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Thread: Nonameland - An attempt

  1. #1
      furiousuk is offline
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    Wip Nonameland - An attempt

    Whilst I have been lurking here for a good while this is my first started thread as I wanted to try and get a map to a level where I can call it finished - so this is my first map post!

    I'm going to be following a tutorial by Rpgmapmaker to create this map, but so far I have followed part of a Jezelf tutorial to create this basic alpha map sketch of the landmasses I'm going to embellish.

    Nonameland - An attempt-landmasssketch.jpg

    So far I haven't gotten far, here is the map coloured and stroked

    Nonameland - An attempt-basiccolourandstroke.jpg

    I'm not particularly choosy for the shape and layout of the landmasses for this little project but needed to do a little tidy-up of some of the coastal areas and remove some tiny lakes (these will be added differently later) to leave me at this stage:

    Nonameland - An attempt-landmasssketchtouchup.jpg

    The red area was originally a large lake that is very close to the coast. It seemed unrealistic to have such a large body of lake-water separated from it's ocean brother by such a small strip of land so I opened up a channel to allow it to flow out to the sea (or become part of the ocean as it is now). But I'm not entirely happy with it, I'd quite like it as a lake. So I'm asking for the advice of the experts: should I move the lake further away from the shoreline? Or would some sort of large river exiting the lake and feeding the sea be acceptable? (I can't figure out a way this would happen) Of course, I could leave the land as it is now, I did a quick textured stroke-map to see it in a different way:

    Nonameland - An attempt-darkcoloursketch.jpg

    Now, when drawn like this the lake becoming part ocean seems like the best way. I'm not drawing the map like this though, it was only to see what it would look like to help make a decision

    Anyhow, any opinions on what to do with the water in the red would be gratefully received. As I say I'm not overly concerned with how the land shapes end up but this little query seemed to burst out of the canvas demanding an answer!
    Last edited by furiousuk; 11-12-2011 at 10:19 AM.

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      Lukc is offline
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    Well ... it could be a lake, but there would need to be a major mountain chain or some kind of tectonic activity separating it from the ocean ... or, it *could* be magic!

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      furiousuk is offline
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    Thanks for the reply Lukc! Yeah, I'm not keen on the 'magic' solution to things either! I think it's going to stay as part of the ocean as it is now, although there is no scale at all at the present so it could even be an inland sea with a 'chunky' outlet, either way this project is purely aesthetic so I think it'll stay as it is, I might need to shave a little of the promontory on the South shore though.

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      Akerbeltz is offline
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    The Black Sea is analogous to your lake. When the Turkish Straits didn't connect the sea to the mediterranean it was just a large lake, but now it's a stratified sea. The fresh river water flows over the denser salt water from the mediterranean. This stratification stops the upper and lower layers from mixing, and ensures that only the top layer of water has significant levels of oxygen. Makes for very well preserved sunken ruins, and in a fantasy world perhaps very alien anoxic lifeforms.

    Anyways I say keep it as a lake. Could be the ocean water just broke through into the lake basin a few thousand years ago. In this case the "river" or straits will often flow backwards.

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      furiousuk is offline
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    Thanks Akerbeltz, just the sort of thing I was after! I'd thought I'd seen something like this in a map of Eastern Africa (although I might be thinking of Lake Victoria which is further inland) but maybe I didn't. I've just zoomed in to have a look at Istanbul, just so I've got this right, the Black Sea exits through Istanbul to the Sea of Marmara and from there out to the Aegean and then the Med? And just so my geographical knowledge is sound: there can be no other exits from the Black Sea? Just the same as a lake?

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      jbgibson is offline
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    There's also Lake Pontchartrain as an example - there one certainly doesn't need mountains! It's not purely a lake, since there's some mixing of seawater, but neither is it purely an embayment off the Gulf of Mexico - its salinity varies from negligible at one end to about half that of seawater at the other end. Since you don't have any of your topography defined yet you could set up a similar situation with a large river mouth nearby, whose sediments have blocked off or mostly blocked off ocean access.

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      Akerbeltz is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by furiousuk View Post
    Thanks Akerbeltz, just the sort of thing I was after! I'd thought I'd seen something like this in a map of Eastern Africa (although I might be thinking of Lake Victoria which is further inland) but maybe I didn't. I've just zoomed in to have a look at Istanbul, just so I've got this right, the Black Sea exits through Istanbul to the Sea of Marmara and from there out to the Aegean and then the Med? And just so my geographical knowledge is sound: there can be no other exits from the Black Sea? Just the same as a lake?
    Right, it flows through the Bosphorus into Marmara and then through the Dardenelles into the Aegean. There straits act very much like rivers at first glance, the surface current flows from the Black Sea to the Med, but then there's an undercurrent which flows the opposite way. Tidal shifts can cause very quick changes in the currents, which has always made the straits treacherous to pass through.

    If you want your sea to function like the Black Sea then it must have only one exit point as far as I understand it. With multiple exits or a larger exit it would be more of an estuary, which would also be a very fine explanation.

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    Divers have found burial mounds and proof that native Americans lived in the basin of the San Francisco/San Pablo bay system here in California. They surmise that the area would pick up it's share of fresh water from streams and rainfall and that some time ago an earthquake split the area of the present day Golden Gate. Once the deluge started, the constant pounding of the Pacific Ocean filled the bay. Subsequent earthquakes diverted the Russian, American and San Joaquin rivers into the SF Bay Area.

    Those inland seas on your maps can be virtual gold mines of adventure for underwater campaigns.

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      furiousuk is offline
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    Thanks for all the good advices, I've altered it so that it is back as a separate body of water as well as touching up a couple of the smaller islands on the map.

    Nonameland - An attempt-06touchup.jpg

    I'll probably use a large river to attach it to the sea and place a river delta nearby. I'm not averse to altering it later as the rest of the features take shape. The area will be surrounded by a large mountainous area that would catch enough rainfall supply as well as at least one large river entering the map from the North.

    My next step was to start on some of the features of the map:

    Nonameland - An attempt-07toplandnotree.jpg

    The surrounding sea areas are only tentatively textured. I've used a brush to 'raise' the land up from the sea and then smudged it in to blend it but I won't start on 'lowering' the ocean floor until more of the coastline is done. The next stage was to touch it up a bit further, add some trees and employ a little gaussian blur to blend it all in and...

    Nonameland - An attempt-08toplandwithtree.jpg

    I'll do a bit more touching up of that area before it's all finished, as well as finishing the surrounding sea-floor and probably altering the levels but that area is essentially finished.

    I'd hoped to get more done this weekend but, alas, that was it!

  10. #10
      furiousuk is offline
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    I did manage to get a little further, starting with the islands:

    Nonameland - An attempt-09islandsdone.jpg

    The seas aren't done at all but I've tried to create the beginnings of a shelf around the line, trying to link islands under the surface where possible/aesthetic.

    I've tried to make a start on the main landmass too, starting with a basic roughing and levelling of the land and continuing to make a start on the main mountain chain:

    Nonameland - An attempt-10topmountainstrip.jpg

    I haven't tried to make such a large block of mountains using this style before I think I'm getting there with 'raising' the mountains up sufficiently from the coastal areas.

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