View Full Version : Galian, My first real attempt at cartography

10-14-2013, 12:20 AM
Hello everyone, I wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions or tips on my first attempt at making a map that actually looks good. Some of you may have seen my request for someone to try and take my very bad map and make it look good. I had made a map originally for my players that was very basic and simple but I wanted more. I took that post down however because I decided to instead work on it myself. Here is what I started with:58361

It was basic and easy to give to my players. I wanted to show more of the world however, namely the continents north and south of this one. So I got to picture 2. I got my coast lines to look realistic from jelmore's tutorial. Some of you may notice the "Sketch Style" from Moe's tutorial. Or at least the beginnings of it. I gave up because I just couldn't get it to look right. Also I got my coast lines to look realistic from jelmore's tutorial.

But then I found Star Raven's "Sketchy Cartography Brushes" and I feel in love so I started over. Now I'm at the last picture and want anyone's advice or tips I can find. I'm nowhere near done, I simply figured now was as good a time as any to get some help. One big thing is that I cant seem to find a font I like that matches this style. Anything and everything anyone can give me or tell me or say to me will be helpful! Thanks!

10-16-2013, 03:45 AM
hi, TStrube :)

I am not an expert at all, so please remember that my opinions are worth up to a certain point and not beyond!

I am assuming that the area depicted in your map is part of a bigger world, and the central mass is some big island/small continent
I appreciate the overall appearance of the land masses and by the way, for somewhat reason, i like so much the look of the smaller islands in the "south"

I have used myself the brushes from Star raven, and i think that your mountains are looking fine: however, i would like to see less... mh.. how can i say. Less clear cut separation between the various areas.
Maybe putting some more isolated tree between the mountains, or placing a couple of hills in a more southern position... perhaps what is disturbing me is the lack of vegetation around the rocky area: a tree or some bushes in the river valley? Probably it's only me, wait for more professional advices!

The river in the central part of the map is giving me some problems: usually, a river starts from a mountain (there is plenty of discussion on rivers on this forum), and flows to the sea following what i assume could be defined a line of lesser resistance. So, i would like to see a little bit of elevation in the central part of the island: i do not think there is the need for a huge big badass cliff, you can go for lower hills!
In while providing a point of origin to the waterway, the reliefs also influence the direction: so adding a few more elements will give a more natural look to your fluvial system.

I hope my humble ideas would be of some help to you.

10-18-2013, 02:30 PM
Thanks for the input! I've added some hills in the center of the map to help give some more elevation to it. I can't claim total credit for the islands. When I make maps I usually take bits and pieces of OTHER real world maps and kinda put them all together to make things. For instance the central landmass is Australia with some alterations and mirroring, the northern area is actually the bottom half of America with some pretty big changes, and the southern islands are a conglomeration of Hawaii, the Philippines, and numerous other islands from random island chains arrayed in a way to make them look like they just "broke off" the bottom half of the island.

10-18-2013, 03:29 PM
What kind of font are you searching for? Gothic, Curvy, normal but not too much ?

10-18-2013, 07:53 PM
Something a bit curvy I guess? I'm looking for a Tolkien-esque fantasy font that looks a little hand written. If that makes any sense. Kinda like this:


10-18-2013, 08:24 PM
Some fonts that you could use that seems to fit the style. But there are many other nice fonts out there. The one on the map look like one I already saw but I don't have it in my repository.
gondola sd swash: Gondola SD | dafont.com (http://www.dafont.com/fr/gondola-sd.font)
afton: Afton Free Font Download - ufonts.com (http://ufonts.com/fonts/afton.html)
duvall: Duvall | dafont.com (http://www.dafont.com/fr/duvall.font)
stonehedge: Stonehenge | dafont.com (http://www.dafont.com/fr/stonehenge.font)