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Thread: First Map. Critique please.

  1. #21
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    sorry, double post, deleted.

  2. #22
      ManOfSteel is offline
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    It's good to see that you're putting some thought into the directions your rivers are taking, but you seem to be missing a fundamental concept.
    Rivers don't fan out from a source; they converge from a source.
    Somewhere out on those lower plains there is a lowest point. All tributaries are therefore going to flow towards it as they work their way around higher ground in their path. Along the way, they meet and form the main river. Remember that a river system drains a large area that is at a higher level, whether it be a basin, a plain, or a mountain range and it's the very nature of the flows to converge as they meet each other at lower and lower levels until they become one river and flow into the lowest local point that leads to the sea.
    Rivers do not split along the way except for maybe a rock or small island. If they flow into a lake they generally flow out of it somewhere and continue their courses to lower and lower ground. There may be more than one influx of water, but there will almost always be only one outflow of water. At one time there may be multiple outlets, but one of those is going to be the lowest and that one will always have the greatest outflow. Over time, erosion will deepen that exit. Even if it's just an inch, that will create a kind of snowball effect; the more water that flows out, the deeper the outlet becomes...the deeper the outlet becomes, the more water flows out. Eventually that will be the only outlet.

  3. #23
      Jaxilon is offline
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    Regarding rivers you might find these useful: Essential River Guidelines for Mapping and How to get your rivers in the right place. Both tutorials are here on this site and are very helpful in getting the water flow concepts down right.

    From what I can tell you want to have two exits from the lake on the East and that would be highly unlikely to happen except perhaps for a short time during a downpour. Maybe if men were involved in engineering something that would force this to happen but water will always follow the course of least resistance chasing gravity and if a lake has more than one exit at any time one of them always wins out and become the only one.

    There are almost always exceptions but unless you have a solid reasonable explanation for it it'll never get past the "River Police"

    Don't feel bad though because I think most of us learned a lot about rivers after we joined here.

    edit:ManOfSteel types faster than me I guess
    “When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best that you were capable of? If so, the score does not matter. But if you find that you did your best you were capable of, you will find it to your liking.” -John Wooden

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  4. #24
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    I think it is a nice map as it is the first one of yours!!!
    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."-Confucius
    Old map and Historic map

  5. #25
      ManOfSteel is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxilon View Post
    edit:ManOfSteel types faster than me I guess
    Faster than a speeding bullet.

  6. #26
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    So I re-did most of it using an early save file from the original. Round 2.

    First Map. Critique please.-map-round-2.jpg

    (imgur link: http://i.imgur.com/9VVJfIE.jpg )

    The mountains remind me of the skin of a burn victim. Still not happy with them but I'm going to finish this up and then come back to it later when I'm less sick of looking at it.

    -Map marker icons and some names are now set
    -Some terrain has changed.
    -Some mountains have changed
    -Complete overhaul of rivers

    I'm looking for critique on the whole, especially rivers, I think I did better but still feel like something's missing with the river.

    Thanks in advance.

  7. #27
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    Sidenote: How would you all suggest approaching roads/road making. ie what tool, opacity and so forth, keep in mind that I'm incompetent with photoshop and bridging most gaps with excessive googling.

  8. #28
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    I usually use the Pen tool to make a path, then stroke it with a rectangular brush set up with angle controlled by stroke direction and spacing set so that it makes a nice dotted line. Spend some time experimenting with all of the different controls in the brushes palette.

    Regarding your labels, you need to adjust the kerning in numerous places. If you're not familiar with the term, kerning is the space between letters. In Adobe applications, you can adjust it on a per-letter basis by placing the cursor between the letters where you need more space, holding down alt, and using the right arrow to move everything after the cursor over. Likewise, you can decrease the space with alt-left arrow. In some cases, entire words could use more breathing room. The tracking control in the type palette can be used to add space between all the letters of selected text at the same time. This is frequently handy for large labels meant to stretch across countries or mountain ranges.

    The mountains are looking much better than they did before. I think your color scheme for them is a little too swampy, though. Maybe reduce the overall amount of color they're getting, and reduce the yellow. Take a look at some satellite pictures of coniferous forests and try to get closer to that dark green.

    The rivers are now much more physically accurate. There is one tributary on the large river east of Griffyn's Landing that appears to enter a confluence running the wrong direction. The southern most stream is travelling north by north-west, joins up with the main river, and that water must immediately turn about 135 degrees to travel south-east. While that's not impossible, it does seem unlikely.

    Stylistically, I still think the rivers look more like damp spots. It's just odd that the land texture is visible underneath them. Since they're so wide, I think what I would do is to style them the same as the lake and seas. Or, Torq (whom we have not seen here in a while) developed a look in which the rivers were given a small pillow emboss to make them appear sunk into a channel. You already have a very small bevel on your coastline, so I think that would be a natural enough extension of the idea. You'll probably need to do a little bit of hand painting at the estuaries, though, to make the bevels interact with each other properly.

    And, finally, some of your icons are a little jarring in color. Particularly the magenta one. Don't wander too far afield from the colors you already have in your map. There is nothing remotely resembling that color anywhere else, and it's really disrupting the unity of the entire piece. The brick markers look okay to me, probably because their saturation and luminance levels are closer to the green field they're one. Plus, that color is complementary to your ocean color, which probably helps it. Just try to avoid placing one of those icons directly on the ocean, as I suspect that will cause some vibration.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
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  9. #29
    Guild Journeyer Freehand 5.5's Avatar
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    Do you seriously use the imperial logo for cities?!?

    I like the fresh colours.
    I don't like the cloudiness everywhere. It's a bit turbulent.
    The underwater step is a good idea but a bit sharp. Could look better if it's a bit softer. Don't know.

    Overall it's a nice map.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freehand 5.5 View Post
    Do you seriously use the imperial logo for cities?!?

    Imperial logo?

    I google image searched for circular symbolic sort of nondescript black and white sigils/runes/seals, basically anything that was ambiguous and simple. What's it from?

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