View Full Version : The World of Astalon

03-07-2013, 05:36 PM
So I've been working on a world map for my fantasy novel, set in the world of Astalon, on and off for quite a while now. Basically, this is a late middle ages (think late 1400s/early 1500s) setting inhabited by 4 elemental/faery races and humans.

As for the map itself, I have some slight experience with Photoshop but no experience in cartography so I decided to use some of the tutorials posted here. I've gone through 2 changes of style before finally settling on something that felt right, looked good, and was easy to follow step by step: Ascensions Antique-style maps tutorial. In the process of making my own map, obviously I deviated from the tutorial slightly to get something that felt right for my own map. I've changed mountain brushes around 3 times and am currently using some brushes posted here by Quabbe. I've also changed font mid-way. You can see all of that in this album which depicts the progress of my map until now:

Astalon Map Progress - Imgur (http://imgur.com/a/9RoCM/all)

I've still got loads to do and my brain is melting a little bit from trying to come up with names for everything but I've attached the current version of my map and will keep you guys updated as things progress.

Regarding the symbols, the star within a circle depicts capital cities, the circle within a circle depicts cities, the small white circles depict towns, and the three small black dots represent major ruins (I still have to add/think of more of those, I've only included the one that features in my book so far). Other things to mention are that there is no major pattern in terms of the colours assigned to the different countries with some exceptions: I used green for Elven territory, grey for uninhabited, and light blue for Undine/water elemental territory. I plan to use a different colour for an inset map I'm going to add later of a floating island (it was there in the corner of some of my previous iterations of this map, shown in imgur)

I might be giving my brain a rest for a few days. In the mean time, I would love to get your opinions and advice! Also, the tutorials posted here are really helpful and great :)


03-10-2013, 05:09 AM
Sorry about this being hung up for a while. I saw your post in another thread about this awaiting moderation. Cheers!

- Max -
03-10-2013, 08:38 AM
Nice map! Though I think a few more time working on some details could make it better : there's some overlapped mountains and the rivers looks pixellated and blurred. Those ones really need some work to look good. I like the clean work on labelling though I'm not a great fan of the font used for cities/towns. In my opinion, this unstructured font doesn't really fit the (nice) other fonts

btw have some rep for that first good work. Keep up the good job :)

03-10-2013, 01:25 PM
Nice work! Well organized and planned. A few creative touches to details could really enhance this map. 1 suggestion, warp or rotate text to add to the flow of the landscape.

03-10-2013, 01:47 PM
@Jaxilon No problem, it happens sometimes. Thanks for approving it :)

@Max First of all thanks for the comments and rep ^_^ Glad you think its a good first map. I think you are right about some of the details, especially the rivers. I have been playing around with the settings and with the pencil and settings I used the rivers really don't come out very smooth. Plus I am using a laptop trackpad (way less than ideal). I think I might get a better result with a round brush and by maybe creating a path first in PS then stroking it (to combat the fact that I can't draw free hand very well on my trackpad). As for the mountains I was trying to find a quick way of doing it by playing around with shape dynamics, etc but on closer inspection there does seem to be overlap. Maybe it's better to spend more time on that.

Font wise, I have been messing around/playing with different fonts to see what works. I'm trying to go for an antique map feel with the font but it does clash with the font I used for country/mountains. What I would like to achieve is something similar to these maps:


I want the city/town font to be different and more handwriting-ey, like in the above examples, although slightly more readable. Perhaps I'll browse the resources section and see what fonts people have recommended.

@captive411 Thanks for the suggestion ^_^

This is so exciting! I have a good feeling about the end result/final map.

- Max -
03-10-2013, 02:25 PM
Sure this one will be cool ;) For the cities fonts try the Old Style family (especially the Italic one that could match what you want) ;)
Ans ouch trackpad laptop oO I feel your pain. A mouse with a round brush will just solve your troubles with rivers :D

03-20-2013, 11:47 AM
So I decided to take the advice and go back and improve the mountains and rivers. I haven't gotten round to changing the font of the labels and editing some of the country label positions so I'm hiding those. I've attached my current WIP:


I feel that it's better than the previous version. Will update when I do the labelling.

By the way Max, the I downloaded the Old Style Italic font you suggested and it's perfect.

06-01-2013, 01:00 PM
Been ages since I updated this thread. Started a new job recently so haven't had much time to work on this very consistently. I completed the re-labelling and decided to give the sea a light blue colour. Still need to label the oceans/seas and do the decoration work.


06-01-2013, 06:05 PM
Hey, that's looking really great! Colors are excellent and that new font fits just perfectly.

- Max -
06-02-2013, 01:08 PM
Looks nice so far :)

06-02-2013, 01:30 PM
Indeed, looks good.

04-23-2014, 08:01 AM
Thanks everyone for your help and comments :) I actually ended up scrapping this version and redoing the map to fit more closely with the biomes I had in mind for my countries. The new version is done and is posted here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/26911-astalon-world-map.html#post243657)