View Full Version : Continent Structure Suggestions?

06-07-2012, 06:03 AM
Ok, I give up and am breaking down to ask for suggestions. I've been attempting to create the world map for my campaign world using Photoshop but I never seem happy with the resulting continent structure (it always seems to be too squarish / blockish).

Summary of the World Map:
* The world is composed of 2 main landmasses at a 75% / 25% split in size (thus one land mass is 75% of the total planet's land mass).

* The larger land mass is divided into 2 continents. Each continent is an empire and they have been at war for thousands of years (Giants vs. Dragons). I want the land mass to be designed in such a way as that there is a failry large border between the the 2 empires (so I am thinking a north-south border). Older revisions had a relatively small east-west border (along the lines of the US-Canada border) but it made it very difficult to explain why say a giant from northern Canada had a beef with a Dragon from southern Brazil.

* The smaller land mass is 1 continent/empire and generally far enough away from the other continent to not be threatened (out of a dragon's typical flight range).

In Real World terms the 3 continents break out to be composed roughly like this (not counting Antarctica):
* Continent 1 = Eurasia (40%)
* Continent 2 = South America + Africa (35%)
* Continent 3 = North America + Australia (25%)

The problem I am having is envisioning and portraying the continents to create the desired effect. I basically keep ending up with 2 somewhat rectangular looking landmasses.

Here is the last attempt:

As you can see, the main continent looks like a block. The smaller continent is too large, and I also don't like the Rorschach effect that the smaller continent looks like a face.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to set up the continents to look more natural? Any suggestions at this point would be helpful.

06-07-2012, 07:09 AM
My main suggestion is: Work on a bigger canvas and DON'T try to fill it. Trying to use all the available space is why it looks like a block. You can always make your canvas bigger if you need to go further in any particular direction.

06-07-2012, 08:36 AM
Thanks for that. I have been trying to work with a 20" (6000) x 16" (4800) canvas at 300ppi. Still not seeming to get a shape I like that looks decent under the 2 land mass constraint. I am thinking I need to start with something like Pangea for inspiration, trying to recreate it, chopping off India, Antarctica and Australia as the 2nd land mass.

06-07-2012, 09:16 AM
One thing you could try (and what I sometimes do) if you already have a vague idea in mind is to start with a few basic geometric shapes for your two continents, like a pair of triangles or whatever, with a few others jutting off from it. Then draw your coastlines within or roughly conforming to the general shape of those. That way those basic shapes are dictating the overall landmass instead of the edge of your canvas.

I feel you pain though. It sometimes takes me multiple attempts before I even start to feel happy with something. =P

06-07-2012, 09:34 AM
How does this look?

06-07-2012, 01:24 PM
like north america lol :D but immediate first impression, "that's a landmass".

doesn't have the 'filling the square' thing. go for it!