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View Full Version : The Continent of Essaria - First map, and with some backstory!



Stalker
01-19-2014, 03:29 AM
Hi guys! I have been writing a novel and I wanted to create a map of the portion of the world it is based in. I drew a crappy version in MS Paint, double sized it, redid the coasts and added islands and lakes, and then followed Diamond's Smooth Coastlines and Concentric Coasts (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/25727-smooth-coastlines-concentric-coastal-rings.html) tutorial to make the coastal rings. After that, I overlaid a political map (and managed to make it thirty times harder than it had to be) and used the stroke tool to draw the borders.

Finally I dropped the names down and used the select, inverse, expand method of doing things that I learned in the tutorial to create a nice white backdrop.

I hope you guys like the map! I would appreciate criticism for when I do the next continent in the world.

60418


And here is where I've been dumping backstory on my novel if anyone is interested in learning of some of the countries: A Land of Wind and Ash (http://landofwindandash.blogspot.com/)

Lingon
01-19-2014, 03:40 AM
Looking good, I really like the continent shape an the coasts! The labeling could use some work though, you have lots of fonts which doesn't look very good, and the black and white is far too strong in my opinion. Since you're only naming countries here, one font would be enough, and setting the opacity of the text to around 80% would make it much easier on the eyes.

Still, great job for your first map! I'll give you some rep :)

arishok
01-19-2014, 03:48 AM
That linework looks really detailed--the islands are eye candy.

Great first map imo :]

Stalker
01-19-2014, 03:59 AM
That linework looks really detailed--the islands are eye candy.

Great first map imo :]

Thanks a lot! I've always had a shaky hand and I like to try and use that to my advantage when I make coasts.


Looking good, I really like the continent shape an the coasts! The labeling could use some work though, you have lots of fonts which doesn't look very good, and the black and white is far too strong in my opinion. Since you're only naming countries here, one font would be enough, and setting the opacity of the text to around 80% would make it much easier on the eyes.

Still, great job for your first map! I'll give you some rep :)

I tested with the transparencies but wasn't too sure so I decided to stick with the full colors. The fonts are meant to reflect the culture, though I agree that some of them should be changed out. Thank you!

Stevena37
01-19-2014, 04:41 AM
Looking great. Way better looking than my first map. I am also a writer. From what I can tell by looking at your map, I am already interested in seeing what your novel will be about. Great Job! 8)

Veldehar
01-19-2014, 09:13 AM
Although I understand the temptation for different fonts to help set apart cultures, if its for public consumption I would reconsider. For personal use, fine, but out in the greater world, probably not the best idea.

Otherwise, a nice first take from a visual standpoint.

Veldehar
01-19-2014, 09:37 AM
And the color choice for the empire, not fond of that blending so closely with the water, but that's me.

- Max -
01-19-2014, 09:56 AM
Veldehar you can avoid double posts by editing posts (edit button just bottom right of the post scrern) ;)

jbgibson
01-19-2014, 10:32 AM
Regardless of whether you use an array of fonts or not, fraktur in small sizes gets pretty illegible. That might wind up a deciding factor in whether you use font as culture symbology - if one can't read what the name of the country is, then which culture it belongs to may be moot.

But I like it. Nice job!

Azelor
01-19-2014, 11:05 AM
Very nice map. The only thing I don't like is the colour of the Empire that looks like the surrounding waters.

Stalker
01-19-2014, 12:49 PM
Although I understand the temptation for different fonts to help set apart cultures, if its for public consumption I would reconsider. For personal use, fine, but out in the greater world, probably not the best idea.

Otherwise, a nice first take from a visual standpoint.

And the color choice for the empire, not fond of that blending so closely with the water, but that's me.

Thank you! Point taken on the Empire, I'll definitely change it. They were originally much more dark but when I lowered the transparency of the nation layer to make it look better, I failed to notice the Empire had blended with the ocean. Woops!


Regardless of whether you use an array of fonts or not, fraktur in small sizes gets pretty illegible. That might wind up a deciding factor in whether you use font as culture symbology - if one can't read what the name of the country is, then which culture it belongs to may be moot.

But I like it. Nice job!

I figured that if I could read it others could, but I'm realizing now that it's probably just because I typed it and know what should be there. I'll change it now, thank you!


Looking great. Way better looking than my first map. I am also a writer. From what I can tell by looking at your map, I am already interested in seeing what your novel will be about. Great Job! 8)

Thank you so much! I'm happy you like it.

So far my plan is:
-Redo country names with a single font
-Make the word backing transparent
-Change or darken the color of The Empire

I'll post V2 when it's done! Question though, should that be in a new thread or just in this one? I'm foggy on the rules.

Diamond
01-19-2014, 01:26 PM
Everyone else already said everything I was thinking, so I'll just chime in with the fact that that's one of the coolest continent layouts I've seen. Has a good, natural, realistic flow to it. The only thing I'm wondering about is that string of lakes in the middle of the Empire. Are those natural?

Also, glad folks are finding that tutorial useful! :D

Stalker
01-19-2014, 01:52 PM
Everyone else already said everything I was thinking, so I'll just chime in with the fact that that's one of the coolest continent layouts I've seen. Has a good, natural, realistic flow to it. The only thing I'm wondering about is that string of lakes in the middle of the Empire. Are those natural?

Also, glad folks are finding that tutorial useful! :D

Thanks! And thank you so much for the tutorial again! It wouldn't have been made if it wasn't for it.

The lakes are mixed. It used to be the central lake and some of the outlying ones, connected by a river. Forty years or so ago, a massive storm slammed into The Empire that was so bad that The Empire himself purchased indulgence during the event, hoping the gods would save his land.

The storms eventually settled, and when it did it left the plains flooded. The water receded, but stayed pooled in the center of The Empire, leaving the series of lakes that are now there.