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FAHall
12-15-2009, 09:50 PM
Hey Guys,

I'm working on a map for my novel, and I'm hoping to get some feedback as I go.


I've got most of my rivers done (3 of the 5 river systems I think) that are in the region I'm doing. I'll also probably have to add some rivers in outside of the region (as some nearby countries show on the outer edges of my map.


Currently North is UP on the map, but I am strongly considering changing that to North is LEFT.


Eventually I'm hoping to have something similar to Ramah's Aronbor map.


Also, the colors are currently only for reference (I'm colorblind, so I'll be touching up the colors towards the end, once I have all of the design work out of the way). For all I know, the water is all purple right now.


Please let me know if you guys have any suggestions. And, over the next several days I should be posting up quite a few updates. I'm hoping to finish this before christmas.


Thanks,
Alex

Kronski
12-15-2009, 10:03 PM
The colors are actually nice - I like them. And the general style is cool, at least from what I can see. I would only comment on your rivers - they would look better if the had more twists and curves in them. As it is they look like branching trees. (Speaking of the rivers, you've done a varying width thing which is pretty sweet.)

FAHall
12-15-2009, 10:19 PM
I just discovered the Smooth Path plugin for GIMP, which would've allowed me to create "curvier" paths than those that I have. The ones I created were done with the Fractalize Path script and the Stroke with Taper script that I downloaded. The Fractalize Path script is on this website, and VERY useful.


I may go back and redo the rivers to make them curvier... I'm going to play around with the smooth path plugin for GIMP and see how badly it disconnects my rivers if I run it on the paths I already have.

Thanks for the compliment on the colors. I think the Land is a color that Tear uses, and the water color I just pulled out of a hat.

*edit* I just noticed that my rivers look odd where they flow out into the sea, I will fix this a little later on, once I've got all of my rivers done, and once I've gotten them approved by the "River Police".

FAHall
12-15-2009, 10:41 PM
Played with the smoothing plugin, and honestly, with how tiny my rivers get, (10px across at the biggest and most get no bigger than 3px), the smoothing doesn't make any difference that I can see. For a larger path, it would work wonders, for these rivers, it doesn't seem to change much.

rdanhenry
12-15-2009, 11:26 PM
My only problem with the rivers is the way they interact with the lake. There's a whole lot of rivers flowing out of that lake and that's just not done. Also, none of those rivers could possibly be flowing into the lake, so how's it getting all that water?

FAHall
12-15-2009, 11:48 PM
About how many rivers do you think could run out of a single lake realistically?

I'll rework it so that my major river flows into the lake.

Jaxilon
12-16-2009, 04:33 AM
Here you go bro, this link should put you in good stead regarding rivers: Putting Rivers in the right place (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3822)

Not being a huge geologist myself I found it quiet useful. There are some interesting things you can pick up around here.

The simple answer to your question however, is 1.

Steel General
12-16-2009, 05:47 AM
Generally a lake can have multiple 'inlets' but would generally have a single 'outlet'. It is possible to have multiple 'outlets' but eventually one would take precedence.

Other than the issue with the lake this is a great start, looking forward to seeing it develop.

landorl
12-16-2009, 09:44 AM
Also, the inlets to the lake don't usually just pop into the side of the lake. Instead they flow into an arm that widens into the rest of the lake. There may be a marsh or swamp as it enters the lake. Also, on most naturally formed lakes, the exit will be similar.

waldronate
12-16-2009, 11:04 AM
Without a scale it's hard to tell precisely what's going on, but the number of water channels and multiple cuts on the lake suggest to me that the area is a tidal marshland and the whole map is about 3-5 miles across. Larger areas would tend to have a somewhat less dense and less randomly-oriented flow network.

The attached image shows what happens when finding the flow pattern for a simple valley. The amount of noise relative to the terrain is increased, effectively reducing the slope fo the landscape. At first (noise=0), the rivers follow the terrain exactly. When the noise is much greater than the terrain (noise=10 meaning that the noise is by far the dominant factor and the land is effectively flat), the rivers don't follow any sort of pattern except a general outflow at the valley exit. Noise=0.01 corresponds roughly to a stone valley, while noise=10 corresponds roughly to a tidal mud flat.

FAHall
12-16-2009, 11:32 AM
The area is a little over 100 miles across.

I worked it out and I think it is 20pixels/mile.

I'm reworking the lake so it has a couple "inlets" and only 1 "outlet".


I'll post it up sometime today.

FAHall
12-16-2009, 12:34 PM
Okay, I took another stab at it.

I have now mapped all of the rivers within the country I'm mapping. The landmasses to the north will get rivers, as will the southern region of my map, but I think I am going to leave those until the end, as they are not vital to the map itself.


If you guys could take another look at it and let me know how it looks as far as river realism goes, that would be great.

I'll be basing my hills, marshes, mountains, etc on where the rivers flow.


Scale: 20px = 1mile

Steel General
12-16-2009, 12:38 PM
Looks good to me, might want to look at where the rivers empty into the ocean(s). It looks like you have a little bit of overlap on some of them.

FAHall
12-16-2009, 12:46 PM
You mean where the blue river line crosses over my black coastline?

I'm trying to decide stylistically how I'm going to handle the rivers emptying into the oceans. Going to try a few things and see what I like best.

FAHall
12-16-2009, 01:43 PM
Okay, maybe I'm an idiot, but I'm having trouble with my mountains.

I'm using the brushes that Vhailor made from Ramah's Aronbor map.

My problem is that since the brushes are transparent for the "light" areas, when I lay my mountains down, the dark areas of the mountain behind are showing through.

The only solution I can think of (to still be able to change the color later) is to go through and erase the dark areas from the back mountains either as I go or once I'm all finished.


Is there a better solution to this problem?


Thanks,
Alex

Ramah
12-16-2009, 01:57 PM
You have 3 choices really.

1) Keep the brushes further apart so they don't overlap. :)

2) Paint any brush that goes over another one on a separate layer so you can erase part of the bottom mountain easily.

3) Check out this tutorial...

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7336

... that tells you how to use the Clone Stamp with brushes so that they mask the brush below (check the end of the thread to see an important setting - not sure if it was edited into the original post or not).

jfrazierjr
12-16-2009, 01:58 PM
You have 3 choices really.

1) Keep the brushes further apart so they don't overlap. :)

2) Paint any brush that goes over another one on a separate layer so you can erase part of the bottom mountain easily.

3) Check out this tutorial...

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7336

... that tells you how to use the Clone Stamp with brushes so that they mask the brush below (check the end of the thread to see an important setting - not sure if it was edited into the original post or not).

4) paint your own mountains by hand... see my sig...

FAHall
12-17-2009, 05:19 PM
I added mountains to the map.


I also reduced the amount of rivers.


Once I get the "Looks good" from you guys, my next step will be to add hills.


If you all could please let me know how this looks (both in terms of realism and in terms of looking "cool"), that would be excellent.


You guys are awesome.


Thanks a bunch,
Alex

FAHall
12-17-2009, 05:21 PM
Also, if you all could suggest where hills need to be for realism, that would be great. I've got some ideas, and I'd love to hear what you guys think.


I'm open to any and all feedback on this map.

I'm a first timer, but I want to end up with a kick-ass map.

ravells
12-17-2009, 06:06 PM
I think it's begining to look fantastic - the handdrawn mountains are wonderful. Try this (not sure if it will work), but rather than having your mountains pure black, use the colour picker to select the fawn background colour and then make the mountains a very dark version of that (use a brightness slider)...so it's more of a dark grey/fawn/black....might look even better.

landorl
12-17-2009, 10:36 PM
I think that a line of low hills between the large lake and the rivers to the NW of the lake would be good.

FAHall
12-17-2009, 11:16 PM
Thanks for the suggestions guys!


Ravells: I'm going to probably be recoloring the entire map once I get the basic structure together. I'm colorblind, so I'm leaving color until the absolute last thing so that I can do that all under the guidance of you experienced non-colorblind mappers.

Would you mind sending me the hex code, HSV, or RGB values for the "fawn" color you mentioned


Oh, and those mountains were all made by Ramah, and then converted into brushes by Vhailor27. I want to make sure those two get all of the credit for them... I'm not nearly that talented.


Landorll: You and I are thinking along the same lines for those hills. I might make them a bit more sparse, but in very similar places.

I'll also probably play with some foothills near the mountains on both sides.


Oh hey Ramah, thanks for the layering suggestion on the mountains. I ended up using that and it was super easy for me. I don't know why I didn't think of it beofre :?: . I just made a couple layers and made all the mountains different wacky colors so I knew which ones were on which layer. Then, the erasing was a breeze.

FAHall
12-30-2009, 11:06 PM
Hey Guys,

I've added the majority of my hills, forest, and marshes.

The big chunk in the middle of my map is fields/farmland. I've got some nice brushes for farmland, and I think if I throw in a some sparse tress that I'll get a nice field effect. Right now the area looks blank, but I don't want to clutter my map either.

Not sure how this will look though.

I am also considering creating a big chasm in the midst of the field area, but I am unsure how to create this effect and make it look like it blends in with the rest of the map.


Anyways, let me know what you all think and if you have any suggestions.

(As mentioned above, coloring will be the LAST step for me, as I will need lots of help with it... colorblind)

Next steps as I see them:

1. Finish up fields and make chasm
2. Tidy up all vegetation and land features
3. Mark settlements.
4. Map roads
5. Mark places of interest
6. Recolor everything and make it all prettier.
7. Labeling


As a side note, the style of my tree/marsh brushes don't seem to quite fit with my mountains and hills. Do you all see this as clearly as I do, or am I imagining things?

Ascension
12-30-2009, 11:08 PM
Nice lookin swamp there. Everything else looks good as well.

Diamond
12-31-2009, 12:18 AM
As a side note, the style of my tree/marsh brushes don't seem to quite fit with my mountains and hills. Do you all see this as clearly as I do, or am I imagining things?

Yeah. I think it's a matter of crispness. If you could slightly blur the forest icons to match the fuzziness of the mountains, it might mesh better. Actually, scratch that. What about putting a slight color layer under the forests? Just a pale gray undertone to kind of give the woods more body?

But that's a minor gripe. It's a wonderful map.

Steel General
12-31-2009, 11:03 AM
Looks great, my only little nitpick (and this is probably just me) is that the rivers seem very 'stiff and jagged' compared to the rest of the map.

FAHall
12-31-2009, 11:07 AM
Thanks for the suggestions guys!