View Full Version : Northern Continent WIP

09-28-2009, 06:48 PM

this is my first map ever created in photoshop. I used Ascension's Atlas tut (Thanks again, its really great). I am not really satisfied with the result so far but I thought I'd just post it here and wait for some comments.

I like the rivers so far an the ice in the north is also ok. The dark green in the southern regions was supposed to be forest...
And I think I did something wrong with the mountains and hills because they are so small and don't come out really well.
For all of you who want to have a look themselves, heres the map:


Gregorus Prime
09-29-2009, 03:19 AM
Those lakes aren't draining right. You never, ever have a river that runs the entire length of the land, topography just doesn't work that way. The drop shadow is backwards, too, so it looks like the sea is higher than the land.

Other than that the only criticism I have is that the land looks too squarish. You've got some great shapes on the left and up top, but I'd open up that landlocked sea in the south to the ocean proper because otherwise it just looks kinda weird. Vary the shape a bit more in the southeast. I'd personally chop a huge chunk of the land off there, maybe have a trailing peninsula or archipelago on the right, but it's your map so you're the only one who knows what it's supposed to look like.

You're off to a great start, you just need to get a better sense of topography.

Steel General
09-29-2009, 06:24 AM
It's a pretty good start for your first time through the tutorial. Couple of things I noticed, and these are meant to be constructive criticism's, not bashing. :)

1) You have a river that runs from coast to coast with no obvious source, that to my knowledge can't happen. The rest of the rivers look good.

2) IIRC it seems that the gradient used to give the basic land colors is off a bit, the transitions don't seem as smooth as they should be.

3) It looks like you may have skipped some steps in the hill and mountain portions of the tutorial - it's been awhile since I used it. I'd suggest going back thru the hill and mountain steps to see if in fact you missed/overlooked something.

4) Your forest appears just to be a solid color and has no texture or layer affects applied.

Keep at it, you'll get the hang of it after a few tries.

@Gregorus Prime - IIRC in this tutorial the lighting comes from the Southeast instead of the Northwest (which is the default for most software), I believe that's why the drop shadow appears backwards.

09-29-2009, 11:59 AM
Thank you for your criticism, I know it's not bashing.

I changed the layout of the landmass, now it does not look that square-cut. I also changed the river although the lake (that was supposed to be in the mountains) was ment to be the source of both rivers. I went through the mountain and hills section step by step but I couldn't find my mistake, yet.
And I'll try some filters to add some texture to the southern forest.

So, this is the map revised:

09-29-2009, 12:38 PM
Your lush jungle area in the south looks like you used one big stroke to make it, resulting in the wonky look of it. Try turning down the opacity on your brush and instead of using one big stroke, use dots to dab in some color here and there and not a solid mass.

09-29-2009, 02:14 PM
Thanks, Ascension, I'll try that.

I also found the problem with the mountains, there was a mistake in the lighting effects.

09-30-2009, 02:10 AM
I can tell just by looking at the coastline where you've added the new sea in the south, because the coast has been left smooth as created, while the older coastline has been given random detail. The brightness of the green border between the dark southern lands and the light green midlands bothers me. It is so bright against the rest of the map that it seems specially significant, as if marking a magical barrier or something, whereas I assume it is merely a transition between the two colorings. Maybe it's just me.

09-30-2009, 04:13 AM
You are right, rdanhenry, the newly created coastline lacks the detail. I didn't think about that...

The brightness of the green border between the dark southern lands and the light green midlands bothers me. It is so bright against the rest of the map that it seems specially significant, as if marking a magical barrier or something, whereas I assume it is merely a transition between the two colorings. Maybe it's just me.

Magical border sounds nice, good idea. But it was not intendet. As you said it is a problem with the transition but I am working on it. I'll post an update when I made some changes.

09-30-2009, 08:53 AM
Great start,

I know the feeling. A couple of things. most of which have been mentioned I think.

1) Squarish. Even with the revision, the land seems to angular. I would recommend staying away from all those straight looking lines.

2) The climate transitions are a bit stark also. I would create an intermediary climate between them to soften the transition.

3) I like the bold color scheme. It definitely lets you know what type of climate you are in.


10-02-2009, 01:07 PM
I made some adjustments on the southern forest, added some textures and made the transitions smoother.

Steel General
10-02-2009, 01:56 PM
Definitely better.

10-03-2009, 07:12 AM
I didn't like the forest. And the criticism on my coastlines bothered ma as well... So i put some work into it again... and here are the results:
The forest textures are taken from Pedrov, who posted them in the mapping elements section.

10-03-2009, 07:25 AM
Yes, definite improvement!

10-03-2009, 07:40 AM
Hey, great improvement!

I do have 2 small critiques though, I'm no expert these are just things I've noticed. First the rivers seem a bit too dark they contrast too greatly with the oceans. Maybe making them the same colour as the ocean so they blend into each other would help. Second, up in the northern area you have a light tan landmass that doesn't seem to go with the snow, it just seems to too warm next to the white, also the transition from the white to the tan is a bit abrupt which makes the contrast between the two more noticeable.

Again, I'm no expert, these two things are just things that maybe you could change or fiddle with.


10-04-2009, 03:03 AM
The longest river has no tributaries. Probably not impossible, but definitely odd. The land mass looks a lot better now. Note that you now have two lakes colored like the ocean and one lake colored like the rivers. However, given the lack of rivers connecting the new lakes to the ocean, perhaps they are inland seas (salt water), which would explain the color difference.