Continent of Rhime
Ok here is the finished product, I need to move on to the next continent so I decided not to put to much for finishing touches. Also I plan on bringing all the landmasses together again after I have them all done, so the ocean will be redone at that time. But here it is... my first "finished" map.
I started with the continental outline and relief from Fractal Terrains. The height map was eroded using Wilbur. Then everything was was put together using GimP, and only Gimp. No special plug-ins other than RobA's necessary "tapered stroked path". Thanks for all the encouragement and help in making my rivers stay on the ground ;)
Nice colors, cool forests, and sweet rivers. Nice job my man.
I'm not a big fan of the font you chose (or some of the colors), but that's a personal preference thing.
Everything else is quite good. - well done!
Interesting. Reminds me of a Guild Wars map for some reason.
This is a beautiful map.
I love the vibrancy of the greens. I think a colour that bright needs to be very skillfully implemented without looking garish and out of place. But it works.
I mentioned in a previous thread that the mountains seem to go more down than up but they still look good. The hills and the forests look great though.
Very nice map.
I want to make it clear right up front that I think that, purely as a map, this is some really nice work. Seriously, I'm totally inspired to dig my copy of Fractal Terrains back out and put it back to use. It's probably 2 or 3 versions out of date now, but after looking at the lovely textures you've picked up here with it I really want to put it to work again!
(Now, I'm going to take off my mapmaking hat and put my wanna-be art teacher hat on in it's place. So if that's something you're really not that concerned with right now, you can totally blow off the rest of this and, seriously, I wouldn't hold it against you.)
... I think this map would be much improved if the colors were toned down a bit. There's a couple of reasons for this, the first one of which is purely practical. I'm working on my netbook right now, so I don't have ready access to Photoshop or anything, but just looking at it I'm about 99% certain that several of the colors - particularly that really intense green - are out of gamut. So if you ever decide to print it out, you're not going to get the colors that you imagined; you'll get whatever your printer decides is close enough.
The other reason is aesthetic. You've got so many intense colors in there that everything is competing for attention, and your poor little cities are getting lost in the shouting match between them.
One thing that would help right off the bat would be to bring the opacity on the ocean and the decorative runic circles on it down to maybe 25, 30 percent opacity of what they are now. (I love those rune circles, by the way, they're a very nice touch!) On a map like this, the ocean really only needs to be there just enough so you know when you're not looking at land, if that makes sense.
Really, if you brought the oceans down and desaturated the land area by, oh, even 10% or so, I think you'd find the whole thing has a lot more pop.
But, again, please feel free to take that with as many grains of salt as you like! Throw the whole shaker on there!
Thanks for all the compliments AND critiques. I read it all.
@ Palehorse - I think your right about the colours, this map was more about getting the mechanics down and i just kinda winged the palette as i went and went heavy on the experimenting. I will "tone it down alittle" and repost. The Ocean was just a test too, i plan on cutting out the land and pasting it on the world map later. Thank you palehorse for the time to write such a informative critique. The colour palette is something I will definatly take some time to refine both for the map AND the labeling. I plan on switching from the "modern" icon to a "cluster of buildings" symbols for towns and they will totally get lost with the map as it is. I was inspired originally by the "blue marble" concept of the mass-resolution satellite pictures, but they only work do to the absolute clarity.
@ Ramah I think it might be the limits of the technique (greyscale height map, bumpmap filter, set layer to value, texture) I have been trying to get the mountains to pop out more for a few map attempts now. You can only contrast the dark and light areas so much. I cant created any more actual Height, as its from GIMPs Bumpmap/Emboss script using a full black to pure white (in other words totally contrasted out) grayscale height map.
I forgot originally too the texture is ON TOP of the bump map, as since i set the bumpmap layer to value (to let the colours of the land gradient come through where there is no texture) If i put the texture layer under the bumpmap the value setting messes up the colouring of the Texture. This plus a layer of white snow as this is a "northerly" map is what has totaly flattened out the map. My next map will be a big test for me as it is less mountainous, WAY more open plains, and thus I really want my mountains to pop. I have gathered a few ideas so far. Time to get on it i guess!
@ Ironmetal - Thats quite the compliment as i believe you mentioned that in another thread as one of your all time favorite maps, Thanks!
Here is the world "sketch" so you can see that Big map is actually a very small place (the size of england) so dont worry... i am going to be around listening, posting, and learning for a while....
And a couple randoms, in case anybodies interest was peaked...
These are pretty cool, I like the one with the countries on it.