View Full Version : Takeshidai - WIP

02-01-2014, 07:34 AM
I have decided that the redux of the Outremer project deserves a lot more love and attention than a simple "revision". It's too large and too detailed of a world to simply be given a makeover. That said, I have decided to regionally map equally sized segments of the map until I have one massive, multi-part map that truly covers everything I need this world to be.

I've decided to start with the region known as Takeshidai. And so far it's seen a substantial, hand-drawn reworking of its landmass design. I am debating right now between two separate textures for the water. I am leaning heavily towards the second one.

Full size images available at the links beneath the thumbnails.
Also, I'm aware of the texture block lines when fully zoomed in. I'm going to fix that, just a rough draft here.

imgur: the simple image sharer (http://imgur.com/GWsAsIV)


imgur: the simple image sharer (http://imgur.com/078xxXS)

02-05-2014, 02:22 AM
I have decided to go with the second option for the water.

And have completed mountain placement on the isles of Takeshidai. I am pretty happy with the result at the moment. Mountains were done using rendered clouds, copy/pasting segments and then smearing to generate a smoothly blended look.

I am about to begin work on the hills and plains, which will all be done 100% manually.

http://i.imgur.com/OHDSV2ml.jpg (http://imgur.com/OHDSV2m)

02-05-2014, 03:00 AM
Additionally, I have decided that instead of concerning myself with filling in the surrounding land as well as the focused territory, I will be taking a more artistic approach. I'm going to do this as an atlas style "book" rather than a puzzle-piece "this piece goes here, and this one here" gargantuan singular map. Doing this in an atlas style with a focus on a specific location in each map will allow me to take more creative liberties with individual regions, as I won't have to worry about stressing over whether or not landforms or objects are perfectly represented in later maps. It is also abundantly clear to me that some geographic regions will be substantially larger than others, making it a moot point to try to make equally sized maps if the focus will be split for half or more of the maps because a large amount of content will be partially irrelevant to that map.

No, an atlas style book of maps focused on individual regions is a better idea.

That said, I've tried two different styles for blocking out irrelevant landmass, both focused on a scroll-like paper style texture.

For me, the first one is more artistically pleasing, but the second one might be better for writing in or applying map art, and looks like it will probably meld better with the end product. I might even be able to put some vague reference points in there and have it stay in theme with the second one.

http://i.imgur.com/GCF9RrIl.jpg (http://imgur.com/GCF9RrI)

http://i.imgur.com/LrCxSXPl.jpg (http://imgur.com/LrCxSXP)

02-09-2014, 12:37 AM
Here's the work in progress of the height map after tinkering with Wilbur. I managed to maintain some inland lakes, but during the tinkering process I think I may have discovered a way to get Wilbur to show me more natural potential locations for lakes. I'll re-do it later and see if I can't find some way to make Wilbur do the work for me, which would be quite nice. Currently this still needs quite a bit of work, and may still see subtantial changes in river flow and lake placement. But it's a nice start.

Comments welcome. Also, I've been struggling with whether or not that central river being one long south-flowing river bothers me or not... In my mind's eye I see that as being two separate rivers, one flowing north from the center, another flowing south... and that archipelago of islands in the middle on the north shore would be the logical delta for the north flowing river... might have to tinker with the land height in the middle to force Wilbur to follow my philosophy. lol

Thumbnail pic will take you to the imgur site where clicking the pic again will give you the full size.
http://i.imgur.com/D8j0na4l.jpg (http://imgur.com/D8j0na4)

02-10-2014, 01:59 AM
So I've decided to let Wilbur do it's thing BEFORE I try to incorporate the lakes, and then just edit the Wilbur height map to put the lakes in where I want them along Wilbur's already defined river systems. It's easier than fighting with Wilbur and trying to get it to do it right.

Before I go about that though, I wanted to make sure I could get the height map to look right with the bump maps. So here's a quick screeny of the WIP. Bump maps up from wilbur height map, ocean layers on, and parchment paper "fog" over adjacent landmasses layer on. I also went and tinkered with the desert texture I had for the southern end of the island just to see how it would look with the bump map. Could do with a blur to make it look less like blatant noise, but overall the map is turning out rather nicely I think.

Still LOTS of work to do... but coming along.
http://i.imgur.com/JPxX1eBl.jpg (http://imgur.com/JPxX1eB)

02-10-2014, 02:56 AM
It's really coming along! :D

02-11-2014, 05:24 PM
Little bit more work done. Mostly just a test covering of grassland that I am replacing from the bottom up.

As you can see, the desert has been adjusted, I've textured in two of the mountain ranges, and trying two separate options for the savannah/prairie/plains or whatever you'd like to call it that border the desert and run through the southern mountain center.

I think I prefer the first one. It looks a little more believable... I think the next thing I need to do though is deal with those rivers. That's just got to get done. They're interfering with everything and look terrible not filled in. That's got to get taken care of.

http://i.imgur.com/qUwWXxrl.jpg (http://imgur.com/qUwWXxr)

http://i.imgur.com/vxSmdFVl.jpg (http://imgur.com/vxSmdFV)

02-16-2014, 08:37 PM
Still heavily a work in progress. Tinkering around with forests at the moment. These are by no means final. I might end up placing major cities and such first and then determining the positions for forests. Forests are currently way too heavily populated in some areas, probably a little light in others, and I need to start separating some regions into deciduous forests. Currently they're all textured with pine forest.

Also still having trouble with rivers. Any insight on getting the rivers to select properly from the height map would be appreciated. It's currently just a giant fussy pain in the neck.

In any case, I'm happy with how the mountains have turned out. Also happy with the swamp in the northeast, the desert and plains in the south. It's coming along fairly nicely I think.

http://i.imgur.com/BkwyGjY.jpg (http://imgur.com/BkwyGjY)

02-17-2014, 12:15 AM
I like your swamp a lot... I think it could be a little less subtle (meaaning I guess, I'd like to see more of it? idk)

The mountains look nice.

I wish I knew how to fix your river problem. Is there a way to just sketch in the rivers, put them at a sea-level height, fill with the riveer colors/texture you want and then just put your sea over the top of that layer? (So only rivers on "land" show?) Idk if that makes any sense.

Also I like your trees. Most places start with more trees than people give them. Why do you think it's too much?

02-17-2014, 01:53 PM
I don't think it's too much trees, I think I'm just unhappy with the distribution... I'm going to tinker with it.

02-17-2014, 01:56 PM
Well... I like the areas with tons of trees :) Maybe it's just the areas where there aren't any make it feel unbalanced?

(Think that's the wrong word... :? )

02-17-2014, 03:35 PM
Hey, just stopped by to say this is really awesome man! I love the look of the map, it really pops!

03-03-2014, 02:26 AM
WIP Update!

I think I'm pretty happy with this forest layout. It seems to portray both the natural distribution of the forests as well as show the effect of settlement.

Additionally, I've plotted out the locations for the cities. Haven't decided exactly how I want to finalize their mapping (whether with an icon or a texture... not sure), but at least I know where they're going to be.

And thanks to those who have commented!

http://i.imgur.com/6h7P4zHl.jpg (http://imgur.com/6h7P4zH)

03-04-2014, 10:04 PM
Updated some of the forests.

Included additional swampland in the southeast, sandwhiched between two mountain ranges. Seemed to fit well there.

http://i.imgur.com/SNGSU23.jpg (http://imgur.com/SNGSU23)

03-04-2014, 10:16 PM
The black in the forests look too high in contrast to the rest. I'd edit that to be a tad lighter. The river system in the middle of the continent is a bit unlikely to going nearly from one coast to the other through the middle of the continent, not impossible just less likely (I myself wouldn't have the heart at this point to go back and change it). I really like the land form and your choice of textures with the exception I mentioned (which is very fixable) they work very well together. I really like the island on the north side of the continent, definitely feels mountainous and the erosion has carved it up really well.

03-05-2014, 01:28 PM
When you say "black in the forests", are you talking about the swamplands in the northeast and the southeastern valley? That would be an easy thing to tone down.

I agree completely on the river system in the center of the continent, but no matter how much I tried to manipulate the hills in that central location, Wilbur demanded the river on that side of the continent go south instead of northeast. The only way to have avoided this would have been to put high mountains in and block that location completely, which I didn't want to do because I wanted a central valley. So, yeah, I agree that it looks unlikely, but Wilbur wanted its way. lol. Also, it has sort of grown on me, as it has created this odd confluence of rivers that give the area a rather unique flavor, if that makes any sense. And I guess in some ways it's not all that unbelievable. The Volga River and Mississippi River in the real world follow similarly odd cross-continental flows when there are nearer bodies of water that one would think they'd have more readily flowed towards but didn't.

Thanks for the input!

03-05-2014, 02:27 PM
I meant the forest texture you used, the black between the trees is finer edged and darker than most of the rest of the map, though I like the slight sense of perspective to them. Simple select tool some feathering and some lightening would bring it much more in line to my eyes at least. For some reason the darker sections of swamp don't set my eyes off in the same way, though they are perhaps just a tad dark on close inspection. The river is definitely an invitation to some fun fantasy world building. A single unlikely (vs. impossible) element can create a lot of interest both in the real world and on fantasy worlds. Looking really sharp in general.

03-05-2014, 05:44 PM
I'm happy with the forests as they are, but it couldn't hurt to tinker with them and see if I can sort something out that looks a little better.

In the meantime, here's a little backstory on this region of the world.

Imperial Takeshidai

For the last three hundred years, the island Empire of Takeshidai was ruled by an unbroken dynastic line of the "Okuma" family and their mighty Crane Clan. The Okuma Era saw a great increase in foreign trade, increases in domestic agricultural and industrial productivity, and significant gains in philosophy and education, as well as a population explosion brought on by domestic growth policies and an immigrant friendly skilled labor invitation policy. By all rights, the Okuma era was a golden age.

In the last decade, the golden era of the previous three centuries had begun to spoil. Natural disasters and external political strife slowed trade, drew many skilled workers back to their homelands, and caused conflict between the clans as petty differences began to flare into blood feuds. The Okuma's financial acumen could not prevent the influences of the external world from dragging down the interdependent economy they had built, and more and more they became the target of ever more brazen verbal assaults from the increasingly independent clans.

On the 5th day of Coldfire, the season when the color of the sun's flame is changed to an icy haze by the passage of the Blue World between the sun and Outremer, Emperor Okuma Moriaga died of mysterious causes while entertaining representatives of several clans at a diplomatic dinner party. The meeting was supposed to be a referendum on how to bring the empire back to prosperity without reliance on the outside world. Instead, the present representatives blamed one another for the mysterious death, and more than one verbal slight turned into a death duel that the Crane could not stop.

The infighting spread from the halls of the Imperial Palace to the borders of the clan territories, and the call from the Crane dignitaries as they struggled to appoint a successor from among their own squabbling household members fell on deaf ears.

The era of the Crane Clan's Okuma family had come to an abrupt end, and the chaos that was growing within the land would not be quelled until a new family arose that was powerful enough both militarily, and politically, to force the other clans and their mighty ruling families to heel.

03-06-2014, 12:01 AM
I was tinkering with potential distributions of clan territory.

By no means whatsoever do I plan on leaving the map like this. This was just a very colorful and very basic overlay so I could see land distribution vs city count and judge overall presumed strength comparisons. Interestingly enough... there was never an intention of having the clans geographic land area look so uniform despite massive differences in population and strength. But it's kind of interesting.

http://i.imgur.com/CcLWzuk.jpg (http://imgur.com/CcLWzuk)

Compare the clans to an overlay of the traditional geographic regions in the empire...

http://i.imgur.com/94r7xwZ.jpg (http://imgur.com/94r7xwZ)

03-17-2014, 01:09 AM
Work is still progressing on this and things are shifting around, just taking a little longer than expected. Was on a business trip all last week, and heavy month for family get togethers.