View Full Version : Novel Map - The Tornlands of Baedar (WIP)

06-17-2014, 07:01 PM
Hello guys and girls.
My last map was in the process of being made when it lost it's mojo. It just stopped working for me.
So I said to myself "Hey, why not go over your sketchbook to find some old stuff?", which I did, and I quickly found out that the 2009 version of me had some good ideas.
After scanning one of them and quickly creating a land mask In Photoshop, I got the following result:


And then I did some plans about where i want things to go (these are only rough sketches):


Tell me what you guys think of it. All kinds of criticism are welcome and appreciated :)

06-18-2014, 08:51 AM
I quite like the shape of those land masses! Do you have a style in mind for the map itself?

06-18-2014, 10:53 AM
Yes :) I was planning on doing something similar to Tear's wonderful Westeros map:
And thanks :)

06-18-2014, 07:44 PM
Shape looks as good as good to go, but about your placement of elevations and the "tectonic thingy": the two margins of that "new sea" should fit more, both in terms of shape and in terms of mountains (main point is that those mountains on the NW corner of the southern continent could well be prolonged into the SW corner of the northern one - just below the word "grass").

Also, placing all biomes from snow/ice to desert on a map like this will create a huge scale. Why don't you try to superimpose your draft on a map of Earth, aligning your biomes with similar regions - like Sweden to Sahara or Alberta to Mexico to see what I mean.

06-20-2014, 06:33 PM

Here's the very crudely coloured terrain with a 2px stroke. I'm working on.. untiling the textures before I lay them down, but that's my priority right now.

Also @Pixie, holla from Coimbra :) I've figured out how to superimpose it and I think that it shouldn't be that biomy, so I turned it down a little. It's a coldish country to the north with a little bit of snow on the top, but that's it. (aproximate size - USA/Canada border to Mexico Border - )

06-22-2014, 12:43 PM
Made a few decisions about the scale and overall size of the map. The continent would be the size of roughly Canada+America.
I've also decided to remove the "tectonic" thingie, since it wouldn't work. The new reason for it is the lowering of the seawater that exposed the rough shelf.

06-23-2014, 02:40 AM
I love the shape of the land masses, and if you have decided to set aside tectonics, then the placement of the mountain ranges and the rivers looks good, specially the rivers.

I look forward to see how you do the terrain, so keep on the good work, it's looking good.

06-23-2014, 08:30 AM
Very interesting land shapes. I guess there has to be a lot at stakes around that sea arm in the middle!

06-23-2014, 08:55 AM
Hi from Lisbon, ManofNaozen. From your spelling of "Ola" I suspect you are a foreign student at the Uni there, am I right?

As for your map, I am glad I helped you getting a better view of the scale you wanted to. I am also curious about which direction you are taking this. Are you aiming at a modern political map, a pictorial fantasy map, a satellite-view map? Knowing your intentions will make it easier for the experts here (folks like Max, Ilanthar, etc) to provide guidance (that is, if you wish it).

06-24-2014, 04:59 AM
@Pixie I'm natural Portuguese from Coimbra (and I also used to live in Lisbon)
About the direction, I'm going for a simple map with town labels and a few (very subtle) political borders. I also drew them up on paper to make it easier later. The style is used on the sketch is a bit too strong for what I'm looking for since it's basically a Sat view map with the political borders in there.
It's also a Middle-ish fantasy setting, tilting toward the Dark-fantasy side.


Hope that's legible, AKA my phone's camera sucks xD

06-24-2014, 06:24 AM
Made the base terrain and some of the mountains. It's just a test right now but I'd like some thoughts on it as it is before I proceed.

06-24-2014, 08:13 AM
So after a productive afternoon I have gotten some grass into the map and some elevations. Forests too :)

06-25-2014, 09:11 PM
After 2 days without internet I managed to advance quite alot in my map. I've done a very crude ocean and labeled most of the terrain and the major cities.

06-25-2014, 10:32 PM
Edit 5:
Oh dear, it appears my coffee has turned me into an unsleeping workaholic. Added labels to towns and etc. Also some themed names to determined areas.
There's lore to determined names, especially the "Numbered Keeps" on which the number symbolizes their building order (chronologically).
The names in Dalastaer are greatly inspired by Elvish peoples that used to inhabit the plains.
The mass of cities in the Tornlands are all bandit shantytowns, inhabited by bandits and pirates.
Every single waterside town usually has "port" or "dock" in their name.. for obvious reasons (other than a few exceptions)
The cities in Longshore have names that are really similar due to the culture of the area and the fact that these cities are sort of smaller versions of the capital Dragosten. Each of these is name after a king of Longshore.
The R'Faar Peninsula is inhabited by a strange race that doesn't let humans inside. (Also includes a tribute to Tear and his tutorial that helped me make this "Saldera'n")
The Land of Monsters is basically a huge desert inhabited solely by monsters (giants, thorny-lions, huge dune-scavengers...) and it's surrounded by a huge wall with keeps all around it to secure it. These keeps were build by the same people that built all the other numbered keeps :)
Last but not least, the Shield of the South near the Riverlands is basically an island that used to be connected to the land, but after misterious circumstances, the landbridge dissolved.
That's all the lore I can condense ATM

06-27-2014, 05:36 AM
Oh my, it looks great to me. I love color palette and the terrain. Did you use any tutorial for the terrain or did you use your own technique? I ask because the style of the mountains is familiar to me but I can't remember from where.

06-27-2014, 11:28 AM
@groovey - Thanks :D the technique I used is similar to one i had used previously, but I just might work up a tutorial on these. The rest of the map was made using the Saderan tutorial by Tear along with some personal inspirations. I'l write up a quick and simple tutorial on the mountains and put it here.
EDIT: Made up the tutorial :)


06-27-2014, 01:35 PM
FINAL EDIT (hopefully):
This map has been a trial for me. After I made the land mask (Which took me around 2 hours) I was stuck gazing at it for a day. I was a bit depressed that I couldn't make my own good looking styles, even tho I tried really hard.
So I searched for some Tutorials and ran into Saderan by Tear. Instantly I fell in love with the way it was made. Such simplicity, yet such power. I did make a few changes tho, and they were for the best, seeing as Saderan was meant for small maps, and mine is a large one (quite possibly the largest i've made).
It was a personal achievement when I finally reached the end of the landmaking process. I had been up all night doing it, too much caffeine was inside me, and I was overjoyed.
Labeling was yet another challenge, but it proved worth the trouble. Took lots of font websites, lots of trial&error, but I achieved a satisfying result.
After almost one year of attempting to get my map right, I finally did.
Thank you all for your support along the way :)

EDIT: Maybe some stuff left to do before the big speech xD

06-28-2014, 12:32 PM
The link to the image is broken isn't it? I can't see it or get to it through the link.

By the way, I'm a big fan of the Sederan tutorial so I love to see how each guild member applies it to their maps with their own touch. You clearly made the best of the already awesome tutorial. Interesting that you had the scale issue, I wanted to apply the tutorial to my world map when it's ready for terrain, but I'm not sure if the tutorial is really fit for a world map, for example the rivers wouldn't even be visible or just as thin single lines. So it's a pain because I really wanted my map to have the Sederan style. But well.

06-28-2014, 03:57 PM
@groovey - Fixed the image :)

Anyways the Saderan style is very versatile. You can actually make the rivers by editing the Layer Mask (land shape, if you will). By this I mean, actually make the rivers in the land, don't just draw them in. That's what I did anyways.

- Max -
06-28-2014, 04:53 PM
Using curved text effects isn't really a good thing for labeling. It badly distords font and doesn't look aesthetically good. You may want to use path tool to create curves instead.

06-28-2014, 06:33 PM
@Max - I'l try it out, but it'l be tricky, since I never did it before. I tried regular labels on the mountains and it just looked really awful and started drawing too much attention from the terrain and actual mountains. I could take out the ocean labels and redo them, those would be quite simple, but the terrain ones will be tricky ;)

06-28-2014, 06:57 PM
This map is looking really nice, I'm going to have to give this tutorial a go one of these days. Thank you for posting your careful work, it's great to watch the progress.

If you're okay with the Pen tool in Photoshop then creating paths to type on is a snap, but you can find tutorials around for doing it. You draw a path and then hover over it with the type tool until the cursor changes. And then type!


PS. I noticed that the Eighth keep is missing the 'g'

07-08-2014, 11:24 AM
Quick Edit!
I'm currently replacing all the names in this map with better ones (keeping some). Will have it done soon.