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Aidan
07-15-2009, 02:44 PM
I'm starting up a D&D 4e campaign soon and I decided I wanted a continental scale map to give the players an idea of their place in the world. I'm not much of an artist, but 4 days ago I downloaded The Gimp and went about struggling with it. While looking for techniques I found the CG here and signed up.

Here's my first pass. It's probably got some river violations and mountain violations, but I think it'll do. I mostly used RobA's tutorials which taught me a heck of a lot about the Gimp.

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Alfar
07-15-2009, 03:49 PM
Well, a few suggestions... you may want to put some rivers leading into the lake, or it'll run dry pretty fast.

The shading on your mountains looks odd, like you've added shadows to the side of the mountains facing the light source (the left side, it'd seem) Maybe you were trying to blur the edges a bit and hit the layer rather than the mask? I think you should try to blur the edges, the mountains are pretty "glued on top" rather than looking like part of the land. Some foothills could help here as well.

The forest is nice, and your general colour scheme too. I think you could improve the southern forest by blurring the edges some more, and maybe add a drop shadow?

Oh, and the "wooden" border? Bleh.

Karro
07-16-2009, 09:35 AM
The main thing is the mountains need a bit of work. I disagree with adding a drop shadow to the forest. I think at this range you wouldn't be able to see a "shadow" beneath the forest, so I don't think it would help.

Alfar
07-16-2009, 10:00 AM
What range? There's no formal indication of scale, but the rivers are pretty wide, so I guess I just assumed a pretty small scale.

Karro
07-16-2009, 11:04 AM
What range? There's no formal indication of scale, but the rivers are pretty wide, so I guess I just assumed a pretty small scale.

I used the appearance of the mountains as a rough indicator. Anyway, shadows really only appear under trees, when viewed from above, at a relatively close range (based on a look at googlemaps). But you're right... scale does make a difference. If this were, say, a few miles across, then maybe we might see a thin drop shadow on the forests. If it were much more, though, and that would quickly disappear into the overall texture of the land and forest together.

Pank.HQ
07-16-2009, 12:48 PM
Well, a few suggestions... you may want to put some rivers leading into the lake, or it'll run dry pretty fast.

...what?

Rivers lead from lakes to oceans, not from oceans to lakes. Rivers and lakes are largely created due to rainfall (Also glaciers, etc), but freshwater lakes do not get their water from the ocean.

Most lakes are connected to rivers, but not all of them are.


There's no formal indication of scale, but the rivers are pretty wide, so I guess I just assumed a pretty small scale

I think you mean large scale.

About the map: your textures are pretty nice, but I'm not a fan of the big outer glow on the text. Looks... photoshop-y.

Karro
07-16-2009, 01:01 PM
...what?

Rivers lead from lakes to oceans, not from oceans to lakes. Rivers and lakes are largely created due to rainfall (Also glaciers, etc), but freshwater lakes do not get their water from the ocean.

Most lakes are connected to rivers, but not all of them are.


Rivers do typically lead into lakes, though, but not from the oceans, rather from the Mountains, where rainwater and snowmelt collect and begin their downstream journey to the sea (stopping along the way, as the case may be, in a nice lake or two).

Aidan
07-16-2009, 01:20 PM
Well, this is still a work in progress, as it's really the first time I've made a map like this ever. I'm...not an artist. I might save the continental outline and go back and do the thing again, now that I've learned more about the GIMP. Anyway, here's the latest version.

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Karro
07-16-2009, 01:51 PM
Nice improvement!

The bevel on the land and around the rivers makes a big difference.

It's looking good, but I think there's still some room for improvement on the mountains. I wouldn't worry, though, because they're one of the hardest things to get right (IMO). I notice, for one thing, that you're not using the mountain style in RobA's standard regional map tutorial, but from his separate mountains tutorial that produces the ridge-line affect mountains.

Aidan
07-16-2009, 02:05 PM
Yeah, I'm sort of playing with mountains at the moment. Thinking of a combination of methods.

Karro
07-16-2009, 02:30 PM
Yeah, I'm sort of playing with mountains at the moment. Thinking of a combination of methods.

That's how I learned and got (a little) better! I also went with a combination of styles early on.

Davros01
07-16-2009, 06:26 PM
Aiden,

pretty good for a first try, i know the feeling of figuring out the program. From my understanding, lakes usually come from rivers as a general rule, although, many times the rivers can be underground. I think that rivers add a bit of something, that adds to the landscape though. i am still pretty new, and my rivers are ever evolving.

the mountains seem a bit stiff. as a buddy of mine puts it, they need "greeblies" crevices, break off mountains etc.

I like the relief you added, definitely adds something

Marc

Aidan
07-16-2009, 10:28 PM
Okay, after playing with mountains all day, I have more greeblies.

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Davros01
07-16-2009, 10:47 PM
lol,

its all about the greeblies. I really like the southern mountains surrounding the desert. definitely taking on more personality.

believe me, i am no expert by any means. I find that as i get advice and work on my world, i wanna go back and redo others. Its almost an unbreakable loop.

keep going and don't give up. i'm finding that I enjoy making maps even if i don't have a specific purpose for it.

Marc

Alfar
07-17-2009, 02:03 AM
Yup, mountains now working for me. Good progress.

Steel General
07-17-2009, 07:33 AM
Yup, mountains looking much more natural now.

Karro
07-17-2009, 09:42 AM
Yeah, looking tons better!