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Thread: Maps for my planned novel

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      Kelron is offline
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    Wip Maps for my planned novel

    Hello all,

    currently I write a novel and want to make maps of the world, the regions and important towns. Some maps are planned to be as B/W-versions in the book, but I also want to start a HP with an interactive tour for it.

    After some small tests with Campaign Cartographer 3 I got started with the world map, which is my first map to showcase here and which surely still offers some room for improvements.

    Please tell me your thoughts and what you would improve in order to get a better map.

    I`ll explain the colors for a better understanding of the borders:
    Purple: Orcs
    Blue and Yellow: Human Kingdoms
    Green: Elves
    Black: Dark Elves
    Red: Dwarves
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Maps for my planned novel-thylis.jpg  
    Last edited by Kelron; 09-06-2011 at 12:32 AM. Reason: Reattached the graphic as thumbnail

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    The first think that jumps out at me is that the coast lines are way to smooth. I'm not a CC user so can't really tell you how to fix that. Otherwise it's an interesting map overall, lots of mountains...
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

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      Kelron is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel General View Post
    The first think that jumps out at me is that the coast lines are way to smooth. I'm not a CC user so can't really tell you how to fix that. Otherwise it's an interesting map overall, lots of mountains...
    Thank you for your hint. I`ve given the glowing effect a smaller value. The coast lines are not as smooth any more.

    Additionally I`ve added some foothills in the red region and changed some bordercolors for a better seperation.

    For the mountains, I want to have the dwarven region (the red one) with many mountains, but I`m not totally happy with the current look of it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Maps for my planned novel-thylis2.jpg  
    Last edited by Kelron; 09-06-2011 at 12:32 AM. Reason: Reattached the graphic as thumbnail

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      Ascension is offline
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    I think you could stand to trim back most of the mountains, there are a whole lot of them. They look like octopus arms sticking out all over so by trim I mean cut them back to nubs and I think things will look more plausible. The arrangement could use a bit of fixing as well, they look like a bunch of fences so I would group some together. I did a little 10 minute sketch to show you some ideas. The light green is the flat grassland areas and low hills. The dark green is forest, the black is a possible swamp, the tan is a possible desert or dry area. The orange are foothills, the red is mountains and the white is the highest peaks. Blue is rivers of course. Then I did a rough coastline, smooth ones are boring, like Steel said. I don't mean to offend or anything, just some positive pointers on arranging terrain to look plausible without going through all of the science to make sure it really fits...it just needs to look good.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Maps for my planned novel-screenie.jpg  
    Last edited by Ascension; 09-04-2011 at 02:22 PM.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

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      Kelron is offline
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    Thank you for taking some time and giving a very detailed feedback! Now I know, what was ment with the coastline. I will take a look at it and try to improve the map. TBH I also didn`t like the upper mountains, I`ve tried some things so far, but it didn`t get better. I also want to add a river as natural border between some regions.

    I don`t take critics personally, don`t worry I thank all people showing me ways and ideas for a great looking and believable map, which is my goal in the end. I know that I`m a beginner as mapper and I really appreciate such comments!

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      Hugo Solis is offline
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    Personally, I try to avoid to shape the maps to the likeness of the area of drawing (your digital canvas or the paper sheet), trying to form non square/rectangular, this usually leaves "blanck" spots which may be another kind of problem, but can be use to throw some nifty illos -like wales or krakes poking out of the water- or some other icons. Also these places are good to put your notes/keys or other necessary map stuff.

    Just some random thoughts

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      Kelron is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Solis View Post
    Personally, I try to avoid to shape the maps to the likeness of the area of drawing (your digital canvas or the paper sheet)
    ...
    100 points, that`s exactly how I did it. I drew it on a sheet paper and tried to make it look like that. :p

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Solis View Post
    ... but can be use to throw some nifty illos -like wales or krakes poking out of the water- or some other icons. Also these places are good to put your notes/keys or other necessary map stuff.

    Just some random thoughts
    Thank you, maybe I`ll add some of that stuff. I`ve just started to reshape the landmass and got rid of all other things so far for a fresh restart.

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      Ascension is offline
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    Hugo makes a very good point, never make your map fit to the edges of the paper, lots of folks forget that, even me sometimes. It may help to take a sheet of paper and rip it up into shreds then put some of the pieces together (not all of them) to make an interesting shape then tape them together then trace around that on a blank sheet. Try to think "dynamic, action, movement" instead of "I want it big so I need to make it fill up the whole piece of paper".
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

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      Kelron is offline
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    I`ll definitaly try to avoid that in the future! I`ve added my drawing for a comparison with my first try and this makes the mistake even more obvious. But it`s good to know the common mistakes, so I (hopefully) won`t make them again in the future!

    I`ve reshaped the coastline now for a more realistic touch. I`m also thinking of extending the mapsize, so I can add some more islands and other stuff in the finishing step.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Maps for my planned novel-thylis-weltkarte.jpg  
    Last edited by Kelron; 09-06-2011 at 12:33 AM. Reason: typo

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      Ascension is offline
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    Instead of extending the canvas, just draw everything smaller. For now at least. You're still doing the "fill up the whole page" thing, especially across the top and sides. Bottom looks good, though - lots of negative space. Negative space (empty) is your friend and is just as important as positive space (filled) when designing a landmass. You have 2 "dents" in the top - exaggerate those some more. That bottom right chunk, try pushing it more to the right. The bottom left chunk looks nice so maybe push it further to the left and make it bigger. The top left chunk looks like a great place for a hook so push it up and then a little bit left. The top right chunk feels like it wants to be long and pointy up to the top right more. I doodled up and example. You'll notice my top sort of follows the edges of the paper so the part in the middle might need to be pushed up more.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Maps for my planned novel-screenie.jpg  
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

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