View Full Version : Earth Colonies on Venus

06-28-2009, 05:38 AM
There's not much to see yet, but I'm struggling a bit.

A brief explanation. This is going to be a map for a Steampunkish/Lovecraftian story I pursue where Earth has colonized a (habitable) Venus, similar to the scramble for Africa in the 1880s.

I prefer overall maps that look "cartographic" vs. "satellite images" (even though the latter look beautiful). For this setting I'll try for something you'd find in a ca. 1900-1910 atlas. Many of those had the lands in white or off-white, with mountains in shaded relief and light blue oceans, political borders either has coloured outline or flat colour with darker outline (i.e. an edge fade).

Something similar to this, basically.

I'm currently struggling to get the relief to look right in Campaign Cartographer. I'm using the shaded relied tutorial from one of the Annuals and playing around with it, but I'm not sure I'm getting it the way I want.

The mountain layout isn't final yet, this is just for checking how it'd look.

06-28-2009, 07:31 AM
Playing around with the polies for the mountains I made them solid brown instead of 50% opaque grey and like the result a lot better:

06-28-2009, 10:20 AM
An attempt with a few rivers added to see if that would work. I'm not yet happy with my mountains. I like how it comes out near the middle. I will try to achieve this effect on the smaller ridges, adjusting the filters downward somewhat.

06-28-2009, 09:32 PM
Hmmm... I should update that lighted bevel filter to get a little bit better results. The Manhattan metric just doesn't look as good as the Euclidean one that's in the new Wilbur. Would make things look slightly different, though.
Is there an inner fade on the edges of the mountain ranges or is it just a straight blur?

06-28-2009, 11:19 PM
I was looking at that style and I realized that the critical part is that the original mountain style is a solid color printed on the map while the Annual style uses a more shaded approach. When I cranked up the Lightness Range value on the lighted bevel to 2 rather than 1 I got a bit closer to the two-tone approach as shown below.

06-29-2009, 02:20 AM
Thanks waldronate, those filters look much closer to what I had in mind. :) I will try them out when I get home tonight and see where I get. I'll also experiment with adding a bit of blur or changing the hue. :)

And yes, I did use edge fade, plus a bit of blur in my tries.

06-29-2009, 01:26 PM
Yes, this did. I also added a sepia RGB effect which (in my opinion) makes the ridges blend better with the map. Thanks again! :)

07-04-2009, 05:22 AM
Minor advance on this map. Finalized the mountains and rivers for now and experimented with a look for desert regions, though I'll probably just add geograpjical features in a different font than political entities like in the above example (LIBYAN DESERT).

07-05-2009, 05:49 AM
This is already pretty close to the overall look I want for my map.

Later on more geographic descriptions may be added but especially a map grid.

I'll also see to make the mountains a bit more pronounced.

07-05-2009, 02:11 PM
I really like this style that you are developing here, subtle and yet it conveys the relevant details. Subtlety in mapping is something I have yet to learn with any real skill.

07-06-2009, 02:21 AM
Thanks, Sular. :) I still have a few quibbles with the look, though - I'll need to play around with the text attributes. I like it in the mountains and the bay, but the cities and such look a bit off - the stretching by 50& in width doesn't do much good there, plus I need to align the river labels a bit better - same for Tartaros Lake/Swamp.

I will need to add a few more descriptions as the map looks positively "uncrowded" at the moment, when at the time the tendency was to cram as much info into maps as possible.

My progress is currently slow as I'm pretty busy at work and I'm distracted by the computer version of Blood Bowl. :oops:

07-19-2009, 09:38 AM
A minor update as I still lack the time to do any substantial work atm. I think the colonial holdings are atm too large. The mountains don't look as good on the world map as they do in the close up, unfortunately.

07-21-2009, 05:36 AM
I love what you are trying to do with this map. It reminds me very much of an old RPG called Space 1889, which was a "British Empire in space" setting that drew on sci-fi like that portrayed in the old movies The Time Machine and The First Men in the Moon (HG Wells, Jules Verne kinda stuff).

I like the alternate history settings, so I'll keep an eye on how you progress with this.

Have you based this map on actual images of Venus, or are you simply using your imagination?


07-21-2009, 01:07 PM
Thanks for checking in. :) I'm aware of Space 1889, but haven't checked it beyond the basic premise TBH - but it was an inspiration. I'm thinking more of a 1910s/20s/Style Métro type of setting to go a bit more Lovecraftian than Victorian with this, though.

The continent outlines comes from Fractal terrains where I tweaked the settings and hit "next" till a map showed up that I liked. Kinda lazy like that. :oops:

Will Phillips
09-03-2009, 02:31 PM
I really like the concept and the how you were designing this - any updates?

Bald Man
09-03-2009, 10:05 PM
I really like the look so far: antique, hand-drawn. I'll be using the style as inspiration for my own first attempt at a regional/continental map.