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Laime
08-01-2009, 09:35 PM
Hi ^_^ I've been lurking for a while and now I'm starting my very first mapping project. It's in the beginning stages and I only have drafts of the continents and approximations of mountains. The map is of a fantasy world, and even though it has a lot of magic and unbelievable events in its history I sort of became obsessed with doing the physical geography of it right. I studied different articles on it for a while, but in the end I think I need some advice.

The red are the tectonic plates, the blue is the tectonic movements, and the green are the mountains. The brown triangles are places where I intend to place islands.

My question are:

1. Do the continents look good? When I came up with the shapes I sort of went with what seemed aesthetically pleasing, but do they actually look like continents and not like random black blobs?

2. Do the tectonics make sense?

3. Did I miss any mountains? Did I put mountains where the shouldn't be any?

4. Does the island placement make sense? I sort of spaced by the time the articles I read started on volcanic island formation o_O

I would appreciate every bit of advice. I know I'm stressing over things that most people won't care about when they look at the map, but for some reason it's become very important for me to get it right. :?:

\\ tectonic map edited according to suggestions \\

thebax2k
08-02-2009, 01:54 AM
Well, I've seen IANAL (I am not a lawyer) put in a message, so I write this with the IANAG (I am not a geologist) disclaimer.

Your continents look pretty neat. However, would any two of them easily fit together? From your numbered map, it appears that some might, but I would make the continental drift (actually former continental fit) more explicit. The fit does not have to be perfect (there are all those eons of erosion and earthquakes after all) but it should be roughly there. Its a bit hard to tell with some of your continents, you might want to think of streamlining and simplifying their shapes just a tad.

As for the plates themselves, other than making your world more realistic, why do you want to have them? If this world is a world for a roleplaying campaign or story you are writing, I wouldn't stress over the tectonic plates too much. Somehow I just can't see one of the Fellowship of the Ring saying "Ssh, we have to be careful, we're nearing a subduction zone" ;)

That being said, If you are going to have the plates, streamline and alter the plate boundaries so it doesn't look like so much that you drew circles around your continents and left the remainder as huge "superplates".

Using the earth as a guide (http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/10i_2.html), I would move some of the boundaries of your plates far out into the ocean (like the North American Plate is in the Atlantic). Also, don't be afraid to have plate boundaries right on the edge of your continents. Take a look at the eastern boundaries of the Pacific, Juan De Fuca, Cocos, and Nazca plates, they are right on the edge of North and South America (which may explain why you have such high mountains in those areas).

Another feature you've noted missing is volcanically formed islands on or near the plate boundaries. Try putting them near where you have 3 or 4 plates bumping into each other or two plates that due to the overall plate configuration are not able to slide past each other successfully or easily. Both areas tend to be volcanically active and remained "locked" enough that undersea volcanic activity over time is able to build up to the point of breaking the surface.

Also, try using the search feature with the term "tectonic plates" here on the guild. This subject has been covered before and you will find additional advice scattered in those old threads.

Good luck Laime and keep mapping.

Laime
08-02-2009, 03:34 AM
thebax2k
Thanks for your advice ^_^ I sort of mashed the continent parts together in PS and they kind of made sense. I utilized India-like continent part a lot (a piece breaking off from one plate to drift into another), so I guess on the first glance it does look like they don't fit. I tried to fix the 'drawing the circles around continents' problem, it does look sort of better now.

I looked for places to draw islands - they are marked with brown triangles now. Does that make sense?

Sadly, it din't occur to me to do a forum search, which I guess speaks volumes about my IQ ^_^. I'll search the guild and hopefully understand half of the things people write.

As for why I need that headache at all, I just feel better prepared. For me it's like building a house - if the foundation isn't there, it's hard to do much else. When I'm finished with tectonics, I'll be doing winds and climate, and then I'll pull out my history and anthropology books... I'm pretty obsessive about stuff like that ^_^

thebax2k
08-03-2009, 12:32 AM
I can certainly understand building something from the ground (er tectonic plates) up ;)

Your second map looks better than the first. I would fiddle with the directions of the plates a bit though and have more plates in collision. For instance, you've got a massive mountain chain in the west of plate 9, yet plate 6 and plate 9 appear to both be heading "north" (or at least "up"). You are not going to get massive Himalaya type mountains (maybe I'm misinterpreting your mountain depictions, but it sure looks Himalaya like) unless you have two plates that are pushing/colliding against each other (which is what the Indian plate has been doing to the Asian plate for the last several million years).

Your triangles are fine as temporary markers for where you wish to place your islands. Not every plate collision will have islands, but there were a few areas that did not have islands that had me scratching my head a bit (such as the boundary at 9, 14, and 16 and the boundary between 2 and 17 which are pressing against each other). As for island size, you can make them any size you want, but I would have very large islands (New Zealand, Iceland, Japan sized) on or near the boundaries of 3 or more plates.

Keep working at it Laime, you have the fundamentals of a great map here.

Steel General
08-03-2009, 07:27 AM
I can't help you with the tectonics (I largely ignore them on my maps), but you have the makings of a nice map here, some great land shapes to start with.

Karro
08-03-2009, 12:21 PM
Having trod the tectonics road before, in my own map, I think that generally yours currently looks pretty good. Projection-wise, though, it looks a bit odd. You've got a squarish sort of map projection here, which means if this were to be put in a standard Mercator-ish projection (2-to-1 aspect ratio) this would experience a lot of stretching. Either that or the plates along the west and east edges have a lot of empty material missing.

So, if you continue down this road, I'd take that into consideration. Additionally, I'd take into consideration now (before it grows too late to change and comes to bother you later) that your continental shapes will be subject to some polar distortion at the north and south poles. In other words, if you map this to a sphere, you'll get some very odd-looking warping at the north and south. I'm not expert here (my own map fails miserably at the poles, so I speak from that experience) on how to fix that, but there are some threads on some ways to get some accurate, and aesthetically pleasing, polar distortion, so it might be a good idea to do that now, while in the black-and-white stages if you think that might be important later on.

altasilvapuer
08-03-2009, 01:07 PM
I agree with thebax2k: a couple more plate collisions might be in order. Most of your plates seem to be like London drivers - moving at breakneck speed and missing each other by bare inches. (Or, at least, like my impression of said drivers over a week's stay!)

Then again, it's quite intriguing to think about a world where the plates all seem to be somehow spending much of their time sliding beside each other, rather than most of their time spreading & consuming, like Earth. Your world wouldn't have as much recycling of crust, I think, which is an interesting concept. Fossils would be found much older, landmasses would probably be pretty eroded, and it might even have a few interesting effects on the magnetic field and such, though I'm shakiest on that last one. I think that's more just convection in the mantle than the recycling of crust, now that I think about it.

Regardless, as they are now, I think you'd see a mountain chain or two between 16 and 15. When two oceanic plates collide, usually one of them is just slightly less dense and goes above the other, and you get strings of islands along the boundary. As the bottom plate breaks up and becomes part of the molten material underneath, lots of gases get trapped and cause magma to upwell through the plate on top, and it forms volcanic islands. At least, I think that's more or less it; I forget the specifics of it at the moment.

I think the strangest thing in your tectonics, to me, is the number of them going in the same direction: 18, 14, 8, 9, and 6, specifically. It seems a little unusual that they'd all move in the same direction. At least on Earth, I don't think more than two or rarely three plates move in the same direction, and then they seem to be more beside each other, rather than chasing. Then again, our tectonic knowledge comes from a whopping data pool of one planet, so we might know absolutely nothing. ;) Have at it, and I can't wait to see more!


Also, as you go into later stages of this worldbuilding, you should check out Karro and Korba's respective world maps. They were one of the primary guides, artistically, that I used for representing all the worldbuilding data you need.
Karro's is here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2463
Korba's is here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=4812

There's also that Climate cookbook lurking around here someplace that's invaluable for its help in this. Let me see if I still have it in my bookmarks. Ah, here it is: http://www.cix.co.uk/~morven/worldkit/climate.html

-asp

Karro
08-03-2009, 01:32 PM
There are some good points made that I forgot to look at, in detail. You'll get your highest mountains when two continent-bearing plates smack together in head-on collisions. If one or the other is moving in a slightly different direction, the mountains are likely to be lower. Where plates are slipping past eachother, rather than colliding, you'll get an intense earthquake zone. And underwater plates colliding tend to produce island chains. Meanwhile, and ocean plate colliding with a continental plate will sometimes produce chains of islands just offshore of the mainland (like Japan).

Meanwhile if two plates are moving along together in the same direction (like 6 and 9) if we assume they're moving at different speeds, then at most the fault will be an earthquake zone and maybe some low hills. If the same speed... well... what's differentiating them as plates? Large mountain zone there will depend on collisions.

Then, if one plate is moving away from another, you'll either get trenches (under the sea) or rift valleys (on land).

One thing that I tried to do on my plates was consider not only the overall motion of the plate as a whole, but the motion of individual pieces of a plate, and the impact of other plates on the movement of any given plate, as well as the impact of subterranean magma flows (which I believe, being somewhat liquid, will follow the coriolis effect). So, I tried to have different forces tearing and pushing at the plates in different ways, and defined plate motion in roughly circular patterns.

altasilvapuer
08-03-2009, 01:55 PM
*Smacks forehead!*
Karro, that's brilliant! I never thought to consider possible coriolis effects on the magma in the mantle & lithosphere. I'm going to have to go do some research on that tonight and compare with Earth's plates. That might make some interesting research, and it might make plate-creation a little easier in that it limits what currently are far too many options.

As for considering the individual parts' motion, like he says, I've found one of the most universal and quick ways to do it is to shade the plate boundaries in a certain colour, according to the type of interaction between the plates (convergent, divergent, subductive, etc). My favourite example of that is here: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bf/Tectonic_plates_boundaries_detailed-en.svg

And I think that's enough thread hijacking out of me for today. ;)

-asp

Laime
08-04-2009, 05:44 AM
Wow, thanks for your all help guys ^_^ I don't think I had that much positive reinforcement on my projects in my life :oops: You're great.

I'm currently working on refining the coastlines (they look blurry and splotchy on my original map so I'm redrawing them o_O) and trying to draw islands in place of markers, but I've looked over the forums and (unsurprisingly) found a lot of cool articles and tutorials here. I'm going through them but since I'm not that good at science in my native language, you can imagine how slow it is in Enlish... @_@

What I've done with the map I'm posting now:

1. 6 and 9 are now colliding, as are 15 and 11! Yay for London drivers smashing into each other head on! (thank you for that image, altasilvapuer ;) )
2. 7 is moving in another direction, which I guess means islands on the collision site (thus brown triangles abound). I also changed the boundaries a bit since I wanted the islands closer to the continent.
3. Islands added: 9&10, 2&17, 16&15, 13&15
4. I hid the mountains for now since there were too many things on the map already
5. I tried to do the whole "shade plate boundaries with according to what plates do what to each other" thing altasilvapuer suggested, but only gone so far before going completely stumped o_O My problem is, I can't quite figure out some of the plates since they move under an angle that doesn't make it absolutely clear whether they, say, collide or slide near each other. For example, plate 1 slams into plate 6, but plate 6 slides past plate 1. How do you handle that? I marked the borders with mixed colors, but how does this tectonic confusion affect the above-groundy stuff? Do these borders behave like one type or the other? Is it the matter of simply what plate moves faster?

thebax2k, with the 16th plate I figured it's moving away from the 9th and and sort of away from the 14th, so I thought the ocean would be very deep there, with no islands. Am I missing something?

Karro, I haven't yet even thought about projection... I'll add more ocean to the sides to make it less square when I start coloring. It's just that it's a very big file already (the images you see are 7 percent of the size) and I didn't want to make it even bigger. As for distortion, I pasted the map onto Google Earth and it looked alright for me. Maybe that's because continents are not that close to the edge of the document. Anyway, the world is fantasy and I think I'll be going for a stylized look, so distortion won't be that much of a concern. I guess this is the place where my desire for realism gives way to my control impulses (distort something I've made? O_O make it all weird-looking and unintelligible? Oh noes! Never!)

Thank you again for all your help :D

Steel General
08-04-2009, 07:33 AM
Some good progress here, even if I don't get all of the tectonic stuff. :D

Karro
08-04-2009, 11:59 AM
Wow, thanks for your all help guys ^_^ I don't think I had that much positive reinforcement on my projects in my life :oops: You're great.

I'm currently working on refining the coastlines (they look blurry and splotchy on my original map so I'm redrawing them o_O) and trying to draw islands in place of markers, but I've looked over the forums and (unsurprisingly) found a lot of cool articles and tutorials here. I'm going through them but since I'm not that good at science in my native language, you can imagine how slow it is in Enlish... @_@

What I've done with the map I'm posting now:

1. 6 and 9 are now colliding, as are 15 and 11! Yay for London drivers smashing into each other head on! (thank you for that image, altasilvapuer ;) )
2. 7 is moving in another direction, which I guess means islands on the collision site (thus brown triangles abound). I also changed the boundaries a bit since I wanted the islands closer to the continent.
3. Islands added: 9&10, 2&17, 16&15, 13&15
4. I hid the mountains for now since there were too many things on the map already
5. I tried to do the whole "shade plate boundaries with according to what plates do what to each other" thing altasilvapuer suggested, but only gone so far before going completely stumped o_O My problem is, I can't quite figure out some of the plates since they move under an angle that doesn't make it absolutely clear whether they, say, collide or slide near each other. For example, plate 1 slams into plate 6, but plate 6 slides past plate 1. How do you handle that? I marked the borders with mixed colors, but how does this tectonic confusion affect the above-groundy stuff? Do these borders behave like one type or the other? Is it the matter of simply what plate moves faster?

thebax2k, with the 16th plate I figured it's moving away from the 9th and and sort of away from the 14th, so I thought the ocean would be very deep there, with no islands. Am I missing something?

Karro, I haven't yet even thought about projection... I'll add more ocean to the sides to make it less square when I start coloring. It's just that it's a very big file already (the images you see are 7 percent of the size) and I didn't want to make it even bigger. As for distortion, I pasted the map onto Google Earth and it looked alright for me. Maybe that's because continents are not that close to the edge of the document. Anyway, the world is fantasy and I think I'll be going for a stylized look, so distortion won't be that much of a concern. I guess this is the place where my desire for realism gives way to my control impulses (distort something I've made? O_O make it all weird-looking and unintelligible? Oh noes! Never!)

Thank you again for all your help :D

Well, no worries about any weaknesses in English: A good map is a language all its own.

So, at your boundaries where one plate is slamming into another, but that plate is moving laterally, like the 1/6 boundary, you're going to get a mix of effects. Since 1 is smashing against 6, you'll probably get a convergent boundary effect - meaning that one or the other is probably slipping under the other and creating an island chain. At the same time, the transformative side of the boundary is going to mean this is an active earthquake zone.

At the same time, this could be an example of what I was talking about with different plates affecting the movement of each other. 6 isn't moving toward 1, but 1 is pushing up against 6. Given the current direction of 6's movement, and a basic understanding of what would happen if these were objects floating on water, and you'd start to see the pressures exerted on 6 would cause the bottom half to continue swinging rightward, while the top half may start to push up toward the the top or left, squeezing against that divergent boundary. at the end of the day, we might see a roughly counterclockwise turn being effected on plate 6, overall.

You're also right that with 9 and 16 being divergent boundaries, we'd expect to see a deep trench along that line, and not islands at all.

Projection might not be a prominent concern, but for me it was kind of a head-smacker later when I realized that I hadn't planned for that, and once pasted onto Google earth I got a lot of distortion on my northern continents. You're right that yours aren't too near the poles, so it may be less of a problem. I also notice that, compared to earth, your world is a little heavy on the ocean-cover and a little light on the land. This will likely have effects on the overall climate of your planet (with smaller landmasses, comparatively, you'll have better moisture distribution and fewer deserts, most likely).

altasilvapuer
08-04-2009, 03:25 PM
The trick with marking the more complicated boundaries like 13/15 and 6/1 is to note that even along a single boundary, every point doesn't interact in the same way simultaneously. In the case of 13/15, the parts of those plates edges that are more or less perpendicular to the plate motion will be some form of subductive/convergent. The edges that are more or less parallel to the plate motion will tend to be transform.

I don't have any images on hand that really illustrate that well, but if the wording's not clear, let me know, and I'll cook up a quick example.
Actually, I'm going to go ahead and cook up a quick little example of what I mean. Will upload shortly.

-asp
---
Edit: Okay, here's a quick blob of (iffy at best) tectonic plates, to illustrate what i was talking about a little bit more.
15504
1. Here, Plates A and B are colliding slightly more dead-on than sliding against each other, so you're going to get something constructive in the plate boundaries. I threw in a continent piece for the fun of it and decided that Plate A is carrying a subcontinent that's colliding with the dge of B. You'll have some pretty big mountains at 1. and just south of it, but not quite as big as the Himalayas, because this is a little more oblique.

I guess an analogy here is a pair of cars in a collision that's almost head on, but not quite. Probably the center of one hood hitting near the corner of another.

2. Here, the plates are mostly sliding alongside each other - this is more like the yahoo who scrapes the side of a car parked in the street and takes out a wing mirror and leaves big gashes in the paint job and frame.

3. At note 3, Plates B and C are moving apart, spreading from a mid-ocean ridge. Because no part of this line that's visible lies more parallel then perpendicular to the plates' motions, I've coloured it all red. Note, however, that oceanic rifts tend to spread unevenly, so this would be a blockily-jagged line, with transform boundaries separating sections of different spread-rate sea floors. My mouse is being finicky, though, so I couldn't reliably represent that.

This is like hooking a tow truck to the front bumper of a car and a tow truck to the back bumper of the car, and telling them both to hit the gas. ;)

4. At 4., we've got something somewhat intermediary between 1. and 2. Here, Plate A and Plate B are more or less even on whether the boundary is perpendicular or parallel to their motions, so I'd expect to see something like what Karro described earlier. Plate A I have here assumed to be riding up over the top of C, which is moving East while being subducted. In theory, this should be fully possible (and I'd assume highly volatile), but I'm honestly not sure. This, however, would be like a sedan driving East while a monster truck drives over it in a South-Southwesterly direction. ;)

But, you should probably take all the above with a grain of salt, as I've only just recently started delving into tectonics mostly over the course of late last spring and a little this summer, and a small bit in high school, but not a lot at all, then. Still, I think it should be reasonably close enough for the purposes of creating fantasy and science fiction worlds. And besides, even the experts have under the belt the amazing research pool of a whopping...one planet. For all we know, we might all be hacks. ;)

-asp

Laime
08-04-2009, 04:05 PM
Okay, while I hammer out the tectonics I decided it was time to proceed to climate. After all, all the large landmasses are there...

I tweaked things a bit, of course - I enlarged continent C and moved a mountain range on continent B to the other side of the continent. I don't know why those mountains are there, they are just there ^_^

Rainfall map I didn't have much problem with. But with currents I'm not so sure, and, consecutively, I'm a bit wonky on the temperature zones. Did I do it right?

altasilvapuer
08-04-2009, 04:43 PM
I think B's mountains are actually even pretty okay with the tectonics you had before. They might not be very tall, and I'd wager that they're creeping somewhat NE, even as they form, but they'd be there, I think.

With the ocean currents, the simplest ones to do are the surface currents. That seems to be what you're doing, but figured I'd clarify as it has come up in the past. The thermohaline system is really fudgy for me, as I haven't researched it enough, but I could help you with surface currents.

On the surface, you tend to get water cycling from warm to cold and vice versa. In the Northern Hemisphere, this cycle rotates clockwise; in the Southern, counter-clockwise (or anti-clockwise for you Brits across the pond, as I recall :P).
The surface currents are also where one of my other favourite reference images comes into play. I didn't draw mine anything like this, as this image is a little too technical for all but those more patient than tectonics to draw, but it did get my understanding a pretty long way with surface currents:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/67/Ocean_currents_1943_(borderless)3.png

Warm currents tend to go up Eastern Seaboards in the Northern Hemisphere and down, and cooler currents tend to go along Western seaboards in the respectively opposite directions.

I would start with that, and a gradient based solely on latitude for temperature. Once your currents are reasonably laid out, you can drag the temperatures out of their latitude-zones based on where the currents would carry them.

-asp

Laime
08-04-2009, 04:56 PM
altasilvapuer
Thanks! The tectonics stuff I think I more or less get ^_^ I just need to draw the islands now...

As for the currents, I know that it's surface mapping. For climate you don't really need anything else, or so I've read. I had no idea about warm currents going East and cold going West though. *goes off to redraw things*

altasilvapuer
08-04-2009, 08:15 PM
Well, they go those directions if your planet rotates counterclockwise, I should say. I'm a little wiped today, so my brain's not 100% up to par.

The main issue is just that the cold and warm regions of water (pole & equator, basically) mix via convection, and that because the planet is rotating (in the case of Earth, anyway) counterclockwise, the coriolis effect causes them to cycle in those directions.

At least, that's the way I understand it.

-asp

Laime
08-05-2009, 12:12 AM
I used the example altasilvapuer provided me to draw my own currents. Frankly, it's all I'm prepared to do in regards to this issue o_O My brain already hurts. What I'm doing now is filling in the islands and working on an approximate climate map. When I'm finished, it's elevation and rivers time! Yay! *goes away to hide under her blanket for a moment at the thought of rivers*

Alright, all done panicking now ^_^ Here are the currents.


Also, since I don't need help with tectonics anymore, the thread has a new title ^_^ "Sapere" is a codename that won't ever be used, since it's an inside joke between me and myself. It's part of Latin expression 'sapere aude' ('dare to know', imperative), that was originally used by Aristotle and then repeated by Kant. And since three primordial races of my world sort of kind of correspond to Kant's three functions of the mind (reason, creativity, morality, for those who find that kind of thing interesting) I snagged the expression and sneaked the reference into the meta-world.

Yes, I am a geek.

Ascension
08-05-2009, 12:37 AM
Philosophize all you want, I'm always listening.

Laime
08-05-2009, 12:48 AM
Ascension
That's... err, good to know *is paranoid* ^_^"


On a sidenote, you can't change the title of your thread. That's bad -_-

Laime
08-05-2009, 07:20 AM
I finished the islands! God, is it boring... I got an interesting landmark though - the cross near the southern continent. I realized that the islands were organized in such an interesting manner after I placed the majority of it, and I kind of like it ^_^ I think I'll make it a scar of some epic battle. I have plenty of those in the history ^_^

Does the map look possible (aside from the cross)? I have this nagging feeling I did something wrong, but I've been staring at this thing since 5 am so probably my brain's just broken @_@

Steel General
08-05-2009, 07:30 AM
I think it looks fine, my latest 'continental map is even more disjointed than this (outside of the island cross), but as long as you're happy then it's all good.

Laime
08-05-2009, 07:35 AM
as long as you're happy then it's all good.
The problem is, I'm not @_@ I can see something's not right but I've been looking on this map for so long I can't see what. What do you mean by 'disjointed' and how can it be fixed? o_O

Steel General
08-05-2009, 07:40 AM
Sorry, poor choice of words there, no reflection on your map (I'm still trying to wake up :)). I just meant that I disregarded anything to do with tectonic plates and continental formation science and went with something that looked cool to me.

Are you trying to make it geologically accurate?

Laime
08-05-2009, 07:45 AM
It's already more or less geologically accurate, now I just want to make it pretty ^_^ Coloring aside, it seems to me that the shapes are wonky or some islands are missing or something else that can be done to make it more aesthetically pleasing...

Steel General
08-05-2009, 07:49 AM
It's difficult to tell until you actually start adding the terrain, etc. in (at least for me).

I suppose that the continents could be a bit bigger, but again it depends on what you imagined the world to be.

Karro
08-05-2009, 10:25 AM
I'd say you're missing some distinctly japanese island style off-shore island chains. You've got some good looking chains (I think the cross looks good), but I'd want to see something offshore of one of the main continents. Do you have any just off-shore convergent boundaries where such islands might occur?

altasilvapuer
08-05-2009, 12:59 PM
The only problems I see with the surface currents are both in the Northern hemisphere. The NW Continent has a strand of cold coming off its NE shores, which seems legitimate to me, but not by itself. The warm currents from the south would probably split some at that headland and you'd get some into the bay (which I imagine would be somewhat warm for its latitude for that reason), and some would go up the eastern edge of the continent.

The same would be true, I think, of the NE-most continent. You'd probably get warm currents on its eastern-most shore, as well.

I think it was Karro that mentioned earlier in this thread, too, about the high ratio of water to land and how it would effect climate, and now's a good time to start looking at some of that. I think this could be a very interesting planet, climatologically.

You're going to have a lot of water moving about your seas, so latitude's going to be a little less important for much of the climate than it is on Earth - might want to make sure you feel reasonably comfortable with your currents for that reason.

Otherwise, it looks absolutely great, so far! I love the landmasses and the new islands. They're a little quirky at first glance, but in a good way - especially because they seem plausible, which makes it all the more fun. Can't wait to see the rest of this.

-asp

Laime
08-05-2009, 01:05 PM
altasilvapuer
I'll look at the currents a bit later, thanks for pointing it out to me. I'm all climated out at the moment @_@

Karro
I think you're right about Japanese-like formation. I'll add one, I have a place just for them (there's a convergent boundary on top of the southern continent.


I've more or less finished climates (well, finished forming a very vague idea about how they might work) and decided that going through all the continents drawing rivers is just a bit too much for me o_O I'm going to do this map one continent at a time.

This is - ta-da-da-dam! - the last stage of preparation before I actually begin drawing, applying textures, bla-bla-bla. Just wanted to show this to river police:

altasilvapuer
08-05-2009, 01:37 PM
Dang, you're fast with those rivers.

Also, since I see that you're using Photoshop, you should check out this spiffy tutorial on making rivers via paths. It's a pretty genius idea, and worked wonders for me:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1907
Unless of course, you're using a tablet, in which case excuse me whilst I envy you profusely. ;)

At any rate, I like the elevation of the mountains, so far. Very spiffy design. Did you just paint each layer by hand, or was it done with the selection tool and the contract function of selections?

-asp

Laime
08-05-2009, 01:50 PM
Well, the rivers didn't take that much time, surprisingly. I spent more time on the mountains. They were done by both methods, but I don't think the elevation will actually see the light of day on a finished map. I painted it for my convenience only.

I'll check out the tutorial, thanks. I'm not using a tablet (and the ache in my wrist can testify to that), so every bit will help.

Laime
08-06-2009, 03:06 AM
I did it! I did it! I finally started coloring all those alfa layers I've been making for so long! *does the cartography jig*

So, this is the basic template for the map. Am I great or not? *jumps up and down*

I'm off to find me some mountains now ^_^

waldronate
08-06-2009, 03:14 AM
I did it! I did it! I finally started coloring all those alfa layers I've been making for so long! *does the cartography jig*

So, this is the basic template for the map. Am I great or not? *jumps up and down*

I'm off to find me some mountains now ^_^

Very nice. Rivers don't collide or nothin!
When you're out shopping for mountains be sure to get the ones that are pointy on the top and bottom. If you get the ones that are flat just on the bottom they'll slide off when you tilt the map.

Laime
08-06-2009, 03:28 AM
Tilt? o_O I'm not sure what you mean. Or if it was a clever pun. @_@

waldronate
08-06-2009, 03:31 AM
Most definitely not clever, of that I am sure. It's sort of like playing on a table covered sith clay. When it comes time to stick the pre-made bits onto your carefully sculpted base, pointy bottomed items stick better than flat ones because they push in deeper.

Laime
08-06-2009, 11:16 AM
I found myself some mountains and even finished one mountain range (it's second smallest, but I'm still proud!) I think I'll do the Himalayas in another style, just to show that they're tall and dangerous.

Scorpius
08-06-2009, 12:16 PM
I have to say I found it really valuable reading through you're progress here. Wonderful progress shots and great work so far. I'll be keeping an eye on it.

Ascension
08-06-2009, 06:58 PM
The only thing that I would comment on is that the mtns should probably have the same color as the stroke around the landmasses. So far so good, tho.

Gandwarf
08-07-2009, 07:02 PM
Beautiful mountains.

Laime
08-09-2009, 09:38 AM
Scorpius
Thanks ^_^

Ascension
Do you mean they should be shaded brown or drawn in brown? I decided to leave the coloring until after I place all the elements, and the brushes don't look good in any color but black.

Gandwarf
Thanks, I spent a lot of time agonizing over them^_^

As for progress update, I'm still on the mountains - finishing the medium three-sided range now. It's pretty time-consuming, even though I'm using brushes @_@

Ascension
08-09-2009, 01:06 PM
Colored in brown, the black will be overpowering by the time you get to the end. But, of course, will have to wait and see.

Laime
03-29-2010, 02:24 PM
Okay, it has officially been too long, but I finished the mountains on the first continent (and part of the second). I am now contemplating some lakes or maybe an inner sea or two... Political mapping is being done too ^___^ I'm not sure about the particularities of climate but at this point I decided to just look at Earth and assign it on the basis of 'hey this area looks like India'. What I'm mostly doing now is cultural worldbuilding (which I can't really show off here).

If anyone can give me advice on tree brushes that suit the style I'll be very grateful.

Laime
03-30-2010, 10:57 AM
I changed the mountain color and I'm working on a political map right now... I'm not sure what to do with the font. And does the water look better blue? And is this whole coloring different countries in different colors working? And am I spazzing too much? I like the font though, which probably means it's bad. Is it?

Ascension
03-30-2010, 05:41 PM
I've always wanted to try that font on something and they go pretty well with the line-style mountains...good stuff.

Laime
04-03-2010, 08:03 AM
I more or less finished the physical geography... Maybe some lakes will make an appearance later... It still looks sparce and unfinished but I hope that would change when I add cities, ocean names, trade routes and other important things. What I have a problem with though, is the sort of blurry/non-neat look of some of the lines (mainly the tracing around the continents and rivers. I'll see if I can do something about it >_<.

The map itself is too big (even at 66% of original size) to upload here so I here is the link (http://dl3.filehoster.ru/files/dcdd87f0ff19b9c996dfedbca41344b03ce1badf9bfe03dfb5 935dae3d/amikhail%20copy.png) (it's ~6 mb, so be careful). I'd welcome any and all constructive criticism.