View Full Version : [WIP] Ghelvith - My second map

Rabin Arius
09-29-2013, 01:29 AM
I made a map that, as a world map, was pretty much finished, but once I started working on the regions, I realized I didn't like it. That was my first map. It's not very good. I started to redo the map from scratch, but I've run into some problems with my worldbuilding, especially in regards to the world's magic and history. The source of the magic is related to the geography of the world, so until I firmly fix and decide the details of my magic, I have to put aside mapping my world.

In the mean time, I've grown fond of this site and of looking at and playing around with maps. So I want to make some smaller projects in the mean time. Thus, here is the start of my second map. I named this continent Ghelvith, and this map will be a practice and exploration map for me. I want to try to do as much of the mapping as I can without direct use of a tutorial. For this map, I intend to explore and experiment and see what I end up with, kind of as a diagnostic test and as an exercise in fun. But yes, I broke the rules already, by using RobA's Making Not so Random Coastlines in GIMP (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/875-%5Baward-winner%5D-making-not-so-random-coastlines-gimp-alternative-method.html) tutorial, followed by OldGuy's Creating Realistic Coastlines (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/9056-%5Baward-winner%5D-creating-realistic-coastlines.html). So the coastlines are thanks to those tutorials.

I'd like some input about anything, but especially about my geography. I decided to put in some plate tectonics after seeing a few examples of getting started with that step, but they came after the coastlines. I tried to read about plate tectonics, but it was all written in a rather dense style, so I don't know if I mapped the plates and the consequences of their movements accurately. Any input on that would be greatly appreciated. Oh, and by the way, those mountains are only placeholders. I just drew them very quickly to assess whether they were placed appropriately or not.

I have the feeling that I'll need to redo my intervaled border lines surrounding the coast. I imagine that some of that terrain from the convergent plates on the west side would show up as islands.

Thank you for taking a look at my map.


Rabin Arius
10-04-2013, 07:14 AM
Step 2.

I nearly did a complete overhaul on this map. I added some islands and redid my coastal borders. I also revised my seas. When I first made the file, the colors looked pretty similar, although still in that patchy design (made with "fog"). A day or two after I posted, I noticed that there was red and purple in it, too. So I improved the waters (they're still not what I'd like, but it's hard not to improve upon that first draft of the waters). I also tried to make a mountain brush and filled in a few mountainous areas. I'm not pleased. I think I should put a touch of color in the mountains and round them out a bit more.

Step 3 will be to take another jab at painting decent looking mountains. I'll go from there.

Any suggestions?


Hmmm, it yet again looks different after uploading it. I'll have to keep that in mind.

10-04-2013, 12:06 PM
There are a couple of details that look too heavy on you map. I mean that it look more an island than a continent. The mountains take too much space unless your continent is the size of Australia for example. The coastal lines should be more subtle or closer to each other.

For the mountains, I usually uses brushes because I can't draw them, so I can't give advise on this.

Rabin Arius
10-05-2013, 04:33 AM
I think you're right about having too many mountains. I placed all those mountains while zoomed in 200 or 400%. Then I zoomed out when I was finished and thought, Dang, that's too many. But I left it as is for the time being because I know that I'm not even going to use that mountain brush. I'm going to try to make another one, and when I finally get one I like, I'll try to put the mountains more realistically. For now I just wanted to see what a group of them, rather than a lonely mountain, looked like.

I think what I don't like about my mountains is the lack of a border on the sunlit side. It was done with an airbrush and the light parts had a higher transparency. I think it resulted in mountains blending with each other and in many of the mountains being only visible on the shadow side.

And I think you're right about my coastal border lines, too. I might scrap them altogether.

As for the size, I don't know yet, but I did sort of have Australia in mind at times. I currently imagine this continent at about one and a half Australias.

Rabin Arius
10-05-2013, 06:58 AM
My third attempt at mountains (the second attempt was worse than the first, I'm afraid).


10-05-2013, 11:15 AM
the mountains look great

10-05-2013, 01:29 PM
i particularly like the huge mountains in the center. Maybe not strictly realistic, but they give me the exact idea idea of a damned high and perilous place in which travel...

Rabin Arius
10-10-2013, 08:18 AM
Thanks for the feedback.

I've worked on my map just a little bit. I laid out the other major mountain range according to the plate activity (or what I imagine the plate activity would produce), and I've dotted the coast with islands. I think it would be realistic in some places, but I wonder if I've overdone the islands. And I crudely painted approximate global coordinates to give a sense of the scale of the map and to prepare for laying out the general climate zones.

But that's where I've hit a wall. I've read through some of The Climate Cookbook, but I don't quite understand how to follow its guidance. I think I may have to end up guessing or letting myself be unrealistic in these regards.


10-10-2013, 03:04 PM
Hi Rabin Arius, looks great and interesting so far...

The point with climate is, that itīs not easy to cook a meal without a pot or pan. Because the other continents would influence water currants and wind and so far the whole climate. As you put your continent into the northern hemisphere there would be some dry climate and deserts in the south, maybee up to 26 Degrees north, followed be a warm subtropic climate, going "colder" and wetter to the north. The north would be quite warm, comparable to Spain maybe. I think the drier regions would focuss southwards the eastern mountains, westwars the western mountains the clima would be a little more wet, I think. But generally it would make sense to create the whole planet - just as a draft or so...

Rabin Arius
10-10-2013, 05:26 PM
Yeah, I wondered if I would have to at least outline the rest of the planet to make the climate for this continent. Perhaps I'll have to try that. Thanks for the preliminary climate factors!