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Ilanthar
03-20-2014, 09:48 AM
Still working on my Eldoran setting and right now on the continent of Norumbega. The idea is to make a more precise political map of the continent, with main travel routes and a sense of the "unexplored lands".
I tried some coastal contour lines for a start. I have been thinking of different way to do the mountains (maybe more "19th century") but I've failed to find something convincing.
What do you guys think?

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Lingon
03-20-2014, 12:31 PM
It's very pixelated! I guess this is a zoom-in on the big map, and that you plan to redo the mountains? In that case the same mountain style should look just as awesome here as on the world map :)

Ilanthar
03-20-2014, 02:57 PM
Yes, you're right! I've re-done the coast with more details to match the size, but mountains are just "zoomed" to fit. In fact, for now, I want to know if the coastline and waves is OK.
I would love to try another style of mountains, but it has to fit correctly... I could use the same style but that will take a lot of time and will be difficult as well... Any ideas of a good solution?

Ilanthar
03-21-2014, 10:13 AM
Well, it appears that I can use the same base file for mountains and enlarge it before applying the effects. So, here it is with my old mountains, less pixelated.
But I'm still not sure to use those mountains. It's probably too present... I may try something else.

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madcowchef
03-21-2014, 12:50 PM
The lines around the coast look too much like a filter to me, the lack of precision in picking out the details makes them pretty meh. I've had the same trouble, the best solution I've found is to do each of line individually with a stroke effect always making sure to contract my selection area then smooth it rather than expand it as that gives you blobby rather than form fitting lines. I like the style of mountains you are going for and will be interested to see what solution you work out, but sadly have no useful advice in that regards.

Raptori
03-21-2014, 02:23 PM
What did you use to make those mountains? With an added gaussian blur to make them just shadows they'd be exactly the style I want for some of my maps... :)

Lingon
03-21-2014, 03:26 PM
I think the coastline looks great, a little too blurry but it's got a good rugged feel. I agree with Madcowchef about the wave lines though, they would look better if they picked up more of the detail on the coastline.
I really like this mountain style, it's very special but makes total sense and looks fantastic, but if you experiment with other styles I'd be excited to see those too.

Ilanthar
03-22-2014, 09:02 AM
Thanks for your comments!

@ Madcowchef & Lingon : yes, I wasn't really convinced and you pointed the "why" very well! I may try something else... I don't think I can do what you described MCC (thanks for the explanation), and I can't use the good tutorial of Diamond... or don't know how to convert it from Photoshop.

@ Raptori : it's a combination : mountains done in Wilbur, then a filter "liquid drawing" in Inskape, then a few corrections in PSP. With two layers, one with a lot of mountains/hills for a background, one for the major mountain ranges.

Ilanthar
03-22-2014, 10:25 AM
Two tests on a smaller part about coasltines. I reduced a bit the main coastline (less blurry?).

Which one is better / what do you suggest?
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Raptori
03-22-2014, 01:24 PM
Cool thanks; I can't get Wilbur to work, so I'll have to work something else out. Bought a new monitor so I can take back the graphics tablet from my partner, so maybe I'll just wait for that to arrive and then paint them by hand :)

The coastlines look good to me, and I like the first of those two more, I think it fits better with the mountains. Based on what I've liked on other maps, both versions might be improved by fading the texture/line get further from the coast (an opacity gradient so they fade away I mean), but I can't quite imagine how it'd actually look.

..yeah I get the feeling I'm not being very helpful here D:

Diamond
03-22-2014, 03:32 PM
Of those two samples, I agree with Raptori; I like the first one better.

- Max -
03-22-2014, 04:16 PM
Same here...

Lingon
03-23-2014, 03:48 AM
Me too! The second feels too grainy compared to the rest, in my opinion. Though if you end up using a different mountain style, I might change my mind…

Ilanthar
03-23-2014, 09:39 AM
Thanks a lot! I suppose I should have guessed that the first one would look better, since it is by far the most time-consuming ;)


By Raptori
..yeah I get the feeling I'm not being very helpful here D:

You are, I'll give it a try. I've seen this fading rings on maps, and it looked quite good (plus, it's not a lot of work to do!).


By Lingon
Though if you end up using a different mountain style, I might change my mind…

Yep, I haven't got convincing results so far... I did not gave up yet, but I may go with the same mountains...

Ilanthar
03-24-2014, 02:35 PM
And here it is, with the first option and a choice of three fading lines. I've done a fading gradiant between the lines (left), is it better than without (right)?

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Raptori
03-24-2014, 03:20 PM
I prefer without, since there's already a big enough contrast between the water and the land. A shadow like that makes sense when the colours are similar, but it's unnecessary otherwise. Both options look great though :)

Ilanthar
03-25-2014, 12:09 PM
Thanks, I'll go for the option "without"! I'll do some tests with possible other mountains (which could take me a lot of time...) and will add the rivers right after.

Ilanthar
04-02-2014, 11:18 AM
Ok, I've tried a lot of things to get an other appropriate kind of mountains (despite the fact I was quite busy at work), but nothing was quite to my taste... I suppose the only way would be to print the coastline and "draw" what I want. But it would be difficult and won't match exactly my present mountains... So, I'll just keep the old ones.

That said, I've tried different things (rivers, railroad, cities, borders), but don't quite know if it's working well. A note about borders, the colour zones are meant to represent both "well-known and populated areas" and the big administrative regions.

62898 Humm... seems better with more dots for the big administrative regions 62907

What do you think? Everything will be useful at this point - I'm just testing!

Ilanthar
04-08-2014, 11:56 AM
Ok, I changed my mind a little bit and put a uniform color for the inhabited areas plus a hatched colored border. And added some labels. What do you guys think?

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DarthChicago
04-08-2014, 12:59 PM
I think it's really coming along well. I think the different colors are a big help in breaking up the areas. I would consider changing the largest typeface you're using... appears to be Rosewood? As a typeface, it's a bit intricate, which hurts legibility esp when it's faded, and has a bit of an American west feel to it. Might be a nice font choice to use as a main title for the entire map continent/world. Really a beautifully shaped continent and a great map. Enjoying watching it progress!

madcowchef
04-08-2014, 01:07 PM
I can't say I'm a fan of the larger font you are using, it seems both out of place and not the easiest to read. Its width is going to cover a lot of terrain too if you lighten around it for readability. I'm afraid I don't have any suggestions on a better font though. Continues to look great otherwise to me.

Ilanthar
04-09-2014, 08:14 AM
By DarthChicago
I think the different colors are a big help in breaking up the areas

Thanks, glad to read that the colors are helping, that's reassuring.


By DarthChicago
I would consider changing the largest typeface you're using... appears to be Rosewood?


By Madcowchef
can't say I'm a fan of the larger font you are using, it seems both out of place and not the easiest to read

Exactly, it's Rosewood standard. And, yeah, I agree with both of you. I can see now that it was a bad idea. Here is a new test with another font, and better imo.
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And all the rivers and borders on the continent are done. I'm going to color/label now.
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Raptori
04-09-2014, 08:22 AM
Looking good! I prefer the new font for the main labels, but I'd also argue that the smaller font is a bit too intricate to be used at that size, and doesn't really fit with the bold and straight lines of the new larger typeface. Of the two in the latest test, I'd say that the larger one fits the style of the map better, so maybe you could try something else for the smaller text as well? :D

- Max -
04-09-2014, 08:55 AM
I have to agree wit h Raptori.

foremost
04-09-2014, 12:23 PM
Best thing about this map has to be the dirt and grime covering it...
I kept wiping off my computer screen until I realized it wasn't real
dirt. :)

I also agree on the font.

Ilanthar
04-09-2014, 03:40 PM
By Raptori
I'd also argue that the smaller font is a bit too intricate to be used at that size

Damnit! I should have seen that :)! Thanks for the comments guys.


By Foremost
I kept wiping off my computer screen until I realized it wasn't real dirt.

:D It has to look like a "used" map, and then, I discover it makes your screen clean :P

So, here a new test. I'm wondering if I should color completely the big administrative areas (maybe more "pretty"?) or not... I wanted to show the inhabited areas, but I'm not sure it will be fine to look at... What do you think?

63096 and fully colored 63097

madcowchef
04-09-2014, 03:53 PM
I perfer less completely colored, but the full color doesn't look bad at all either.

Lingon
04-10-2014, 08:12 AM
I think showing the inhabited areas is an interesting idea, and it looks better too imo. The fully colored version is just sooo… colored ;)
The big font is awesome. The smaller one… I don't know, I think it looks too modern? There's something in the shapes of the letters. If this is a 19th century-ish world, I think I would've chosen something like Garamond. Probably in bold.

Raptori
04-10-2014, 09:11 AM
I think part of the problem with the smaller font is that it doesn't appear to be very well antialiased, so it looks very pixellated. Could be a problem with the font, could be a problem with the program. Garamond is a good bet regardless :)

Ilanthar
04-10-2014, 01:55 PM
OK, I'll go with the less colored version gladly if it looks better!

Hum, I've tested Garamond, and it does look better too (thanks for the idea Lingon!)... and I just read again your comment and see "bold"... I've missed that and I'll give it a try (at least for the big cities).

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Ilanthar
04-11-2014, 02:07 PM
The test with Garamond bold... Finally, I put bold everywhere :P

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Ilanthar
04-13-2014, 12:06 PM
So, here's the map with labels for cities and provinces. I add some of the maritime labels and a part of the railroad. I'm not really happy with the railroad, so if anybody has a tip about it, it would be great!

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I'm also working on flags for the different "states", but I'm not sure how I'll use it on this map.

Sharpes
04-13-2014, 04:48 PM
Looks great Ilanthar. I really like the smoothness of the rivers and coastline. The hatched effect on the borders is a nice touch.

I have to say though, that island looks like some giant prawn creature scuttling its way to the western continent. :P

Ilanthar
04-14-2014, 06:02 AM
:D now you pointed it out, I can see the giant prawn! Could partly work with the story, as the one country that rules Norumbega has ambitions to the west and the south.

Thanks for the support guys!

Diamond
04-14-2014, 02:52 PM
I really like the idea of showing by color the settled regions, but since you've added that big color stroke around every border, it makes it seem as if every nation has been colonized from the national border, a big settled ring around an empty interior. What about shrinking the border color area significantly, or showing populated areas by horizontal lines or something?

Ilanthar
04-14-2014, 05:30 PM
Good to know! If the continent has indeed been re-populated from the coast, it has not been from the borders (that of course, came a bit later).
I tried your two suggestions, what do you think?
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And I may use a mini-map (thanks to Caenwyr!) for using flags and name the big states. Is that readable?
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Ilanthar
04-15-2014, 11:01 AM
Here's the mini-map as I intended to place it on the big one (not definitely chosen). Not sure about the border of the mini-map...
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Raptori
04-15-2014, 11:21 AM
I like the mini-map, but I don't think it makes sense to have almost the same level of detail as the main map repeated in it. If it were me, I'd remove the contours and stuff from the mini-map, and colour the entire area of each nation instead of just the border, so it's more like the image below but with the lines instead of solid colours.

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Looking good, really like how this is coming along :)

Ilanthar
04-15-2014, 05:52 PM
You mean something like that? Not too colorful?

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Raptori
04-15-2014, 06:11 PM
Yeah that looks perfect to me, particularly when zoomed out a little :)

Diamond
04-16-2014, 12:02 AM
Looking good! I think of the two samples you posted above, the first one works better. I like the idea of the horizontal lines, but it didn't turn out as nicely as I'd imagined it in my mind. Maybe due to the clash with the diagonal lines.

And I really like that mini-map idea!

groovey
04-16-2014, 06:21 AM
Hey Ilanthar!

I'm a complete and absolute noob so my opinion it's completely visual, not from experience, but I wanted to tell you how much I loved the Eldoran world maps, even more the non political one, which on the original thread seemed to win the most favorable opinion, but they are both gorgeous (it really made an impression on me when I stumbled upon them).

Anyway, since that thread of the world maps it's a little dated now, I didn't dare to post my compliment there in case I annoyed someone (I know in forums it's not usually right to revive old posts unless it saves to have to create a new thread about the same thing), I do it here, since it's related and I'm really hoping to see what the final result of your work on the continent is.

So, congratulations and thanks for sharing such beautiful map with us.

I also would like to take the chance to ask you about the sea in those gorgeous maps, did you have to make it yourself or is it one of those background images you can download and use directly? If it's the last case, could you perhaps direct me to it? I suck at creating nice looking textures for my crappy map trials, and that sea you got would solve my sea problems. If you can't don't worry.

Have a nice day everyone!

Lingon
04-16-2014, 07:11 AM
Coming along very nicely! I'm 100% pleased with the fonts now :D
I agree with Diamond about the populated areas, the horisontal lines is a good idea to distinguish them from the border coloring, but for some reason it doesn't work perfectly in my eyes either. Maybe they could be diagonal in the other direction instead? Like, if the border diagonals are 45 up, the population diagonals are 45 down. Don't know if it really would be better, but if it's not to much work, it could be worth testing perhaps?

Ilanthar
04-16-2014, 01:19 PM
You're too kind with me groovey!


By Groovey
I also would like to take the chance to ask you about the sea in those gorgeous maps, did you have to make it yourself or is it one of those background images you can download and use directly? If it's the last case, could you perhaps direct me to it? I suck at creating nice looking textures for my crappy map trials, and that sea you got would solve my sea problems. If you can't don't worry.

It's actually just a color layer with effect/transparency (different setting for the different maps) and a background paper texture. I didn't used the same paper texture for the world maps and this map, and I had to "make it bigger" from the originals (which came from deviantart with a "free to use" policy). I can put it at your disposal if you want.

Ok, here's the map with the muted borders and a few more labels (on the main rivers & maritime). Are the rivers labels readable?
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@ Lingon : and you're right, it's a quick test to do ;). I'm not sure it's better than horizontal lines though...
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Lingon
04-17-2014, 11:39 AM
Yeah, those inhabited areas are a real tough one… I think I like the diagonal lines slightly better than the horisontal ones actually (though I'm biased, I guess :P), but maybe the best way was how you did it from the beginning, with solid color. I'm currently leaning towards that :)

The river labels are absolutely readable. Well done!

Ilanthar
04-17-2014, 05:09 PM
Yep, I'll keep the coloring and muted borders as Diamond suggested. It has my preference in the end.


By Lingon
The river labels are absolutely readable. Well done!

Glad to read that! Well, just a border, an indication of the big maritime roads... and it's gonna be close to an end.

Schwarzkreuz
04-17-2014, 06:24 PM
The muted colors are lovely! Its difficult to find the right Balance for such borders.

Ilanthar
04-18-2014, 09:37 AM
By Schwarzkreuz
The muted colors are lovely! Its difficult to find the right Balance for such borders.

Thanks! That's requiring the precious aid of the guild :)

I added a border and I'll probably go with the legend on the low left corner, title in the top right. The maritime roads were messy with lines, so I just marked the international ports with an anchor... don't know if that's a good idea either, or enough information.

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Ilanthar
04-19-2014, 12:32 PM
I changed the effect of the railroads (a bit better like that imo) and added the other elements.... So, close to finish this, I think. Anything to improve?

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Ilanthar
04-21-2014, 10:45 AM
Thanks for all the support and help! And here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/26893-norumbega-continent-world-eldoran.html) is the finished map thread.