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Aquilonian
05-09-2014, 06:49 PM
After searching for advice on the internet looking for advice on fantasy mapping, I stumbled upon this site. After looking through the awesome galleries and tutorials I thought I'd put up the progression of my map for the lands of Aquilonias and Infernian for the novel I am writing just now. My first attempt at computerising my old map:

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After a while I want to completely redraft the map. (Don't like the continent shapes too much, I need room for expansion and it's clear it was drafted on a piece of A4 paper, and it looks to much like Westros for my liking, despite the fact I made it then read A Game of Thones. :x ) Anyway I wanted to return to an ink-hand drawn piece for it, so I drafted this up on the computer real quick on paint:

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Yeah it was done pretty quickly as a rough sketch so I'm wondering about feedback perhaps on overall continent/country shapes. I know its not much, there's no mountains, settlements or rivers yet, but I plan to do another draft by hand with pencil and scan the results up for you when I do. Also: 1. The chalky grey smudges are mountains, bear with me! 2. The "mortlands" basically represents an area destroyed by a magical volcano several hundred years ago, think wasteland. 3. Blank spaces are for places I haven't thought about yet, such as the big land to the west, but I know I want to fill up (hence the expansion space). 4. I planned to do a scaled up map of Acarnvas (the island to the east) at some point because it is the focal point of my book.

Thanks for reading, and I'll get that second draft up as soon as I can!

Diamond
05-10-2014, 01:51 AM
Hey, welcome to the Guild and thanks for jumping right in with a map. That deserves some rep right off the bat. You are definitely not alone in rethinking and redesigning your conworld. If I had a nickel for every time I redrafted a map...

Anyway, looking forward to seeing the progress.

Pixie
05-10-2014, 06:55 AM
Welcome. Your initial map reminds me so much of my first conworld map, 20 years back - a huge ridge in the north and then a quasi-rectangle peninsula with a couple of islands. Maybe there's 1000's of con-peninsulas with con-islands and con-northern mountain ranges splitting it from the rest of the world out there ;)

Anyway, a quick advice for your drafting - set some kind of scale: either linear or a graticule (latitude-longitude). This will become very handy as you compare back and forth your map with real locations, when you try to work out climates or when you try to figure traveling distances and the like.

Aquilonian
05-10-2014, 07:37 AM
Welcome. Your initial map reminds me so much of my first conworld map, 20 years back - a huge ridge in the north and then a quasi-rectangle peninsula with a couple of islands. Maybe there's 1000's of con-peninsulas with con-islands and con-northern mountain ranges splitting it from the rest of the world out there ;)

Anyway, a quick advice for your drafting - set some kind of scale: either linear or a graticule (latitude-longitude). This will become very handy as you compare back and forth your map with real locations, when you try to work out climates or when you try to figure traveling distances and the like.

Thanks for that, I'll add that in! Before I took Acarnvas being roughly Britain-sized as a guide.

With a lack of an A3 scanner here is my drafted map on A3 paper, looked at some tutorials on how to stitch bigger maps together so I'll try that in future. ;)

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Already started the detailing of mountains and rivers, starting with the north west, I'll put up my progress as I go along!

Pixie
05-10-2014, 07:49 AM
Hmm, I just did a quick calculation based on this last map. If Acarnvas (the small island on the eastern limit of the map) is the size of Britain, then your map stretches from the north pole to just a few degrees south of the equator and aproximately 1/3 of the whole northern hemisphere.

It is a huge continent, then.

epson
05-10-2014, 07:50 AM
I only have an A4 scanner, too. Here is what I do to get a good result:
- Draw liitle crosses in your map.
- Scan
- Put the 2 (or more) scans in different layers and set the upper ones on multiply
- now you can move and transform them until all the crosses are exactly on the same spot
- use a soft eraser to erase the edges of higher layers and a hard eraser to erase the crosses.
This of course only works if you use PS or something similar.

Great outlines.

Aquilonian
05-10-2014, 07:55 AM
Thanks for that! I have GIMP and I am a bit for a beginner with it, but I'm sure I'll be able to follow those steps. Though could you perhaps tell me what you mean by "multiply?"

Cheers.

Aquilonian
05-10-2014, 08:07 AM
Hmm, I just did a quick calculation based on this last map. If Acarnvas (the small island on the eastern limit of the map) is the size of Britain, then your map stretches from the north pole to just a few degrees south of the equator and aproximately 1/3 of the whole northern hemisphere.

It is a huge continent, then.

Just saw that there, were you using the first draft (the paint one) or the hand drawn one, cause I might have scaled Acarnvas up a bit (or scaled the rest of the map down depending on how you look at it.) If your using the second one, that's good news to me because I wanted most of the south to be arid/deserty anyway, I'll show which bits are desert hopefully when I get round to detailing that part. Cheers!

EDIT:

A rough 5min sketch of the continent in the planet, hopefully it fits to the proportions you descibed. I sketched in where I want desert areas but I'll do a proper climate map at some point. Not to sure about desert in the north west though, might be too far up. Also threw in ideas for other continent shapes but they won't be too important considering they'll never be discovered in my fantasy world, unless I do a colonial style follow up. ;)

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Lingon
05-10-2014, 11:43 AM
About the stitching, I used to do pretty much the same but without the crosses and multiply (which is a blend mode in Photoshop, not sure if GIMP has the same thing, but it means that light colors become transparent and dark become opaque). I found that it works fine to just match the edges of the drawing up, and soft-erase to hide the transition.

On to your map :) The shape of the continent is great, it looks natural and really cool. The detail of the coastline is too even, though; try to vary between detailed and smoother areas. One real-world example I've used before is the Mediterranean Sea.

Aquilonian
05-22-2014, 01:10 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys, taken it on board. :)

Not posted in a while due to exams, they're are done now so here is the latest update for the close up for the first draft, starting with the north west of the map:

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Also I've scanned it up and drawn round the borders and stuff, creating a template for doing things like topographical and climate maps. This will help place settlements, forests and cultures.

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Next up: finishing off all the mountainous regions in the entire map so I can start work on a topographical one in GIMP and then ocean and wind currents.

Aquilonian
05-22-2014, 08:12 PM
Bonus: Killed some time and wanted to experiment with GIMP so produced a simple labelled map based on what I already had:

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Sea could have done with being a little rougher in terms of how the blurring was done but eh, it was a quick thing and I'm a beginner! :P

Aquilonian
06-10-2014, 11:40 AM
Topographical map on GIMP done!
Mountains, rivers, some settlements and borders on my paper draft done!

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Next: Climate map and finishing off settlements and trade links (though the idea is the climate should influence the pattern of settlement.