View Full Version : The Amaranth Lands and Tsanomai - an old-fashioned political map

03-29-2010, 06:39 PM
This is the first map I've posted here. It's a political map of part of my conworld, made with Photoshop and help from Ascension's excellent tutorial.

It's not definitively finished, but I've done a fair amount of work on it and I think it's starting to look presentable. The world it shows is early modern, with technology somewhere between 1700 and 1900 in terrestrial terms, and accordingly I've tried to give it an 18th century style. At present I'm dithering over how to draw in the mountains, among other things.
As you might have guessed, the "central" nation of this map is Meduzís; all the seas are labelled with Meduzían names, as are the Ozhură Zimaz (Rose Islands). All rivers are labelled in the local language, and the same applies to the other archipelago, the Soi Khal.


03-29-2010, 06:55 PM
Beautiful map! Have some REP. I see no river problems, so well done there. My only question lies on those two areas, the southwest corner of the map, and that area north of Marabzi, and east of Mardosayo and Ushenshe - are those desert area or something? I notice the borders don't close in there, but they seem to match the color of the sea. I'm guessing a great chain of mountains encircle Mardosayo and Usheshe because all the rivers there flow to the west coast into one great river.

Those empty areas confuse me. Other than that, great map!


03-29-2010, 07:05 PM
Thank you, and good question!
The area south of Tsanomai is indeed a desert. East of Mardosayo and Ushenshe is a range of mountains, and past that is open steppe and I'm not really sure what's there. It's probably inhabited by nomads...
I'm sure there are better ways of showing these on the map than just blanks, though. Here as always suggestions are very welcome.

03-29-2010, 07:17 PM
Sticking with your basic style, I'd say pick some subtle color perhaps browner or grayer than your sea color and apply it as desert, but also label your desert and your steppe region. You could use some kind of iconic symbol fill for those otherwise. Since you plan to place mountains will they be isometric or top down view mountains? Many styles would work. I'd look up some 18th century map with mountains placed as reference to get an idea of how to go.

I look forward to your progress.


03-29-2010, 11:08 PM
Hey, that's gorgeous work. Clear and easy to read, and pretty!

03-30-2010, 12:54 AM
Clean and pretty map!

03-30-2010, 04:06 AM
very nice map - clear colors, good lines ... looking forward to seing more :)

03-30-2010, 07:26 PM
Ok, here's a new version with the steppe (Maraubon) and the high desert (Thahei) labelled and drawn in, as Gamerprinter suggested, in a neutral colour. I've also fiddled slightly with the aging effects, although I'm not sure that will make much difference.
This map is at full resolution, though, so you can see a bit more detail and read all the names :)


03-30-2010, 07:37 PM
Much better! Especially with the slight color change differing from the sea - the steppe and desert works well now. I look forward to your mountains.


03-30-2010, 07:40 PM
That's starting to look very sexy :)

03-30-2010, 08:11 PM
Good stuff. I keep thinking that this was one of my more average tuts but I keep seeing you guys take it and run with it and create something much nicer and it makes me happy. The only thing I might add is some grunge and splotches to make it look old but otherwise, very nice.

03-31-2010, 02:11 AM
I like it :D

04-02-2010, 06:00 AM
Thanks everyone! Here's a little update.
The colours have been toned down a bit, and I've added some grunge effects from a couple of stock images. (Not too much though - in-world, the map probably isn't more than 20 or 30 years old.) I also realised that the scale needed a bit of adjustment to look more traditional.

Mountains are still something of an issue. I'm leaning towards shaded relief, since it's something I know how to do; my only concern is that it might seem a bit anachronistic. Any thoughts on the matter?


04-02-2010, 06:26 AM
I think shaded relief could fit very well with the look you've got going on here, give a try for an area and see how it goes!

04-06-2010, 04:19 PM
The colors and paper texture are working together really well there. Mountain ranges might just be marked by text of the their names if you want to keep the appearance fairly sparse.

04-12-2010, 07:59 AM
The texture is prefect.

If you are going for something really authentic looking, some of your political colors seem too a little close to neon, and more importantly too precisely the same luminosity to have been created by non-modern presses. In other words the colors are far too precisely matched... I'd expect to find some of the colors darker and bolder than the others, especially magenta.

I expect the political colors are all done by layer(s) set to the "color" blending mode. I'd try switching one or two of the colors to "Multiply", "Hard Light", etc. (which also might require dialing back the opacity) to get a more haphazard effect.