Welcome to Kular.
I'm using Photoshop CS4. I'm also borrowing CC3 structures to represent my cities and keeps.
I used Tear's tutorial to get the land masses and deep water where I wanted them. I'm using ideas from Pasis' Terrain Creation Tutorial. Originally, I was going to use Zaramis' Relatively Realistic Mountains, which has worked well for me in the past, but a test run had me pulling my hair out as I couldn't get the look I wanted. I'm borrowing ideas and testing a lot of my own.
Here's what the B&W looks like [White is land] at 16.6% scale:
I went through the Tear tutorial to get the coastlines and oceans in. When I got to the land section, I deviated and stopped the tutorial. Although the brownish land color was crisp, I knew I'd be using a hybrid of Pasis/me going forward and didn't want to have to lay down grass all over the world in detail, so rather than add the brownish foreground color, I decided to add a grass pattern I like. When I first put it down, I was horrified at the easily discernible redundant pattern [still 16.6% scale]:
The red arrow denotes the section I have been working on the past two days. It's near completion and has everything in place: Snow pack, mountains, forest, cities, placenames, etc., so I could see how things might look when I do the whole map. I did this small test section in order to keep it all compartmentalized. As you can see from the above image, at 16.6% it's really fuzzy and ugly.
It looks a whole lot better at 100%:
I'm working at 150-400% as it allows me a bit more room to work with my fat fingers.
Things I'm wondering about:
1. Is the complete use of Trajan Pro overdoing it? Should I use a different font for city names, rivers, mountains, etc.? If so, suggestions?
2. The Photoshop file is 661MB right now and I have sooooo much more to do. I have over 200 GB on the drive I have the file on. I'm sure this will be enough. However, it takes a lot to load and save. Any tips on truncating layers/sections to improve performance of loads and saves? I'd like to save often, but don't want to wait 5 minutes to do so.
Feel free to voice your comments and questions.
I have to assume you're dealing with a small-ish island here, given the space between the settlements and the extend to which the ice spreads south past an area of green. If this were a much bigger landmass, that would be pretty unrealistic. But I like this map a lot. On the contrary to comment 1 for me. I prefer maps to have a consistent font. It drives me nuts trying to navigate 4 different fonts on a map. I also happen to be a big fan of the Trajan font. In the future (not with Trajan because of the font's limitations and the ugliness of it in italic) you can make your font consistent but add some variation by using Upper/Lower for cities, Upper/Small Caps for regions, Upper/Lower with italics for rivers, just as an example.
Also, I would just be patient with regard to the saving. You never know when you may need to go back and change something. I am a GIMP user, not Photoshop, but I know that trying to truncate my layers always messes with my blend modes and makes everything look funny. I try to mess with stuff when I get the look I want.
The land masses are about 210 miles [East-West] by 180 miles [North-South]. There is a warm gulf stream effect from the south which travels between this pair of islands and the one further west, warming the land to either side, but not quite warm enough to penetrate past the ranges.
Originally Posted by afters
Started working on my main mountain ranges. There'll be more smaller ranges when I start getting into detail work as well as hilly terrain to flesh out at the 100% resolution level. Here is at 16.6%:
I've put up a grid. Each square is roughly 200 miles square. At that scale, I'm wondering if adding volcanos would even by prudent?
Here is a section blown up to 100% resolution:
A lot of work to do.
With the major mountain chains established, I decided to work on one of the barbaric regions.
Your political boundaries are almost unnoticable as they are now. My suggestion would be a bold white dotted line to represent borders.