View Full Version : Unnamed continent, WIP

06-09-2008, 12:13 AM
Hello me it's me again. (nm, just a song quote that popped into my head...I write very stream of consciousness-like).

Anywho, this is a continent map I'm working on. I have the kingdom borders in and the capitals but this image doesn't show them...just thought I'd post what a sample of one of my biggie maps looks like. So far this map has taken about 1 hour (45 minutes of which were on just 2 steps out of the 100 or more so far). The rest of the work I have left to do is: thousands of cities, towns, hamlets, etc.; borders for duchies, counties, baronies, etc.; trade network; economic resource locations, socio-political systems; religious-magical system; mystical locations and what not like dungeons and shrines; then the tedious naming of the these lands and towns (I use a name generator but still tedious); and finally the finish graphics like title banner, compass, frame, etc.

The original image size is 8000 X 8000 at 1000 dpi where 1 pixel = 1/2 mile (so 4000 miles wide or roughly the width of North America). I shrunk this image down to 4000 X 4000 to get under the file size limits (new and improved with under 4 megs). This map features a fully functional whirlpool and steam room (er volcano), spa (swamps), numerous ski lodges, access to hiking and camping (and spelunking), 5 star beaches, multicultural and multiracial interactions (for to whomp on and take their stuff), high seas adventure (arr matey), and numerous other amenities.

So let me know what you think (other than it being dark...I want it to look like a shot taken from space so sorta Google maps-like).


06-09-2008, 07:42 AM
Ascension this is just beutiful!!! Very nice textures, expecially on your oceans.

With that said, I can't say I personally like the whirlpool, it just looks out of place to me. Other than that one little thing, this is a great work of art.


06-09-2008, 08:36 AM
Very impressive Ascension. Even with just the base, the map has the potential to really wow folks.

I like the palette you are using, but I would make one request--could you lighten up the central area of the continent a bit? You may be keeping it dark so that additional layers will stand out on it, but currently, the central area is so dark I'm having trouble making out the rivers and lakes there. I certainly don't want the map to look like a light-bright, but lightening it a shade or two in the middle would be good.

06-09-2008, 09:29 AM

What can I say? It's excellent! One of the best maps I've seen...Excellent style. And now the $500,000 question: When will you post a tutorial?!?!? I mean if you made this in one hour, you have to tell everyone how to do it...I am ready to kill a red dragon and bring you his hoard if you like! :P

Anyway, great work! About all the things you want to put there, consider separate maps. One geographical, one political, one racial, etc. It would be more useful...

PS: Please share your knowledge and skill with us... :P

06-09-2008, 12:32 PM
My thoughts are likewise, I think you fairly well achieved your goal of a google-maps like satellite shot.

06-09-2008, 04:58 PM
Since I use Photoshop I use many layers and then group the layers with those lil folders in the layer menu...one labelled topography, one for cities and towns, one for trade routes, etc. so that I can hide or show whatever I want, when I want. Granted this makes the file size much larger but once the geology is done I flatten the image (except for one land layer) and then the size goes back to being manageable.

As for a tutorial, I'm currently in the process of my 5th rewrite (making this new version tutorial #6). This map is based on about 4 or 5 major new tweakings and then I changed my monitor settings and color settings so I have to edit all the colors. I have the last tutorial (#5) as a 600kb pdf with pics, 70kb doc without pics and a 15mb doc with pics. Tutorial #5 WILL make your map dark and brown (because I was using a bad color setting before) so I don't really recommend it, but it's there if folks want me to post it.

The techniques I use may look similar to other techniques but I just found this site about a week ago so my methods may not be the fastest or easiest or most efficeint (I am a novice after all)...they're just what I have picked up on my own over the past 3 years. The tutorial I'm thinking about doing is one sort of like the ones here on this site rather than as a file or video. This is because I don't have any way of making pdf files anymore 'cuz I used up all of my free online ones (via the Adobe free converter where you get 5 free conversions). I could probably find someplace to host the new document but I like the idea of trying something new so I'm leaning towards the ones like here. No idea where to start there so maybe I'll just pick that up as I go along...but at any rate I am attaching tutorial #5 to give you some idea of how my previous maps (the last 6 months) have been done. Remember my caveat...your map will turn out dark and brown so change the colors to suit yourself.

Anyways, time to make the donuts.

my quick edit is this...i forgot this map has the rivers on it so the actual time for what is shown is closer to 3 hours (stupid rivers, I hate 'em, they take forever) but the rest of the map took about an hour, the time consuming part comes early on where I edit out small lakes and such.

06-10-2008, 12:49 AM
Okay, so I spent the night rewriting my tutorial and it's done (5.2 megs with pics). It's a microsoft word file (doc) but here is the map I made as I went along...I had switched my color setup recently so now that that has been fixed the plains show up lighter. I'll be posting the new tutorial either as the file I have or in the style of pyrandon, not sure what is preferred.

ciao 4 now

06-10-2008, 06:03 AM
I like the skull in the lake. Very nice.

The colour palette is beautiful.

06-10-2008, 08:51 AM
Your map reminds me of Andy Laws' maps of the Islands Freeport is on and the nearby continent. Well done sir.

As for creating PDFs, you may want to hunt down PDFcreator. Its open source and works with any program that can print.