View Full Version : [WIP] Newbie's first map

01-24-2010, 10:58 AM
So, after browsing through the tutorial section and deciding that I like the hand drawn look/water colour-ish thing and looking through Zombie Nirvana's podcast I hazarded a step into photoshop. So here's my first attempt at mapping out Klaut, the world where the story I'm writing/editing takes place. I'm planning to do country maps (and maybe city and town maps) as I go along in hopefully the same style.

I'm not certain about the rivers, both because I can't hold my hand steady (oh fine motorskills, where art thou) and my tablet seems to have gone missing. I think I need more rivers.

Any pointers and advice would be greatly appreciated.

ps: planning to do the wear and tear on the colour and ink later, once the map is complete.

01-24-2010, 11:15 AM
You could use the "Paths tool" to create the line of your rivers and then stroke the path. There is some stuff on doing rivers in the tutorials as well so you might take a look there.

This looks pretty good but you can't really zoom in on it. I think that's a resolution thing but someone more experienced than I can say better.

Looks to me like you might have a couple river violations - expect a few pointers from the River Police :) Alternatively, there are some great post on this subject somewhere herein. (I believe the tutorials section contains them).

All in all it's a great first. Starting out with a world map for your first is a big undertaking.

I like the coloring as well.

01-24-2010, 11:24 AM
I figured that the rivers would be off. For some reason I got into my head that rivers must come from mountains. I don't know why. I'll go read the river tutorial again. It didn't quite stick yesterday, but then again I was exhausted when I started reading it.

01-24-2010, 11:47 AM
Here's the two main things to remember about rivers: 1. they don't split and stay split except in deltas (where they run into the ocean before having a chance to reconnect), they may go around a dense chunk of dirt/rock and form and island but they come back together; and 2. they don't connect two oceans - that would be a man-made canal. There is a third main thing but that one has some exceptions: lakes have many rivers come in but only one goes out - the exception is a lake that is below sea level will have nothing going out, like the Dead Sea. We here use the analogy of a tree: the branches are up in the mountains, those come together to form a trunk, that goes to the ocean where the roots form the delta. It's not a real tree in that the root system is far far smaller but it serves pretty well.

As for the map, it looks pretty good but I'd like to see something a bit bigger and the colors look pretty nice as well but you might want to tone down the mountains a bit (they stand out due to the thickness and darkness). I've not used the ZN tuts so I don't know how things are supposed to look. Overall, though, good job for a first go.

01-24-2010, 01:18 PM
Looks like a good start. Agree with Ascension though that bigger would be better. Size doesn't matter? Well, here it does. ;)

01-24-2010, 10:03 PM
Its looking quite good... Looks quite like the zombie nirvana style, but for your first map, you wouldn't want to stray from the beaten path.

There are in fact river violations, mainly off-shoots of rivers are travelling the wrong direction. There are also a lot of lakes that have multiple rivers draining to the sea, and while it is possible, there is usually only one training river. Something else that seems odd is the rivers running from mts -> lakes -> sea, i'm sure its possible, but again it feels wrong, especially with the narrowness of some of the lands (the geography needed to have the water run that way would be odd... I'm sure the river police can explain the more advanced pts much better then I can :P

The easiest place to start right now would rivers and their tributaries... Think of a river as a tree, starting to grow from the soil (the sea, or other large body of water). A river will start out with one wide river at the shore, and as it travels inland, it will get smaller and break off into smaller "branches". If you look at your rivers, they are going in reverse, the small rivers travel toward the sea, and break into more rivers as they go.

If you follow the "one thick river at the sea to smaller branches inland" idea your rivers will be geographically sound, but there are a few other concepts involved that can add some more flavour to your maps.

general rule on rivers is the faster a river travels, the deeper and straighter it will be. So a glacial river from high up in the mountains would run quick and deep. It also erodes the soil quite a bit. As it loses speed when it leaves the mountains it begins to lose all of the soil its picked up, making the rivers shallower (and usually wider) and also make the river become much more wavy. A good example of this is the mississippi river... (see attachment)... Another rule people always love to adopt, but is actually very rare are river deltas (like that of the Nile river in egypt), be careful using these because they are quite rare, and there are very specific reason to have such happen.

That being said, take what i say as SUGGESTION, not rules.. in the end.. its your map, your world.. if you want river physics to act opposite the norm... go for it! its the beauty of creating your own world!

and. in all honesty.. you've done what i've yet to do.. almost complete a darn map! so good work!