View Full Version : Urania (Altair Universe, "Second" Planet)

04-16-2009, 09:57 AM
Attached is a work in progress. My animator friend Amerz took my original hand-drawn maps and retraced them using Photoshop. While some land features have been altered from my originals, the essential shape is the same. Amerz and I have been discussing how to stretch the proportions of the map in order to make its ratio match that of a world map.

The first few images are samples of my original hand-drawn Urania map. At the bottom is the version Amerz has produced ("Urania map with names"), with my revised names.


04-16-2009, 10:10 AM
This is looking very promising. What are you thinking about the "stretching to world map proportions"? Projection stuff?

04-16-2009, 10:25 AM
Mostly projection issues, yes. The current map is meant to be a Mercator projection (http://idlastro.gsfc.nasa.gov/idl_html_help/images/map_mercator.gif), but Amerz has been toying with the idea of using an antique-style stereographic hemisphere projection (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01366/accurat_1366052i.jpg), with plenty of room for ornamentation.

We're trying for the Mercator projection first, just to get the basic shapes and names down. I'd like to avoid altering the shapes of the land masses as much as possible, so Amerz and I are considering adding more ocean both to the margins and Laermar (at the center of the map), as well as more ocean between the various islands.

Thanks for commenting!

04-16-2009, 11:01 AM
Mostly projection issues, yes. The current map is meant to be a Mercator projection (http://idlastro.gsfc.nasa.gov/idl_html_help/images/map_mercator.gif), but Amerz has been toying with the idea of using an antique-style stereographic hemisphere projection (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01366/accurat_1366052i.jpg), with plenty of room for ornamentation.

Mercator is a pretty tricky projection. To make possible computerised projectioneering with simple free projection tools, I'd suggest first making the map Equirectangular; plate carrée (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equirectangular). This can then be transformed easily into other projections at will using diverse programs. I've actually made a map exactly like what you are thinking of doing, and a tutorial to go with it (check the tutorial forums! wink wink), and now I'm working on a similar, newer map (except in another projection).

Steel General
04-16-2009, 01:34 PM
I like both versions of the maps... can't help you with the projection stuff though - color me clueless on that subject :D

04-16-2009, 06:24 PM
These are incredibly beautiful. Full of character. I'm clueless about projections too apart from the utter basics.

04-17-2009, 03:47 AM
Goodness. That's a great map, and full of detail. Have some rep.

04-17-2009, 07:26 AM
Thank ye, thank ye. Rep tastes yummy.

Naeddyr: I'll definitely bring this to Amerz's attention. The equirectangular idea sounds better than the Mercator, since the Mercator vertically distorts just about everything further than a few latitudes away from the equator. (Notice also the lack of latitude and longitude lines at the moment--since we haven't finished proportioning the map, no such lines can be added yet.)

Thanks to you all for your comments! I can only take the bows here for the original hand-drawn maps and the names. Amerz is the one who's been putting it all together!

Greason Wolfe
04-17-2009, 12:04 PM
Gorgeous! I really like the last map. And take credit where you can. Someone else may be putting together the final product for you, but it started with you. Many a great fantasy map started in the author or player's head and found form in the artist's hand. No shame in that what so ever.


06-12-2009, 02:54 PM
Greason Wolfe: As the unseen mind behind the artist's hand, I always appreciate appreciation. Thanks!

Amerz and I have made some further progress on the map. The changes are mostly minor, but I'm pleased to say that Amerz's efforts have nearly reached completion. Things to note here are:

1.) Proportions. Amerz stretched the map out horizontally by adding more oceans to the margins of the map, as well as by expanding Laermar (the roughly circular sea around which the continents are arranged). Thus, Urania's map now has proportions realistic for a spherical planet in Mercator projection. Yay.

2.) Colored Borders That Are Real Purdy-like. Neutral territories are left with no borders. Forests are given a shade of green with a "watercolor on parchment" texture (notice how the pools of green color in certain places don't quite line up with the trees). The mountains are similarly colored grey, but in such a fashion as to make them stand "in front of" one another to give the illusion of perspective.

3.) A Visit from the River Police. Though most of my rivers follow the rules (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2927&highlight=river+downhill+split) previously set out by other CG members, there were a few minor tributaries I eliminated for the sake of realism. I also added a river to Katadria (the wooded island in the lower left corner of the map), since explorers would have to sail up that river to figure out that Katadria has a lake in the middle of it. (Katadria is an exexplored island swarming with baddies, so there would be no other way of exploring the interior.)

4.) Terrain. Amerz has developed a "mountain brush" and a "tree brush" to render the various land features. She used two kinds of trees: deciduous and coniferous. We're hoping to add an icecap or glacier terrain for certain areas in the north and south extremes of the map.

Things we're still working on:

1.) A compass rose.
2.) Re-inserting the place names using appropriate fonts.
3.) A legend.
4.) Icecaps for the north and south polar regions.
5.) Decorative artwork (e. g., gryphons, galleons, sea serpents and stuff).
6.) Navigational lines; longitude and latitude. I'm also toying with the idea of a pair of tropic lines and arctic lines to delineate the climate regions more clearly.


06-12-2009, 03:14 PM
Nice work! I like where this is going :)

(Sorry, I have not much to add, I'm just curious to see the progress)