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Thread: First attempt of map, but it looks kind of dull - now what?

  1. #1
    Guild Member Facebook Connected schattentanz's Avatar
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    Default First attempt of map, but it looks kind of dull - now what?

    Howdy, crowd

    Long time lurker, first time poster, here

    Inspired by some of your tutorials (which are awesome, btw!) I did my first attempt at a worldmap in Gimp:

    First attempt of map, but it looks kind of dull - now what?-pic1797674_md.png

    However, it looks kind of boring .. if not to say, featureless ..
    Any suggestions on how I could improve it?

    As a size reference: The "head" of the left continent is supposed to be about the size of Europe from West to East.

    While the basic geology looks as supposed (e.g. left one: grassland in the north, desert in the centre, jungle in the south), as much as I understood, at this distance, you do not paint in stuff like trees, cities or streets, or do you?
    Also, I've even been hesistant to put in the river on the right one - but thinking of an Amazonas (or Nile) like river, I'd say it is fine, isn't it?

    In my eyes, the map just looks wrong - but I cannot tell, what exactly is wrong with it .. can you?



    Thank you so much and keep up the good work!
    I really love returning here, looking at your impressive maps!


    Kind regards,
    Kai

  2. #2
      Triplicate is offline
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    Welcome!

    The left continent looks rather like a seahorse. Was that intentional? Also, its "tail" appears to be a large crater with a central peak, but something looks wrong about that. Maybe it's too neat? Or that it's filled with land but surrounded by water, even though the floor of a crater is normally lower than the surrounding terrain?
    EDIT: And the gap in the rim where it connects to the rest of the continent.

    Also, the terrain coloration appears to have been applied ignoring coastlines, making the continents look like cutouts.

    And what's the projection? The compass rose suggests a Mercator (straight lines radiating to show constant compass bearing), but the crater is at high latitudes, so if it's actually circular on a spherical world, it won't be circular on a Mercator.
    Last edited by Triplicate; 10-10-2013 at 05:23 PM.

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    Guild Member Facebook Connected schattentanz's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply

    Yes, the continent's shape is intentional

    The geography, too: Down under there is a jungle hidden in a ring of mountains. Seeing mountain ranges like e.g. the Andes on Earth, I can't see anything wrong with mountains next to water - or is there?

    I've started a second attempt at a map, regarding a hint I read in another thread; something along the lines "if the coastlines are sharp, terrain should be sharp, too" .. So I took an eraser and eliminated the blurry parts of the mountains. Also I re-vamped the snow to be what I consider more "snowy" ..

    First attempt of map, but it looks kind of dull - now what?-pic1798465_lg.png

    Yet .. in my eyes, the mountains still look wrong ..
    Also the ocean looks more like a bunch of clouds .. most propably, because it is a cloud-filter with a blue overlay .. anywhere a good tutorial on creating an ocean looking realistic?
    And the whole rest is just .. featureless .. that's actually my biggest issue: what features could I add at this size besides more mountains / rivers?



    I'm not sure, I understood the question about the projection correctly:
    While the world is supposed to be round, the continents are depicted as if "flattened out", the white northern as well as the southern rim are the north and the south pole respectively ..
    Anything wrong with that?



    Thanks for reading/replying and kind regards,
    Kai

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Yes, it's quite sparse. In the entire world there's only one major river worth depicting? Are there no cities? Forests? You can probably lose a lot of the dullness by filling it with more detail.

    I think you should reduce the opacity of your ocean clouds layer. It's overwhelming the map right now, but what you want is for it to just break up the monotony of the oceans rather than being a feature to itself. You might also see if you can reduce the size of the clouds by about 50%—increase the detail, then reduce how obvious it is. I think Gimp has controls for that (unlike Photoshop, which has a really crummy clouds renderer).

    You might also reduce the spread of your coastline glow.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

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    Guild Member Facebook Connected schattentanz's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply

    I just found this tutorial here: [Award Winner] Eriond - A Tutorial for GIMP & Wilbur

    Think, I'm going to toy around with this one for a while .. If I get it right, I think I've got what I wanted

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      Triplicate is offline
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    Down under there is a jungle hidden in a ring of mountains. Seeing mountain ranges like e.g. the Andes on Earth, I can't see anything wrong with mountains next to water - or is there?
    The issue isn't so much "mountains next to water" as the shape of the mountains. Mountain ranges on Earth don't form circular loops because they generally form along plate boundaries. The issue is "How was this world made?"
    While the world is supposed to be round, the continents are depicted as if "flattened out", the white northern as well as the southern rim are the north and the south pole respectively ..
    Anything wrong with that?
    A map that does that doesn't preserve shapes. That's what I meant when I said the circle wouldn't be circular.

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    Guild Member Facebook Connected schattentanz's Avatar
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    Hi guys

    Once again, thank you for your replys

    As mentioned before, I toyed with a tutorial .. watch the result:

    Attachment 58566

    It's just plain awesome

    Oh - and the world is a fantasy world created by a schizophrenic deity, so screw logic .. The mountain circle works, just because! No other reason needed

    On a more serious note: If that mountain circle actually is supposed to be a circle - do I have to draw it differently on the map then?? (just wondering ..)



    Thanks and kind regards,
    Kai
    Last edited by schattentanz; 10-20-2013 at 02:54 PM.

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