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altasilvapuer
03-29-2009, 09:33 PM
After first stumbling across this forum, and finding Karro's work on his most recent :compass:map ('http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2463'), I felt the urge to get (semi-back) into cartography. I loved his approach to his world, so I've taken a similar mindset with my own, so far.

I had done some collaborative work with a friend a few years ago, with an extensive world of his own, but this is the first I've sat down and visually built my own full world. In my spare time, I'm slowly building up a Sci-Fi universe (as if there weren't enough already ;) ), and have gotten a decently extensive mass of material up already.

When I began this, I hadn't decided which world of the list it would be, but I've finally settled on Geidor (Guy'-door, though the 'ei' of the first syllable is closer to high than guy), a relatively important planet that was lacking many details, so far.


This first image is of the continents and their underlying tectonic plates. These plates have undergone an almost excessive amount of revision over the past couple days, and may even see some more, but they are reasonably accurate for now.


The second image is the same map with the tectonics hidden and the ocean and air currents visible. The ocean currents move in the direction of the darker end, with the fade being the 'trail' of the arrow. I'm still a little unsure of the sea in the southern temperate region, but I haven't figured out how else it might circulate. My continents are somewhat problematic for ocean currents as they are now, but I like the mix of cold and warm coastal currents I have so far.


Both images are still quite early WIPs (as evident by the lack of definition to the continents and mountains - they're just placeholders, so far), with plenty of room to change. The advantage of choosing to make this map Geidor, as opposed to one of my other planets is that I'm quite open to suggestions on the design of the planet itself, so far.


Next step once these are reasonably blocked in will be biomes and rivers, I think.

-asp

Karro
03-31-2009, 01:23 PM
After first stumbling across this forum, and finding Karro's work on his most recent :compass:map ('http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2463'), I felt the urge to get (semi-back) into cartography. I loved his approach to his world, so I've taken a similar mindset with my own, so far.

....etc....


Next step once these are reasonably blocked in will be biomes and rivers, I think.

-asp


Looking good so far. You've done a great job at placing the tectonics and the coriolis patterns.

And wow, it warms my heart to be cited as a source of inspiration, even if my own maps are a little lacking in the coolness-factor as yet. Good luck!

As to oceanic circulations, my understanding is that they generally follow a pattern similar to air-currents and the coriolis effect, except their flow is impeded by the land masses in the way. As such, water circulates in a generally clockwise fashion in the northern hemisphere and a counterclockwise fashion in the southern hemisphere. Given that, I think your southern seas are about as close as mere mortals can get.


Also; Alta Silva Puer... would that be "High Forest Boy" or something similar? It's been a few years since latin, for me.

altasilvapuer
03-31-2009, 09:43 PM
Alta Silva Puer is literally "High/Deep Forest Boy", but it's not meant literally. It's slightly idiomatic, and more closely a transliteration. alta silva is a rough transliteration of the French hautbois, or "Deep Wood," the French name for the oboe - my primary instrument.



I was doing preliminary work on the January and July pressure/wind systems this morning. I'll probably go ahead and post the January one, and finish up the July one and post that, as well.

-asp

altasilvapuer
03-31-2009, 10:06 PM
Well, this is the preliminary work on the January Air currents. Green denotes areas of High pressure, while Orange/Yellow dictates low pressure. Air currents, like the water currents in previous iterations, flow in the direction of the darker portion of the stroke.

I think there's still a few mistakes that need fixing, though.

And it'll probably be a couple days before the July Air currents go up, but we'll see.

-asp

Karro
04-01-2009, 11:39 AM
Hey, I'm smart enough in Latin to at least translate your name literally, if not catch the figurative meaning. I feel all brainy 'n' stuff! :)

Anyway, I like what you've done here with the air currents; looks very nice.

One point on the continents that might bear remarking:

The northernmost continent, as it's currently laid out, will come to a sharp point exactly on the north pole; almost forming like an arrow pointing at the pole, when viewed from above the pole. If that's what you want, that's cool then. If not, to fix it, what you might want to do is extend the top of the continent to go run all along the northern edge of the map.

altasilvapuer
04-01-2009, 09:54 PM
You're right. I keep looking at that continent and realizing that it's not going to do what I want, but I keep ignoring it, heh. I'll fiddle with it some next time I work on the map - maybe plug it into GIMP and map it to a sphere again (I use Photoshop, normally). Thanks for the tip!

-asp

altasilvapuer
04-09-2009, 12:47 AM
Taking a break from the slightly tedious work of wind currents, I realized while looking over Korba's Calen Ndor (one of my other big inspirations), that I had neglected the actual ocean temperatures resulting from my rough currents, so I set about doing that. It was a bit of a learning experience figuring out the best way to do it, so I'll upload my three main stages in hopes that they will be helpful to someone.

Ideally, there should be two final copies - one for 'January' and one for 'July', but due to laziness and school, I'm going with one that's somewhat both and neither, for now.


My first image is of the basic heat distribution irrespective of continents or ocean currents, and based solely on latitude. I tend to begin with something like this so I have a rough idea in mind. I basically just made a quick gradient of the colours I wanted to use, set it to reflect, and drew the gradient from the center of my image (0° E/W, 0° N/S) due North to (0°E/W, 90°N). This wasn't wholly satisfactory, so I redid it using Photoshop's layer styles (gradient) for a little bit more ease of control without cluttering the image's history, but that's not really of importance, I suppose, as it can be done without layer styles.

12200


Next, I tried morphing that actual layer according to my ocean patterns, but this proved to be overly-complicated and produced mediocre results. My method was to duplicate the entire image for safety, merge all the visible layers, and use Photoshop's Liquify filter, so I could liquefy the temperature while still seeing the continents, as the Liquefy filter only displays the layer currently being liquefied. Then, before applying the liquefication, I saved the mesh in it, and canceled the liquefication. Next, I went back to the original, liquefied the temperature layer, and applied the saved mesh. This allowed me to liquify only the temperature layer, but still be able to work while seeing the continents.

12201

As stated, however, this was extremely over-complicated and produced results that were mediocre, at best, so I decided to try a different approach.

My next attempt came from a closer examination of Korba's own temperature maps for Calen Ndor (link ('http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=55241&postcount=7')) and realized that what I loved most about them was their simplicity. So this time, using the same colours as I had created for my gradient above, I used a simple round brush with a low hardness for a little fuzz, and blocked out the general shape of the temperatures, and then deformed them by hand by painting each colour back and forth over it's neighboring colours until I had something that looked satisfactory.

12202

I'm still concerned about some of those temperatures, though, on the final one. Some of them just don't feel quite right to me for some reason. If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to offer them.


With any luck, some of that babble might prove useful for someone.

Next, I am going to finish up my wind currents for July, and then move on to rainfall. And/or I might touch up the temperature map to account for seasonal changes, as my world does actually have a tilt to it.

-asp

Greason Wolfe
04-09-2009, 04:58 AM
One of the things that I like most about the guild is seeing all the different approaches that others take when crafting their maps, and this example fits right into that category. As much as I've read up on climate/weather building for worlds, it always whips my backside in a very painful way. But what you've done here has certainly given me a new view of the process in a much more visible way than anything I've read so far.

Looking forward to seeing more.

GW

Naeddyr
04-09-2009, 06:05 AM
This is looking very promising, in a sort of "oh god climates" sort of way (i know the pain, man, it's in the BONE), though I'm wondering what map projection you are using? Seems not to be equirectangular (it's not 2x1).

altasilvapuer
04-09-2009, 10:25 AM
To be honest, I hadn't given really any thought to map projections until Karro mentioned something about it wrapping unusually at the poles (which it does, currently, but I can probably fix with some angry tinkering, heh).

When I started this, I simply went with 300 ppi on a page size of 11x17, as that's the largest size I can easily print at work, should I chose to do so. Beyond that, I had no idea. I noted a few places in the tectonics stage, where a plate was moving off the edge and "around" the globe, and tried to follow the motion mentally. Other than that, though, I've given little/no thought to what projection this is. Any recommendations on what I'm closest to?

-asp

altasilvapuer
04-10-2009, 03:51 PM
Well, the temperature map finally bugged me, as I went over it with a friend. It didn't really account for seasonal changes at all, so I'm altering it to account for seasonal changes.

January/Northern "Winter" Solstice:
12255

July/Northern "Summer" Solstice
12253

-asp

Naeddyr
04-10-2009, 04:49 PM
Ah damn, I never posted that bit about the projection.

Well, basically you are slightly screwed. About 0.2 bumparelles, which isn't life-threatening. The map is what cartographers call in the "oh god what are these people doing here" projection. The simplest way to fix this is to stretch either the horizontal or vertical, or both axises so that their ratios are two to on, and then fix the poles. Here, you'd have to either fix the north pole by either creating a northern coast on the northern continent, or streth the northern bits of the northern continent so that covers the whole upper edge of the map. Let me show you what happens with your current map:

http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=12258&stc=1&d=1239392860

...

Huh, it doesn't actually look that bad.

It's kinda.... Alright.

well. You could probably just adjust the map so that it's 2x1, and then it's propah equirectangular.

Karro
04-10-2009, 04:57 PM
Hmm, yeah, actually it doesn't look too bad. It just takes recognizing the fact that the land around the pole area is really a lot more compact, that is, if you plan to put anything there. It's a bit of an extreme environment, so I wouldn't expect a lot of human habitations in that region anyway.

altasilvapuer
04-11-2009, 01:26 AM
Yeah, after Karro mentioned something about it when I first uploaded the pictures, I plugged it into GIMP, mapped to a sphere, and rotated it to check. I'm not happy with the pointedness, but basically I think what I'm going to do for the easy fix for now, is possibly to soften up those mountains at the pole, and try to round out the island a little. I might make a little line of land all the way across the top to pull it off. I've got some playing with it to do.

As for Equirectangular, exactly which parts are 2:1? I don't think I quite follow, yet.

-asp

Naeddyr
04-11-2009, 05:10 AM
Yeah, after Karro mentioned something about it when I first uploaded the pictures, I plugged it into GIMP, mapped to a sphere, and rotated it to check. I'm not happy with the pointedness, but basically I think what I'm going to do for the easy fix for now, is possibly to soften up those mountains at the pole, and try to round out the island a little. I might make a little line of land all the way across the top to pull it off. I've got some playing with it to do.

As for Equirectangular, exactly which parts are 2:1? I don't think I quite follow, yet.

-asp

On an equirectangular map, the whole map is 2:1 in size. Each pixel represents an X degree by Y degree area, so it's easily computable, but there's a lot of distortion. On an equirectangular map, you can make a graticule by simply creating a gridline that is twice as many squares wide as it is high, see attachments: the first is a stretched version of your map into equirectangular, the second is a sinusoidal projection, and a third is a vertical perspective "as seen from space" projection to show the difference.

altasilvapuer
04-12-2009, 06:23 PM
Well, I haven't fixed the projection, yet, but I did map out the rough precipitation for January and July. Some of it is a little iffy, but I figure I can fix most of the glaring issues when I do the climates/biomes.

Average precipitation over continents with temperature overlay over oceans:

January:
12329

July:
12330

-asp

EDIT: I kept working in patches today in between researching and a few other things, and blocked out some rough climatological regions. I think I have quite a few mistakes in here, as well, but I have a feeling I probably won't have much time to fix them until next weekend, so I'm posting what I have so far for feedback.
12335
The text overlay lists a rough Köppen Climate classification ID.
For (relatively) quick reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%B6ppen_climate_classification

-asp

altasilvapuer
04-18-2009, 11:43 PM
Well, I finally decided I'd waited long enough to rough up my coasts a little bit. So, going back and finding RobA's "Not So Random Coastlines" tutorial, and adapting it to Photoshop as best as possible (to be honest, I was too lazy to pull up Gimp, heh), I tried to rough up my coasts a little and make them look a little more realistic.

'New' Continent forms:
12573

For comparison, here is the same image with the old outline visible:
12572

And for fun and an idea, here are the new continents coloured green, with the rough mountain guides visible:
12574


The southern continent needs much more work, still, but I'm reasonably happy with the middle continent and the northern continent is passable due to the large amounts of ice for much of the year (that's my excuse, and I'm stickin' to it!). I might do some more work on the Southern Continent tonight, but it's not very likely. Hopefully I'll have more in a few days, though, as I steal some time for it. I haven't decided how much I'm changing the northern continent beyond this, yet. Time will tell.

-asp

ravells
04-19-2009, 01:14 PM
I love RobA's not so random coastline tutorial. Looking to see how you are going to develop the mountain spines!

Korba
04-19-2009, 05:05 PM
Looking really good

Keep going please despite the brain pain i know it must be causing (mine has currently melted ;) )

Korba

altasilvapuer
04-20-2009, 07:31 AM
I love RobA's not so random coastline tutorial. (...)

So do I! I'd thought about something roughly similar before seeing his, but hadn't the foggiest how to pull it off, until I saw his tutorial. The only thing I didn't like was the lack of detail I was getting with my continents, without losing things like the strait between the two northern continents, and all my island chains. So what I ended up doing was running the process with a relatively low gaussian blur (as I was using Photoshop), to rough them up just slightly. And then in the locations where I wanted/needed a little more variety, I ran a rough lasso selection around them, feathered it so as to blend, and rendered Photoshop's Difference Clouds on top of the clouds (I forget the Gimp analog, but I seem to remember there being one).


(...) Looking to see how you are going to develop the mountain spines!

So am I! :D I haven't the foggiest how I'm going to do them, yet; I'm still deciding. I'll probably fly by the seat of my pants for a while - life's more fun that way.


Looking really good

Keep going please despite the brain pain i know it must be causing (mine has currently melted ;) )

Korba

It's actually not as melted from the map as I expected, but I'm definitely melting my brain with all this in conjunction with my schoolwork. It might be a couple weeks before I post here, again. I have a rather sizeable paper due in my music lit class in just under two weeks, I believe, and it is past crunch time. :shock: But then, I'm just crazy enough to pull it off if I gun for it, I think. Only time will tell.

-asp

Greason Wolfe
04-20-2009, 08:30 AM
Still following this one. For me, it is the climate/biome work you're doing ASP. That is, perhaps, my weakest area in map design and, more often than not, I just fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to weather. But the work you've done so far, in that area, is really opening my eyes. Of course, I'll be looking forward to what you do with the land masses as well. Think I already repped you, but there will be more coming when I get a chance.

GW

P.S. As it turned out, I hadn't repped you yet, so here it is, what little I can give you!

altasilvapuer
04-20-2009, 09:57 PM
Thanks for the rep, Greason, but the people you should really be repping are Karro and Korba. It's to the two of them and some nigh-upon obsessive research via The Climate Cookbook, Wikipedia, and other such websites, that I owe my knowledge (such as it is) of climates and biomes. Fascinating stuff, really.

The really fun part is watching clouds while sitting in a library when you should be doing work, and looking for the various climatological/weather mechanisms in action, and beginning to understand some of it.

-asp

Greason Wolfe
04-21-2009, 11:09 AM
Thanks for the rep, Greason, but the people you should really be repping are Karro and Korba. It's to the two of them and some nigh-upon obsessive research via The Climate Cookbook, Wikipedia, and other such websites, that I owe my knowledge (such as it is) of climates and biomes. Fascinating stuff, really.

The really fun part is watching clouds while sitting in a library when you should be doing work, and looking for the various climatological/weather mechanisms in action, and beginning to understand some of it.

-asp

Ahh, but the rep is for posting your trial and "error" efforts. I'm not great with climatology so seeing how others (who may not be particularly great with the same subject) work their way through such things is a big bonus and helps me refine my approach. I've a theory about these things . . . And this isn't to suggest that those more in the know are wrong or anything . . . but sometimes it is the answer to the simplest of questions that offers up the most fruit for learning. Of course, it helps to have those that are in the know in your corner! So hats off to Karro and Korba as well.

GW

Karro
04-21-2009, 11:24 AM
Thanks for the rep, Greason, but the people you should really be repping are Karro and Korba. It's to the two of them and some nigh-upon obsessive research via The Climate Cookbook, Wikipedia...


Of course, it helps to have those that are in the know in your corner! So hats off to Karro and Korba as well.


Yeah, except, I'm not really any more in the know than anyone else. I'm a financial analyst, not a climatologist! Almost everything I know about climatology can be attributed to short spates of self-study in some friends' college climate textbooks, reading bits and pieces from the Climate Cookbook, and especially to reading Expeditious Retreat Press's Guide to Mapmaking (http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=XRPFREE2), which I had once read, lost in a hard-drive crash, and was re-pointed to thanks to others on this forum. I don't think I was even the first on this forum to approach mapmaking this way, and I'm certainly not the best!

Greason Wolfe
04-22-2009, 10:35 AM
Yeah, except, I'm not really any more in the know than anyone else. I'm a financial analyst, not a climatologist! Almost everything I know about climatology can be attributed to short spates of self-study in some friends' college climate textbooks, reading bits and pieces from the Climate Cookbook, and especially to reading Expeditious Retreat Press's Guide to Mapmaking (http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=XRPFREE2), which I had once read, lost in a hard-drive crash, and was re-pointed to thanks to others on this forum. I don't think I was even the first on this forum to approach mapmaking this way, and I'm certainly not the best!

Oooooh! Steve Jackson stuff. I used to have a whole load of work along the same lines and, like you, lost most of it in a hard drive/motherboard crash. Still got a little bit of it though, particularly a little blurb about planetary surface temperatures based on stellar temperatures and distances from the stellar surface.

Still, though, a bit more in the know than I am at the moment. This whole climatology thing will probably be my next big push, however, so it's still a good thing to see it being worked out by others.

GW

altasilvapuer
04-22-2009, 11:54 PM
Well, what can I say? The virtual machete is one of the most fun tools to use. I don't often find new trails to blaze, so when I see the beginnings of others' tracks, I tend to almost compulsively explore the territory, as it were. Maps can be made of more than just locales, after all. ;)

-asp

altasilvapuer
05-03-2009, 08:17 PM
Apologies for the delay; it's finals week and I'm stealing a little sanity time for this update, because it's making me happy.

I've worked on and off on the map since my last update, and after a fitful false start or two, I think I'm getting closer. I'm currently laying down the textures for a pseudo-satellite shot. I'm not 100% happy with my textures, but I feel I've beaten a few of them into submission, and coaxed the rest. ;)

In the spirit of my usual policy of posting early and often, though, here're some shots of one of the attempts with which I wasn't happy, and a WIP of the current one:

[DISCLAIMER Interlude: I've been working with this at roughly 19.1% zoom so far, heh, so I haven't seen how well the textures work up close. I should probably do that, but for now keep that in mind when giving critiques. I'd love mention of whether they're working at full-res, though, if anyone's up for it.]


Texture pass #1:
12973
I was rather completely unhappy with the massive jumble of this attempt, so I decided to partially scrap it. Rather than completely killing it, though, I just reset each of the layer masks and worked from there.

Texture pass #2:
12974
This is in-progress of the re-attempt after the previous image. There are still a lot of unfilled areas (see Southern Continent, especially), but I saved and uploaded it to show a friend several days ago, so I figured I'd show you all, too.

Texture pass #3:
12972
This is the map in its current state. All of the art-work for the land is made up of multiple layers, with one texture per layer. I then put a black layer mask on each of them, and painted white at low opacity on the mask to reveal portions of each texture.
All of these layers are then placed into a folder which has a mask on it corresponding to the shape of the current landmass, so the textures don't leak into the water.

True to style, though, it's on upload that I've noticed most of my errors, heh. The most glaring I have seen, so far, is that this is season-neutral, just like my first temperature map. Both hemispheres seem to be experiencing some pseudo-summer/spring. With luck, though, it won't be too hard to make a seasonal variation, should I choose to do so. For now, I think this map is reasonably representative.

Next stage (surprisingly late, but I'm slightly putting it off, heh) is rivers! I've been giving thought to this, but I'm thinking about putting a layer under the current (textured) landmass, and then cutting pieces from the mask on the texture folder to reveal the river. And on the layer under the landmass, I'll put my river texture, if I decide to have it different from the oceans.

And I need to actually texture my oceans, heh. I haven't decided whether I'll do this before or after the rivers, but it all depends on what I decide to texture them with.
Any ideas?

-asp

Greason Wolfe
05-04-2009, 07:45 AM
Glad to see you back to work on this one, asp. And, overall, I think it is still looking good. The colors, at least to me, are reasonable and give a fairly good idea of what the climates might be like. I'm curious, though, whether or not you would be able to add a bit of "crunchiness" or roughness to the mountain regions. It may just be my slowly failing eye sight, but they seemed a little flat to me, or maybe a little too smooth, not sure which. Alternatively, it might just need a bit of shadowing to give an impression of elevation.

As for the rivers thing. I'm not an expert on those just yet :lol: and may never be an expert. But as for the layer position, I'd think you might want them "on top" of your land textures as putting them below might turn them into gorges that could look a bit odd, particularly in the mountain areas. Then again, I could be completely off on that so will happily wait to see what you come up with.

All in all, still getting a thumbs up from me, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with your seasonal representations.

GW

Steel General
05-04-2009, 09:03 AM
This is coming along nicely... might want to consider the transitions between your coasts and the ocean - are there going to be beaches, etc.

altasilvapuer
05-04-2009, 11:51 PM
I'm also not happy with the mountains, at the moment. I did manage to give a little bit of illusion of depth, but not enough, and it's not crunchy enough, yet. I'll probably do some more playing around, and might poke around some of the related tutorials here, which I haven't viewed, yet.

I thought about beaches, but I've decided for the most part, I don't think they'd be too visible from this distance, would they? I will probably put a little bit, somehow, but not much.

-asp

Steel General
05-05-2009, 06:59 AM
I thought about beaches, but I've decided for the most part, I don't think they'd be too visible from this distance, would they? I will probably put a little bit, somehow, but not much.

Depends on the scale, didn't see one unless I missed it in a earlier post.

Karro
05-05-2009, 10:51 AM
I'm also not happy with the mountains, at the moment. I did manage to give a little bit of illusion of depth, but not enough, and it's not crunchy enough, yet. I'll probably do some more playing around, and might poke around some of the related tutorials here, which I haven't viewed, yet.
-asp

One thing to consider about the mountains, depending on the level of realism you're going for, is that at the scale I presume you're using here, the mountains won't be just a single ridge-line in each case. Rather, they'll be a mass of many ridges and folds of land on folds of land. That's a lot harder to depict (at least, I'm finding it so), but will probably look better.

altasilvapuer
05-06-2009, 01:42 AM
Steel General - I was saying I'll try to add something in a future version. I haven't, yet.

Karro - I've considered that thought, too. Haven't decided quite how I'm going to approach it, yet, though. Last day of exams is tomorrow, and then I have about 2 weeks-ish of break before more classes, so I might be able to get some more work done on this, finally

-asp

altasilvapuer
05-08-2009, 09:21 PM
Well, I did some more work on the shadows for the mountains. I'm still going on them, and I haven't even started shading the rest of the terrain, but I reached a natural saving point, and decided to upload a little bit of progress.

Texture Pass IV:
13152

The mountains feel a little dark to me in some places, and not quite random enough, but I think it'll even out once I have some shading on the rest of the land, and better textures filling everything. I also started reading through Pasis' tutorial, finally, while everything was saving, so I might incorporate a little bit of his ideas, depending on how well they mesh with my own strategy so far.

Comments, so far?

-asp

altasilvapuer
05-10-2009, 03:21 PM
Well, I did a little more work on the textures over the past couple days.
Updates to the map from previous version (that I remember):
Mountains roughed up a little
Snowcaps added to some of the taller mountains
Beaches added to a few of the coastlines - still needs work.
Existing textures fleshed out more - especially Northern Tundra.
Forests added/fleshed out in various places.

Texture Pass V:
13206

-asp

altasilvapuer
05-19-2009, 01:38 AM
(Quadruple-post? Really; if it wasn't for the time gaps, I'd probably feel terrible about this, heh)

After much yelling at Photoshop, I finally have a new version for everyone. It seems that as soon as my PSD breaches the 2GB mark, it loses the ability to save - who knew? The full-res of this is currently sitting around 1.85 GB, after deleting 90% of the old layers.

Most of the work here is the obvious addition of sea and lake textures, but I've also done some detailed shadow work on the land textures.

13430

Comments? Criticisms?

-asp

Ascension
05-19-2009, 01:57 AM
I love it except for two bits: 1 the forests seem clearly defined, texture-wise, but the mountains seem awfully blurry in comparison; 2 I think you might need some sort of shallows around the landmasses as that edge is kind of abrupt. Colors are sweet, almost perfect; and I love the things like the deserts bumps and the plains area on the southern continent. Very cool, I might have to snag a copy.

Steel General
05-19-2009, 07:33 AM
I'll just ditto what Ascension said.

Karro
05-19-2009, 10:48 AM
One other minor comment. There seems to be a bevel on the edge of the lakes, but not of the oceans. It seems a little odd. I would think either both would be beveled or neither.

Also, the lake-bevel goes awry in at least one place, in a lake on the northern continent.

altasilvapuer
06-24-2009, 02:04 PM
Well, I've finally gotten back to this map. When I started the rivers, it quickly made my eyes bleed (as I'm sure no one here is surprised), so I swore it off for a while and declared it "close enough". I started another map, among other things, of which I'm up to tectonics and such, currently.

While going over this map with a friend a couple days ago, however, I felt a renewed drive for the rivers, so I've gone back to them. It has also helped that I've basically decided the only rivers I'm including are those important/known to the denizens of the planet (because, after all, just because it's SciFi doesn't mean it's 100% explored - or such is my excuse, anyway).

I've gone for more of a satellite-inspired look the whole time, which makes this somewhat of a departure, but I've got a few ideas on reconciling that, so we shall see what turns up.

In the mean time, here's a little preview of the rivers, so far:
14439

I'm not happy, yet, with the rivers on the middle continent to the left of the big bay/sea, but for the moment they're standing as-is. I just need an excuse why they're so straight and fast and the others are more natural.

I've also decided that I'm not happy with the oceans, still (shores included), so I'm going to re-do them before I'm done, so for now the shallows are not much better than the last iteration. I'm also still deciding what to do with the mountains. I've got a couple ideas, but most require re-doing them quite a lot, which I'm not quite ready to do, yet. We shall see what I come up with. I am open to ideas, though.

Any majorly grievous river problems, so far?

-asp

Steel General
06-24-2009, 02:40 PM
I think the oceans are fine, it's just the transition from land to water (the shoreline) that needs a bit of work.

I didn't see any major river infractions though with my work monitor it's a bit hard to see some of them.

altasilvapuer
06-26-2009, 08:00 PM
Yeah, it is a little small. I've been doing the actual work at 5000x3300, but for uploading, I shrink it down to 3000x1941 before saving. I might upload a full-size JPG or two as I get closer to the end of the rivers. I'm probably at 75% or so, right now. A few of them could use some work, though.

And I think I'm going to play around with the oceans, anyway. They don't look wrong, per se, to me either, but I feel like I can do something different with them. I'm planning on extending this out a little, anyway. I'm going to expand the Eastern oceans a little, and do some stretching, and convert it to Equirectangular at some point.

-asp

Pank.HQ
06-28-2009, 02:18 PM
Agree with Steel; the coast seems too rigid. Perhaps create a bit of beach and a softer transition into the sea.

altasilvapuer
07-09-2009, 11:00 PM
Well, the rivers are pretty much done, for the most part. I'm still fidgeting a bit with their execution, but their paths are more or less finished.

I also toyed around with the shore, again, but I'm still not satisfied with it. I don't want to add any more beach than is there, as this is a world map and those would be huge beaches. My shallows also need a little work; I'm beginning to think the easiest way to fix them is to fix both them and the oceans themselves in one go. I leave for a 2 week vacation tomorrow, and am going to try to force myself to not touch this the entire time I'm there, but we'll see.

That was as of the last Saturday of June or so, and I've mostly ignored the map while on vacation. Right now, though, I'm sitting in a hotel room halfway home with nothing to do until morning, and decided to do some poking around with cartography stuff. I'm finally uploading the most recent shot of the rivers, now. I kept coming in .02MB or so over the JPG limit and ran out of time to cut it down before we left, so I just did that tonight, and I'll upload it.

14722

I fidgeted with the oceans a bit, but I can't decide if I made things better or worse on that front. I definitely see what you guys mean on the too-crisp coast, though, now, and I agree. I might fidget with that tonight, but I don't know. I've got an idea or two to try on that note; just need time to test them out. Until then, any citations from the River Police?

As I've gotten deeper into this, I've found more and more things I want to do differently, though, and it would require almost completely re-vamping the entire thing. Which is not something I'm ready to do right this moment, but I do have another map in the beginning stages on which I might test some ideas.

-asp

EDIT: I also just noticed that my rivers are showing in some places where they intersect lakes. Ignore that; I know what happened and why, and I'll fix it by the next edit. This is what I get for semi-rushing some edits when I should've been packing last week. :D

Ascension
07-09-2009, 11:12 PM
Ocean looks good to me, I wouldn't change it one iota. Seeing as you know where you're headed and what edits you need to make I'll just say that it looks good so far :) As far as rivers, they're fine but that giant wall down south might need some more flows going down to the plains and connect to that river on the right side.

Steel General
07-10-2009, 08:19 AM
I agree with Ascension - the oceans are fine. Good to see you working on this again.

Greason Wolfe
07-10-2009, 01:09 PM
I have to be honest, I think things are still looking great with this map. Others have already expressed their opinions about the transition from land to sea along the coastal regions, so I won't rehash that as it seems you might already have an idea about what you want to do with that situation. Can't really say as I have any other criticisms about this at all. It's been fun watching your progress so far, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what more you are going to do with it.

GW

altasilvapuer
07-16-2009, 11:51 PM
Well, I found some time and played around with the map a little more. I think I finally realized what I didn't like about the oceans: what I was shooting for before was more of an impression of the seafloor shape, and it didn't exactly work as well as I'd liked. So I decided to try to get a satisfactory shot of surface of the ocean, instead. It's not quite right, yet, I don't think, but I sorta like where it might head.

Here's a shot of the map, currently, with the "ocean surface" showing:
14903

I've also done more work on the lakes and rivers, though, and lowered the saturation on the land, so for comparison's sake, here's a shot of the map currently, with the "ocean floor" showing:
14904

What do you guys think? Do you think the surface oceans will work better with the rest of my map, so far, or the ocean floor-ish thing? I don't think either really is up to the par of where I want it, but I haven't decided which to pursue first.

-asp

Ascension
07-17-2009, 12:02 AM
I don't really see a whole lot of difference, just color, between the two and both look fine to me :) so...shrug.

Steel General
07-17-2009, 08:36 AM
For me the rivers are to dark in most places. I think they should match the lighter blue of the coastal waters rather than the deeper ocean color.

Karro
07-17-2009, 10:55 AM
I'd go with the "surface" version, or the lighter blue one.

Other than that, I agree that the rivers could stand a little lightening.

[edit]...Wait... Did I just bonk you for +3? Or did someone else hit you at the same time? I don't think of myself as a heavy-hitter, WRT the size of my rep stick.

altasilvapuer
07-17-2009, 12:20 PM
For me the rivers are to dark in most places. I think they should match the lighter blue of the coastal waters rather than the deeper ocean color.

Good to know. I was actually fighting with them not to get too dark, but in playing around I stumbled across that look with the lakes in the bottom left, and tried to keep that without throwing off everything else. This map is not kind to things being expected to transfer elsewhere easily, haha. They do feel a little too dark overall to me, though, too. I've got an idea or two to try on them, but I might not get it uploaded until tomorrow night.

I'll try just lightening what I have, first, and if that gets wonky, I'll probably just re-do the current effect by hand at a lighter shade. Currently it's a mix of layer styles.


How do the shorelines look, so far? I blurred the edge of the layer mask for them just slightly and played around with the shallows some more. Does it appear to be working?

-asp

altasilvapuer
08-03-2009, 11:24 AM
Update! I'm quite a few days later than I said I'd be, but I suppose that's par for the course by this point. ;)

I ended up not changing the rivers, much, because after trying a few lighter variants, I found that I actually liked the dark rivers a little bit. It's still not perfect, but without completely re-doing everything except their tracks from scratch, I don't know that I'm going to get much farther.

In addition, we have a new online printing service where I work (a UPS Store; the service is http://theupsstore.com/print if you want to check it out with a store in your area), and we still haven't seen what the customer end looks like too well, so I've finished up a reasonable preliminary print to test out both the service and the printability of this map.

Here's the preliminary print version:
15452

Unfortunately, to upload it to CG, I have to bring the resolution and JPG quality down to make the file size requirement. This uploaded copy is 4000 x 2588 pixels, at a JPG quality of about 11/12 in PS. The full-res I'm printing is 5100 x 3300 at 12/12. (The latter is also 300 dpi, so it fits to an 11 x 17 page; the largest I can print at work.)

The scale on there, I'm finding, is actually pretty inaccurate. My math was off when I made/uploaded this. I've been assuming an 'Earth-like' planet all along, so my equatorial radius is about 6372 km. When I ran the numbers to convert that to pixels across my image, I accidentally goofed and used 6372 as the diameter, instead of the radius. I caught it now, but as it will take me about an hour or more to re-save and upload, I'm going to just leave the incorrect version up for a moment for you guys.

I've decided this map isn't a full view of the planet, anyway, because of problems I'm going to have with fixing projections, as Naeddyr predicted. There's more space in the ocean to the east, and the northern continent has a tiny sliver more, I think. I still haven't decided, exactly.

If you double the scale on the map (i.e. read 100 as 200km), then it's reasonably close but still not accurate. I'm not sure whether or not I'll correct it for printing, since this is more of a test print, anyway.

This also has a wooden title/scale box, which isn't as closely in keeping with the original concept of a science fiction setting for this, but I didn't want to print it without at least a name on it, somewhere, and the wood is somewhat charming, for the short amount of time spent on it.

[/wallo'text]

So what do you guys think?
-asp

Karro
08-03-2009, 11:51 AM
All told, I think it looks pretty good. I like the cartouche you've added. Add some labels, and I'd call this a pretty good map.

What's particular about it is that it has your own style, and that's a very strong accomplishment.

altasilvapuer
08-03-2009, 12:19 PM
All told, I think it looks pretty good. I like the cartouche you've added. Add some labels, and I'd call this a pretty good map.

What's particular about it is that it has your own style, and that's a very strong accomplishment.

Thanks! Glad to hear that. I still haven't decided what I'm doing about labels, yet. I'm still thinking more of a science fiction setting in my head, but I can't decide how settled I want this planet, or where I want settlements. I know a couple places already where they'll go, but not a lot. I'm also running into issues with representing settlements in a manner consistent with the map's current style. Any ideas, anyone?

----------
BLARGH!

I wasn't intending to upload a corrected version for you guys, yet, because I didn't think I'd have time, but Photoshop had other plans. I goofed and accidentally did my corrections on the reduced-resolution file, by mistake. So I figured I might as well save a JPG of it and upload it for you crazies. ;)

Enjoy:
15454

Minor corrections:
:compass: Scale numbers corrected
:compass: Personal branding of sorts secreted somewhere in the image, just for the fun of it. :D I think I'll probably sign one of the final copies, even though my signature could use some work, but this was fun to secret in in the interim. See if you can find it.

-asp

Karro
08-03-2009, 12:23 PM
Remind me again: what's your end-point goal for this map?

altasilvapuer
08-03-2009, 12:36 PM
I'll tell you as soon as I know. :D

The world comes from some random scifi backstory/conuniversing I did in a math class I really didn't want to pay attention to. It was important enough to need some fleshing out, but undeveloped enough to leave me room to fiddle, and I wanted to dive into mapping headfirst, so it was a perfect match.

As to what I'll do with it? Who knows! :D I might get some friends to run a scifi campaign in it sometime, or I might write a book for it (though the latter's quite unlikely), or I might just keep on developing said universe until it explodes. Hrm.. the latter sounds fun; I like explosions.

At any rate, this map is 80% mad-scientist-hyjinks, 15% having fun while diving into cartography from a creator's perspective, 4% backstory development, and about 1% trace gases. ;)

-asp

Ascension
08-03-2009, 04:29 PM
I can't put it into words other than this looks great. There's something about it that makes me want to smell it (I'm weird I know) or touch it. Just all around nice work. :)

altasilvapuer
08-03-2009, 11:55 PM
Well, Ascension, if you want, I could possibly ship you a copy of one, if/when I finally print it. It didn't get printed today because the online printing thing is quite wonky at the moment (being so new as it is, I suppose) and geared more towards office/business documents. I've decided I'm going to just print it the old-fashioned way at work - flash stick to copier by way of the store computer. Results actually tend to be pretty good, if done right.

MO isn't too terribly far from where I am, as far as shipping is concerned. Let me know, and we can talk details sometime! :D

I definitely understand you, though, on wanting to experience a map in more than just sight. There's something about holding an old book or map in your hands, the scent and texture enveloping everything. Ah.. I am a nerd, and unashamed! ;)

-asp

Karro
08-04-2009, 10:49 AM
Ah.. I am a nerd, and unashamed! ;)

-asp

There's no shame in nerdom! Say it loud, say it proud!

altasilvapuer
08-07-2009, 12:03 PM
Finally! I kept looking at the map the past couple days and didn't feel like printing it, because it felt like it was missing something essential, first, so I finally caved and mapped out cities, roads, and sea lanes.

I'm still trying to find a good way to make them not so obtrusive without just lowering the opacity and washing them out. I might try a layer of white or black underneath each of the icons and then lower the opacity of the icons, but I don't know. Might not have time to try that until Saturday, so you might not hear from me again until then.

For now, though, here's the map with roads, cities, and sea lanes. I haven't labeled anything, yet, but that's the next step.
Also, I finally found my error in the calculations for the scale (I think) does it look pretty close, assuming this is nearly all of an Earth-sized planet?
15614

So do you all think I should print it now, just for fun, or label it first? I'm tempted to wait, since all that I feel like I'll do before declaring this finally, actually 'done' is label it. But I can be quite slow at names, sometimes. Well, at creating names I like, anyway. Though I do have a couple unused ideas lying about that can be re-purposed. Labeling might take me a couple weeks, especially knowing class starts back so soon.

-asp

Karro
08-07-2009, 01:16 PM
Looks good. I really don't think they're that obtrusive - especially not the roads/seaways (if anything, those might be a little too unobtrusive moreso, as occassionally they are hard to make out). As for the cities themselves, they're clear but not overbearing, I think.

My only comments/suggestions are:

1.) With the antiqued wood looking cartouche... maybe you want to go with a more antiqued or thematically similar looking symbol for the cities or vice-versa.

2.) What do the different colors of city mean? You might want to have something about that in a key/legend.

altasilvapuer
08-07-2009, 08:39 PM
Looks good. I really don't think they're that obtrusive - especially not the roads/seaways (if anything, those might be a little too unobtrusive moreso, as occassionally they are hard to make out). As for the cities themselves, they're clear but not overbearing, I think.

My only comments/suggestions are:

1.) With the antiqued wood looking cartouche... maybe you want to go with a more antiqued or thematically similar looking symbol for the cities or vice-versa.

2.) What do the different colors of city mean? You might want to have something about that in a key/legend.

For the roads, etc, I have to wonder if part of the problem is in the down-sampling process I undergo to upload. I actually resize the original as a PSD, and then save as JPG. It only occurred to me last night after I'd saved everything that I had a number of layer styles dependent on that full resolution that were incorrectly downsampling. As a result, I think I'm going to try down-sampling a flattened jpg before my next upload, and see if it improves.

I was actually also feeling something somewhat similar to what you mentioned about the cartouche, though in reverse. This world originally was (and still mostly is) conceived as a scifi world. The cartouche was just something fun thrown on one day when I thought I'd be printing it that day. I'd still like to go back to that, and I think the city and roads were at least a half-concious attempt to do so. I still haven't decided what I'm doing with the cartouche, though. Any ideas?

As for the city colours, I completely forgot to mention them when I uploaded. I'm still indecisive as to whether there will be a key explaining them or not, but basically the breakdown is this:

By colour:
The brownish-orange pips represent cities and other civilian areas.
The blue-grey pips represent military bases and installations and such.
The reddish pips with orange inner glows represent some vague idea of bandit/pirate/rogue/whatever settlements. I'm still unclear as to what even I intend of these, and whether they'll stay red or change to brownish-orange (or maybe even blue-grey in one case).

By size:
The sizes come in three variations: 30px, 20px, and 10px (at the original resolution of 5100x3300px)
For the brownish-orange pips, the size represents mostly just the size of the represented city/whatever
For the blue-grey pips, the size represents mostly the importance of the military installation and/or it's resident forces.
The red pips, at the moment, only come in the 10px variety, but they represent a rough mix of the two variations according to size listed previously.

...I think that makes sense. If not, let me know.

The main reason I didn't include a legend with them, yet, was lack of time, though I'm still debating whether I'll implement one and if so, how. If I do, I think it might be separate from the cartouche, possibly in the open ocean space at the middle left.

A secondary reason for not including them, though, is that once labeled, the colours would be mostly explained by the few of each number labeled, and I'd hoped the size was reasonably self-explanatory.[/color]

I've got a couple ideas bouncing around in my head for a new cartouche and/or legend for the pips, but it'll probably be shaky on how much I get done in the next week or two.

[/wall-o'-text]

-asp

Karro
08-07-2009, 11:40 PM
I was actually also feeling something somewhat similar to what you mentioned about the cartouche, though in reverse. This world originally was (and still mostly is) conceived as a scifi world. The cartouche was just something fun thrown on one day when I thought I'd be printing it that day. I'd still like to go back to that, and I think the city and roads were at least a half-concious attempt to do so. I still haven't decided what I'm doing with the cartouche, though. Any ideas?

-asp

I thought I recalled this was intended to be a sci-fi world. That's why I added the "or vice versa" to my statement. One possibility that always looks sci-fiy: a glowy phosphorescent screen overlay for the cartouche, with sci-fiy databits contained therein as well.

Alternately, try for a post-modern design of some kind... can't help you much there as I'm not really a well-rehearsed student of that kind of design.

zenram
08-08-2009, 01:12 AM
What a wonderful work, i read the post and learn a lot. XD

DethinBlack
08-09-2009, 06:14 AM
This map is wonderful, and the amount of thought you have put in it for air/sea currents and the like is absolutly awesome!

I was thinking about your question, what to do with the Cartouche, and Karro had a good idea with the screen type overlay. I was thinking, however, that if you wanted to make it more modern and not hundreds of years in the future scifi, you could just change the cartouche you have now. Instead of a wood grain pattern, you could take the rose out and make it more like a steel plate? For the most part everything would be the same, but in metal, instead of wood. Updates it, brings it into the modern, semi future, without way overshooting?

Of course im not sure how scifi this is supposed to look :P

altasilvapuer
08-10-2009, 11:17 PM
Thanks for the ideas, guys! Unfortunately, it might be a while before I get any updates to this done. I'm currently working on naming and labeling things, but am having to take a break. All this intensive work the past couple weeks has really tired out the muscles and nerves in my hands, and being an oboist and music student, I really need them in somewhat working order for the start of classes on Monday, so I'm going to be trying to take it really easy for a while.

I'm still going to be poking around here regularly, because I'm shamelessly and proudly addicted, but probably won't work on Geidor much. I make myself no promises about shiny new (small!) projects, though. :D

I'm also going to take advantage of this to get away from Geidor mentally for a little bit, in the hopes of new ideas bubbling up while I undergo withdrawal from it. ;) Works every time; you guys should try it, too. Fun stuff!

-asp

Coyotemax
08-11-2009, 09:31 AM
I'm also going to take advantage of this to get away from Geidor mentally for a little bit, in the hopes of new ideas bubbling up while I undergo withdrawal from it. ;) Works every time; you guys should try it, too. Fun stuff!

-asp

Oh, is THAT what sleep is for??
:)

Good luck with the break, may you feel inspired from it, and good luck with your classes!