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Alfar
06-02-2009, 12:35 PM
This is my first serious attempt at creating a map in the Gimp - following (parts of) the Tutorial by RobA (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1142)

It's not entirely done yet, missing some city names and such.

Specifically, could I get any advice on rivers? How do I figure out where they're supposed to go?

Best wishes,

Alfar

Immolate
06-02-2009, 01:01 PM
Your map is pleasing to the eye and I think you have a good knack for this. I think the mountain style is a bit odd though. We don't have any mountains here in Florida, yet I find your mountains strangely familiar.

Steel General
06-02-2009, 01:31 PM
First off.. Welcome Aboard!

Overall not bad for a first attempt at RobA's tutorial. The mountains are usually what seems to get most people (I know it did me - several times :)). I think they need to be a bit darker - they look a bit like clouds.

I'll second Immolate on the color scheme - very pleasing to the eye.

Have some 'rep' for uploading it in your very first post *bonk*

Alfar
06-02-2009, 04:20 PM
Thank you very much, both of you. I tried making the mountains darker by duplicating the overlay and whacking up the opacity - Not too bad, I think, and definately better, no?

Edit:I just realized that the colors on my external monitor are much darker than on my laptop, so the mountains weren't nearly as light in the Gimp (external monitor) as they displayed in my browser (laptop screen) - bah.

Midgardsormr
06-02-2009, 04:33 PM
There are two threads that talk about river placement, entitled "How to get your rivers in the right place (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3822)" and "Essential river guidelines for mapping (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2927)."

Between the two of them, those threads contain most of the collected wisdom on rivers that has been posted here.

Alfar
06-03-2009, 07:44 AM
Thanks... I'd already been skimming through the large one, but need to study it more closely - and try out some of that software, I suppose.

Wilbur looks interesting with its new features for finding rivers, I reckon.

Alfar
06-07-2009, 03:33 PM
So, I decided to pretty much start over, reusing only the basic outline of the island. I did some experimenting with Wilbur to get rivers and heights closer to what I wanted, and used the height map extensively in the rest of my Gimp work.

New type of forest, rivers. Decided that I kinda like the outline around the coastline. The water isn't quite right, but figured I'd throw up a work in progress for now.

Alfar
06-08-2009, 04:24 PM
Yet another iteration. Everything is better now, I think.

Ascension
06-08-2009, 05:39 PM
I agree, very nice. Don't take this the wrong way but I'd throw out the swamps and forests...don't really need them. The mountains still need some work but I don't know enough about Gimp to help ya.

Alecthar
06-08-2009, 06:07 PM
Those rivers are stupid awesome, how'd you go about putting those together?

Alfar
06-09-2009, 02:13 AM
Your map is pleasing to the eye and I think you have a good knack for this. I think the mountain style is a bit odd though. We don't have any mountains here in Florida, yet I find your mountains strangely familiar.

Come to think of it, that may in part explain my trouble with mountains - we don't have any mountains here in Denmark either!


I agree, very nice. Don't take this the wrong way but I'd throw out the swamps and forests...don't really need them. The mountains still need some work but I don't know enough about Gimp to help ya.

Yeah, the swamp blotch isn't really working... maybe use symbols?

and I guess the trees are way too big compared to the mountains and all, even tough they're just representations. I wasn't too happy with the first kind of forest I got (the first two iterations), so I figured I'd at least try this out. I do want to show the forest being there somehow... Ah well, all in the name of learning ;)


Those rivers are stupid awesome, how'd you go about putting those together?

Umm, yeah. Wilbur helped me with those. Pretty much just followed the first tutorial for Wilbur, and fiddled with the values until I got something I liked. Then saved to a bump map png imported as layer in Gimp, inverted and thresholded it so only the rivers were visible. Then I added that to my water layer mask, made a selection from the mask and stroked the selection with a single pixel in a new transparent layer and adjusted opacity so it wasn't too hard on the eye.

Ascension
06-09-2009, 02:54 AM
Could you show us a version without trees and mtns? I'd like to see the basic terrain, it looks pretty nice.

Alfar
06-09-2009, 03:32 AM
Sure thing - here goes!

Sigurd
06-09-2009, 12:05 PM
Wow - you're proving that simple is beautiful.

In your shoes, I'd consider subtle mods to that basic continent. The illusion of depth and the basic texture are very successful.

I might clean out the little dots inside of the rivers.


Sigurd

Ascension
06-09-2009, 04:30 PM
I'm with ya Siggie, that's why I wanted to see this version. I also agree about cleaning up the rivers. Good stuff man.

Alfar
06-10-2009, 02:37 AM
Thanks - I guess. ;) I still want to make the mountains more mountain'y, so I guess I'll go over a couple more tutorials.

Maybe the problem is that I already have so much depth in the base that when I follow the tutorials, I'm trying to stack a mountain on top of a tall hill instead of a flat bit of land as was intended?

Btw Ascension, I have some experience with Photoshop, so feel free to make suggestions based on that. Most of the time, there's something similar available to the Gimp... I'm simply too cheap to buy myself a copy of PS.

Will look into cleaning up the river dots. What's a better strategy here: remove them or connect them? Bit of both? Some of the dots also provide for a more fractal-like coastline, so not sure what to do about those.

Ascension
06-10-2009, 08:27 AM
You might want to look at Pasis' tut on mountains:

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=4405

You might be able to bring some of that over in to Gimp. The thing about the rivers, to me, is that they're too fat and short, rather stocky looking. If you added more land to these areas you could thin them down and make them look longer. Just my opinion and it's your map so take it for what it's worth.

Alfar
06-10-2009, 04:14 PM
Gaaah!

Oh, sorry about that, getting slightly frustrated with my lack of ability here. So much input to parse. I can see what you mean about the rivers being too fat, and I guess it'd be nice if they'd start further up in the mountains... not sure about that, though.

I did manage to do something that I think could eventually resemble the tutorial you mentioned, but the Gimp severely lacks layer effects, so there's this whole manual process involved (copy layer, make a bump map that matches the layer mask, applying that bump map, delete layer copy and start over if you want to change the layer mask - best I could find so far ;)) - And nothing to show for it for now... bleh.

Alfar
06-14-2009, 03:41 PM
Well, it's still Dunderhill island, but I figured I'd try out the old parchment style.

I know, the mountains are all the same (two by two), I only made one brush, but I made it myself, at least. ;)

Alecthar
06-14-2009, 04:14 PM
I like your parchment, but you did a Wrap Displace, rather than a Smear Displace, which is why you have odd bits of parchment sticking out from the sides of your canvas. I'd also activate Show Layer Mask and go over some of those floating bits of white with a black pencil to get rid of floating parchment.

I don't know if you're looking this far ahead, but I'd start thinking about what you're going to do to distinguish the land from the sea. This was a problem I had with my parchment style map, because it's easily possible to do too little or too much. Too little and it's difficult to distinguish in some ways, too much and your sea draws more attention from the eye than your landmass. I darkened my sea areas somewhat and added a gradient from the edge of my landmass into the sea. I've also got some sparse waves scattered around. If you've got cool clipart of ships or krakens or sea serpents or sea serpents/krakens eating ships, I imagine that would be pretty sweet.

I think I'm going to have to use RobA's Tapered River script to see if that doesn't give me something similar to what you've drawn there, that's pretty sweet.

Alfar
06-15-2009, 02:36 AM
Actually, I didn't do a displace at all - I lightened parts of a cloud layer so as to make out the general shape of the parchment I wanted, then thresholded it, selected the black part and used that as a mask. I wasn't paying much attention to the edges, that's why I have floating parchment. Will fix of course.

As for the rivers, I'm still using the output I got from Wilbur, but this time used my tablet to draw lines on top of them.

Not sure what I'll do about the sea, but I was kindof planning on marking the borders of the duchies and coloring them slightly, so I hope that'll fix it.

Oh, and the waters around Dunderhill actually do have a kraken, so I guess I ought to put in one of those. Heh.

Alfar
06-23-2009, 03:14 PM
Yeah, well, I figured I'd keep going at this, I still really want a pretty map of Dunderhill.

So here's a new version with much improved mountains, and hand-drawn rivers, and new kind of forest...

You know what to do. ;)

Ascension
06-23-2009, 04:28 PM
I'm liking that forest, just darker olive and I think you're good to go.

Alfar
09-06-2009, 02:51 PM
Trying again... maybe I can reuse the rivers, this is a much better background though.

Gregorus Prime
09-06-2009, 03:27 PM
Why'd you discard everything again? It was looking good, apart from the rather jarring contrast between the heavily bumped mountains and the rather smooth terrain. I think you need a bit more texture on your dirt/grass. Adding a noise filter or two and a subtle bump map would do wonders.

Alfar
09-07-2009, 02:10 AM
Why'd you discard everything again? It was looking good, apart from the rather jarring contrast between the heavily bumped mountains and the rather smooth terrain. I think you need a bit more texture on your dirt/grass. Adding a noise filter or two and a subtle bump map would do wonders.

Mostly because I was looking for a less dark vision of Dunderhill - it's supposed to be a feel-good fantasy world. I was also trying for a bit more clean map, so it'd be easier to put a lot of labels on it, which is why the bump map that is there is very subtle. In fact, it's most visible in the water, I think.

I'll try noising up the grass stuff, and when I add forests, I hope it won't look too clean.

Alfar
09-08-2009, 03:50 PM
I think I'm more or less done with rivers. Used the rivers from Wilbur, did a lot of cleaning, and added a subtle bevel.

Also added more noise and more bump to the land.