View Full Version : Alternate Europa

06-23-2009, 03:52 AM
Well, like I posted in my introduction post ( http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=5832 ) I'm messing around with a map for my game world, based on Europe.

Someone suggested making the map in a old-school "Mercator" style.

So I started over from scratch once again, and have started making a Mercator map in GIMP.

Now, I still need to fill in a lot of towns. But Castile is more or less finished. So any suggestions? :)

I am looking for two things. First a method to make the rivers less pixelated and more pretty :) Secondly I think I need another font for the town names, but I'm having a hard time finding something that both fits and is legible from a distance.

06-23-2009, 04:43 AM
Okay. I assume you're working in layers? I hope so, because you've got a few rivers extending into your sea, which I'm sure you don't want. I'd do a selection based on your landmass, then invert it so you're selecting everything that isn't land, then do a clear on the river layer (hit delete, basically). That should clean up your "strays."

You might try a very small Gaussian blur to smooth out your rivers. Alternatively you could alpha to selection your river layer, grow it slightly then feather it slightly, and fill the selection with black, this should give you a similar effect.

I wish I could help you with fonts, but I'm only just starting to get cool ones. One thing you could do is learn some calligraphy and hand-write and scan in your labels like that.

Having looked at your introductory post, I really like the "cleaned up" 2nd version of the map. So consider my repping you right now a compliment for that one too.

What blend mode are you using on the layer with the colors?

06-23-2009, 07:23 AM
I'm working in layers.

The thing with the rivers extending into the sea. The sea used to be "above" the rivers, so you couldn't see the ends. Just forgot that when I moved the sea layer further down.

The blur tip doesn't quite work. Instead of looking like a pixelated line that somebody drew with the pencil tool, they now look like a blurry line that somebody drew with the pencil tool.

There is no blend mode for the colors. I think I'll throw up a tutorial to tell what I did. It's a bunch of layers, and the last one is a bit complicated.

06-23-2009, 08:55 AM
What you might try is drawing your rivers with paths, then stroking the paths with a paint brush. That might help with the pixellization. There's also a GIMP script RobA put together to make tapered rivers on paths that you could look for.

Alternatively you could use the rivers as a mask on your land layer, so that instead of thin black lines you can see thin lines of your sea color through your landmass. You might want to make your river lines ever so slightly bigger in that case.

06-23-2009, 10:33 AM
Alecthar seems to be doing well with the visual parts, so I'm going to keep my comments to the labels.

Just a couple of things ... you have Brittania listed as a kingdom, but have Elizabeth named as her Imperial Majesty ... that phrase is usually only used for the ruler of an empire. Also, you're missing a G in the KinGdom of France.

I really like the alternate-history setting you have here, and this style works very well. Keep up the good work! :)

06-23-2009, 01:23 PM
I love Mercator style maps. :D

Regarding city names, you'll notice that many old maps have town names spelt out in what looks like (in my opinion) almost handwritten, but not quite.

These four are some of my favorites for medieval/renaissance maps:
(from top down)
Chancery Cursive
Monotype Corsiva

If they are not on your system you should be able to find them for free online.