View Full Version : Generic nameless first map

04-16-2012, 03:17 PM

I believe this is - altough I registered a long time ago - my first post on this forum. For this map I tried to reproduce what Tear wrote in his fantastic tutorial (Link (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?8086-Award-Winner-Saderan-%E2%80%93-a-tutorial)). It is my first attempt at making a map, but I think it turned out quite well - altough I still not really satisfied by it's look.

I hope somebody here could give me a hint how I could improve on this one. My personal problems are mainly the look of the hills and the mountains - they should look more crackled and rough. Not so soft like they do now. My second problem is the texture of the grass/forest area. It seems to be not detailed enough but I'm not sure.

Please feel free to criticise my work, as I'm still working on it and trying to improve.


04-16-2012, 03:24 PM
There is an excellent tutorial by Pasis called "Rising up the Mountains in photoshop" which I would check out. It also goes into rivers and forests in later versions in that post. It could point out more ideas than I can, LOL.

Other than that it is a nice first pass at the map and quite serviceable. The hard edge on the coast is a bugger for my eyes, however.

04-16-2012, 07:12 PM
Nice work - and a map in your first post = bravo :-). I actually like the sharp coastline, but if the intent is a photorealistic orbital view, it feels out of place. The rivers could stand a bit more random wiggling than smooth sweeps. The high degree of detail on the coastline says "photo" or "super-accurate high-res" -- it would pin things down for you to give us a scale bar (I realize you're not done yet). What scale were you thinking of? That would have a lot of bearing on whether the mountains should get more crinkley or not.

Too, you have every bit of the coast with the same level of fractal jagginess. Even in a small-scale map it's fine to have some coastlines smooth - look at real world landforms, and you'll see the sandy/beachy/muddy bits having quite smooth edges.

It's already pleasant, and I like where you're going - keep working on it!

04-16-2012, 07:26 PM
The colors are really awesome, kind of want to try this tutorial now.

04-17-2012, 03:00 AM
Thanks for the replies - I'm going to look into the "Rising up the Mountains" Tutorial - hopefully it helps me. I think you are right on the sharp coastline and I should change it - maybe change the colors or take it away completely. On the topic of rivers - you are absolutely right. This was my first time working with paths and I should try to make them more realistic.

On the topic of scale - I honestly haven't thougth about this. At first I wanted to make a whole continent but the outcome seems more like a medium sized island to me. Is there too much texture? I don't really understand why it looks like an island to me rather than a continent.

04-17-2012, 04:00 AM
Hey there. If you created the mountains like Tear's tutorial said, then increasing the opacity of the mountain layers should do the trick.

04-17-2012, 04:36 AM
So I worked on it a bit more, reduced the border, tried to elevate the mountains a bit - thanks to s0meguy for the hint. I also added a bit of noise to the mountains but not too much - I hope. Changed the color of the water a bit and lightened up the coastal areas a bit. The rivers are still unchanged but not as visible as before so I think about leaving them as they are.

What I still need to do is soften up the coastal areas a bit. They still seem to be too rough for my taste but I need to experiment a bit with them.

This is what I've got so far. What do you think? Better than before, or have I overdone some effects? Please let me know.