View Full Version : Unnamed Fantasy World Map WIP - Help Appreciated

04-24-2012, 07:14 AM
Okay, so this is where I'll be posting the work in progress of the map for my thus far unnamed fantasy world that I plan to set a novel in. I'm pretty clueless when it comes to making it really realistic, but I've read up a bit on how things should be placed, and hopefully I'm not overly far off. I would really appreciate help in this area, though, so feel free to tell me if I've got a mountain somewhere that is just not possible, or whatever. Thanks :D

So far, just a basic sketchy type deal, trying to figure out where things should go. I would really love some help with river/lake/mountain/hill/forest placements! :D Pease excuse the generic brushes, but I didn't want to bother putting too much time into this rough version..


04-24-2012, 12:53 PM
One of the best places to start is the How to get your rivers in the right place sticky in the tutorials section of the forums. Personally I like to place my rivers first, and then place mountain ranges and hilly areas in the high places the rivers defined.

Also, if you want to get really in-depth into climate, there are several climate-building threads in the World/Regional WIP forum to check out; give them a perusal :)

And, as always, we're available if you have more specific questions, just post em up here.

04-24-2012, 07:48 PM
Yeah I had a read of that, it helped a lot and I think I managed to get all my rivers going downhill. I wasn't too sure about the idea of a marshland kind of thing, though, and how that would work. I tried, and put it near the coast (near the top right) but I'm not sure if that would work.

Thanks! :)

04-24-2012, 08:13 PM
I think maybe it might be a little too cold up there for the swampy delta thing, but the sketch of it looks pretty good, albeit HUGE (assuming that's a world map, it's roughly the size of an entire European country). Also, you have one river that starts VERY close to a coast and then goes way out of its way to get to the other side of the continent to flow to the sea. Unless the coast is extremely mountainous (you do have mountains there, but not between the coast and the river) that river looks a little weird.

Sorry if I suggested stuff you've already read. It gets to be a habit to point new folks to that sticky, as it says its stuff MUCH better than I can off the top of my head :)

04-24-2012, 11:16 PM
Hm that's a good point, I may move that. I'm absolutely terrible with scale, so I was thinking I'd just work with whatever I ended up with haha. I wanted a fairly large area anyway, as there are going to be multiple "countries" within this. Mm true, I might remove that one, not really necessary anyway. Thanks a lot!

It's okay, I appreciate the help :)

04-25-2012, 01:22 AM
Hey, Gidde - Google "Mackenzie River delta" :-) Or for a drop-dead-gorgeous false-color photo, try Russia's Lena river delta (http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/earthday/lena_delta.html) - just as chilly. Bayou Brrr, b'rer! (in your case, Cher' ...) The rest of the river advice is spot-on, though.

Mel, Really, for a delta one ought to think as much "what happens after a big river hits the sea" as "what happens as a big river nears a coast". There's some truth to the latter, but the action of building up all those delicious little splits and meanders is a matter of deposition of silt as the water slows down.

04-25-2012, 03:12 AM
Excuse my ignorance, but would you mind dumbing that down for a me a bit? I'm not sure I understand.

04-25-2012, 08:40 AM
Thanks jbg, I surely will!

What he's talking about, Mel, is the fact that rivers with deltas have a ton of dirt in the water, that they've picked up from the lands they've gone through. When one of these hits the ocean, the flow slows and the dirt falls out of suspension (kinda like if you stop stirring a bucket of sandy water at a beach). Over time, all that dirt builds little islands right there at the river mouth and a delta is born. It grows because now the river water doesn't slow down until after it passes the islands, so the next islands are out further. Take a look at the mouths of the Amazon for one heckuva big one.

04-25-2012, 09:41 AM
What Gidde said :-).

Plus, the after-it-crosses-the-coastline effect builds a delta outward[/I. Your delta as drawn is all about [I]before a river reaches a coast, slowing down and meandering til it fragments a million ways. That's a real effect, but possibly lesser than the building-outwards one. So unless a delta starts in a bay of some sort (it does happen) it'll mostly stick out instead of being "onshore".

There's other considerations: it takes a fairly big river to pick UP enough dirt, before it'll DROP enough to make much of a delta. And if the ocean where it empties has strong currents right on the shore, there went the "water slows therefore drops suspended dirt" condition - and the silt just gets carried way out to sea.

04-26-2012, 03:23 AM
Ah, thanks so much, I get it now :)

I decided to ditch the delta idea anyway hah. Here's my current WIP.


04-26-2012, 11:58 PM
Done most of the mountains/trees/hills :) It's starting to look ok, as tedious as it's been haha.


04-27-2012, 09:01 PM

What application are you using to create these maps?

04-28-2012, 12:41 PM
It looks great! One thing, maybe vary the tree size just a teensy bit?

04-30-2012, 04:15 AM
I'm just using Photoshop CS5.

It looks great! One thing, maybe vary the tree size just a teensy bit?

Ah, wish I'd thought of that earlier haha. Much too lazy to change it now, but I will keep that in mind for next time :) and thanks!