View Full Version : Small fictional continent - first regional map

02-15-2014, 12:19 AM
New to the forum and new to mapping or doing anything ambitious with Photoshop. I posted on the Saderan tutorial thread my attempt (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/8086-%5Baward-winner%5D-saderan-%96-tutorial-17.html#post237272) at following an old tutorial by Tear; I figured I would also post here as I add to that first attempt. Here I've enhance the saturation just a bit, overlain a hex grid, and added from labels for seas, a desert, and a few fictional nations.

Would enjoy feedback particularly on the labeling style. It's my first attempt there. Also the hex grid - is it to dark, too dim, or just right?


02-15-2014, 01:30 AM
Welcome to the Guild! I do like this map, but a scale might help make a little more sense of things. If there's really only one river worth showing, this either a pretty tiny area, a pretty dry area (which seems not to be the case based on the woodland areas), or a really BIG area where only a 'father of rivers' is shown.

As far as the labeling style... I like the font - it does the primary job of a font very well, which is to be legible. Not a huge fan of the purple color, but that's just down to personal preference. I think your font size and placement in general looks okay, with the exception of 'The Confederacy of Pentisl'. I've run into this problem also, where you have two relatively similar landmasses or islands making up one nation, and have to figure out a graceful way of showing that they're linked. I haven't been able to come up with anything really satisfying in that regard though, so unfortunately I can't help much there.

Hex grid works fine.

02-16-2014, 10:23 PM
Thank you much for the feedback. I'm wishing now I hadn't made it so small - the tutorial called for 512x512 and I just followed that, but the more I want to play with it the more I'm realizing the limitations of such a small size.

I agree with you that the landmass needs more rivers. That was one problem I had with the tutorial - my rivers came out too thick for my tastes and also "faded" at both ends. That is, the river was getting smaller both at the source and the mouth, which obviously doesn't work. I never could figure out why, so I may have to explore some alternative river-making strategies. (The tut calls for a pen-made path that is then stroked with a brush with a fade effect applied, but I can see that there are other methods out there.)

I probably want my high-elevations to be a bit easier to see so I can put additional rivers in accurate locations.

I may indeed take a crack at putting a scale on there. My idea is that this is a small-sized continent, maybe equivalent to Australia (at the largest) with the other larger islands being New Guinea or New Zealand sized. I think it would be a good exercise for me to plop a scale and compass on there.

I agree with you about the purple. I wanted two colors, one for geographic features and one for nations, but I'm not married to the bright purple!

Thanks for the sage advice.