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hmpf
07-22-2014, 06:39 AM
Hi,

I'm writing stories in a fantasy world and to get a better overview of where the stories take place I came up with the idea to create a map of the world.
I'm new to this, so the result may look a bit rough but I'm having fun with it so far, especially when compared to so many great works on this page.

The world is a mix of stitching real parts of Earth and some fantasy parts created by myself.
Sadly I haven't tracked all progress from the beginning so the steps between versions are kind of big.
Most elements of the hand-drawn approach are pre-made PhotoShop-brushes created by others, especially mountains, some trees, hills and buildings.

The progress I recorded:

Rough landmass and areas drawn:
65895

First approach: Realistic, made with a lot of tutorials from this site. But wasn't satisfied with the result so I started over:
65896

Second approach: Hand-drawn style:
65897

Added dirt and elevations.
65898

Added mountains.
65899

Added trees, hills, grass, cliffs.
65900

Added roads, borders, cities/towns/villages.
65901

Current WIP, added a dirty overlay and some splatters, more trees, hills, etc. and also area and location names:
65902


The previews above are sized down and therefor a lot of details is lost. Especially in the latest WIP smaller names are unreadable.
Since I couldn't upload the full sized images here is a link to the originals. Since the images are fairly big you have to right-click and select "Show Original" to see it in full size.
Image size is 7680x4320 but Ive compressed the files so the filesize is about 2 MB each.

OneDrive Folder: http://1drv.ms/1nfVHNn


Even in the latest version many areas are only roughly done (or not at all) and some overlapping elements may appear. Especially names are subject to change (Cliche names like "Lands of Winter" or "Burning Lands"), also some areas are called by landscape name, others have Kingdom names on it, so it needs rework in regards to consistency.

I'm looking for general feedback and especially on the following:
- The area in the "Burning Lands" in the south-west is supposed to look like something ate/burned the ground so I was aiming for a lowered ground look. Does it look lowered to others?
- I don't yet like the look of most of my forests. The two biggest are really vast and big and that's how they are but they look to artificial. Do I need to add more irregularity or do they look OK to others?
- The same is true for some Mountain ranges like "The pierced Mountains". Too artificial?
- The long/lat lines are purely cosmetic but I dont have enough knowledge to actually make them kind of realistic. Should I better remove them instead?
- I dont like the rivers. They look too big for the size they should represent but if I make them thinner they are not really recognizable. Any ideas how to solve this?

Naima
07-22-2014, 07:33 AM
perhaps u can attach the image on the post woudl be better to see ...

hmpf
07-22-2014, 07:53 AM
I cant upload the images, probably because of the size. I could shrink them down but that reduces visual quality by quite a bit. The OneDrive-link presents the history kind of nice I find.
But maybe as Thumbnails with links to the original size? Ill try that.

Edit: Looks like I cant link the previews to other files. So Ive just added them and put the link to the original sized files below. Hope that is OK.

Azelor
07-22-2014, 09:57 AM
Hello, and welcome to the Guild!

1-I think it look burned but i also think that this is a fantasy trope impossible to have on such a large area in the real world. But it look ok. Lowering the ground could also be a problem since your so close to the sea.
It does not look bad but I'm not sure if it's necessary to lower the ground since it's already surrounded by mountains that are much higher.

2- My biggest concern is that your forests have a repeating pattern. The solution I have is to try to make it look more random by increasing/decreasing density for example.

3- The pierced mountains doesn't look like a mountain range much. it's really hard to have a range that wide. You could do sometime that look like the Hengduan Mountains in Tibet. It's several ranges close to each other : http://pahar.in/pahar/Maps--Primary/Mountain%20Maps/2003%20East%20of%20the%20Himalayas%20--Nyainqentanglha%20East%20to%20Hengduan%20Mountains %20by%20Nakamura.jpg

4-When don't know what's the map projection and we don't know what the lines are representing. It's not a problem in a fantasy map. And I think that the background look great.

5-You river are hard to follow. It's not easy to see where the water is flowing. Most seems to flow inland because they get smaller when they get close to the sea. It's usually the opposite. Also, some rivers pas right into the mountains (like the one south of the BASTARD)

Naima
07-22-2014, 10:11 AM
I would sugest to change a bit the western tip to remove the african shape look wich is the modt evident to me unless ofc is a wanted feature.

hmpf
07-25-2014, 02:34 AM
Thanks, that are helpful things.

@Naima: Yes, it is very much intended.

hmpf
08-02-2014, 11:15 AM
An update.
Worked on the mountans in the top right to make them look better and not just like a bulk of mountains.
Also worked on the eastern parts and redrew some borders, locations and worked on the names by spanning letters to make them describe the whole area they are supposed to describe.


66213

Full sized version can be found through the OneDrive link in the original post.