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View Full Version : Pax Orbis: Super ugly, but I'd love feedback!



Morgan_R
06-19-2012, 05:56 AM
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So, this is obviously sloppily drawn with a mouse, but I didn't want to spend any time making it pretty until I was sure I was getting it right. So... sanity check? Rivers flow downhill, etc.? Anything that looks weird, geographically speaking? I'm not 100% sure on scale yet, but it's smaller than one of our continents.... maybe the size of western Europe.

Sapiento
06-19-2012, 06:20 AM
Looks ok. I can't find anything wrong. Obviously strong west winds.

Morgan_R
06-19-2012, 11:23 AM
Thanks! And yeah, I did set it up with a prevailing west wind in mind, but now I'm wondering if I'm overdoing it... hm.

Veldehar
06-19-2012, 11:49 PM
Being in an area of west to east winds the rain shadows are good, but also recall that your east coast is going to be a warm water coast (assuming earth-like here) which likely will green up that coast.

jwbjerk
06-20-2012, 12:06 AM
It depends on latitude (which you haven't indicated), but i wouldn't necessarily expect that Eastern part to be pure desert, unless perhaps the mountains were extremely tall. With all that surrounding ocean, i'd expect some precipitation.

Also, if i'm reading it right, you have thin bands of forests up against the west edges of all mountains. Unless people chopped down everything else, i'd expect to see more forests.

Morgan_R
06-20-2012, 12:56 PM
Thanks for the feedback!

Veldehar, why would the east coast specifically be warm water? It's actually not Earth-like, but it's an artificial environment set up to emulate an Earth-like one. The premise is that this is a chunk of a world encapsulated in a small magical/physical 'bubble,' with gravity being an artificially imposed force rather than the result of mass. So the world is 'flat,' or at least only slightly domed, relative to the dome of the 'sky.'

I may have to invoke 'a wizard did it' for the wind as well, since I can't think of any natural reason for it. The sun is an orbiting body at a slight angle relative to the land, which I think should give me some climate variation from 'south' to 'north.'

jwbjerk, I'm sure you're right about that desert, I was just trying to avoid introducing yet-another habitable zone to complicate my political worldbuilding. But I think I'll plant some grasslands and nomadic people there at the edges. With regards to the forests, that's the old growth, in what I'm assuming would be land too hilly to farm... I think people have cleared out everything else, although now that you point it out, I think it makes sense for them to have done some replanting as well.

Morgan_R
06-21-2012, 01:21 AM
Following arsheesh's Eriond tutorial: (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?18280-Eriond-A-Tutorial-for-GIMP-amp-Wilbur&highlight=wilbur)

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Now to figure out how to add things like cities without it getting ugly...

Veldehar
06-21-2012, 12:09 PM
Flat world would change everything, naturally! but basically speaking, warm waters at the equator head toward the poles, while cold waters heads toward the equator and the spin of the world makes that clockwise in the north hem and counter in the south hem. The resulting affect is that currents on the west coasts of continents tend to be cold (less evaporation and drier) while the east coasts are warm water (more evaporation and wetter).

Looking good!

Morgan_R
06-21-2012, 06:43 PM
Thanks for the explanation! I wish I knew how to work out what would actually happen in my world-in-a-bubble scenario, but I may just have to hand-wave it.

Lukc
06-21-2012, 07:05 PM
A beautiful terrain map!

Morgan_R
06-24-2012, 01:34 AM
Thanks! I reworked some things a little:
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kestrelgrey
06-24-2012, 01:48 AM
This looks brilliant. The plans you originally posted were pretty basic (well, they were plans, so that was the best thing ^.^), and to see such a fantastic realization of those plans is amazing. You've really done an excellent job. Nitpicky detail? might want to clean up the way the rivers run into the ocean. They're darker, like the deep water, but they're running into the lighter blue and just sort of end. Overall, tho'? I can't wait to see more. This is beautifully done. I love the realistic feel (and look!), especially in the mountains. They're the hardest, for me, and you've done them beautifully. Everything looks very natural.

Lyandra
06-24-2012, 08:33 AM
Great map! I agree with kestrelgrey: excellent realization of your plans. I too have to finally make something following Arsheesh's excellent Eriond Tutorial - I love this style and the maps made using it look really awesome! The rivers do look a bit odd ending suddenly like this. If I were you I would also make the change between different hues of blue more gradual.

Morgan_R
06-24-2012, 04:55 PM
D'oh, my bad... the rivers matched the ocean they flowed into until I added some lighter water around the edges. Thanks for pointing that out, I'll fix it for the next iteration.

kestralgray: The mountains were definitely the hardest part. I definitely recommend the Eriond tutorial, but also, I generated the mountain noise multiple times to get sections I liked. I also found duplicating & gaussian blurring them helped blend them into the map. And for the bump map on the second version, I maxed out 'elevation' and then set 'depth' to something that looked good. I can't really explain the difference, but I think it came out better that way.

arsheesh
06-26-2012, 02:11 AM
Ooh, those mountains turned out nicely on your re-worked map Morgan. That and the rivers look much clearer and more natural. Nicely done!

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Morgan_R
06-26-2012, 05:53 PM
Thanks! I actually ended up just using the old rivers as guidelines, drawing paths in GIMP and then using RobA's fractalize path script (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?6465-Gimp-Script-Fractalize-Path&highlight=fractal+line+GIMP). I wanted to have them in path form in case I end up doing some larger-scale maps.

So, the latest iteration, now with some (possibly temporary) names...
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I like the all-caps font, but I'm less thrilled about the look of the cities... any advice on how to improve them, before I add a dozen more? ;P

leen
06-26-2012, 06:16 PM
Hey!
This is great! The rivers and mountains look very neat!!
The font for the terrain is good, but the Citynames are way too bold, i think... search for something fine, light, for the cities may be just a simple outline-dot, nothing too fancy...
keep it coming!
Cheers

arsheesh
06-26-2012, 07:29 PM
Thanks! I actually ended up just using the old rivers as guidelines, drawing paths in GIMP and then using RobA's fractalize path script (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?6465-Gimp-Script-Fractalize-Path&highlight=fractal+line+GIMP). I wanted to have them in path form in case I end up doing some larger-scale maps.

So, the latest iteration, now with some (possibly temporary) names... I like the all-caps font, but I'm less thrilled about the look of the cities... any advice on how to improve them, before I add a dozen more? ;P

Aw, very clever idea with the rivers. I like the font. Yes the city icons are a bit lackluster. That and as leen mentioned, the white stroke surrounding the city names is a bit thick. I would try reducing the stroke to about 1/2 the current thickness. As to the Icons, well there are allot of different things you could do. By way of example, here is a sampling of some of the icons I've created for maps over the last couple of years:

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While some of the more ornate icons took a bit more work most of these were just a matter of finding the right shape, applying a bevel and emboss (play around with the settings a bit till you find something you like) and then a drop shadow. GIMP doesn't come with layer styles built in by there is a plugin that you can get that allows you to approximate this, which you can find here (http://registry.gimp.org/node/186).

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Morgan_R
06-27-2012, 09:03 PM
Thanks Arsheesh, that was super helpful. :)

Here's the new-and-hopefully-improved version, now with borders:

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