View Full Version : Redesign of world map...

06-07-2008, 10:15 PM
So, guys, as I have mentioned in my introductory post, I had never given much thought about mapping my entire world. I always had an idea of its shape and main features but nothing more. I usually made maps of regions my players would visit.

That was until now. First of all the amount of ideas and creativity in this forum is just too much and I am not going to just stand here doing nothing! And secondly I bumped into some scale and size problems while expanding some of my realms. Thus I decided to begin mapping my world properly, beginning with the big picture and going to the smaller.

I will start with my main continent which most of the action takes place and is the most heavily populated. The total area will be about 10-12 million sq. miles. I plan to do most (if not all) of my mapping in Photoshop. I have a plan to maybe later print the map in a good printing shop.

So, for the big question: What size should I work? Should I care about the final paper size and start working with an A1 or A2 size file? Or should I set up a pixel scale and work the size from there?

06-07-2008, 10:59 PM
If you have plans to ultimately print, you should start at that size and then downsample your for-the-screen versions.

At most print shops, the maximum print size is about 32 X 24 inches. At 300 dpi, that's an image resolution of 9600 X 7200. If you've got a very beefy machine, you could do that. Likely, though, at poster viewing distance, you could get by with a print resolution of 150 - 200, which significantly reduces your working resolution.

When working in Photoshop, it is very easy to reduce the size and quite difficult to increase it. So work at the biggest resolution you expect to need and downsample from there.

You should probably talk to your print shop ahead of time so you know what their requirements and capabilities are.

06-08-2008, 06:27 AM
This is the old outline of my main continent Khalkish. After giving it a lot of thought, I concluded that it looks a lot like Australia (don't get me wrong) and I would like a more interesting and adventurous shape. So I am heading for a more complex coastline mainly in the middle parts (both north and south).

Any suggestions are welcome.

06-08-2008, 07:08 AM
I am also testing some drawing techniques before beginning to actually redesign the continent. What do you think?

06-08-2008, 07:25 AM
Very nice mountains... great trees too... FR atlas forests are what they remind me of... but I would try a different style forest with that style of mountain ... not sure what ... but I would experiment a little...

06-08-2008, 12:06 PM
delgondahntelius, I'll give it a shot and experiment a little bit more with the trees.

Here is the new outline of the continent and a scale to give you information about the size. I estimated that the continent is about 5000 miles from the west-most to the east-most point and 2500 miles from the north-most to the south-most point.

Do you see anything that sticks out as unnatural or unnecessary? Would you change something? I will now proceed and add the major islands. After that should I go with the mountains or the rivers?

06-08-2008, 02:00 PM
OK, another update.

I added some islands and I tried to create a portion filled with small islands close together. It is an area of special interest.

Please tell me what you think, if anything is misplaced or wrong, etc.

06-08-2008, 05:36 PM
Give some thought to what caused those islands to form. An archipelago like that is probably similar in history to the Phillippines. Take a look at the distribution of those real-world islands (try Google Maps in satellite view mode). Notice that they tend to form chains--they're the peaks of an undersea mountain range. I think I'd expect to see a chain of large islands running southward from that big peninsula, possibly forming a rim over to that other peninsula to the west. The smaller islands would have formed between and around the larger ones.

To your question about which to do first: rivers or mountains. It's generally better to do the mountains first, because that will largely determine where your rivers should go. If you have a river that needs to be in a particular place, then you can put that down first and figure out where the mountains need to go to make it happen later.

06-09-2008, 08:43 PM
Ya... it is generally a good idea to think of how they formed like Mid said... Volcanic activity, plate techtonics play a large 'natural' effect on how islands are formed... as well as glacial activity (look at a map of norway and finland http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=70.211156,21.708984&spn=2.165599,11.359863&z=7... those islands have a different look than those in the phillipines http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=-0.637194,130.531311&spn=1.59836,2.839966&z=9 because they were formed in a different fashion.

Also.. you could meteor impacts as well as magical reasons that islands formed... in my homebrew world... the barbarian islands were formed because of an ancient magical catastrophe and the main land being destroyed and partially sunk....

and yes. You should start with Mountains then Rivers... as mid said.. they generally determine the flow and (starting point) of rivers....

06-11-2008, 05:02 PM
OK! After some (or a lot, I can't actually recall :P) hours of work, here it is. The all new map of the continent of Khalkish.

This is based on Ascension's tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=22500&postcount=6) (major-mega-thanks!) with some tweaks that suited me better.

So, comments as always welcome...

06-11-2008, 11:58 PM
Love the peninsulas...I never have enough patience for them...I just finish my base area then have my automaton (ps action) finish it all up for me. Lookin good so keep on keepin on :)

06-13-2008, 09:45 PM
Wow! That's not the style I expected to see! It looks really nice, but it appears very dark on my monitor. You might check your gamma; it looks very good if I turn mine up.

I like what the coastal glow did for the islands--they now look like they're sitting on a series of undersea ridges, which helps them to look less uniform in distribution.

06-13-2008, 09:51 PM
Very nice....

06-15-2008, 06:45 AM
Thanks for your comments guys. I am currently reviewing all my notes about this continent to see if I have missed or misplaced anything and then I will proceed with labeling and polishing the map.

I am working on some more stuff, I hope to upload some WIP soon...