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the-golem
05-06-2014, 08:29 PM
Edit: Previously titled "World of Narridia" I renamed the post to properly name the world after the inhabitants deity of earth.

I'm slowly working on a (nother) map project for my Fantasy D&D world. The map started off as a simple sketch on plain 8.5x11 paper, which I then scanned, and started manipulating in photoshop. To fit the landmasses 'properly' on a world projection, I've transformed and rotated the right landmass. However, even though it fills up the space better, I don't like it as much as the original location on the scan. I feel like maybe the scan makes a better use of negative space.

When I sketched the map, I put mountain zones in certain places because "they looked good" but I don't know if they're logical placements based on the size and locations of the continents. To be fair, I haven't done any plate tectonics as that particular science eludes me. Pointers would be appreciated.

BEFORE:
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AFTER:
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the-golem
05-08-2014, 07:25 PM
So, I was playing around with overlaying the map projection onto Google Earth, and came to the realization that I had faaaaar to much water for my comfort. My immediate conclusion was that I needed more landmass. Initially, I was struggling with how to add another continent, but then I realized the "Narridia, Revisited (http://www.cartographersguild.com/regional-world-mapping/17561-%5Bwip%5D-narridia-revisited.html)" thread that I started over two years ago.

Unfortunately, I don't seem to have the AI files from that thread available, but with some creative resizing and manipulation, I was able to get it to fit really well. Like I said earlier, I haven't done any studies on plate tectonics, and am not really sure if the direction I'm taking with the mountain placement is a smart one. I've also started on river placement, but haven't taken that approach seriously yet.

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Pixie
05-08-2014, 08:14 PM
... I'm wondering ... do you mean "I haven't done any studies on plate tectonics" as in "... yet", or as in "... and intend to skip that" ?

Because if you are going to think about tectonics after mountain placement and river placement, it's much harder.

If you aren't doing tectonics, then I guess those mountains are as good as any other. But, even without tectonics, I think your continents are too evenly spread out - it will look more natural if you don't try to have such a "democratic" distribution of space and importance.

the-golem
05-08-2014, 11:40 PM
... I'm wondering ... do you mean "I haven't done any studies on plate tectonics" as in "... yet", or as in "... and intend to skip that" ?

Because if you are going to think about tectonics after mountain placement and river placement, it's much harder.

If you aren't doing tectonics, then I guess those mountains are as good as any other. But, even without tectonics, I think your continents are too evenly spread out - it will look more natural if you don't try to have such a "democratic" distribution of space and importance.

Pixie, thanks for your reply. To (hopefully) answer your question, it's not that I necessarily want to skip tectonics, it's that the concept of how to do them has so far eluded me. I don't know how important tectonics are to a fantasy world, but I want my world to have a basis in "reality," so to speak -- meaning I want the land forms and mountain ranges to make plausible sense. If the best way to do that is through studying plate tectonics, then I'd much rather do it properly than hodgepodge stuff together.

After looking at maps of the Earth, I understand what you're saying about them too evenly spread out. I'll play around with moving things around, but so far I haven't came up with anything that looked good to me.

the-golem
05-09-2014, 08:46 PM
I think your continents are too evenly spread out - it will look more natural if you don't try to have such a "democratic" distribution of space and importance.

Okay, I took another stab at the world map. Instead of grumbling and trying to make preexisting work fit, I started over from scratch.

STEP 1: I took a normal 8.5x11 piece of printer paper. I then measured out 5.5 inches on the long side and scribbled out the resulting 3 inch strip. I did this so when I started sketching out new landmasses, I would have only the relevant 2:1 to work in. After sketching out the landmasses, I opened it in Photoshop, cropped out the unnecessary areas, and resides to ensure I was operating with a 2:1 ratio.

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STEP 2: After getting the basic image in Photoshop, I transposed it onto Google Earth. I realized that the top and bottom edges of the paper get super smooshed towards the globe, and the half-continent/half-icecap that I though I had before wasn't working. I tweaked the image in Photoshop again, and tweaked the southern polar cap so that there was indeed always a cap. This meant basically making the continent run the full length of the bottom. After reloading the image in Google Earth, I still wasn't satisfied with the result at the South Pole, so I toyed with the image some within Google Earth itself. I decided that I liked the look of it with the projection only really going to 80N and 80S.

STEP 3: The simplest step, for me. I took my "final" photoshop image, and opened it in Illustrator. After tweaking with the live trace, I fooled around with the colors to get what you see here. I might tweak with the landmass at the south pole some more, but so far it's pretty good. At least I think so.

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the-golem
05-17-2014, 10:25 AM
For the past few days, I've been reading what I could find (and comprehend) in an effort to understand plate tectonics, and applying what I've learned to photoshop.

Here's what I've been able to come up with so far:
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