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Thread: WIP - continent of Demetia

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      wisemoon is offline
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    Wip WIP - continent of Demetia

    So, after doing one region of one continent of my original world, and sort-of doing a second (while revising RobA's tutorial), I decided that I should actually do the continental map first, so I can get the scale somewhat correct, and then go back and do the regional maps at the proper scale.

    I am using Ascension's "atlas-style" tutorial, just to try out the style. I am not at all happy with what I'm posting here, just to be clear...once I get through the whole tutorial and learn what the overall effect is supposed to be, I will be throwing out most of what I've done and starting over. I will probably end up mixing some of Ascension's style with some of RobA's style, along with some experimentation of my own.

    At any rate, here is what I have starting off. Will post more of course as I develop it.

    WIP - continent of Demetia-demetiacontinentalmap1.jpg
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      wisemoon is offline
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    Wip Second attempt

    I was really not happy with the first attempt, following Kidari/Ascension's tutorial. There were evidently a few steps I didn't really understand the first time through.

    Here is a shot of my second attempt...I am just past setting up the mountains and hills, have not yet adjusted the climate zones etc.

    WIP - continent of Demetia-demetiacontinentalmap2.jpg

    I like this one better than the last one, but it still needs some adjusting. The ground just seems a lot rougher than my concept visualized, so I need to go back in and edit the mountain and hill layers some more I think. I also don't like how big the sea shelf looks in this version. So I will probably go back in and re-do that so that it is closer to the shoreline.

    In a few places, instead of using a layer style as called for in the tutorial, I just used a layer on top filled with the color. I used a layer mask and changed the layer blend modes, and got a similar effect. I am experimenting with reducing the number of layer styles in this method, because I think it really increases the processing power needed to render, and can slow down PS to a crawl.

    Comments and suggestions welcome.

    wisemoon
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    Default Continuing with Demetia 2.0

    So I think I like this second version much better. Finished the climate adjustments, adjusted the shelf. Added rivers and lakes, though I have to say I'm not sure I like this method for doing waterways--it just looks funny to me. I will have to look at some actual real-world atlas maps and see what those look like, and then experiment to see if I can get something that looks better.

    WIP - continent of Demetia-demetiacontinentalmap3.jpg

    PLEASE, someone comment!!

    wisemoon
    This and all other posts, including image or document files created by me that are linked in a post, are copyright Megan L. Wiseman, in the current year. Permission to use granted under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License unless otherwise stated in the post.
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    Well, it's pretty. You're heading in a good direction.

    The continental shelves may be bugging you as much from their unnatural uniformity, as for their width. With this production method can you widen some and shrink some? Add they're showing some of the squared-off (octagonned off??) characteristics of mechanically expanded coastlines.

    The rivers have way too regular a set of meanders. At continental scale, what you have is somewhat generalized, but you don't want the water simply riccocheting back and forth across a narrow valley. Look at some small-scale maps of rivers, then look at some Google Maps satellite views of the same areas. Too, the meandering is not a uniform characteristic of rivers down their whole length.


    Another issue is placement of the rivers. The overall networks are fine - maybe excepting the big southern delta, which may be off, depending on your actual scale. But barely below the center of the whole image, see that rather steep mountain? The river skirting its NW sides isn't down in flattish territory, but rather seems to be running sideways across the slope. Your altitude coloration is vague enough that I only see that effect a few places, but you want to ensure water's not flowing uphill or sideways.

    If the texture shown across the oceans is supposed to be seafloor relief, it's overly uniform. At a glance it's OK. Sure, it's nicely crinkled, but it's all the same *degree* of wrinkled. With a real seafloor you get more variation, including seamounts that don't breach the surface, midocean ridges and coastal trenches (thanks to tectonic effects), and some sedimentation directly out from major rivers.

    With your combination of roughness and colors I'm not sure what all your intended meaning is - what's exposed rock vs. what's high altitude - which green means what amount of what type of vegetation.

    Keep dinking with it - it's a good start!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbgibson View Post
    Well, it's pretty. You're heading in a good direction.

    The continental shelves may be bugging you as much from their unnatural uniformity, as for their width. With this production method can you widen some and shrink some? Add they're showing some of the squared-off (octagonned off??) characteristics of mechanically expanded coastlines.
    I fiddled with it some and got it a bit smaller, but yeah I will have to mess with it some more to reduce it further. The problem is, in this particular method (Ascension's), I basically have to delete the layer for the shelf effect and do the whole thing over. There is a method later in the tutorial for easily pushing the shelf *out*, but it doesn't work to push it *in*, unfortunately.

    Quote Originally Posted by jbgibson View Post
    The rivers have way too regular a set of meanders. At continental scale, what you have is somewhat generalized, but you don't want the water simply riccocheting back and forth across a narrow valley. Look at some small-scale maps of rivers, then look at some Google Maps satellite views of the same areas. Too, the meandering is not a uniform characteristic of rivers down their whole length.
    Yeah, I was just basically copying the method in the tutorial for creating the rivers, but I don't think it's very realistic. I agree--meanders tend to happen more on flat land, whereas on rocky mountainous terrain it would be straighter or more jagged as it went around cracks in the rocks or whatever.

    Quote Originally Posted by jbgibson View Post
    Another issue is placement of the rivers. The overall networks are fine - maybe excepting the big southern delta, which may be off, depending on your actual scale. But barely below the center of the whole image, see that rather steep mountain? The river skirting its NW sides isn't down in flattish territory, but rather seems to be running sideways across the slope. Your altitude coloration is vague enough that I only see that effect a few places, but you want to ensure water's not flowing uphill or sideways.
    Thanks for pointing that out...I will go back and double check the placement. As to the delta/swamp area...I will be going in and refining that later in the process. I wanted to give a general idea of land broken up by rivers and marshlands, and I had to go big in order to get the overall methods to work in the first parts. But I've been doing some research on wetlands and swamps, so I plan to go in and make it more realistic at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by jbgibson View Post
    If the texture shown across the oceans is supposed to be seafloor relief, it's overly uniform. At a glance it's OK. Sure, it's nicely crinkled, but it's all the same *degree* of wrinkled. With a real seafloor you get more variation, including seamounts that don't breach the surface, midocean ridges and coastal trenches (thanks to tectonic effects), and some sedimentation directly out from major rivers.
    Yeah, I'm not sure what Ascension was trying to accomplish with this texture technique for the seafloor...it doesn't really create a true seafloor height map. I think it was just to make the oceans a little more visually interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by jbgibson View Post
    With your combination of roughness and colors I'm not sure what all your intended meaning is - what's exposed rock vs. what's high altitude - which green means what amount of what type of vegetation.

    Keep dinking with it - it's a good start!
    Honestly? While the visual effect is somewhat pleasing, I don't really see why Ascension called this an "atlas" style in the first place. While I have seen a few topographical-style atlases, generally speaking most atlases (real-world) are designed as political maps--it shows national boundaries, regional/local political divisions, cities and roads, and major rivers. Occasionally in addition you'll get some indication of mountain ranges...but most of the real-world atlas maps I've looked at don't have nearly the level of topographical detail that Ascension attempts to put into his style.

    I was just kind of experimenting with this tutorial, to see if I liked the style. But frankly, it seems to me that for a map that is going to be used for a fantasy story or fantasy RPG, you would probably want to have something a little more old-fashioned or antique looking anyway. So I am probably going to go with a hand-drawn or antique style rather than this one.

    I've taken a break from this map for a bit...trying hard to get another job so I'm trying to focus on building job-related skills. But will try to get some time in on it maybe this coming weekend.

    Thanks again for the critique! I agree with a lot of what you're saying, and I will definitely look into the river/waterways thing especially.

    wisemoon
    This and all other posts, including image or document files created by me that are linked in a post, are copyright Megan L. Wiseman, in the current year. Permission to use granted under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License unless otherwise stated in the post.
    Please visit my blog - cartography, popular culture, and my art/design journal. Here are my finished maps!

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