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View Full Version : Vaniya by Ramah



Ascension
05-14-2009, 12:11 AM
Map (Click to enlarge)
http://www.cartographersguild.com/feature/VaniyaThumb.jpg (http://www.cartographersguild.com/feature/VaniyaMap.jpg)


Created in: Photoshop

Review

An exquisite map by one of our newest members. It might not look like much to those unfamiliar with making maps but the details are what makes this (along with the color scheme). Look at those mountains and forests! The different shades of green used to denote the countries is subtle but easy to comprehend. Those of us who are utterly familiar with such things can appreciate the passion that goes into making a great piece of art and fretting over these details. Fonts are often selected for their uniqueness and usually are unreadable; but not here. I don't get to use this word often enough but it is completely appropriate here...sublime.

Ramah says:
Vaniya is the land in which the novel I am writing is based. It is a fantasy world in which, although magic exists, it has long since been broken, changed into many different forms that the original users could not comprehend. For decades now the land has been under a terrible blight and the human race is dying out, slowly but surely. The only non-human race in the land are the Mandrai which live in The Ruhks, the great forest to the north. The humans and Mandrai have been at war for many long years.

The map, although ostensibly for my own benefit as a writing aid, has been decorated a little as if it is a communication between Arcanists, the practitioners of Circle Magic situated on the isle of Maloglash. The idea is that it is used as they attempt to chart the increase in The Blight. To this effect, I have added bits of flavour text to the map (I have increased the visibility on most of these since I last posted, but some are still purposely faint), some of which are directly related to my story.

I, for one, hope we get to see more maps from Ramah and hope that the writing is as good as the map.






Original thread
Click here to view the original thread. (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=5553)

Feralspirit
05-14-2009, 12:23 AM
Allow me to be the first, Ramah, of many, I'm sure. Congradulations and absolutley deserved. It's a beautiful piece.

Zar Peter
05-14-2009, 01:42 AM
Yep, this is a great map. Could look hours at it and still finding more details. Well deserved.

shpena
05-14-2009, 02:16 AM
WOW. Brilliant map mate. I do love them mountains and forests !!! :D

Blaidd Drwg
05-14-2009, 02:29 AM
Good grief, I just drooled all over my keyboard.
Great stuff!

Bohunk
05-14-2009, 06:36 AM
Congrats Ramah!

Gandwarf
05-14-2009, 06:43 AM
Great map and great pick!

Steel General
05-14-2009, 06:50 AM
Great choice and congrats Ramah!

Gidde
05-14-2009, 08:54 AM
It was inevitable that this map would be a Choice ... it's just brilliant. Very well done :)

Ramah
05-14-2009, 09:04 AM
Wow, thanks a lot guys, I really appreciate this and feel honoured to be included in this section. The trouble is, now you've kicked my desire to do a zoomed in regional map up by several notches. :s ... must.... resist....

I've learned a lot while making this puppy and I only hope that if I decided to make this map again tomorrow I could do it a LOT quicker. :)

Gandwarf
05-14-2009, 09:22 AM
I would love to see some city maps of Northwatch, Arlodon, Upton and Lorn.
Get cracking! ;)

Kristoni
05-14-2009, 09:39 AM
Good pick, there's a lot to like about this map. Congratulations, Ramah!

Karro
05-14-2009, 10:08 AM
I would vote for Maloglash. The geography in that region just looks fascinating to me. Circular with a mounded island in the middle, like a meteor crater, yet with a number of islands dotting the crater's interior. It's strange and curious.

Congrats, Ramah.

DungeonMasterGaz
05-14-2009, 12:09 PM
Absolutely beautiful fantasy map. I'd be very happy if I received something like that with a novel, roleplaying game, etc.

Outstanding job. Congrats on the award, Ramah!!

DMG

ironmetal250
05-14-2009, 01:21 PM
Oh my god, this map is amazing.

Congrats!

farvardin
05-14-2009, 03:18 PM
This is incredibly well done. I don't know how it could be better. Everything is perfect, the colors, the forests, the mountains, the decorations.
It really looks genuine.
I love it!

Ramah
05-14-2009, 04:47 PM
I would vote for Maloglash. The geography in that region just looks fascinating to me. Circular with a mounded island in the middle, like a meteor crater, yet with a number of islands dotting the crater's interior. It's strange and curious.


:D

This would certainly be one of the areas I need to do in detail. It is where a huge chunk of my story takes place. It is the site of The Order of the Circle, the centre of learning for the Arcanists, and also the site of a long-forgotten catastrophe that shaped the look of the land in the area.

Other areas I would consider mapping in greater detail for use in my story are: Aronbor, Asrinon, Romara and The Ruhks. Other places are visited and mentioned but probably not to the extent where a map would be essential.

The Mite and its surrounding kingdoms, the area in the SW of the map is a throwback to an earlier story that I was writing many years ago and I included mainly for my own gratification. :)

Again, thanks for all the great comments, they are very much appreciated.

ravells
05-14-2009, 08:02 PM
Great pick and a beautiful map!!!

Clercon
05-15-2009, 07:36 AM
So now is the question....where can we read the stories you're writing. If they are just close to the feeling of the map they must be a great read :-)
Greta map by the way.

Arcana
05-15-2009, 09:28 AM
Yes, and I want an autographed copy of the book too.

Gandwarf
05-15-2009, 10:33 AM
I am curious about the Child Fair...

Ramah
05-20-2009, 05:53 AM
The Child fair does exactly what it says on the tin. :)

It wasn't supposed to be a town on its own like that, it was supposed to be IN a town or city but at the time I couldn't think up a decent name so I just placed it on the map as is.

Due to The Blight that the land is suffering, children have become worth their weight in gold. The states sell off any orphans to fund their war efforts, kidnapping and roaming armed bands hunting for children are commonplace - it's not a great time to be young. :)
The Child Fair is the biggest such place, where people bring their wares (including destitute fathers selling their own children) from far and wide to get the best prices. There are various smaller fairs and auctions throughout the lands, but the one in Rydony is the biggest.

Gandwarf
05-20-2009, 07:26 AM
That is certainly a cool background story... now, why didn't I think of that :D

RjBeals
05-20-2009, 04:51 PM
Congrats - I'm loving this map. Can you give me some insight on how you did the mountains / hills? They all look so unique, did you draw by hand then scan in? Or is it a custom brush or something you made? A+ !!

Ascension
05-20-2009, 05:57 PM
And here I thought the child fair was a medieval disneyworld. Man, that sounds like a very bleak place to live.

PixelFish
05-23-2009, 01:44 AM
Wonderful work, Ramah. I liked this so much I linked it on my art blog, hope you don't mind.

I thought it was funny that you have a city named Cadenze, as I have a city called Cadenza in my world. Great minds must think alike. :) I don't know how you picked your name but I chose the name because I wanted something evocative of Florence, or Firenza, and so I smashed it together with the word "cadence" to get Cadenza.

Gandwarf
05-23-2009, 04:33 AM
Ramah probably saw your map and liked the name ;)

Ramah
05-23-2009, 05:00 AM
I thought it was funny that you have a city named Cadenze, as I have a city called Cadenza in my world. Great minds must think alike. :) I don't know how you picked your name but I chose the name because I wanted something evocative of Florence, or Firenza, and so I smashed it together with the word "cadence" to get Cadenza.

I wish I could say that I thought things through that much. About 50% of the names on the map were the first thing that came into my head that didn't sound too sucky to me. :) That particular name I recall because I liked how it was close to "cadence", but that is as much thought as went into it. I can't recall whereabouts on the map I placed it though. Hehe.

I cannot completely rule out unconciously having noted it from your map but I believe not. I have/had a place in Aronbor on mine called "Havnor" which I thought was quite a cool name. I was gutted when I picked up an Earthsea book quite recently and found out it was a place name there. I read the first three Earthsea books many, many years ago so maybe that name stuck in my mind. I don't know. I like to think not but... <shrug>


EDIT: Just seen you've only just posted your map today so I guess I didn't unconsciously copy. :)
And I don't mind about the link of course, it's cool. :)

Ramah
05-23-2009, 05:11 AM
Congrats - I'm loving this map. Can you give me some insight on how you did the mountains / hills? They all look so unique, did you draw by hand then scan in? Or is it a custom brush or something you made? A+ !!

The mountains and hills were all done with custom brushes I drew. For the mountains I probably had about 20 brushes in the end but only used about a dozen (the rest of them were bad I guess, they never looked right when I placed them). The hills were the same although there were probably less brushes made and used - probably about 10 regular ones used. If you knew the order I did the hills in you could probably see how they become slightly more varied as I added more brushes.

I found making the brushes extremely tedious as I did them with the mouse and it gets a bit soul-destroying having to try and draw another curve that looks ok and then try and shade another large swathe of brush with my non-writing hand. :s So because of that I'd add one or two new ones every few days, hence the hills done at the end having more brushes used.

Personally I think the hills look more varied than the mountains anyway because the only way I could get them to look half decent in my mind was to do the shading between the brushes which make them look more hand drawn.

If/when I do a zoomed in map or maybe another continent in which another story (I once started and never finished :) ) takes place, then I'd LOVE to get myself a tablet and make a better job of the mountains.

PixelFish
05-23-2009, 12:21 PM
I wish I could say that I thought things through that much. About 50% of the names on the map were the first thing that came into my head that didn't sound too sucky to me. :) That particular name I recall because I liked how it was close to "cadence", but that is as much thought as went into it. I can't recall whereabouts on the map I placed it though. Hehe.

I cannot completely rule out unconciously having noted it from your map but I believe not. I have/had a place in Aronbor on mine called "Havnor" which I thought was quite a cool name. I was gutted when I picked up an Earthsea book quite recently and found out it was a place name there. I read the first three Earthsea books many, many years ago so maybe that name stuck in my mind. I don't know. I like to think not but... <shrug>


EDIT: Just seen you've only just posted your map today so I guess I didn't unconsciously copy. :)
And I don't mind about the link of course, it's cool. :)

Yeah, there's no way you could have seen my map before. I just thought it was amusing. :) I believe the technical term is "parallel development."

I'm going to also note that you have an Andor on your map, which is the name of a country in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. But the thing is, there are only so many phonemes (well, quite a few, I'm sure Stephen Pinker or Noam Chomsky could tell us how many) but the point is, as English speakers, we like mixing our phonemes up in certain ways and replications are bound to happen. I swear I made up the name Kylara once for a character, only to discover that both Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon have characters with that name. So don't worry too strongly about the uniqueness of your names....if they are unique places, the name won't matter so much.


....

Forgot to add: Ah, drawing with a mouse. I remember those days. I commend your patience.

ironmetal250
05-25-2009, 08:42 PM
How did you make the city symbols? Such as the dots and diamonds etc. seems easy but I can't do it for some reason

Ascension
05-25-2009, 09:33 PM
Make a brush in Photoshop. Start a new document of say 100 x 100 pixels. Create a new layer. Grab the 1-pixel pencil and draw in your shape (or use some combo of other brushes and erasers). When happy, click Edit > Define Brush Preset. Black pixels become the brush and white pixels will be clear, grays are varying levels of opacity. Not sure of the process in Gimp.

ironmetal250
05-25-2009, 09:52 PM
No, I use PS CS4... I just can't find the pencil tool for some reason, only the brush, which creates too many grays.

Ascension
05-26-2009, 12:03 AM
Oh, that...right click on the brush tool and a pop-up appears (pencil and brush are the options).

Ramah
05-26-2009, 06:40 AM
What Ascansion said pretty much, except I used the shape tool and then stroked the outside of the path with whatever sized pencil I needed. I think I went up to 10 a pixel pencil for the symbols that haven't been filled.

ironmetal250
05-26-2009, 03:03 PM
Oh my god thank you

RjBeals
05-27-2009, 12:00 PM
The mountains and hills were all done with custom brushes I drew. For the mountains I probably had about 20 brushes in the end but only used about a dozen (the rest of them were bad I guess, they never looked right when I placed them). The hills were the same although there were probably less brushes made and used - probably about 10 regular ones used. If you knew the order I did the hills in you could probably see how they become slightly more varied as I added more brushes.

I found making the brushes extremely tedious as I did them with the mouse and it gets a bit soul-destroying having to try and draw another curve that looks ok and then try and shade another large swathe of brush with my non-writing hand. :s So because of that I'd add one or two new ones every few days, hence the hills done at the end having more brushes used.

Personally I think the hills look more varied than the mountains anyway because the only way I could get them to look half decent in my mind was to do the shading between the brushes which make them look more hand drawn.

If/when I do a zoomed in map or maybe another continent in which another story (I once started and never finished :) ) takes place, then I'd LOVE to get myself a tablet and make a better job of the mountains.

wow.. sounds like it must have taken a while.. But let me just see if I follow...

You create a custom brush, which is 1 mountian peak, and is only the outline. Once you "paint" that mountain peak where you want it, you then do the shading of the mountain on the canvas (ie. the shading is not part of the brush)..? Is that correct?

Ramah
05-27-2009, 12:52 PM
The brush can include the shading. I didn't make any adjustments to my mountains (apart from deleting where they overlapped), I just made the brushes and then placed them.
The hills also had shading in the brushes, but then I manually added all the shading between the brushes to give it a more hand-drawn feel.

If you check out the tutorials section, Ironmetal250 recently posted a tut here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=5664 which is basically the same method, except his were hand-drawn and then scanned in and look a helluva lot nicer. :)

TheRedEpic
05-28-2009, 09:09 PM
A very beautiful map, bravo!

Auth
06-07-2009, 09:03 PM
I just have to say - I absolutely LOVE this map.

Well done!

crazyred
06-26-2009, 12:30 AM
Fantastic, really fantastic.

töff
06-26-2009, 12:57 AM
Abso frikkin lutely awesome. Love the shadows under the trees. I gotta go read that development thread ...

mmmmmpig
06-30-2009, 08:46 PM
Okay, I really missed some good threads while I was on hiatus. Damn, this is a nice map. I like the artistic touches in the margins like the handwriting that is fading. Beautiful. I am soooo stealing that idea, by the way. Bald faced thievery is what that will be!

Beautiful map!

someguy
07-05-2009, 07:39 PM
I found the map to be a little dark, but that was remedied by boosting the brightness and contrast a few notches.

As for everything else, Wonderful. Simply wonderful. I will have to borrow this for my next D&D game.

Absinth
07-06-2009, 05:46 AM
This is an outstandig map! The fact, that the mountains, trees and so on were done without a tablet makes it even more breathtaking to me! I can't imagine what you could come up with using a tablet... :) Great work and a well deserved award!

Artemis
07-28-2009, 12:46 PM
Call me a romantic, but what I love about maps is all the little hints they give you about the world, and the little notes in the background of this one are wonderful. I do notice, however, that there is a straight of sea in the North of Northerond, so that sparks the question of what it is like further north. How far do the Ruhk's go?

Sicuropoli
10-22-2009, 04:38 PM
I absolutely adore this map!

Ramah
10-22-2009, 04:55 PM
I absolutely adore this map!

Thanks a lot. :)

kaiome
12-10-2009, 04:27 AM
I am new here, and this may be a little late, but this map is absolutely exquisite! The details in the mountains and the beautiful choice in color scheme give the map life. I can almost here the stories and histories that go along with this world.

Kudos!

Pete of Hartainia
01-26-2010, 04:16 PM
This is a superb map, it truly deserves to be here!

wormspeaker
01-27-2010, 02:56 PM
I've never been a fan of the fake paper effects (like curled edges, rips, and folds) but the detail level on this map is simply astounding.

Umberfane
02-06-2010, 01:01 PM
Truly wonderful map!!! The colors and detail provided are impecable.

Maggot
02-21-2010, 07:13 AM
This is the first map I looked at when I discovered the site. I adore the melancholy colour scheme and fonts you've used, as well as the antique look.

geleff
02-22-2010, 06:00 AM
this map is absolutely stunning. made med launch my own project. im wondering however. your mountains.. are they drawn/scanned or did you do them on the computer? ive tried a few different styles so far but havent been able to get anything satisfying. mind im a mediocre artist at best so that might be why. still where there is a will there is a way :) cheers

Gandwarf
02-22-2010, 06:02 AM
I think he did them on the computer. The mountains are even available as a brush set:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?7573-Mountain-brushes-from-Ramah-s-Aronbor-map

geleff
02-22-2010, 06:26 AM
nice. ill have a look. hopefully ill have a WIP up soon myself. cheers on the forum it id very inspiring :D and thank you for the link now to figure out hot to apply them properly :)

ChocolateCoveredGM
04-12-2010, 03:18 PM
No matter how much I would try I could never come up with the words to describe this map so I will simple echo what has been posted, Amazing!!! Now I shall clean up my drool and use it as inspiration.

Ramah
09-17-2010, 11:52 AM
Hey there,

Someone once asked me, I think it was in the WIP thread, if I could post a version without labels up for use in their homebrew games. I always meant to do so but lack of time and then lack of memory stopped me.

Well here is a version that I hope will suffice for anyone who would like to use it. Feel free to use it for your non-commercial reasons.

(The forum wouldn't let me post the thumbnail).

jtougas
09-17-2010, 12:01 PM
Wow..stunning,beautiful...adjectives upon adjectives.

teevee_etc
10-24-2010, 08:07 AM
Amazing map!! Love your style and I congratulate you on being the cartographer's choice. Well deserved and I will check out your new maps right away ;)

Ander
10-28-2010, 11:42 AM
Wow, awesome map!

Malken
04-04-2011, 02:19 AM
:o Ramah, that map is so gorgeous that I'm in complete awe! The colors, the textures, the sheer amount of details...it's great on so many levels that I can only applaud you! You've truly made a very great map!

Murtauh
01-05-2012, 10:13 PM
Amazing, but it just reminds me way too much of Valyria (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_YTpzTtGPQs/TcRbzRbjJ8I/AAAAAAAACmg/9YfwnGpXBVk/s1600/summersea.gif).

Ramah
01-06-2012, 04:30 AM
The name or the map? The name is similar, granted. But if you mean the map then GRR has only just recently given us glimspes of Valyria etc. so what you should be saying is that his Valyria reminds you of Vaniya. :)

macarser
06-20-2012, 10:01 AM
Definitely a great map.