3/amalga__1_8_by_elemental_elf-d4wvm7r.jpg)

Lalaithion
04-19-2012, 12:07 AM
Beautiful! This is very good, I love it.

bartmoss
04-19-2012, 01:11 AM
Very, very nice! About the only thing I noticed was that the distribution of rivers seemed very uniform.

Have some rep!