View Full Version : Beginner looking for feedback

02-08-2013, 08:07 PM
All, seeing everyone's maps inspired me to attempt my own. I've been referencing a number of different tutorials from the site and I welcome any feedback on my map so far. I'm especially interested in any suggestions for creating and placing hills. I know where I want them to go, but just can't find the right method.

Thanks in advance.


Will Brawner
02-08-2013, 08:21 PM
Awesome! Is this your first post? It looks great. I'm also new here, and I'm having trouble finding the perfect program to help make my maps. I especially like the coastlines on yours. The ocean looks very natural. Not so sure about the mountains though. They look sort of out of place. But great job.

02-08-2013, 09:28 PM
You've definitely got a better first start on this style than many people. The mountains frequently cause problems for beginners. I think you could get some large improvements here by doing something about the their colors. First, that rich brown looks like they're made of mud rather than stone. They're also very uniform, with little to no indication of the different biomes they're adjacent to. Mountains rising out of a desert should probably not look identical to mountains surrounded by forests and grasslands. If you can find a way to have the terrain colors climb the sides of the mountains at least a little way, that would probably look good. Also, you're missing snow caps, which would probably help sell them as mountains, too.

The forests are another thing that often cause some problems. At the moment, yours look too tall and puffy. If you reduce the size of your bevel and pull the drop shadow in so that it's just barely perceptible, that will solve the height problem. The puffiness comes from two things: First, the frequency of the noise you used to generate the texture is very low in comparison to the scale of the map. Second, the forests have smooth, rounded edges. If you can add some amount of scattering to their borders, and maybe make their edges a bit more wiggly, that will help things.

Are you using Photoshop or the Gimp? Or something less common? From the look of it, I suspect you've used the Gimp adaptation of Ascension's satellite style. In any case, have some rep for posting a map with your first post! (Rep is short for reputation, and it's our way of showing approval for contributions.)

Greason Wolfe
02-09-2013, 09:26 AM
I think Midgard hit the nail on the head. Since most of my mapping is done in Wilbur and/or Terragen, I can't offer much help in terms of gimp (or other image editing software), but I will toss out a couple ideas for your consideration.

Desert Mountains - Consider a more sandstone like color with maybe just a very light touch of red mixed in. This should let them stand-out from the dunes as well as making them stand-out from the more temperate or arctic mountains. To give them an even more unique feel, you might try creating a few plateaus here and there, that might give a better suggestion of the wind/sand erosion that has gone on for however long.

Forests - Along with what Midgard has already mentioned, you might try a bit more contrast in the greens. While shadows (bevels) and such give a great sense of texture, a slightly wider range of color might go a long way towards suggesting a good mix of tree species.

Again, just suggestions for your consideration. All in all, though, not bad for a "beginner" map. Not bad at all. Keep up the good work. :)


02-11-2013, 02:13 PM
Thank you everyone for your comments. As suggested, I've adjusted the colors of the mountains and roughed up the look forests. I'm going to go back and redo the forests. I also want to change one of the mountain ranges (the more I look at it I'm reminded of roadkill). In the meantime, I'm posting my attempt at improving the map...


02-11-2013, 04:25 PM
i like the shape and the distance btw the ice and the desert.

3 things that i can say:
1- check your rivers flow, specially the north on, that dies in a lake. For rivers u can check this tuto http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/3822-how-get-your-rivers-right-place.html simple amzing :D, atm i am using Wilbur to define my lines after i define my topography. Well, with a right topography, Wilbur will put the rivers exactly where u want.
2 - Looks like u are having the same problem as me with Brightness and contrast. Map looks very shine.
3 - The emboss in the coast, sometimes make think that water is one level upper from earth :) Maybe replace with single lines or adjust to a more sweet emboss

I dunno from where come the water of the lake in the desert, but if is a natural font, some mountains and trees will for a nice Oasis, i liked the place hehehe

Have fun!

09-17-2013, 10:16 PM
Thats a good job, Are you going to use hexes or a grid for calculating distance?