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View Full Version : From small seeds, such things grow. World Map WIP



Venardhi
09-05-2007, 01:01 AM
Some of you may remember my first map attempt a few weeks back that I posted here. Eventually I went hog wild and turned it into THIS (http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=570&d=1185570182)

Since then I've started a few other things, but I continue to build upon the basis of that original map and have extended the land out quite a bit. There are over 100 labels on the map now and quite a few geographic decals so it is almost illegible if you aren't zoomed in to at least 50%. Once I finish I'll go back and streamline out all the less important stuff and probably make a lower LOD version of the map for lower resolution versions. I kept everything hidden just to show the landmass for now.

This is one of three continents in the world map that this will eventually become. This particular land is known as Esterlen as you can probably tell. The others are still very rough at the moment and one is about twice the size of this one, though mostly empty thankfully.

Anyways, enough babble, tell me what you think. To give you a concept of scale, the largest solid 'chunk' of the continent there on the west side would have approx. the same area as Australia.

- Vin


:compass:

ravells
09-05-2007, 06:10 AM
I love your colour scheme and the coastline looks very believable. Just as an experiment I'd be tempted to try just reducing the intensity of the white glow a tad to a light green/grey, just to see if that might give a more unified. The dark inner shadow gives the land a bevelled appearance, which is an interesting effect. Otherwise, no comments from me - great work!

Ravs

Venardhi
09-05-2007, 06:38 AM
Those are just quick photoshop layer effects, it will require a lot more tweaking before it is finished.

RPMiller
09-05-2007, 12:23 PM
I have a feeling that is going to be beautiful. Looking forward to seeing it transform.

Eru
09-05-2007, 06:23 PM
I like the "feel" of the zoomed in map. I'm no expert in mapmaking, but it looks very realistic to me and is the kind of map I'd love to hand out to my players. The effects and lack of boxiness add to that.

My only attempt at a critical comment is regarding the name chosen for a particular area: "The Claws", which happens to look like a bunch of claws on the map. There are very few places on earth named for how they look from the sky or on a map. Why? Because most of the people that live there, and that thus named it, never see it from that perspective. Instead, they see it from a ground-level view and thus refer to it in terms that make sense from that perspective. However, people making fantasy maps often name places for their resemblance from the mapmaker's perspective, for obvious reasons.

If I were you I'd either rename it to something more in keeping with the namer's perspective (assuming they were typical humanoids) or take advantage of the fact it's a fantasy setting and create a neat history about how it got its name (e.g. maybe it was named by flying dragons and they passed the name on to the humanoid inhabitants, or maybe the name has nothing to do with the shape of the landmass!).

Anyway, that's a beautiful map you've created - thanks for sharing, and I look forward to seeing more!

thebax2k
09-05-2007, 07:15 PM
The outline of Esterlen looks very nice--good job. I'd be curious to see what it looks like when land features, roads, and cities are added. I'm also curious what a full world map would look like. Good luck and good mapping.

Venardhi
09-06-2007, 01:23 AM
My only attempt at a critical comment is regarding the name chosen for a particular area: "The Claws", which happens to look like a bunch of claws on the map. There are very few places on earth named for how they look from the sky or on a map. Why? Because most of the people that live there, and that thus named it, never see it from that perspective. Instead, they see it from a ground-level view and thus refer to it in terms that make sense from that perspective. However, people making fantasy maps often name places for their resemblance from the mapmaker's perspective, for obvious reasons.

If I were you I'd either rename it to something more in keeping with the namer's perspective (assuming they were typical humanoids) or take advantage of the fact it's a fantasy setting and create a neat history about how it got its name (e.g. maybe it was named by flying dragons and they passed the name on to the humanoid inhabitants, or maybe the name has nothing to do with the shape of the landmass!).

Actually, a domesticated 'drake' is one of the primary modes of transportation in this land, and they are also used to draw dirigibles. The territory in the small close-up map is also very recently conquered, so most of the towns are new or at least have new names given to them by the newly arrived. I had a similar concern when I first named it that but on the whole it seems logical enough. They are also particularly rocky and dangerous to sail around, which lends more credence to the name.

Thanks for the criticism though, always nice to be questioned on things like this to avoid stupid mistakes.

Eru
09-06-2007, 03:29 AM
Drake-drawn dirigibles: how cool! If your skills extend to artistry, I'd love to see a drawing of them.... =)

Venardhi
09-06-2007, 07:07 AM
It isn't exactly the best of sketches, but I did this to illustrate to a friend what I was talking about the other day when I was explaining my story.

RPMiller
09-06-2007, 11:55 AM
It isn't exactly the best of sketches, but I did this to illustrate to a friend what I was talking about the other day when I was explaining my story.
You sir deserve some rep!! Nice illustration, agreed that it isn't the best, but it gets the point across and gives an excellent feel of the setting.

pyrandon
09-06-2007, 12:27 PM
I don't know why, but the idea of drake-drawn dirigilbles & your illustration make sme very happy! :)

Venardhi
09-06-2007, 07:31 PM
It just makes so much sense you wonder why you've never thought of it before, ehh? My setting is very wild-west/Victorian inspired, and one of the first thoughts I had was "If cowboys and carriages didn't have horses to draw them. . . what might they use?" and so I came to the conclusion that at least in parts of this world, dragon-like creatures became one of the dominant life forms, possibly evolving out of a large bat-like creature. I like the idea of a non-reptilian dragon with the sort of natural fleshy armor as Rhinos and the like(to a higher, and more finely tuned degree of course.)

Venardhi
09-08-2007, 09:12 AM
Finished, and just about finalized (assuming I don't change my mind) the borders of the various territories of Esterlen. Posted for your perusal and approval.

pyrandon
09-08-2007, 11:48 PM
Nicely done. Looks great. Very clean, artistic, and soothing.

I suggest blurring the borders just a tad more to reduce their sharpness a bit, and maybe play with color (or hue/saturation or darkness) variation in the ocean (but only verrrrrrry slight!) Otherwise, consider this my stamp of approval! ;)

Venardhi
09-08-2007, 11:53 PM
I phrased that badly, I finished the territorial lines, but there is still much left to do on the map as a whole. Thanks though!

jaerdaph
09-09-2007, 01:41 PM
I like the font selection - very Middle East/A Thousand and One Nights. :)

Eru
09-11-2007, 11:06 PM
I heartily approve!

BTW, if you're going to post your world somewhere, please let me know...I love following the development of unique and creative worlds such as this. If you don't have a place picked out yet, you'd be welcome to use the free tools at Eruvian.com to build a site around it. With such a unique perspective (cowboy victorian? =)), you might even find a few people there to help you flesh it out - if you're open to help, that is.

Thanks for sharing!

(Oh, and I loved the drawing too...thanks!)

Fister
09-11-2007, 11:49 PM
I really like your color choices. Muted colors always lend themselves to greater plausibility for me and create a cohesive look and theme. Your idea for air transportation is fun and I can appreciate how it might affect a world's economy depending on its availability. I love the fact that many of the maps posted on this site are commercial grade or even higher. :)

ravells
09-12-2007, 07:37 AM
Lovely! And I echo what Fister said about the colour choices. One thing that may be worth trying is not to put the text labels (great font) on slants and to keep them all horizontal at the same point size if they represent places of equal type (for example countries). If the label doesn't fit within the borders of the country just make sure that the majority of it and the end of the label are within the border.

This will then give you the opportunity (if you need it) to do, say city labels in a slightly smaller point size which will make the map easier to read.

Ravs

Venardhi
09-14-2007, 02:51 AM
I heartily approve!

BTW, if you're going to post your world somewhere, please let me know...I love following the development of unique and creative worlds such as this. If you don't have a place picked out yet, you'd be welcome to use the free tools at Eruvian.com to build a site around it. With such a unique perspective (cowboy victorian? =)), you might even find a few people there to help you flesh it out - if you're open to help, that is.

Thanks for sharing!

(Oh, and I loved the drawing too...thanks!)
This is a personal project for the most part. I tend to annoy partners with my constant alterations which occasionally means throwing out work that might have taken them a long time to write or draw. Right now everything is in flux and it isn't fair to do that to someone.

I really like your color choices. Muted colors always lend themselves to greater plausibility for me and create a cohesive look and theme. Your idea for air transportation is fun and I can appreciate how it might affect a world's economy depending on its availability. I love the fact that many of the maps posted on this site are commercial grade or even higher. :)
Well, seeing as this is my first attempt at a map, commercial grade is good. =)

Lovely! And I echo what Fister said about the colour choices. One thing that may be worth trying is not to put the text labels (great font) on slants and to keep them all horizontal at the same point size if they represent places of equal type (for example countries). If the label doesn't fit within the borders of the country just make sure that the majority of it and the end of the label are within the border.

This will then give you the opportunity (if you need it) to do, say city labels in a slightly smaller point size which will make the map easier to read.

Ravs
This is the 'wide view' version. There will be another with cities and major landmarks and another series of smaller regional maps with further minor cities and the like.

Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I've almost finished the second major continent so that should be up as soon as I get online in my new place (moving this weekend up to Oregon).