View Full Version : Curse you! Curse you all! :x

The Flanston
08-05-2013, 03:35 PM
Inspired, Seduced, Sucked in!

I came across your devilish site when it was time for me to produce a more detailed map for my fantasy book. Suffice to say I was blown away by the range and quality of the work you guys have produced. Feeling truly inspired I decided that I must commission a map at once! I then made the fateful mistake of looking at a couple of tutorials. The little demon of ego on my shoulder began to whisper in my ear... 'Go on... you can do it! Have a go, you coward!'

And that was that! I have now decided to have a go at producing a finished map myself. I must say a special thanks to -Max-. I love his maps and the style is perfect for my book so I will be aiming to try and emulate his beautiful work. Whether or not I ever come close remains to be seen. But I'm gonna have a go :)

(like I don't have enough to do right now ;) )

Out of interest here's the initial map I have been using to date. Pretty basic I'm sure you'll agree.

The World of Wrath


I now intend to compile all my notes and sketches to produce a map that will do justice to the Guild. Watch this space to see how I get on...

Any comments or advice would be very much appreciated



08-05-2013, 03:59 PM
Very good choice to do it yourself, way more fun that way :D

I like the shape you have there. I think extending the continent past the map edge would make it even more interesting – somewhere where it doesn't interfere with the story, of course. Also, the fjords look to be in odd places, but maybe you've thought it through and I just don't see it.

It's a cool font you've picked, but I'm not sure it fits with the compass rose, which looks a bit more modern. Maybe something you already intended to change, but I thought I'd point it out :)

08-05-2013, 04:47 PM
Awesome, hope to keep up with your progress!

The Flanston
08-05-2013, 05:37 PM
Cheers guys
Thanks for the observations Lingon. I'm going to toy around with the edges of the map. I intend to do close ups of each region. In which case they would disappear off the page. But this is the land mass of Wrath and so in one map at least I want to show it all. I will mull that over...

You are correct about he font and the rose. The font is the old classic Black Chancery. Common as muck but I still like it. I intend to ask people's opinion on fonts and where to find good ones. I am also now working on a number of compass roses so any pointers (hehe) would be useful.

I'm really interested in your comment about the fjords. Just read your post that you are Swedish, so I guess you know what you are talking about. But what did you mean, 'they are in the wrong place'? I never knkew there was a right place for fjords. To be honest I just drew them in without much thought. I'm going to hand draw a more detailed outline over the next few days so I would love to get your thoughts on features like that...

And Jaxilon... I am trying to make progress but as well as being a writer I am also a house-husband looking after two young boys. School holidays are a major disruption to work and all associated matters.

Summer holidays...?

Bah, humbug! :)

08-05-2013, 06:49 PM
There is something that bother me about that font that I haven't noticed yet. There is more space before the "v" than before the other letters. It's subtile so most people might not notice. Look at Navaria for an example. Unless it's Na varia. Maybe it's just the serif I don't know.

To find free font, a good place to start would be dafont.com (http://www.dafont.com/)

But overall your map is really good.

- Max -
08-05-2013, 07:02 PM
One thing you could work on is the coastline. Its looks too harsh/pixellated and on some parts you obviously added some parts with a different brush (which is better btw - Like the Thraece coasts). Also try to make mountains in a consistent style and outline with the overall outline of the map. But that's a pretty good start.

The Flanston
08-06-2013, 03:17 AM
@Azelor... You have a very sharp eye, sir ;) I had never noticed that odd spacing before. Thanks for the heads up on dafont.com. Just downloaded a couple...

@Max... Yep I agree about the coastline. Originally hand drawn then scanned in then selected, expanded and filled to make it more obvious. Spot the guy who fumbles around Photoshop with little idea of what the hell he is doing! Still over the years this 'fumbling' has slowly developed into a basic knowledge of how the program works. Still spend a lot of time on Google searches entitled, 'How the hell do I do **** in Photoshop! :)

Been learning a bit about custom brushes, textures and what makes a nice compass rose. Just tried these elements out on my map. Still a long way to go but It's really pleasing to see the way these elements are used.


Hoping to draw out proper outline today then start some ink sketches that I can convert into brushes. This is one pandora's box that should come with a warning!

08-06-2013, 03:31 AM
Fjords are actually quite rare in the real world and only appear far north and far south, because they were created by the ice sheets. (When you ask "mom, why does it look like that?" about anything in Sweden, the answer is always "the ice sheets"). So depending on which hemisphere your continent lies and how big it is, all fjords should either be far south, far north, or both if it stretches almost from pole to pole. It looks like you have most of them in the south, so you were not wrong at all, I just think they are a bit too far north on the coast of Acheron compared to the rest. But like I said, they are not impossible, they just stood out as a bitt odd to me, but could absolutely be explained with mountain placement and the size and location of the continent. As a reference, there are very few real-world fjords south of Scotland (I think), and north of the southern third of Chile.

Anyway, the new version looks awesome! The mountains have much finer lines than the rest, making them look a bit out of place, and they should be where the fjords are (or the other way around), but other than that I really like it. Great compass roses.

The Flanston
08-06-2013, 03:46 AM
Thanks Lingon, a perfect explanation :) Will deffinitely be giving this more thought...

I nicked the roses off the internet ;) but will soon be drawing my own. Likewise with the mountains. I have downloaded a few free textures but might pay for a couple from 123rf.com. If I get time today I want to look at aging effects and borders/frames.

Does anyone know a good research or reference place to look for examples of map frames or borders?

Glad you like the map so far. This is just a learning prototype. I'll be putting a lot more effort into the final thing. There's just so much to learn! Arrgghh! lol

- Max -
08-06-2013, 05:16 AM
Looks better. i agree with Lingon about the mountains outlines. If you plan to redo the coastlines you can aldo make them thinner to match the mountains better. Also take care of your forests to make them more consistent with the other elements ;)

08-06-2013, 10:30 AM
I do like how this is developing. Just a point about those lines radiating out from the roses (rhumb...rumb...rumbe...ruhmb....ah just pass the rum already...) should be passing through the center of the roses. Keep up the good work.

08-06-2013, 11:33 AM
When I started here I was blown away by how good the eyes of some of these peeps where. Sometimes it can be hard to accept it but if you do it's going to help your map making out by leaps and bounds.

Like you I was fuddling around with the tools a lot a couple years ago. I'm still learning things though so don't fret that.

This was made for GIMP but You can probably follow it well enough to create a nice boarder: http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/15037-award-winner-making-map-borders-gimp (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/15037-award-winner-making-map-borders-gimp.html).

There are two threads you will want to look at here for how to do yadda yadda - that's the "Tutorials/How to (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/)" and the "How do I ??? (http://www.cartographersguild.com/how-do-i/)".

Totally understand the lack of time for making maps. I suffer from a lot of that myself which can be frustrating at times....speaking of which I have to get to work.


The Flanston
08-06-2013, 03:29 PM
Just been looking for a few tips on producing forests and came across this in an earlier post from -Max-

"the forest are some patterns of my own on which I apllied a combination of overpainting and filters then I turned them into new patterns. Once some several blocks patterns are cloned on the map I make some slight dark area on a new layer under the forest one. then I apply 2 highlights made with a custom brush (same color but pressure, opacity and size of the brush different on the 2 highlights)."

Nice and simple then! ;) lol

Oh, what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to... design our own bl**dy map! :)

08-06-2013, 04:40 PM

Don't worry about the complexity, or the "frustration" of mapping. With a bit of perseverance and some practice you will get the hang of it all. Or at least get yourself to a point where you will go looking for those complexities. What you have done so far shows me that you will indeed get there.

Hold on, Hang in there, and enjoy the ride ;)

The Flanston
08-07-2013, 10:12 AM
Hey Guys
Still not convinced that I have time to do this but here is my updated outline for Wrath. Thanks for the tips so far. To my mind this outline is too detailed. It's more like a satellite image than a map drawn by some skilled medieval cartographer but I think it's ok for a beginning. Better to start detailed and then think about style, I think. Any and all comments welcome...

I kept to the same basic outline but this time (thanks to Lingon) I tried to match the geography to the latitude. Basically I took sections of our world map from a similar latitiude and used them as a template or guide. Hopefully this will work better on that intuitive level that makes things feel 'right'.


I might move this to a WIP thread but I am slightly worried about what I'm committing myself to. Never been able to settle for a half-hearted effort. Once you know something is possible the lure is almost irresistible!

08-07-2013, 12:44 PM
There is not wrong way to do coastlines since it's just the difference of elevation that make some part over the water and others under it. What Lingon said about the fjord is true and there are a lot of lakes too due to the melting of glaciers and erosion caused by others glaciers.

The Flanston
08-07-2013, 02:02 PM
Very true Azelor.

But I thought what Lingon said was really interesting, the fact that my fjords didn't look 'right'. I think we are all more sensitive than we realise and we often notice when things aren't quite right. I think it's different with a classic fantasy map. People accept 'unnatural features' because they are part of a fantasy landscape and often part of the story.

The book this map is for is a fantasy book but it's not high fantasy so I want the map to feel realistic, as if it's a place that really does exist.

I was looking at areas in the far north of Canada... The entire region is peppered, dotted, speckled and crawling with lakes... thousands of them! Some quite amazing places round the world...

08-07-2013, 02:16 PM
Look at Finland 10% covered by water, lakes everywhere.

And yes it's true we have a lots of lakes in Canada and big one too.

The Flanston
08-07-2013, 02:26 PM
Yeah, but have you got a monster in yours? !

Long live Nessie! :)

08-08-2013, 02:23 AM
Great job on the new coastline. Like you said, maybe a little bit too detailed for the style you are going for, but that's better than too undetailed :D I you choose to smoothen it, just be careful not to do it too much! 'Cause I like it :)

The Flanston
08-08-2013, 02:46 AM
Thanks Lingon :)

I'm working on a compass rose just now but I think what I'll do is just go over the outline with a calligraphy brush in PS or Sketchbook. This should do the job without losing too much detail.