View Full Version : The Santharian Dream

Sir Alain
01-05-2007, 11:15 PM
I came across this website some time ago, some of you may have seen it, but it's always worth a look. Make sure you have some time to sit and explore, it's a biggie:


The author of the site has completely mapped the world. Just to speed things along, here are some direct links to the maps. (Which he made in Photoshop) I think they are outstanding, myself:


He was also kind enough to include on the site a fairly comprehensive tutorial on his techniques:


Hope this kicks everyone's creative juices in to overdrive for the new year.


01-06-2007, 07:41 AM
Rellay cool maps. Ilike that black/white style thought I think some sepia filters on it would be nice too

Sir Alain
01-06-2007, 09:38 PM
Yeah that would be good, like weathered paper or something. Maybe a little burn here and there with some grunge brushes. He also showed near the end of the tute some examples of other textures. I thought his work was really well done!

01-06-2007, 10:17 PM
His tutorial is really well done. I like the look of these maps as well.

01-07-2007, 05:43 PM
Great tutorials, I hadn't thought about using the lighting effects like that.


01-08-2007, 09:51 AM
The site is amazingly done. I LOVE browsing through websites that encompass entire campaign settings...I get ideas for my own campaign. I would liek to set up a wiki if my players cared enough about the goings on of the world outside of their own scope.

This site is great though...still browsing hehehe.

Sir Alain
01-10-2007, 10:12 PM
LOL I discovered that site over a year ago, and I STILL go back and browse it every now and then. ...always something new!

04-12-2007, 05:52 PM
I found this site recently and it great. Very nice effects. The site gas some symbols that can be downloaded. I did that and made PNG files of them. I came up with this map using the symbols and MapX.

04-12-2007, 09:15 PM
not too shabby istarlome. I'm not really 100% on the placement of the items...and I think the trees need some shadow or something...but nice adaptation of existing symbols...would be great for those that don't have time to hand draw maps every time.

04-13-2007, 05:43 AM
Wow, excellent tutorial on that website, thanks so much for posting Al.

Lot's of tricks and tips to be learned from it.


Sir Alain
04-14-2007, 11:04 PM
I just got a PM from Artimidor Federkiel, the cartographer and creator of Santharia. Although he is a registered member here, he has encountered some problems posting. He wished to respond to this thread in person. That said however, I'm sure he would not mind you all checking out his newest addition:



He did mention the possibility of a new set of tutes and had some really nice sequential shots of the work in progress. Perhaps when his posting issues get resolved we can sweet talk him into sharing more :)

Artimidor Federkiel
04-15-2007, 03:05 AM
Ah yes, now I can post as well - obviously one needs to be additionally approved to be able to post, didn't know that.

Anyway, just wanted to post here to point you to that Manthrian map Sir Alain already mentioned, as I think techniques have improved quite a bit compared to the previous maps I made. The sequential shots of the work in progress he mentioned I can post here as well now to give you some ideas. Here you go, hope you enjoy:

Manthrian Map in Progress:

(click on images to enlarge)

http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_1_small.jpg (http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_1.jpg)

http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_2_small.jpg (http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_2.jpg)

http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_3_small.jpg (http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_3.jpg)

http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_4_small.jpg (http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_4.jpg)

http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_5_small.jpg (http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_5.jpg)

http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_6_small.jpg (http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_6.jpg)

http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_7_small.jpg (http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_7.jpg)

http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_8_small.jpg (http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_8.jpg)

http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_9_small.jpg (http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_9.jpg)

http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_10_small.jpg (http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_10.jpg)

http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_11_small.jpg (http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_11.jpg)

The last ones without previews:
Number 12 (http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_12.jpg)
Number 13 (http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_13.jpg)
Number 14 (http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_13a.jpg)
Number 15 (http://stuff.santharia.com/artimidor/manthria_details_13b.jpg)

And the final result Sir Alain mentioned of course, here (http://www.santharia.com/maps/provinces/manthria_frame.htm).

I also use this detailed map to make small zoomable Flash maps out of them, see here (http://www.santharia.com/places/ciosa.htm) for example (Location section).

Hope that serves as inspiration for some people interested in cartography here :)

04-15-2007, 12:07 PM
Simply awsome! I found your site about a year ago when I was looking around for some images like mountains, trees, buildings, to use as images in MapX from DungeonForge.

I'm convinced that with a good set of images one can make some really nice maps with the program. And it only takes a few minutes.

I hope you don't mind my using some of your images. The map above is the only one I've done and it's to show what is possible with MapX.

Lately, I've been creating my own sets of images with the Gimp.

I must find time to return to The Santharian Dream for more exploration.

04-15-2007, 01:07 PM


Yup, I'm speechless... That website, maps, pics, everything is just mind blowing. Can I ask how long it took you to get from nothing to the way it looks now?

Artimidor Federkiel
04-16-2007, 06:29 AM
Well, RPMiller, the site was created in November 1998, so this makes it nearly 9 years of age. Now we have reached approx. 3000+ pages, but the quality is what counts primarily. People with enough creativity and imagination are of course always welcomed to join the endeavour :)

@Istarlome: Yeah, what is downloadable in Photoshop sources on the site can also be used for own maps, so that's all fine with me.

04-16-2007, 07:41 AM
Artimidor...have you ever considered a Wiki? Soooo easy to work with once installed and setup...Pyrandon's Westaven wiki got me hooked...as soon as I get my own wiki to the point where I'm not embarassed about the development of my setting I'll share my own wiki.

Although you've got quite a bit of material already it might be a big issue converting it to Wiki...But if you have a large enough "staff" it could go smoothly.

Artimidor Federkiel
04-16-2007, 04:27 PM
Well, a Wiki has its advantages but also its limits. As have other ready made systems like portal systems and such - they help you organize things and limit you at the same time. Of course a move of such a huge site would be an extreme effort. I personally prefer to keep the web design in my own hands, for one because it has grown that way and because I then retain the liberty to make changes the way I see fit and don't have to work within the constraints of a tool. Plus I prefer to be creative on the site and don't want to drown in organizational things. When something needs to be done, I'll do it though.

I make my own offline tools that facilitate site updating, for example history tables (see example here (http://www.santharia.com/history/tribes/humans/erpheronia.htm)) are done with an own tool I've made that allows dynamic event additions including pictures at multiple entries at the same time.

Another tool takes care of preparing vocabulary pages based on pre-defined templates. Recently I've made a Name Generator for example. And so on. So the tools are there, and the longer I use them the more I can refine them and increase efficiency. Changing the system dramatically now won't work that well methinks. - Unfortunately I don't have a tool for automatic map drawing yet :)

04-17-2007, 11:11 AM
Yet... ;) I am impressed with what you have and I completely agree with your philosophy of doing it yourself in this regard. There is a proper method and tool for any particular goal, and considering what you have and how you are doing it, my hat is off to you sir! Well done.

04-21-2007, 01:26 PM
Congrats on the featured map, Artimidor! You obviously put a lot of work into your maps and I can tell you are focused upon forging a new style rather than recreating others' work. From your posts I also note you continually reassess what you do and that this is not by any means a "whipped out" first draft map; instead it's the most recent stop on a creative journey you have been taking for some time now. Your work impresses upon the map viewer a real place with real inhabitants who have lived, struggled, and died there, and that's a direct result of the thought and time you've put into it.

I also greatly appreciate your attempts at artistic representation. I think all fantasy cartographers should risk creativity, risk placing themselves into their work. Now, I must admit I myself do not care for some aspects of your map(s), but far from degrading my appreciation of your work it is instead yet another reason I like it: your maps are by no means generic or bland. A great map, just like great art and literature, should never be completely satisfying, but spark ideas and conversation.

In short, great, great work, Artimidor! Keep it up!

PS: Thanks for the tutorials. I hope you keep making those as well!

04-21-2007, 02:48 PM
Pyrandon you're hired as my new review writer. Please report to my office first thing monday morning!. :))

04-23-2007, 08:26 AM
Pyrandon you're hired as my new review writer. Please report to my office first thing monday morning!. :))

Hahaha--In essence I didn't think I said much more than "Nice map," but if there's a paycheck at the end of it I'll keep saying "Nice map" as long as you like!

PS: Showed up at your office this morning as requested but the door was locked, the lights were off, shades drawn, and that cyclops at the receptionist's desk eyed me fiercely... so I left. ;-)

04-23-2007, 10:17 AM
Yeah, Frau Helga mentioned you had come by...she was actually flirting with you. I was playing minesweep and didn't want to be bothered.

Sir Alain
04-29-2007, 11:12 PM
Ah yes, now I can post as well - obviously one needs to be additionally approved to be able to post, didn't know that.

Hey! Haven't been able to be on in a couple weeks. Glad to see you got things ironed out Arti. Good stuff, I enjoyed looking at it all over again!

09-06-2013, 03:02 AM
Thanks for posting. I really like the way you showed the progression.