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Klaus van der Kroft
12-01-2013, 12:27 PM
Well met!

A few days ago a good friend of mine asked me to help him with a map for his own campaign setting, Equilas. While not much of a mapping expert myself, I decided to give it a try.

He handed me his original hand-drawn map (the black and white one) and asked me to slightly distort its shape, in order to disguise a bit the star shape while still maintaining it.

Here's the original map, for reference:

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Here's the first modified version I drew yesterday. I tried to vary up the coastline without going too far away from the original:

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And here's the testing I've been doing today with mountains, forests and a bit of colour on a corner of the picture. Never actually used colours before on a map, and the forest style is an experiment I'm trying for the first time (based on Torstan magnificent tutorials), so I defer to your better judgement and humbly ask for opinions. The portolan lines were drawn using Gidde's rhumb line diagram for the strokes:

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Here's the download link for the full-sized version (13mb): Download Link (http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=32266302832974650322)

Any and all opinions are more than welcomed. Thanks beforehand!

A.Woods
12-01-2013, 01:54 PM
I think you were definitely able to maintain the general star shape while making it appear more realistic. I feel it could use some refining though, the bottom right point in particular seems a bit off.

As for the details, in my opinion your forest experiment is a success! I think they look great and I like the colour. That's my two cents anyway, really good solid start on this map, looking forward to seeing the final product.

Diamond
12-01-2013, 03:33 PM
Now THAT is cool. I think you did a good job with the shape. Those forests and mountains look amazing. The only thing I'm not sold on are the multi-colored portolan lines; they're kind of distracting.

Freodin
12-01-2013, 04:47 PM
Wow...

I'd say you did very well with the overall shape and your forest "experiment". But while I am really impressed with your forests, the way you did the frozen/snow/ice area impressed me even more. You really captured the cold and snowy look without having to resort to "pure white".

I am really looking forward to see how this completes.

Ilanthar
12-02-2013, 04:10 AM
I'm not fond of the general shape, but I really like what you did with you mountains and forests. And as Freodin says, your snowy zone is particularly well done!

Eilathen
12-02-2013, 05:09 AM
I also think that your shape looks very good. It is recognizable but way more map-ish (if that makes sense ;) ) than the original. Looking forward to the progress.

Klaus van der Kroft
12-02-2013, 10:46 AM
Much appreciated, guys. Thanks.

Regarding the portolan lines, yes, I think you are right about them being too distracting, Diamond. My friend thought so too, so I'll be moving into a less invasive wind rose.

I'll try to have some progress done once I get home this evening.

Lingon
12-02-2013, 11:41 AM
Very cool land shape, very nice mountains :) For the lines, you could try lowering the opacity and applying a small noisy blur to them, and perhaps also removing a few?

Klaus van der Kroft
12-02-2013, 07:18 PM
Thank you very much, Lingon. Regarding what to do with the lines, I'll be trying some permutations with some different styles, but my friend seems not very convinced about using portolan diagrams.

Here's a small update; started working on the mainland mountains. Also deleted a few mountains from the island, as I had made a mistake reading the original map (left some room for a few cities later on).

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Klaus van der Kroft
12-05-2013, 08:48 PM
Got a bit more work done today; added some lakes, rivers and forests. The reference map said "Cloudy Forest", so I tried playing a bit with fog. Does it look like fog/cloudy forest? Or just a bunch of cotton candy trees?

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Viking
12-05-2013, 10:40 PM
I like what you're doing here Klaus. It is really interesting how you've taken such an unnaturally perfect shape and kept its essence but made it feel plausible. Not an easy task!

Diamond
12-05-2013, 11:52 PM
Beautiful! I really dig that misty forest...

Ilanthar
12-06-2013, 08:32 AM
Yes this is looking great! What kind of background texture did you use? It's a kind of linen, right?

Eilathen
12-06-2013, 09:35 AM
The forest is really cool. I do think that the mountains could use some...depth...to them. They seem a bit flat and simple imo (especially in contrast to the really "alive" forests).

WillyWombat
12-06-2013, 10:40 AM
I'm very much a fan of that more natural star shape.

Diamond
12-06-2013, 11:40 PM
The forest is really cool. I do think that the mountains could use some...depth...to them. They seem a bit flat and simple imo (especially in contrast to the really "alive" forests).

Yeah, but if he gives them TOO much detail, they'll unbalance the map. Right now, everything is really well balanced; no one type of terrain or feature hogs too much attention.

Klaus van der Kroft
02-27-2014, 02:14 PM
I'm still alive! Generally speaking, at least, since I can't exactly feel my arms; moved to a new house. It's amazing how much stuff one can accumulate without even noticing. On the bright side, I found some long-lost chocolate bars from a stash I had forgotten about; on the not-so-bright side, they tasted like sawdust.

Drew the general layout of the main mountain ranges. Might change some of them around before adding colour, since now I need to include the huge chasms that criss-cross the continent in my friend's original map and I am not yet entirely sure how to do that. Will report with the results of the experiments.

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For the full-sized version, click here (http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=60192558342393149128).