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Zaramis
03-17-2009, 06:38 PM
This world is the geographical map of a mapping project Ive worked on for almost ten years in various iterations. I hope you all enjoy it - it is not the entire world, but it is the center of the economical and technological development which also holds a majority of the political turmoil in said world.

Hope you enjoy it. No names or locations yet, they are still in progress. I realized some of the ugly, small red cities are still on the map that I forgot to make invisible before I posted it, so please overlook them =)

Edit: Also, the water is far from done, its only a prototype right now. As are some of the locations, particularly in the eastern parts.

MadLetter
03-17-2009, 06:44 PM
Very nice, very nice!

The only criticism I have is that the mountains do look somewhat "blocky"

Zaramis
03-17-2009, 06:53 PM
I intend to modify the mountains before I make a finished variant of it, putting on a filter to "merge" them into the terrain so your criticism is very noted, and very in line with my own thoughts =)

indio
03-17-2009, 07:26 PM
Really great looking map. I love the texture and colour range.

Steel General
03-17-2009, 08:24 PM
Looking good -will be watching to see where you take this next.

Jykke
03-18-2009, 04:38 AM
What I personally would like to see is a bit more sharper ground textures to match the sharpness of the mountains. And on the positive side, I really like how you have distributed the different areas on this map, especially the mountains and vegetation areas. It has good potential and with some tweaking you'll probably get very good results.

Morkhdull
03-18-2009, 09:05 AM
Very beautifull... I like the texture and the general look of the overall...

Made with Gimp, I suppose

jezelf
03-18-2009, 09:56 AM
that's really nice - the coastline is somewhat distracting to me because of the high contrast, I enjoy looking at the land and what's you done there, but my eye keeps flicking back to the bright blue.

cool though. cheers!

Zaramis
03-18-2009, 10:01 AM
The coastline is not what I want as a finished result, it was very preliminary, so you can expect to see some changes there. I will look at something to make the ground textures match the mountains a bit better.

I used Photoshop to make it, actually - haven't had any experience with GIMP.

jfrazierjr
03-18-2009, 10:58 AM
I think your mountains are a really good mix between realistic and symbolic and to be honest, I don't recall seeing any of that style before, so I like them because it's "new" as opposed to using what someone else has done. Not the most beautiful mountains, but far better an attempt than many I have seen also, including most of my first few. I think this is a style you should keep and make it your own, blocky or not.

As others have said, your shoreline is a bit out there. To me, it is jarring in style contrast with the other elements. It looks a lot more painterly/watercolor style while you have more realistic mountains and forests. Personally, I would probably go with more blending to get a much softer gradient.

EDIT: oh... have +6 rep... I would not mind a small tut on how you did those mountains either, though using GIMP, I might not be able to replicate.

Zaramis
03-18-2009, 10:16 PM
Here is the latest update! I've attempted like a hundred different styles of text, fonts and various other things but so far, this one will have to do. There's been some changes to terrain and a lot of changes to the water.

Note: The water is /still/ not done =) Another note is that the thin black line around the continents will be fuzzed soon, but Im still using it for things and didnt think to blur it before I saved it for the night..

Zaramis
03-18-2009, 10:20 PM
I realize that some of the titles are wrong too.. but they will be changed. After all, it is a work in progress.

Ascension
03-18-2009, 11:10 PM
Terrain looks great, rivers look great, colors are great, borders are great...the fonts are hard to read at smaller scale tho. I struggle with this myself all the time and what I usually do is opt for a simpler font. Awesome job tho.

SikSavant
03-19-2009, 05:01 AM
I would like to second the support of this mountain style, and would also be very, very interested in a tutorial, as my latest mapping buggaboo is mountains. Well done!

Torq
03-19-2009, 06:40 AM
I think the map looks great Zaramis. I particulalry like the mountains and would love to see a tutorial.

Torq

Zaramis
03-19-2009, 07:12 AM
I suppose my next project will be a tutorial then! =) Thanks for all the support and praise, I will make sure to post one.

Steel General
03-19-2009, 07:58 AM
Very nice - like Ascension I think some of the smaller fonts are difficult to read - easy enough to fix though :)

Zaramis
03-19-2009, 08:48 AM
If it was only that easy..

I have looked through so many fonts to find something that combines a sense of fantasy with fair ease of reading. I can't find any that suits my purposes and still gives the world the right look.. And I have many thousand fonts, looked through nearly all of them =P

Gandwarf
03-19-2009, 09:59 AM
Very nice map. The font is still readable enough for me.
The brown lines are borders? If so I am thinking near the desert they could be straighter? That terrain shouldn't be too interesting for nations.
Just a thought.

Ascension
03-19-2009, 06:39 PM
I feel yer pain Z about fonts...I have over 15,000 but can only run 5,000 at any given time and I'll spend one whole night just browsing thru to find a list of 100 or so that I like and then legibility issues will cut that down to only a handful. Choosing the right one is time consuming if yer trying to capture the feel with a font.

Things that I have learned recently (ie. my last map) in dealing with fonts to help legibility....bigger point size, tint/shade (light text on dark background or vice-versa), color (not necessarily complimentary colors just colors that look nice togerther), outer glow (to put some dead space around the text), stroke (give a hard edge to the text), spacing between letters (letters too squished together are hard to read at small size), width of letters (narrow letters are hard to read at small size), height of letters (short letters are hard to read at small size), the simpler the font the easier it is to read (sometimes we have to sacrifice style for substance), fancy and scripty are harder to read than simple and bold, and don't over-fancy it up with styles, shadows, gradients, and 3d effects when doing labeling...save that for the title.

My favorite example of why a simple font can look excellent is Aurellia by Arcana:

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2272

He uses the the map itself to create a feel; fonts are simple, clear, and light.

Kingbreaker
03-19-2009, 11:29 PM
I feel yer pain Z about fonts...I have over 15,000 but can only run 5,000 at any given time and I'll spend one whole night just browsing thru to find a list of 100 or so that I like and then legibility issues will cut that down to only a handful. Choosing the right one is time consuming if yer trying to capture the feel with a font.

Things that I have learned recently (ie. my last map) in dealing with fonts to help legibility....bigger point size, tint/shade (light text on dark background or vice-versa), color (not necessarily complimentary colors just colors that look nice togerther), outer glow (to put some dead space around the text), stroke (give a hard edge to the text), spacing between letters (letters too squished together are hard to read at small size), width of letters (narrow letters are hard to read at small size), height of letters (short letters are hard to read at small size), the simpler the font the easier it is to read (sometimes we have to sacrifice style for substance), fancy and scripty are harder to read than simple and bold, and don't over-fancy it up with styles, shadows, gradients, and 3d effects when doing labeling...save that for the title.

My favorite example of why a simple font can look excellent is Aurellia by Arcana:

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2272

He uses the the map itself to create a feel; fonts are simple, clear, and light.


Hrrrmm. . .

Are you aware of any utilities that will hunt through a font library and generate sample text of each? I had to do this manually back when I was doing design but it seems like a really useful utility to have. Printed references are soooo worth it for this.

Ascension
03-19-2009, 11:36 PM
I use The Font Thing.

SikSavant
03-23-2009, 05:37 AM
I was wondering if there was any more word on the possible mountain tutorial for this map style. What can I say, I'm interested :)

Zaramis
03-23-2009, 09:27 AM
I am still trying to figure out how to best make a tutorial off it, and how to present one..

Should I just type up a post? Or does it require screenshots and everything to qualify as a tutorial?

Jykke
03-23-2009, 09:46 AM
i guess everything goes as long as the steps are detailed enough ..and pictures are always a good bonus.

Zaramis
03-23-2009, 09:59 AM
Here's a tutorial:

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?p=55242#post55242

Zaramis
03-23-2009, 08:44 PM
Updated fonts and added a whole lot more countries. What do you think about the fonts now? Apart from them, not much has changed. Changed the outer glow on the borders.

Also, if anyone has any thoughts or impressions from the world itself or the image it gives off, feel very welcome to state some. It's more a world project than a map and I plan on putting all my work on it online some day, or maybe even in book form, so I hesitated for a long time to put up my maps here.. but I figured, why not share my work? Its not like I hope to make a living of it, and I think that any exposure can only be good, both for one's experience, to give people a chance to experience your world or at least look at it and to help others develop good stuff =)

Ascension
03-23-2009, 09:10 PM
This looks great, fonts are good too.

ravells
03-24-2009, 05:36 AM
Fonts look fantastic. I really like your political borders as well. Repped.

Steel General
03-24-2009, 08:05 AM
Nice job...

Zaramis
03-24-2009, 08:32 AM
All that remains is to finish it then. Time to get on that ; )

Zaramis
03-24-2009, 09:50 AM
Also, thanks for all the supportive comments and great reviews!

Zaramis
11-18-2009, 12:43 PM
New version of the map, this is one of the geography only.

Please tell me what you think.

Zaramis
11-18-2009, 12:47 PM
Going to fix a lot of the rivers that I haven't polished up.

Ascension
11-18-2009, 07:07 PM
Not much from me other than I like it a lot.

Zaramis
11-18-2009, 07:35 PM
I have mainly focused on trying to improve the look of the mountains between the versions as well as some changes to the coastlines. And, of course, I wanted to update the thread. Soon, some political boundaries will follow.

The style I am going for, quite obviously, is a "realistic" style that should look similar to the actual terrain from a satellite picture's point of view.

Zaramis
02-12-2011, 03:56 PM
Here is the latest variant of my map, after many years (!) of work. Okay, so, I haven't done all that much work, but here it is. A lot of small detail work has been done, on the rivers, mountain textures, peaks and so on.

33441

Gidde
02-12-2011, 04:44 PM
I like what you've done with the rivers a lot. And the mountain style has boatloads of potential, but the curves look convex rather than concave as actual mountains seem to be. Is there a way to play with the bevel contour in photoshop to get a concave profile rather than a convex one?

jtougas
02-12-2011, 04:51 PM
I love the top range of mountains. They look just like Dragon heads (I tend to see the story in everything). Excellent work :)

Zaramis
02-12-2011, 06:12 PM
Thanks for the comments!

I've actually tried making them concave, but the shadows don't reflect it very well. I'm currently experimenting with it since I can agree with your observation concerning it.

Zaramis
02-13-2011, 06:18 PM
I changed the mountains around some, to try to get them into a different "shape". Also modified some other things in various places.

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