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sandtrout
03-09-2014, 05:09 PM
Hi guys!
This is my latest attempt at a (semi)continental map. i tried to build up a continent following the descriptions and geographic info from a fantasy novel.
looking for critiques on the coastline and especially on the river system/placement. any other criticism is welcomed:)

Eilathen
03-09-2014, 05:38 PM
A nice technique for the mountains. The gold-in-gold color style is a bit uniform but not bad looking. You do have some river issues (rivers very seldomly split downriver...they rather merge with other rivers. Some rivers seem to flow through mountainous regions etc. .).

flocko
03-09-2014, 09:03 PM
Very nice looking. I'm a tad conflicted about the coloring. Part of me really likes it and the other part wishes there was more contrast.

Shadows on the rivers may make them fit into the ground better. At the moment they seem to sit on top of the map. At least from up close. But before you go doing that they need to be moved around a bit. Rivers come together as they approach the ocean. They start at various places of high elevation and then merge before reaching the ocean. Think of a tree with its base on the coast and the ends of its branches in the mountains. You also have have several places where the rivers cross each other and flow uphill. This generally won't happen. There will typically be one lowest path and after the rivers meet they will both follow it. The same principle applies to lakes. There will be only one outflow or there will be none. I think your elevations/mountains are depicted very well so it might be effective to just pick random spots on your mountains and "inch by inch" judge where the next lowest elevation is. That should enable your rivers to merge naturally and having them conform to the elevation changes you've already drawn may also take care of that sitting on top thing I mentioned.

sandtrout
03-10-2014, 04:21 AM
ty guys, this really helps! i will post an update

sandtrout
03-10-2014, 06:31 PM
changed some things -rivers/coastal relief, lakes outflow and fiddled with the color scheme
the central river is giving me headaches... it seems out of place there, dunno why. but is one of those few things bound to the story.

kirkspencer
03-10-2014, 07:48 PM
Pretty. The increased contrast helps, though I personally liked the almost-monochromatic you had at first. (No accounting for tastes, I guess).

Which story? One or two people here read and might be able to spot something you've missed in your source.

For the rest, me, I'm bothered by the rivers that appear to flow uphill. If I drew coarse contour lines based on what I'm seeing, I see two primary ridgelines. One is the hard crest at the right edge of the map. The other flows through the three center hills. Yet you've got two sets of water - the south definite, the north probably - crossing the saddle from west to east.

Interestingly you broke that problem for your river to exit to the southeast 'delta'. You've got a clear ridge connecting the center to the right, but you broke it with a canyon.

the delta, by the way, bothers me because alluvial deposits don't usually look like rocky ridges. Rounded hills, maybe. But at least it's a nominal triangle breaking out to the sea.

Ilanthar
03-11-2014, 06:23 AM
Apart of the possible river problems, I would do transitions between your mountains and the coastline (maybe by playing with transparency and a gradient). It's quite rare to have strong reliefs stopping abruptly at the coast.
As kirkspencer, the first version has my preference. A blackened coastline would suffice to do the contrast.

You have a good start to do a good map, imo!

sandtrout
03-12-2014, 06:50 PM
@eilathen & flocko - went with the inch by inch tip for the rivers, mostly by following the existent relief texture(which i totally missed in earlier versions)
@kirkspencer- it's unpublished waiting for it's proper map:D ;fixed the delta problem(canyon and alluvial deposits -hopefully:) and went back to a rusted/gold on gold color scheme which seemed to be more suited to the overall style.
@ilanthar - went with the black contour for the coastline, will do the smoothing of the mountains as it indeed is necessary. tx for the vote of confidence:)

kaiofhearts
03-12-2014, 09:24 PM
The water dynamics have improved greatly, and I love the overall design of the map. That said, I think that I personally preferred the mountain ranges of the top half of the map more on that second high contrast incarnation than on this latest one. But I suppose the new one makes more sense from a scale point of view. Hmm... Sorry I'm not more helpful!

- Max -
03-12-2014, 09:27 PM
I think the thing is since you use pre-made shaded reliefs, your rivers should follow consistently where the real river beds are on the shaded relief map (or at least closest as you can). This will probably help you.

Lingon
03-13-2014, 11:28 AM
This one has a really interesting look! The colors in the last version are fantastic, keep them! :)
There's a mismatch in sharpness between the sea, land, and coastline, in my opinion. The land looks great, but the sea is much blurrier, and the coastline is razor sharp and a little pixelated. The latter can be fixed easily, with a small blur effect. The sea texture might need to be replaced if you want to make it sharper. Which I'd suggest ;)
-Max- has a good point about the riverbeds too.
But overall it's really cool and I look forward to seeing the progress :)

sandtrout
03-14-2014, 09:06 PM
added some mountains, lakes and rivers. lots of rivers:)
@Max- indeed it helped, as the map looks more natural now, although i might have overdone it:D; but i'm really happy with the result.
@Lingon - fixed the coastline and replaced the texture, and while is still not that sharp, it will have to do for now :)

Lingon
03-15-2014, 12:53 PM
Much better coastline! Well done :) The rivers are starting to look really good too, I just spotted one oddity, the main river that leads to the archipelago has a tributary joining at an unlikely angle. It starts in the southeastern range and flows northeast, but it would probably go more northwest and join the big river much sooner.

Ilanthar
03-16-2014, 10:25 AM
Nice improvement sandtrout! The contrast is better, and your coastlines and rivers as well. The transition between coast and mountains is still a bit harsh in a few areas, but already better.

Just waiting for labels now :).