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heathan666
10-13-2008, 01:58 PM
I actually started workin' on this like way back when. But after reading a tutorial on her, I came out with this, I still have a few pieces to add, like the desert & badlands, as well as the artic wastes to the south. Tell me what you guys think.
I know I might go back and change the rivers and such I really don't like how they came out. If this was really scaled those rivers would be like 2 miles wide in most places.

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d139/twelvedrunkenmonkeyz/worldmappost.jpg

Gandwarf
10-13-2008, 03:20 PM
I think it looks nice enough, very colorful. But you are right about the rivers. Also, the light green stuff is forest? It looks like the rivers were put in after the forests, which makes for a weird effect (the rivers are on top of the forest). What's that small round island in the west?

Karro
10-13-2008, 03:42 PM
The concern with the rivers is that they don't go anywhere, the way this map looks. Of course, rivers empty into the sea, but here they don't appear to.

It also doesn't look like the start anywhere (rivers are fed primarily by snow-melt and rain runoff from mountains and possibly from springs and other sources like that).

Finally, rivers merge together from feeder streams, typically not branching until they reach the sea.

From the map here, I can possibly guess that the rivers are emptying into a couple lakes, but I can't see any reasoning why the lake then doesn't feed something that empties into the ocean.

Otherwise, it's a good start working in GIMP on this style of map (I style I am slowly trying to work through myself).

jfrazierjr
10-13-2008, 04:30 PM
The concern with the rivers is that they don't go anywhere, the way this map looks. Of course, rivers empty into the sea, but here they don't appear to.

It also doesn't look like the start anywhere (rivers are fed primarily by snow-melt and rain runoff from mountains and possibly from springs and other sources like that).

Finally, rivers merge together from feeder streams, typically not branching until they reach the sea.

From the map here, I can possibly guess that the rivers are emptying into a couple lakes, but I can't see any reasoning why the lake then doesn't feed something that empties into the ocean.

Otherwise, it's a good start working in GIMP on this style of map (I style I am slowly trying to work through myself).

What Karro said. Also, I would say that you have to much texture on various parts of the map, making the whole thing look a little busy. Of course, this may just be because this is a WIP and you have not finished it yet, so let's see some more and perhaps you already have some ideas of making this look a little more natural.

heathan666
10-13-2008, 07:39 PM
well I wish I knew how to blend it all together better, but the "rough looking green areas" are supposed to signify hill country, whil the more flatter dull green areas are actually swamp lands (yes I know I failed in my attempt to capture see level murky doom). But when I redid the rivers earlier it came out great.

jfrazierjr
10-13-2008, 08:45 PM
well I wish I knew how to blend it all together better, but the "rough looking green areas" are supposed to signify hill country, whil the more flatter dull green areas are actually swamp lands (yes I know I failed in my attempt to capture see level murky doom). But when I redid the rivers earlier it came out great.


Since you have several things going on, you might consider adding to the original post a quick sketch of your landmass and use colors to indicate what each part of the land is supposed to be. It does not have to be anything fancy, see the September challenge (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2855) first post for the "template" map and just make a quick one to show what everything is. That might help us nail down specific areas to help with one piece at a time.

heathan666
10-13-2008, 09:09 PM
well I'm workin' on it a lil bit at a time, I think I'm gettin' the hang of it, I actually went back through made an adjustment to each primary layer (hills, forrest) etc, and from there created an overall top overlay designed to "lighten" the image....it worked out well, basically blending everything together for me. so it all looks to be on par.

See :idea:

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d139/twelvedrunkenmonkeyz/worldmappost-1.jpg


Edit
Probably what I should do to blend the hills and grass areas is actually do a gradiant layer and stack them ontop of each other, basically a duel overlay???

landorl
10-13-2008, 10:03 PM
That's a pretty big improvement. The rivers look much better. The only complaint/comment that I have is that the river in the NW drains into two different oceans. If you have some sort of natural, or supernatural reason for that, then it is o.k., but it is not normally found in nature.

heathan666
10-14-2008, 01:03 AM
Lol DM for the win!

Jkaen
10-14-2008, 11:57 AM
Its a massive improvement, I would try to reduce the opacity of the texture on what I will call the plains (the rendered clouds layer) and possible merge a few similar layers together to get a less structured look to that layer.

I think in general you are suffering from the textures on each layer being to large (I am guessing the original for this is quite large). What I do then is render clouds on a much smaller layer and save it as a tileable pattern, then paste this onto a new layer.

jfrazierjr
10-14-2008, 12:51 PM
Its a massive improvement, I would try to reduce the opacity of the texture on what I will call the plains (the rendered clouds layer) and possible merge a few similar layers together to get a less structured look to that layer.

I think in general you are suffering from the textures on each layer being to large (I am guessing the original for this is quite large). What I do then is render clouds on a much smaller layer and save it as a tileable pattern, then paste this onto a new layer.


Agreed.

Question? Do you have anywhere you can upload the xcf file(since it is more than likely larger than what GC will allow) that is publicly viewable? It would be nice to see exactly what your layer composition is.

The noise stuff in the bottom right and center of the image are way to big IMO. What you have(texture wise) in the lighter green might be ok representing hilly country though. Also, one of the tricks I have found is to never bump map directly onto a color layer (well.. not never.. but rarely). What I tend to do is create a 50% gray layer and apply the texture to that. Then put that above the color layer and set the layer mode to Overlay. This "applies" the texture, but you get the flexibility of making changes to the color without having to redo the texture bits.

Karro
10-14-2008, 01:11 PM
Another river point.

On the river in the lower-right quadrant, it appears the river has it's headwaters in a lake in the mountains, and it heads down towad another lake (joined by a couple of tributaries along the way).

Then the river leaves the lake and goes... somewhere in the middle of the plains and stops.

Is there a particular reason for this? Or is the lake the final destination, and the other branch another river feeding the same lake? Is there a reason this lake doesn't overflow and create another river that will eventually empty toward the ocean?

With regard to the mountains, have you looked at some of the other tutorials and ideas on the board about how to make mountains? Currently they look a little flat, like just gray blobs on a green field.

Finally, there's lot of good advice being presented on how to tone down some of the heavy-looking cloud-noise on the plains sections. As you post more, I'm sure you'll get more great feedback!

heathan666
10-14-2008, 01:13 PM
actually that's how I've been doin' the bump maps. I've been following the tutorial on here (however like the man says this isn't for World sized maps) so That's probably why it doesn't look as good as it "could be". Right now I've got all the layers merged per terrain type (ocean, rivers & lakes, hills, land, mountains, etc). I've been trying to blend the hill and land terrain, together. I may "blur" the land to lessen the texturing and spread it out more.

Karro
10-14-2008, 01:24 PM
actually that's how I've been doin' the bump maps. I've been following the tutorial on here (however like the man says this isn't for World sized maps) so That's probably why it doesn't look as good as it "could be". Right now I've got all the layers merged per terrain type (ocean, rivers & lakes, hills, land, mountains, etc). I've been trying to blend the hill and land terrain, together. I may "blur" the land to lessen the texturing and spread it out more.

I noticed when I went through the tutorial that it didn't produce mountains quite like I was exspecting, either--they didn't have quite the effect I wanted.

So I played around and came up with a composite approach that gets more nearly to what I want (and which I'll be using on the world map I'm working on to.

I started with RobA's other mountain tutorial Here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=594), which I combined with RobA's regional map tutorial to produce results in this map. (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2089)

Then I built on that with some ideas presented by jfrazierjr in this thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2098) (which I believe he was also developing for use on a world-scale map), and my process matured into the products shown here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2270).

I wonder if I should get around to writing a tutorial on how I arrived at a version I actually liked... I suppose it would be helpful to myself just to have my process detailed in a step-by-step fashion.

Another point of advice: I never merge layers until I'm absolutely sure that I won't need the separated layers again.

And even then, I save it down as a new version of the file so that I can always go back to the older version if I decide I want to make changes later.

It's saved my bacon several times as I have decided to go back and change things (like in my world map thread where I had to go back and redo all my islands... I had a based black-and-white layer I could work on that formed the basis of the land and ocean masks).

jfrazierjr
10-14-2008, 01:51 PM
I noticed when I went through the tutorial that it didn't produce mountains quite like I was exspecting, either--they didn't have quite the effect I wanted.

So I played around and came up with a composite approach that gets more nearly to what I want (and which I'll be using on the world map I'm working on to.

I started with RobA's other mountain tutorial Here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=594), which I combined with RobA's regional map tutorial to produce results in this map. (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2089)

Then I built on that with some ideas presented by jfrazierjr in this thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2098) (which I believe he was also developing for use on a world-scale map), and my process matured into the products shown here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2270).


Thanks... I am particulary proud of my mountains in the thread you link to in this post (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=21759&postcount=36).




I wonder if I should get around to writing a tutorial on how I arrived at a version I actually liked... I suppose it would be helpful to myself just to have my process detailed in a step-by-step fashion.

Ditto.. I keep meaning to do a tutorial on how I adapted RobA's mountain technique and created the mountains in my above link, I just have not gotten around to it yet.
[/quote]



Another point of advice: I never merge layers until I'm absolutely sure that I won't need the separated layers again.


Quoted For Truth!!!




And even then, I save it down as a new version of the file so that I can always go back to the older version if I decide I want to make changes later.

It's saved my bacon several times as I have decided to go back and change things (like in my world map thread where I had to go back and redo all my islands... I had a based black-and-white layer I could work on that formed the basis of the land and ocean masks).

Ditto. I also tend to have 4-6 versions of each map saved to separate files as it progresses. I try to not merge if possible unless my RAM gives out. On my Sept Challenge entry, I ended have some 1.5 GB in memory spikes for GIMP due to the resolution and number of layers. Sometimes, things took 1+ minute to refresh. Fortunately, I had just gotten a new computer, so I was not forced by the RAM size or speed to merge any layers before the project was finished and I was so glad as I had to tweak some things even at the last minute on several layers.

Likewise, as Karro points out about changing things, I also try find techniques that allow me to make some type of style layer "thingy" without any destructive techniques. This is one of the primary reasons why I am such a big proponent of people learning to use layer masks(and thus the tutorial I wrote on that subject) since it allows you to use some effects that would normally be descrutive and take extra time to modify something simple like color to be a 2 second change with a layer mask. For me, it just makes sense to try to limit techniques that are destructive it at all possible. Using the 50% grey layer for your bump maps and setting it to overlay is another good example. I know some people cannot always do that because of memory issues since you have to have another layer lying around taking up space, but it's still better to know of the technique and then consiously decide not to use it for some reason. Of course, I am still learning GIMP also, so I know there are tons of other thing I will eventually figure out or someone will show me.

heathan666
10-14-2008, 02:14 PM
Well I'm not gonna say my map is perfect, but I am happy with it atm. I mean for my first map, to me it looks good, but yes I have been editing it and looking at it. But I will post the original hand drawn crap map if you guys wanna take a stab at it, and maybe edit it.

Karro
10-14-2008, 02:24 PM
Well I'm not gonna say my map is perfect, but I am happy with it atm. I mean for my first map, to me it looks good, but yes I have been editing it and looking at it. But I will post the original hand drawn crap map if you guys wanna take a stab at it, and maybe edit it.

Don't take the critique the wrong way. The idea of the forum is to help folks make something good even better.

In some of those threads I linked, you can follow a process that takes something that already good looking and makes them, well, just a bit better.

But you're right, your map is pretty good already. And, ultimately, it most has to please you, as it's creator, more than anyone else, I think.

So we're just offering ideas that we think might help you make your own work better. None of us is perfect... yet.

heathan666
10-14-2008, 02:27 PM
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d139/twelvedrunkenmonkeyz/worldmapkingdomstest-1.png
Color Codes:
Brown=Mountains
Yelllow=Desert
Blues=Water
Neon Green=Swamp
Light Green=Plains
Med Green=Hills
Dark Green=Forrest
Red=Kingdom/Region Borders.

Oh no I'm not takin' it the wrong way, i'm just sayin' I'm very happy with it atm, I mean I went from this image to what I posted.