View Full Version : [WIP]Caelun - First Map

11-25-2009, 02:04 AM
Well, I've gotten my continents shaped, and that's really about it aside from some basic textures, and an outline of the continents. I've been using GIMP to make the map so far.

I think I've got a decent start here, if anyone would be willing to give me some tips, I would greatly appreciate them. I've got less than zero artistic skill, and this is quite possibly the hardest thing ever.

In any case, I'm trying to make the map for a world I've built. I've got some basic sketches that work for now, but I'm really looking for something more refined. I appreciate you all checking out my map, and I anticipate some good feedback, whether positive or negative. Thanks!

Also, the attachment dialog doesn't seem to be working in Chrome. Is this a known issue?

In any case, in lieu of no attatchments, here's a link.

Here (http://imgur.com/kao8o.jpg) Updated it a bit. Need to find some brushes to mark places of interest.
With Labels (http://imgur.com/WXe6d.jpg) - I don't really like the text very much, I really hate working with GMIP, it's so much less powerful than photoshop.

Edit: Crap, I think this might go in Regional/World Mapping. My bad. I wasn't really thinking that it was worth much.

Steel General
11-25-2009, 07:01 AM
First off...Welcome Aboard!

I've moved your thread to the Regional/World mapping forum, so you're all set there.

Not sure about the Chrome issue, I generally use Firefox.

I like what you have for your map so far, good color scheme and interesting shapes to the land. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

11-25-2009, 10:33 AM
good first start.

I'm fairly new myself. The only tip I can think of at this time, is to watch the symetrical nature of the land masses. you've got three outer, three inner, then a circular island chain. I would try playing around a bit, to get the feel of the central hotspot without being too obvious.

I look forward to seeing how it develops.


11-25-2009, 11:13 AM
Well, I can see that they are unconventionally placed, I suppose. But the story behind the land, was that a group of very powerful wizards in the distant past tried to summon a being of immense power to the world, for whatever reason. At the time, there was a large political movement gaining against the use of arcane magic, which ended up forming the Mage Slayer's Guild. Well, long story short, the Mage Slayer's Guild interrupted the summoning, shattering the large central continent, hence the crater shaped island ring in the center.

Also, I was going for more of this (http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=17685&d=1255528995) style, but I would love to figure out how to make something decent looking with actual topographic features. Sadly, I'm using GIMP and I can't get a tutorial to work well.

11-25-2009, 02:39 PM
I think it's a really nice start, has a nice feel to it...something that I could never do.

11-25-2009, 02:45 PM
You're kidding right? I love your maps. They're pretty much amazing. xD

11-25-2009, 02:50 PM
I've been doing satellite-style for 6 years so it's been hard for me to soften up and get more artsy. Just keep on doin what yer doin and you'll be fine.

11-25-2009, 02:53 PM
Well, I'll take your word for it. I tried to go towards more of an artsy feel, just because my attempt at a satellite was down right embarrassing. But yeah, thanks for the words of encouragement.

11-26-2009, 09:18 AM
I think you're off to a fine start. I like the blues of the water and the way it contrasts to the color of the land. I also kind of like that font.

11-26-2009, 06:17 PM
Updated it, did quite a bit of work over the past two days or so. Still working though.

Does anyone know how I would go about giving the northern areas more of a snowy feeling?

11-26-2009, 07:10 PM
What I do for snow is to put a new layer on top of everything, airbrush in some white, set the layer's blend to hue or color (turns the area underneath to grayscale basically), then add a layer style of color overlay with a light blue color and a blend of overlay. Since you don't have layer styles in Gimp I would add a new layer and airbrush in some light blue and set the blend to overlay. I do the same thing for "blasted lands" but with browns instead of blues.

11-26-2009, 07:15 PM
Yeah, I was able to acquire photoshop recently, so I'm able to use layer styles. I'll have a go at it. I need to make the northernmost continent more snowy, and the southernmost more deserty? xD

Edit: That seemed to help out a lot, I'll upload another picture here in a bit. Does anyone have any suggestion on how to make the southern continent less bare? I can't really have trees, because I intend it to just be a massive desert, but it just feels really bare, I don't know what else I should do.

11-26-2009, 07:59 PM
I'd put some green around the edges. Winds would carry rain inland a way. Maybe add some scrubland around the mountains. Maybe a canyon or a volcano or cracks or plateaus. Maybe a lake with an oasis.

11-26-2009, 08:02 PM
Now, how would I go about adding these things. I can manage the grass and scrubland, but how would I do the land features? I could do a lake, but I'm confused as to exactly how I would make it look decent, rather than just flat paint.

11-26-2009, 08:11 PM
I think the whole thing looks pretty nice, except the rivers. They seem too stylized to go with the rest of the map, which has more of a realistic flavor to it. Overall tho, it's gorgeous.

11-26-2009, 08:13 PM
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, the rivers are a bit too rounded for me. Something I'll have to work on.

11-26-2009, 08:31 PM
Well adding those things would be a question for the author of the tut you're using, Tear if I'm not mistaken, or experimentation. I went and threw in the things that I mentioned in about 15 minutes. They aren't perfect, just an idea to show ya. The forests would be like other forests and the scrubland would the same way except with browns. The lake I just chopped a piece out of the ocean and plopped it down and then took your coastal stroke and used that color to make a river. The canyon was just making something jagged and then putting an outer bevel on it. The volcano was a bunch of ridge lines, with an outer bevel, and then the lava was just some red with an inner glow of orange. Lastly I added a shadow for the volcano to give it some height.

11-26-2009, 08:35 PM
That looks pretty good, thanks for the ideas. I'll totally play around with it a bit and see if I can't get anything decent.

11-26-2009, 08:48 PM
Ascension's 15 minutes of playing around is like brain surgery to the rest of us...


11-26-2009, 09:06 PM
Here we go. I did a little bit of work. Added a few bodies of water up in the mountains, the lake to the north is a dormant volcano, where a lake has formed over the years.

11-26-2009, 09:12 PM
There ya go. Good job. Oh, and thanks, D...makes me blush.

11-26-2009, 09:15 PM
Thanks man, I think it looks pretty decent if I do say so myself. I didn't want to add an active volcano or canyon, seems like it would be a little bit too busy with those.

Updated a bit. Increased some elevation, and added underwater landscaping. But I'm not sure how much I like it. Any suggestions?

Updated again. Added a scale and Title. Next to add some city labels and paths.

11-27-2009, 04:00 AM
Hey Subatomic,
you asked me to give you some feedback, so I'll try my best.

The ice layer from the tutorial is meant to whiten the edges of continents, not for creating arctic continents, but Ascension already got you covered there, so all is well.

While I personally think exaggerating land features for a map is ok, don't forget your scale altogether. The volcano crater lake is more like a huge meteorite impact site at this scale.

The rivers seem a bit random. They should follow depressed areas in the land upwards to look more natural.

You used grass very sparsely. This might be entirely intentional, and if it is forget what I'm saying, but some more would help to smooth the transitions to the forests.

The mountains could use some more emphasis. This might also be intentional, but it's a bit difficult to see where they are.

Islands and continents always are on top of underwater shelves and ridges. A good example where it looks really off is your central ring of islands.

Don't forget you can play with the adjustment layers on the top of your layer stack. Maybe try just a little bit more contrast.

Of course, all these comments are just suggestions. It's your map, after all. I'm just posting my thoughts.

I hope this helps, and have fun mapping. I'm looking forward to seeing where you take this.


11-27-2009, 04:17 AM
Thanks a lot man, I appreciate it. I'm not at home until mid december, so I don't have my tablet to do rivers, sadly. And I'll totally look at using a bit more grass. But I'm going to keep playing with it. Hopefully I'll end up with a nice finished product in a while. Also, in regard to the central islands: They were once one solid continent, but there was a massive arcane explosion which ripped them apart, hence the ring of islands, and the large underwater crater, I figured that the shelves would be a little bit messed up from the explosion, but I didn't really know how they should go.

Edit: Did some more work. Updated.

11-27-2009, 05:59 AM
They were once one solid continent, but there was a massive arcane explosion which ripped them apart, hence the ring of islands, and the large underwater crater

The crater is fine.
All I wanted to say is that the islands would form at the edge of the crater. On the ridge. Yours appear to float on the water surface inside the crater.
Sorry for not being more clear there.

11-27-2009, 06:05 AM
I see what you mean. Fixed. Also, fooling around with a border.

11-27-2009, 02:48 PM
That's a good lookin ocean color. Don't have anything to add other than that :)

11-27-2009, 03:34 PM
Haha. Thanks man, I appreciate it. I think I'm getting close to a finished product.

I need to start thinking about adding some markers. Any ideas?

11-28-2009, 01:46 AM
Hey there, thesubatomic! That's a very nice looking map you have there!

I really only have one criticism to add: I believe there should be more vegetation around the Dormant Volcano. Even though it's in the corner of a (at least it's what it seems to me) desert area, I believe that it would surely have quite a lot of vegetation crawling around it's eastern slope if it rains there enough to maintain a lake inside the crater. Unless the lake is really lucky and it always rains inside the crater itself ;)

But, other than that (and I might even be wrong about it...) it's a very nice looking map!