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Nickadimos
10-31-2008, 05:35 AM
Hey all,

My Name is Terry Burgenheim, I live in Tennessee in the USA.

I stumbled upon your site a few weeks back desperate for some help with some mapping resources for a game im working on.

The game is a solo project and has been concepted for over 9 months now.

I had finally reached the point where I had to start showing off some of these concepts. Mainly, for myself, but, also for those of you that are married will understand, for my wife and family, whom, bless their hearts, have no clue what it is or what it takes to make a game or even some of the resources for a game OR even a concept for a game.

You know.. when they start to give you that eye, you know, like, what are you doing in there on those COUNTLESS hours in front of the computer honing your skills and reading and studying and learning and practicing and reading some more.. LOL

SO, without further a due, this map is of one of the main regions of my game called the Draceion Isle.

It is now the home and the safe-haven for the mystical creatures and humanoids left on the planet. Namely the Dragons, Dragon kind, and Giants, there are plenty of others seeking refuge here as well hoping the Dragons will protect them from the Anointed, some real bad dudes that were good but turned worse after their hearts turned black....... its a long story... But they have taken over the planet and are killing good and evil creatures alike, they believe the planet belongs to them and will stop at nothing to make sure everyone else knows it. The only ones left strong enough to stop them is the dragons, but their own personal squabbling and fighting amongst themselves cause the Anointed to get the upper hand and kill thousands of dragons and their cousins before they even knew what hit them. Leaving only a hand full left in respite and fear.

Everyone that's left, have moved into the old cities and homes of the ancient Titans, their cities are in ruin and rubble now after centuries of neglect.

So here we are... on the raggedy edge...

Draceion isle...

I just finished the rivers but im not happy with them.

I have still to put the towns and roads in, the dragons lairs are up in the north west area, still to be put in of course.

I followed a mixture of ROBA and Pyrandons tutorials for this.



FOCUSED CRITIQUE PLEASE!

Redrobes
10-31-2008, 08:00 AM
Hi Nickadimos,

You map is pretty good with nice colours and rough mountain texture. The bit that will strike out is the rivers which might be perfectly intentional for your particular world but could never exist in reality. What you basically need to do if reality is a goal is to think that each drop of water as rain falls into a watershed and travels to the sea along a (very very nearly always) single path.

This issue comes up so frequently that we have a thread about it:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2927

I know how you feel about spending countless hours on projects but luckily my wife does the same.

Welcome to the guild. Theres a few helpful links in my sig and one is my new Where In The World script which you might want to add your approximate location to.

Oh and ill "Banish your Blue Pip o' Shame" (tm - NeonKnightHoldings Inc used without permission etc etc)

xv43
10-31-2008, 09:48 AM
Definitely what Redrobes said. Also, your rivers all appear to be pretty much the same width everywhere. I'm not sure what the scale is supposed to be, but either those islands are fairly small or those rivers are really big.

landorl
10-31-2008, 10:28 AM
It is a pretty good map so far, but I do have to agree that the rivers are pretty distracting. Even if you have a reason for them having a very unnatural flow pattern, the fact that they are all the same width distracts from the rest of the map, which is pretty good.

Sigurd
10-31-2008, 01:17 PM
You know.. when they start to give you that eye, you know, like, what are you doing in there on those COUNTLESS hours in front of the computer honing your skills and reading and studying and learning and practicing and reading some more.. LOL


Is that what I'm doing? Wow I feel much better. :idea:

I like your map. It shows you're picking good textures and working for variations that are interesting.

I agree about the rivers, but I think you'd already intuited that.

My suggestion, and its only personal preference here, is that you try for some more neutral over all texture to work into rather than make every part of the map so much texture at similar scale.

I hope I'm being clear?

I think the map suffers from feeling like cut up textures rather than a landmass. For starters, try and place the water on the land layer, not cut away all the land to reveal a shared water layer. The cut away land looks like improbable islands and the water looks like its all at the same height.


Excuse the liberty, maybe I'll be more clear if I tweak your map a bit. I'm working in photoshop - people can be much more helpful with advice if you mention what program you're using.

I covered all your islands in a brown neutral overlay. I picked the colour from your existing sand and tried to unify the textures a bit.

I tried to raise the water colour of your central island rivers to make them seem different from the coast. Introducing the rivers works much better with a complete ground layer to start with :).

I selected out all your rivers - I didn't change the shape of them - and I stroked their edge to give them a transition between shore and water.


Does that make it any more clear?

Sigurd

Karro
10-31-2008, 02:14 PM
I like the look of the land and the mountains and beaches especially.

As has been pointed out on the rivers, and as you point out yourself, they could use a little work.

A few suggestions:

1.) rivers flow together toward the sea, and rarely split apart. So you'll have multiple streams flowing into one large river. So especially the large, inter-connected river system on the main island is particularly unlikely, where the same water source splits it's flow so many times it's hard to keep track, and empties into the sea in six different places. A more accurate river system would probably have several water sources (usually starting in mountains or springs, etc.) flowing and joining together as they go toward the sea. Of those that end up joining together, you might then end up with two or three river systems usually separated by higher ground.

2.) In particular, one river system seams to cut through a point of high ground on the western side of the main island, where there appears to be a large hill (possibly just an artifact of using clouds to generate terrain variability, but it looks like a large green hill, and the effect is nice, except' it's cut through with a river).

3.) Varying the width: I assume the rivers on some kind of mask layer that is masking out the land. If this is the case, you should have a black-and-white representation of the rivers in the layer's mask. Go to edit the mask, and use black and white brushes to fiddle around the edges until you get something nice and tapered looking. The rivers will be thin toward their source and thicker toward their outlet at the sea.

4.) The Forests: it looks like the green from your forests overlaps all your rivers, and possibly into the lake as well. I would suggest applying the same mask from your rivers onto the forests. This will remove some of the green color from the rivers where they disappear into the forests. A few more advanced techniques can make the river and forest interplay a little more naturally and would look great.

Nickadimos
10-31-2008, 06:20 PM
WOW!

Thank you Guys!

I will totally respond in a while as I am on my lunch break and dont have the time...

Thank you for all your advice!!

I used GIMP for those of you that are asking..

It seems my dislike for my rivers was warranted!!!

Ill work on this a little and post a screening later tonight.. I may have to work overtime so it may not be until tomorrow!!

THANK YOU GUYS/GALS SO MUCH!!! You guys are a neat crew!

Terry

Nickadimos
11-01-2008, 12:01 AM
Ok here goes,

I promise! Ill make the rivers better! LOL

So when i look at a map, all the little tiny rivers are actually flowing TOWARDS the big rivers? I guess i always thought they were flowing AWAY from the big rivers...

I will taper them down and make them a little more realistic. I have plans for an overall overlay. And the grass will have a real nice texture i made for it...

Well the area there in the middle, it was supposed to look like a huge swamp or marsh area.. it ended up lookign like a bunch of streams and rivers.

Does anyone have any advice on how to make that look more like a swamp or marsh than a bunch of rivers?



@karro - what advanced techniques are you talking about? Cause thats exactly what im going for, the forests to kinda overshadow the rivers going through them. Can you explain how to do this in GIMP or PS, i can pretty much translate anythign from PS into GIMP.


What do you guys think of the shoreline? I think it ended up a little too bright.. If you look at google earth satellite imagray its really green (teal) along the shoreline. In a few spots it was the whispy whiter colors

Im trying to go for that effect, kinda be able to see the shoreline underwater for a bit b4 it tapers off into ocean. i think that may be as simple as an opacity thing though...

Thanks again for all your help!

Ill be posting an update as soon as I complete it..

Terry

Ascension
11-01-2008, 01:47 AM
I sketched out a river system for ya to see how it I would do it. I put in a lot of rivers so you can throw some of 'em out if ya like. Couple of notes to keep in mind:

1. Always have more rivers flowing into a lake than out. If many rivers flowed out that would mean the surrounding land was lower than the lake so it would be a hill instead. I usually only have 1 out-flowing river.
2. Slope determines flow...high to low, path of least resistance (easier to cut through dirt than rock), mucho meandering on flat areas.

3. Swamps don't usually have large rivers flowing through them, instead they have numerous small creeks. A large river can siphon out large amounts of water and since the area is swampy that means not a lot of water is getting sucked away...creeks and ponds a-plenty.

Hope this helps...I DO like the map by the way :)

jfrazierjr
11-01-2008, 02:13 AM
Ok here goes,

I promise! Ill make the rivers better! LOL

So when i look at a map, all the little tiny rivers are actually flowing TOWARDS the big rivers? I guess i always thought they were flowing AWAY from the big rivers...

I will taper them down and make them a little more realistic. I have plans for an overall overlay. And the grass will have a real nice texture i made for it...

Well the area there in the middle, it was supposed to look like a huge swamp or marsh area.. it ended up lookign like a bunch of streams and rivers.

Does anyone have any advice on how to make that look more like a swamp or marsh than a bunch of rivers?



@karro - what advanced techniques are you talking about? Cause thats exactly what im going for, the forests to kinda overshadow the rivers going through them. Can you explain how to do this in GIMP or PS, i can pretty much translate anythign from PS into GIMP.

Terry

Since you are using GIMP, go read up on my Layer Mask tutorial first. This tool is (should be) one of the most often used tools in your GIMP arsenal (and that goes for you PS people too!!!). If you have any questions at all about the tutorial, please feel free to ask in that thread or here and I will answer in a day or two (or perhaps I did my darn job and someone I helped with the tutorial can answer.)

You have used layer masks via the tutorial by RobA, but not knowing why by following the exact steps is what I attempt to demystify in my tutorial.

Nickadimos
11-01-2008, 05:13 AM
Ok here is a slight update to my Shoreline and Sea. Still working on the rivers...

ravells
11-01-2008, 07:15 AM
Hi Nickadimos. You can actually upload your maps to the site rather than linking. This comes with the added benefit of producing a clickable thumbnail (you may have noticed I have edited your original post in this way). It's helpful for all as people reading the thread don't have to wait for large images to load.

To upload an image to the site, click on 'go advanced' below the message box, and 'add attachments'. Browse to the attachment on your pc and upload. That will automatically produce a clickable thumbnail. Why don't you try it with your map in the previous post by clicking the 'edit' button.

Nice map by the way! My only comment is that you might want to give the forest a different texture. At the moment the texture looks like it's the same as the mountains except in green.

best

Ravs

Sigurd
11-01-2008, 01:35 PM
Can't comment without scale.

Rivers form from collected rainwater. A small region collects too little rainwater.

Depending on your scale the outer islands might have no rivers and the inner one very few. Is the ocean area salt water? Natural fresh water on islands is very often scarce.


Sigurd

Ascension
11-01-2008, 02:44 PM
Your coastal bits and ocean look excellent, A+.

Nickadimos
11-03-2008, 02:37 PM
Hey Everyone!

In case your wondering, i havent given up. I have completely started the map over again. By the time I got to where I was at b4. I had not made enough backup layers to save the stuff where I came from, and I had applied a bunch of masks that I couldnt undo. So im making the map over again with these things in mind..

This one so far is WAY better, with better mountains and more little Islands.

The Area size is around 60 x 60 kM.

I am still using GIMP.

And I am having a BLAST doing this stuff. :)

Thanks
Terry

p.s. Update coming VERY soon!

Karro
11-03-2008, 02:51 PM
@karro - what advanced techniques are you talking about? Cause thats exactly what im going for, the forests to kinda overshadow the rivers going through them. Can you explain how to do this in GIMP or PS, i can pretty much translate anythign from PS into GIMP.


Ill be posting an update as soon as I complete it..

Terry

Good luck with working this out!

I use GIMP also, and so do a lot of other folks on these boards. A lot of the advanced techniques are detailed out in a lot of old WIP posts and tutorials. Do some searches of the forums for some stuff done by DanChops, jfrazierjr, and especially RobA (he seems to be especially good at this stuff... which is why his rep is astronomically high.

Ordinarily, I'd do the searches through the forums myself and post for you a list of links, but today I don't really have time :(

jfrazierjr
11-03-2008, 03:27 PM
Good luck with working this out!

I use GIMP also, and so do a lot of other folks on these boards. A lot of the advanced techniques are detailed out in a lot of old WIP posts and tutorials. Do some searches of the forums for some stuff done by DanChops, jfrazierjr, and especially RobA (he seems to be especially good at this stuff... which is why his rep is astronomically high.

Ordinarily, I'd do the searches through the forums myself and post for you a list of links, but today I don't really have time :(


Here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2270&highlight=Playing+with) is the one I always reference, not to self promote, but I just love the mountains I created that darn much. And this (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2098&highlight=Forests) one (ignore all the garbage at the beginning as it's totally utter trash and since it's my work, I am qualified to say so. Go down to about post 36 for the decent stuff.) And this one (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2087&highlight=Forests) for forests by DanChops around post 18 or so. FYI, in the first and second links , my mountains toward the latter posts are a direct rip off of RobA's mountain video tutorial for the beginning steps and I just add some extra stuff (quite a bit of extra work timewise, but I think it's worth it for the effect you get.) I am still trying to find a holy grail for making some excellent forests though... I have come close to making something I really like, but nothing so far is really "perfect".

Also, before you finish up your land layers, take a look at these by RobA as they make better random coastlines than his Regional tutorial do(actually, they just do in one step what the tutorial does at a later stage IIRC):

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1397
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=875
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=874

And this one http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3011 for creating tapered rivers in GIMP.

Nickadimos
11-19-2008, 05:01 AM
Ok guys, got the tablet working in GIMP. I installed the trial version of adobe photoshop CS4 to test and see if the problem was with my tablet or not.... and awesomely the tablet started working in GIMP! Miracles? Im thinking the driver database for adobe overrode the drivers for the tablet or something and made everyone get along!!

So without further a due.

I have 2 updates..

The first one had the rivers over top the Forest. And the second one has them kinda shaded in with the forest.. I cant decide on which one I like better.. Any suggestions?

I also updated the forest with a new texture that turned out greatly!

Your critique is welcomed!

Terry

Pandora
11-19-2008, 05:49 AM
The map has made really nice progress and its looking a lot more realistic now, including the rivers. I really love those mountains ...

I foresee one slight problem though: The map is too dark / color intensive to add symbols and text easily. A few of those might be ok, but you would have to add a light glow to icons to make them stand out in the dark and that could disturb the look of the map. You could add icons in light colors, but that might seem a little odd depending on the icon and text would be a problem since you do have some light areas too and text tends to go over larger areas ...

A nice definition of Contrast for transmission electron microscopy (and why looking at a negative makes sense):
Three filled seats in an empty theatre are easier to see than three empty seats in a full theatre.

Nickadimos
11-19-2008, 07:09 AM
Thank you very much for your comments..

Do you think the rivers are better under the forest or over the forest?

And what do you think fo the forest?

LOL

Terry

I think Ill try to lighten it up a little.. I sorta agree..

Steel General
11-19-2008, 07:17 AM
I like the rivers "underneath" the forest - more realistic that way. :)

Nickadimos
11-21-2008, 02:09 AM
I appreciate your opinion, and it is dually noted! More Updates coming soonly!!

Terry

CC_JAR
11-24-2008, 04:10 PM
Wow, nice map. only thing I see, is the pattern or texture kinda looks like it has a grid under it, not sure if thats intentional or not, but I see blocky looking lines in the grassy areas. on your original map I could even see them in the oceans.

I love the direction you're heading in though. And the river under the trees is better.