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Thorf
05-25-2008, 08:57 PM
Hello!

My name is Thorfinn. I'm originally from Orkney (http://www.charles-tait.co.uk/) in the north of Scotland, but I've been living in Akita, Japan for the past 8 years. My wife is a local Akitan. She's a dance teacher. I work as an English teacher at a private high school (http://www.meioh.ed.jp/), which unfortunately takes up a lot of my time these days. Cartography is one of the many things I try to find time for.

On the Internet I generally go by my nickname, Thorf. I'm involved in quite a few communities, but the one most relevant to my mapping predilection is Mystara (http://www.pandius.com/), which is one of the original Dungeons & Dragons worlds. Most of my mapping efforts (http://mystara.thorf.co.uk/) to date have been recreating the old maps from this setting, in the form of exact replicas as well as updated (corrected, expanded) versions. I did most of these maps between 2004 and 2006.

I'm also a great admirer of Tolkien - books primarily, but I also loved the films. I have yet to put my hand to remaking a Middle-earth map, though. One of my favourite cartographers is Daniel Reeve (http://www.danielreeve.co.nz/), who did a lot of maps for Peter Jackson's movies. I'd love to be able to do something as professional as Daniel did, but unfortunately I'm really not much of an artist.

Most of my mapping so far has been in Adobe Illustrator. I'm a big fan of vectors, and I love being able to have complete control of the scale without losing detail. I also use Photoshop, and I'd like to put a bit more texture into my maps in the future, and reduce the crisp, digital look a bit.

In the future I hope to be able to get back to my Mystara maps, expand into renditions of Tolkien's worlds, and also work on my own original setting, which has been ongoing since 2006 (although still under wraps).

It's a pleasure to find a community of fellow cartographers to share tips and tricks with. I hope I can learn a great deal here, and I'm honoured to make your acquaintance.

どうぞよろしくお願いします。

Thorf
05-25-2008, 08:59 PM
One more thing - you can check out my mapping resources at the link below. They are released under a Creative Commons license, so if you can put them to use, please be my guest.

http://mystara.thorf.co.uk/mappingcs2.zip

jfrazierjr
05-25-2008, 09:33 PM
Welcome to the Guild Throf

SeerBlue
05-25-2008, 10:47 PM
Welcome to the Guild, Thorf, and I envy you greatly, I spent 3 years in Misawa Japan,,,,a wonderful, scenic place, with amazing people.....South Dakota just isn't the same...... SeerBlue

Robbie
05-25-2008, 11:02 PM
As the admin of this site, you scared the crap out of me with the oriental letters hehehe...I was soooo worried this was a spam attack...

Welcome to the guild!!!

rpgmapmaker
05-25-2008, 11:08 PM
Welcome to the guild!

I like the maps you have been making... nice, clean, and organized look and feel...

Your FAQ on fonts was a good read, thanks for sharing and again welcome.

-Chris

Gamerprinter
05-25-2008, 11:09 PM
Welcome, konichi wa. Akita gets cold! Samui desho.

I'm half Japanese, and have spent time in Yokosuka, Yokohama, Kyoto, Osaka and the Shimaneken district. My mother lived in Akita as a child sometime before the war, though she is actually from Shimaneken district on the western side of Honshu. I digress.

Welcome to the guild - let's see some maps! 8)

ravells
05-25-2008, 11:41 PM
Yeah, and we're still waiting for that Hokusai map, GP!

Welcome, Thorf, to our little happy world.

Redrobes
05-26-2008, 09:27 AM
Hi Thorf,

Welcome. You might be interested to know that there is a MeDem project running which is to create a DEM of Middle Earth at ridiculous resolution. The project has been going for several years and a lot of effort has been put into it. The main site for that is www.medem.org except that the site got hacked again so is down for a few days whilst it gets fixed and patched.

Still, to get some idea of what is going on there is a post here from one of the admins Monks :-

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1332

and even though the main site is down all the links should work I think. So you can see the scale and effort being put into it.

Most of the main admins are here Monks, SeerBlue, Arandil and myself. Were missing just Oshyan who is very busy as a key developer of Terragen and a planetside admin. I should add that I am not a Tolkien guru but more of a programmer making tools to enable us to get there - the others have much more extensive knowledge of the world and his writings.

The attached pic is the land in 3D. The map so far is 10K pix square but thats just the starter map. The intnention is to get it to about 100K square. You can see the 'Mistys' Mountains running through the middle of which the links in the post are referring to.

So yeah, post anything you have right now and we can chat about ME more later.

RPMiller
05-26-2008, 11:16 AM
Welcome to the Guild Thorf! I hope to one day make it over to Japan. I actually work for a Japanese company, but unfortunately I'm an IT person so there isn't any reason for me to travel over there unlike the sales people who go over about every two months or so.

Turgenev
05-26-2008, 07:26 PM
Hello!
どうぞよろしくお願いします。

こんにちは。 こちらこそ。 Welcome to the Guild, Thorf. My Japanese is limited since I am still learning (勉強中です). (^_^)/

Thorf
05-28-2008, 01:13 AM
Thanks for all the nice welcome messages!


Welcome to the Guild, Thorf, and I envy you greatly, I spent 3 years in Misawa Japan,,,,a wonderful, scenic place, with amazing people.....South Dakota just isn't the same...... SeerBlue

So you were at the American base in Misawa? Even though Akita is not so far from there, I have yet to take a proper trip up north to Aomori or Hokkaido. Someday...

But yes, the whole Tohoku area is quite beautiful. We just passed the magical week or two each year in which all the rice paddies are filled with water, and the whole land looks like a vast mirror - especially if you look down on it from a mountain. But the shoots are out now, and it's over until next year.

Living here has definitely been an experience for me, after growing up in the Orkney Islands, surrounded by farms.


As the admin of this site, you scared the crap out of me with the oriental letters hehehe...I was soooo worried this was a spam attack...

Welcome to the guild!!!

Oops! Sorry about that. ;) It's nice that they show up correctly on so many computers these days, and I know people like the look of them, so I often post some Japanese in my introductory posts.


Welcome to the guild!

I like the maps you have been making... nice, clean, and organized look and feel...

Your FAQ on fonts was a good read, thanks for sharing and again welcome.

Thanks, Chris! My maps so far have almost all been in a very specific style (i.e. hex maps), but within that format I've been trying to improve them as much as I can. The next step would be adding some texture - perhaps a nice parchment background - and working out a better way to take extracts from the maps. (Basically you either have to cut or mask the hexes at the edge, or have angled edges to your map. I'm not entirely satisfied with what I've got so far.)


Welcome, konichi wa. Akita gets cold! Samui desho.

I'm half Japanese, and have spent time in Yokosuka, Yokohama, Kyoto, Osaka and the Shimaneken district. My mother lived in Akita as a child sometime before the war, though she is actually from Shimaneken district on the western side of Honshu. I digress.

Welcome to the guild - let's see some maps! 8)

Yes, Akita is pretty cold in winter, although it doesn't usually go much below 0 (C). Conversely the summer is really hot and humid, and that's the part I find difficult.

It's amazing to find so many people with Japanese connections on this forum! Nice to meet you.


Welcome. You might be interested to know that there is a MeDem project running which is to create a DEM of Middle Earth at ridiculous resolution. The project has been going for several years and a lot of effort has been put into it. The main site for that is www.medem.org except that the site got hacked again so is down for a few days whilst it gets fixed and patched.

<snippety snip>

The attached pic is the land in 3D. The map so far is 10K pix square but thats just the starter map. The intnention is to get it to about 100K square. You can see the 'Mistys' Mountains running through the middle of which the links in the post are referring to.

So yeah, post anything you have right now and we can chat about ME more later.

Wow, what am impressive project!! Am I right in thinking that in the long run your map could be used to generate views of various parts of Middle-earth? I've always thought it would be nice to have some photo-realistic (or almost realistic) pictures of Middle-earth. The movies provided a lot, but not enough to satisfy my voracious appetite.

I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this. Thanks for letting me know!


Welcome to the Guild Thorf! I hope to one day make it over to Japan. I actually work for a Japanese company, but unfortunately I'm an IT person so there isn't any reason for me to travel over there unlike the sales people who go over about every two months or so.

I hope you make it over some day. :) It can be a real experience, especially if you haven't been to Asia before.


こんにちは。 こちらこそ。 Welcome to the Guild, Thorf. My Japanese is limited since I am still learning (勉強中です). (^_^)/

日本語上手ですね! 何年勉強していますか? You seem to be doing pretty well already! がんばって下さい!

Thorf
05-28-2008, 01:17 AM
One more thing: is there an established way to show your maps here? Should I just start a thread and post some maps for comment, or perhaps use the album function?

RobA
05-28-2008, 01:28 AM
Albums came about in the latest upgrade, so only a few people use them (and I'm not sure how to easily link to them).

If it is a work in progress, post it in the appropriate Mapmaking Discussion & Philosophy (WIP/Critique) forum. If it is a finished map you just wish to show off (but will probably get critique anyway :) ) post in the Gallery/Finished Map forum.

Either upload/link the images as attachments (to get the thumbnails), or figure out how to link to gallery images, and upload them there, then link (but I would suggest limiting the user galleries to finished maps).

-Rob A>

Turgenev
05-28-2008, 02:14 AM
日本語上手ですね! 何年勉強していますか? You seem to be doing pretty well already! がんばって下さい!

ありがとうございます。I've been studying off & on for a year now. I'm lucky that I have a really good friend who lives in Hokkaido who helps me with my Japanese and I help her with her English (we do this on a weekly basis). I still have a long way to go before I am truly comfortable in Japanese. Thanks for the encouragement.

To get back on topic for these boards... I can't wait to see some of your maps. ;)

じゃあね!
Tim

NeonKnight
05-29-2008, 11:51 AM
Welcome aboard Thorf!!

pyrandon
05-30-2008, 10:47 AM
Welcome, Thorf. I'm glad you popped on in & joined up. Hopefully we can help rekindle your mapping efforts and, in return, you can oompf some of us along on our ways too!

Arkkeeper
05-30-2008, 07:17 PM
We Meet Thorf I hope we can collaborate on the Mystara work, I always knew it by the Campaign Name Gazetteer but I have just about every single one of the Country Supplements, The Hollow Earth Box Set and two supplements to that, and both half's of the Giant Hex Map. I've always wanted to convert Gazetteer to 3.5 new D&D (even though I like 2nd AD&D the best). Like I said I hope we can collaborate.

delgondahntelius
06-02-2008, 02:29 AM
Welcome to the guild Thorfinn, Everyone has pretty much said what has needed to be said .... so happy mapping and glad to have you here! :D ... POST THEM MAPS!!! :D

Redrobes
06-03-2008, 06:46 PM
Just a note to say that the medem (http://www.me-dem.org/) site is back up again.