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Diamond
12-29-2012, 06:04 PM
Over the years, I've drawn and re-drawn and re-imagined and re-conceptualized this world many, many, MANY times, and each time I've been somewhat dissatisfied. This is the world that most of my short stories and aborted novel attempts have taken place in, and I always feel like if the map isn't perfect the stories won't be either. I suspect a lot of that is just me being obsessive, but the older I get, the more I realize I need to sh*t or get off the pot, so to speak, with my writing.

So this thread will be a final attempt to finally nail down the look and feel of Tropan once and for all. One of the things I've struggled with over the years was figuring out a proper projection and finding a good graticule grid, both of which I now can call finished thanks to gilgamec and his awesome thread: Blank graticules (http://www.cartographersguild.com/mapping-elements/19251-blank-graticules.html).

Tropan has four continents; though only two are really important to my work, I plan to map out the entire world for completeness's sake, though the 'off' continents won't receive the level of detail that the other two will.

Here's the first pass at the western half of the northern hemisphere:

Eilathen
12-29-2012, 06:16 PM
Very VERY much looking forward to this. I hope you'll also spoil us with some world fluff etc.?!
Oh and good luck! I know the feeling of being too obsessive about such things and how it hampers the progress of the project.

Diamond
12-29-2012, 07:35 PM
We'll see about the world fluff. I'm very paranoid about being plagiarized as far as world-building detail goes.

Anyway, here's an update. I've decided to keep the design relatively simple, using basic inverted Vs for the mountains, etc. Not only will this allow me to finish the world map relatively quickly, it'll keep the file size down. Once I finish the world map, there'll be time for detailed, pretty-fied regional maps.

Diamond
12-29-2012, 10:40 PM
Some mountains.

Diamond
01-06-2013, 08:57 PM
Back to the drawing board. Much happier with this version... but then I say that every time. :D

- Max -
01-06-2013, 09:24 PM
Looks like a good start. I'm looking forward it

Diamond
01-06-2013, 10:28 PM
Added graticules and everyone's favorite triangle mountains. :D

- Max -
01-06-2013, 10:40 PM
Those are my favorites by far :D

Hai-Etlik
01-06-2013, 10:54 PM
Added graticules and everyone's favorite triangle mountains. :D

The extent and projection seem a bit odd, although the extent could be explained if there were some feature not included in the map yet that tied it all together (say the extent of a particular culture)

Barring that, I would think if the map is of that sea between the continents, you'd want to zoom in a bit on it, while if the focus is on the land, then you'd want to have a map of each individually.

The graticule looks like you took a global pseudocylindrical projection and just zoomed in on a section.

Diamond
01-07-2013, 12:07 AM
Correct on all counts. Very perceptive on why I included parts of two continents rather than all of one or both - it's cultural.

Definitely not accurate, but I like the way it looks. Like I said earlier in the thread, at some point I need to either sh!t or get off the pot, and this is me sh!tting. Wait, that didn't sound right... :D

Diamond
01-07-2013, 03:48 AM
More mountains, rivers, deserts, some naming... Not happy with the placement of some of the sea names, but they're just place holders for now.

Eilathen
01-07-2013, 11:29 AM
Added graticules and everyone's favorite triangle mountains. :D

Lol...you mean pyramids...those are no mountains... What?! ;) :D

On a more serious note - i like where this is going. Looking foreward to more.

Diamond
01-10-2013, 11:58 PM
More stuff. Nearing completion.

Diamond
01-12-2013, 07:27 PM
Okay, I think this particular map is done. I'm going to keep this thread open for regional maps and other larger-scale maps, so stay tuned.

- Max -
01-12-2013, 08:05 PM
My taste would have go with more "realistic" mountains and another font for towns but besides thoses details points, you did a great job on this map. Combining and old touch with a neat and clear style is perfectly done imho!

Diamond
01-13-2013, 03:35 AM
Thanks, Max. I thought about using a different font for the city names, but in the end decided to keep everything the same, both for uniformity, and because they're still legible.

Much like Vorropohaia, I've been compiling a glossary and timeline for Tropan for quite a while, and I thought I'd post a couple of pages of it, like he did. Please don't steal, or I will cry and likely break things. Thanks.

Eilathen
01-13-2013, 06:39 AM
Nice map, Diamond.
And i also like the glossary. It seems to be a world with some oddities and therefore its own flavour - nice!

Diamond
02-21-2013, 08:00 PM
It was only a matter of time... version 548,021:

- Max -
02-21-2013, 08:06 PM
I guess Vorropoahiah's last WIP map inspired you on this one ;) Looks promising but I don't think the scaled border fits this kind of map , am I wrong?

Diamond
02-21-2013, 08:41 PM
I guess Vorropoahiah's last WIP map inspired you on this one ;)
Yep. :D


Looks promising but I don't think the scaled border fits this kind of map , am I wrong?
That outer border is meant to be purely decorative.

Diamond
02-22-2013, 02:07 AM
Okay, added some rivers, added that awesome parchment (modified) that Torstan posted once upon a time.

I really have to thank Vorropoahiah, who's given me the motivation to keep working on my own conworld. Thanks, man.

edit: whoah, this puppy is getting big fast. I may have to post lesser-quality updates until everything's done...

vorropohaiah
02-22-2013, 02:52 AM
thought i was looking at my own thread for a moment... this looks familiar :p

better step up the game on my own map

EDIT: and i know what you mean about the size, my psd is now about 900 mb, and its nowhere near finished. had to start adding new details on separate images. the image is 48" x 72" at 300 dpi at the moment, and i may have to embiggen it to get all the border stuff to fit

Diamond
02-22-2013, 02:54 AM
I think I'm gonna have to start over on the rivers; they look too thick.

vorropohaiah
02-22-2013, 03:09 AM
perhaps try taper them?

also, will you be sticking with the 15 degree graticules for the final thing?

- Max -
02-22-2013, 04:21 AM
So, two great threads to check now! Nice :D
I should start a third similar one to have more fun. Nah just joking, I don't feel comfortable with those projections maps atm :p

Diamond
02-22-2013, 04:30 PM
perhaps try taper them?

also, will you be sticking with the 15 degree graticules for the final thing?

I'll try tapering them (was probably going to anyway), but I think I'm going to reduce from the 3-pixel width they're at now down to 2 pixels.

I probably will stick w/15 degrees; any more lat/long lines make everything too cramped-seeming (in my opinion).

@Max: Start one! Go outside of your comfort zone!!!! :D

- Max -
02-22-2013, 04:44 PM
:D I'll probably do one of these days! Still a lot of projects to do (large continent - my current WIP, isometric map, some city maps, projections etc.) but each map is one kind of a challenge, even those who seem to be in the comfort zone ;)

Hai-Etlik
02-22-2013, 08:24 PM
Azimuthal Equal Area seems an odd choice for this kind of map. Is there a particular reason you chose it over the more typical Stereographic?

Diamond
02-23-2013, 03:00 AM
Seemed as though there would be less distortion (except at the edges). I'm probably wrong though...

Diamond
02-24-2013, 06:16 AM
Okay, this is more the shape I had envisioned.

Hai-Etlik
02-25-2013, 10:51 PM
Seemed as though there would be less distortion (except at the edges). I'm probably wrong though...

The amount of distortion is the same, it just differs in what it distorted. Equal Area preserves areas, but causes significant distortion of angles (Giving a "squashed" look around the edges). Stereographic distorts areas, but preserves angles (Everything is bigger around the edges than in the centre).

arsheesh
02-26-2013, 03:04 PM
I've always wanted to try one of these maps. You've done a great job on this so far Diamond and I'm looking forward to seeing this progress.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Diamond
02-28-2013, 01:38 AM
One problem I've run into is the rivers. No matter what I try, they just don't feel right. I may leave them off altogether and keep this as a text-only overview map, saving the detail for regional maps. Any suggestions on how I can illustrate rivers effectively on a map like this? Maybe decrease the pixel size even further, down to 1 pixel?

- Max -
02-28-2013, 05:05 AM
What's the size and scale of the map? Maybe 1 pixel could be ok. I use 2 pixels on rivers in my current WIP and it's a continent not a world like this one

Diamond
03-01-2013, 12:33 AM
It's pretty much exactly Earth-sized.

I think part of the problem is that I was trying to draw too many rivers. Maybe at this scale, only the major ones should be shown.

- Max -
03-01-2013, 05:16 AM
Yes I think so.

vorropohaiah
03-01-2013, 01:37 PM
try check this out (http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~31510~1151092:-Composite-of--A-general-map-of-the?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort&qvq=w4s:/where/World/when/1804/;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=6&trs=26)

im not sure what style you're going for but this is sort of what im basing my one on. there's plenty of rivers, though only the major ones, which are clearly marked

Diamond
03-02-2013, 06:16 PM
Wow, that's insane! Yeah, I'd like to aim for something like that, but I'm going to try and use a few different sizes/types of font to give a bit more variety, since the text will pretty much be the sum of the map.

I've started over with the rivers, set at one pixel in width, and it seems to be doing the trick.

Diamond
03-02-2013, 08:42 PM
There we go... liking this much better now.

- Max -
03-02-2013, 09:18 PM
Yup, those rivers looks good as main ones.

vorropohaiah
03-03-2013, 03:15 AM
you changed the landmasses?

Diamond
03-03-2013, 04:51 AM
I'm a landmass-changin' fool. :D

Here's a small update showing some preliminary label work. I'm trying not to be too derivative of vorropohaiah's labeling methods...

vorropohaiah
03-03-2013, 06:16 AM
looking nice - i'm actually trying out the same type of borders on my one.

nice labels. i like how the large regions are in grey, though they might be a bit difficult to see at a distance.


regarding the continents - i thought you had an established world, as the name tropan pops up in a few threads (like my elyden). or is it a catch-all name you use for all your worlds?

Diamond
03-03-2013, 06:23 AM
I wanted to somehow differentiate geographic labels from political labels, hence the gray text. I put a mountain range in there in black; I'll do a few more both ways and see what looks the best.

I have an established world called Tropan, but the geography has changed and continues to change. Like I said in the intro to this thread, this is my attempt to finally nail it down once and for all, so hopefully at the end of this thread, that will be the case. :)

Eilathen
03-03-2013, 07:41 AM
I'm a landmass-changin' fool. :D



lol :D

That's what i like about you...you're like me...always looking for "the perfect" (TM) form. And as i said many times, you have a good eye for continent-forms, at least for my tastes.
Will be interesting to see if you can nail it down once and for all ;)

- Max -
03-03-2013, 09:35 AM
Nice and clean labelling job as usual :)

arsheesh
03-03-2013, 02:59 PM
Yes, those labels look great, and as you say, the distinction between political and geographical is clear.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Aredhel
03-05-2013, 08:50 PM
this is looking very good so far!

BookOwl
03-09-2013, 03:22 AM
I really like this so far! You sound like the way I am with my world, the geography is ever-changing :)

Can't wait to see more, it looks great!

Lyandra
03-10-2013, 07:19 AM
I'm a landmass-changin' fool. :D

Good to know that I am not the only one. =P

I really like this version of the map. :)

Diamond
03-10-2013, 09:40 PM
Thank you, guys.

And what's this? Landmass-changin'! The more I thought about the overall feel of Tropan, its cultures, races, history, the more I came to think it's actually a far-future Mars, or at least a planet that bears a passing resemblance to a far-future Mars. So, back to the drawing board. I'm starting to experiment with mountains a bit here. I'm quite pleased with how these have turned out, actually, although I wish there was a script or something you could load into photoshop to make the angles at which the brush turns smoother, without so much gap in the turns. Or maybe there is and I just don't know about it.

- Max -
03-10-2013, 10:14 PM
Hmm Diamond, sorry but for now I'm not really convincing by those mountains but the idea is very interesting. But I'm sure you work on these mountains will turn out nice at the end ;)

BookOwl
03-11-2013, 02:40 AM
I like the new land shapes, there's more land than before :)

I agree with Max on the mountains. They don't really seem like mountains to me.

Can't wait for the next update :)

vorropohaiah
03-11-2013, 03:48 AM
again? i think the title 'definitive version' is slipping away :p

i've always liked martian-esque landmasses and this one is nice. the mountain elevations are interesting and a good start though i think you might wand to add colours to them or add heights and/or spot-heights

also, though I'm not sure if its due to an aesthetical choice or not (and changing it now requires relabelling everything) though I'd move the map about 30 degrees --> to get the division between hemispheres to fall through the Dreaming sea, rather than divide the Kasser landmass in two (this will also reduce distortion around the edges, making chosing nation borders easier as the distortion can be misleading otherwise). its one thing I couldn't do on my map due to the high land/sea proportion - anywhere i chose would have ended up with lots of land arounc the map borders.

- Max -
03-11-2013, 05:21 AM
I like the new land shapes, there's more land than before :)

I agree with Max on the mountains. They don't really seem like mountains to me.

Can't wait for the next update :)

I do think that this way of doing mountains on this kind of map is a nice idea. Beside the gap issue Vorrophaiah just just told it right. Some colors and maybe some kind of additionnal height would probably help to make them better.

Eld
03-11-2013, 11:07 AM
The former land shape I found more interesting and beautiful, but you shouldn't base your work on my single opinion and taste. You should do what feels right to you and the map will become good.

Diamond
03-11-2013, 03:12 PM
@V: re landmass - I know. I gotta stop. :D As for the hemispheric division, I did it that way to keep Noctiland centered with the least distortion; Kassar is pretty unimportant anyway; nothing but desert and a few scattered city-states on the coast, so it's not a huge deal if there's distortion there.

@Max: Mountains aren't done yet; I'm going to add further parallel lines (they're not really exact elevation; more an artistic representation of rough elevation).

There will be colors added, not just on the mountains but in the borders too. I just need to wait until all the labeling is done and I can merge all the text layers; things will be FAR too big otherwise.

- Max -
03-11-2013, 03:36 PM
I'm pretty confident in the way you'll deal with those mountains in the end :)

vorropohaiah
04-06-2013, 05:15 AM
looking forward to seeing more progress on this... (hopefully it retains the same shape though :p)

Diamond
04-06-2013, 04:26 PM
I had to take a break from it for a while to retain my sanity, but I haven't forgotten about it! :D