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Ramah
03-24-2009, 08:46 AM
Ok, this is my first real post here so excuse me if I get something wrong with attachments etc.

The following image is what I have achieved so far with a map of Southern Vaniya, a continent in a world I conceived many years ago and based in which I am trying to write a novel. I came to a stop with the story due to me not having enough information to visualise what I needed (I lost my original paper map some years ago and my half-remembered snatches are as much as a hindrance as a help). So I decided I needed a proper map where I can refer to distances and land marks and after some searching came here and a great help it's been. :)

I'll dig out the references to the tutorials I have used in a while and edit them in.

The current state of the map is still basically just a large test map. It has most of the coastal shape that I want but needs cleaning up in places, small lakes removing etc. I added a few rivers midway but they were for testing purposes - I found them to be laborious in the extreme and I'm not looking forward to adding a shedload more. :? And the mountains are a work in progress too, I've tried quite a few techniques so far to get a style I like and I actually think the one I have used on this image is the best for me (so far), but it needs practice.

Anyway, here's what I have so far. Comments and helpful criticism would be gratefully accepted.

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Steel General
03-24-2009, 08:50 AM
Looks nice - maybe think about adding some brown or grey to the mountains to make them look more like stone.

What program(s) did you use to create this?

Gandwarf
03-24-2009, 09:02 AM
Looks nice - maybe think about adding some brown or grey to the mountains to make them look more like stone.

Actually, I wouldn't change the mountains just yet. Depending on how you plan to do the rest of the map they might look quite fitting.

The mountains aren't too realistic (like I am staring at Google Earth) and I kinda like the style!

Jykke
03-24-2009, 10:56 AM
I like the base continent. The mountains are a question mark at the time, interesting to see what you will do with them while you continue working on your project. :)

Ramah
03-24-2009, 12:09 PM
What program(s) did you use to create this?

Photoshop.

I actually bought CC3 the day before I came here (which is where I discovered the link to this website) simply because I wanted a quick and easy way of getting a map down so I could work out scale etc. for what I needed.

But I have to say that I'm not in love with its basic cartoony style though. Some of the maps created with the themes from the annuals they make look really good but at its most basic, the only thing I really like about it is the fractal coast generation. I think I would have still been fine with that had I not seen some of the maps on show here.

Photoshop, on the other hand, can make these amazing maps but I didn't really want to get involved at a pixel by pixel level. Some of the maps, whilst amazing to look at, seem just TOO detailed for what I want. I think I'd find having every crag and crevice highlighted on a map just a little too off-putting.

Anyway, I've tried various tutorials on here for PS and in Gimp, which I'd never even heard of before coming here. :) I found some of the tutorials too hands-off, too random for something where you have an idea of shape and layout.

Jezelf's tutorial is amazing though...

http://www.jezelf.co.uk/tutorials.htm

That tutorial needs bumping back up the lists for newcomers to see as it's fell down quite a few pages.

What I'm aiming at with the map is a relatively flat look such as I have with just a hint of terrain. As I say, I'm still experimenting with various mountain techniques and to be honest, I'm not really sure how to go with them. But it's still early days yet. :)

ravells
03-24-2009, 05:47 PM
Hi Ramah, and welcome to the Guild. Rivers should be a snap if you're mapping in photoshop. I'm writing a tutorial about this but I've been too busy to finish it although it's nearly there.

Ascension
03-24-2009, 06:14 PM
Looks good to me so far. Everyone does their own thing for mountains...sort of like our signatures -- so whatever you come up with I'll be intrigued to see it.

ravells
03-24-2009, 07:30 PM
These days everyone seems to be signing their name 'Pasis' or 'Soixante' :)

su_liam
03-25-2009, 01:23 AM
Lately my signature has involved many colorful metaphors, to paraphrase my main man.

This is pretty nice. I thought you were sketching something up in Wilbur which is kind of my weapon of choice at the moment.

Ramah
03-25-2009, 08:26 PM
Ok, had a chance to work on it a little more. I'm not to fussed about the colours etc. in this new version, I think I'll lighten the look up somewhat, but I think I am gonna go with the mountains as I have them in it. I can raise them up a lot more if need be but I kind of like how they look more like an artistic impression of mountains, rather than actual "glossy-glowy" bevelled thingamajigs. And so I'll probably also lose the very slight land height map as I think it muddies the look up somewhat and maybe try putting a nice paper effect under it to go with the arty mountains. :)

Ok so the next major stumbling block I'd say is rivers. The ones I've put in so far aren't satisfactory and at the very least need toning right down so they don't stick out so much. I'd very much like to see that tutorial you are writing on creating rivers Ravells. :)

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Korba
03-26-2009, 06:43 AM
I like your mountains. The rivers i think don't quite work because the are too large for the scale of map and secondly your largest river comes out of (what i assume from the brown color) an arid area while your lush green areas have fewer rivers.

Korba

MadLetter
03-26-2009, 08:47 AM
Agreed the rivers are too wide.

Another thing I'd like to add: Get rid of the grain-effect. I think it makes the whole map less attractive as it could be. I used that effect myself some time ago but ultimately decided against ever using it again, because it just looks... well, not very good honestly.

Still, the map itself looks really nice (except for the grain-effect ;) ). So keep up the good work and I'll eagerly await some more pictures! :D

Ramah
03-26-2009, 12:23 PM
Yep, the rivers are the next thing I'm gonna spend some time on, at the moment they're pretty terrible.

Korba: As for the colours of the map, they are really just test colours. In this part of the continent there isn't really gonna be that much variation in the land so I've just added some more arid areas to test how it works.

Madletter: By "grain effect" I assume you mean the Film Grain filter? I actually quite like it although I admit it can certainly be done better. What I personaly don't like is the slight height map I added as this just seems to make it look too busy. I'll try playing around with some of the filters other than Film Grain but I think I do want something to make it less clean and shiny.

Jykke
03-26-2009, 06:22 PM
The graininess could work if the underlying textures would be more detailed, but it doesn't work so well at the moment. Another thing you might want to try playing with is the outer glow gradient. At the moment it looks a bit unnatural and artificial. Try playing around with the settings. Keep working with the map and you'll surely get good results :)

Ramah
03-27-2009, 02:06 PM
A new version.

I've dialled down the rivers a hell of a lot, maybe too much, but I still only have a few in place on the map, so I have quite a few more to add there.

I've also had a crack at some forests. They may look odd but I was going for a kind of water colour look whilst still retaining a hint of texture to them.

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Ramah
03-28-2009, 09:30 PM
Another update. I've decided to step back and get most of the map done in a sketch format before carrying on with the colour version - I realised after I had spent hours wrestling with the look of some forests that I've lost sight of what I actually need the map for. Hehe.

I've fixed a lot of rivers and added a bunch of others, although there are still a few more to add yet. The mountains are currently only temporary, I aim to get a much more varied look to them soon. I've started adding some place names in as you can see, mainly country names and just a few places of note (and before the river police get me, yes I know those rivers end in the lake called "The Mite" but it is a special circumstance).

Next I aim to get forests in and the political borders.

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Ascension
03-28-2009, 11:05 PM
I love an antique map so this is good stuff. I prefer the color one though, but I think it has been over-fiddled with...if that makes sense.

Naeddyr
03-29-2009, 05:21 AM
Color schmolors, in my day we only had coal soot and blood and we were happy with it! Also, don't fiddle too much with your maps or you'll go blind.

:D

I really like the sketchy map.

hunab.cu
03-29-2009, 07:25 AM
Well, I really liked the first WIP... but the second one was not as nice. This texture all over the map - to me looks horribly. Indeed, it made mountains legible, but honestly - the rest definitely was wrong.

Third one - I don't even think it's satisfying. I'd never let myself show such a map, sorry.

The sketchy map wasn't bad, but when I looked on the mountains - Ramah, how could you just copy the same symbol!? You could try to cheat on my eyes and make at least few different symbols and interchange them... It would look much better. With five different mountains placed around in random order, you would make it much better... and I am forced to say, it's a wrong map.

Get back to first design and use the mountains from the second. Such a mix could look really nice.

Ramah
03-29-2009, 07:52 AM
The sketchy map wasn't bad, but when I looked on the mountains - Ramah, how could you just copy the same symbol!? You could try to cheat on my eyes and make at least few different symbols and interchange them... It would look much better. With five different mountains placed around in random order, you would make it much better... and I am forced to say, it's a wrong map.


Well as I explained in the text accompanying the image: "The mountains are currently only temporary, I aim to get a much more varied look to them soon."

It is my opinion that it is worth showing images in a WIP so that people can see how it comes along and see how it progresses whether they agree or not. It's not a completed map or it would be in the completed map section. :)

Thanks for the comments though.

altasilvapuer
03-29-2009, 09:46 PM
I love how every version of this so far has had some quirk that has made it different from the others. The variety is refreshing, and I think it's giving you a better feel for your map. In music (my primary forte), the more ways you can play segments of a passage of music (i.e. backwards, forwards, with alternate fingerings, etc), the better you know that passage of music and the more you can make it your own.

In my opinion, cartography is no different. I love all these different versions; keep them coming!

-asp

hunab.cu
03-31-2009, 07:23 AM
Well as I explained in the text accompanying the image: "The mountains are currently only temporary, I aim to get a much more varied look to them soon."

It is my opinion that it is worth showing images in a WIP so that people can see how it comes along and see how it progresses whether they agree or not. It's not a completed map or it would be in the completed map section. :)

Thanks for the comments though.

Ayyy... no offence, it's that I just tend to nitpick to everything - even with WIPs... and I often comment without having thoroughly read whole post :oops:

Ramah
04-07-2009, 06:18 PM
A small update.

Shrunk some coastline in Southern Asrinon which I was never happy about. The pink colouring to said country is just there as a tester.
Spent some time adjusting the mountains to a more complete state. There are a few more I need to place around the map but I've run out of time for tonight. I've given them a drop shadow to make them stand out at the moment but I doubt it will remain. And all I can say is... man, I wish I had a graphics tablet. :S

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Ascension
04-07-2009, 09:55 PM
This looks great too, lotsa great stuff by everyone lately. I like the pink. Are other countries getting other colors?

Ramah
04-08-2009, 05:34 AM
This looks great too, lotsa great stuff by everyone lately. I like the pink. Are other countries getting other colors?

I was considering it, yeah, but I'm still not sure I like it. I'll test a few more countries but if I do go that way I'll probably make the change in colour less dramatic, maybe different shades of green and yellows. I'll do some tests.

I finished doing the rest of the mountains earlier so next step is to get some forests in which I'm not particularly looking forward too. :)

Ramah
04-08-2009, 05:43 PM
Another quick update. Finished placing the mountains and added a quick border. This will probably change as it doesn't really suit the style of the map at the moment.

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Ramah
04-12-2009, 09:15 AM
Small update.

Messed with the border a little to get it more appropriate. Darkened the rivers somewhat as they were causing problems when surrounded by trees and started adding the forests. I still have a lot of trees to place but the largest area is done, apart from altering those around the rivers (which I had struggled to see when they were lighter in places and so some trees are over them). I may break up the large northern forest with a few extra mountains or something but it is basically supposed to be largely unmapped as it is hostile territory, hence no real detail such as large clearings etc.

I should be able to get the rest of the trees in today and then either start marking towns and cities or maybe add some hills first if I can be bothered.

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Steel General
04-12-2009, 09:18 AM
Very nice.

Though I think your text labels could do with a soft glow around them, especially where they overlay the terrain features.

Ramah
04-12-2009, 09:24 AM
Yeah, the text will be altered to suit the map last. I just wanted to get some in there to test fonts and stuff. It looked fine when I put it on but as more features go in it loses legibility.

Gandwarf
04-12-2009, 10:11 AM
Have some rep, Ramah.
Your map is starting to look really good. I like the symbols you use for your forests. The toned down colors are also a nice feature.

Ascension
04-12-2009, 10:40 AM
Holy moly that's a lot of trees but the labor looks like it was worth it as this looks really nice.

Sirith
04-13-2009, 08:01 AM
You have a great thread going, interesting to see the different experiments on your map. While the first WIPs with textures were nice experiments, I like the hand drawn style you're working on now much better. The mountain ranges really flow through the landscape, and the forests do too.

I do have a nitpick: you might want to smoothen (is that a proper English word? :/) the border between mountains and forests a bit, especially where the forests are south of the mountains. The stark black of the mountains contrasts quite a bit with the forests, and it doesn't look as flowing and natural as other parts of the both the forests and mountains.

Keep up the good work, it's great to see where you're going with this :)

Karro
04-13-2009, 10:38 AM
This is beginning to look very nice. I especially like the wall overseeing the northern wildlands.

A small question: what letter does the elongated character with the reverse-facing serifs represent? It looks like it might be an archaic lower-case "s" (the form that looks like an "f") or possibly a lower-case "f" without a crossbar.

Assuming it's an "s", is there a particular reason you're using a font with an archaic glyph like this?

Ramah
04-13-2009, 11:50 AM
Yes, it is an "s" that looks like an "f". The font is based on Shakespeare's script. The S is a little too stylised I guess but it is annoying because apart from that I love the font. :(

Karro
04-13-2009, 01:02 PM
Yes, it is an "s" that looks like an "f". The font is based on Shakespeare's script. The S is a little too stylised I guess but it is annoying because apart from that I love the font. :(

Alright then. I was just a little confused because at first I was reading it as an "l" (because it looks kind of like an elongated italic "l" as well) and then I realized that was wrong. Unfortunately, I have no immediate suggestions with any alternative fonts with similar styles that don't have this quirk.

Ramah
04-14-2009, 12:13 PM
Another small update. Sorry if I'm posting too regularly with not enough progress between them, but it's like some kind of psychological milestone - it's slow going but when I make a new post it's like I've passed another step on the way.

Anyway, for this update I've widened the map a little, moving the border away from the two places it was touching the southern lands, which had always been annoying to me, this makes it feel a little less cluttered I think. I've got most of the trees in now - I'm sure I'll add some more in places, especially the central area once I've gotten all the hills sorted. I've also added a layer of temporary hills so I can sort positioning of them out - these will be more varied once I get down to it.
Some of the text that is in will be even more hidden by the backgrounds but I plan on changing this next when I add a lot more places to the map.

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Gandwarf
04-14-2009, 12:23 PM
Another small update. Sorry if I'm posting too regularly with not enough progress between them, but it's like some kind of psychological milestone - it's slow going but when I make a new post it's like I've passed another step on the way.

I know the feeling. Been there, done that. I don't think anyone minds.

Love the progress so far. It's turning into a beautiful map. It has a great fantasy feel to it.

Naeddyr
04-14-2009, 12:27 PM
Now this is looking very excellentish!

Steel General
04-14-2009, 02:21 PM
We are always encouraging people to post early and often - so no problems.

Ramah
04-16-2009, 07:22 PM
Ok, a little more progress made so time for an update. I've added quite a few more rivers and spent some time fixing some of the ones that were already in. I still have a few more to add but I've almost done with them now I think. Finally.

I haven't really added more trees in yet, but I deleted and moved some due to new rivers. Again, I'm quite near the end as far as trees are concerned but there are some more clumps to add in a few places. Nothing major.

The hills are still only temporary. I'll probably try and tart them up when all the labels are in.

I've added quite a few new labels. Like I said in the last post, I've made no real effort to make the labels more legible other than basic positioning. Where they become difficult to read due to scenery behind them I will edit them at the end - will probably be one of the last things I do. The only real consent I've made to legibility at the moment are the two white labels over the mountains. When it's more complete I'll toy with changing them to the normal font colour and remove background so they are visible. I've left the two labels in the north "The Ruhks" and the companion label on a different font as I was testing some changes in case I decided that the "s" on the Shakespeare font was too much of a hindrance. I've kind of fudged a workaround though - for anyone interested check the label "Vosstern" in the NE quadrant.

I also fudged up a compass rose. It's not amazing but I kinda like it. Without a graphics tablet I have little chance of drawing anything better so it will probably stay will little or no change. :)

Umm.. think that's about it. I'm hoping to get it all finished or as near as dammit by the weekend so I can finally get back down to doing some writing. Phew.

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2nd Edit: Ok, re-uploaded the image with the fixed trees. Ignore what I said before if anyone saw it. :)

ravells
04-16-2009, 07:30 PM
This is looking really beautiful. I love the undestated colours and the big glow around the landmass. The forests, hills and mountains work really well with each other too.

StillCypher
04-20-2009, 08:49 PM
I second that. ::nodnod:: Very nice, elegant artwork.

landorl
04-21-2009, 05:12 PM
I just love to sit and look at this map! It is a piece of art!

Ramah
04-23-2009, 08:31 PM
A new update.

This will maybe look more dodgy than previous postings but I've left the colours kinda bright to show political borders. They will be removed/toned-down-a-hell-of-a-lot for the next update. The colours have no bearing on what the climate of the countries are like, they are just shades I picked arbitrarily while I was working on them. I still need to put in some border lines where the borders have no natural boundaries so the joins will be hard to see in some cases, especially in the SW area where I was testing what it will look like with various shades of green together.

It may look like I've not done much since the last update but I cannot believe how much time I have wasted just trying to get the borders to a state where I'm reasonably happy with them. :s I've had to add two countries into the mix in order to keep the few cast iron facts I required from the layout still ringing true. I'm sure some of them will change before I sign off on it but for now I will leave them as is so I can get on with something else.

I also changed the compass rose, which I was rather proud of when I did it, but that was three or four days ago and the agonising over those damn borders have sucked any delight I had right out of me. Hehe.

Umm... not a lot else has changed apart from the usual - added a shedload more rivers and a few forests, a bunch more labels.

Things still to do (in something like the order I will tackle them).

Country border lines.
Finish labels, including extra icons for various places such as ruins and smaller towns.
Redraw the hills and try to move some so they make more sense with certain borders.
Scale bar and a basic cartouche.
Finishing touches (making the labels more legibile by editing the background etc.)

So... now I have a to do list I feel that I'm finally on the home stretch with this.

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Ascension
04-24-2009, 12:09 AM
I like the colors but maybe turn down the opacity a bit. I really like how you're fitting the countries into the terrain (going around mountains and rivers). Real nice stuff and yes, it looks like you're on the backstretch now...can't wait for the final version.

Naeddyr
04-24-2009, 05:17 AM
Yeah, the colours are a tad bright. Maybe also drop the saturation a bit. Otherwise, looking good asyusual.

Ramah
04-24-2009, 08:05 PM
Small update.

Things done:

Border lines are now sorted, apart from one which kind of gets lost under a forest which I may increase visibility on.
Country colours have been adjusted and I'm pretty happy with them finally.
Map border adjusted slightly to make it a little less like a framed print.
A couple of extra icons done for the key but I guess I still need to add one for a keep or tower, ostensibly to use on the Grey Watch part of Aronbor.
Adjusted a few labels.

Things to do:

Finish labels
Redraw hills
Scale bar and cartouche
Finishing touches - legibilty, major roads etc.

12737

Gandwarf
04-24-2009, 08:12 PM
Thank the lords... you got rid of the bright colors :D
The version of the map you posted yesterday... well, I thought the world had gone insane :P
And I know you said you would tone down the colors, but I was very afraid you were taking a wrong turn.

Anyway, it's a very, very beautiful map!
Have some more rep for encouragement.

Ascension
04-24-2009, 08:29 PM
This is outstanding! The differing shades of green for the countries is spot-on perfect and lets the elements come through more clearly (trees, hills, etc.). Excellent job and I'll certainly snag a copy for my Inspiration Folder when done.

Naeddyr
04-25-2009, 04:53 AM
I think you could do with a little colour there with no problem. i have trouble seeing borders.

Ramah
04-25-2009, 05:02 PM
Thanks for the comments guys, it really spurs me on to try and make it is good as I can when I get good vibes from the feedback.

Gandwarf: Hehe. Sorry to have worried you there. :) Really, the bright colours were only meant as an aid to visualising the country shapes (for you and for me). In fact, they are actually still in there... well... some have been changed a little but essentially they are there... they've just been changed to a Luminosity layer, which gave me the nice adjustments to my original green map that I was after.

Naeddyr: I may still adjust them slightly to make it easier to see some borders (I'm personally not fond of the small non-mountainous border between Rydony and Aronbor which is too hard to see) but not by much. I might tinker round with it and do an alternative version once I'm finished but since I changed to a more Tolkien-style hand-drawn lookfor this map I've had a very definite idea of how I wanted it to look.

Ramah
04-26-2009, 05:32 PM
Time for another update.

Things done on this update:-

Border changed. Removed the green from around the edge and have decided to go with a single colour map which I guess looks more real, if that word can be applied to such a map.

Added a simple cartouche and scale bar. I doubt I will change this much, maybe the wording slightly before I sign off... dunno. The scale I have put in is still somewhat malleable though. I'm really unsure what distance to actually go with. I'm kinda working on a figure I have (maybe plucked out of the air) that a line of a mountain range would be about average of 50 miles across. Does that sound reasonable? I'm sure they can go higher or lower but... *shrug*

Not done much to the labelling other than add a series of towers and keeps along the coast of Aronbor. I reflected these extra icons in the key but I've since removed this as I couldn't find a decent way to work it into the cartouche. I might try and work it in along the bottom border in the style of...

Flavour text. Marginalia. Whatever. I've added a bunch of flavour text around the edges of the map in varying degrees of legibility. I think it looks kinda cool as it is. What do others think? I'd prefer to not make it too legible but if I'm in the minority I could change that. I doubt I'll scrap it totally even if people hate it - I like it. :)

That's about it I think.

Still to do:-

Finish labels.
Redraw the hills.
Finishing touches - label legibility, major roads etc.


Edit: Gah! I clicked submit before I added the image into the text with the paperclip thingymajig. :s

Ascension
04-26-2009, 07:51 PM
With a map this clear I favor being able to read the notes. Sure the faded look is stylish but I'd really like to see those notes :) If you want to keep the faded look maybe there's a way you can fade out parts of the map in conjunction with the notes (ie they're both faded out in the same places and not randomly faded).

Ramah
05-01-2009, 07:24 PM
Another small update.

Finally pulled my finger out and got down to adding some brushes for the hills. I've been adding a few for days now and then plonking some on the map and not liking the results and closing it down in disgust. Tonight I think I've finally passed my stumbling block though and I quite like how they are starting to look. I've not done much of the map in the new hills yet, but if you check the southern island of Maradan you will be able to see what the hills will look like soon - now that I've sussed it I'm sure I will be able to do the rest reasonably quickly.
I've also dirtied the map up a lot more and added some folds since it was last posted.
I altered a few of the countries colours subtly to aid in seeing the borders, although the border between Perdon and Mirkesh is still a little too indistinct I guess.

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ravells
05-01-2009, 07:28 PM
I really hope you're going to put this in the 'finished map' section when you're done. It's looking stunning. I admire your tenacity in getting the look that you want rather than settling for less.

Karro
05-04-2009, 12:18 PM
Kudos, this is looking quite stunning. I see the changes to the hills on isle of Maradan, and I agree, these look much better than the version used elsewhere in the map. Good luck putting it all together! I'm sure it'll be worth the effort.

Bohunk
05-04-2009, 04:32 PM
Absolutely beautiful map. I was going to tell you to handdraw the hills as well. You have come this far, take that extra leap. I would also think about, if you have a tablet, tracing the lines in the ocean around the land and making it more smooth. Can't see it taking too long and would make it look so much better. I hate the folds in your latest version though. Weren't most maps back in the old days rolled and put in tubes? I tell ya if I spent this much time on a map and some yahoo folds it up and puts it in his back pocket, I'd be pretty peaved!

Again, awsome map. Ravells----> Map Feature this badboy when its ready!

Ramah
05-05-2009, 06:30 AM
Absolutely beautiful map. I was going to tell you to handdraw the hills as well. You have come this far, take that extra leap. I would also think about, if you have a tablet, tracing the lines in the ocean around the land and making it more smooth. Can't see it taking too long and would make it look so much better.

Thanks a lot.
Unfortunately though I don't have a tablet and that, I would say, is the main reason this thing is taking me so long. I've been putting off doing the hills purely because I know how awkward it was to do the mountains with the mouse. Add to that that I am naturally left-handed and yet control the mouse with my right hand and let's just say that my fine control with it when trying to draw is not always the best. Hehe.

I said in my last post that the hills shouldn't take me too long to adjust... well I was wrong. I've had a few sessions on them and hardly seem to have scratched the surface. :s Man, maybe I should just go out and get a damn tablet on the credit card or something.

Anyway, thanks for all the kind words guys.

As to the folds... I'm still unsure about them myself. I really like the effect and I'm not too precious about it being historically inaccurate with tubes and folds etc. I'm sure I will have a few changes of heart about them before I sign off on this thing. :)

Karro
05-05-2009, 10:48 AM
I'll vote for the folds. I think it's a simple but very useful device for making a map look like it has actually been used in-world (even if it's not terribly realistic for it to have been folded).

Ramah
05-05-2009, 11:09 AM
I agree Karro, although I may go with the horizontal folds only, so it kinda looks like it's been folded into a letter format and maybe stuffed in a saddlebag for postage. :)

One thing Bohunk should be cool with though is that I've fixed the coastal ripples as per his suggestion - this one I happened to agree with wholeheartedly.

As I don't have the tablet though I had to be a little more creative and instead feathered my ripples by increasing ammounts. As this has the knock-on effect of blurring the strokes I then used an Unsharp Mask to bring it back to how it should be and then had to redraw a few places in where it had tight curves and had disappeared. There's probably an easier way to do it but I don't know what it is.
Anyway, it looks pretty good. If I get enough work on the hills done later today I'll post an updated image.

ravells
05-05-2009, 08:31 PM
Ramah...when are you going to post this on the finished maps section? (hint, hint).

Beg, borrow or buy or steal a tablet. It would make your life a hundred times easier and you deserve one.

Ramah
05-06-2009, 06:29 AM
Beg, borrow or buy or steal a tablet. It would make your life a hundred times easier and you deserve one.

Hehe. I'd absolutely love to but we've just bought a new TV when the old one went the way of the Dodo and the missus would kill me. :( I don't know anyone else who has one either.
Plus, I'm very torn on the issue as for one, I've nearly done with the map and fear I wouldn't get much more use out of it... or two, I WOULD get more use out of it as I have a growing desire to make regional maps of one or two of the countries in Vaniya (and maybe a city map too, although that prospect scares me for some reason) that are important to my story but this would stop me writing for even longer - something that the map was supposed to help with, not hinder. Hehe.

Gandwarf
05-06-2009, 06:53 AM
(and maybe a city map too, although that prospect scares me for some reason) that are important to my story but this would stop me writing for even longer - something that the map was supposed to help with, not hinder. Hehe.

Don't do it. You won't get any writing done. Look at me :)

I must admit the city maps helped me write the story... but now I am mapping cities not even named once in my writings. Argh...
Must resist...

Ramah
05-06-2009, 08:23 PM
Ok, time for another quick update although to outward appearances I guess it's not much of one.

Work continues on the hills. I'd say I'm maybe 2/3's of the way through although they are in various states of completion. About half of what I have done still have no shading - as in alongside the mountain range in Rydony. Others have been shaded but twice I've changed how I'm doing it. If you check out the hills in Amburria for instance, the shading between the hills is kind of rough, which I figured gave it a nice pencil type effect. But then I wondered if it was too much so I softened it up somewhat, like in Iosia, which has a more smudged effect I guess. I'm still not sure which I prefer.

Anyway, still lots of hills to do in the middle of the map but I should be able to get quite a session on it tomorrow so here's hoping I sort most of it out.

Other than that the only real change from last time is the coastline ripples which have been adjusted as per Bohunk's suggestion. I think they look a lot better now that they go curvier when further out.

13101

msa
05-06-2009, 09:51 PM
This is a very pretty map. Great work and thanks!

Ramah
05-08-2009, 05:35 PM
Ok, so had a decent session on the map today. I've managed to replace all the hilly areas I had previously marked on the map. I haven't done all the shading yet, I'd say I'm about 2/3's of the way through but one more decent session will see that done.
I'd say that I still need to add some hills in a few places and maybe adjust a few I'm not happy with but I'll include that in the final touches section.

Hopefully I'll be able to post an image with the hills fully completed (apart from those finishing touches) tomorrow and that will leave me very close to completion. I'm contemplating leaving off any major roads on this map and add them if and when I make some zoomed in regional maps.

So that will leave me needing to add some more labels, (not too many as I'd sooner come back to it at a later date and add places when some of the countries are fleshed out more with backstory etc.) and then the finishing touches.

I can see the finish line. :)

Ramah
05-09-2009, 03:02 PM
Hills are now done. Well... I'm sure I'll end up adding some more in a few places where I'm not totally happy but for now I'm moving on to other things.

13167

Next up, finishing labels. I'll probably fix the visibility of them too now that I'm nearing the end.

After that I just need to touch up a few bits and bobs and it's done. :)

Gidde
05-10-2009, 05:17 AM
This map is simply beautiful.

How many of us procrastinating writers are there around here, anyway? ;)

Gandwarf
05-10-2009, 06:22 AM
How many of us procrastinating writers are there around here, anyway? ;)

Too many. I suspect 1 in 3 fantasy readers is also writing a novel ;)

Steel General
05-10-2009, 09:21 AM
Too many. I suspect 1 in 3 fantasy readers is also writing a novel ;)

Or at least attempting to. :)

Karro
05-11-2009, 02:28 PM
Too many. I suspect 1 in 3 fantasy readers is also writing a novel ;)

Probably an accurate statistic.


Or at least attempting to. :)

This got me thinking. Of those writing a fantasy or sci-fi novel (let's say it's really 1/3 of all readers in these genres) how many will actually produce a finished work? Of those that finish, how many will submit to publishers or agents? (Or even, how many will submit to a vanity press?) Of those that get submitted somewhere, how many are read by a decision maker (i.e. editor) at a traditional, reputable publishing house? How many actually get green-lighted for publication and eventually make it to your local/online bookseller?

I was perusing the F&SF aisles of my local B&N recently, and was impressed that there were a lot of F&SF writers out there, many of whom I'd never heard of before. I'd wager there are somewhere in the hundreds of writers actually producing publishable material.

So, I tried to extrapolate the number of active readers in the community (which is hard to do, sales figures are difficult to rely on). So... I'm thinking maybe there's something like between 1 Million and 30 Million readers of F&SF between the US and Europe. This suggests there might be between 300,000 and 10 Million budding F&SF novelists, we'll estimate the number at roughly a million of us. Now it'd be tough to generate an estimate of how many of us actually finish a work - there's no published stastitic we could use for such an estimate that I'm aware of. But we can see that somewhere along in the above process, there's a precipitous drop from the number who are trying to write a novel to those who actually make it to the bookstore shelves. We're looking at a stat that may positively be marginally better than one-in-a-million, and could easily be much, much worse. Them's long odds!

I don't know if this thought will motivate us budding writers-to-be or discourage us? Me, I guess I'll keep on writing, no matter what, because even if I can't make it, even if it's truly impossible, I still love the craft.

Now... if only whenever I tried to take a postive step toward writing, since I hit a time-consuming snag that could take months to unravel in creating my map, I didn't keep hitting a point and saying to myself: "How can I write about 'x' without a half-decent map?" If only I were satisifed with a rough-and-ugly sketch!

Gandwarf
05-11-2009, 04:10 PM
I don't know if this thought will motivate us budding writers-to-be or discourage us? Me, I guess I'll keep on writing, no matter what, because even if I can't make it, even if it's truly impossible, I still love the craft.

I try not to think about it. My goal wasn't to be published anyway. I used to write to make some money, but after my studies I got into the internet industry. The same year I started writing my novels, mostly as a hobby and a way to keep my pencils sharp :)

At the moment I have book one finished, the second book about 90% finished and the third book 50% finished. I have several people nagging me to send my first book to a publisher, but somehow I can't push myself to do it... probably because I think I will be rejected anyway :D

Ah well, good times!

/threadjack

Ramah
05-12-2009, 06:02 PM
I hope to get the final version of this posted up either tonight or tomorrow. I made a start adding labels but I've become a little disillusioned in doing so. Most of this map, although kinda sketched out for many years, is new to me and it feels wrong to just go placing towns willy-nilly without much thought going into backstory. I want towns and features putting in there, but I want to take a slower, more considered approach to it.
So I'm going to wrap up what I'm doing with what major cities or places that I know and then call it done for now. I know it's not truly done and I'm absolutely positive that I will be adding stuff to the map for some time to come but I won't keep posting updates to it unless there is some major change or I finally call it completely finished.
I'm sure I could keep working on it for weeks or months and still not be satisfied, and all the while I'll be neglecting the real reason I started making the map in the first place which is the story it is supposed to be a visual aid to.

So for now at least, I'm calling it done.

So I'll post the next version in the Finished Maps forum shortly.

Gandwarf
05-13-2009, 05:31 AM
Woohoo :D
I think you are doing this the right the way. Just placing things to fill the map has never made much sense for me...

Dain
03-04-2010, 11:20 PM
Awesome map! Congrats! really impressive.

Sorry for the dumb question but does anyone know where to get the brushes used to label the cities (the rounds, squares etc.) Is it a brush or something else?
Thanks

Miralys
03-05-2010, 06:38 AM
I really like how your map is evolving - the newest version is stunning. I didn't read through all the posts - did you give a brief overview what is happening in your story? I'd love to know!

cfds
03-05-2010, 09:45 AM
The map is stunning. Only the borders of Romara look kind of weird. Why don't they lay claim to the land between the river and the mountains in their nord-east? The deep bay into Doras doesn't look to right either. But it is your world and there will be an explanation, I guess.