View Full Version : Torentine: "Satellite" Collage Map

12-18-2009, 05:29 PM
Obsessive compulsive disorder wins out and I decided I would have to go a different route to get the results I wanted. I feel kind of like god making this map... hmmm.. let's move these mountains over here.. and how about a valley over here.... Probably lots of impossible geological juxtaposing going on but that's ok.

This is one days worth of work... i work at twice this resolution so i can get a nice crisp effect when i reduce it. Much of the background is lain in (maybe) tentatively so i can get a feel for the type of environment i will be adding the detail to... then I after that I started with the central mountain range and plan to work downward in elevation by region. I will be developing each region to how i envision it and lastly will be the coast and the ocean then color touch ups.

Large rivers urban areas etc. will have to be edited out and then back into where they belong. The ghosted image of my rivers is just an overlay so i can build the landscape in a logical manner. I scaled the "true color" satellite images that i pulled from NASA to the correct scale (within reason) so they would look "right". If you look closely you'll see some repetition in the mountains as they are mostly of the alps and some carpathian mts.. I will try to edit that out minor stuff as much as possible near the end. As you can see in the attached picture of northern italy, the alps really aren't that big so i had to do lots of copy paste, flip and masking ... plus i used different pictures.. some more snowy than others.

12-18-2009, 10:15 PM
Those maps look absolutely fantastic! I'm not even sure what else to say, they're amazing.

12-18-2009, 10:23 PM
That's coming along very nice! I've considered doing what you're doing for quite some time, but never got up the gumption to actually try it :) If it's any consolation, it doesn't look look there's any repetition unless you *really* look for it, and even then you wouldn't notice unless you knew it was there. (then again i'm looking through a pain med haze, so i see all SORTS of things my wife tells me aren't really there, so take what I say with a grain of salt, hah)

12-19-2009, 02:13 AM
looks amazing!

there are a few semi-transparent white patches and one blue one just south of the major mountain range that stick out from an otherwise seamless looking work of art!

great blending!

12-19-2009, 02:16 AM
It looks really good but how are you going to reconcile the rivers between your coastline and real-world imagery?

12-19-2009, 01:39 PM
It looks really good but how are you going to reconcile the rivers between your coastline and real-world imagery?

Good question.. actually isn't too hard.. the good old rubber stamp tool will work for the large rivers. the smaller ones are nearly invisible. Then i will lay in some of the larger rivers where they would be visible and/or create flood basins where they might be. The eastern coast is actually the southeast USA and i nearly conformed the coastline to this one (florida would have stuckout the east point of the continent) so the drainage all heads in roughly the right direction. Since i am working at double this resolution it is very forgiving when i shrink it back to size.

As a bonus, this is turning out to be a great study in color as well as geographic/geologic scale for me because even though i've always looked at maps this forces me to consider more closely the "lay of the land" and the interrelation between geologic formations... hmm... that doesn't sound nerdy (-: There are so many random colorations in the land that are difficult to reproduce by hand without a lot of practice. Previously i was attempting to do this and was getting an ok effect but for this particular map I wanted a realistic feel. For the "physical" map i will use a more traditional atlas look but wanted to get this ironed out first.

If Fractal Terrains did a better job at creating "realistic" terrains (no flatlands or plains without human hand intervention) and details i wouldn't feel so inclined to do this and may just be happy laying in some textures... but... it doesn't.... and i might still do this anyway (0: I am attempting to adhere to the elevations of my fractal while creating this map and have overlays outlining each elevation.. this also makes me reconsider and think about the lay of the land in that.. just because it is 4000 feet high doesn't mean it has to be mountainous.. it may be a high plain etc...

This is still very much in its beginning stages so there are going to be funky white spots and water where there shouldn't be as i rough it all in... until i've had the chance to turn my attention to detailing individual areas.

moutarde: I didn't make the alps map.... it is one that i sampled from.. i only included it for reference to the size of the alps.

12-19-2009, 05:27 PM
Well there ya go! That's what I get for reading & posting while working ;)

Either way, your map is off to a fantastic start - makes my work look like crap :P

12-20-2009, 07:35 AM
I could not see the repetition in the mountains tho I saw that the rivers seemed a bit odd. I think that you need to work a little on the very edge of the coast though I reckon you haven't done that bit yet. The real map does not fall off so abruptly into the sea.

I thought it looked real good.

12-20-2009, 12:04 PM
That looks really good! I was kind of puzzeled for a moment by the fact that the satellite image of the Alps was flipped horizontally :)

12-20-2009, 06:56 PM
As always, really impressive work!

Mind passing along the NASA link that you've gotten all your satellite stock images from??

12-20-2009, 10:05 PM
I won't post one every day :) but i wanted to show the two different directions i went in on the terrain. I started with the left one and thought the geology was too bizarre and the coloring was a little dead... plus it didn't fit the way i pictured the landscape so i opted for a more lush alternative (right) making use of the pacific nortwest's ranges (rather than the carpathians in the other)... It looks a bit more natural to me and the color is nicer.

The little slice of continent in the upper right was easy as it is just the north face of the alps and part of bavaria... with a little editing.

I still haven't reconciled the rivers but that and other detail work is coming up next as well as editing obvious signs of repetition and other anomalies.

P.S. the weirdest thing happened to me while working on this project.. i had a moment of vertigo and felt as if i was VERY high up, seriously!... I think i have looked at too many satellite photos (0:

Steel General
12-21-2009, 06:42 AM
The second one looks much better to me as well. Cool stuff you have going on here.

12-28-2009, 11:29 AM
completed map is at http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=8488