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Thread: Help for my first map

  1. #1
      Crotal is offline
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    Wip Help for my first map

    Hello,

    I try to do a map for my home world and I have a problem with color and textures of landscape. I saw on the tutorial but I don't find what I want. I try to copy the style of these two maps : Selvarin by -Max- and Sapience - Commission by Ramah-Palmer on deviantART.

    For the moment, all colors that I had tried, give some lightly color and I can't find the good color.

    Please find my work below and do some comments and advices !
    Thank you !


    Help for my first map-ityopis.jpg Help for my first map-ityopis-vierge.jpg

    Update : Attachment 66611
    Last edited by Crotal; 08-14-2014 at 04:19 AM.

  2. #2
      Jalyha is offline
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    Hi there.

    I *think* I understand what you're asking. Unfortunately, there's only so much help anyone can give you. To be able to blend colors well, you have to develop an eye for what colors go well together, and for light/shadow.

    The only tips I can give you on that is that 1) It takes more than 2 colors to blend well. 2) Colors should be very close to each other, but not necessarily so close that you can't see the difference. and 3) Colors should get lighter closer to a source of light. With a top-down view, this light would (presumably) be the sun, so colors would be *darker* for low ground, and *lighter* for high ground.

    What you also want is for someone to say "Fill the red spaces with THIS color, and the white spaces with THAT color," and so on, and hope that it will blend perfectly. No matter what colors you choose, that won't work. Your lines are too rigid, and it would take many irregular layers to blend properly.

    I'll show you a mock up (Using part of your image). It won't look great, but it's the *basic* process.

    Help for my first map-color-process.jpg

    I pretty much just scribbled everywhere, but it's still a pretty pink mountain

    If you just want a place to *start* looking for your colors, a fairly natural green that I start with, and usually change, is #2d5f2d. Remember... keep the colors in the same range... the crosshairs on the color selector in GIMP are a good guide if you're new at this. You can just click along the line to find your next shade


    As for your map... All I can make out here, really, is your land vs water areas. What I see is a very interesting shape, but the edges look... i don't know.. too rounded?

    I like the islands (the ones you colored) ... not sure what the white circles are around them but it's a little distracting.

    I think you're off to a good start, but I'd focus on developing your map before you work on the coloring

  3. #3
      Crotal is offline
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    So, in fact, you say I use bad color and my map is too rounded. And the white circles are funny.

    In fact the color you see on my own map is not color that i want to use for my final version. It's a draft. They're only here to define the limit of each land (desert, plain, forest, mountain - the red is for the tray... not the best ^^). I want to use some drawing mountain and tree to fill these land. But for plain / desert / toundra / iceland... I want to use some color and some sand dune (or other icons). But I don't find good color. They are only bright.
    Thank you for the green color. I start with that and I see what I can do.

    For the rounded island, my map is one an half hemisphere so it's very big island. But I try to make more fractal costline.
    For the white circle, in fact is blue but I can try without the small island to see if they look better. The island is very small island and rock. nobody live on it.

  4. #4
      Zach is offline
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    If the map is realistic (i.e. has the standard terrain...containing objects like mountains, forests, cities, nothing wacky) the colors are not that intuitive. Is red your mountains? Is brown your mountains? What is the yellow (my best guess is farmland)? I cannot figure out what the blue region in the bottom represents - lakes? Tundra?

    I don't think the coastlines are too rounded. All maps simplify the areas they represent in some way, and you say these islands are continental scale. Maps on that scale shouldn't necessarily try to show every cape and gulf in the shore. I say keep the coastlines.

    Two geographical concerns.
    First, if the main islands are very large, where are the rivers? Unless all the land is arid, there must be some way to collect all the runoff from precipitation.
    Second, clusters of uniform, evenly spaced islands are pretty rare. I'm trying to envision what the land would look like without the sea there, and it looks like a bunch of mesas, of equal size and spacing, sticking up from the seafloor.

    By the way, what program are you using to create this?
    eternalsage likes this.

  5. #5
      Crotal is offline
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    For the moment, I don't draw any rivers and lakes because I need to have mountain to do lakes and rivers. And before including mountain and trees, I want to color the background on my islands. Perhaps, it's not the good way to progress on my map ?

    I use GIMP to make my map.
    For the colors : Brown (mountain), Red, (tray), Green (forest and swamp), Blue on island (toundra), White (iceland), yellow (desert and savannah). But the color you is just a random color to symbolize where I want to put the land. Not the final color.

    I attached a new map on my first post without any color. My "final" map is only that for the moment.

    Zach, I'm not sure I understand what you said here : "Second, clusters of uniform, evenly spaced islands are pretty rare. I'm trying to envision what the land would look like without the sea there, and it looks like a bunch of mesas, of equal size and spacing, sticking up from the seafloor." (english is not my born language) For you, my islands are too tidy ? It's because the size of the picture perhaps. I needed to pu in order each island to put them on the map.
    I don't had imagined the seafloor except beetween the two biggest islands. You have a lot of volcanus activity on this part of the sea and at this latitude.

  6. #6
      Jalyha is offline
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    Ohhhh that makes much more sense!

    And... no I wasn't saying it was bad!

    I wasn't talking about the round-ness of the continent, I was referring to the land areas (and the water areas) separately. "This circle is a group of islands" and "This oval is a desert".

    But, as you say, you were only using the color to guide you in *where* you were putting things, so that's not a problem

    And I was referring to this:

    Help for my first map-white-circles.jpg

    What is it ? Islands? Mesas? Areas of the water that you want to be darker/lighter than the rest?

    Whichever it is... these are also the areas I was thinking of most when I said it's too round... When you said about volcanic activity, did you mean these were all volcanos? Volcanos tend to rise on a path... not in a whole area... probably something to do with tectonics, but I don't know for sure.

    ANYWAY I still don't know what you meant by :
    But I don't find good color. They are only bright.
    If you are having trouble with that, I made a picture of how I start looking for my colors

    (I know, it's the best tutorial ever! )

    Help for my first map-pick-color.jpg

    If that's not what you meant, then I simply don't understand. Maybe if you showed a screenshot of the problem you are having?

    Sorry if this is not much help~!

  7. #7
      Crotal is offline
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    Jalyha, thx for the tips !

    I try something like the map below for the background color of island. I don't draw the particular land (mountain / tree / swamp / desert).
    I change the "white circle" in blue. For me, the circle is the same as you can see around some archipelago. I think my result is not good for the moment on this point ^^
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help for my first map-ityopis-fusionn%E92-essai-couleur-.jpg  

  8. #8
      Jalyha is offline
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    Oh that's looking MUCH better.

    The effect is good, but I still think the archipelago looks a little too crowded/evenly spaced? not sure... maybe it's just me.

    I like your color choices now!

    I'm glad you found some that aren't too bright

    You're doing really well!

    (PS I don't know why but i keep seeing pictures in the continents, like when people see shapes in clouds... and in your main continent it looks like a dancing penguin. I think I watched Happy Feet too many times )

  9. #9
      Zach is offline
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    I have a suggestion for the island clusters. I would expect that between all the little islands the sea would be fairly shallow (continental shelf) and there aren't super-deep trenches in between all of them. You might want, just in those areas, to modify it so that the light blue shade is continuous between islands, and the awkward areas that look like deep water would be gone.

    Of course, if I'm wrong and there are in fact deep trenches between the islands, then disregard all this.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help for my first map-screenshot.png  

  10. #10
      Crotal is offline
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    I work on the color. I think is better now.

    For the two pack of islands, I do what you say Zach. I delete the dark blue and I work on the circle around island

    Jalyha, the two packs of island are differents :
    - the pack on the left is a real archipelago. A lot of small island with life on it : forest, people, town, etc...
    - the pack on the right is a small island without any life, is only rocks and volcanus. Perhaps, this one need to have only reefs between island. But when I draw the map, I don't know how I can symbolize reefs.

    My last map :
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help for my first map-ityopis-fusionn%E92-r%E9cif-.png  

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