A Small Island - WIP for Azassino
I've decided to make a map for Azassino per his request in the request forum, as a chance to practice my skills and try to implement some of the tutorials I've read on this site lately. Input and critique are welcome. I must of course stick to the outline given by Azassino, but he also seems willing to leave a lot up to my creativity or ideas about how things should piece together.
(Request thread here)
My primary tool is inkscape. I'm looking at eventually achieving a map with lots of subtle textures, as in the examples he linked in his request thread, but also trying to "hand-draw" (by trackpad) the symbols for mountains, cities, etc.
Here is the sample provided:
And here is my progress so far:
I've altered the location of the peripheral islands slightly, added a few tiny islands out in the ocean for balance (these will probably be rocky things or lighthouses or something) and I also stretched the main land mass slightly horizontally in order to help fit things in.
There are a couple of little things on his sample that take consideration in satisfying my requirements for realism. First, the splitting of the river in the fort mid-island seems unnatural, so I've decided the left branch which flows west through the capital will be an artificial canal. The second thing that stands out is that the island cluster in the southeast and the delta south on the main island suggest the presence of sedimentary rock. Going with the idea that this is a mid-ocean island, I've decided that for an island this small to contain rock like this, and for there to be so few mountains, this island must be rather old. If the island was generated via hot-spot, it could have started in the southwest then gradually formed the main island as the plate slid. There may have used to be a rocky ridge from southwest to northeast, and rainfall could have predominantly fallen on the east side, creating the requisite sedimentary rock. A landslide (common on these volcanic islands) at some later point could have deposited much of this sedimentary rock out further in the ocean, creating what would become the island cluster SE later through erosion. Further, the remaining damaged mountains have been worn down over time to create the hilly mid-region of the island. Only the harder, newest mountains in the NE still survive at any height.
The geological history thus justified, by next step should be to map out the major physical characteristics from the sample onto my map, influenced by my reasoning above. I think I will save the cities/villages for last, as I haven't decided just how I will be drawing them in yet.
Again, any comments and critique are welcome.
Working on the mountains... I want to have only a few large mountains on an island of this size, instead of a large chain. There will be hilly lands around, not quite sure how to do large rolling hills on the same scale. This is in the northeast corner of the picture above, I have the background layers hidden for now or else my computer bogs down.
I have a question for any inkscape users who may have more experience than I. I've drawn in my rivers using just the pencil tool with shape selected as triangle out. What this does is makes a gradual wedge along the path so i get a gradually widening, curving river. Looks great, but when I go into the path editor it only shows points along the line in the middle where I've drawn. This is because it didn't actually draw the path as a wedge, the program still sees it as a line, with a path effect on it to create the wedge. I can go into the effect editor and tweak the parameters to make it wider or narrower, or start sooner, or whatever. That isn't the problem.
What I'd like is a way to get my path, with all the points, to match what I see. That is, I want actual wedges when I go into the path editor, not just the line they are generated from. That way, I can combine them, fill them in with texture, or whatever. I'm having a hard time figuring out how to do this. I don't know if there is a plugin that will give me what I see as another path. Everything I've tried seems to just try and modify the line, ignoring the effect.
I'm sorry if it's unclear what I'm asking, I probably don't know all of the correct terminology to use. Hopefully someone can understand and help out.
The delta, made of many lines with path effect to make them "wedges":
I want to be able to make this all one complex path of the combined outline.
Unfortunately, I'm no help on the inkscape problem (since I'm a total inkscape noob) but this little hiccup aside this is coming along very nicely. Rep to you
I've been doing some work putting in forests, using the spray tool to create clumps of trees and then pattern along path to add trunks. I think with the trees I will be adding some internal lines for detail, then painting in patches of texture.
Everything looks pretty cartoony right now but I'm basically going layout->detail so I imagine the finished look will be quite different. I expanded the page size to A3 so that I could fit more detail, so I had to find a bigger parchment image for the background, too. I like this one, but I'm not sure about it's license since I grabbed it off some random site, so that will probably change as well before the final product. Here is the map at 150 DPI:
Next I'm going to put in fields and roads, and hopefully figure out how to fix my rivers. I'm saving cities for last, mostly because I don't know how I'm going to draw them yet. Then everything will get painted and textured. This is a little awkward in inkscape, but I'm not sure if I want to learn GIMP just yet...
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