View Full Version : My first try - random continental map

06-24-2012, 04:57 PM
Hello :)

like i wrote in my introduction, i would like to create a worldmap for an imaginary world, where my (unwritten) storys take place. Because I have no experience in mapmaking, I started with a random map, of a random continent in a random world. Only to try out what I've read in the tutorials I found.
I would like to get some advice to improve my work :)
The mountains and hills are brushes I made myself from sketches i made. (after I read ironmetal250s great tutorial).


PS.: I hope that attatchment will work, thats new for me, that I can upload my pics direct, and dont have to use an imagehoster.

Ricardo Controversio
06-24-2012, 05:18 PM

It looks like you're off to a strong start; before you start working on anything more involved--climatological or demographic mapping--I'd suggest a few minor tweaks to improve the legibility of the map. First off, the contrast between that bright white (it appears to be #ffffff) is difficult to look at directly, even more so when contrasted against very dark features. Lowering the contrast even a small amount can have a very significant impact: try using #f8f8f8 as your brightest tone, and #1b1b1b as your darkest tone. Second, can you provide us with a scale, so we know roughly how much space we're looking at?

Third and finally, I would ask what sort of elevations the various sizes of mountains represent, because if this map is a very small scale, then those major mountains rising from the island could possibly be more abrupt than you'd intended.

Otherwise, it's clean, the brushes are pleasant, and I look forward to seeing more.

06-24-2012, 05:36 PM
Thanks for your advice. That are all points I have to think about (ok that contrast "problem" isnt to think, only to do ^^).

to 2nd: I have no idea what scale that should be :( maybe I have thought about that first? I can measure some centimeter without a ruler, but everything wider then 2 meters is only "more" (like 1, 2, 3, many, really many!). So I will think about the scale first an then repeat with working on that map. Same problem with the mountains.
But yeah, the ones on the island are really big. but it should be a small island. but how small... i will think about scale :)

Are there some tutorials about scale? Or pdf's or something like that? Maybe something like "Positioning Names on Maps fromEduard Imhof" <- really interesting ^^

06-25-2012, 04:22 AM
The way I would determine the scale in your position is to make a rough (even speculative) sketch of all continents of the planet and determine the circumference of the planet (there are scientific rules for that, if you don't want to get into that, perhaps make it similar to Earth, then you are always safe.). Once you have the drawing of your continent on the world in the sketch and the circumference of the planet then it should be easy to take a ruler and determine the dimensions of your continent. Use that to make a scale on your continent map.

06-25-2012, 06:02 PM
The basics are very solid, but guessing at the scale, that splitting river probably wouldn't happen. Mountains look workable, but certainly need cleanup with overlaps and such. A fine start for sure for a random training map.

06-25-2012, 06:51 PM
Looks like a good start. :) When deciding on the scale what works for me is to imagine to which real world country or other geographical region I would like the mapped area roughly correspond to. It helps at least to get me started, since I always have problems when it comes to scale, finding out the right one is a pain. ;)

06-26-2012, 04:06 PM
Thank you all.
I thought a bit about scale (and a friend of mine helped a bit) and now i know that my rivers are too big or my mountains too small. if the mountains are right the rivers are all like the amazonas, and if the rivers are... yeah normal rivers the mountains are hills and the hills are... molehills. So I will redo this and fix the mountains. I will work on some more mountains too because I think they repeat to much. Or I will use the brushes Schwarzkreuz made, they are really to my taste. But I dont know when I will have time for that :/ much work and some birthdays in family feed my time :/

The basics are very solid, but guessing at the scale, that splitting river probably wouldn't happen. Would you please explain that (or give a link where I can read about it?= I discussed my rivers and some other geographical points with the mentioned friend and said nothing about that, but maybe he forgot that or he doesnt know that and I always would like to learn something new :)

The world I'm planing is magical, but I would like to have maps that "could" work in reallity. So I think I have to knwo why the river will prpably not do, what I think he could do.

Edit: I forgot to write:
@Lyandra Its really comforting that im not the only person who has problems with scaling. :)

06-26-2012, 06:14 PM
Scaling is always a problem, but there have already been some good tips. Start with the real world. Imagine an area on earth that might be similar to what you want to show on your map and look up for distances there.

But basically I don't think there is anything wrong with the relative scale of your rivers or mountains. You have to consider that on the maps that used this graphical style, geological features were not up to scale. There were just symbolical representations of such features.