View Full Version : Atlantis (Rifts RPG) Seeking advice on final tweaks and fine-tuning

04-18-2014, 12:20 AM
Fellow cartographers, I present my pre-release draft of the continent of Atlantis from the Rifts RPG. (http://i913.photobucket.com/albums/ac332/willerwin/AtlantisMasterMap_zpsad7638de.png])Atlantis lies in the mid-north Atlantic and is a land ruled by the quasi-lovecraftian Splugorth and their monstrous minions.

I'm using GIMP, WILBUR, and Inkscape to make this map. I'm also using several Arsheesh tutorials, though I tend to throw in a number of variations.

Anyway, I've been plugging away on this project for just over 3 weeks, and I've reached the point where I can't think of anything else to add. I've been looking at the same image for so long that I suspect I may be missing something. So please take a look. Please note that Photobucket tends to display at 1/3 resolution or worse, so a few of the labels may be difficult to read.

04-18-2014, 08:45 PM

Perhaps I should be more specific.

1. I have a minor color vision impediment, and sometimes it's hard to tell if I'm over or under-doing the color gradients. Any suggestions for bringing out or toning down areas?

2. The scale. Would it be better to keep it semi-transparent like it is, or have it be more of a physical object like the compass rose?

3. The regional borders. The technique I use is subtle enough for me, but it seems a bit sloppy to me. Any suggestions for marking territorial boundaries better?

4. Balancing. Are there any elements that seem to stand out too much, or not enough?

04-18-2014, 09:08 PM
Your oceans are very dark, I'd lighten them considerably. The rest of your colors register good to me at least. The scale seems fine, though its placement seems somewhat arbitrary, maybe try moving it under the compass or nearer the key. Afraid I don't have any advice about the region borders, bit hard to see at this scale. The only other thing that seems a bit off is the spacing between the edge of the forest and the rivers is a bit overly regular to my eye. Over all quite attractive map.

04-18-2014, 10:02 PM
I agree with Mad Cow. Overall an attractive map, but the ocean is very dark, as is the land, and there isn't enough contrast to help distinguish the two. You could lighten the ocean as MCC suggests or alternatively you could create a much lighter "Sea Shelf" layer wherein the shallow portions of the land are much lighter than the deep. This is usually the technique I try to use when I work in this style. Also, you may want to increase the opacity of the labels layer just slightly (e.g. 5-10%) to help them be a little more legible. Everything else looks good to me.


04-18-2014, 10:06 PM
Thanks! I'll take a good look at the oceans, scale placement, and woodlines. The woodlines... holy cow, I took a long time making them, often for the express purpose of keeping the rivers visible. I'll do some thinking on that. Much appreciated!

04-19-2014, 01:58 AM

I took a stab at brightening and rebalancing everything but the woodlines. How is the brightness/balance now? I also added a little purple to the mountains.

I also redid the scale and rearranged it per MadCow's suggestion.

I also re-worked the title section to be consistent with the scale and compass. I made "Atlantis" flat and bolder, and I added a bit of swirly backdrop.

How's this? Too much? Any other suggestions?

04-19-2014, 10:58 AM
The ocean is still a bit dark and over saturated to me, but the over all look is improved.

04-19-2014, 05:02 PM
The way that everything lightens near the mountains almost makes it look like the mountains are a light source- like they are glowing. You might want to make that gradient sharper. amybe. (I'm an amateur...)

04-21-2014, 07:27 AM
Ok, I lightened the water some more by creating a duplicate layer, desaturating it, lightening it a bit, and adjusting the opacity. I made the frame inscription go all the way around the map. I also took my pre-WILBUR land sculpt, did a bump map of it, set it to darken only, and used my mountain mask plus some airbrushing to give the snowy peaks a bit more visual definition and complexity.

Anything else I should work on? The only thing I'm dissatisfied about now is the legend; I've been trying to come up with an artsy-er way of presenting it that complements the themes of Atlantis from the Rifts RPG. Nothing's really grabbed me yet.

(Edit note; fixed a minor issue where the demon sea texture was put underneath the desaturating layer, the current draft is the one above, not the one below)

04-21-2014, 10:34 AM
Looks much improved to me.

04-21-2014, 02:29 PM
Thanks for the help, Madcowchef! I've added a final element to give the legend a bit more character, and I'm putting it up in the completed map section.