View Full Version : WIP - Vaea - Westfall

02-10-2010, 07:39 AM
I am new to CG and I would like to start off by saying that the collection of information, techniques, members and forums hosted by CG are absolutely freakin' fantastic!!!

I have tried my first map using a range of techniques provided by CG tuts and am hoping to pull a few thoughts from the CG community. It is a continental map for a campaign a few of us are running.

I originally had alot of other small islands and mess around the coastlines which was working when close up but it got a little messy when viewing the full continent. So I have cleared alot of it out and kept some of the larger islands in the map.

The main area I am struggling in is the Rivers.

1. The southern area with the mountain lake and plains lakes/wetlands seems a little out of place. The basic idea is that this is a low land area ppoling water from the mountains aswell as some rivers running in from the higher plains areas surrounding. I cannot figure out what is bugging me though. Any thoughts?

2. The North Eastern river ends in the desert for a reason that is story related but the split to the coast does not work for me. Any thoughts?

3. The long river from the Northern mountian lake to the entrance of the inland sea might have too many branches coming into it. Not sure.

Thanks CG and thanks in advance to all that reply.


"Yes, I am a nuub, but surely there is someone nuuber than me!"


PS: I hope I posted this right... here's hoping.

02-10-2010, 10:17 AM
For questions number 2 & 3, I strongly suggest reading the thread at this link: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?3822-How-to-get-your-rivers-in-the-right-place Everything that you never ever wanted to know about rivers after drawing a map ;) To sum it up quickly, rivers generally start in mountains, if they split, they rejoin together within a short distance, and they never join an ocean to another ocean.

As for question number 1, it sort of looks like that lake is half in the mountains and half in the lower coast just north of the mountains. Also, because it's more to the north side of the mountains than to the south, it seems more likely that any river coming out of it would want to flow north instead of south. So maybe try expanding the mountains northwards, or shrinking the lake a little, and moving the lake a little to the south.

It's a very good start, and as soon as you get those rivers right, it'll be looking really great :) Good luck!

02-10-2010, 02:35 PM
Welcome to the Guild Najmir! You are off to a great start here. Regarding the rivers, yeah, what Moutarde said. As for the overall shape of the land I like it, but is this an island, or a continent? What kind of scale are you going for? Nice choice on the colors. Anyway I look forward to watching this map progress.



02-10-2010, 05:54 PM
Moutarde, Arsheesh,

Thanks a bunch for your input. The link posted is perfect and made it clear why I felt uncomfortable with the rivers. And yes I noticed I have not coloured the mountians to the north of that lake. I will recolour and probably reduce the size of the lake. On my original sketch I had a much wider mountiain range but it turned out like a big blob so i trimed them to add a little shape.

The intention is a continental scale. This is only a small island continent I would eventually like to map the rest of the world but for now this was a great opportunity to try out the techniques I stumbled across in CG.

I also had a large number of smaller rivers running into the ones shown but as with the smaller islands of the coast it appeared messy as the. So i decided to only keep the only main rivers. I probably need to have a think about how to better approach the rivers at this scale.


02-11-2010, 07:00 AM
I had a read of some more material today and decided to start a fresh. I will being with a general world map and will then work on more detailed regional maps. Here is my starting world map. I would like to get a few thoguhts from the CG community to make sure I am heading in the right direction. I realise that any of my players could not care less how correct the world is but I am finding it quite a fun and challenging process to construct a realistic map structure.

I think with the previous map I mixed different scales together because I really had no idea of where I was going with the place. I ended up just putting features into the map for the sake of it.

This one took me about an hour and half to knock up.


Thanks in advance.


02-11-2010, 11:49 PM
You've got some nice interesting shapes going on there, well done :) I would suggest trying to find a way to make your mountains blend into the grasslands a bit more though, it kind of looks a little like they're floating over top of everything else at the moment. Unfortunately, I don't really have a good suggestion on how to fix that, as this style of map isn't one that I've ever really tried before :o

02-14-2010, 05:36 PM
mou, do you mind if i call you mou? :)

Thanks, I see what you mean. I think maybe I should look at going the other way and putting some grass land and other featrues into the mountains? They do have a strong outline, though not intended, that needs to be blended a little.

I have also done a little work on my original map. However it is taking a while due to the methods I took when working on the rivers. I pretty much had to start over on the rivers. It took an hour and a half to build my mini world map and it has taken three hours just tweaking the rivers on my orignal map.

Thanks again.

02-14-2010, 07:43 PM
Call me whatver you like :P

Rivers. I hate rivers! Time-consuming little bastages! ;) On my current WIP, I just finished re-drawing all of the rivers again. Probably spent about 5 hours getting them all finished. Again. I don't anybody else has come up with a quick way of doing rivers either, but they're somewhat important ;)

For the mountains, you could try selecting the layer they're on (are you using Photoshop?) with a ctrl+click, invert it (ctrl+shift+i) then select->feather with a range around 10-20 or so (or just experiment) and then delete the selection. That would really reduce the opacity on the edges of the mountains and *hopefully* make it look like the grasslands are creeping up the sides of the mountains :)

02-14-2010, 09:46 PM
Thanks mou. That was the plan. I use GIMP and will use that option. I am struggling not to think about new ways to work up my maps. It's making me crazy. I have come up with a few techniques for City/ High Detail maps. I have one for rocky shores/rivers, also some burshes and techniques for city buildigns in GIMP.

Tried searching the forums for any tuts outlining similar effects and cannot find any that yeild the same results.

I think they have come upwell. Here are a few samples to see if there is any interest in tutorials for the techniques. If there is no interest then I will not waste the time preping a tut.

Any one interested in the below.
15 Minute Rocky River lines or shores.

20 min Village Buildings - Sample to come.. having issues with uploading

02-15-2010, 06:30 AM
Here is Vaea after a little blending on the mountains.


Steel General
02-15-2010, 06:36 AM
This is looking pretty nice so far, a couple of things that 'caught my eye';

1) The mountains seem 'soft' or 'fuzzy' (at least at this resolution')
2) The pattern underneath is distracting - I would consider lowering the opacity or replacing it with something less busy

Looking forward to your next update.

02-15-2010, 02:04 PM
Yeah, that looks much better with the mountains blended into the grass ;) I like the river too, well done.

02-15-2010, 05:22 PM
Thanks guys,

I had a bit of a bash at the mountain fuzziness last night. However if I increased the bump levels the scale looked out. I have just thought this morning that I could probably add a some more noise and rebump my moutains. Thanks for the food Steel.

I think I have found another hobby... not that I needed any more! THANKS CG!

Also here is my first city scale map that I have in the works.