View Full Version : RPG World WIP

06-18-2009, 07:35 PM
I decided to start coming up with some graphics for a RPG campaign setting I've been working on. Here is my basic textured world map. I'll be posting updates over the next few week and any critiques would be greatly appreciated.

I do have a few questions for you experienced cartographers.

1) What is the best way to draw rivers in this style of map? I tried cutting away from my land mask but this is tedious and looks kinda ugly. I want the rivers to extend up the mountains a bit as they would in reality.

2) My Ice - Land transitions look pretty ugly. What could I do to fix this?

3) What could I do to the desert regions to make them more desert - y...?

EDIT: 4) Wow, my arctic coast looks horrible in the thumbnail.

I will continue to work on this project. Once again, feedback is greatly appreciated.

EDIT: I just noticed the little sircle in the center of the ocean. I have no clue how it got there. It was hiding in the ocean's color layer... I'm not going to bother reposting it for that one small fix.

06-18-2009, 08:34 PM
I wish I could give you more technically relevant advice (I'm completely unfamiliar with CC3) but I can give you some general ideas.

Your arctic areas seem too regular, in terms of that zig-zagging, and they seem really big in comparison to the other continents. I use GIMP, so I'm of little help for the actual method, but I tend to use noise filters and blurs to make my terrain mesh well, which is a problem you seem to be encountering.

The problem with your rivers might be resolved if you placed a lighter blue under your continent layer(s). Generally a blue closer to sky blue/cyan works best, and can also function as an excellent blue to surround your continents with a bit, in order to convey the shallow water present at the shore.

As for your deserts, I would use a more brown/tan type color (though be wary of making them too much like your mountains in terms of coloration). If you were using GIMP I'd tell you to bump map your desert layer with some rendered Plasma, in order to get a granular texture that should work very well.

06-18-2009, 09:15 PM
Just to clarify, this was actually done entirely in GIMP. :P

06-18-2009, 09:21 PM
Okay. Then I'll make a few more suggestions:

First, hit up RobA's tutorial on making Artistic Regional Maps. This contains a number of extraordinarily useful techniques for mapmaking, and many of them will be directly applicable to your work here. It'll take a little while to go through the whole thing step by step, but it's worth it for the knowledge you'll gain.

Then, take a look at RobA's tutorial on Mountains in GIMP. That one's a little advanced, but if you really want sexy mountains, that will help.

As far as direct assistance for this map, use a Gaussian blur on your various terrain features and add some noise (5-15 pix worth usually works, depending on what you want it to look like). That should make it blend a bit better.

I'll see if I can't offer some more comprehensive advice later, right now I'm a few seconds from stumbling off to bed.

06-18-2009, 09:31 PM
Do you have your ice on a layer with a layer mask? If not, do that now. Create your layer mask and then click on the mask and get a nice grunge brush from some where and whack down a few splatters here and there to simulate different and broken snowy areas. For where there is ocean, this will create some nice ice flows....

06-19-2009, 09:06 AM
I would probably draw the rivers over the top of the landmasses, but you could cut them out as well. Many of them should start in the mountains and work their way down. The borders between your terrains are very harsh, which is fine, but it means you probably should keep the rivers that way too.

06-19-2009, 10:42 AM
Your mountains seem a bit... odd. Usually one side of a continent is more mountainous than the other, reflecting the direction of the plate tectonics. Given the shape of your continents, I'd say that the left and middle continents are moving away from eachother, which means that mountains on the middle continent are more likely to be on the right side of the continent than the left.

Currently, it looks like the middle continent has a west to east weather pattern (the desert being created in the rain shadow of the mountains). So the western slope of those mountains (unless you move them) is a great place for a dense jungle. But that also would imply that the mountains should be tall enough to have snow.

Regarding the polar regions, those are fairly large (but flat maps do distort geographical features). You might want to cut away about a third or a half of them and replace it with subartic regions to help create a more natural flow from one environment to another (one generally doesn't cross into snowy regions from fertile grasslands).

And finally, for rivers, I'd recommend not cutting away but overlaying the rivers on what you already have. Remember, water is lazy and will take the single shortest route to the ocean (the slower it is going the more likely it is to meander too).

Hope that helps.