View Full Version : First Map

06-13-2009, 02:54 PM
I've never made a map before (Except random sketches of what I sorta visualize, so please go light on me, I'm not completely done, but I'm not sure how it looks right now. C&C please?

Steel General
06-13-2009, 03:40 PM
Looking pretty nice, like the color scheme.


You have some pretty major river violations. This is a fairly common mistake for new map makers (I did it myself any number of times). Rivers rarely split as they find there way to the sea/ocean/etc. Generally they converge as travel from the high to low. Also a lake may have several 'sources' but almost always has only one outlet.

That being said, if you have a reason for the rivers being the way they are then by all means ignore that last paragraph.

06-13-2009, 04:14 PM
What would you say the best method to fix this is? I would like it to be accurate as possible. I used layer styles etc, so it's not too huge of a deal to modify it, but I'd prefer to lose as few rivers as possible. Maybe if I make some of the lakes smaller and add more lakes to be the source for the other rivers?

06-13-2009, 04:52 PM
Your Taiga Region (where the white mountains fade to green) is EXCELLENT. I would love to know how you did such a "scratchy" blending of the two regions. To me it just looks a little more realistic that the norm. All the little islands are a major pain to do so cudo's on doing them, they make it look more like a real landmass.

Only suggestion would be to see how it looks after removing the black outline/stroke for the rivers, but leave it for the coast.

Cheers Good Job!

06-13-2009, 04:59 PM
Yeah, don't be upset be river criticisms. I'd almost bet any beginning cartographer has made them. I had huge river issues for years (oh, so many moons ago). That being said, I think you may have to redo your existing rivers, I don't think your proposed solution is going to fix what you have there. Try searching the tutorials forum for rivers, and river placement. There is some heavy duty reading there, but it will add a great deal to your map to have your rivers looking right.

Welcome to Guild, BTW, :).

06-13-2009, 06:00 PM
Gotta say that, like SG, I like the colours and style of the map.

About those rivers though, it looks like they all have the same source. I would try to see if there are any mountains along or around some of the rivers and try to source them from these. Also they do not have to meet at a lake either.

My suggestion would be to redirect some of these rivers to other sources. Have more than the two rivers out of the north but have the others reaching the coast on their own, and maybe having other smaller rivers join them on their way.

Got more suggestions as well but got to go. be back to this later.

Don't worry though, this is a very nice first map, even with the need for a few fixes. Have some rep :)

06-13-2009, 09:45 PM
I'll add my "jeebus that kicks butt". The rivers are a holy mess tho, if you'd like then I'll snag this and throw my thoughts down on top as a guide. You've got more than enough mtns and highlands to source the rivers properly so split em up, one out from each of the big lakes (or maybe chain them like the Great Lakes) the others come from the mtns in other areas. Stylistically, this is superb and accurate rivers might ruin the look of it...I dunno. Aside from the rivers the fields are bit large. At any rate, if you have a riverless version throw it up and I'll put what I think down and others can do the same and then you can pick and choose what you want.

06-14-2009, 12:35 AM
here's the riverless "early version" I may put up a current version without rivers when I finish ripping them back out, b/c now that it's been pointed out I have a huge problem with them :P

Note: This is before I made the islands... so don't worry too much about them :P

Edit: Added the newer version, Think I have a general layout for the rivers, I'll add a rough draft in the morning.

06-14-2009, 06:17 AM
I'm very impressed, though I didn't see where/if you mentioned what program you're using for this.

And yeah, your rivers could use some work, but that's a common error. Thank god for layers or I'd never have mine right.

06-14-2009, 06:26 AM
Here's what I came up with. First thing I did was to put the mtns in with white (as I see them mainly following the lightest colors). This created a huge valley in the middle west of the continent...aka the mid west. There's a lot of folding mtns in the west and southwest and right across the whole of the north. So then I went back with black and started thinking my way thru the lowest parts so I put these in black...these are the rivers. I have put in a great many rivers in a hyper-realistic style so you might want to cut a bunch of them out but this is the basic layout as I see it. Feel free to stylize the rivers as you wish with some nice swoopy curves like in your first version (I rather like those). Also feel free to totally disregard my whole post if you wish :) It's your world so make it how you want it. Cheers.

06-14-2009, 11:14 AM
oh wow that's a lot of rivers! :P I like it except the one's in the desert (those are supposed to be dunes instead of mountains) I think I'll use quite a bit of this. the only river I absolutely need is the one that pours into the main gulf (right by the big scorpion tail looking penninsula) as that plays a huge partin the story but the rest are very helpful. Thank you so much!

06-14-2009, 12:52 PM
No problem, man, it only took a few minutes. Dunes, yeah, that'd change a lot of stuff in that area. Oh well, you get the idea :)

06-14-2009, 01:41 PM
Ok, here it is with rivers. I changed quite a bit and cut all of the rivers off that huge penninsula (I need to make it look more... cliffy... so I'll figure those out later.) I also realized that when using the non-destructive method, it's better to use layer masks for the rivers, now I can edit the rivers without having to redo my mountains :P Any suggestions on 1) how to make the end of that penninsula look "cliffy", esp those islands? and 2) how to make the outer glow be on the coastline and lakes without cutting off the rivers?

To some earlier questions: I'm using photoshop CS4.
I made Taiga Region well by using the "jiggle" filter from the eye candy set on both the icey and the sandy parts. this made them sorta interlace, but I also ended up using the smudge tool to pull some sand into areas it looked like it needed it. I think it was also enhanced by the mountains in that area being brown rather than white. (That was an accident, but it looks great, so :P)

06-14-2009, 03:23 PM
That is looking very juicy! i don't know what scale your map is at, but the rivers make the scale look large, if you want a smaller scale map, I'd suggest you just make the rivers little lines...adds to the sense of size.

You've got a horizontal line artifact (I'm sure you've seen it) on the north coast. Also I'd suggest bringing down the coast stroke by a smidgen - (if you want the map to look small scale) hopefully it's just a layerstyle adjustment, big strokes suggest an island rather than a continent...unless it is an island of course!