View Full Version : The Planet Charlen

03-24-2014, 12:05 PM
I'm currently working on several maps of a solar system I'm creating. This is the second one so far. I will say this again though, I am not a science or math wiz, I tried to the best of my knowledge to get the as scientifically possible as I could, forgive me if there are any mistakes. :)

I tried out a kind of rust effect on the border I'm not sure about it, if anyone has any suggestions I would really appreciate them.


03-24-2014, 01:10 PM
I'm really enjoying this series of maps. Maybe a little more deep shadow around the edges of the planets, they terminate a bit bright for me. The rust effect could be fun if its intended to look like a map hanging up someplace, but if you are going to rust the frame you should show other signs of aging as well, fading of the color of the print, water damage, or if its hanging in a public space some cracks and graffiti if its under plastic protection, maybe screws for affixing it (with one missing). Good texturing on the planets they have that feeling of hanging in space like heavenly bodies with the rich colors and sharp edges.

03-25-2014, 11:42 AM
Thanks madcowchef! Those are some really cool ideas, I will have to try them out.

03-25-2014, 01:22 PM
Besides what madcowchef said, I would add a shadow "night/day" - even slight - in order to reinforce the spheric feeling. And I would chose a brighter grey for the text (a bit hard to read imo).
That said, it's a pleasant map!

03-25-2014, 01:32 PM
Nice stuff! I like the layout of the whole thing, with the horisontal band of planets and the diagonals of stars in the background.
Space maps obviously isn't my area of expertise, but I noticed a couple of things that I think could be improved. The biggest is that the text is nearly impossible to read, being gray on a background of white, grey and black. I'd suggest making the text black and putting a white glow around it, to give the eye some more contrast to focus on.
The star field would be more interesting with some color in it. I like that it's more densely starry than space maps often are, but with only black and white, it blends together into grey when you focus on the planets. Some nebulas would spice it up.
Regarding the frame, I think the rust effect is good, but the non-rusted parts doesn't feel like metal to me. Personally, I would have gone a different direction with the frame, something very basic.
I also agree with Ilanthar about the nightside shadow on the planets.

03-25-2014, 10:19 PM
Thanks Lingon and Ilanthar! I'm not sure what you mean about the night/day shade, but you guys or girls gave really great advise! I just need to find some time to work on this map again...

03-26-2014, 04:11 PM
Look up at the moon; it only appears completely round once per month, all other nights it's partially shadowed. That shadow, when used in a picture, is what makes a round shape look spherical :)

03-26-2014, 05:21 PM
Oh okay, so make some of them more like crescent moons or half moons.

03-26-2014, 11:04 PM
So I did a few changes.


03-28-2014, 09:03 AM
I like the format. It has given me several ideas. Thank you.


03-28-2014, 05:47 PM
Yeah! Great shading on the planets. The splashes of color in the star field are perfect. I'm still not sure about the frame, it's definitely better now but I think it's too uniformly dark to look like metal. What if you crank up the contrast on it really high?

03-29-2014, 12:33 AM
Thanks Lingon! I did a little more work on the frame. I added bolts along the edge but I still have more work to do on them. I also felt like the whole map was a little dark so I increases the brightness and lowered the contrast. Does that make the metal look better?


03-29-2014, 01:36 AM
I like the color! I liked the high contrast lower brightness, its a bit bright to my mole eyes now. The additions to the frame is really shaping up, could use a tiny shadow to hint weather the picture is glued on top of a metal frame or mounted under it.

03-31-2014, 04:23 PM
Thanks madcowchef! I decided to try and make a cracked glass effect over the map. After messing around with a bunch of different things this is what I came up with. I like it but I think it might take away from the map itself? Thoughts?


03-31-2014, 05:48 PM
Very fun. It does distract from the map a bit but also adds a lot of character, as such I guess it depends on the use of the map weather or not I'd keep it. As something you could point to saying you see this hanging on the wall its perfect, as something people are calling up on their intergalactic smart phone probably not.

03-31-2014, 06:56 PM
Have you played around with outlining / back-filling your text with a darker color border to blot out some of the stars? I'm finding the text a bit difficult to read because of the stars showing through the text areas.

Nice map overall!

03-31-2014, 08:18 PM
That is a good idea! Thanks. I quickly fixed that, and worked on the broken glass a little more to make it more subtle.


03-31-2014, 08:55 PM
mthomas768 had the right suggestion there, the text is popping out much more now.

04-01-2014, 12:40 PM
That was just the solution that I needed for the text. I added a few more little details and I cleaned up a few spots. I can't think of anything else I need to do, so unless some sees something that needs to be fixed or has a really cool idea I think I'm done. :)


04-01-2014, 02:45 PM
That's a big improvement. I might even use a bit more backfill, but I have old eyes. :)

There's a typo in the description of Falrenel, 'satelite' instead of 'satellite'. And actually that line of text is a good example of something that's still a bit hard to read.

03-23-2015, 08:58 PM
I'm liking this! The background really adds to the effect and I like the inclusion of the stars. Are they a part of the system or nearby stars? It might be my monitor, but I'm finding difficult to read some of the grey text against the star-field without a lot of zooming beyond the native resolution of the image.
Just to be picky (and improve the final product), It's is short for it is and so in phrases such as "It's diameter is..." you need "Its diameter is..." instead. Keep up the good work!

03-30-2015, 01:22 PM
What star does Charlen orbit? Where does that star lie in relation to the other stars depicted? Is the starfield based on an actual view from near Charlen, or is it an underlying starmap?

Answers to these questions would make the image overall more useful. In any case this has a nice pamphlet or cover page feel to it.