View Full Version : The Known World

12-28-2009, 03:17 PM
I'm starting a new project here - the first time since I was a teenager doodling on scratch paper that I've undertaken something so ambitious - mapping out what's going to amount to nearly an entire hemisphere.

This is the landmass layout; the scale is roughly 1 pixel equals 2 miles. Obviously, the map won't be accurate to scale - it's meant to be more artsy and stylized than strictly accurate. Since the map will end up being 10,000 by 10,000 miles in dimension, the northern and southern latitudes will be completely out of whack.

What I'm going to do is complete the whole rough layout on this 5Kx5K pixel map: rivers, forests, mountains. Then I'm going to split it up into 25 separate 1000x1000 sections and fill in the detail work for each. Then I'll merge everything back together and add the final overlay stuff. Hopefully this'll take some of the strain off my computer.

Anyway, here's the first step:

12-28-2009, 04:27 PM
Have fun with all of that, looks like a lot of work. Fun work but still time consuming.

12-28-2009, 07:43 PM
Update. I had to shrink it to 70%, but I think you can still make out enough detail. All mountains and rivers are done.

12-28-2009, 08:04 PM
Nice colour choices and looking grand so far. How are you going to deal with the mountains on the zoomed in versions? Will you draw them again?

Loving it so far.

12-28-2009, 08:56 PM
The first image, the 5K x 5K one, is the actual 'zoomed' size. I just couldn't post that full size for the subsequent images, so I'm posting them shrunk by 30% until everything's done, then I'll mesh everything up again into one image (hopefully...). I was thinking too that I don't need to do 25 map sections; I only need to do four - each one 2500 x 2500. That shouldn't strain my PC unduly.

12-28-2009, 09:33 PM
If you're doing this in an antique style with lots of labels then each new text creates a new layer and layers hog system memory. I would suggest merging some layers to reduce that hogging...like put all of the river text on one layer, mountain text on one layer, etc. If you're not going to have insane amounts of labels then it should be just fine. 2500 should also be good and far less taxing to both you and your pc.

12-29-2009, 01:20 AM
Yeah, that's exactly what I'm planning for with the text; layer overload is a part of what made my PS crash last time... :D

But here's an update - forests and deserts added in.

12-29-2009, 02:09 AM
Looking nice so far. I think the coastline shadows look a little 'textury' though, if that makes sense. So far everything looks hand-drawn, whereas the coastline shadows look photoshopped. Of course, I don't have anything better to suggest, I'm still struggling to get a coast shadow that I like for my own map :((

12-29-2009, 07:25 AM
Looks great, I love your style.

Steel General
12-29-2009, 12:09 PM
I really like the overall color scheme. Though it does seem the forests are lacking something - maybe a texture of some sort *shrugs*

12-29-2009, 12:39 PM
I really like the overall color scheme. Though it does seem the forests are lacking something - maybe a texture of some sort *shrugs*

They actually have a texture, but it seems it's too faint. That's something I've been struggling with. Let me experiment with some things, and I'll post the results if they look halfway decent.

12-30-2009, 12:49 AM
Changed the texture on the forests and started adding national borders...

12-30-2009, 02:26 AM
I feel the same way as Steel General and forests need tweaking. In my opinion forest should be a bit darker to stand out more, but not too much to overcome the mountains. The mountains look great and should be left as they are. Good work…

12-30-2009, 02:55 AM
I don't have a problem with the forests. Depending on what else is going on the map before it is done, it may be better to keep them subdued. If there's going to be a lot of political/settlement mapping, better the trees not get in the way of it. I'm liking this look.

12-30-2009, 04:06 AM
Yeah, I'm wanting to keep the forests fairly low-key, because this map is going to be extremely text-heavy when it's done. I don't want any one thing to overwhelm the map, but I guess if I had to choose I'd rather have the text dominate in a map like this. Well, once I start on the four individual quadrants and begin to add text, we'll see how it looks.

12-30-2009, 07:22 AM
I agree with Pasis. For me the forests are now too light. You can see a texture on them now but it has faded them a lot. I preferred them how they were before. And I personally don't care if it has a texture or not, I think it would be fitting with the style for the forests just to be a base colour on the map although I do wonder if it would look better with a thin stroke around them for definition.