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Veluux
11-01-2013, 10:08 PM
Starting from scratch on a pre-global flood type of world. Did a lot more research on hydrology and tectonics and how a biblical-type flood would effect things. With a giant outer atmosphere of water raining down (effecting the balance of the earth's magnetic field), and giant fissures opening up with water coming up from below the earth's crust - tectonic plate movement could have been massively accelerated. So I'm going with a pangea-styled map.

This first image has the overlay I used to define the outer borders of the mainland.
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Here is the progress of the map so far - with a textured and stylized look to it.
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I'm planning on making Greenland into the mythical location of Eden. That particular plate will sit higher than the others (with a massive body of water below it - which is what causes it to be somewhat raised compared to the other modern-day continents). In the center of Eden will be a set of fantastical-scale springs that feed four major rivers (I have yet to define them - but they will likely follow somewhere along the modern-day continent borders; since that would be the natural low-lying points).

Since the earth at that time would have a greatly amplified "green-house" effect - most of the world will be watered by a morning fog (when the water condenses at lower altitudes) and the modern-day rain and wind we're used to will be extremely rare, if non-existent. This will greatly effect the way that geology forms (and erodes), opening up the door for some interesting fantasy landscapes.

Anyways, that's basically the gist of it. Any thoughts on the idea and what other factors I should consider?

Viking
11-02-2013, 12:08 AM
Interesting idea! I would be careful with the textures you use. The current one looks like dried up and cracking mud which makes the landmass feel pretty small. I would try to sample textures from real places instead. The inside of the continent is more likely to be dry and the outside bits wetter I would guess. I would start with tectonic boundaries and plate directions to determine mountain ranges and such from that to determine your drainage basins. Since you are going the mythological route I guess you could do whatever you want geologically.

Veluux
11-10-2013, 01:27 PM
Interesting idea! I would be careful with the textures you use. The current one looks like dried up and cracking mud which makes the landmass feel pretty small. I would try to sample textures from real places instead. The inside of the continent is more likely to be dry and the outside bits wetter I would guess. I would start with tectonic boundaries and plate directions to determine mountain ranges and such from that to determine your drainage basins. Since you are going the mythological route I guess you could do whatever you want geologically.

Thanks. Yeah, that texture is just a temporary one. Just wanted to make the map look somewhat presentable for how bare it currently is. I'm torn between doing a straight overworld shot - or a 3/4 shot. I want it to have an artistic feel to it - while also being fairly accurate for geographic terrain. I actually REALLY like the style you used on your world map for Skenth - its a good marriage of artistic and accurate.

madbird-valiant
11-11-2013, 09:24 AM
I'm not sure how valid sticking the world map together is as per what Pangaea looked like, but it makes for an interesting map shape anyway :P Great work, look forward to seeing your progress with it.

Veluux
11-22-2013, 10:19 PM
So I finally fleshed out a lot of the terrain and major climate areas. Still need to get the river systems laid out and added in. Also going to rework the visual style so it doesn't look so blotchy. I'm totally not happy with this version yet at all - from a graphical standpoint anyways. But it's an important step as far as terrain and world layout. Also getting the major climate zones mapped was important. Definitely a lot of adjustments going forward... but here it is so far:

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Just wanted to note that it is a very reduced size (my internet is crappy today, and the graphical details aren't super important at this stage anyways). I still need to clip my mountain areas and feather them out to get rid of the harsh lines - so try to ignore that.

Veluux
11-26-2013, 12:57 AM
Made of TON of graphical improvements to the map. Still need to map in the rivers - that's the largest major component missing. After that it will be a lot of labeling, and some cosmetic pieces of art (compass, borderart, etc). It's kind of my own twist on Ascension's Atlas style.

FYI this is a MASSIVELY reduced res version (the PDB file is nearly 4GBs at this point...):
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Would love to hear what people think of the aesthetics so far!

Veluux
11-29-2013, 02:43 PM
Finished all the major regional labeling. Still need to do rivers and cities. Then the finishing touches/cosmetics.

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Veluux
12-04-2013, 12:47 AM
Here's yet another update. I've been moving smoothly on this one. Added in a lot of smaller labeling (capitals, cities, ruins, etc). Also roughly sketched in the river network. Since CG was down earlier I didn't get to post it right away. Looking at it now as I upload this image I already see a few minor tweaks I want to make with the water. Still want to post it up anyways in case somebody see's something I don't see.

Just a note, the green region in the center of the map labeled "Godspring" is a piece of fantasy geography - it's a divinely-fed spring that feeds out four rivers into the surrounding landscape. It sits much higher than the other regions - which is why the rivers appear to cut through the mountains (then pour over waterfalls) to the lower terrain below.

But any water-network outside of that should be standard real-world hydrology. Would love some input since I'm getting closer and closer to finishing the map. Everything is still highly-editable up to this point, so don't be shy to make a suggestion because you feel I've already put WAY too much work into it already (which I have - haha).

Thanks!

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Also, before I forget. Does anyone know of any free pre-made map symbol sets. I've looked through the reference material area of the forums and most things are so dated the don't even link properly anymore. I'm mostly looking for alternative symbols for cities, landmarks, or other nifty things that I don't even know I need yet. Any input is very welcomed!

Veluux
12-08-2013, 11:43 PM
Put in the rivers, and made a few minor edits.

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All I've really got left is creating the border-art and getting the map legend, compass, and other map-reading essentials finalized. Mostly just finishing aesthetics and balancing some colors and making minor label adjustments.

Lingon
12-09-2013, 11:47 AM
I like the textures you are using!

I'd suggest tweaking the colors a bit though; right now, it's super-heavy in contrast everywhere, which is negative for the readability. Using contrast focused in small areas make it easy for the eye to find the important things. Many labels curve more than they have to, too, and raster programs don't handle extremely curved text very well, making the letters distorted in many places. If you want the mountain names to follow the ridges, one way is to use a smaller font size.

Those where my thoughts at least :)

Veluux
12-09-2013, 09:05 PM
I like the textures you are using!

I'd suggest tweaking the colors a bit though; right now, it's super-heavy in contrast everywhere, which is negative for the readability. Using contrast focused in small areas make it easy for the eye to find the important things. Many labels curve more than they have to, too, and raster programs don't handle extremely curved text very well, making the letters distorted in many places. If you want the mountain names to follow the ridges, one way is to use a smaller font size.

Those where my thoughts at least :)

Thanks for you input. I definitely plan on adjusting some of the labeling. I'm not quite sure what you mean about contrast of colors though - I think they have very similar brightness. I could see if you meant that they are too saturated - as the colors are all pretty strong at the moment. I'll definitely keep that in mind as I come to the final version. I'll probably do several different versions of color/tone/saturation adjustments at the end to find out which one seems the easiest to view and is the most enjoyable to look at. So keep your eyes open for that!

As far as textures go - I take a lot of photos of things myself. The dark forest green - for example is just green velvet super-close up. It sort of has this bird's eye of a forest feel to it. The hardest texture to find, by far, was one for the plains. I wanted it to have a grassy feel without being too exaggerated. I'm still not totally happy with it, but it will have to do until I can find something better.