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SkarValidus
03-27-2010, 04:37 PM
I've been messing around with a novel (and planned series) for a few years and didn't get too far (not even done the first quarter of the book!). I realized last summer that I really need to get more serious with it, so I decided to scrap my few hundred pages and start again. Now I'm beginning with this map of the continent, after which I will continue designing the languages. I plan to fully explore every region, species, history, and possibility of this land in my notes, if not in the series itself, and since it all begins with this map, the map had better be good!

I think that the waves are looking too edgy, not soft or transparent enough, so I'll work in that.
The mountains are not yet properly scaled, I need to go in with a harder and denser brush to make the little "fractal" arms which one usually sees shooting of of ridges like I have.
The rivers I've done represent only the most major ones, so when I get into more local mapping, I'll elaborate.
The forests are a bit sketchy here, since I can't seem to find how to represent trees from such a hight... Textures don't work...

If you have critique, PLEASE BE HARSH! I am a very honest and blunt offerer-of-thoughts and I hope others are the same with me! I've followed numerous fantastic tutorials around here and I also used some of coyotemax's stuff that he put on DeviantART (I think). I don't remember who it was that I got the layer style and brush that I used for "dirtying up" the mountains, but I appreciate it!

This rambling has gone on long enough, so let the map-bashing begin!

EDIT: The thread title should say "The start of an In-Depth Endeavour" Sorry for the confusing title =/

muddle
03-27-2010, 04:52 PM
Well, I don't know about map-bashing, but the waves seem really really huge, like giant tsunami!! Seems like crested waves like that would be much, much smaller, and generally found nearer to the coastlines (not out in the middle of the ocean.) However I am making a bit of an assumption regarding the scale of the map. I am also not an expert on ocean waves, perhaps other have greater knowledge and will chime in.

SkarValidus
03-27-2010, 04:54 PM
Yes, the waves are massive, they're meant to be symbolic, not satellite. Now you see why they should be softer... Your scale assumption was right, as was your notice, I just haven't clearly communicated what I'm trying to...
Thanks!

Larb
03-27-2010, 05:34 PM
I think the map looks good, and the waves also look really nice. But I think they are just way out of place on a continent scale map. They are just too incongrous in my opinion even if they are symbolic, and would look much better on a small island map. Apart from that, I think it looks fine otherwise.
Although if the north west is a cold climate, how come the island in the corner isn't?

SkarValidus
03-27-2010, 05:50 PM
Thanks for your opinion on the waves, Larb. Maybe I'll try to find a way to do a batch-wave-making. They're hand-painted so they take a bit. I'm glad you noticed the climate incongruity, however, this map is aproximately placed like the United States or the middle-east/Europe, so the north isn't all that chilly. The reason for the local snow and ice is a Narnia-style (though I cringe in making the comparison) magic side-effect created when a massive spell used too much energy. Thinking about it now, I may lower the diameter of that area...
Thanks for the comment!

rdanhenry
03-27-2010, 10:27 PM
Good: The colors work well together. I like the overall continental shape.

Bad: You've got multiple lakes with multiple outlets. Normally, a lake has only one river flowing out of it (there are a few very rare exceptions, but these lakes don't appear to be placed where an exception would even be an option). Of course, if something artificial is being done with the water flow through dams, magic, or river spirits, that's another story.

I agree about the waves. It looks like the sea god is very, very angry. The style is too realistic for the giant waves to register as symbolic.

Diamond
03-28-2010, 08:11 PM
The mountains/terrain and colors are excellent; the only things I'm not digging are the rivers and the waves. For the rivers, they look a bit wide for a continental scale, especially with the stroke and bevel around them. Also, the terminus where the meet the sea is very abrupt because of the heavy black outline around the landmass. For the waves, I'd dump them altogether. They draw too much of the focus away from the land and seem out of place.

edit: I also see a river violation in the west - it looks like you've got a river splitting around that long peninsula on the left.

SkarValidus
04-03-2010, 02:18 PM
@rdanhenry:
Thanks for the advice on the lake outlet issue. That's definitely one to fix before continuing! I'll see if I can get that a little more natural-looking. I hadn't thought of any artificial river-meddling, but I may incorporate it a bit here and there... It would make for a neat story addition... I have no idea why I didn't clue in about having a singular lake outlet... looking at it now, it seems so blatantly obvious...

@Diamond:
Thanks for the compliment on the landmass! I agree that the rivers look wide, but I'm afraid that maybe they'll become invisible if I fix that? The largest river is surely needing a down-sizing, but the rest I am hesitant to slim... Once I get the river placement finalized, I'll fade/taper the black outlines at the terminii (plural terminus?) I think that without the waves it looks really empty out there, so I'll mess around and see whether I can get it to look more watery... I actually really wanted to add a reflection of the sky and clouds as an overlay but couldn't find a pleasing picture. I suppose I'll take one of my own. I'm not sure where the "river-splitting" is occuring, do you mean in the southwest where the lake has two outlets? *confusion.*

I'll be uploading another WIP asap. (Once I make one...)

tilt
04-04-2010, 02:37 AM
23472
heres a little guide - the NE river violation is easy to fix - the next 2 there are too many rivers floating from lake to lake. Just remember that a river always only flows one way. Two rivers can meet but only one flows on ... think of mad max cage fighting ... two rivers enter - one river leaves ;)
otherwise- looking really good - I'd perhaps use some smaller lettering as the texts domiate your map and takes away the attention from it, and as mentioned above - the waves are rather dominating too - but cool map - nice beginning :)

SkarValidus
04-04-2010, 04:56 PM
heres a little guide - the NE river violation is easy to fix - the next 2 there are too many rivers floating from lake to lake. Just remember that a river always only flows one way. Two rivers can meet but only one flows on ... think of mad max cage fighting ... two rivers enter - one river leaves ;)
otherwise- looking really good - I'd perhaps use some smaller lettering as the texts domiate your map and takes away the attention from it, and as mentioned above - the waves are rather dominating too - but cool map - nice beginning :)


Thanks for the guide, tilt. I actually fixed it all up last night, but I'll take a closer look at your example and compare it to my "fixed" version soon. I'm not sure waht you mean by the "text," because I haven't done any titling yet... Did you mean that I should keep scale in mind *when* I add text?

SkarValidus
04-04-2010, 11:31 PM
UPDATE: Fixed river-width, they're all slimmer and in the more correct places. Revisited waves, they're more subtle. Added mountain detailing, more scaled.
Keep up the feedback please!

Edit: Oh yeah, I also messed around with the snowy area a bit too... As well as a million other minor adjustments that took FOREVER (8000x8000 px image = retarded load times.)

tilt
04-05-2010, 04:50 AM
*lol*... I've actually forgot what I meant, but it was probably really really wise ;)

SkarValidus
04-08-2010, 08:48 PM
A mini update:
I did a bit of colour correction, remapped the forests a bit, and I think I'm actually ready to begin adding lables and such! Exciting, right? So I'll throw up another WIP when I get a preliminary set of titles layed down. If there's anything you think needs further adjustment before I do all that stuff, just let me know.

muddle
04-09-2010, 10:29 AM
I think the waves are a define improvement. Just a thought, but have you considered putting Nautical navigation lines on top of you oceans? ( these are a series of lines often at diagonal angles, used for charting the navigation of ships.) I am wonder if that might help the ocean feel less "empty". Perhaps that "empty-ness" has something to do with the extra waves you have been working with out in the oceans?

SkarValidus
04-09-2010, 10:51 AM
Well, I would actually really like to put navigation lines in (I got a sudden spurt of inspiration off the Saderan map), but it looks fairly daunting, and I'm not sure how to go about it. If you think it would look good, I'll go and research a bit, then try to emulate.

jwbjerk
04-09-2010, 01:24 PM
I like the coastline shape.

I don't understand the rational of the placement of the snowy regions. You have a green island (in the upper left) that further north than most of the snow, and the peninsula on the upper right stays half green, even though inland on the same parallel is snowy. The peninsula might be explainable with a warm current, but i don't see how to explain the green island, unless magic is involved.

SkarValidus
04-09-2010, 06:20 PM
Magic is involved, as explained earlier on. Thanks for the sharp observation, though.
Also, this map is not aligned perfectly north, it's about 20 degrees west of north.

jwbjerk
04-09-2010, 08:49 PM
Magic is involved, as explained earlier on. Thanks for the sharp observation, though.
Also, this map is not aligned perfectly north, it's about 20 degrees west of north.
Oop, i shouldn't have skimmed so much, i see someone already raised the question.

SkarValidus
04-17-2010, 04:12 PM
A quick update:
I have completed a landmass outline for the rest of the planet. I also moved onto weather mapping, so I've now created an animation of the yearly air pressure cycle. I have also roughly mapped the winds for the summer (July, namely), but since I'm so nooby at terraforming, I have no idea if they are actually moving properly. I'll post both of these creations pretty soon; hopefull they'll be up by this evening.

Jaxilon
04-17-2010, 04:51 PM
Well I'm looking forward to it. It looks sharp so far.

SkarValidus
04-17-2010, 11:17 PM
As promised, here is the pressure animation and the July wind chart (from two angles). Comments and critiques are welcome!

EDIT: Looks like you'll have to download the animation and play it back offline. Sorry. Also, on the wind chart, the yellow line is equator, the red is tropic, and the cyan is polar front. The wind travels from the dots along the lines, ok?

jwbjerk
04-17-2010, 11:48 PM
As promised, here is the pressure animation and the July wind chart (from two angles). Comments and critiques are welcome!

EDIT: Looks like you'll have to download the animation and play it back offline. Sorry. Also, on the wind chart, the yellow line is equator, the red is tropic, and the cyan is polar front. The wind travels from the dots along the lines, ok?

If i understand what your doing, the pressure is not quite right.

In winter you tend to get high pressure areas over sufficiently large continents. In summer the pressure tends to be lower over contents. "Summer" and "winter" are not at the same time in the north and south hemispheres. They are opposite. And at the equator, since there are essentially no seasons, you don't get the winter/summer high/low thing going on.

If i'm looking at your map right, you've created the pressure as if the whole globe experienced the same season at the same time.


Also, unless you are using a fancy projection i'm not aware of, you continents are going to be badly pinched if you put this map on a sphere.

SkarValidus
04-18-2010, 01:29 AM
Wow... I never even considered north and south temperatures being opposite. Basically, I'll have to swap half of each map, to compensate for that. That will mean I have to keep working on the air currents. If I'm understanding you right, you're saying that the equator continents need to stay low-pressure all year round, and the polar ones high-pressure. Now that I think about it, that makes perfect sense. Thanks for that tip, and you've been a really good help in my quest, so thank you! By the way, you just made me feel like I have an iq of 85... In a really good and productive way.

Oh, and the projection I'm using is definitely wierd. The big world map I have looks pretty much just like this, with no perspective/pinching. Before I try to put it on a globe, I plan to apply some distortion to balance it all out and make it look normal. Again, thanks for your insight.

jwbjerk
04-18-2010, 12:55 PM
If I'm understanding you right, you're saying that the equator continents need to stay low-pressure all year round, and the polar ones high-pressure.
No, at least on earth, the equator is more or less "medium" pressure, without large seasonal swings. The poles however, have extreme seasonal swings, since in their summer the sun hardly sets. Polar landmasses can form high pressure zones in their winter, if they are big enough.
Check out this page (http://www.wse.ie/articles/actual-global-surface-circulation-04.php), especially the pictures.

Of course if your planet has a radically different axial tilt, or an eccentric orbit (i.e. is significantly different from earth) some of these things would change.



Now that I think about it, that makes perfect sense. Thanks for that tip, and you've been a really good help in my quest, so thank you! By the way, you just made me feel like I have an iq of 85... In a really good and productive way.Don't feel stupid this is unintuitive stuff. I've gone through the whole process before, but had to recheck my sources to refresh my vague memory of how this all worked. I don't think very many map-makers bother with this.



Oh, and the projection I'm using is definitely wierd. The big world map I have looks pretty much just like this, with no perspective/pinching. Before I try to put it on a globe, I plan to apply some distortion to balance it all out and make it look normal.
I'm no master of projections, but the more i look at this the more i think you can't do that, unless you have your equator and tropic lines in the wrong place.

Your Map is seamless on the right and left sides (as it should be), but also on the top and bottom (as it should not be). You don't travel to the north pole, step over a line and find yourself in the south pole, which is what (if i understand it right) your map is doing. Look at your second wind image. You have the lines that should form the arctic and antarctic circles right next to each other-- that can't happen, unless maybe this is some hyper-dimensional shape.