View Full Version : Continental map of Nerrac

03-03-2013, 02:41 PM
Hey guys,

I want to show you the map of my world Nerrac. I'm building the world for almost 5 years now and I am busy with the map since last year's Easter. I use a pencil and the Gimp software.

The map is the second version of my continental map. The first one was hand drawn and scanned but figured out to be too small for showing all the details I want it to have. So I made 25 shreds out of it, which I printed much larger and traced them on a new paper to get it sharper and more detailed. This new parts I scanned and puzzled them together.
It came out to be as much work as it sounds and it took me about 100h of work to get the new, bigger, more detailed blank map on the computer.:sad:

I did it this way for two reasons, firstly I like the hand drawn style and secondly I wasn't able to produce such a style at the computer at that time. Nowadays I'd start and try it with the software to save time.

The first picture shows the map with the political overlay as it existed last Wednesday, before I started to improve both style and content of the map.


The second image shows the map as it looks right now. I coloured the land, made a contrast on the coastline, added many countries and discovered how to lay a text along a path. 8)
Also I added some empty space to the right where I wish to make the legend and that stuff.


I know, they're quite big, the real properties are 13700x8550px, as I wanted it to become a map suited for many details. If it's finished one day, I'll let it print and hang it on the wall above my bed.8)

Yeah, that's it. Feel free to comment, criticise and so on.;)
I'm especially interested in questions of colour. Are the countries too bright or not bright enough? Are the colours themselves suitable or is yellow just akward for a great nation?:D


03-04-2013, 12:19 AM
It's nice work, starting by drawing by hand as you did. Is there a scale in miles / km? I like the colors for the political boundaries, countries, so the yellow is fine. However the ocean is too blue for my taste, maybe too much saturation or too bright, perhaps consider making the seas more navy or muted color, and perhaps fade to a deep ocean color offshore. The mountains look pretty cool to me.

The network of rivers is impressive and largely believable, to me, but I am unsure about the hydrology in Kheiol ending in that largest lake, and the inland sea with islands in the unlabled Northwest region. Maybe those 2 great lakes or seas should have a river outlet that eventually flows to the global ocean.

Thank you for sharing your work in progress

- Max -
03-04-2013, 06:37 PM
Too many bright/saturated colors for my personnal taste, so for me it justs spread attention. I'd prefer less satured colors on this kind of map to give it more harmony but like I said, it's just a personnal taste. Also some lables still need some work (some are overlapping borders and the curve of "Stammeskoalition der...." doesn't look very nice).

03-05-2013, 03:01 PM
Thanks for the comments.

Today I have new images for you.:) The first one shows the map without the countries coloured, so I like to speak of this version as the natural one. Though I overlayed the names and the borders as I just like it this way. As you can see, I desaturated the ocean colours a bit as Gold supposed and it fits very well. A scale is also integrated (not at its final position).


The second pic shows the realms again, where I had some progress lately. The borders of the western countries are coloured and some labels were fixed (the Stammeskoalition e.g.)


I have two questions.
The first concerns the font of the state name labels. Many people who've seen it, read the small 'r' as a small 'i' which supposes, that the font is questioned in its legibility. What do you think? Could one read it well or should I go on and search for another? (I'd prefer to keep it as I judge it as light, clear and somehow representative enough for states) The thing is, until it's clear whether I keep the font or not, I can't label any new realms or redo some of the failed labels.

The second question is more difficult. It's still about the colours of the countries. It's very difficult to me to decide which colours to use. Maybe it's because I have been staring at the map every empty minute since last Wednesday and I got used to them...

The final picture shows some symbols I invented for my map. They're nothing special, but I hope them to be better than the boring red dots that you could find as the capital city symbols on the current map. At the moment I'm quite unsatisfied with the unsharp look of the city symbols which stems from using the brush creating them. If you know a way to create sharp circles, please tell me.:?:


Thanks for any comments, criticism and, of course, praise.;)

- Max -
03-05-2013, 03:40 PM
I already stated my mind about the colours ;)
Indeed the "r" letter is a bit confusing on this font. The map symbols looks good but you should try them on map to see how it turns with some of them labelled.

03-06-2013, 05:56 PM
The GAU happened. Gimp crashed while saving. Therefore the original map data file has lost its worth as the most important layers are missing. So I'm thrown back at a copy of the file from Wednesday last week, causing a lost of 25-30 hours of work.:x
I was so close to kill Gimp, my computer screen and my laptop.

Now, on the other hand I managed to save the new settlement layers. I simply have to redo the whole countries- and borders thing, the whole thing with the brightened coastlines of the sea and a dozen minor things.

As much time went into try and error, I assume that it'll take me only 5-6 hours to reach the status quo ante. And, as Max supposed, I could try out new colours for the countries.:|

- Max -
03-06-2013, 06:35 PM
Happened to me lately so I feel your pain. Glad to see you don't give up though!

03-11-2013, 05:47 PM
Just showing around a current WIP-picture, one week afther the great data loss.

I made use of the need of redoing many things by changing the shape of the continent at some regions, especially in the North.
I added some lakes and some islands, built a frame to the map and made the northern tropic and the northern Arctic circle visible.

I still need to finish the styling of the lakes and the coast and the biggest part of work: redoing the political layer with the states.

But now I'm much more satisfied with the shape of the continent and the colours of the Sea. So it seems, in the end the great crash had its good part.


03-13-2013, 03:12 PM
Today something different.

As I wanted to prevent me from getting bored while colouring my map, I thought what the continent in the south of the known landmass will look like.

So I tried out. You could see my first thoughts attached. It's the same scale as the known continental map. The original size is 10k x 7,5k pixels and each 1000 px are 1000km.
The equator is somewhere in the middle of the map so it's a tropical land in the center and a quite arid one on its northern and southern borders.

The first draft of the continent of Vetronia. Coastlines are quite rough and will change in some or many details.

Once Vetronia becomes a mapping project in its own right (depending on the speed of finishing the current project to my satisfaction) it will have its own WIP thread here.

04-05-2013, 03:23 AM
WOW, I really love what your doing here. I'm in a similar position position of trying to get a scrapbook full of hand drawn maps (of my main continent) into Photoshop for the moment. But I keep getting stuck determining size/scale/pixels etc. Im curious on you dimensions for your main drawing/map

06-29-2013, 12:24 PM

I'm back. I had lots of work to do back in March and April and only found time for my map in May.
So I guess it's time for an update of my work.

I just attached a WIP-Picture of my map as it looks like today.


As you can see there are quite a lot things that haven't been there on the last pic I showed off.
First, I managed the problem of the small 'r' in the Country-name-font. I simply decided to write the names in big letters which also gives the font much more dignity and stability. I think that's quite suitable for country names.
Second, I added a road system in the east of the continent which will spread over to the south and west, in due course.
Third, I discovered many castles and citadels in the east.
Fourth, I created more names for the countries in the south and their capitals as well as for many places in the east, though a lot of names have still to be found.
Fifth, I changed the symbols for castles and fortifications so they all look like towers and castles and that stuff.
All those things are on different layers of course and could be shown individually.

My next project will be an economic layer with symbols for the countries economy.
My problem is that I'll need a lot of economic symbols to show the different things the countries produce. By this I mean symbols for the several sorts of corn, of cattle, of metals, of textils, of handcraft products and so on...
I hoped to find them here on the forum but at the moment the search function refuses to support me by delivering an error message.

If anyone could propose some good economic symbols, I'd be very happy and thankful.

Now I let you pause in awe of my work and you may ask any question you like.;):D

04-11-2016, 07:30 AM
I'm still working on this map, though the progress is rather slow. By working on other maps I further developed the style.

Here's an update. Finally I managed to shadow all the mountains, which took about 50 hours of work. Now I'm slowly starting on labelling the southwestern corner of the continent.

04-12-2016, 07:44 AM
I like the style of your map Eld, its like a map, the people in the past would have drawn of their continent, without the help of modern cartography and satellite-techniques, what means, that the real shapes of the continent would differ a lot to this men-made version. I prefer the version with less colour of course and Im looking for your progress. I like your roads, they are so fine and thin, I would be glad of getting a tip, how you have done them :)

Keep on with your project, its good !!

Josiah VE
04-12-2016, 08:14 AM
Wow, that's quite a lot of hours.. and a long gap between an update. :D Good job for being so persistent, it paid off. Those are some impressive mountain ranges.

Looking forward to another update (hopefully sooner this time ;) )

04-12-2016, 01:24 PM
That's looking really great. I don't have any constructive criticism to offer because I like pretty much everything you've got going here! :D

04-12-2016, 02:29 PM
Thank you all for the praise, it's really raising my motivation up on a high level again. :)

I created the roads quite easily (in Gimp):
1) Set paths where the roads shall be. Here pay attention to nice shapes, no sharp edges and angles, rather smooth curves, depending on the terrain the road is running through and the scale of the map.
2) Stroke the path using the function Gimp offers. The settings are Black color, dots, 1px wide. (it's a bit difficult for me to translate into English and as you're German too I also give the German description of the settings: "Linienbreite 1, Farbe Schwarz, Vollfarbe. Stil: Punkte, runder Aufsatzstil, schrger Verbindungsstil, Rest egal."
3) Experiment with the look as there are some presets for dots and short lines and stuff.

However, the roads may look so thin because I rescaled the image due to the size limitations on the Guild. The original gimp data has twice as large edges and therefor four times as many pixels.

Yeah, I didn't expect the gap to be almost three years but I had lots of stuff to do in my life (finished my first B.A. studies, started a second one, this that and lots of other things). Also I started work on the Renaliac map in the other thread and city maps. Also i often work on the world itself, inventing things, discovering places, meeting people, making up languages and politics and history. So working on this map is only one part of many. However, it's an important part as I plan to one day finally finish the map and print it and hang it at the walls of my room.

The mapping speed now mostly depends on how fast I come up with names for the nameless parts as the mountains are eventually done and the style is now very much to my liking.

Your praise makes me giggle like an infant. :D