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Steel General
07-27-2009, 07:01 PM
I've had a homebrew fantasy world for years now that has pretty much been stagnant - my own fault entirely :).

So I finally decided to sit down and map the beastie out. The world (Ghoraja Juun) has 6 continents. Two of them (Khyvaar & Animaar) largely unknown/unexplored. The other 4 (Calathas, Istria, Ashtalarya & Maldraug), are the subject of what info I have actually posted in the WIKI for the world.

This is the continent of Istria (it would be located in approximately the same general location as South America.

This is a very early WIP using a combination of Ascensions techniques and my preference for stacking textured layers, etc.

I had to 'dumb it down' a bit as the original is to many megapixels to post.

Feel free to leave C&C, though how things are now may change dramatically as it develops.

Ascension
07-27-2009, 09:07 PM
You've got some lakes popping out in to the ocean down south and in the middle and then again on the right side kinda middle-ish. Otherwise, I think the lakes look kinda weird, maybe cuz they don't have a coastal shelf...maybe a slight glow there? I dunno. Hope it works out and you know I'll be watching...I watch everything I think.

Davros01
07-27-2009, 10:15 PM
Steel General,

I like the look of the texturing, but i'm not sure about the continent itself. It looks sort of like one of those random generated maps from old D&D that they put into one of the map collections. Also, depending on the scale, i thought it looked more like a Pangea than a single continent.

I am by no means an expert, so I wouldn't take anything I say as an enlightened view.

Marc

Steel General
07-27-2009, 10:36 PM
Thanks for the comments.

@Ascension - Yeah I didn't notice the lake problems until after I posted it. I'll fix them eventually. I recolored the lakes on a separate level and wasn't careful enough with the 'brush' so they bled over past the land in spots.

@Davros01 - It was at one time a single continent, but there was a cataclysm in the past that "shattered" the 4 known continents into the disjointed mess they are currently.

Alfar
07-28-2009, 07:39 AM
Yay for Ghoraja Juun! Good to see you "back in the game" ;)

Davros01
07-28-2009, 09:20 AM
ah, cool,

I always enjoy some of the history of the maps. it definitely brings the character out of maps i find. Everyone is saying you are back in the game. Do you have other parts of the world created?? I'd like to see those also if you've got em.

Marc

Karro
07-28-2009, 09:57 AM
Good luck... I totally understand the daunting challenge of taking on a whole world like this!

Steel General
07-28-2009, 10:10 AM
@Davros01 - There is a link to the WIKI in my sig. There is far from an overwhelming amount of detail regarding the world itself (most of it still being in my head) there and a few maps - mostly cities (and are posted here in the Finished Maps forum).

@Karro - Yeah, I had really crappy maps done in CC2 (from years ago), but I hate them so I thought I'd start from scratch. This is going to be a long project. :D

Karro
07-28-2009, 10:36 AM
@Karro - Yeah, I had really crappy maps done in CC2 (from years ago), but I hate them so I thought I'd start from scratch. This is going to be a long project. :D

I know what you mean. I had some crappy ones from MSPaint (I should post some of them sometime)... and at some point you start longing for something... better.

Steel General
07-29-2009, 06:41 PM
OK, here's today's update...nothing humongous but satisfying nonetheless.


Fixed the lake 'goofs' (still not quite settled on the water color)
Added some dry/arid land at the northern edge of the land masses
Added some variation to the "grass" to delineate steppes/plains, normal grassland and more verdant/lush areas.
Played around with the continental shelf some, still not quite what I has hoping to achieve.
Added a low opacity stroke to the land to help separate it from the oceans.

The .JPG had to be 'dumbed down' to 9 on the quality scale in PS so some of the 'pop' is lost.

That's about it. As always C&C welcomed, encouraged and appreciated.

Ascension
07-29-2009, 07:29 PM
I like the textures that you've got going for the grass and the tundra so far. I think the lakes should maybe be a different color from the deep ocean, but as to what I can only guess (since I'm not real sure) that maybe something lighter because the lakes are shallower or maybe something a lil bit green (just a tad). I dunno, my brain has been fried for the past week or so because of the things I'm working on.

Davros01
07-29-2009, 07:36 PM
cool,


I'll take a look

Albrechtw4
07-30-2009, 06:26 PM
I like it, but I think your continental shelf is too regular. And the south-westernmost lake looks different than the rest.

Steel General
07-30-2009, 06:46 PM
I like it, but I think your continental shelf is too regular. And the south-westernmost lake looks different than the rest.

Yeah I'm not to happy with the shelf, need to find a better way or better texture.

You're right about the lake - missed that one when I was recoloring.

Steel General
08-02-2009, 08:26 PM
OK, finally had a bit more time today to work on this. Nearly everything added today is in the northwest portion of the map. My original continental maps were split into 9 parts, so I'm doing the same thing with this (using guides in PS) to help me at least keep a semblance of the original.

Much of today was spent experimenting with different ways to show the mountains. Didn't want to rely solely on the stacked textured layers that I normally use. Pretty happy with the way they came out though they might need just a bit more tweaking.

I also added some forests and reworked the continental shelf a bit.

What I need to do is figure out a good way of showing several, somewhat small maelstroms located just of the extreme northwest coast. So if anybody has any ideas on a nice way to represent those please let me know.

Gandwarf
08-02-2009, 08:27 PM
The mountains do look good Steel! I would keep them.

Steel General
08-02-2009, 08:32 PM
Thanks the only thing I was considering was something to define the peaks/ridges a bit more. I'll play with it and if I don't like it, I'll leave them as is.

Steel General
08-03-2009, 07:11 PM
OK, so I tried to do something with the peaks on the mountains, but they looked terrible so I scrapped that idea.

I now have the terrain for the western third of the continent pretty much done, I may add some additional hills and scattered forests. I have to say I'm pretty darn happy with it so far.

The wasteland in the 'west central area' came out much better than expected. The swamps in the south, are a bit experimental, but I like the way they turned out.

So take a peek and keep the C&C coming.

Ascension
08-03-2009, 09:35 PM
Looks fine to me except one thing...the highlight mode on the bevel on the mtns surrounding the desert thingy is throwin me off. Looks sort like glass in spots. The only thing I can think of to maybe fix that and not ruin the rest of the mtns on the map (if they're all on the same layer) is to lightly erase around the edges a bit where the effect is more prominent. Nitpicky, yes. If you're cool with it then no big. Later dude.

Steel General
08-04-2009, 07:39 AM
Actually after another look, those hills around the wasteland are a little overstated. I'll probably go back and do some 'excavation' on them tonite so they are little more subtle.

Steel General
08-05-2009, 08:24 PM
So this pretty much finalizes the terrain, I redid most of the mountains and a lot of the hills. I wanted them to be a bit more understated than I originally had them.

There are not a whole lot of rivers included, as at the intended scale they would unlikely be visible. I have included a few of the major ones and some smaller ones where I felt they were needed.

Still looking for a good method of creating maelstrom's. I plunked around with it a bit and was largely unsatisfied with the results. So if any one has some suggestions I'd be glad to here them.

Next up...the LABELING! :P

As always C&C encouraged and appreciated.

Ascension
08-05-2009, 09:24 PM
I never got too heavy into whirlpools, I just made some clouds and hit them with the twirl filter, put the layer in the exact middle of the image and pinch filter it, then move into place and play with blend modes and layer styles.

Steel General
08-05-2009, 10:42 PM
I'll have to give that a try, I was trying to do them 'by hand' with a mouse.

Ascension
08-05-2009, 11:57 PM
Yeah, I tried that at first too :) I even went so far as to create a custom gradient just so that I could twirl it, polar coordinates it, and other filters...all were kinda sucky. So I just twirled some clouds and let it be.

Jykke
08-06-2009, 01:03 AM
It's going to be a very cool map I think. The ground textures are crisp and the coloring is also top notch. Some of the lakes do bother me slightly, as they are more like holes in the terrain. What would happen if you modified the shadow effect on those areas to give the water a smoother and lighter touch, and also tuned the water to look more shallow (as it is quite dark & deep at the moment)? Other than that, there is nothing more I can think of. Good work! Can't wait to see the end product. :)

BeZurKur
08-06-2009, 02:08 AM
Very nice. The colors really do it for me. I'm always impressed with the forests and grass textures that Photoshop renders.

Steel General
08-06-2009, 07:36 AM
@Jykke - I can easily change the color of the lakes as it is all on a separate layer, I may even add a bit of a pattern overlay to it. The 'shadowing' is most likely the result of the low opacity stroke I put on the land it give it a bit of separation from the water.

@BeZurKur - Most of the textures used are from Spiral Graphics Genetica viewer, I did use a couple of Photshop's textures and 1 or 2 others I downloaded from someplace (probably cgtextures).

Thanks for the comments.

Steel General
08-09-2009, 05:03 PM
Well I had started my labeling and it was going fairly well, but the more I looked at it the more unhappy I became with the continental shape. It just started looking wrong to me. So I decided to start over.

Which brings us to this latest upload. Same basic techniques to create the various terrains with some tweaks.

As always C&C is encouraged and welcomed.

Ascension
08-09-2009, 06:01 PM
I see where you're going with that desert so you might want to turn the scale down on the pattern a bit...looks a lil big and dominating.

Steel General
08-09-2009, 06:35 PM
Yup, you're right it is a bit overwhelming and it is repeating, but I think the issue is I shrunk it down to much (the original pattern is 1000x1000 - maybe bigger). I'll have to double-check to be sure.

Steel General
08-11-2009, 08:14 PM
OK here we are with the latest update.

I reworked the desert/wastes a bit so they weren't so bright and over-powering. Finished adding the rest of the major terrain features. Still a bit up in the air about the 'maelstroms' but it was the best I could come up with.

I've started the labeling as well and came to the realization that the names on my old, crappy maps just weren't going to work. So it's going to be a long process of naming the major features and adding the various cities/city-states.

So take a look, let me know what you like, don't like, etc. and we'll see where it takes me. :D

Diamond
08-11-2009, 10:16 PM
I really like this revised continent shape; looks much, much better. Looking forward to seeing the finished product!

Ascension
08-11-2009, 10:55 PM
I still think that the desert pattern is too heavy, lower the opacity on that and put the color back in. Just give us a hint, make us go "Ooo what is that?" This reminds me of the guy wearing way too much cologne in the elevator. But then again, it's your map so, shrug.

Steel General
08-12-2009, 08:11 AM
I still think that the desert pattern is too heavy, lower the opacity on that and put the color back in. Just give us a hint, make us go "Ooo what is that?" This reminds me of the guy wearing way too much cologne in the elevator. But then again, it's your map so, shrug.

I've already lowered the opacity quite a bit (down to about 60%), I tried changing the various layer styles and all that good stuff, and it just didn't give me what I wanted. It's pretty close right now, but I may tweak it some more tonite if I have a chance to work on it. Maybe I need to change the entire texture...Hmmm

@Diamond - Thanks, I like the shape better as well.

Skaryn
08-12-2009, 05:51 PM
I liked the map! The realistic style is appealing to me, I may have to crack out an attempt in photoshop sometime. I also checked out your site, looks good.

Steel General
08-13-2009, 08:47 AM
@Skaryn - Thanks, I should have a map update to post later today, though the labeling is taking way longer that I had thought.

Like my sig says, my home brew site has stagnated quite a bit, I'm hoping that getting these continental maps done will get me motivated to get some long needed updates and newer content added to it.

Steel General
08-14-2009, 03:18 PM
OK, the terrain has been finalized. I've tinkered with the large desert/waste area endlessly - it's still not 100% what I wanted, but close enough.

I've done a lot of the labeling (though there's still a bit to do yet - including the cities/city-states). I've purposely kept it a bit subdued, but if you find any of it overly difficult to read let me know.

For this continent I went a head and decided to use Tagalog (Filipino) as a base for many of the names with english for words like river, sea, ocean, etc.

I hope to have the rest of the labeling done in the next day or so, though I am still looking for a suitable set of city icons.

As always C&C encouraged and appreciated...

Steel General
08-16-2009, 05:44 PM
Today's update:


Labeling finished (though I may go back through it one final time)
Added scale (though no scale bar)

I think that about wraps this one up. Unless someone finds a major goof I overlooked or sees that one of the names I came up with is a really derogatory term in some language.

I have found something I hate doing more than rivers, and that is labeling! :x I normally don't label anything but the major cities and terrain features, but I felt the need to go a little further on this than normal.

Anyhoo...as always C&C encouraged, appreciated, etc.

Gandwarf
08-16-2009, 05:46 PM
I like it SG. Didn't see any weird stuff.

Diamond
08-16-2009, 06:24 PM
I have found something I hate doing more than rivers, and that is labeling! :x

Really? That's always my favorite part, the part where you can let your literary imagination really run wild. In any case, I like your naming scheme; very exotic and evocative of jungle realms.

Ascension
08-16-2009, 06:32 PM
Coming up with names is fun, sure, but placing everything so that it's legible and clear yet "cool" looking is a pain and takes forever. Looks good to me SG. I guess what I was thinking of as a desert is more like a badlands kind of place so I get it now.

Steel General
08-16-2009, 06:41 PM
I guess what I was thinking of as a desert is more like a badlands kind of place so I get it now.

Yeah I couldn't quite get the desert look that I wanted, so I changed direction a bit, and I think it worked out better in the end.


Really? That's always my favorite part, the part where you can let your literary imagination really run wild.

Thanks, it's not so much that I dislike coming up with the names as I dislike how much time it takes to place them on the map. :)


In any case, I like your naming scheme; very exotic and evocative of jungle realms.

As I noted in a earlier post, I used Tagalog (Filipino) as a base for the names. I'm sure my wife would look at it and laugh.

Karro
08-17-2009, 09:52 AM
As I noted in a earlier post, I used Tagalog (Filipino) as a base for the names. I'm sure my wife would look at it and laugh.

There's a lot of doubled vowels. Out of curiosity, what does that mean for pronounciation?

Steel General
08-17-2009, 11:05 AM
There's a lot of doubled vowels. Out of curiosity, what does that mean for pronounciation?

I never really gave it that much thought. It's really more a way to separate it from the spelling conventions we are used to.

Karro
08-17-2009, 12:22 PM
I never really gave it that much thought. It's really more a way to separate it from the spelling conventions we are used to.

So, it's really more for visual appeal?

I usually try to consider how a word is supposed to be pronounced in my head, though I probably often fail to make it clear. I've been trying harder, recently, to use consistent spelling conventions - or at least consistent within individual linguistic contexts.

Steel General
08-17-2009, 01:58 PM
So, it's really more for visual appeal?

For the most part.


I usually try to consider how a word is supposed to be pronounced in my head, though I probably often fail to make it clear. I've been trying harder, recently, to use consistent spelling conventions - or at least consistent within individual linguistic contexts.

I do somewhat sound it out in my head when I'm 'mashing' things together. But I don't make notes as to what the pronunciation would be.

I took a minute or two and grabbed a couple of names of the map, here's how I see the pronunciation:


Tuurgaar = Toor-gahr
Umaag = Oo-mog
Ghuuro = G-oo-row

Like many languages, pronunciations would vary slightly by region.

pasis
08-17-2009, 04:30 PM
You sure have gone right way with the shape of the continent and with overall look. I sometimes share your opinion about the labeling. It can sometimes be troublesome, but then again sometimes real fun...

Steel General
08-22-2009, 01:03 PM
Finished map posted in appropriate forum...thanks for all of the various feedback/suggestions/critiques/etc.