View Full Version : Reworking my first map attempt

04-18-2014, 12:43 PM
This is the main continent of my 3.5/Pathfinder game. I wasn't really happy with the first version and never got around to working on it. Luckily I've had a chance to rework it during a campaign break.

I'm having a hard time making it feel realistic. I'm trying to get a north america - south america feel for each the respective parts of the continent.

All suggestions are welcome, cause I totally need them.

04-18-2014, 04:59 PM
Have you taken a look at some of the tutorials here?
Tutorials/How-To (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/)

There are some excellent points on getting you started with things like coastlines, the right location of mountains (like what are mountains anyway) and some very good step by step tuts on coloring etc.

I thin it helps to work from big to small, not getting caught up with the details too early.
Also, just open Google Maps or Earth and get inspired by what Earth looks like ;)

04-21-2014, 02:46 PM
Thanks for the link Sigma, I'll check it out.

04-24-2014, 04:30 PM
OK so after a bit of reading and working on my lunch breaks this week, here's what I have.

I don't think the scale feels right. Thoughts?

04-24-2014, 04:38 PM
The mountains feel a bit cramped and abrupt to me. There is no since that that mountain is getting hilly beforehand. Maybe some larger mountains and fewer of them?

04-24-2014, 04:42 PM
As Madcowchef says, it looks a bit cramped,
A way to get a sense of "flow" in the size and shape of the mountains , and perhaps a bit of outlining/definition on the forest would a great improvement in y opinion :)

04-24-2014, 09:04 PM
It needs more texture and, for the mountains, transition. The sea is also too bright and saturated.

04-28-2014, 03:48 PM
I tried the suggestions from madcowchef on the Mountains and started with a layer of hills. I like how they are beginning to look and think they feel a bit more natural.

My attempt at creating a textured grassland clearly indicates I'm not very good a using graphic programs, I used the tutorial from How to Draw Grassland | Fantastic Maps (http://www.fantasticmaps.com/2012/04/how-to-draw-grassland/) and I think what i created looks like vomit. I think I managed to tune down the oceans a bit though.

Elothan, when you say outline, are you meaning to actually draw a line around the forest or to add a shadow or some sort?

05-01-2014, 11:22 AM
So I gave up on grass, and arid areas. instead I decided to just build off of what I have and figure out that part later.

I set up regions to give myself a better idea of where everything was in the world.


05-01-2014, 11:34 AM
I thought your grass in post #8 looked alright. What I would do is in that same area you have the grass, I'd use your texture, then apply a fractal transparency with some of the background tan color showing through - just a suggestion.

- Max -
05-02-2014, 02:43 PM
You have some serious rivers issues here. There's a useful sticky thread about rivers in the tutorial section, you might want to check it.

05-06-2014, 04:28 AM
it looks far better than it did, and good job on the mountains

06-06-2014, 09:46 AM
Sorry i haven't posted in a while, work and baby have been taking up a lot of my time. Thanks NedS298, I think so too.

So I've been reading the river sticky and I'm not sure if I have it figured out 100% but here's what's going on with the map now.


I think it's coming along nicely, and I'm planning on taking another pass at texturing the land but only after I get the other stuff like 85%

06-06-2014, 10:06 AM
Hello there, that is a big map, probably a time consuming project;) Your forests and mountains are quite good. I think you could rework a bit the shape of your continents, in some places like the islands near Ebrona you can see the use of a round brush and the shape of those islands dosen't feel really natural. About your coastlines maybe you can add and effect like this to improve the transition between land and water.