View Full Version : World of Refuge - Satellite view

01-17-2013, 05:01 PM

Hello All. I'm starting on a campaign world called refuge. For my top level view, I want to use a satellite style (CC3), and plan on a fantasy map style for my continent/region/nation views. I am only just beginning, but wanted to chronical early so that I can ask questions and get some helpful hints.

So, I'm just trying to get the feel for things before I really go hard on this. I've figured I want a traditional N/S pole. Refuge is a bit warmer than earth. I'm a bit color blind, so please excuse if I ask a bunch of silly questions about whether or not things look differentiated enough. Ok, on to advice I would like to ask.

Is my continental shelf light enough, or is it a bit dark?? I plan to have several levels.

Does the lightness of a land item the same as a water countour and light is higher??

Does it look normal to have two different ice colors or would it be better to just use one?

Thanks in advance. The resolution isn't the greatest, but I can always dial it up if need.

01-18-2013, 10:03 AM
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I've finished my artic. Amazing how long something so simple can take. Please take a look and see if it's ok. A couple of questions from the previous post apply, so if you can please take a look at those also, please let me know. I've been looking at other satellite maps, and it's kind of strange. Some have the continental shelf dark and some light. I went ahead and went with the light one, it seems a bit better looking. Rivers don't appear to be really showing up on the small versions.

01-19-2013, 03:28 PM

My latest. Also Trying a bit higher resolution. Any comments/suggestsion would be greatly appreciated.

01-19-2013, 06:52 PM
The land outlines are a bit too chunky (simple? geometric?) to pass as accurate satellite view of continents. They're fine if the map is intended to be more diagrammatic than photorealistic. Same with the even bevel around the coasts - if diagrammatic that'll suffice to say "raised land". If photorealistic, it says there's a uniform cliff around all land.

Whether the continental shelf is better light or dark ought to be secondary after figuring whether it's better crisp or vague. I bet what you have would be improved by dropping the chromatic intensity of those shallows - the intense light blue looks more like an underlit glow than just shallow water. A duller blue, while still fairly light, might suit your look.

You ought to break the line of your rivers as they cross lakes. And being almost pure white I had to think a moment to decide they *were* rivers, not roads or boundaries. Sure, it only took a second or third look, but that amounts to distraction, not information. With the bulk of your land being darkish, light rivers are fine, just could use a little more blue tint. As for their placement, if the southern branch of that river that runs in the north of Uruk is intended to cross under the label, well, that's an unlikely way for a river to behave. Rivers don't split and head for different coasts; rather they join, like most of your watercourses do. Easy fix - just point the bit heading to the SW coast so it doesn't line up with the branch at the top of the U feeding into the small lake, and you have two separate plausible rivers. Does that make sense?

I have another pointer that depends on the intended circulation of the map. As a learning exercise, no problem. For use by yourself or friends, no problemo. But for public consumption you want to think twice before using Papyrus as a font. It's a shame - it is overused partly because it is appealing, unlike say Arial or Comic Sans, which are used everywhere just because they're defaults that are widely available. But there's even a website devoted to making fun of its overuse (http://www.papyruswatch.com/). If YOU like it and the map is for YOU, then ignore the haters :-).

The mountains are nice and crinkly, but something is off about the blend from them into the flatlands. Maybe there's a transparency to achieve, instead of a fade-to-background, if the background is white? I don't know how that workflow goes, so I am not the nuts-and-bolts advisor you need.

It's got a lot of promise overall - keep tinkering and you'll get it closer to what you want.