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urxed
01-09-2013, 11:43 AM
I still consider myself new to the guild, and a newbie at creating maps - but I'll start this thread so I can get some opinions and pro advice.

The general idea is this: a world that hasn't been harmed, where life has got to grow in peace with different chaotic circumstances. No major extinction events; no comets, no great changes in climate and temperature, 5-10 degree axial tilt. Earth untouched? I want as much life as possible, mammals, reptiles, dinosaurs, humans and so on. Oh, and it is fantasy (no/low magic). Think Dinotopia, or Dino Riders without lasers. Hah.

Here are some early drafts:

So I've been playing around in paint (I love MS Paint):
51113

Another one from paint:
51116

This one's from PS, I wanted to try out working with globes from the start:
51117

I have also been using the Saderan-tutorial by Tear lately, I really like the style it can produce and I think I'll be using it for creating the world. I've got some other ideas that I'll be doing when the first map is done.

Any comments are welcome, praise or criticism, love or hate aso.

urxed
01-09-2013, 02:17 PM
Trying out some different stuff for future borders.
51120

ManOfSteel
01-10-2013, 12:37 AM
Well, my first two thoughts are:

1) Minimize the polar land masses and maximize the temperate and tropical land areas. There's a greater variety of life in those in those regions.

2) Maybe save the borders for when you have the map finalized. Depending on the detail in your actual map, excessive backgrounds and borders can be distracting. Also, it depends on what look you're going after. Antique? Scientific/technical? Atlas?

One other thought...I like the idea of thinking of the place as an actual planet, and thus the circular hemispheres, but it's very hard to visualize actual land area on a hemispherical map. Is there a reason you've not plotted out the map on an equirectangular layout or other projection?

urxed
01-10-2013, 05:31 AM
Well, my first two thoughts are:

1) Minimize the polar land masses and maximize the temperate and tropical land areas. There's a greater variety of life in those in those regions.

2) Maybe save the borders for when you have the map finalized. Depending on the detail in your actual map, excessive backgrounds and borders can be distracting. Also, it depends on what look you're going after. Antique? Scientific/technical? Atlas?

One other thought...I like the idea of thinking of the place as an actual planet, and thus the circular hemispheres, but it's very hard to visualize actual land area on a hemispherical map. Is there a reason you've not plotted out the map on an equirectangular layout or other projection?

1. Yeah, I've been thinking about that - the only problem is that with no polar landmasses the average temp. of the planet (comparing with earth) rises significantly. I don't know if that is a problem. I'm also going for semi-supercontinent: I would like to have one or two pieces of major land mass. Maybe I'll go for some kind of "ring" world (I've been into that before... in the crescent world).

2. Yeah, absolutely. That was just a minor detail I did when I had some spare time over. Generally I'm looking for some kind of neo-atlas style with scientific feel - I'm not going all out science though, my knowledge is not enough. But that map will be for me to look upon so that I can flesh out good stories and so on. I'll be creating other maps of areas throughout the world in a "old style" manner (I love this style:
51137).

(3). Well, I don't really care about the right projections or if it's distorted or not - I just like the feel of it when it is portrayed as a planet. I find it gives a better view of how large/small things are. When looking at an atlas map of earth you don't really understand how humongous some of the oceans really are, such details looks better in a "fake" planetary style. I might just put it on a flat area map later on though.

ManOfSteel
01-11-2013, 02:02 AM
You don't need much land at the poles. Earth has none at its north pole. Yet it has a nice ice cap...or at least it used to have ice in the summer. The way things are heating up, they may be looking at ice free summers in their northern hemisphere. You could still put some land masses near the poles. Greenland, Iceland, and the Scandinavian countries are examples. The temperature of the planet depends on so many other factors, ice being a relatively minor one. Ice is an effect of temperature, not so much a cause of temperature. Besides, with the minor axial tilt your planet has, think of it as being in a perpetual spring thaw. There will always be ice at the poles because there is little seasonal change on the planet.

Keep in mind that when you do a hemispherical map as you've done, you're not necessarily getting a better view of how large/small things are.
That's why people make flat maps.
With a hemispherical map, you're basically looking at a picture of the world, not a map of the world, and thus the only things that are actual size are the areas facing the viewer at the equator. Now if you're in a quandary as to whether you want distortion showing on some parts of a picture of a globe versus distortions at the top and bottom of an equirectangular map (or some other projection), welcome to the club! That's what mapmakers have been trying to solve for hundreds of years.
By the way, I like that style of map you showed. It's definitely an antique look.

amberroberts09
01-11-2013, 03:26 AM
You don't need much land at the poles. Earth has none at its north pole. Yet it has a nice ice cap...or at least it used to have ice in the summer. The way things are heating up, they may be looking at ice free summers in their northern hemisphere. You could still put some land masses near the poles. Greenland, Iceland, and the Scandinavian countries are examples. The temperature of the planet depends on so many other factors, ice being a relatively minor one. Ice is an effect of temperature, not so much a cause of temperature. Besides, with the minor axial tilt your planet has, think of it as being in a perpetual spring thaw. There will always be ice at the poles because there is little seasonal change on the planet.

Keep in mind that when you do a hemispherical map as you've done, you're not necessarily getting a better view of how large/small things are.
That's why people make flat maps.
With a hemispherical map, you're basically looking at a picture of the world, not a map of the world, and thus the only things that are actual size are the areas facing the viewer at the equator. Now if you're in a quandary as to whether you want distortion showing on some parts of a picture of a globe versus distortions at the top and bottom of an equirectangular map (or some other projection), welcome to the club! That's what mapmakers have been trying to solve for hundreds of years.
By the way, I like that style of map you showed. It's definitely an antique look.

I agree with you but all in all the map is good.

Hai-Etlik
01-11-2013, 03:47 AM
1. Yeah, I've been thinking about that - the only problem is that with no polar landmasses the average temp. of the planet (comparing with earth) rises significantly. I don't know if that is a problem. I'm also going for semi-supercontinent: I would like to have one or two pieces of major land mass. Maybe I'll go for some kind of "ring" world (I've been into that before... in the crescent world).

2. Yeah, absolutely. That was just a minor detail I did when I had some spare time over. Generally I'm looking for some kind of neo-atlas style with scientific feel - I'm not going all out science though, my knowledge is not enough. But that map will be for me to look upon so that I can flesh out good stories and so on. I'll be creating other maps of areas throughout the world in a "old style" manner (I love this style:
51137).

(3). Well, I don't really care about the right projections or if it's distorted or not - I just like the feel of it when it is portrayed as a planet. I find it gives a better view of how large/small things are. When looking at an atlas map of earth you don't really understand how humongous some of the oceans really are, such details looks better in a "fake" planetary style. I might just put it on a flat area map later on though.

That map is using Stereographic projections. It distorts area (making things bigger as you move away from the centre) but preserves angles (you can sort of think of it as preserving shape). The straight evenly spaced parallels you have in the first post indicate Orthographic projections (essentially like photos from infinitely far away) This also distorts areas, but does so the opposite way around (making things smaller as you move away from the centre) and severely distorts shapes.

Any of these projections are flat. That's the point, they project the globe onto a flat map. If you mean you want to use a cylindrical projection later (comes out as a rectangle) then you really do have to get this stuff right from the beginning or you will be in for nothing but pain later and you'll have to start over almost from scratch. If you want both cylindrical and hemispherical, it would be easiest to do the cylindrical one first.

Also, hemispherical maps are not fake, at least not inherently. This goes equally for Stereographic or Orthographic. What would make it fake is if you do it wrong, which is of course fine if all you really want is a pretty picture and don't want to worry about all this cartography stuff.

Orthographic just isn't particularly suited to reference maps like this since the severe distortion of shape can make it hard to recognize things. It's more useful for locator maps like locator insets or the country locator maps on Wikipedia. If you want to do Stereographic instead (Like the above map), I have a template you could use: http://www.cartographersguild.com/mapping-elements/14805-mecator-map-vector-template.html

urxed
01-11-2013, 05:37 AM
You don't need much...


That map is using...

Thank you both for helping out! I really appreciate it. I'll try some stuff out and I'll be back!

urxed
01-12-2013, 10:00 AM
I've got some questions, for Hai-Etlik mostly:

On your map of mars you have created (I suppose?) exact borders and latitude/longitude lines (I'm sorry I suck at the language part here).
I wonder how you did this.
51173

Are there any tutorials, advice, tips & tricks?

I use PS CS2 mostly, but I'm willing to learn how to use Inkscape, GIMP or maybe even QGIS (can't really afford anything else).

Hai-Etlik
01-12-2013, 08:38 PM
The lines of the graticule are 15 apart so the outer boarder is just in evenly spaced 3 sections. At the equator, I cheated and just divided each graticule spacing into 5 equal sized boxes. This is not strictly accurate but close enough for this map. Inkscape would probably be a better tool for this sort of precise repeated line work thing than Photoshop. As for QGIS, I think you might want to hold off on that for now.

urxed
01-20-2013, 09:17 AM
I have been working on this project a little bit more and I've found I like the major shapes of these continents:

51404

As I'm progressing through this work I realize that I'd like to make some changes to it, simplify some parts and add detail to others. But all in all this will lay the ground for future work. I'll finish this one with some more nature and some rivers, but it won't be the final layout - I just like working on it, and it gives me some more experience. As I've said it's based on the Saderan-tutorial by Tear, very helpful.

urxed
02-12-2013, 04:02 PM
Ok. So this project will probably take forever - but a good thing is I actually just started GMing in it, so now I have a good reason to start fixing stuff.

The latest update:

52148

The areas with no rivers are desert areas with no major "river activity". Yeah whatever, I'm not good at this. Ha.

ManOfSteel
02-13-2013, 01:45 AM
Oh...very nice rivers. You seem to have actually grasped the concept that water flows downhill from mountainous areas! Some people have a hard time with that. The mountains seem to avoid the interior of the continents in favor of the coastal regions. Is there a reason for that? Are you thinking of mapping the tectonic plates? Or will the placement of mountain ranges not be a factor in the story? In other words, did you just put them there because that's where you felt like it? I'm probably going to get demoted for saying this but I sometimes think that people overanalyze their maps and that if you feel that that's where the mountains should be, so be it.
One last thing that caught my eye concerns the lack of rivers in some of the desert areas even though there is a substantial mountain range nearby. Those desertside mountains have to drain somewhere. And if you stop and think about it, there are deserts that are still quite desert-like yet they have a major river running through them. For instance, the Colorado and the Nile. Desert rivers can be very dramatic and can add lots of story possibilities.

urxed
02-13-2013, 02:32 PM
Oh...very nice rivers. You seem to have actually grasped the concept that water flows downhill from mountainous areas! Some people have a hard time with that. The mountains seem to avoid the interior of the continents in favor of the coastal regions. Is there a reason for that? Are you thinking of mapping the tectonic plates? Or will the placement of mountain ranges not be a factor in the story? In other words, did you just put them there because that's where you felt like it? I'm probably going to get demoted for saying this but I sometimes think that people overanalyze their maps and that if you feel that that's where the mountains should be, so be it.
One last thing that caught my eye concerns the lack of rivers in some of the desert areas even though there is a substantial mountain range nearby. Those desertside mountains have to drain somewhere. And if you stop and think about it, there are deserts that are still quite desert-like yet they have a major river running through them. For instance, the Colorado and the Nile. Desert rivers can be very dramatic and can add lots of story possibilities.

I created this to half randomize elevation and river location on the continents. But! I have been looking at elevation maps of earth, and I have been playing around with a ver (VERY) simple tectonic layout - the coastal high elevation areas are a product of that work:
looking at south america + looking at australia + tectonic noobery + randomness = elevation map deluxe.

As for the desert/river-problem, the nile originates from an area that is tropical. I probably will create some rivers in the desert areas but they'll be few. The story-possibilities are part of the reason why I'll add them too.

Thanks for the response anyhow!

urxed
03-03-2013, 10:30 AM
Oh, well... now I know what name this world should have; world in progress. Ha!

I never get satisfied with anything, so I had a new try with that random world generator (http://donjon.bin.sh/world/) and sat fiddling with it til' I got this:

52593

Probably just one of many version of this never ending "project". Seriously though, feel's kinda right with this blob of land.

[EDIT]
Ah, erhm... the original picture is 12k x 12k pixels. And it's a whole world - this one is made from a mercator projection off of the world generator picture:

52594

Next up is some kind of height version of the map, rivers, climate - stuff like that. (I hope, or I'll just create some new landshape to "work" on).

urxed
04-04-2013, 02:22 PM
This thread will probably evolve to a major WIP all the different worlds of Urxed that never gets finished:

53284

I assure you it is not finished! And I will most likely come up with many other worlds.

The "fresh" psychedelic background has nothing to do with anything, I got ****ed with PS as I couldn't seem to crop the picture in the right way. So I added that fine piece of art instead.

- Max -
04-04-2013, 03:26 PM
I'm kind of confused about this thread :? Is the last one a new world map project?

urxed
04-05-2013, 03:53 AM
There's no need for confusion - Max -! You're 100% right about that.

Or well, I can't seem to settle for one specific basic world layout. As I am trying to find one that I like I'm also practicing different techniques in PS (and wilbur for the latest project). The thematic setting never changes, it is still "the same" world and me and my friends are playing in it.

I don't want to start a new thread for every basic world layout and never finish it, so instead I post them here as a reminder to myself and maybe I'll be able to see some progress or whatever...

Now I have a sem-quick way of creating a basic world landmass using donjon fractal world generator, g projector, photoshop and wilbur. Pretty much in that order.
The only real work is in choosing in donjon, and building a height map in PS. The rest is pretty much done automatically - and I like that, but because of the random generation and the not-so-much-work, I don't really have the emotional attachment to the landmass/map/world that I could've had if I had come up with it by myself.

So, I pick a new specimen a little bit to often and try to compare them to see if I like one or the other more. As of lately I have also been reading Guns, Germs and Steel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guns,_Germs,_and_Steel) by Jared Diamond and I feel influenced by it. You should really check it out - it explains the reasons why the different societies in Eurasia has become world leading when it comes to power and technology (and alot of it has to do with the size and alignment of the landmass). Read it! Now I'm going to create another world landmass hahaha.

- Max -
04-05-2013, 04:19 AM
:D ok so it's rather a worlds maps projects :D

urxed
04-05-2013, 06:56 AM
Precisely! I'd change the thread name if I could, to warn anyone who think this is some kind of one world progression-thread... heh. Many worlds to come.

- Max -
04-05-2013, 07:51 AM
I think you can change it with editing your first post no?

urxed
04-08-2013, 07:01 AM
So, I finally decided to just stick with this:
53443
Nothing much at all, not very neat or anything - but I created it for me and my players to get a basic idea of what the world looks like.
Now I can get started with the fun stuff, adding detail to specifik areas and such. I'm looking forward to it.

ManOfSteel
04-09-2013, 01:29 AM
Interesting. A continuous band of land around the planet. The oceans of the north and the oceans of the south are totally cut off from each other. Depending on changes in sea level, sea life in the southern ocean could be totally different from life in the northern ocean. Trade could be substantially different from Earth's. Depending on the terrain, early trading could be entirely land based without a real need for exploratory shipping. Wars might be fought over continental convergences since, without a strong shipping fleet, a blockade there could cut off supplies to an entire continent. Again, depending on the terrain, most of the land could be well populated as it lies mostly in the temperate zones. Good job on the rivers.

vorropohaiah
04-09-2013, 02:54 AM
cool idea, though, without me being an expert on climates etc. wouldn't most of the world be jungles and deserts given the position of the landmass? nothing wrong with that, its just in the real-world, old-world cultures emerged in a particular region, latitude and climate. this world will be very different to that... which is cool :) lots of scope for coming up with interesting stuff

urxed
04-09-2013, 04:27 AM
Interesting. A continuous band of land around the planet. The oceans of the north and the oceans of the south are totally cut off from each other. Depending on changes in sea level, sea life in the southern ocean could be totally different from life in the northern ocean. Trade could be substantially different from Earth's. Depending on the terrain, early trading could be entirely land based without a real need for exploratory shipping. Wars might be fought over continental convergences since, without a strong shipping fleet, a blockade there could cut off supplies to an entire continent. Again, depending on the terrain, most of the land could be well populated as it lies mostly in the temperate zones. Good job on the rivers.

Thank you (behind this simple map is a Wilbur-made height/river-map). After I got to knew what wilbur could do I couldn't let myself not use it.
And yes, very intriguing - and because the setting never changed there's still huge reptiles around, and the seas (both north and south) should be full of large monstrosities. Sea-travel should be a pretty big no-no, or only for the most brave and daring.


cool idea, though, without me being an expert on climates etc. wouldn't most of the world be jungles and deserts given the position of the landmass? nothing wrong with that, its just in the real-world, old-world cultures emerged in a particular region, latitude and climate. this world will be very different to that... which is cool :) lots of scope for coming up with interesting stuff

It's a mercator-projection of the world and most of the landmass is between 60 degrees north and 15 degrees south. That should be somewhat fertile soil for the growth of "civilization". And because the seas are not really cut off in their horizontal path they should carry enough cold to cool off the landmass even though it's huge (1000 mil = 10 000 km). But I'm not expert either! Haha.

Thanks for your interest in this, I really appreciate you commenting!

Belial
04-09-2013, 07:22 AM
That is a nice map that you have started there.