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Diamond
08-07-2009, 01:22 AM
I'm putting my other map work on hold for a while so I can play with this. Those mountain & tree symbols that Vandy scanned from old maps are just fantastic, and I had to find an excuse to use them. :D

So this is a Italian-esque peninsula on the world of Terramunda, the setting for a book I'm in the planning stages of writing. A lot of the names will be recycled from my other maps (I tend to do that a lot). There's going to be scattered republics, duchies, counties etc on the peninsula itself, with a couple of large pseudo-French nations in the north. The jut of land sticking up from the south is the tip of the Ashkarene Empire, the baddies of the story.

What I'm going for here is a plain look, but with a lot of detail, if that makes sense. I'm not going to use natural looking features; instead, everything's going to be icons. And with StarRaven's symbol set working now, I finally will have some good city/town icons. I'm going for minimal use of color here; the most I'll have will probably be a faint stroke around the city icons and the text. I plan to overlay everything with a sepia/parchment-y filter.

Here's where I am so far; I'm especially happy with the way the rivers look.

Ghostman
08-07-2009, 05:20 AM
Your rivers look otherwise good, but they do not taper at all. The tributaries appear narrower but the main river courses are wide all the way from where they begin. It would give a more natural appearance to have your rivers start narrow and gradually gain width as more tributaries join them along the way.

Gandwarf
08-07-2009, 05:44 AM
It's certainly a good start. No river violations that I can see :)
I do agree with Ghostman concerning the tapering, but it doesn't bother me.

Eilathen
08-07-2009, 06:10 AM
Very nice. I really like those mountains!

And now for the obligatory question: Is there a worldmap you can show us? I'd like to see Terramunda in all its glory :D

Steel General
08-07-2009, 06:21 AM
Great start! Looking forward to seeing more.

Diamond
08-07-2009, 11:37 AM
Your rivers look otherwise good, but they do not taper at all. The tributaries appear narrower but the main river courses are wide all the way from where they begin. It would give a more natural appearance to have your rivers start narrow and gradually gain width as more tributaries join them along the way.
That's a good point; I hadn't even thought of that. Alrighty then, I'll redo 'em a bit tonight.

Very nice. I really like those mountains!

And now for the obligatory question: Is there a worldmap you can show us? I'd like to see Terramunda in all its glory :D
No world map yet, thought I know how everything is laid out. I suppose I can throw together a smallish rough map though.

msa
08-08-2009, 04:10 PM
I really like the shape of the landmass in this map, and the way you scaled the map to encompass it. I would have never thought to make such a tall, skinny map but I really like the way it looks.

cereth
08-08-2009, 06:03 PM
Very nice start. I love those mountains and the landmass seems very organic and realistic. I agree with the previous comments regarding the rivers. Not sure about the "cloud" texture in the water, but it might look cool when everything else gets added. :)

Diamond
08-08-2009, 11:22 PM
Thanks for all the compliments and suggestions, guys. I really appreciate the warm welcome. I'm one of those dudes who doesn't often join new forums once I've found one I really like, so I'm glad I can 'branch out' here too. :D


Not sure about the "cloud" texture in the water, but it might look cool when everything else gets added. :)

That's my hope. Everything is going to have a sepia-parchment look overlaid on it, so hopefully that'll bring everything together a little more cohesively.

I've decided to use 'blobs' (for lack of a better term) for forests, with a light pattern overlaid on them. I tried actual tree icons, but it quickly made the map far, far too cluttered, and it was impossible to see the rivers clearly. Also tapered the river heads.

I decided to go with a bit more traditional city icon too; the big ones are very large cities (100K+ populations); the smaller ones represent lesser cities.

Diamond
08-08-2009, 11:26 PM
I really like the shape of the landmass in this map, and the way you scaled the map to encompass it. I would have never thought to make such a tall, skinny map but I really like the way it looks.

Thanks, man. I did the same thing on this map (http://fc03.deviantart.com/fs36/f/2008/245/b/6/The_Germanies_and_the_Italies_by_Chanimur.png) as well, thought it turned out pretty decent.

Diamond
08-09-2009, 02:30 AM
Eilathen wondered if there is a world map and the answer is still no (I haven't even fully mapped out one continent yet! :D), but here's a rough sketch of the western part of the continent of Eirova. You can see the two black blocks where I've done work so far; the one in the upper left is the White Isles, the other project I have going on the forums here. I think I'm going to redo it in the style I have this map in, so that eventually, maybe I can link everything together in one uber-map.

Eilathen
08-09-2009, 05:45 AM
Cool :D

Thanks, Diamond. And i will be looking forward to the uber-worldmap (yeah, i'm a sucker for worldmaps ;) )

Cheers
E.

Diamond
08-11-2009, 01:59 AM
Another update; starting to put the text in. I wanted to go with a red text, because when I overlay the sepia finish, I think it'll give the red lettering a really interesting look, but time will tell, I guess. :D How does the font itself look? Legible? Ugly?

Steel General
08-11-2009, 07:02 AM
Font looks fine, though not sure about the red color (maybe I should change my name to No Red Font Color :)). But as you said we'll just have to see how it works in the end.

Ghostman
08-11-2009, 03:33 PM
Red text doesn't look very good against bluish background. If the overlay turns the map more brownish, it might turn out much better.

The stylized frames in the lower right corner are freaking awesome!

Skaryn
08-11-2009, 04:36 PM
I like that look Diamond. I am going for a look similar to that for my world map which is still a wip. Nice use of font sizes as well, I think they are legible, the red is kinda hard to read in some areas, but you said there is a finish coming to it, so will wait to see. Looking good so far !

AslanC
08-11-2009, 04:39 PM
Looking good Diamond!

Diamond
08-13-2009, 01:25 AM
Well, the sepia overlay wasn't a complete success, but it's close enough to what I wanted that I'm going to call it good and stop. Plus, the file size was getting so huge it was making my puter do... odd things. :D

Let me know if I missed any city names; I'm working from sketches drawn on about five billion sticky notes, so it's always possible I overlooked something.

Coyotemax
08-13-2009, 01:36 AM
The only comment I would have is with the red text being partly transparent. To my eyes that's the only thing affecting the readability - when it's over mountains and such, the background shows through and distracts.

There's so many ways to address that issue though, I would be hesitiant to make specific suggestions without knowing the direction you would want to go, if any :)

AslanC
08-13-2009, 01:36 AM
I love how nice the mountains looks :) Well done indeed :)

Diamond
08-13-2009, 01:45 AM
@Coyote: I experimented with the opacity on the red lettering, and at smaller font sizes (and different fonts), it was impossible to read if I raised the opacity above 25%; the red seemed to bleed too much into the stroke outline. I suppose I could've gone with another color besides red, but red just seemed to 'click' for me with this map.

@Aslan: thanks! And thank you Vandy for the mountain symbols!

Coyotemax
08-13-2009, 01:48 AM
Fair enough. Are all the text sizes using the exact same style, or are you able to individualize for the smaller ones?

All in all though, it's a very nice map, and gives me some ideas :) I find I've been cluttering up my maps a bit (with good results, but still..) A cleaner style like this is something i should try :)

Diamond
08-13-2009, 02:03 AM
The font is all Roman Antique (from www.dafont.com), just in differing sizes, italics, and color(s). I experimented with leaving the stroke off completely and changing the font color to something less... red :D , but it just didn't look right over the mountains (and it tended to overwhelm the other text and terrain), so I settled for what you see here. It's not perfect, but I better quit now. The main goal for me is to finish the book, not obsess unduly over the map. I am planning to do close-ups of some of the individual states, so I'll play around some more then and see if I can't come up with something better.

Coyotemax
08-13-2009, 02:24 AM
No no, entirely cool, if you have other more pressing issues, by all means attend to them. I was just offering observations based on personal experience, there's been a few spots where I've had to give a completely different layer style to keep the look readable :P

I still say that I like the style in this one though.

landorl
08-13-2009, 09:58 AM
I like this map a lot! The waterways are nice and believable. I love the names of the countries, and don't mind the red font. The only thing that I am not too excited about is the city symbols. I would have liked to see a different symbol for capitols, and for regular cities.

One thing I noticed, and this may be intentional, there is a country/region named "City of Sano", but the only city I see there is "Carpi"

Diamond
08-13-2009, 12:14 PM
One thing I noticed, and this may be intentional, there is a country/region named "City of Sano", but the only city I see there is "Carpi"

That's actually the County of Sano, abbreviated as 'Cty.' Gah. I knew that was gonna be hard to read... Okay, I'll have to redo at least that part of it. Thanks for pointing that out.

Davros01
08-15-2009, 08:50 AM
I like the overall style. The rivers really look good. I like the older style looks. With those early style maps, i think will look much better once you put the names in.

landorl
08-19-2009, 02:21 PM
That's actually the County of Sano

Ah, that makes sense. ;)

Greason Wolfe
08-21-2009, 05:03 AM
Outstanding work! This one is gonna go in my list of favorites.

Although others have already commented on the font coloring and what not, I just have to say that something about those larger labels just screams at me that they should be done in dark grey with a "cracked" or "stone" look. Not that I'm suggesting you change anything about the map at all because it looks just fine to me as it is.

GW

Ashenvale
08-21-2009, 07:34 AM
Here's an superlative example of how limiting one's color palette can add elegance to a map. Beauty can be more penetrating when presented with restraint. Thanks for posting this. Inspiring!

Diamond
08-23-2009, 12:59 PM
Hey, thanks for the props, guys. Although my efforts are clearly meagre compared to some of the stuff the folks on this forum come up with.

DungeonMasterGaz
08-24-2009, 03:51 PM
1st class map with subtle effects. I like the style and would be interested in seeing the rest of the world as you map it.

DMG