View Full Version : Worldbuiding Project - Worldmap

05-01-2012, 06:55 PM
So I had made another thread previously about how I couldn't ever be satisfied on a map that I made for this worldbuilding project that I was working on. I became dissatisfied with that map even though I was happy with the landmasses, so I thought to start from the core up, or sort of. I've been busy with a bunch of other things as well and a lot of things have happened since I posted that thread. So I thought it would be better to start up a new one.

For this map, I took the advice of making it an equirectangular projection. I drew out where the equator was and vaguely where the tropics lines would be (I really don't know where to put the tropics lines, though I know for an earthlike world, they should be at 23.5 degrees north and south of the equator. Photoshop is not good at finding degrees, so I just guessed.) I started out this project by drawing out tectonic plates, though I haven't quite mapped the direction in which they'll be moving. On a new layer, I drew out land masses in the general shapes that I would like. It's not all super detailed yet, that'll come later. The next step is probably be mapping out the mountains and biomes after I figure out the directions in which the plates are moving. I'm rather fond of temperate forests and would like a particularly large one somewhere on here, as that is a very important landmark for this world. This is where I have trouble with the map, though. I haven't taken much geography so I'm not very knowledgeable on the subject, and most of what I've learned about geography in fact comes from this site and reading reference links.

But yeah, in order to get the amounts of forests I wanted, I was told to move the landmasses closer to the poles. Oh, and another thing that was particularly important to have in this map was archipelagos and islands like the Caribbean, Japan and the Philippines. This was hugely inspired by Chrono Cross's setting, as I really really enjoy that islander culture. Also, the humans haven't quite plowed through the forests yet in this world, so they would probably be fairly abundant as well.

Anyway, that's about where I'm at with this map so far. Attaching the plates map and the continental map. They're both 1000x2000 pixels, though the original resolutions are 3600x7200 pixels.

EDIT: Adding all screenshots for the wip's.

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05-01-2012, 09:06 PM
Hi Paramenides :) This looks like a pretty good start! The only thing I'd suggest is that the poles don't look nearly stretched enough. Well, specifically the continents on plate 4 and 11 don't; the rest look ok.

05-01-2012, 09:17 PM
Ah, good point. I'll take a look at fixing that, I'm mostly working on messing with the more detailed landmasses at the moment. And I might have a little problem trying to stretch out the southern continent, but I'll work on that.

05-01-2012, 10:17 PM
Detailed the shapes of the land. I had a little issue with trying to stretch out some of the landmasses to more accurately do an equirectangular projection. Not quite sure how I feel about the archipelago/island bits, but it's decent enough for what I'm trying to go for. Next will be mountains and biomes for sure.


05-01-2012, 10:21 PM
That looks much better!

05-01-2012, 10:33 PM
Thank you!

05-02-2012, 02:43 AM
Further progress on the map. Very rough mountain placements and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about where they are on the map. Now I'm mostly procrastinating on the biomes because I really don't know much about where they should go, so I detailed the ocean quite a bit. Suggestions on biome placements would be very much appreciated.

Also thank you in advance to anyone who helps out.


05-02-2012, 07:08 PM
Excellent work on the sea floor bumps! I also like the font you are using. Look forward to watching this one progress.


05-03-2012, 05:48 PM
Thank you!

EDIT: Also I just realized what you meant by font. LOL It's actually just my handwriting.

05-04-2012, 01:26 AM
Okay, did a very rough layout of the biomes on here as well as mountains. Like, supremely rough. Also nevermind my stupid sloppy handwriting, it's gross and really sloppy and gross.

Critiques please?
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05-06-2012, 03:29 AM
Hrm. Not much feedback huh. :c Anyway mussed around with a few different tutorials, namely Tear's Saderan tutorial and Pasis' mountains tutorial. I still am never sure if the mountains look okay. Had a couple of issues with the rivers and I'm not sure if the forests are really to scale. I wanted a few massive forests, namely the one on top of Creid and the one on Ch'asvla. So I basically finished it aside from labeling things like cities (mostly because I don't have the names of all of them yet.) I also don't quite have countries separated and mapped out yet, though I'm starting with an enlarged map of Creid, which is the mainly populated continent. Decided on a brownish tone for the map as well, and some pretty weak map artistry, mostly because my arm is injured.

The continental/regional maps will be done in a hand drawn style rather than this style. Mostly because I feel I can get better landmarks in, what with this world having a floating set of mountains somewhere. (Not depicted in this map)


05-06-2012, 11:31 AM
It happens sometimes (the lack of feedback). This is coming along nicely! I really like the sepia-tone.

05-06-2012, 04:47 PM
This looks awesome! Amazing detail.

I feel like the coastlines are a little bit too low-contrast compared to the darkest points in the text.

05-06-2012, 05:37 PM
This looks really good. I like the muted two-tone look.


05-07-2012, 01:03 AM
Thanks for the feedback. I'll change that up so that the coastlines are a bit darker.

I like it too. I mean, I also like the colored version I have as well, and the way I color the ocean makes it look kind of bright and tropical, but I'm not sure if that's entirely the feel I'm going for on this map.

05-07-2012, 03:09 AM
Judging by your graticule and aspect ratio, this is meant to be Plate Carree. However you seem to be using a 9 graticule, which is, odd, though a fantasy culture might conceivably use it. You also seem to have cut off a degree or two around the edges.

The compass rose really isn't appropriate in the Plate Carree projection as it distorts compass bearings considerably and a compass rose is an indicator that bearings are preserved in the map (It's not just a pretty decoration, it's a functional element like a scale bar). Also your rose is strangely inconsistent as there are what look like they are meant to be evenly spaced bearing marks, but they are unevenly distributed between the octants. Some have 4, and some have 5. Also the 45 arms are sort of skewed, which looks pretty but which distorts the perception of direction, which is the whole reasons for a compass rose.

You also have some distortion around the poles. Plate Carree stretches things out as you get closer to the poles, so if you draw things without that stretching, it means that on the globe, you are drawing them as all pinched in toward the poles. Here are Stereographic projections of the poles to show the effect. (In these projections the poles look about right, while as you move away from the centre, things get bigger and bigger, but stay about the right shape.)


The map as a whole have very low contrast which makes it hard to read. The labels seem a bit out of place too. You want them to contrast with the map features so you can read them without distracting from those same features. Flat plain colours, are best. If "Creid" is supposed to be different in some way from the others, you should probably go with something more noticable than the slight size increase of the label, or provide a legend. Otherwise it's better to be consistent and make it the same size. If you need to spread a label out over a feature, it's best to adjust the spacing rather than the size, and you might want to run it along a path too.

Sorry if that came across as a lot of criticism but I do hope it helps you.

05-07-2012, 05:48 PM
Thank you, and no, I really do appreciate the criticism. I'm pretty new to the whole mapmaking thing. On top of which, I don't know much at all about projections and how to do them properly. I especially don't know how to switch between projections either, since I'm doing these in photoshop, and I'm not quite sure how to stretch things in that program. I do agree though that the map is fairly low contrast, and I do really need to fix that. It's mostly the color filters that I've thrown on over the top, so I should probably either take those off or tone down the opacity a bit, as well as darken the coastlines, or make them a bit more pronounced. As for the compass, I pretty much just used a brush that I found on photoshop. I'm currently being sort of retarded in that I'm doing drawing sorts of things while I'm dealing with arm pain that's been acting up. I do thank you for the advice though, I just get really confused by projections.

EDIT: Also, just found the polar coordinates filter. Derp.