View Full Version : [Illustrator] Randland

12-06-2008, 01:44 AM
A friend is running a game set in the world of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time novels. He asked me to provide a map, and I happened to need a subject for my final project in my Illustrator class. So, with the aid of tcberry's and HandsomeRob's tutorials, and using Ellisa Mitchell's painting as a reference, I've started mapping "Randland," as it's called by fans.

I am aware of the issues at the junction between the rivers and their deltas. They'll eventually be covered by city icons.

C & C welcome.

12-06-2008, 08:33 AM
Geographically that lake is unlikely. If all the small tributaries are flowing from that point then its probably the highest point on the map or at very least it definitely is on the watersheds of all the rivers. Lakes don't form on the watersheds. You do occasionally have lakes high up in mountainous regions but the rock would have to be impermeable like granite. But these are usually in the basin of even higher regions as water collects into them.

I always find it much easier to get the height of an area first and then determine water flow based on guessed watersheds and then where a lot of water is naturally collecting and the ground is flat is where lakes go. If you are going to apply some hill graphics and mountain symbols then its going to be interesting to see what you do at that point.

Perhaps a caldera might be an option tho ?

12-06-2008, 08:53 AM
I think Midgardsormr intends to try and set all the features the way they are in Wheel of Time canon. Even where they don't make sense geographically ;)

12-06-2008, 09:00 AM
Oh I see. I looked up for other maps and found some like this one below - section attached. The lake is draining from two channels into two different rivers to the sea. I guess the original map designer should have come here and read up about our "river violations" post.

Heres another one (http://fantasymaps.wordpress.com/2008/01/30/robert-jordan-wheel-of-time-the-ten-nations/attachment/549/) This one is interesting because the mapper here obviously does understand river flow and has made excruciating contortions to the mountains to make the rivers flow as they were drawn. Notice that the lake is surrounded by a thin mountain range one side and yet drops to low lands instantly on the other. Its like a curtain of mountains thousands of feet high.

12-06-2008, 11:47 AM
According to the original map, that river on the east side doesn't flow out of the lake. The text indicates that those mountains are very steep on the east side, and no one from the Two Rivers (the area between those two eastern tributaries) had ever crossed from east to west. Later on, though, refugees began crossing west to east, which indicates to me that the western slopes are significantly gentler than the eastern.

In any case, yes, I am limited by the information presented in existing maps, which can be somewhat excused by the backstory that hundreds of powerful magic-wielders wrecked the world as they went terminally insane. Who knows what bizarre geographic results that would have? Personally, I've always found that long, narrow archipelago on the southern coast improbable. It's far too straight.

edit: Oh, hey, I just followed the link to that other map--that's the original painting by Mitchell that I just posted the closeup from, and it's the one I'm working from.

12-06-2008, 12:47 PM
Your maps fine but I think the original has some faults. Even if the terrain had been torn up by magic the water flow would still be natural unless the water itself was magic. But anyway, you gotta go with the flow :oops: I mean the original maps' direction.

12-07-2008, 12:58 AM
I'm working on developing a style for the mountains now. I'm not real sure about it yet, but I've done just a bit in the southeast corner. I'll also run it by the guy who's actually going to be using the map to see what he thinks.

At the moment, I am leaning toward keeping this style, but it'll need some cleanup, probably, and some additional detailing.

Steel General
12-07-2008, 10:02 AM
Interesting style, has an almost 'cartoony' quality to it.

12-08-2008, 02:03 AM
Yeah, it's hard to get away from that in Illustrator. Hopefully adding some effects will soften the lines a bit, but there are so many nodes in this thing that I'm hesitant to apply anything like that until the very end. I'm already having trouble due to the complexity of the piece.

Anyway, all of my mountains are laid in now. I don't think they're going to need as much detailing as I thought they would, although there are a couple of places I'll definitely want to touch up. Next step, I think, is going to be some city icons. We'll see how that goes; I haven't managed to come up with decent icons yet, and I've tried it a couple of times. Mayhap it'll be easier with Illustrator than it was with CC3.

Steel General
12-08-2008, 07:10 AM
Have you decided how you're going to handle the wastelands in the north?

12-08-2008, 11:17 AM
I have not. Got any suggestions? I do know that I'll be adding one more big mountain, though: I've left off Shayol Ghul!

Steel General
12-08-2008, 11:23 AM
I have not. Got any suggestions? I do know that I'll be adding one more big mountain, though: I've left off Shayol Ghul!

Certainly can't have Randland without the Wheel Of Times equivalent to Mt. Doom!

As for ideas, on how to present the wastes... eeesh! Maybe chasms, rifts, boulders, etc.

12-10-2008, 01:48 AM
Inspired by that lovely Inkscape map posted earlier, I have altered my course. I have recolored to make it look more like a modern atlas (per HandsomeRob's example, which is, ironically, where I started) and begun adding elevation regions. I kept my faux shaded-relief mountains, but I reduced their opacity significantly. I may redraw some of them to more closely match the elevation information, which I anticipate will make this map look insanely cool.

Anyway, here's what I've got so far. This represents, I think, 10 or 11 levels.

Steel General
12-10-2008, 06:17 AM
I like the change Midgard - not there was anything wrong with your original. :)

12-10-2008, 12:55 PM
Looks great so far.

12-11-2008, 12:56 AM
A simple rose created for this map. This image is licensed CC SA.

By the way, the map as a whole (when finished) is available for personal use only, due to the copyrights held by the Robert Jordan estate and Tor Books.

12-11-2008, 06:58 PM
The elevations are all done. I've turned off the mountains I made earlier because they don't quite match the elevation details at the moment. I think I've taken care off all the discontinuities in the contours and made sure all the rivers are running downhill and crossing the contour lines at right-angles.

Of course, you probably wouldn't be able to see any of those things at this resolution, but the finished map will be poster-sized. The neatline is actually smaller than it appears here. I forgot to fix the stroke widths when I resized.

Next step: more city icons. When I'm all done, I'll post up my symbol library and png versions of the icons.

Once again, criticism and suggestions are welcome.

12-12-2008, 06:41 AM
Sehr schön, great map!
I like this wonderfull border.

12-12-2008, 11:59 AM
Well, I wish I could take credit for the border, but in truth, it's just a pattern brush that comes standard with Illustrator.

I haven't really explored the creation of pattern brushes yet, but some of the ones that come packaged with CS3 look quite useful for mapping. For instance, it's got railroad tracks--lay down a path, stroke it with the brush, and you've got an instant railroad. It gets a little funky if you're not careful with your curves, but for the most part it looks great. There's also a banner pattern that would be nice for a simple cartouche. And, of course, the border patterns are useful, as can be seen here.

In any case, thank you for the compliment. There will be another update later today, I'm sure.

12-12-2008, 08:33 PM
As promised, here's the latest update, and my city symbol library, which is in Adobe Illustrator format. I'll get the individual symbols done up in png later on.

This should be a much larger image, so you can see all those icons--they're rather tiny.

12-13-2008, 02:46 AM
This it the almost finished product. The only things I have left on my list are the scale bar and a little bit of padding for the text.

If I get really brave, I might add some ornamentation, redo those shaded relief mountains (currently removed), and put on a graticule.

So, what needs improvement? Be nit-picky; this is going in my portfolio, so I want it to be as impressive as possible.

12-13-2008, 01:42 PM
If I had to pick nits I'd color those icons with more than just white but otherwise I'd just let the nits live out their lives happily ever after.

12-13-2008, 03:21 PM
Yes, I think colored icons would look better. Otherwise it is a good map. It's not just a copy of the map in the books, it has its own style. Very good.

Oh, and the Wheel of Time is cool. Still anxious about the last book...

Steel General
12-13-2008, 03:34 PM
Yup, have to agree with Ascension & Gandwarf on the colored icons.

For me personally, I would add a bit more color to the waste lands and Shayol Ghul (sp?) to give them a bit more distinctiveness.

12-13-2008, 06:52 PM
Hmmm... I think I agree about the icons. Some of them could also use more detail. They're so small that I don't think detailed color would work, but I might try out the national colors for each of them and see how that goes. Andor's White Lion, of course, will have to remain white, as will Whitebridge. Well.

I wasn't happy with the black text, so I changed the text over the water to the same blue I used for the coastline, rivers, and compass. The text over the land became a dark green. And I added the scale bar. I tested the shaded relief mountains, but I didn't like the way they looked, so I abandoned that notion for now.

And, finally, I applied a text mask to make the labels slightly more legible, per HR's atlas tutorial. I'll test out the colored icons before I post another image.

12-13-2008, 09:16 PM
I hereby declare this map complete. I have posted the final version in the Finished Maps section here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?p=41091#post41091

Of course, if someone makes a good suggestion, I will probably still implement it.

12-13-2008, 10:42 PM
As promised, my icons in relatively hi-res png format. I've left them white, but they can obviously be recolored as needed.

Amador, Andor, Arad Doman, Cairhien, Chachin

12-13-2008, 10:43 PM
Ebou Dar, Fal Dara, Falme, Fal Moran, Far Madding

12-13-2008, 10:45 PM
Ghealdan, Godan, Illian, Lugard, Manetheren

12-13-2008, 10:46 PM
Mayene, Salidar, Shol Arbela, the Stone of Tear, Tarabon

12-13-2008, 10:47 PM
Tar Valon, and Whitebridge

Steel General
12-19-2008, 01:30 PM
Very nice Midgard!