View Full Version : Trying my hand at world maps and GIMP

03-06-2013, 11:46 PM
So here is my effort at a world map using techniques I've shamelessly scrounged from CG.

imgur: the simple image sharer (http://imgur.com/gxYqQCn)

Any suggestions?

Things I'm musing on now is how to best differentiate plains from farms from deserts - I've tried colors but I'm not sure if fits the map.

Thanks for taking the time and having a look.


03-07-2013, 12:07 AM
Hi. Thanks for sharing your map work. I like the rivers and bays / inlets, and the shadowdark edge of the continent which seems to pop up from the ocean. The mountains are good but seem to have a slightly different flavor style compared to the rest. The forest is very flat looking with those circles, which actually works when zoomed out, but looks not as good when zoomed in. But I could see it printing nicely, to be functional on paper.

For farms you could try a similar style, instead of circles, do a small thatched grid of parallel lines (rows of farm), or give them a little curvature for hilly farmland. Go very sparse with those farm patches, a little goes a long way I think. Deserts maybe just a pattern of dots? Then plains could just be, well, plain - is it is now in the undecorated parts.

P.s. I think it is a regional or continental, Southern part of a large continent, map, if I am looking at the right map. I do not see a whole world map there. :P

03-07-2013, 01:35 AM
Thanks for such a quick reply.

I've been searching all over the internet for a mountain brush that fits and I'm yet to find one I like. I really like this style of map but it seems quite difficult to pull off if you're not artistic enough to create your own mountains...

And yes, I should have called this a regional map rather than a world map :)

03-07-2013, 05:45 AM
Alright, I've tried a different approach to the forests and changed the brush for the mountain ranges.


I think I like the trees but am still undecided over the mountains.


- Max -
03-07-2013, 06:52 AM
A few comments:
- Mountains are way too repetitive in my opinion and doesn't really feet the forests (simple but nicely suggested :) )
- Using drop shadow on coastlines and forests make them looks like floating.
- Some rivers issues : Rivers flow down on the shortest way to the sea so I think the one on north western mountains should go west rather than south and the one in the north should go south rather than east. Also River sources are a bit obvious and harsh.

I like the landshape and the coastlines :)

03-07-2013, 06:52 PM
Thank you for the comments, Max. I really appreciate it.

I think I like the drop shadows float effect. I'll see how it goes. It'll be easy to disappear at the end if I need to. In regards to those two rivers you refer to they travel the directions they do due to high land (but not mountains) obstructing their shortest paths. Is this something I should represent on the map?

After mishing and mashing numerous mountain failures I've settled on this. I'm sure it'll change in the not too distant future. Also, might be a little dark.

Oh, and I'm assuming when you say feet the forests there was too much of a gap between the forests and the mountains. Hope this is what you mean. I've tried to fix it.


- Max -
03-07-2013, 07:08 PM
If something explains why the rivers don't go straight to the sea, yes I think it would be better represented on the map (if it's possible of course). Sorry I did a mistake with the word "feet". I meant "fit" :/ Anyway, now the mountains style fit better forests style :D The only thing that is a bit odd is the line all around the mountains ranges, I would personnaly remove it. Those lines looks like ok around the forests since it can suggest bases and edges of trees but it doesn't really work on mountains.
*edit* for the farms, you can try some raw of farms with hatched pattern (check my Green Havens (http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/21970-green-havens-fantasy-map.html) map to see how it can turns -though it fits better regional maps, or coloured squares with soft shapes.

03-08-2013, 07:23 AM
Rivers flow down on the shortest way to the sea (...)

Tell this to the Nile or the Danube.;)
If I remember my geography lessons right, rivers run the way with the steepest gradient they could find, as the gravitational force pulls the water.
So if there are smaller hills and uneven plains, it's quite possible for rivers to have any shape the mapper wants them to have.^^

Of course one could suggest to show things on the map that make rivers change their way, but on a map of this scale it would be impossible to show some small hills of let's say 20 to 50m.

Therefore I'd argue that it's not that important which way the rivers follow, but it's very important that the mapper had some thoughts in mind while creating them.

Back to the map: My personal taste is that I don't like the way the mountains look like now. I think the coloured forests are quite nice but the area containing the mountains should not be coloured grey as a whole. To the style of the map that I could see, some mountains of a more individual and bigger size would fit in better.

Will Brawner
03-08-2013, 10:25 AM
Looking great so far. I like the coastline the most. I have to say I preferred your first style of mountains, but maybe you can find a balance between this and the second one. Also, I feel like the rivers would be more jagged, like the coastline, but it's up to you. Keep it up!