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View Full Version : Torentine Empire: my li'l corner of a fictional world



a2area
11-29-2009, 09:14 PM
Everyone's a sucker for the old "world at night" look so i couldn't resist :)

I made these maps of the region of the Torentine Empire, my geofiction nation. I took inspiration from the "Making maps in Photoshop" Tutorial by jezelf and the "Atlas Walkthrough [Fractal Terrains & Illustrator]" by HandsomeRob. While fractal terrains was used to create the base world it doesn't factor in directly here. In this case I used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop CS3.

I am new to the forum so i will have to set up an album or something(?)... then when they are all polished and pretty (a border, key, graticule, depth and distance scales and all that stuff) I will post the final results.

Brian

PS... love this site, I can't believe I never ran across it until recently?!

Ascension
11-29-2009, 09:27 PM
These are great. Not sure which one I like more. Very well done.

Andartar
11-29-2009, 09:40 PM
I really like the night time and political maps! I think you've got a slight river infraction (a river that splits into two) in the south part just above Piquier, other than that I love it!

a2area
11-29-2009, 10:11 PM
awww.. you noticed my retarded river delta.. there's a perfectly simple explanation for why it's like that and that is how it's going to stay for sanity's sake (mine). I actually was going to change it but i thought hey.. it's different.. it could happen on that planet ;)

Gidde
11-29-2009, 11:54 PM
Hey hey, a fellow Michigander! These are all great, very modern atlas-y.

Steel General
11-30-2009, 08:07 AM
Very nice, looking forward to the final versions.

wormspeaker
11-30-2009, 10:07 AM
Indeed, good looking maps there. I like the variety.

Aenigma
11-30-2009, 10:52 AM
*Whistles* Oh man! Those are some awesome maps!
The night-time map is my favourite.

cereth
11-30-2009, 10:54 AM
These maps are pretty amazing. They are all quite impressive and very professional. (although I do feel a little soiled after complimenting someone from Ann Arbor, Michigan ;))

a2area
11-30-2009, 12:39 PM
Map-making has been my hobby since I can remember. I would spend countless hours on the floor expanding my maps of graph paper and tape (sometimes even keeping a running census) or using all sorts of materials to creat 3d maps (ever tried cutting erasers?!).

Most of these "tangible" maps have long since met a tragic fate but still have a few remnants or photos that I can share here sometime. I am actually refurbishing a poster-board and papier mâché city that I'd even previously salvaged and re-constructed after my parent's cat used it as a scratching-post and bed.

Anyway, all of this knowledge of fellow mappers collected in one place will have a huge part to play in the quality of map I create from here on out and starting with these. I'll try to give credit for any inspiration and eventually, if-and-when I can organize my thoughts for long enough, maybe even create a tutorial for something :?

cereth: the compliment will make up for Michigan losing to you guys... again ;)

wormspeaker: i built these on many (did i say many?) layers so each aspect/effect can be adjusted which allows endless variety. One of my aims for this project when finished (and a reason for the many test shades of relief maps here) is to have an atlas style topo/land-use map that will accept small text and still be legible.

Gandwarf
11-30-2009, 02:36 PM
Very nice indeed, have some rep.
So what's the technology level for this civilization? Modern?

Diamond
11-30-2009, 02:45 PM
Those are fantastic. Especially the night-time one and the political map.

And welcome aboard; had to give you a shout-out considering I was born in Ann Arbor. :D

Redrobes
11-30-2009, 03:53 PM
I'll add my voice to the sound of the crowd...super maps there. The land colors are great.

If you guys want to wave the flag for Michigan then there is a guild members location map under the community menu item or in my sig too I think.

a2area
11-30-2009, 05:55 PM
It's a geofiction planet called Aurora.. Civilization level is around 1940s early 50s so I don't really know how they got this light-sensitive image from space ;)

PokealypseNow
12-01-2009, 02:53 PM
Holy moly - those are some very impressive maps. I love how you've got all these different styles in place for your nation.

rdanhenry
12-02-2009, 12:29 AM
It's a geofiction planet called Aurora.. Civilization level is around 1940s early 50s so I don't really know how they got this light-sensitive image from space ;)

High altitude balloon photography. The hardest part is making sure you can actually get the film back.

landorl
12-02-2009, 10:38 PM
Great looking maps!

Locution
12-03-2009, 12:25 AM
Simply fantastic!

a2area
12-03-2009, 02:50 AM
Got most of the dirty work done on this one but still have some details to work out.. namely finding a home for the coat of arms and scale.. the frame, a key and an inset blow-up (to about 250%) map of the little "imperial" kingdom of Torent. There's a lot going on here but i think it reads ok? Not for the visually challenged as some of the text is very small.

FYI.. I didn't draw the angel and griffin. They are old artwork from the coat of arms of the defunct Austria-Hungarian Empire which I doctored up a little. The shield is mine and i took the idea of the Hungarian crown and totally remade it in illustrator with some changes.

Locution
12-03-2009, 03:13 AM
Goodness, it amazing!

PokealypseNow
12-03-2009, 03:26 AM
I'm just so dagum slackjawed in awe at this. Absolutely professional looking.

rdanhenry
12-03-2009, 04:29 AM
Good work there plundering a fallen empire to beautify your map.

Looks like quite a cultural mix in the names. Is there story behind the naming or is it just to give different areas a different feel?

Andartar
12-03-2009, 06:00 AM
It's looking really good! Though I'm being a little put of by the WIDE range of names from languages that aren't even remotely in the same language group. It makes the illusion of a different (credible) world vanish. It's mostly the meso-american names, they seem very out of place next to romanesque names.

That's just my two cents, otherwise this is shaping up nicely!

Steel General
12-03-2009, 07:11 AM
Coming along very nicely...

a2area
12-03-2009, 12:10 PM
Andartar: Yes, I know the ethnic make-up is a bit confusing but that shouldn't make it too less credible. A very brief explanation;

Continent: Lusitierra
Current Year: 2119CE

600's CE: Several "lucky" groups of Pirachwan immigrants (a proto-meso-american analogue) fleeing the brutal Tontorec (another proto-meso-american analogue) marauders successfully make the long crossing to the empty continent and land of their legends from the continent of Samir, one landing at the Hattara archipelago and a very small group landing near present day Victoria.

800's CE: The inhabitants of Lusitierra, now begin referring to themselves as Minalotl. The Hattaran group begin to outgrow the small arid ecosystem of the Hattara and make permanent settlements on the mainland as well.

1000's CE: With a familiar feudal system (much like that of their Pirachwan anscestors) firmly re-established and unlimited resources, the Lusitierrans flourish and spread out along the southeast coast and along the Acatl-Xochitl river valley and take on more individual identities, names.

1100's CE: Now having distinctive territorial divisions, tribal cultures and dialects begin to vary. In command of their respective cache of resources, regional wealth gives rise to a thriving inter-city trading network. While having adhered to a similar city-state dynamic as their ancestors, the Lusitierran cities until now have remained relatively simplified versions of the great cities of Samir with few stone structures. Growing manpower and developing carving styles helps to prompt a tradition of competitive building between tribes. A style of minimally violent pageant-warfare has also been developing which gives the ambitious chieftans another outlet to exercise their ego's as well as solve disputes.

1200s CE: Etrurian (romanesque) explorer Ferdinand Lusiora is the first person from the continent of Danetia (that's where the kindgom of Torent is-upper right). Etrurian immigrants (as well as others) establish the Kingdom of Aspenia on the southwestern portion of Lusitierra, they will develop (in time) to the hispanic analogue. Antara (the largest empire on the planet at the time and also romanesque) charges the Baron of Torentine with the task of cementing claims to the continent.

Anyhow.. you get the picture....

The now "indigenous" meso-american anaolgue people (by now grouped greater tribal affiliations of the Zapalatec, Tocitec and Ixtalpatec) are crowded out by the ambitions of the Antaran-Tor's from the northeast and the Aspenish (etrurians) from the west. Populations eventually concentrate in highlands where the have been merely an oppressed minority of Fernandina until recently and are now protectorates of Torentine.

The very small group that landed far to the east never develops into the city-centric state model and becomes more lightly dispersed in the northeast region. These will become the Pasco, Siskiwit, Ilkwejo and Wendigo.. Eventually some of them intermingle with the southern groups about 100 years before the colonial period.

Torentine.. while not originally part of the romanesque analogue... (had early influences from several groups).. it was a part of the Antaran Empire from 700s to 1800 therefore greatly adapted that culture while still having some individuality which may or may not be reflected in the names.

There was also a Russian analogue period of colonization in the region of Odessa (after aspenish rule).

Hope that makes it more feasible for you ;) I like questions as there are still (inevitably) gaps in history that can be filled by answering them.


This map just covers the colonial expansion of Torentine....

Andartar
12-03-2009, 12:41 PM
Then it's is no problem at all :), I just wondered because I recognised a lot of city names from this world (earth) and thought you had just added them (the meso-american names) for exotic flair. But as you obviously have a backstory that is just as feasable as anything that could have happened in history I have no further objections (I really didn't have any in the first place either just curious).

I like this serious type of geo-fiction and history building.

a2area
12-03-2009, 12:50 PM
I like this serious type of geo-fiction and history building.

No problem.. like i say.. questions are good. This type of geo-fiction is cool... but it's challenging and can be overly time consuming if you don't set priorities. That makes it all the more fun to certain types of people. Although, a "problem" we (rarely) have encountered are players who want to catapult the world into fantasy realms which is great in its own right but isn't what this planet is about. Not at all a strict atmosphere, to the contrary.. just some realist guidelines (laws of physics and all that!).

a2area
12-05-2009, 11:51 PM
whew! almost done with this one but i might lose my mind (or eyesight) first. some minor adjustments and a key and it will be ready for the finished file. after that is the topography map.

Ascension
12-06-2009, 12:31 AM
That's a yummy-looking map. Nice job.

Steel General
12-06-2009, 09:39 AM
Nice job...very 'atlas-y' :)

cereth
12-06-2009, 10:02 AM
Absolutely beautiful.

a2area
12-09-2009, 01:09 AM
the final map is posted here:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?p=92221#post92221

Jaxilon
12-10-2009, 12:50 AM
Personally I like the satellite view with the clouds - very cool looking imo.

Jinatsu
12-12-2009, 02:03 AM
To see that all your images have been viewed so sparsely is preposterous! In light of that I hope my small bit of appreciation for your effort helps get across how truly remarkable your work it.

a2area
12-14-2009, 05:48 PM
Here (light map) is the color scheme.. subject to change of course.. for the physical map page of my Torentine atlas.. the darker one is just for kicks. I tested out some small text on the lighter map and it's pretty good except for the high contrast areas in the mountains .. i may have to tone that down or use some outer glow effects.. i didn't want to lose too much texture. I toyed around with the seafloor until i got something i like.. merging a fractal terrains file with my own 3d version created via "Making maps in Photoshop" tutorial by jezelf.

Please comment on the colors as i have a little trouble gauging hues sometimes.. i am mainly wondering about the deciduous forests.. are they too brownish or not at all.. are my eyes are playing tricks? I think it looks best at 50% size because it gives the illusion of minute detail... when i look at it full size i start to obsess about adding sharpness or tiny details that would probably just make it too busy for the purpose of an atlas page.

Jaxilon
12-15-2009, 03:43 AM
Well I'm just a noob so take that into consideration if you listen to anything I say.

First, you do have a beautiful map here.

To me I think the lighter one might be a bit too light. I'm thinking if the water is that clear you probably need to show reefs and rocks beneath it. Like what I saw when I was on Moorea in Tahiti years ago and you could look down for 50 feet and it seemed right below the surface. (double click the map here (http://nanofr.no-ip.com:81/default-start-page.html) and drill down along the shoreline to see what I mean.) Your underwater textures seem as clear as the land areas. Perhaps if you selected the water and did a Gaussian blur so the water wasn't quiet so perfectly clear it would help. Then again maybe you want the underwater detail? Maybe just darkening it a bit more would do the trick as well.

I'm sure you will get better thoughts from some of the legends around here but that's the only thing I can come up with.

Definately a nice looking map.

a2area
12-17-2009, 12:44 AM
Just from a color scheme perspective.. not the details or color transitions.. which one of these "feels" more realistic to you? LEFT or RIGHT or the darker (left) one in my previous post?

Just the land colors, the ocean will be the next part of the project.

LonewandererD
12-17-2009, 01:37 AM
I know people are going to disagree with me but I think the one on the right is the more realistic one. Although this may be partly because i prefer greener maps.

Nice work.

-D-

Ascension
12-17-2009, 08:41 AM
As they stand right now the right one. The one on the left has some funky green around the mountains and if that was tweaked then I'd go left one.

Jaxilon
12-17-2009, 01:46 PM
I think the one on the right as well because it has more even dispersal of the colors. I like the coloring on the left one more but it has patches of different color that don't seem as realistic.

a2area
12-31-2009, 03:45 AM
I was somewhat perplexed at how i was going to simulate the terrain for my upcoming topography map since i now had a visual of the torentine landscape to match. I was trying to see if i could just overlay the satellite image or something but that wasn't going to work.

A bump map was what i needed but i wasn't about to go cutting and pasting bump map info from NOAA for the various places i used in the satellite image. I had to make a bump map.... UGH, I thought.. HOW can i cheat this? Well... i was able to actually use some of the information from the satellite collage but i had to do a lot of manipulation in order to get it to translate. Basically I just posterized a black and white version of the sat. image and used the magic wand tool for placement of land features. The "convenience" ended there.

After a bit of manipulating I was able to get a decent result so now i've got an official topography of the Torentine landscape to reference which will come in handy. I am going to go in and retouch this so it's nice and smooth before i colorize it for the atlas Topography page but i wanted to post it in the mean time. This also shows the updated river system.

a2area
01-05-2010, 02:10 AM
This is turning out to be quite a little project within a project. I was happy with my previous bump map results for about a day... then I broke down and tapped into the topography data at NOAA. I managed to piece together nearly all of my map. Quite a large project to get to this point even compared to the satellite map, like an insane puzzle. Still a few details to add then it will be ready for an artistic smoothing and colorization, names and the rest. Oh yeah.. i forgot about the seafloor... so it will be a little while before it's done (0:

I think the results are much better.

Ramah
01-05-2010, 02:39 PM
That looks really good. Looking forward to seeing that coloured up.

moutarde
01-05-2010, 11:57 PM
I don't think I can even conceive of how much patience you must have!

a2area
01-06-2010, 04:32 AM
Believe me.. i didn't know i had this much patience either.. luckily i was able to put my layers and masks in photoshop to good use (from my satellite map document) or i'd never have been able to reproduce it this closely and likely would not even have tried.

The hardest part is getting the different overall elevations (which aren't apparent in the satellite images) to blend somewhat seamlessly. This means a lot of playing with levels to darken or lighten the greyscale NOAA topo data to similar shades.

This will be the most labor intensive map because it will be the primary topographic reference which will dictate placement of a lot of other data down the road.

zhar2
01-12-2010, 06:28 PM
Wonderfull map, dont know if u recognise me from somewhere else though.

wordsmith
01-13-2010, 07:40 PM
Wow. Now all we need is a how-to and maybe some layer packets :P
5/5

Jinatsu
01-14-2010, 07:56 PM
I love your work :o But now I want to learn your trade >:) Any suggestions as to where I could start?? :?:

a2area
01-15-2010, 02:52 PM
yes zhar2.. i recognize you! :)


I love your work :o But now I want to learn your trade >:) Any suggestions as to where I could start?? :?:

well it's actually not my trade.. i guess the only thing i can say is start with a focus of interest.. for example a place that you want to convey as real in a map. Then check out some tutorials here. There are a lot of good tools to making maps look good and while yours might not look exactly the same just play around with things until you get something you like.

Also.. if you don't have one already, i'd advise getting a good vector and raster graphic editing program. Photoshop and illustrator are great... but some good free alternatives are inkscape and gimp.

BabyJ
03-09-2010, 03:39 AM
new here myself. really great though man. gonna go have a looksee at the tutorials you speak of now too...

jwbjerk
04-09-2010, 11:43 AM
then I broke down and tapped into the topography data at NOAA. I managed to piece together nearly all of my map. Quite a large project to get to this point even compared to the satellite map, like an insane puzzle.
Can you explain a little more about how you did that, or what sources at NOAA you used? I understand the basic image manipulation that must be involved, but finding an appropriate source and matching it with your topography... i don't know where to start...

I had planned to paint in my elevation by hand, but i'm realizing such a process won't give me the results i want, and will take a very long time.

Amerigo Vespucci
04-11-2010, 08:57 AM
I'm curious about your symbology; is it something you created yourself, or did you inherit it from somewhere else? It's really great work.

a2area
04-11-2010, 10:55 AM
Can you explain a little more about how you did that, or what sources at NOAA you used? I understand the basic image manipulation that must be involved, but finding an appropriate source and matching it with your topography... i don't know where to start...

I had planned to paint in my elevation by hand, but i'm realizing such a process won't give me the results i want, and will take a very long time.

Well, I would never venture to do it that way again.. but i was learning! NOAA has downloadable "DEMS" they call them with topographical data of the planet. They come out as greyscale heightmaps which can be used in photoshop as texture maps or lighted to look 3 dimensional. I matched those up with the satellite images i used and i had the original photoshop document with all the satellite images and masking i made for the satellite map.. without which it wouldn't have been very possible... Still, tons of scaling, rotating, flipping, stretching and skewing!! Finally, I adjusted their grey tones so they would match up fairly well and then lit the image in photoshop.

Actually, Fractal Terrains has a pretty nice "incise flow" feature built into it now so it helps A LOT to get a more realistic feel to your landscapes. That is the route i would go at this stage.. followed by a run through Wilbur, but it was definitely an experiment in patience (0:

I have started (on the side) a tutorial for this site which will walk through fractal terrains incise flows on a landscape and then take it through wilbur with some erosion "step-formulas" i made up on a few different scales that produce some nice results. They key is applying different incises to different elevations and some overall, also to use precipitation erosion minimally above sea level and mostly to lower elevations below about 2000 meters... you can be pretty aggressive with precipitation erosion under the sea though to get some small drainage crevices which look nice. I still haven't tackled the ocean trench issue but it's on my agenda.

a2area
04-11-2010, 11:22 AM
I'm curious about your symbology; is it something you created yourself, or did you inherit it from somewhere else? It's really great work.

When you say symbology, do you mean the political map symbols.. like the city symbols etc., or the heraldry? If you mean the heraldry I put most of it together myself by gather various elements from coat of arms .svg files i find mostly on wikimedia commons. The only one I "stole", not really because it is public domain.. is the angel and griffin which were the COA of Austria-Hungarian Empire. Otherwise you can say I made the rest. The crowns i found on some free vector site and then heavily edited them. I built the Torentine Imperial Crown from scratch in illustrator but it is heavily influenced by the Crown of Hungary.. or crown of St. Stephen I believe. I rely heavily on shapes, silhouettes, dingbats, free fonts etc. and clippings that i take from the internet for use as building blocks for whatever i'm trying to make. There are also flags for some of these places.

Here is a blow-up of the symbols... as well as some symbols for another nation.. which i have made some maps for and are posted on this site also.

Amerigo Vespucci
04-11-2010, 05:53 PM
I actually was kind of curious about both. Thanks for explaining the heraldry!

jwbjerk
04-11-2010, 07:41 PM
Well, I would never venture to do it that way again.. but i was learning! NOAA has downloadable "DEMS" they call them with topographical data of the planet. They come out as greyscale heightmaps which can be used in photoshop as texture maps or lighted to look 3 dimensional. I matched those up with the satellite images i used and i had the original photoshop document with all the satellite images and masking i made for the satellite map.. without which it wouldn't have been very possible... Still, tons of scaling, rotating, flipping, stretching and skewing!!
Thanks, i guess that's what i'll have to do, since all the relavant programs seem to be Windows only. Still it's good to know that this method can work-- and work really well.

cjs0216
08-07-2010, 12:42 AM
umm...wow...simply...wow

gio_bat_ver
05-29-2013, 12:38 PM
excellent work!
I found it very inspiring (the style of your political maps recalls that of the National Geographic maps); I recently posted a very modest map experiment using the annual political add-on of CC3 on this forum