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ascanius
05-21-2014, 02:40 PM
So I'm redoing my map starting with plate tectonics. While looking at the plate tectonics of earth I'm having difficulty understanding how exactly the plate move in relation to the north and south poles. Looking at the tectonic map of earth Flash Presentation (http://education.sdsc.edu/optiputer/flash/plateArrows.htm) it seems there are two plates at the north pole. However I am uncertain if there are two or one, due to earth being a sphere it would seem that it is one. If there is just one does that mean that the plate rotates around the polar axis with a possible slight drifting in one direction? looking at the south pole it seems that the Antarctic plate is actually rotating around the south pole axis.

Any thoughts?

Thanks Ascanius

Pixie
05-21-2014, 05:39 PM
Hi there.

Plates movement has pratically no relation to the location of either poles and the fact that the north pole is nearly shared between two large plates is a simple coincidence (to the best of my knowledge).
(this page also has a very good illustration of Earth's plates, as seen from the north pole)

Viking
05-22-2014, 01:18 AM
Excellent resource Pixie!

ascanius
05-22-2014, 06:48 AM
Thanks for the info Pixie. It was exactly what I needed.

ascanius
05-22-2014, 09:55 AM
I'll just post what I have tectonic wise here instead of creating another thread.

http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h406/ascanius1/Untitled.jpg (http://s1108.photobucket.com/user/ascanius1/media/Untitled.jpg.html)

Continental crust is brown
oceanic crust is teal.

Transform boundaries are green (non directional)
Divergent boundaries are Red.
Convergent are blue, the arrow shows which is being pushed up.

Black arrows show the net direction of the crust movement.
White arrows show the rotational direction, clockwise or counter clockwise. The dot roughly shows the axis of rotation. I did this mostly because I couldn't figure out the type of boundaries (convergent or transform) of certain areas. I remember reading the plates have a rotation so I added the rotation to clear up certain areas, I used the overall direction for the vast majority though.

On plate number 7 The idea is a rift valley formation.
The area 4,9,10 is the same idea.
Also the general direction of plate 7 is incorrect the arrow should be pointing to the north, north west.
Plate 14 has a clockwise rotation.

Anyone see any areas or anything I did wrong?

Ghostman
05-22-2014, 11:48 AM
Your north pole seems to have no less than 5 different plates all meeting in a single spot - remember that on a 3D globe the axial poles are nothing but two points, whereas on a rectangular 2D projection they become stretched into lines (the top and bottom edges of the map).

ascanius
05-22-2014, 01:06 PM
Thank you for pointing that out. Looks like I have to go back to the drawing board. I'm going to cut it down to two at the poles I think.

Midgardsormr
05-23-2014, 11:24 AM
Something I like to do as a sanity check is to draw my gross features on an actual globe prior to making a projected map. You can get a styrofoam sphere from a hobby store or check the ball bin at a Wal-Mart for something in a solid light color, or even simply a balloon.

It's difficult to free-hand a projection from that, of course, but it's at least a starting point to see if what you're doing makes any kind of physical sense.

Or you could use a digital 3d paint solution. I'm not sure what's out there at the consumer level, though. I have access to all sorts of cool CG animation software like ZBrush, so I've never bothered to see if something like Sketchup lets you paint on geometry.

Pixie
05-23-2014, 12:17 PM
Since you are at it... and since you have represented the Euler poles for every plate. I think you need to note that not every "spreading pole" is located within the plate - I think most, and specially for large plates, are outside the plate... see this pic (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/EarthSci/people/lidunka/GEOL2014/Geophysics1-%20Plate%20tectonics/PLATE%20TECTONICS_files/image115.jpg).

groovey
05-26-2014, 07:06 AM
ascanius, I'm checking this thread with interest, as I'm working on the tectonics for my world map, but I haven't grasped the hang of it yet like you seem to have done. To check how the plates meet on the poles I'd recommend what was recommended to me, NASA's G. Projector, is free, simple, and it does what you need to check the plates and poles for distortion in Orthographic projection, though I think it needs the image of your map you load to be equirectangular, as the program first loads the map in such projection.

Pixie, that pic you linked on the last post confuses me, does it suggest that two plates can share a single Euler pole?

Pixie
05-26-2014, 12:25 PM
... not wanting to hijack the thread ...

Each plate has it's absolute Euler Pole, but they also have relative velocity to each other and that movement can also be shown with a single euler pole they share. Looking around, it seems to me the maths is terribly off-putting and I honestly don't think it's necessary at all.
(On a linear one dimension scale, relative velocity is easy to understand, A moves at 10km/h and B at 11 km/h in the same direction, 1 hour later, B will be 1 km ahead of A, thus, their relative velocity is 1km/h)

As I wrote on another thread, the rotational movement around a point can only be properly shown with stereographic projections of the map. Hence, an equirectangular projection like the one you are showing, ascanius isn't appropriate to figure out the movement at the poles (something I suspect you found out already). Like groovey suggested, use G.projector to transform your map.

ascanius
05-26-2014, 04:19 PM
... not wanting to hijack the thread ...

Each plate has it's absolute Euler Pole, but they also have relative velocity to each other and that movement can also be shown with a single euler pole they share. Looking around, it seems to me the maths is terribly off-putting and I honestly don't think it's necessary at all.
(On a linear one dimension scale, relative velocity is easy to understand, A moves at 10km/h and B at 11 km/h in the same direction, 1 hour later, B will be 1 km ahead of A, thus, their relative velocity is 1km/h)

As I wrote on another thread, the rotational movement around a point can only be properly shown with stereographic projections of the map. Hence, an equirectangular projection like the one you are showing, ascanius isn't appropriate to figure out the movement at the poles (something I suspect you found out already). Like groovey suggested, use G.projector to transform your map.

Yeah I'm reworking the map. Getting lines to 'line up' on the stereographic projection on G.projector is a pain. I started to draw, check, rework, rinse and repeat. I'm going to try using 360 degrees of a circle to line up everything instead, when in doubt use math :)

Thanks for the info bye the way

groovey
05-27-2014, 03:23 AM
Yes, I found it a pain too to make the lines "line up" and having to check each time on G. Projector, so what I did was create a layer with a simple 100% straight line cutting through the whole image, and then I'd place the straight line where I felt I wanted the two points meet, so I would have a visual guide to know where the lines in both sides had to end to meet in the projection. It made it much easier.

ascanius
05-27-2014, 09:26 AM
Ok I redid the entire map and fixed the poles. It looks weird drawing long horizontal lines at the poles while keeping the shapes globular nearer the equator. I think I got a nice shaped plates, I hope.

below are 6 images showing 360 degrees, along with 90 degrees of the poles.

starting at 0 degrees latitude going to 270 degrees
64441644446444564446

The poles starting with the north first then south second.
6444264443

Lastly the flat projection with divergent boundaries and one with the general plate movements.
6444764448

Now I have a few questions. there are three areas I am unsure about, areas A,B, and plate 15. I read this and subsequent posts http://www.cartographersguild.com/regional-world-mapping/27111-wip-unnamed-earh-like-planet-2.html which leads me to believe such things are possible, maybe not with plate 15. But I don't know if these spots are in fact possible nor am I sure what would be happening here if they were. Area B also assumes that a divergent boundary can form along continental crust which I don't know if it is possible. With plate 15 I don't know what would be happening here, what would be the general direction much less if it is possible to have divergent boundaries along two opposite sides of continental crust. It would seem that the plate would get squished. I think most of this is easily changed so no worries if I'm being unrealistic.

Also do you think there is a good mix of sizes small medium and big.

Thanks for all the help and advice.

Edit: Is it possible to change the thread title to WIP -unnamed fantasy world? Or should I just start a new thread?

Pixie
05-27-2014, 12:48 PM
From where I stand, your plate movements seem quite ok. But I wonder how you will turn this 100% continental/100% oceanic crust system into a land map - that will be the key. Size wise the map is nice too, although I think you don't need so many ridges and trenches in the middle of the central ocean - but maybe that was the only way to make it work. As for areas A and B, I think you can get away with it, as long as you place the adequate indonesian / caribbean archipelagos as well as some arc-chains.

Some parts of your map will be interesting, like the huge transform line between plates 8 and 19 and large archipelago on area A. On the other side, are you sure about having the western boundary of plate 15 being a divergent one? - everything around it points to be a place of subduction of oceanic crust.

groovey
05-28-2014, 07:50 AM
From what I understand, to change the name of the thread you have to ask a Community Leader, like - Max - (http://www.cartographersguild.com/members/-+max+-.html), for example. In my case I sent a PM to Max, precisely, to change it, but I see sometimes if they see a request like yours in a post they do it too. For quicker results I'd just ask a Leader.

From my humble opinion: your plates look fine to me, they don't look forced or anything like that. Like Pixie, I'm very interested to see what the map will look like once you work on the land masses.

Also, you don't represent the plates rotation anymore? Just curious.

ascanius
05-28-2014, 12:30 PM
Ok I tweaked things a little and tried to make my landmasses into a puzzle, hope it worked. First I removed a few of the plates in the central ocean leaving a gigantic ocean plate in its stead. then I went and added landmass. This was tricky. The thing I found to work the best is to map out a single smallish continent. From there it was all about trying to imagine that continent as part of a whole. Working backwards gave me the basic shapes and locations of other landmasses based on plate movement with a good helping of artistic license.

First map is landmass w/plates
64487

The second shows how the continent broke up into what you see along with general mountain ranges (very general)
The dots show start and end points for the movement of a continent.
The arrows indicate direction.
Yellow indicates older plate/continent movement while red indicates newer movement.
Orange lines indicate newer mountain ranges while dark brown is older.
64488

Last image with labels.
64491

I don't know if the islands work especially areas B and C. the islands in B look, well cramped. With area C I'm not sure if I should increase the density or leave them as they are.
I tried to stay true to the term 'island arc' but getting them to create an arc became pointless after a while. I think I need to rework the islands but I'm not sure on a good mix of density and size.

Edit: Thanks Pixie and Groovy for the help and input.
Edit:Edit: @Groovey, I have a layer with the rotational directions and for the landmasses I used the rotation trick a little, mostly to give me a idea of where they should be located. I tried making one super-continent and the breaking it up with the rotate tool. It works but it got confusing which layer was for which continent. In the end I just free handed the continents and used the rotation tool to adjust things a little bit

groovey
05-29-2014, 04:27 AM
If you are even interested in a honest but mostly visual appreciation, because Pixie is the expert who would know what and what not would be plausible, I'd say that the density of islands in those areas you mention (and area A too) is a bit overwhelming perhaps? Specially in area B. In area A there are a lot too, but are least they are more spread around. I like area C a lot better. So my personal non-expert opinion is that less is more in this case.

Akubra
05-29-2014, 05:06 AM
Great maps ascanius!

I agree with groovey concerning the visual aspect. What I try to do is look at existing island arcs / archipelagoes on Earth (e.g. Indonesia (http://images.nationmaster.com/images/motw/middle_east_and_asia/indonesia_rel98.jpg), Vanuatu (http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/oceania/lgcolor/vucolor.htm), Aleutian Islands (http://images.summitpost.org/original/817299.jpg)) and mimic the placement of the islands. Looking at the contour lines on a topographic map of a small mountain or hill range can also help in figuring out the islands' possible locations.

If the island group feels too "packed" you can also delete a few randomly chosen islands, or spread them out a little.

Cheers - Akubra

Pixie
05-29-2014, 02:17 PM
Yeah, I'm with you fellows on this one. Way too many islands, ascanius. Use google maps satellite view to get a better view of island-arcs. Also, the islands formed by subduction almost always line up neatly and most of the times, the trenches are so deep that only a few volcanoes manage to reach above-sea level. These very small islands will barely show in a map like this one (look for the Marianas trench or Tonga trench to see good examples of this).

ascanius
05-31-2014, 05:27 AM
Hey everyone. Here is an update based on all the great information and advice you guys posted, and blatant plagiarism of good ideas.
First I redid the plate tectonics plagiarizing Akubra's idea, ok took inspiration for it was inspiring. From my perspective the tectonics work and I'm hoping with the positioning of the boundaries the relative rotation of the plates is visible. There is only two things I don't like about how I ave the tectonics set up and those are. 1. I have the divergent boundaries on the eastern hemisphere forming a giant circle. I would prefer to have this broken up and thought of making the southern convergent boundary a divergent one instead but then the boundary looked like a wave function and I didn't like that either. 2. The south western continent I wasn't sure if such a divergent boundary is possible, and it begs the question about what happens when a plate is squished between two parallel divergent boundaries. I may change this don't know yet.

From there I adjusted the position and shaping of my landmasses. This took a while because I cut out each landmass and pasted it to it's own layer. After that I brought the pieces together into one giant landmass and readjusted the basic shape so they fit together. Then I mapped out a general path and initial rotation. Finally I brought the continent to their current position made the coastlines more realistic (I hope, I tried to take into account past influencing factors along with the tectonic boundaries in the area, so long smooth coastlines along divergent boundaries or where little tectonic interaction plays it's part.) and adjusted the convergent boundaries to fit the new coastlines and hopefully demonstrate rotation.

I've noticed that fitting my continents together and breaking them back up helped me understand the plate tectonics better and helped with the landmass shape. If/when I make other world map in the future I think I am going to simply start with a single super continent and then break it up into different tectonic plates and map past movement to the positions I want it. It's handy because it also shows you where old mountain ranges are and old land formations and islands that wouldn't necessarily exist through the tectonic or landforms first method.

Lastly I added islands. There are a few areas that I am going to redo, mostly the eastern portion of the northwestern continent the islands are too dense, too big or both. There is one area (sadly I forgot to label) east of the northwestern continent that I need to fix so it doesn't look like a circle of islands, it looks weird. I've redone this area a bunch of times yet it always looks circular. I'm thinking of leaving maybe one or two. There are still a few areas that need islands, these are going to be the older islands of past tectonic convergent boundaries that may not exist at present. Mostly these old islands are along the western coasts of the two western continents, and along the south eastern coast. In some areas I will probably split them to either side of the divergent boundary.

Red: divergent boundaries.
Blue: subduction boundaries.
Purple: convergent boundaries.
Green: Transform boundaries.
6458164582

One thing. In the northeastern section I have three narrow plates stacked against each other. My reasoning is due to past position of the plates and the super-continent a divergent fault snaked it's way partially into a single plate in that area creating three different plates. More recently the divergent boundary is shifted north and the resulting pressure from the western to northern divergent boundary has caused fracturing due to stress and and plate movement. Think it works?

Akubra
05-31-2014, 08:32 AM
Great work ascanius. Some rep coming your way soon!

My thoughts:

It's interesting to see the way you have spread out the fault lines on the map, creating a rich variation of huge plates, tiny ones and some in between. I like it a lot.
I see what you mean about the giant circle of diverging boundaries. Looking at it as an outsider, it doesn't really startle me. As the crust is thinner along that boundary you could even have a ring of fire - mostly under water, granted, but a few volcanoes could pop up above the waterline on that perimeter. On the other hand, if you don't like it, then by all means follow your thoughts.
I found out that assigning a relative velocity to each plate helped me a lot in determining the way the plates interact and what type of boundaries they have.
As far as I understand it, in a subduction zone islands are formed on the plate that stays on top. It seems that your islands are on the wrong side of the faults as you have drawn them. I try to remember it by imagining the triangles as mountains, and the side of the triangles/mountains is the highest.
I also see that some fault lines stop and don't connect to other fault lines. Some examples: the diverging fault in the north of the southwestern continent, another diverging fault in the north of the northwestern continent, and both a converging and diverging fault in the northeast of the eastern continent. Any idea where they're going, or haven't you made up your mind up yet?

Anyway, hope this helps.

Cheers - Akubra

ascanius
05-31-2014, 06:57 PM
Great work ascanius. Some rep coming your way soon!

My thoughts:

It's interesting to see the way you have spread out the fault lines on the map, creating a rich variation of huge plates, tiny ones and some in between. I like it a lot.
I see what you mean about the giant circle of diverging boundaries. Looking at it as an outsider, it doesn't really startle me. As the crust is thinner along that boundary you could even have a ring of fire - mostly under water, granted, but a few volcanoes could pop up above the waterline on that perimeter. On the other hand, if you don't like it, then by all means follow your thoughts.
I found out that assigning a relative velocity to each plate helped me a lot in determining the way the plates interact and what type of boundaries they have.
As far as I understand it, in a subduction zone islands are formed on the plate that stays on top. It seems that your islands are on the wrong side of the faults as you have drawn them. I try to remember it by imagining the triangles as mountains, and the side of the triangles/mountains is the highest.
I also see that some fault lines stop and don't connect to other fault lines. Some examples: the diverging fault in the north of the southwestern continent, another diverging fault in the north of the northwestern continent, and both a converging and diverging fault in the northeast of the eastern continent. Any idea where they're going, or haven't you made up your mind up yet?

Anyway, hope this helps.

Cheers - Akubra

Thanks Akubra, I was hoping that this version would turn out better seeing as I put more thought into it.

Lol, I though it was the other way around with the triangles, circles in my case, indicating which plate is sliding under while the part without the indications was the one on top. I'll have to remember the mountain as triangles. Though I'm not looking forward to changing this.

As to the fault lines that don't connect in some spots like the north east I forgot. the spot in the south west I am debating on what to do with it.

Ascanius.

Pixie
06-01-2014, 10:56 AM
Hi ascanius.

Nice map and steady heading in the right direction, but there's one key thing about your text and map that makes me itch a little bit. (Now, as always, I am inclined towards accuracy and plausibility and you are free to ignore my ramblings and fantasize at will) . You seem to think of the continents as pieces of crust floating atop a sea of ocean floor, and that makes your placing of ocean ridges much less plausible and actually harder.

Have a look at this map (http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/ocean_age/data/2008/image/age_oceanic_lith.jpg). Do you think a similar map could be drawn given your mid-ocean boundaries? Not that you need to do it, but I'm trying to show that the placing of the oceanic ridge in the east (instead of roughly centered) is difficult to explain.
You could perhaps, instead of moving the boundary to the middle, create a second divergent zone in the west. And then, between the two, a deep ocean trench (which, for any purposes, would give a lovely set of very-far-away-volcanic-islands-at-temperate-conditions).

There's a second region where this inconsistency happens - the northeastern ocean. I don't know if you ever heard/read about the Wilson Cycle, but if you doing your tectonics from a "Pangaea to present" point of view, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a look at it.

groovey
06-02-2014, 10:09 AM
I agree great work!

The land masses look great, especially the western part of the map, they feel really organic to me. I also love the tectonic map, looks great too, quite appealing, and I think I'll "borrow" your idea of using circles instead of triangles to indicate subduction, because those triangles are a pain in the butt to place, one by one, and to edit, with the circles it'll be a breeze.

So keep up the good work, it's turning out great.

I think it's awesome that according to Akubra you get to have a ring of fire, I'm so jealous. I'm also very tempted to use his suggestions of adding relative velocity, while doing the boundaries I sometimes doubted which type of boundary would prevail, and I think the velocity would have helped, just as he said. Did you (ascanius) also have doubts with some boundaries? If so, how did you decide on the type of boundary?

About the triangles, Pixie told me not long ago that they point INTO/under which plate subduction occurs, as ascanius thought, so the side without triangles actually gets "eaten" (into) by the side with the triangles, but maybe I understood wrong. EDIT: just realized, by looking at Akubra's tectonic map with islands, that we both actually agree after all, I mean, that we have the same understanding of what the triangles point into, but I guess I got confused with the explanations.

And Pixie, nice observation about ocean ridges, now looking at mine, haven't I sinned just like ascanius? Mine isn't too centred on the north and south really.

Sorry for making reference to my stuff or doubts. I wasn't very sure if I should make the questions here or in my own thread, but since they are related to ascanius map... I wasn't sure.

Am I the only one incredibly impatient to see how all of our maps (what are we, 4 of us by now currently doing this type of work?) will look like finished, with terrain and texture and all?

ascanius
06-05-2014, 10:36 AM
Hi ascanius.

Nice map and steady heading in the right direction, but there's one key thing about your text and map that makes me itch a little bit. (Now, as always, I am inclined towards accuracy and plausibility and you are free to ignore my ramblings and fantasize at will) . You seem to think of the continents as pieces of crust floating atop a sea of ocean floor, and that makes your placing of ocean ridges much less plausible and actually harder.

Have a look at this map (http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/ocean_age/data/2008/image/age_oceanic_lith.jpg). Do you think a similar map could be drawn given your mid-ocean boundaries? Not that you need to do it, but I'm trying to show that the placing of the oceanic ridge in the east (instead of roughly centered) is difficult to explain.
You could perhaps, instead of moving the boundary to the middle, create a second divergent zone in the west. And then, between the two, a deep ocean trench (which, for any purposes, would give a lovely set of very-far-away-volcanic-islands-at-temperate-conditions).

There's a second region where this inconsistency happens - the northeastern ocean. I don't know if you ever heard/read about the Wilson Cycle, but if you doing your tectonics from a "Pangaea to present" point of view, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a look at it.

Pixie I hate you. I'm kidding of course. I see your point though and looking at the Wilson cycle I see that very little of what I have is explainable, even after corrections. You have lead me down what I fear to be a dark path. Even to the point I'm trying to map everything on GPlates (http://www.gplates.org/). Steep learning curve but, if and when I have the time an patience to learn how to map everything I hope it will be worth the effort. Thanks for the help though, I've made corrections need to see what you think. Anyway here a tutorial I found on using Gplates for world building Using gplates for Realistic Worldbuilding | Astrographer (http://astrographer.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/using-gplates-for-realistic-worldbuilding/), I haven't looked it over yet but he seems to be able to get farther than I have so hopefully it is worth looking over.

Edit: I looked over the tutorial and followed along it works well until I try to create a rotation file in a text editor. For what ever reason I am unable to create the adequate *.ROT file and get it to work. Maybe someone else will have better luck.
Edit: Got it to work it's actually pretty cool.

I actually tried to make an age map like the one you linked, I was going to post it with the corrections to see what you thought but I managed to crash the Gimp and lost the work. I never learn, save, save, backup.....

I agree great work!

The land masses look great, especially the western part of the map, they feel really organic to me. I also love the tectonic map, looks great too, quite appealing, and I think I'll "borrow" your idea of using circles instead of triangles to indicate subduction, because those triangles are a pain in the butt to place, one by one, and to edit, with the circles it'll be a breeze.

So keep up the good work, it's turning out great.

I think it's awesome that according to Akubra you get to have a ring of fire, I'm so jealous. I'm also very tempted to use his suggestions of adding relative velocity, while doing the boundaries I sometimes doubted which type of boundary would prevail, and I think the velocity would have helped, just as he said. Did you (ascanius) also have doubts with some boundaries? If so, how did you decide on the type of boundary?

About the triangles, Pixie told me not long ago that they point INTO/under which plate subduction occurs, as ascanius thought, so the side without triangles actually gets "eaten" (into) by the side with the triangles, but maybe I understood wrong. EDIT: just realized, by looking at Akubra's tectonic map with islands, that we both actually agree after all, I mean, that we have the same understanding of what the triangles point into, but I guess I got confused with the explanations.

And Pixie, nice observation about ocean ridges, now looking at mine, haven't I sinned just like ascanius? Mine isn't too centred on the north and south really.

Sorry for making reference to my stuff or doubts. I wasn't very sure if I should make the questions here or in my own thread, but since they are related to ascanius map... I wasn't sure.

Am I the only one incredibly impatient to see how all of our maps (what are we, 4 of us by now currently doing this type of work?) will look like finished, with terrain and texture and all?

Thanks Groovey, I don't mind the references to your stuff, it helps point out things we do right and those we do wrong. Glad you liked the map.

now to the corrections.

64720

A. I moved the divergent boundary west.
B. I added a divergent boundary in the middle of the ocean I am not sure what I should do with the northern tip, I thought of bringin right up into that cleft, the arrow with the question, but I am unsure.
C. I removed the jutting portion of the continent and lowered the divergent boundary.
D. I'm not sure if I should lower this section or not.
E. Should this plate be extended east more, or is it ok the way it is.

Did I make any new mistakes? lol, only way to learn right!

Well what do you guys think. And thanks for the input guys.

Ascanius.

Pixie
06-05-2014, 07:45 PM
I'll have to have a look at G Plates - looks like a great tool. As for the dark path - the force is strong down that way and I assure you there's light at the end ;) There are great tectonically-aware maps popping up in the guild - groovey's, akubra's, yours.

- the divergent boundaries are better placed, but you have to consider the same reasoning when placing the subduction between the two oceanic plates that are converging. The one that is "sinking" should be disappearing, hence, should be narrower. Also, keep in mind that oldest oceanic crust goes under, younger stays atop.
- it isn't necessary to continue that divergent line into the continent, you can consider that the continental plate moving southwards is "covering" that magma source - but you can continue it if you like, that sort-of-peninsula could pass for a breakaway "craton".
- zone A still doesn't convince me.
- for zone C (and overall, for the plate over the south pole) I really recommend that you make a stereographic projection of the zone and try groovey's technique of having a semi-transparent layer on top of it rotating. Plate movement close to the poles is hard to visualize.
- mini-continent E should be as far from the divergent line as much as the large continent to the west, assuming that is a breakaway plate. On its east boundary, however, there's no reason to have such a wide front of oceanic crust. Either you make the east boundary close to the land mass or you keep it where it is and you add a big underwater continental area, with a mature island-arc at its limit.

Overall, ascarius, great improvements, but I wonder how it will look if you use g plates. kudos for finding that gem! ;)

su_liam
06-06-2014, 07:20 PM
Hi. That was my awful blog.
I'm glad to see you got that rot-file working. It took me a few errors to get it working myself.
The most likely problem is that you need at least to lines for each plateid. One for the initial time and one for the final time.
Positions are interpolated, but gplates can't extrapolate. Neat thing is that gplates will automagically create new lines when you move plates around.
I tried to be pretty thorough(boring, longwinded, dull as slow-moving brown mud), but if I missed anything, questions could help.

ascanius
06-08-2014, 03:51 PM
I'll have to have a look at G Plates - looks like a great tool. As for the dark path - the force is strong down that way and I assure you there's light at the end ;) There are great tectonically-aware maps popping up in the guild - groovey's, akubra's, yours.

- the divergent boundaries are better placed, but you have to consider the same reasoning when placing the subduction between the two oceanic plates that are converging. The one that is "sinking" should be disappearing, hence, should be narrower. Also, keep in mind that oldest oceanic crust goes under, younger stays atop.
- it isn't necessary to continue that divergent line into the continent, you can consider that the continental plate moving southwards is "covering" that magma source - but you can continue it if you like, that sort-of-peninsula could pass for a breakaway "craton".
- zone A still doesn't convince me.
- for zone C (and overall, for the plate over the south pole) I really recommend that you make a stereographic projection of the zone and try groovey's technique of having a semi-transparent layer on top of it rotating. Plate movement close to the poles is hard to visualize.
- mini-continent E should be as far from the divergent line as much as the large continent to the west, assuming that is a breakaway plate. On its east boundary, however, there's no reason to have such a wide front of oceanic crust. Either you make the east boundary close to the land mass or you keep it where it is and you add a big underwater continental area, with a mature island-arc at its limit.

Overall, ascarius, great improvements, but I wonder how it will look if you use g plates. kudos for finding that gem! ;)

Hey Pixie, Thanks for your help. Sadly I've been trying to figure out gplates..... and well I've got a whole new map. It's a really interesting program, don't know if you've checked it out yet but I say give it a try. Hopefully if I'm not too busy stop wasting time a get the above map on gplates and see how it works. I will say the Euler poles on gplates works really well, you can get a lot of different results by using a pole that I never would have thought of. Got some screenshots of what I've done in gplates so far. I've noticed that by doing a time progression you can figure out really well where islands are even those left over from previous plate interactions that are no longer there.

150M yrs ago .
64801

169 M yrs ago showing a oceanic ridge(s) and corresponding plates.
64802

140 Ma yrs ago same area
64804

Ok now I'm done playing back to work

Hi. That was my awful blog.
I'm glad to see you got that rot-file working. It took me a few errors to get it working myself.
The most likely problem is that you need at least to lines for each plateid. One for the initial time and one for the final time.
Positions are interpolated, but gplates can't extrapolate. Neat thing is that gplates will automagically create new lines when you move plates around.
I tried to be pretty thorough(boring, longwinded, dull as slow-moving brown mud), but if I missed anything, questions could help.

My compliments on the tutorial, your blog helped a ton. The problem I was having with the rot files was a simple one. My text editor deemed rot extensions beneath it's lofty notice and was adamant about deciding which extension to use. In the end I used the humble notepad.

Not sure if you know but in the latest version of gplates you can now create and modify the rot file in the program without having to use a text editor, very handy. Do you know if it matters if you save a feature as unkown or fault or coastline? So far it doesn't seem to change anything.

Edit: No idea where that thumbnail came from.

groovey
06-09-2014, 06:25 AM
Wow, this stuff with GPlates is miles away from my comprehension, too complex for me to even try it, but it's blowing my mind a little, I can't believe a software that does this stuff exists, it's wonderful.

Can't wait to see more of your experiments with it and how will all translate to your new map.

About thumbnails, that happens to me when I load an image and then I delete it for whatever the reason. What I do is "Edit" the post and then "Go Advanced", then scroll down a bit to "Manage Attachments", click that button and it will lead you to a window where in the bottom it shows the images attached to the post. If you stop your cursor over the one you want to delete, in your case, the one attached below your post, you'll see on the right corner of the image an "x" appears, and clicking that deletes it.

ascanius
06-09-2014, 09:30 AM
Thanks groovey got rid of the thumbnail. The only problem with gplates is there is a learning curve and its very time consuming. What I do like however is that running 8 plate movements through time I'm starting to see the logical places where plates will form along with the places that simply don't make sense. I've had to delete a few plates already because there was no explanation on they formed. They looked good at the beginning and they made sense but once I simulated the movements of the plates I realized they're location and movement was impossible. It's a nifty program if I was confident in my python programing I would totally create an extension that simplifies things a ton.

Edit: Does anyone know if it's possible for two plates to fuse into one?

Pixie
06-09-2014, 07:09 PM
Yes, plates fuse (and then re-detach sometimes) all the time. The places where they fuse are called "sutures" and normally mountain ranges are left as remnants of the period of fusing. The Urals are one example, the Carpathians another.

ascanius
06-10-2014, 12:51 PM
Thanks Pixie, I thought it was possible but I wasn't sure. In the end I scrapped the idea of fusing two plates and left an area as it was, still not sure if it worked.

Here is the final result, hopefully. Getting the hundreds of line on gplates organized and figured out then exported to gimp took hours. The map is basic, taken from orthonographic projection so it looks skewed but on a globe it looks much better.

64850

I don't know I'm not too convinced with how it turned out. Plate 4 was originally part of plate 2 but I couldn't think of a way that it could still be attached by that little sliver between plate 1 and 6 so I broke it up. Though now I have no idea how it is moving nor where what type of boundaries it has it is the same age more or less as plate one, plate 6 is younger. So by my thinking plate 4 should be subducted beneath plate 6 and 8. But that leaves the boundary with plate 1 and I'm at a loss.

Plate 15 and 13 were originally one plate but the continent on plate 14 broke it in two. This is one of the areas I was having trouble with. In a few spots I had a divergent boundary form on a continental plate (underwater) then later (about 100 M yrs) the continental plate would push towards the divergent boundary. As an example: Plate 13 and 15 were part of plate 14 which was moving away from the divergent boundary. Later due to movements of on the other side of plate 14 it got pushed back towards the divergent boundary. I really didn't want go back and redo half the work I already did so I decided that plate 14 broke into that of plate 13 and 15 and the heavier (older) portions of plate 14 sank beneath the lighter (younger) plate of 13 and 15 until the continent neared the boundary and broke them into plates 13 and 15. I did the same thing with plates 6 and 2.

Then there is the zone including plates 5, 16 and 17. originally the way I had plate 5 moving it sheared across plate 16 and due to it's rotation pulled away from plate 16 leaving an empty space where there was no plate what so ever, that I knew was impossible. I redid this area 3 times and finally decided to tweak the direction a little added a new plate that ends up being completely subducted by plate 14 (yeah about an hour of pointless work) then added another plate 17 to fix the problem. The main thing about these plates was I was trying to not do what I did with plates 15, 13 and 14 above. plate 5 already has very little plate wise and is mostly continent, originally the entire east coast of plate 5 was a boundary thought it would be better if I didn't have a floating continent, yet the end result is not much better.

here are two images from gplates
time 0.0
64851

time 30 M yrs ago
64852

su_liam
06-12-2014, 03:42 PM
Hey Pixie, Thanks for your help. Sadly I've been trying to figure out gplates..... and well I've got a whole new map.

A new map is a good thing!

It's a really interesting program, don't know if you've checked it out yet but I say give it a try.

I concur.

My compliments on the tutorial, your blog helped a ton. The problem I was having with the rot files was a simple one. My text editor deemed rot extensions beneath it's lofty notice and was adamant about deciding which extension to use. In the end I used the humble notepad.

Not sure if you know but in the latest version of gplates you can now create and modify the rot file in the program without having to use a text editor, very handy. Do you know if it matters if you save a feature as unkown or fault or coastline? So far it doesn't seem to change anything.

There are a few things like poles or motion paths that have specifically implemented behaviors, but most things are merely informational for the user. That's not to say special behaviors might not be implemented in future versions...

I've had to delete a few plates already because there was no explanation on they formed. They looked good at the beginning and they made sense but once I simulated the movements of the plates I realized they're location and movement was impossible.

How so? There are quite a few seemingly impossible things that crop up, even in animations of real-world tectonic motions. Continents overrunning each other and the like. These could be artifacts of the interpolation or lack of sufficient temporal resolution at critical times when plates are sliding past each other. It could also be unremarked events where small fragments of continental crust sutured together after the close pass. Could also be continental fragments that broke off of one or the other plate in the encounter. The occasional weird, hard to explain event is part of the fun, and pretty realistic. Delete most of them, if there are a lot, but leave one or two, and try to work out an explanation. Now try to figure out how your explanation would effect the terrain.

It's a nifty program if I was confident in my python programing I would totally create an extension that simplifies things a ton.

What sort of extension are you looking at? Tectonic autogeneration of terrain has been done, but there's definitely room for improvement. Carl Davidson has a nice web app in javascript to simulate tectonic motion on a sphere, here (http://davidson16807.github.io/tectonics.js/). It takes a pretty high-end browser, because it takes advantage of WebGL for client-side processing. Not perfect, but the best of the lot. I know of a couple of similar python apps. One (http://pytectonics.sourceforge.net/index.shtml), by the same author as the previous app, is understandably very similar in approach, but it uses python, which you might find instructive. Another (http://baseballn00b.blogspot.com/2013/02/geologeez-nutz.html), also in python, uses a somewhat different approach, which might be similarly instructive. It also looks like, in some ways, a more interesting approach.

I can't vouch for the python apps, 'cause both of them fail on my computer for one reason or another. YMMV. Tectonics.js, clearly, isn't in python, but it works pretty well, and the javascript code with some glsl mixed in should still be pretty useful to peruse. GLSL is a lot like C(surprise!) and much of js is somewhat similar to python.

I'm not real versed in js or opengl, but I have been able to get a slightly modified version working on localhost. Fun...?

Edit: Does anyone know if it's possible for two plates to fuse into one?
As has already been mentioned, yup. They also split apart again. Not necessarily along the same lines. Laurasia and Gondwana fused to become Pangaea. Pangaea went on to fission into the current collection of continents. North America used to be part of Laurasia along with Europe, and South America used to be connected to Africa as part of Gondwana. India, Australia and Antarctica also used to be part of Gondwana, and India is now fusing with Asia, a former part of Laurasia. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.

Edit:
This thing took several hours to write overnight and when I posted it, it disappeared into expired token hell.
Hopefully this version managed to cover everything I originally wrote, but I doubt if it's half as clear or informative. My apologies if this is a confusing hash. I really need to start writing my posts offline in TextEdit...

ascanius
06-13-2014, 07:49 AM
How so? There are quite a few seemingly impossible things that crop up, even in animations of real-world tectonic motions. Continents overrunning each other and the like. These could be artifacts of the interpolation or lack of sufficient temporal resolution at critical times when plates are sliding past each other. It could also be unremarked events where small fragments of continental crust sutured together after the close pass. Could also be continental fragments that broke off of one or the other plate in the encounter. The occasional weird, hard to explain event is part of the fun, and pretty realistic. Delete most of them, if there are a lot, but leave one or two, and try to work out an explanation. Now try to figure out how your explanation would effect the terrain.

Maybe not impossible but more problematic. In one case I had a plate cut across the divergent boundary of another. This posed a problem because I needed that divergent boundary to explain the plate motion. In the end I deleted the plate and added two smaller ones in it's stead. One of which disappears.

What sort of extension are you looking at? Tectonic autogeneration of terrain has been done, but there's definitely room for improvement. Carl Davidson has a nice web app in javascript to simulate tectonic motion on a sphere, here (http://davidson16807.github.io/tectonics.js/). It takes a pretty high-end browser, because it takes advantage of WebGL for client-side processing. Not perfect, but the best of the lot. I know of a couple of similar python apps. One (http://pytectonics.sourceforge.net/index.shtml), by the same author as the previous app, is understandably very similar in approach, but it uses python, which you might find instructive. Another (http://baseballn00b.blogspot.com/2013/02/geologeez-nutz.html), also in python, uses a somewhat different approach, which might be similarly instructive. It also looks like, in some ways, a more interesting approach.

Thanks I wasn't aware of these. I checked them out and gonna have to play around with a few and see what I can come up with.

As has already been mentioned, yup. They also split apart again. Not necessarily along the same lines. Laurasia and Gondwana fused to become Pangaea. Pangaea went on to fission into the current collection of continents. North America used to be part of Laurasia along with Europe, and South America used to be connected to Africa as part of Gondwana. India, Australia and Antarctica also used to be part of Gondwana, and India is now fusing with Asia, a former part of Laurasia. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.

I added two suture zones one I very large and long the other smaller. Hope I didn't over do it.

Edit:
This thing took several hours to write overnight and when I posted it, it disappeared into expired token hell.
Hopefully this version managed to cover everything I originally wrote, but I doubt if it's half as clear or informative. My apologies if this is a confusing hash. I really need to start writing my posts offline in TextEdit...

LOL. Happens to me all the time, I've gotten very good at copying the message before I press submit reply.....Like it just happened now.

Now here is my latest tectonic map with the continents. I haven't yet placed most island chains and I need to tweak the coastlines a bit and reduce the number of islands in some areas. Overall I am pleased there are a few things I might change but I'm going to try to keep this without doing any major changes unless needed.

Blue= subduction, side with the circles is the one being subducted, I still get this confused.
Red= divergent
Greed= transform
Purple= convergent

64905

I tried to give a general idea of the plate rotation with the curved arrows. What do you guys think?

su_liam
06-13-2014, 04:44 PM
I've been pretty good about copying posts before I send them out. A habit I picked up from making monster posts on word press :). Unfortunately, I've been forgetful, lately. I had to redo the last third of my last blog post, too :oops:. Early-onset dementia, I guess...

One thing that didn't survive my lost post was an idea for a python extension to gplates that would be very welcome. If you could feed in an existing Euler Rotation along with a bearing, distance and rotation on the surface as a delta. it could output a new Euler Rotation. This could be implemented either as an extension to gplates or as an offline app. Bonus points if it can read in a file with a series of rows with times, step distances, bearings and rotations along with plate ids and output a rot-file. More bonus points if it could be used to extend an existing rot-file!

I have a few observations on your map, if you're interested.

Plate 4 appears to be a dying remnant plate. RIP. Should probably be surrounded by island arcs.

The boundary between 1 and 3. Mid-ocean ridge converts into a subduction trench? That seems a little dubious. The boundary between 5 and 3 is similar.

26. I like this little plate, but should its southeast boundary be convergent? I'm just not sure.

It seems like 13, 15 and 16 were formerly a single large plate that is being devoured by plate 14 with some help from 18. I like this, it gives a feeling of history...

The ocean boundary between 2 and 6 seems like it should be transform.

Generally, I think you need more island(or seamount) production on the overthrusting slab of subduction boundaries. Like the ones surrounding plate 4...

ascanius
06-14-2014, 07:30 AM
I've been pretty good about copying posts before I send them out. A habit I picked up from making monster posts on word press :). Unfortunately, I've been forgetful, lately. I had to redo the last third of my last blog post, too :oops:. Early-onset dementia, I guess...

Lol, do sudoku.

One thing that didn't survive my lost post was an idea for a python extension to gplates that would be very welcome. If you could feed in an existing Euler Rotation along with a bearing, distance and rotation on the surface as a delta. it could output a new Euler Rotation. This could be implemented either as an extension to gplates or as an offline app. Bonus points if it can read in a file with a series of rows with times, step distances, bearings and rotations along with plate ids and output a rot-file. More bonus points if it could be used to extend an existing rot-file!

I don't understand what you mean. Do you mean taking the change in plate vector at time initial and time x to get the vector of time y? Or do you mean to use the change in rate to extrapolate plate vectors? Or I think this is what you mean, take the change of vectors over time to calculate the euler pole that would be used, instead of having to set it yourself. I do agree that would be continent. I would need to really brush up on my trig to do the last one.

I have a few observations on your map, if you're interested.

Plate 4 appears to be a dying remnant plate. RIP. Should probably be surrounded by island arcs.

The boundary between 1 and 3. Mid-ocean ridge converts into a subduction trench? That seems a little dubious. The boundary between 5 and 3 is similar.

Time for interesting explanations. I did the plates in gplate and what happened is plate 1 and 3 split apart and that divergent boundary ran down to plate 11. Do to the plate rotation, mostly the rate at which new crust is being along the eastern divergent boundary between 1 and 3, the two plates are pushed back together at that subduction zone. That divergent boundary is slowly being closed. With 5 and 3 you get the same thing along the northern portion the plates are pushing together in such a way to close the divergent boundary. Whether or not it works I don't know, I'll have to take a look at it and see if I can find a better solution.

26. I like this little plate, but should its southeast boundary be convergent? I'm just not sure.

With plate 26, because it doesn't have a divergent boundary anywhere I have do idea which direction it would be going. I sorta just drew an arrow and forgot to go back and see how it works. I was thinking of averaging the direction of plates seven and three for the direction of 26. Or maybe have a more westward direction? I mean there is a lot of land mass pushing it more westerly and much less pushing it to the north so maybe matching direction with 3 would make the most sense.

It seems like 13, 15 and 16 were formerly a single large plate that is being devoured by plate 14 with some help from 18. I like this, it gives a feeling of history...

Thanks, happened entirely by accident. However if you look closely plate 11 is doing the same with 8 and 9, while plate 3 is doing the same with plates 7 and 9. I'll be honest and say that these were by accident. In gplates I noticed that I had two voids where plates 8,12,7,9 were and realized I needed a divergent boundary somewhere along there.

The ocean boundary between 2 and 6 seems like it should be transform.

For this I wasn't sure what to put. I think I'm going to go back and create a mix. Plate 6 is moving at a faster rate then plate 2 so I think it would offset the transform boundary. hmmmm. That or changed the general direction of plate 6.

Thanks for the help, gonna go back and see what I can do to fix these problem areas.

I'm having trouble getting the map to upload I'll try again later.

Pixie
06-16-2014, 05:11 AM
Hey, great improvements - looks like g.plates provided you with a really successful crash course on tectonics.

Apart from the occasional divergent-oceanic-boundary-turns-into-subduction-area which is impossible to explain, everything looks fine and plausible and you have a wealth of unique geographical places, like the northern side of plate 14 (it seems like a boundary where trench rollback has been "rolling back" for millions of years, or like the micro plates 21 to 24, where it really feels like there used to be a plate there but it's just cracking up into pieces, or like the probably very important for trade strait between 10 and 3.

Now, as for things I would do differently (but, please, consider all this with a pinch of salt, I'm no guru):
- reconfigure the microplate north of plate 5, where it meets plate 3 - it's ocean crust vs. ocean crust, so you can't have the plate on top shutting down the magma outflow; maybe one extra microplate, rotating, could fix it.
- review curvature of boundary between plates 2 and 6, make some changes on the type of boundary; it looks like it could be transform most of the lenghth.
- enlarge plate 7 a little bit to the north, and make those subduction boundaries more curved; or alternatively, break that southern tip of plate 1 away from the main body, it could be another "nearly dead" plate like 4 or it could be fueled by a northern divergent boundary (but almost magma depleted)

On a different subject, and I know this map of yours is still in draft form when it comes to looks. It took me a while to understand the colors at the coast (if I did) - my understanding is that you have two levels of underwater depth shown. Is this right? That gray isn't helping, as it is darker than the colors on either side.

groovey
06-16-2014, 05:18 AM
The coastlines and the shelves look yummy (doesn't the land mass under the nº3 remind anyone of a fish? Lovely).

The only thing I could make a minor issue of, is that the subduction circles are very small, even when you zoom in the image. As they are they get the job done to indicate the side of subduction, but only when zooming in.

I'm sorry to hear about your wrist, hope you get well really soon and can continue working. I hope it's nothing too serious.

Pixie
06-16-2014, 05:58 AM
The only thing I could make a minor issue of, is that the subduction circles are very small, even when you zoom in the image. As they are they get the job done to indicate the side of subduction, but only when zooming in.

I second this, larger circles (or triangles) would be better.

ascanius
06-25-2014, 03:56 AM
Hey everyone. Back in the game.

Ok here is the latest update.
65196

I drew tentative boundary for the area above plate five and adjusted the divergent boundary to the west of plate five, creating two micro-plates.
I corrected the direction of plate six to better reflect what I have in gplates. Not certain about having it a transform boundary seeing that plate six and two interact at a 90 degree angle for most of that boundary. Maybe along the southern portion I should change to transform.
I then removed the southern tips of plates 1 and 3 leaving in it's place a single plate with the island chain showing a suture zone, not sure this is possible between two oceanic plates though.
Lastly I increased the size of the subduction boundary circles though now that I look at it it doesn't seem like I increased them enough.

Pixie
06-25-2014, 06:20 AM
Well, it seems a few of us are back in the game (my busiest period at work is over, hurray!) :)

Jumping into your map, ascanius, like I said before, it's pretty damn good and you did a splendid job with g.plates, so all that remains to do is fine tuning the details. Some comments:
- I think the junction of plates 14/10/33 is beautiful, don't you dare change that. It will result in a fine mountain range with plenty of wrinkles.
- plates 31/32 could be the way you drafted them, just don't forget to put the divergent side of plate 32 on the other side of the map
- your central ocean is still a bit messy, and along with plate 16, there are a lot of places where it seems to be that you have subduction at the wrong places/directions (see below)
- interaction between plate 6 and 2 is fine as it is (subduction), but I'd place it a little further from the coastline.
- those former tips of plates 1 and 3 may have become a suture zone, yes, although it will probably erode and subduct with time (oceanic crust always gets recycled) - at its southern end, it should have already been "eaten" by plate 7.
- indeed, those circles need to get bigger ;)

Now, about ocean/ocean boundaries, let me revise an important mechanism that isn't clear on your map. I took a shot from the boundary 5/16 to use as example.
65197
Younger crust always imposes itself on the older oceanic crust. Whenever you have ocean vs ocean, you have to consider which of the sides is further away from its source (the divergent boundary) - this is the easiest way to do it, neglecting that spread rate differs from ridge to ridge.

65198
This is how I picture the boundary. The continuous "rolling back" of that trench would also probably create reasonably large volcanic islands close to the edge of plate 16, with both active and extinct volcanoes.
Further south, plate 5 still has fresh ocean crust being created, so, again, it would impose on plate 16.

There's a few other places I could use as examples as well. I think this is the one mechanism you still need a better grasp of. (Please don't take the "lecture" in the wrong way, I tend to be a mr.know.it.all and I know that can be annoying)

groovey
06-26-2014, 06:05 AM
Glad to hear from you again ascanius, I guess that means your wrist it's fine now, so that's good.

Again, I'm not of much help but I agree, the subduction circles are still a tad small. Perhaps it'd work better with a bit of less circles (more spaced), but bigger.

Pixie, I personally loved your last post, that factor had never even crossed my mind when doing mine, so it was really interesting and enlightening to learn about.

ascanius
06-26-2014, 10:54 AM
It's cool Pixie I appreciate the criticism it helps make a better map. I just hope that I didn't miss an area.
Yup Groovey the wrist is better. For whatever reason when me and my cousins get together one of us gets hurt, last time it included a trip to the ER.

Ok here is the latest update. Mostly I went back and changed the curvature of the subduction boundaries to reflect what Pixie mentioned in the last post. Hope I got all the spots. there are a few areas I wasn't sure about such as the eastern boundaries of 18 and 19 which I extended eastwards and rounded out the boundary so it is no longer a straight line. Not sure if I should do the same with the divergent boundary with plates 5 and 17.
The other area that I simply don't know what to do with is the area north of plate 5. I keep going back and forth and cannot decide if I should break it up into multiple plates with a new divergent boundary like I did in the previous post or should I just leave it the way it is? Or do you guys have any other ideas on what I should do with that spot.

One thing though. What happens to islands on a plate that is being subducted? Do they get subducted too, or do the islands sorta merge with the other plate?

And lastly I increased the size of the blasted circles. Out of curiosity what resolution and dimensions are you guys working with. I working with 600ppi at 20x10 inches or 12000x6000 pixels.

65241

65242

I also added a ocean currents map that I've been working on when the tectonic map stops making sense. It's still rough and I am going to change a few things and add smaller currents in the bays and seas. I'm hoping that I can call the plate tectonics finished after this post but let me know if there are still areas I need to fix. Thanks guys you've been a ton of help.

groovey
06-27-2014, 05:15 AM
What really caught my attention with your last version of the tectonic map is the side of subduction on oceanic/continental boundaries. For example 4/22.

As I understood, the whole "curvature of the boundary indicates the side of subduction" is for oceanic/oceanic, but for oceanic/continental, since in your case the boundaries are so close to the coast, wouldn't subduction circles point into the coastal side, what ever the curvature of the boundary with that coast is, since the continental side "eats" the oceanic side?

However, you can argue that those boundaries are not placed right in the line between the coast and the ocean so the boundary it's not really continental/oceanic, yet, but then what happens when the continental bit gets close to the subduction boundary, shouldn't then the "continental eats oceanic" occur? Then the subduction circles would have to change direction wouldn't they? Can they do that? I have no idea.

As you may know, I know nothing about currents, but visually it looks very neat.

My map is 60x30cm which is 7087x3543px, and 300ppi resolution, thought when it's time to export some finished maps I might increase the resolution. Your working file must be big with such high specs. Mine at one point was double its size, but then I realized in my case it didn't add much and only occupied more unnecessary space on the pen drive I save a back-up, so I increased the ppi resolution a bit instead.

Pixie
06-27-2014, 11:39 AM
Yeah, ascanius, althought your tectonics looks alright, your circles are in the wrong side - all of them.
Other than that, I think I would do a few things slightly differently, but mostly it's stuff on the placing of ocean/ocean subduction, so it doesn't really matter.

As for the currents, more than adding small currents on bays, add generic movement with a thicker brush. As it stands, it seems like most of the water is still except for some very rigid corridors. But! But you got all the currents correct so it depends whether you want a neat looking thing or not. You just forgot the south pole return current (East -> West)

ascanius
06-28-2014, 11:48 AM
What really caught my attention with your last version of the tectonic map is the side of subduction on oceanic/continental boundaries. For example 4/22.

Yeah, ascanius, althought your tectonics looks alright, your circles are in the wrong side - all of them.
Other than that, I think I would do a few things slightly differently, but mostly it's stuff on the placing of ocean/ocean subduction, so it doesn't really matter.

As for the currents, more than adding small currents on bays, add generic movement with a thicker brush. As it stands, it seems like most of the water is still except for some very rigid corridors. But! But you got all the currents correct so it depends whether you want a neat looking thing or not. You just forgot the south pole return current (East -> West)

hehe.....after burying my head in the sand I placed the circles on the correct side.

Does this mean I have the Pixie stamp of approval? Though I'm curious what it is that you would change. Otherwise right now I'm mostly trying to get major themes pinned down, tectonics, continents, currents etc. I'm going to go back later and recolor everything and fix things to fit the style once I have a better idea of what palette I want to use and how I want to do geological features.

One other thing? At what Latitude is the south pole return current? I kinda assumed at the poles the currents simply circulated.

Here is the redone tectonic map with corrected subduction boundaries.
65332

Next is a map showing the pressure belts and prevailing winds for July in the northern hemisphere.
I'll be honest this is a mess and there is a lot I am unsure about. I'm not really sure how the ITCZ behaves in the southern hemisphere along the equator. I know it is pushed northwards but I'm not sure about its southern limits in such a case. second the prevailing winds, I'm not sure how they act when situated along the south western continent, the way I have it leaves a long corridor going east across the ocean.

pressure belts
ITCZ greenish color mostly along the equator
STHZ reddish color
Polar front yellowish color.
winds
High pressure Red
Low pressure Blue.
65333

Edit: I just realized the prevailing winds for the north and south pole are wrong. there should be a single low pressure zone at the poles not the numerous ones I have. So the arrows in the Polar front are incorrect.

Pixie
06-28-2014, 05:56 PM
Does this mean I have the Pixie stamp of approval? Though I'm curious what it is that you would change.

I still spot a few regions that are inconsistent, mainly areas where the amount of ocean crust on both sides of a divergent boundary aren't equal without subduction to explain it. If I find the time, I might make a few quick captions to tell you where.
So, as for the stamp of approval - we all have my stamp of approval by now - your map, groovey's, akubra's. In your case it isn't 100% consistent, but it's way above 80%.

One other thing? At what Latitude is the south pole return current? I kinda assumed at the poles the currents simply circulated.

Currents are formed where the winds at surface are consistent. That's why you get currents westward at the equator and roughly at 60º to 70º (north/south) and currents eastward around 40º. All these are formed by dominant winds so you should have matching prevailing winds in these regions.

As for your map. Are you using my yet-unfinished tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/regional-world-mapping/27118-wip-sort-tutorial-climates-applying-geoffs-cookbook-detail-some.html)? Not to brag, but I think it could provide some help to resolve your issues.

ascanius
07-02-2014, 01:04 PM
Hey guys.

Thnx for the link pixie going to redo the currents and winds eventually. I think I have an idea of which areas are unsymmetrical, going to change them when I find the will power to do so.

Ive been working on figuring out how I want the finished map to look and am leaning towards a satalite view.
65441

I tried to get all three types of boundaries in along with tropical shorelines, and islands to see how they look. What do you guys think?

Pixie
07-02-2014, 03:03 PM
Amazing, ascanius, that oceanic ridge looks just right the real thing. Is it a hand-paint job? It looks like, with a sort of oil paint style.

ascanius
07-03-2014, 01:54 AM
Amazing, ascanius, that oceanic ridge looks just right the real thing. Is it a hand-paint job? It looks like, with a sort of oil paint style.

Thanks Pixie. Glad to hear it turned out well, took me forever to do that small little section mostly because it was experimental. I think I have it down well enough to reproduce in less time, I hope. Yup it's all done by hand, well as close to hand done as you can get with a computer and stylus.

groovey
07-04-2014, 08:10 AM
Damn! That ridge and the ocean surrounding it looks really good. It feels very realistic.

I can't wait to see, eventually, what the texture in the land will look like.

ascanius
07-04-2014, 07:02 PM
Thanks Groovey, trying to get it as close to the reference image as possible. Only problem is that it is very hard to get the ocean ridges to look the same.

Anyway here is the latest update. I'm really proud of the sea, took me forever.

65470

Schwarzkreuz
07-05-2014, 07:12 AM
Wellllllll. I think I was never close to this precission in calculating stuff. Most of the time I try to make things realistic but more from an intuitive point. But your progress is interesting to watch.

Chashio
07-05-2014, 07:43 PM
Fantastic detailing, ascanius! I hope you're better at finishing projects than I am, because I'm very much looking forward to seeing this completed.

Schwarzkreuz
07-05-2014, 07:49 PM
Fantastic detailing, ascanius! I hope you're better at finishing projects than I am, because I'm very much looking forward to seeing this completed.

I can only second that. Keep on the good work

ascanius
07-07-2014, 08:37 AM
Ok here is the latest update. I mostly added the base to all the oceanic ridges, adjusted coastlines, added the base for oceanic highlands in some areas. I also adjusted one oceanic ridge and placed it a little more central along with moving a few subduction boundaries mostly in the central ocean.

65549

Here is a projection on a globe, need to adjust a few things mostly north and south poles.

65550

Overall I think it is coming along nicely.

ascanius
07-09-2014, 08:01 AM
I got tired of doing the plates so took a break and worked on a height map. As of now it's kinda experimental and was hoping to get some input on how well it works. I don't know if that lake is realistic but I got bored and started playing around and ended up liking it.

Anyway here it is.
65616

Pixie
07-09-2014, 11:52 AM
It's not that the height map is bad. Zoomed out it looks nice, specially in the smaller continent where you added some dark green and you have more detail in the higher lands. It's just that it isn't as good as the ocean floor. It might look better with less saturated colors - specially the lime-green - and it might look better once you have more ground covered with it.

Painting huge maps is a tremendous task and boring at times. It doesn't harm to take a rest from them some times or to swap tasks. From experience, I think those are better options than rushing through and then deleting stuff that took hours to do but wasn't actually up to standard.

ascanius
07-09-2014, 12:13 PM
Thanks Pixie, it helps having someone else point out things I myself am having doubts about. It's not an entire waste, at least I can use this to create a climate map.

Chashio
07-09-2014, 12:40 PM
I really like where you're going with the land on that middle continent in the eastern half. It doesn't look finished yet (most completed of the bunch?), but I do like where it's headed. The lake looks pretty sweet too, though there is a difference between it and the rest of the coloration. The only input I can give on how well the height map works realistically is that you look like you know what you're doing. I say carry on. :)

Akubra
07-12-2014, 09:31 AM
Having a look at your height map and I must say it looks really nice. You achieved a kind of "fuzzy" look which tends towards a satellite view (don't ask me about colours, I have a mild form of colour blindness). The thing is, your ocean floors are so awesome that everything else pales a bit in comparison ;). I agree with Pixie and Chashio that the small central-eastern continent looks the best.

I'm a little unsure about the lake. It looks like you placed it smack in the middle of a small plate with divergent boundaries all around. Wouldn't the lake be located on one of those boundaries instead? Also, the outlet towards the sea crosses a divergent boundary in the south of the plate. I have no idea if that is possible, but it's not something I would do intuitively. Maybe a question for one of the professors at the University of Picsë ;)

Cheers - Akubra

groovey
07-12-2014, 12:16 PM
Yes, I agree the fish continent looks the best, but I don't dislike the rest either, since it gets the job done. Of course, that's very personal because I'd use the height-map for info purposes and wouldn't care if it looked to pretty or what. If you have a "finished map" purpose for it, then yes, in my opinion it needs more texture definition, which I guess you are still working on anyway.

I guess they are right about the contrast between the sea style and the height-map style though. It would need to be coherent, again, I personally don't care though, as it gets the job done for info purposes, it works for me.

EDIT: your style for the ocean reminds me a lot of Google Earth's, so a satellite style for the land should work as well as it does in it, if you work more on the texture of the land.

ascanius
07-14-2014, 01:20 PM
Ok Thanx everyone for the feedback. It really helps. Currently I've been working on climate so I can get a better idea of the color palette. I'm hoping that by figuring out the climate first I can do terrain in one go without making a height map then going back and essentially doing it over again. I used this height map for the work on climate. I've also worked on a tentative palette that I am going to use.

So this is what I have for the cimate stuff.

Temp map. Red is hot blue is cold. Purple is high changes in temp (centers) green low changes in temp (coasts, cannot really see the green but it's there)

65721

Next is northern Summer atmosphere and rainfall.
Red = high pressure centers
blue = low pressure centers
Purple/blue = low precipitation --> light purple/blue higher rainfall with the almost white being a lot of rainfall.
the continental areas where the land shows through are areas without rainfall or simply dry.

65722

and here is January norther hemisphere
65723

Ok. Now it took me doing this over and over I figure I'll just post and see if anyone can give me some pointers. I honestly feel like I have done everything backwards. To me nothing makes sense, I kinda thought the winters (northern hemisphere) would have more rainfall than they do, but according to my rainfall map it seems that the rainy season is in the summer. I kinda feel that if I flip everything north to south it would make more sense. I have little hope for these maps so be mean!

Pixie
07-14-2014, 05:39 PM
Well, ascanius, you did make a very basic mistake :D. And yep, unfortunately it's one which will change things a lot.

You forgot the high pressure centers at the oceans during winter time. They aren't replaced by low pressure centers, like you did, they just migrate north/south. The low pressure areas happen at the ITCZ and the Polar Fronts - actually, that's what they are, the regions where Low Pressure centers tend to occupy. Also, the high pressure centers tend to be elongated East-West and not so much round. I just retrieved the following image from the portuguese weather office - see how the A's (high pressure) line up to make a sort of oval area.
65741

This will change most of the winds and that will change most of the rain patterns. So, I'm sorry to bring bad news, but if you want some accuracy you have to go at it again.

On the positive note, it's already clear that you will have some areas with heavy rain and others much less so. That very flat southern coast of the southern continent being just under the polar front will be very interesting. It's also plain to see the wide areas of rainforest and the deserts that are about to "be".

Lastly, once you have a revision ready, post it with the continental shelves invisible. The color is close to "Very Wet" and gets confusing. Hope this helps and that I was mean enough.

ascanius
07-15-2014, 06:21 AM
Ha I knew it. I knew something was wrong but for the life of me I couldn't figure out what it was. I followed your tutorial at first but when my rainfall map showed almost no difference between summer and winter I checked out Geoff's climate cookbook then confusion set in. Then argg...about six maps later the above maps resulted.

Ok this is the revision for winter. I modeled it loosely of this map mostly to get the north south shift of pressure fronts. If I can remember the url I'll post a link.
65754

I know right now my pressure fronts have been taking steroids.
65753

I have a few questions.
-for the southwest continent how would the ITCZ move in relation to that continent along the eastern coast. I'm guessing it probably wouldn't shift that far over the ocean, maybe a low pressure center would form over the landmass and the ITCZ would curl back towards the equator.
-second how far would the north polar front shift south over landmasses and what about over the ocean.

Thanks for the help Pixie your my hero.

Pixie
07-15-2014, 10:32 AM
Nice map for reference.

Looking at it (assuming you mean Winter "in the northern hemisphere")
- low pressure centers form inland in the continents south of the equator and also at the warmest part of the Indian Ocean (I don't know whu, but I assume it's the equatorial currents which have crossed the entire Pacific that heat that area)
- high pressure centers still exist in the oceans, the ones in the southern hemisphere were displaced southwards.
- at the core of the continents in the northern hemisphere, high pressure centers formed - more or less following the shape of the land, the one in Asia is huge!

-> the southwest continent -> most of the equator line is over water, so I don't think the ITCZ would be displaced significantly, maybe only as far as the coast (which is mountainous almost all the length, so a natural boundary for air masses)
-> the northern polar front -> over the ocean it wouldn't move much, it is a very vast ocean, so its surface temperature is quite stable. As for inland, it would be displaced northward, because of the effect of the high pressure center, just the way you have it.

Glad to be of assistance ;) (hero-like...)

This looks much better (though the northern polar front is far too much into the tropics!)

Akubra
07-15-2014, 01:20 PM
Sorry I can't be of much assistance here, ascanius. A few weeks ago I tried to do what you're doing here, got a bit frustrated and published it half finished. I'm following your discussion with a lot of interest though. Looks like I'll have to study this topic again and redo my whole pressures/winds map.

Cheers - Akubra

ascanius
07-16-2014, 12:57 PM
Thanks Pixie for answering my questions.

@Akubra. Yes doing a climate map is work and complicated, especially since you have make an educated guess where pressure fronts are located. If your like my the jargon of high and low pressure fronts is/was confusing due to my chem background, studied micro bio so you need to know chemistry. To me it makes more sense to call the high pressure centers low pressure due to the air technically being colder thus lower pressure. When I think pressure of a gas I think PV=nRT where if T is increased then pressure increases. So things like the ITCZ being called low pressure is confusing since it is warm/hot air. I honestly think they should get rid of the pressure term and use density it makes so much more sense if you ask me though I get it's called ideal gas law and ideal conditions don't exist, that and it's mostly used to calculated variables in a closed system. But damn it still confuses me. I finished on of the maps and realized I had my pressure zones backwards.

Anyway. here are the latest updates.
summer northern hemisphere both atmospheric and rainfall.
65777
65778

here is winter north.
65779
65780

I am wondering if the eastern sea in the large northern western continent would be enough to create a micro-climate something like the Mediterranean.

Pixie
07-17-2014, 09:10 AM
I sometimes get confused with high-pressure = cold and low-pressure = hot, too. But the perfect gas law is for an homogeneous gas, not for particle movements within that gas. High pressure and low pressure, atmosphere wise, are terms related to the direction of the pressure gradient - but alas, that doesn't matter now :)

So your maps look much better, apart a couple of aspects, but I'll leave that to later. First, I want to tell you that I am using also having a look at your climate (doing the stuff you are doing, in parallel). This is because I want to see if my prospective tutorial yields sort of similar results for the same map. If you agree, I'll keep those to myself until you finish your stuff and then we compare notes.

Also, having "copied-pasted-layered" your map, I noticed that one could use a different 0º longitude point that would look neat as well (in my humble opinion, neater, since it doesn't break any continent). Do you still recognize this? ;)
65795

You mentioned recently that the difficulty of my tutorial about climate is the educated guess one needs to take about position and extent of the low/high pressure centers and of the convergence zones. Here's the stuff from your map where I don't quite agree with your guesses (but they are my guesses, I am not a climatologist):
- the high pressure zone, in January, in the northern continent, should be directly over the high mountain ranges, effectively pushing the polar front south of it.
- also in January, the low pressure in the larger southern continent should not cross the central mountain range - that's not a warmer part of the land.
- you are stretching the oceanic high pressure centers into almost all of their respective oceans, I think it's over-stretching them

And finally, this is not a guess, but something I am sure of. Winds are almost parallel to isobaric lines, you are making them perpendicular in a lots of places.

ascanius
07-20-2014, 10:25 AM
So your maps look much better, apart a couple of aspects, but I'll leave that to later. First, I want to tell you that I am using also having a look at your climate (doing the stuff you are doing, in parallel). This is because I want to see if my prospective tutorial yields sort of similar results for the same map. If you agree, I'll keep those to myself until you finish your stuff and then we compare notes.

I like this idea a lot along with the shift in the map, thanks.

Ok here is the revised map for january. Only atmosphere. changed a few things mostly added a high pressure center high in the northern continent, I shrank the centers down a good bit adjusted the winds in a few areas.
I also added a few very small high/low pressure centers that most likely have no impact on anything but helped me figure a few things out.
65864

Adding that norhtern high pressure center over the north pole became very confusing and after spending and hour and a half reading about the polar vortexes and the behavior of the polar front I came up with this.
65865

I did this mostly for my benefit mostly it helped me think of the pressure fronts in terms of heat and pressure gradients instead of rigid structures, I then modeled the above after it.
I mostly left the summer map alone besides changing a few small things. Ok I'm going to now work on my rain map so hopefully I'll have them done in the next day.

Pixie
07-20-2014, 11:39 AM
Wow, that second map with arrows of different size indicating intensity of the winds is pretty nice!

I'm glad you liked my suggestions.

ascanius
07-24-2014, 12:23 PM
Ok I've been working on the temp and rains map for winter and summer. I've had to redo them numerous times but these are the final result.
first summer (northern hemisphere)
-temp dark red= very hot --> light blue = extremely cold. I forgot to add a key to these, sorry.
65951
-Rains. Whitish= very wet --> solid purple = low where land shows through is dry
65953

Winter (northern hemisphere)
-temp, like above
65954
-Rains, like above
65955

I think I might have to go back and adjust these a bit. Mainly due to how my climate map is turning out. I have a massive tropical monsoon and only small slivers of tropical rainforest on the middle left continent northern hemisphere. I thought that southern area would be mostly rainforest but it's not. So not really sure.

Edit: Looking at things again and going forward with climate zones I'm thinking I may go back and do this all over. I think there are a few problems overall. One I don't have a very good height map and right now i'm guessing at things. Two I'm trying to do the entire world at once and I'm thinking I'll get better results by going from continent to continent and trying to go for more detail. I don't know maybe I'm worrying too much.

groovey
07-28-2014, 10:06 AM
Well, I've yet to get my head into rain and temperature, so I can't help you with that, but I do agree that you could benefit quite a bit from having a solid height-map as a base for figuring out the rest. If you want a stylized height-map and not purely a functional one for info purposes like Akubra's and mine, perhaps you could make a rough version first, even if it's uglier than hitting your grandma, so you can work out climate, winds, etc, and then at some point do a pretty version of it. I mean, wasn't it you who recommended me to get the height-map done first?

Pixie
07-28-2014, 10:24 AM
even if it's uglier than hitting your grandma
haha, it had to be a spanish guy to say something like this!

As for my take on this thread - I haven't found the time to finish my take at your climate, ascanius, please bear with me and wait a couple more days. I can tell you rain patterns are pretty similar, but not equal. Temperature is still to be done.

Naima
07-28-2014, 12:04 PM
Well, I've yet to get my head into rain and temperature, so I can't help you with that, but I do agree that you could benefit quite a bit from having a solid height-map as a base for figuring out the rest. If you want a stylized height-map and not purely a functional one for info purposes like Akubra's and mine, perhaps you could make a rough version first, even if it's uglier than hitting your grandma, so you can work out climate, winds, etc, and then at some point do a pretty version of it. I mean, wasn't it you who recommended me to get the height-map done first?

Also that can be direclty done in FT , it manages the lookup tables between rain / temperature and produces a climate output , though its not ideally covering all situations it can be a very good start from wich refine I believe .

Pixie
07-29-2014, 01:17 PM
So it took me quite some hours to do this, ascanius, but here is my full take on your planet's weather.

As you said, the info on elevation is lacking, which means there is a little bit of guessing. Also, those mountainous-filled-with-inlets coasts are a pain in the... to work, so I ignored a number of those details.
Overall, in comparison to your maps, there are significant differences. However, I think that on a continental scale, the patterns do match. This is a serious test to the work-flow I'm advocating for in the future tutorial, and I am unsure if this level of differences is acceptable.

What do you think?
Do these maps and ascanius maps above represent the same situation?

January:
66128
66129

July:
66130
66131

Azelor
07-29-2014, 08:15 PM
I like it but I just don't find the rain color scheme very intuitive to me.

Pixie
07-29-2014, 08:36 PM
The color scheme results from the overlapping of layers (dark blue in "screen" mode") - to me it seems pretty practical and clear, but any alternatives are welcome if they make it easier to read.

Azelor
07-29-2014, 08:43 PM
It's just that I associate blue with rain. Yes I know that water does not have any color...

ascanius
07-30-2014, 08:50 AM
Ok Pixie I took a look at your maps and after studying them a bit these are the things I noticed. One you push the polar fronts much further south/north than I did. With the mountain rainfall it looks like you included the entire mountain range and let it taper off the further from the coast it became. Looking back I can see this make much more sense than what I had done. However in some areas I noticed that you let the winds push over mountain ranges or you placed the pressure centers east more than I did. For instance in January northern hemisphere left continent on the southern portion of the north east peninsula you have it as offshore winds. I have it as onshore winds, mostly I figure the mountains to the west would block the southern winds. The one other thing I noticed that with the screen effect also on the base layer some spots that were subject to the polar front or other influences would get cut out because on the base rain layer I have them listed as dry. On yours I noticed it looks like you did something different with the base rain layer or you went back and included them to a limited extent

Looking at the temp maps I think differences are occurring due to different guesses about elevation and different rain maps.

I think one of the things that shaped the differences we are seeing is different interpretations of atmospheric maps and the dominant winds. That being said the one thing I found difficult was determining the dry continental interiors and where they should extend to. That seems to be the biggest challenge is to figure out to what extent each variable affects things. For instance I tried to have the north easterlies and south westerlies affect rain patterns to a greater extent than the other directions.

I forgot to post this earlier but I did an updated version of the rain and temp maps and they are below. I did these before you posted your version.

January.
66149
66150

July
66151
66152

Edit: Note I forgot the polar front in the southern hemisphere in the January rain map
Edit: Also thanks for putting in the time to do this Pixie, it's helping me see things I didn't think about before and also that I might need to adjust the extent to which variables affect things.

Pixie
07-30-2014, 06:03 PM
Oh, I do like how our "attempts" match almost exactly in some places. That means some of the stuff must be right and my directions are actually followable!

Indeed, like you said, the whole system is very dependent on the placement of the atmospheric conditions - intertropical zone, polar fronts, oceanic high pressures - that's the part about climate that is a) a well educated guess, b) a purely uninformed guess or c) a genuine guess from an amateur who tries his best.
Specially when it comes to rain pattern, these guesses will have a huge effect. Still, I can't think of something we can do to prevent that variability.... (maybe do like seven different takes at it over a week, in separate days, or ask a number of people to to independent guesses and then take an average of guesses, but that's way too geekish for me!)

As for your map, I don't understand what you mean by this:
"The one other thing I noticed that with the screen effect also on the base layer some spots that were subject to the polar front or other influences would get cut out because on the base rain layer I have them listed as dry"

As your rain pattern map also shows an unexpected color in some places, could it be that one of the layers isn't properly set to screen? Also, I never allow for a 2-levels drop either on a rain pattern map or on a mean temperature map - if need be I add a small strip of the intermediate level in the end of the process
Your sentence, I really don't understand what you mean.

ascanius
01-11-2015, 12:59 PM
Well it's been a few months. I had some time and thought about getting back into this. Figured to work with the heightmap. this is what I have so far. I left the plate tectonics pretty much as they were with a modification on the east ocean of the Northern continient.

I did a bunch of different test and the following are the results I like the most.

70103

In this I'm thinking the mountains are to big/ take up too much area.

70104

70105

any thoughts?

Hope everyone had a good holidays, pixie, groovey, azelor, akubra hey.

ascanius
01-13-2015, 11:47 AM
Ok here is a quick update, still working on heightmap but focusing on the northwestern continent. Hopefully someone will give me some feedback.

70136

My thoughts are.
need to lower the northwestern coastal mountains on the penisula due to them being much older.
the mountains on the penisula along with those on the three islands in the inner sea look too... busy? I think I need to tone them down/reduce their sprawling nature along with the swirling.
I'm a little worried I am showing too much water shed in the mountains.

Did I miss anythong, anything seem wrong? or does anyone see something that could be better represented?
feel free to comment.

01-13-2015, 01:54 PM
A suggestion for your climatic attempts.

As it is impossible to establish a full detailed climatology and certainly not the seasonal variations, it is useful to concentrate only on the largest invariant features which are true for any spherical planet with an atmosphere. These are :
- monsoons
- jet streams

Fronts and pressures are just small scale consequences of these large features and fluctuate seasonally much more wildly.

- Hadley cells (the Earth has also 2 weaker cells in each hemisphere) are the engine of atmospheric circulation. Because of them there are always low pressures at equator and high pressures in tropics.
The consequence is that northern trade winds blow from NE to SW (supposing the same rotation as the Earth) between 30° N and equator.
The southern trade winds blow from SE to NW between 30° S and equator.
In these 2 picture you see how the atmospheric circulation is organised in cells and what that implies for pressures. The second one shows vertical atmospheric velocities (red is down and blue is up) - you see that the rising flow is nicely concentrated on the equator while the falling flow around +/- 30° is more irregular and the intensity depends on whether it's over continent or ocean.
Things are identical for the 1 or 2 cells beyond the Hadley. Small planets will have 2, larger (like Earth) 3. Very large perhaps 4 - it is still unsure and poorly understood.

7013770138

- Monsoons are a consequence of differential heating between continents and oceans. So here the geography of continents and oceans matters. In summer continents heat more and faster than oceans so that the air above them rises (low pressure) and the water saturated air over oceans flows then towards the continents. It rises then over continents to close the loop and therefore cools down what leads to massive condensation and monsoon rains.
In winter it's opposite, the low pressures are above ocean and the high pressures above continents. Monsoons are not independent from the Hadley circulation but interact with it. That's why it is very hard to locate them just by a guess. approximately you ll find them on places where continents are around +/- 20% and there is a vast ocean S respectively N of them.

- Jet streams are broadly marking the limits of the circulation cells. They meander all the time like rivers and when they move N or S they dramatically change the weather N and S of them.

So when you create your climate only with these 3 features (you have to decide if your planet has 2 or 3 cells per hemisphere) you are sure that you will obtain a very realistic planet.

Last suggestion : climate is defined by long term means. That's why it is not interesting to look at seasonal means which are very noisy with the exception of the largest features like monsoons.
To do a map you don't need to know how weather changes from one month to the other. Only averages matter.

Once you have the long term averages of temperatures and position the Hadley cells on the map, you can add all the little détails you want provided that they don't contradict the "big" players.

ascanius
01-26-2015, 08:45 AM
A suggestion for your climatic attempts.

As it is impossible to establish a full detailed climatology and certainly not the seasonal variations, it is useful to concentrate only on the largest invariant features which are true for any spherical planet with an atmosphere. These are :
- monsoons
- jet streams

Fronts and pressures are just small scale consequences of these large features and fluctuate seasonally much more wildly.

- Hadley cells (the Earth has also 2 weaker cells in each hemisphere) are the engine of atmospheric circulation. Because of them there are always low pressures at equator and high pressures in tropics.
The consequence is that northern trade winds blow from NE to SW (supposing the same rotation as the Earth) between 30° N and equator.
The southern trade winds blow from SE to NW between 30° S and equator.
In these 2 picture you see how the atmospheric circulation is organised in cells and what that implies for pressures. The second one shows vertical atmospheric velocities (red is down and blue is up) - you see that the rising flow is nicely concentrated on the equator while the falling flow around +/- 30° is more irregular and the intensity depends on whether it's over continent or ocean.
Things are identical for the 1 or 2 cells beyond the Hadley. Small planets will have 2, larger (like Earth) 3. Very large perhaps 4 - it is still unsure and poorly understood.

- Monsoons are a consequence of differential heating between continents and oceans. So here the geography of continents and oceans matters. In summer continents heat more and faster than oceans so that the air above them rises (low pressure) and the water saturated air over oceans flows then towards the continents. It rises then over continents to close the loop and therefore cools down what leads to massive condensation and monsoon rains.
In winter it's opposite, the low pressures are above ocean and the high pressures above continents. Monsoons are not independent from the Hadley circulation but interact with it. That's why it is very hard to locate them just by a guess. approximately you ll find them on places where continents are around +/- 20% and there is a vast ocean S respectively N of them.

- Jet streams are broadly marking the limits of the circulation cells. They meander all the time like rivers and when they move N or S they dramatically change the weather N and S of them.

So when you create your climate only with these 3 features (you have to decide if your planet has 2 or 3 cells per hemisphere) you are sure that you will obtain a very realistic planet.

Last suggestion : climate is defined by long term means. That's why it is not interesting to look at seasonal means which are very noisy with the exception of the largest features like monsoons.
To do a map you don't need to know how weather changes from one month to the other. Only averages matter.

Once you have the long term averages of temperatures and position the Hadley cells on the map, you can add all the little détails you want provided that they don't contradict the "big" players.

I'm finding the climate map very frustrating to be honest and I think I'm going to take a break from climates for now. I was using Pixies tutorial, it's nice to have a set of steps to follow though I find myself having to go back an rely on the information like you mentioned. I've managed to get in the ballpark but still have a lot of work to do. The major climates are not too hard to figure out like desert, rainforest, even mosoon, it's the others like medeterrainian and a few others the are giving me difficulty. Anyway thanks for the interest and information.

I finished the heightmap for the northern continent and it's basically the same as what I already posted above just complete.

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Right now I'm working more towards the final look of the map.
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I'm debating on going towards the left/west or the rest of the mountain range in terms of color and style. The left/west coast style the areas where the color is thicker without the background showing through) I think creates a lot more depth and subtle variation, though it's a lot more work. The rest has a much cleaner look, and is faster which is a plus.

Any thoughts?

groovey
01-27-2015, 03:14 AM
Holy cow ascanius, the style on the central bit looks awesome! Good stuff!

The raw heightmap with the plain colors looks very good too, very detailed, but as you know, I'm not apt to give technical thoughs about it since I've no idea about it.

I'm so glad to see you working on your project a bit.

Azelor
01-27-2015, 11:14 AM
I just noticed the thread has been updated !

Your mountains look good, they are so detailed! I wanted to avoid getting too much in the details because i was afraid I might make it look wrong or inconsistent.
Your doing well so far but I find that the plains look dull in comparison.

Azelor
01-27-2015, 11:39 AM
And climates: it is very complicated to do something realistic because it requires to consider a lot of variables at the same time.
Pixie's model is flawed in some places. The biggest problem is probably the approximation factor. Each steps error stacks with the others. And I find that the resulting climates of Palamb are not that realistic.

While Pixie's method is not without merit, (I admit that his maps look really professional) I would rather use it as an indicator rather than a definitive climate map.

If the planet is similar to Earth, I would recommend to use a simplified and standardized classification of the climates that uses precise criteria. Some are based of temperature, altitude, latitude (ex: cold desert are too cold to form between the tropics), precipitation, and geographic location (east vs west). Yes, some climates are almost exclusively found either on the east or west coasts.

You can have a look here at my answer on Worldbuilding SE: http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/1395/147
The first part is a general explanation on the climate. The forth part is actually about the different climates and how to place them.
I tried to include all the main factors and to be as concise as possible.
I'm not 100% sure but I think tweaked some numbers about the temperatures here and there to be sure climates would not overlap. The original classification is a bit more complex : the difference between Cwb and Cwc is the number of months with a temperature below 10. (3 vs 4 or more). They still overlap but that is why they need to be painted on the map instead of just generating them with a automatic method.

Hilded
01-28-2015, 11:02 AM
You can have a look here at my answer on Worldbuilding SE: http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/1395/147
The first part is a general explanation on the climate. The forth part is actually about the different climates and how to place them.

I've been following this thread with interest as it has some impact on the overall design of an old campaign world that I'm revisiting. I found that link you mentioned on Worldbuilding quite informative, @Azelor. Thanks.

ascanius
01-29-2015, 06:02 PM
Hey you two Havn't heard from you guys in a while. Nice to see others still around.

Holy cow ascanius, the style on the central bit looks awesome! Good stuff!

The raw heightmap with the plain colors looks very good too, very detailed, but as you know, I'm not apt to give technical thoughs about it since I've no idea about it.

I'm so glad to see you working on your project a bit.

Thans Groovey. I'm hopeing to spend a good portion of time working on this map, hopefully I can manage to make enough spare time. Right now I have some to spare until life happens.

I just noticed the thread has been updated !

Your mountains look good, they are so detailed! I wanted to avoid getting too much in the details because i was afraid I might make it look wrong or inconsistent.
Your doing well so far but I find that the plains look dull in comparison.

Thanks Azelor. The mountains are a lot of work and they usually end up nothing like they were at the begining. Doing black and white first helps but when you start adding color it becomes really hard to keep things consistant and the colors right. I don't know how many times I redid the west coast of the central island trying to get the orange yellow color to blend into the green of the hills to give it a dry medeterainian feel. I've noticed working at 150% zoom helps keep the mountains roughly the same size. But it's so much work!

And climates: it is very complicated to do something realistic because it requires to consider a lot of variables at the same time.
Pixie's model is flawed in some places. The biggest problem is probably the approximation factor. Each steps error stacks with the others. And I find that the resulting climates of Palamb are not that realistic.

While Pixie's method is not without merit, (I admit that his maps look really professional) I would rather use it as an indicator rather than a definitive climate map.

If the planet is similar to Earth, I would recommend to use a simplified and standardized classification of the climates that uses precise criteria. Some are based of temperature, altitude, latitude (ex: cold desert are too cold to form between the tropics), precipitation, and geographic location (east vs west). Yes, some climates are almost exclusively found either on the east or west coasts.

You can have a look here at my answer on Worldbuilding SE: http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/1395/147
The first part is a general explanation on the climate. The forth part is actually about the different climates and how to place them.
I tried to include all the main factors and to be as concise as possible.
I'm not 100% sure but I think tweaked some numbers about the temperatures here and there to be sure climates would not overlap. The original classification is a bit more complex : the difference between Cwb and Cwc is the number of months with a temperature below 10. (3 vs 4 or more). They still overlap but that is why they need to be painted on the map instead of just generating them with a automatic method.

Nice info. In the end I used Pixies tut then used that link along with wiki and the all knowing google. In end I took your advice and started with the major climate then use rain and temp maps to get more detailed, with earth as refrence.

Here is the current map. It's not perfect and needs work still.

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I've been following this thread with interest as it has some impact on the overall design of an old campaign world that I'm revisiting. I found that link you mentioned on Worldbuilding quite informative, @Azelor. Thanks.

Nice to see others taking an interest and I'm not posting for nothing.:)

Ok here is an update on the mountains. It's going to take me forever to finish....

Edit: Updated image
I'm looking for input on the still unfinished mountain range. I kinda got carried away with it and now I'm worried that the central area is simply too large and mostly too high. What do you think?

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Azelor
02-05-2015, 12:13 AM
I think it look correct but I do have some points to add.

The Mediterranean*climate: the area eastward of it tends to be drier as precipitations decrease inland. It will most likely become a steppe (cold)
I figured that the ITCZ would pass just north of the big mountain chain during summer. This would bring precipitations inland. Since the body of water is kinda small in the east, I think your climates west of that small ocean are ok. I would probably push the cold steppe further north a a bit further west.

The western side of the mountains should probably be drier than that. The climates in the mountain seems to be too hot considering the altitude but regional climate seems ok it might just need some more details.

I would expand the steppe and the desert. The blue part become a steppe and the rest possibly becomes a desert. If the mountains are like the Himalaya, it block almost all the moisture from going to the west.

The island just east of the little sea is affected by heavy precipitations during the summer. Making it mostly Cfa/Cfb unless the mountains are high enough to block the winds.

And I made other changes that I might explain later. I did not bother with the mountains since it's a lot of details.

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ascanius
02-13-2015, 07:47 AM
I think it look correct but I do have some points to add.

The Mediterranean*climate: the area eastward of it tends to be drier as precipitations decrease inland. It will most likely become a steppe (cold)
I figured that the ITCZ would pass just north of the big mountain chain during summer. This would bring precipitations inland. Since the body of water is kinda small in the east, I think your climates west of that small ocean are ok. I would probably push the cold steppe further north a a bit further west.

The western side of the mountains should probably be drier than that. The climates in the mountain seems to be too hot considering the altitude but regional climate seems ok it might just need some more details.

I would expand the steppe and the desert. The blue part become a steppe and the rest possibly becomes a desert. If the mountains are like the Himalaya, it block almost all the moisture from going to the west.

The island just east of the little sea is affected by heavy precipitations during the summer. Making it mostly Cfa/Cfb unless the mountains are high enough to block the winds.

And I made other changes that I might explain later. I did not bother with the mountains since it's a lot of details.

70600

Thank you Azelor, I managed to get sick and tried to rework the climates but frankly I keep getting frustrated trying to figure out the details. I think I'm going to leave it at a regional climate map, it's to much detail otherwise.

I noticed that you removed all Ds climates, any reason? or is it simply too difficult to be accurate in terms of temp and precipitation to decide which is which.

I am curious about one thing though probably where I will make an exception to details. What do you think about the climates around those two mountain lakes/seas. I was thinking some sort of micro climate in those areas but because they are surrounded by mountains i'm not quite certain. I do know that a large body of water like that will stabalize the temperature a good bit and the mountains would probably give it an isolated climate but I'm not sure if I'm correct nor how to procede.

thanks again Azelor. I'm interested if you have a system you use or is it mostly very educated guessing on how you do the climates. I read up a good deal on climates but still.... I wish there was a formula adding math seems to make things easier for me.

Azelor
02-13-2015, 12:53 PM
Well , I asked myself where is can be dry enough in summer to justify the Ds climates. These climates are mostly found near other Cs climates and in some spots isolated and small. If you go in details, it's possible to have Ds in some places. It could have some near the Cs climates but at higher altitudes.

The climate in the inland seas would be considered colder I think because they are surrounded by mountains. Air masses are colder because of this. I don't know the exact impact of precipitations. I supposed that the large landmass to the nort west created a high pressure area like the Siberian high. That's why I think it should be dry in winter. Beyond the immediate surroundings on the seas, the altitude increases steadily, reducing the temperatures. It get colder, moving in the Dwc then to the tundra, and eventually in the eternal snow.

I did try to use maths by combining temperature and precipitation maps following Pixie's tutorial, but I found it flawed.
I rely more on using specific but large criteria. The alternance of the high and low pressure systems, I think it's really important. The latitude, past a certain latitude, some climates change to others in a relatively constant fashion. Some climates are almost always found in certain locations: Cs, Ds, in the west. Dw in the east. Desert are drier near the tropics on the west coasts... Of course you must always asses whether these rules are not replaced by local characteristics, like altitude and the presence of mountains.

ascanius
02-14-2015, 03:32 PM
OK I need some help with the mountain scale. I cannot decide which to use.

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Right now I don't know which scale to use A, B, C, or D. I Think A is much too large but I included it to see what people think. I think C and D are the best fits but..... The mountain range D should be higher than A, B, and C but right now it looks lower. So should I use D as max height or make the mountains more like A, B, or C. Lowring the mountains is easy but making them heigher is more difficult. So which do you think looks better and gives a better representation of high and low mountain ranges.

02-15-2015, 05:47 AM
Personnally I find B the best both in shape and scale (especially the southern part which looks very realistic)
The highest ranges on the map could be like the Northern part of B but even that looks a bit too big to me.
So I would normalise all ranges using B as a scale giver and then do other places accordingly. So if the highest places are elsewhere than B, then they should look like N part of B and B should get lower/smaller.

I must say that I can't understand D - both shape and scale look bizarre to me.

TheHoarseWhisperer
02-15-2015, 05:58 AM
Wow! I agree with Deadshade, B is best (although I also like C), but more importantly, this is going to look incredible when it is finished.

THW

ascanius
02-15-2015, 08:35 AM
Personnally I find B the best both in shape and scale (especially the southern part which looks very realistic)
The highest ranges on the map could be like the Northern part of B but even that looks a bit too big to me.
So I would normalise all ranges using B as a scale giver and then do other places accordingly. So if the highest places are elsewhere than B, then they should look like N part of B and B should get lower/smaller.

I must say that I can't understand D - both shape and scale look bizarre to me.

I'm curious which part of the southern part do you mean? The left pointing arrow, or the one pointing north? It's kinda disapointing in a way because thats where I started to get frustrated and simply wanted to finish it so I quickly colored it in, that east west range and everything south I mean. Also does it have anything to do with the color of the mountains like that tan color which I like. I'm not sure if that tan color makes it too dry looking though.

Yeah D was mostly and experiment, I was trying to see if I could make just a few mountains and then duplicate and paste. I didn't really get around to finishing that section too wich makes the scale all off.

Wow! I agree with Deadshade, B is best (although I also like C), but more importantly, this is going to look incredible when it is finished.
THW

Thanks, It's going to take me a while to finish though, it took me a weekend to do the right island and even longer for the island on the left. Getting the colors right is probably the hardest thing. It's kinda intersting because I used a lot more red and blue than you would think.

So It looks like B is the winner. I'll post updates to see what you think.

Update:
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Chashio
02-17-2015, 12:05 PM
This is going to be one of my favorite maps of the year. :) I'll probably just be quiet and watch what you do from here out, but I wanted to mention that your A mountains, while large compared with the others, had wonderful coloration and detail choice for snow and glaciers. I like the rest of the coloration as well, overall, but that stood out as particularly nice... and I miss it. Look forward to seeing this progress.

Tom
02-17-2015, 12:10 PM
This is going to be one of my favorite maps of the year. :) I'll probably just be quiet and watch what you do from here out, but I wanted to mention that your A mountains, while large compared with the others, had wonderful coloration and detail choice for snow and glaciers. I like the rest of the coloration as well, overall, but that stood out as particularly nice... and I miss it. Look forward to seeing this progress.

i quote this! beautiful work indeed, but i also liked a lot the big mountain!

ascanius
02-18-2015, 10:09 AM
This is going to be one of my favorite maps of the year. :) I'll probably just be quiet and watch what you do from here out, but I wanted to mention that your A mountains, while large compared with the others, had wonderful coloration and detail choice for snow and glaciers. I like the rest of the coloration as well, overall, but that stood out as particularly nice... and I miss it. Look forward to seeing this progress.

Thanks Chashio, I like the big mountain too. Originally it started off more or less like the rest and I started playing around with the highlights of the snow and suddenly it grew as I expiremented. Sadly its just way to big, one of the glaciers alone would be around a good 100km in length and based off the surroundign mountains and continent size that mountain would have to be much heigher than the 8000 m of Everest. Heck it could even rival Olympus Mons of mars...maybe I dont' 21000 m might be hard to beat.

i quote this! beautiful work indeed, but i also liked a lot the big mountain!

Thanks Lesopeso. I just hope I can get this finished sometimge in the next 5 yrs. It is slow going mostly putting hours just doing a single mountain range, though I've noticed I'm starting to get much quicker, actually a lot faster....I think.

Ok update.

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I couldn't do mountains anymore so I switched and did a little of the sea floor to see how it looks.
I'm having a lot of trouble keeping the mountains consistant in shape and color while at the same time trying to show changes in climate and other details.

Any thougts? something look odd or could be done better. I'm looking for any advice right now it's hard to pick out problems and things I missed, it's all starting to look the same.

arsheesh
02-18-2015, 12:02 PM
This looks very promising! Look forward to watching it develop.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

grimleyblack
02-19-2015, 12:49 AM
Dam dude that's awesome! Your colouring work is intense. I just wish I had your eye for detail

ascanius
02-21-2015, 07:57 AM
@ Arsheesh, grimleyblack

Thanks you two.

Well this is a small update. I redid that easter island/peninsula I don't know how many times and to day in about two hours redid it to what it is now, some days progress is great others....

I also added in most of the rivers to see how it looks.

Anyway..

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Chick
02-21-2015, 08:57 AM
I have just one humble suggestion ....

Island chains don't form at right angles, for the same reason that mountain ranges don't. They both form along the edge of a tectonic plate collision, and plates can't collide in a T junction.

ascanius
02-21-2015, 03:19 PM
I have just one humble suggestion ....

Island chains don't form at right angles, for the same reason that mountain ranges don't. They both form along the edge of a tectonic plate collision, and plates can't collide in a T junction.

??? Plates collide all the time in T junctions... Southeast asia has a lot so does central america and North eastern Russa, all of Japan (though that is more of a collision of 4 plates in a very small area). What you don't find is a plate subducting a divergent boundary in a T junction, mostly because a divergent boundary is newer/lighter so it would subduct instead of being subducted. As to the island arcs... Well Island arcs are created by volcanos along convergent boundaries on the plate that rides over the one being subducted. Ttaking a look at the volcano activity in japan http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b6/Spreading_ridges_volcanoes_map-en.svg, I don't really see why having an island arc in a T shape would be a problem. I did note that the areas where there is a T juction the area is mostly an mu ch larger landform like Japan, Kamchatskiy, Papua, Papua new Guinea to name a few. I may simply make a large island on the norther plate of the T junction. I'm not certain but I think the reason why large landforms are created along T junctions is due to the increased stress and collision of lighter volcanic material along the leading edge of the subducting plate causing material to build up into an large island.

Thanks for bringing this up, it reminded me to add in Transform boundaries in the tectonic map, along with geological features on the on the islands, mostly with the rivers.

ascanius
02-24-2015, 09:09 AM
Ok. Here is the latest update. I don't really know what to do with the large plains, any suggestions?
Also whats a good size for volcanic islands? I'm starting to think that the islands are too large on the island arcs.

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Do you think I should change the color of the rivers? maybe less saturated and lighter?

Figured I add in the entire continent to show how much is left to be done :(

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Oh, thanks for the help Chick.

grimleyblack
02-24-2015, 09:37 AM
Looking good dude and at that scale I wouldn't worry about the island too much. Lighter rivers would help them to stand out. An yup I know the pain of deciding to make an entire continent :P

ascanius
02-26-2015, 05:29 PM
Ok here is an update, I'm putting every spare minute trying to finish and it is starting to feel like I'm trying to role a lead car up a mountain. The inconsistency in the mountains is driving me mad, I can never get them to look the same the next day.

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arsheesh
02-26-2015, 06:34 PM
Very nice indeed sir! The thumbnail really does look like it could be an image of earth. It's only when you zoom in to full resolution that you can tell that this is in fact a painting. That's an impressive feat.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

ascanius
03-01-2015, 10:46 AM
Very nice indeed sir! The thumbnail really does look like it could be an image of earth. It's only when you zoom in to full resolution that you can tell that this is in fact a painting. That's an impressive feat.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Thanks arsheesh. Google earth is probably the second most used program for me right now.

Ok so I have started to try doing the desert area for a change of scenery, this is what I have after the 4th try, it looks...ok. Deserts are much harder than mountains, the colors are much less forgiving thus I'm having trouble with the colors. I'm wondering if simply having the canyons as black lines might work better, without trying to create depth. Any thoughts or advice?

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Chashio
03-01-2015, 12:52 PM
... one of the glaciers alone would be around a good 100km in length ...

It's not out of the range of possibility; there are longer glaciers than that on Earth, and even a few that are not too much shorter in non-polar regions. But no matter.

The map's looking great, by the way :)

EDIT: Oh, and about the desert style/colorization... you might try getting a feel for it by doing small, throw-away study sketches of different source images and satellite views picked from online... even checking out some original paintings from artist portfolios to see how they handle desert colors (those are things I do when I'm stuck on something). It may also help to not work on it or show it in isolation from the rest of the map, as color choice and how it's viewed/received is very dependent on what's next to it.

fabio p
03-04-2015, 07:52 AM
Wow, that's coming along nice and interesting. Another big and lengthy project that could capture the "annual challenge" spirit...

ascanius
03-06-2015, 04:52 PM
It's not out of the range of possibility; there are longer glaciers than that on Earth, and even a few that are not too much shorter in non-polar regions. But no matter.

The map's looking great, by the way :)

EDIT: Oh, and about the desert style/colorization... you might try getting a feel for it by doing small, throw-away study sketches of different source images and satellite views picked from online... even checking out some original paintings from artist portfolios to see how they handle desert colors (those are things I do when I'm stuck on something). It may also help to not work on it or show it in isolation from the rest of the map, as color choice and how it's viewed/received is very dependent on what's next to it.

Thanks for the advice. I've choosen to not work on the desert right now and slowely grow into that region instead. Your right the colors are very dependent on the colors next to it, something I forgot. I've noticed it comes more naturally to grow into a new area/climate than start from scratch like I tried with the desert, but those mountains are extremely tedious.

Wow, that's coming along nice and interesting. Another big and lengthy project that could capture the "annual challenge" spirit...t

Thanks, sadly this wont be in the annual challenge but I have another idea in the works for that.

Ok now for the updated map. I've started working on the south western area which should be rainforest with savanna north of that. I tried something a little different with those mountains. I wanted them to be lower and get heigher as they go north. I adjusted the colors a little bit too. I also tried two new things with the rivers, mostly adjusting the width in places to break up uniformity. Though at this scale 1px = 1.3 km if I remeber wich means the widest part of the largest river is something like 5km if I remeber correctly. In the south west portion I also tried a different color scheme and brush, still not sure about it. I also worked on the oceans and seas though I feel there is something not quite right about them, the color or something I can't put my finger on it.

71404

Well what do you think.

Azelor
03-06-2015, 05:05 PM
Thanks, sadly this wont be in the annual challenge but I have another idea in the works for that.

You could take only one part of the map. And you also have other landmasses.

Is there a particular reason for having the desert so reddish ?

ascanius
03-06-2015, 05:23 PM
You could take only one part of the map. And you also have other landmasses.

Is there a particular reason for having the desert so reddish ?

I though about what you said but I kinda want to try my hand at another project idea that I have been playing around with.

As to the red. I want it to be a red desert, though I might have to create more variation, and right now that red is mostly a placeholder until I can figure out the colors better

Chashio
03-08-2015, 02:45 PM
... I've noticed it comes more naturally to grow into a new area/climate than start from scratch like I tried with the desert
I've found that as well. And looking at the larger picture, I'd suggest maybe neutralizing the intensity of your desert red; you have so much blue and green in this piece that it won't take much heat to make it look warm.

... those mountains are extremely tedious.
But they look very nice. ;)

... I also worked on the oceans and seas though I feel there is something not quite right about them, the color or something I can't put my finger on it.
Maybe the hue, intensity/saturation, value... or maybe another color nearby that is not working yet and throwing things off... or perhaps the sharp edges of the coastline that do not match the rest of the style. Maybe just use some adjustment layers to play with possibilities and see if you can figure out what's bugging you.

ascanius
03-10-2015, 06:33 PM
Ok so I took your advice Cashio and Azelor, I changed the desert colors and changed the workflow for the desert ridges. They are not finished, right now only the top layer is showing, the bottom layer will give it the depth. I also finshed a few mountains and added even more, heh. I think it's coming together nicely. I still don't know whats wrong with the oceans, I'm still working on it.

Anyway.71513

TheHoarseWhisperer
03-10-2015, 07:09 PM
This is looking fantastic. It puts me in mind of Viking's wonderful work, and that really is the highest praise I can give.

One thing which might have room for improvement is the coastline. The problem (if it is in fact a problem) is that the land just stops and the water begins; I wonder whether something could make the shore more distinct (a slight shadow on the land, for example, or a very narrow band of brighter/more saturated coastal waters)?

THW

Chashio
03-11-2015, 10:53 PM
Ah, yes, that reads better, and the small touch of extra red appears well-blended and natural and makes me curious about the landscape. Also, just wondering... did you intend the desert to be shaped like a skull/profile of a head?

ascanius
03-13-2015, 12:23 PM
This is looking fantastic. It puts me in mind of Viking's wonderful work, and that really is the highest praise I can give.

One thing which might have room for improvement is the coastline. The problem (if it is in fact a problem) is that the land just stops and the water begins; I wonder whether something could make the shore more distinct (a slight shadow on the land, for example, or a very narrow band of brighter/more saturated coastal waters)
THW

Thank you for the compliment :) Yeah the coastlines have been problematic, Right now I've added a very light blue/white at the coastlines in the central sea, I think it works much better, I've also darkened the water.

Ah, yes, that reads better, and the small touch of extra red appears well-blended and natural and makes me curious about the landscape. Also, just wondering... did you intend the desert to be shaped like a skull/profile of a head?

Yeah I was hoping the desert worked, hopefully I didn't over do it with the update.

Hehe I didn't even notice the skull until you pointed it out, it was completely chance that it turned out the way it did. If you search you can also find an upside down ax and an upside down dragon head with it's mouth open.

71615

The further I get the more I worry about how I'm going to do things like roads and cities while keeping with the theme

ascanius
03-20-2015, 03:22 PM
Ok Here is the latest update, along with some questions.

71855

First, right now the mountains are not very consistent in terms of style and color, most notably ranges 4,5, and 6. It annoys the hell out of me and havn't really been able to fix it without making it worse. I'm hoping that the size and distance between them will allow for such variation but.... What are your thoughts.

I'm also debating keeping the oceans a single solid color, mostly because doing the ocean floors is very time consuming, especially the divergent boundaries. My other reason is I don't really need that information, it looks nice but is not really relevent if feel. My last reason the map is going to get very very busy. Any thoughts,

As to the lakes, I am aslo unure how to proceed, Should the lakes follow the same colors as the oceans? If so how much detail should I go into? Along the same lines right now I like how lake #2 looks but I am wonder if maybe a solid color is better like with #1.

Also what do you thinkg about how I did the rivers around #8 compared to the other rivers, I'm undecided right now so I haven't added any more yet.

Area # 7 is giving me a little trouble in that I'm having difficulty in the transition between the desert and what would be a steppe/base of mountains. I'm not sure if how it is right now works or not. Also I have no idea what I should do with the rivers on that side of the mountains, should they follow the entire mountain range and join up with #8? or should some of them go into the desert and dry out? a combination of both?

10, Does the desert canyons work how I have done it? I don't really like how it is right now but it gets too indistinct when I darken the highlights/ sunny side.

9 the ice caps, I'm wondering if they look fuzzy only to me or if they need work, maybe more detail.

And lastly I was thinking about making lake 1 into something like yellowstone caldera submerged but I'm not sure if that makes any sense right there. I was thinking having that northern area having a lot of volcanic activity, though at this scale i'm not sure it matters.

I hope that made sense, any suggestions would be of great help, I'm starting to loose my mind with this map.

ascanius
03-31-2015, 04:41 PM
Figured I would post an update. Work is slow and I'm having trouble making headway. Anyway. What do you think?

72295

jshoer
03-31-2015, 09:58 PM
I really like that desert; it has a great windblown texture to it. Are you planning to try and put dune fields in there?

ascanius
04-01-2015, 03:37 PM
I really like that desert; it has a great windblown texture to it. Are you planning to try and put dune fields in there?

Thank you, it was very problematic at first but I figured it out around the fifth try. I thought about the dunes but I probably wont add any, one because the scale, two because I want to finish the map. I may go back and add those small details onces the mountains and everything else is finished.

ascanius
05-03-2015, 12:28 PM
Here is an update. Work has been slow, very slow, but I managed to get more mountains done, sorta. Anyway what do you think?

73133

Chashio
05-03-2015, 01:55 PM
I think it's looking good!

Pixie
05-05-2015, 06:52 PM
It's very good. To my eyes, it looks very good.

Zoomed out, comparing to Earth, the color transitions are too strong. But that's something you can fix later with some adjustment layers (saturation, colorizing, etc).

I say keep it up!

ascanius
05-11-2015, 04:43 PM
I think it's looking good!

Thank you Chashio :)

It's very good. To my eyes, it looks very good.

Zoomed out, comparing to Earth, the color transitions are too strong. But that's something you can fix later with some adjustment layers (saturation, colorizing, etc).

I say keep it up!

Thank you Pixie :) Nice to see you around here, even if it's only once in a while.
Yeah, I have a lot of post processing work once the base map is finished, I think i'm going to redo a few regions also.

Ok here is the update.

73299

Pixie
05-12-2015, 10:33 AM
Wow, nearly done!

I think you need to focus a little bit more on north/south color variations. Hue drifts from a little more blue in the north to vivid green as one progess south, that kind of variation is missing.

Here's the parts that I really drool over:
- the mountains to the west of Drakes Bay - they are stunningly drawn and colored
- the very large river flowing through the eastern plains to the Cidece Sea - it's going to be a major major civilization magnet (and navigable for a very long distance) (and a colossal wrecker when heavy rains add to spring melting in those mountains)

The mountain range to the west, on the other hand, looks meh - you are loosing the battle against detail-wear (just made this one up).

groovey
05-30-2015, 10:46 AM
Hi ascanius! Your terrain map is coming along fantasticaly. It makes me drool as it looks like a very beautiful painting while at the same time being precise. That's amazing to do. I wish I had 1/6 of the skill you have for the job. Awesome work.

By the way, what size is the image and what resolution? It allows for zooming in to great detail so I figure it's a big size?

ascanius
06-20-2015, 01:21 PM
Sadly no updates. I've been very busy with work and with the constant state of overtime and spending a week trying to hack the windows 8 secure boot bootloader (secure boot is soo f'ing annoying) so I could actually use my computer, I finally just succumbed and reinstalled windows, my computer still thinks it can boot into debian. I made backups first so I didn't loose anything. Yeah but I've lost motivation after all that. Anyway i'm hoping to have the energy to do some work on my map during the weekends that I don't work, a guy can hope right :(

Wow, nearly done!

I think you need to focus a little bit more on north/south color variations. Hue drifts from a little more blue in the north to vivid green as one progess south, that kind of variation is missing.

Here's the parts that I really drool over:
- the mountains to the west of Drakes Bay - they are stunningly drawn and colored
- the very large river flowing through the eastern plains to the Cidece Sea - it's going to be a major major civilization magnet (and navigable for a very long distance) (and a colossal wrecker when heavy rains add to spring melting in those mountains)

The mountain range to the west, on the other hand, looks meh - you are loosing the battle against detail-wear (just made this one up).

Yeah i'm going to try an overlay gradient with blue to a more saturated green in the south, I still have to tweek the settings though.

do you mean all the mountains to the west of drakes bay, like if there was a vertical line are all the mountains west of that included, the mountains on the far western side of the continent i'm going to tweek/fix/redo I don't like that whole area. I'm really really hoping that your not only talking about the mountains to the west of drakes bay that are only on the island, for the sake of my sanity please tell me otherwise.

I never thought about the river during spring, it's a nice serendipity to have pointed out thanks.

It feels like I already lost the battle to detail-wear, i'm in damage control right now. It is extremely difficult to keep things consistent, even when I do things systematically how I see and draw changes day to day or hour to hour depending. I've had days where I finish huge swaths and others where I spend hours doing two mountains. I'm still struggling with the land of eternal ice ( the northern part of the mountains). adding white really threw a wrench in my process.

Hi ascanius! Your terrain map is coming along fantasticaly. It makes me drool as it looks like a very beautiful painting while at the same time being precise. That's amazing to do. I wish I had 1/6 of the skill you have for the job. Awesome work.

By the way, what size is the image and what resolution? It allows for zooming in to great detail so I figure it's a big size?

Goovey! nice to hear from you, it's been a while. Thank you, It's nice to hear you like it. The resolution is at 12000x6000pixels with 32 bit color-space and 300ppi for when I have enough money to print it, you know in the couple of years it will take me to finish it.

Hopefully I'll have an update in the next couple of days to keep you guys drooling.

Pixie
06-26-2015, 04:37 AM
Sorry to hear, ascanius, but it seems like you just got out through the other side and it will all be fine now. :)

I was talking about the westernmost mountains. Still, I wouldn't go as far as saying they need a remake - just that it's starting to show that you want this done and over. If this is your labor of love, and a hobby, just give it a break and don't rush, finish it in 2016 or something.

Wolram
07-02-2015, 09:00 AM
What an amazing thread, very inspirational work!

Vidgange
07-04-2015, 03:10 AM
I'm quite new to these forums (well, I've been here a full year, but haven't been all that active) so I'm not sure if it's costume to tag threads, but that's what I'll do this time so that I can return to it later and read it thoroughly; there seem to be very interesting things going on here

ascanius
07-15-2015, 05:33 PM
Hey and thanks for the support everyone.

I have a small update mostly I did more mountains, I added a dark blue for the shading to see if i could take it more in the direction Pixie mentioned other than that taking a break helped a lot.

74755

So what do you think?

Pixie
07-16-2015, 02:55 PM
Great to see that the medicine you needed was some fresh air away from the paint.

You came back in good form, ascanius, those mountains merge perfectly with what was already there.

ascanius
07-17-2015, 05:33 PM
Great to see that the medicine you needed was some fresh air away from the paint.

You came back in good form, ascanius, those mountains merge perfectly with what was already there.

Yeah, taking a break worked wonders. I think I even managed to figure out how to do the land of eternal ice. I changed the color of the base color layer to a mid unsaturated blue instead of white and I think it works very well.

74791

Do you think it worked?

Ilanthar
07-19-2015, 10:34 AM
Yes, it works imo. I'm still impressed by the style you're developping btw.

Chashio
07-19-2015, 11:52 AM
Looking fabulous, ascanius.

ascanius
07-28-2015, 02:31 PM
Thank you everone.

Here is the latest update.

74985

I need your opinion on a few things.

First are the rivers. R1 or R2

lakes, L1 or L2, right now I like L1 the most.

and lastly the coasts, which are a reall pain to do. I have to zoom %2000 to tweak the coasts. but anyway. C1 has a lighter blue on the layer beneath, C2 is a mid way between C1 and C4, C3 is with no modification, and C4 is with the light blue layer beneath and the most extensive rework involving %2k zoom. I think C4 looks the best but this is getting rediculous, and is what I am leaning towards.

On to the next thing, I tried to start with labling and adding settlments and giving it a sense of being inhabited and things didn't work out well. I don't know what it says about me but simply adding towns and cities left me so overwhelmed that I only added one. I was having a problem of trying to figure out the hisorical context of a single settlment and the people who lived there by starting with a prehistory population map, the idea didn't work. I need to come at this from a different angle. Hopefully I'll figure it out.

ascanius
10-18-2015, 03:10 PM
76852

Wow, I really had to increase the compression and cut down on quality to get this to upload ( increasing the upload limit would be nice). I didn't realize that the file size is at 398MB, hope the quality didn't suffer too much.

Ok I've been working a lot on the peoples who inhabit this continent, I'm going for a roman republic feel. The colors and corresponding numbers are to identify nations/tribes/empires/kingdoms etc. I used numbers as place holders until I figure out the names.

The green lines are the trade routes, as far as I understand them to work based solely off the sea currents. That brings up a question. due to the shifting in prevailing winds between the season I noticed that in some areas the winds blow counter the current. So my question is it possible to have a trade route available going east throughout the year based off currents and have another route using the prevailing winds during the winter or summer. Basically are/can trade routes be dependent on the prevailing winds based off the season. I don't remember where I read this but I believe something similar happens with the Mediterranean sea.

Nation: # 1
My idea with this is an expanding nations/empire, who have a strong military and naval force. Currently based off the currents I question their ability to expand westward, the region under number 20, the land bridge, seems very dubious. However I can also see the region as being extremely important for trade and a likely target.

Nation # 16
this is an alliance between a bunch of small nations and city states, they used to hold the entire peninsula but have lost land to nation # 1

Nation # 14
This is a second growing empire trying to push westward to control the major river.

Nations # 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,
These I would think are very important nations due to their control of the river and ability to produce food.

Nation # 11
This nation I would think is very secure due to the mountains that surround it, with the abundance of the lake to provide resources. I'm thinking that it would end up a lot like Switzerland in terms of wealth and relative isolation yet still able to trade with the rest of the western regions of the continent. Yet I would have difficulty exporting goods by sea due to the trade routes.

Nation # 29 and 30
These two nations are extremely isolated yet produce exotic goods is my idea. For these two I wanted a very remote hard to get to nation that is known to the greater world and has products of value but the journey is dangerous... However it can be very lucrative. Also both of them are on the edges of hot steppe, so I'm hoping that life is sustainable.

The areas without color are mostly inhabited by barbarian tribes, nomads, etc.

Also I placed the capital cities, cities towns, etc.

Any thoughts. I tried to set up the nations logically going from a lot of eastward expansion from the central area with all the numbers 21,22,23,24,25 as the origins of civilization. I figured expansion would be eastward due to the sea, currents and resources. Right now nothing is set in stone so suggestions are helpful.

Vidgange
10-18-2015, 04:03 PM
With regards to your Origins of Civilization I think there should be some more developed kingdoms and empires to the west as well; with the spread of agriculture and trade people tend to organize, and sooner after that it's just a matter of time before kingdoms appear. I'm also wondering how nation 2 and 15 are able to withstand the onslaught by the 1 Empire? are they tributary states? Vassals? Or supported by the 14 Empire?

Azelor
10-18-2015, 07:00 PM
398MB is the size of our JPEG?

It's possible to have currents and winds in different direction but it's generally limited to small area since the surface currents are wind driven. If it's the case, I'm not a sailor but I think the winds would be more important than the currents.

About your previous message, sorry I haven't seen it until today. I hope I'm not too late. I would say

R1 definitely
L1, unless you make a more gradual transition for L2.
C4 but at that size it just look like you applied a blur effect.

groovey
10-19-2015, 04:07 AM
Hi!

First of all, I still can't get over how beautiful your physical map is.

Second, I missed the July post too. I think I saw it but wanted to wait for someone knowledgeable to post something useful to you before posting my less useful comment.

Well, it's exciting to see your work on the political map. I love that part of world-building.

Mm, you raise a very good point on currents/winds. I definitely need to keep that in mind. Not a sailor either, but I'm inclined to agree with Azelor, since when I hear or read about navigation, I hear about winds way more than currents.

How come some colors spread beyond the discontinued line borders? Do colors represent cultures and not political borders?

What is the scale of your planet again? I think all of our WIP are based off Earth parameters?

If it's supposed to be roughly the size of Earth, then, when I import your map into mine to fit the dimensions, the areas where you have designated political powers (with colors), from left to right, is about the same width as mine big eastern continent, or roughly 16 cm = 10.672 km (that is if I didn't mess up when setting my scale, which of course is only accurate on the Equator line, where a lot of your stuff is anyway, but I use it for reference in general, so don't trust that 100%).

I just mention this because I myself I'm training myself (thanks to Durakken) to keep distances in mind before planning politics and setting up unrealistic contacts between powers, so it's just a friendly reminder I guess.

Empire nº1 has land that spreads out about 7.000 km from left to right. How do they manage to control so much and so spread land? How old is the Empire? Since when does it control the land it has now? Is it a recent expansion?

Seems a bit hard to sustain control over all of it after its original conquest, unless it depends a lot on local recruits (troops) to keep order in each area, since the original nucleus keeps getting further away to send troops fast, but then... how do you assure their loyalty? Or is it because the conquered lands were not very populated and thus easier to control the locals? Where the locals in the first stages of political organization and thus much weaker? Even though, the bits further east, considering their distance to the metropolis, most likely will have strong independency tendencies.

Why did the Empire leave the peninsula to his south alone and only take an unconnected bit at the tip?

Is the Empire's domain outside its original nucleus more like colonialism, to exploit their resources unfavorably, or do they run them like an integrated political extension of the metropolis?

I guess I'm having a bit of difficulty understanding what the criteria of expansion of the Empire is, since we the readers don't have much info on it.

Nations 3-9. Wouldn't Empire nº1 have prioritized taking those to be their granary? Like North Africa was Rome's granary? Why are they still independent? Are they strong in military terms? So much to stop an Empire which control lands across 7.000 km?

Nation 11 also reminds me of Sparta on his mountainous isolation, but with a twist, a big lake to offer more resources, so even better. Sparta did trade some, but was mostly auto sufficient even without a lake like that, so your people there would have it even better. Does its wealth come from their control on the resources of the area and it's self-contained, or it depends heavily on trade with the other nations?

So nations 29 and 30 border steppe and are sedentary... I'd say beware of the Mongols?

Sounds very interesting so far. I hope you don't mind my comments. I'm no expert, but the map does make me ask said questions.

Pixie
10-21-2015, 02:01 PM
Hi Ascanius.

Like the others, apologies for not replying to your question, it's a shame to note that you stopped the progression for lack of replies. My choices, concerning your options:
C3, L1, R1

As for the second map, the one with states, here's some notes:

- Organized states would also spread around the coast of the western lake (north of region 20), I think, and it's closer to the origins of civilization. It's an area where climate is not so harsh because of the huge inner sea and where mineral resources must be abundant because of the mountains around them and the amount of rivers flowing (I'm thinking alluvial gold mainly).

- The roundish west coast south of those inner seas is hot and rainy throughout the year - more than the difficulty to get there (coastal navigation is always possible for roman times vessels), the nature of the land is uninteresting for expansion/colonization: dense rainforest, populated with semi-barbaric cultures, which might have land contact with civilized states (and, hence, not so backward military tactics and weapons).

- I second groovey on his comments about the Empire (nation #1) - maybe too large and too disperse. I am very curious about the placement of their capital and how it went from local power to huge global player.

Like I said before, this planet of yours and this area in particular is a great area to develop an "alternative history". The conditions alone spark my imagination and your excellent art just makes it that much more irresistible!

Vidgange
10-22-2015, 06:36 PM
I dont really think The Empire nr1 is too big or disperse; look at how the Roman Empire grew. Rome had a lot of over sea provinces that werent connected by land. The only troublesome part to govern in the first Empire is the Western most parts I'd think.

ascanius
10-28-2015, 10:34 AM
Thanks for all the replies, even for the older post. I'm traveling right now so I don't have a computer but wanted to say you all have given me a lot to think about. Hopefully I'll have updates if I can find a power adapter. Thanks again.