I don't really understand the double graticules here.
Okay, a bit more explanation and two more images to hopefully make it clearer:
The reason for using the Azimuthial Equidistant projection for this map is that distances measured from (or through) the focal point are always consistent (with no distortion), and always show the most direct route possible. This means that you can take a ruler and line up the focal point and any other point on the map, and know the exact distance between those two points. In many situations this property isn't that useful, but I think it makes sense for a map centred on a major trading city - it would allow people to easily find the fastest routes to various trading partners across a wide area.
While that use case would work without any graticule for guidance, I thought it would make sense for one to be added in the right place. This graticule is centred on the trading city. Travelling along the radiating lines to any point is the shortest distance possible. I've added parallels every 100 miles, since the slowest trading ships (equivalent to East Indiamen) would cover that on an average day. For those ships, each concentric circle marks a day's travel, which would also be a really useful piece of information imo.
However, only having that centered graticule would render the map completely useless for finding bearings when you're anywhere other than the focal point. The shortest routes shown by the centred graticule do not follow consistent bearings, so while you'd be travelling in a straight line your compass heading would change. The polar graticule is essential for the purpose of finding a bearing at any location other than the focal point, so logically it would need to be included.
If it doesn't make sense I've got no problem changing it though
Last edited by Raptori; 03-25-2014 at 03:56 PM.
I guess everyone is either ambivalent towards the graticules or they're too confused to comment. I think I'll just pretend that everyone thought it was a great idea
I really should be doing work, but it's so hard to get motivated when I can play with this instead
I've added a good portion of the terrain on the main continent, including the plateau in the center (top of the map), and the edge of the southern desert(top left). I've also added one river system, a city near the mouth of that river and labeled both of them and some of the mountain ranges.
In addition to the above (and some other topographical labels), I've tentatively named the main country "Aestura" and one of the capital cities "Sinoastio". For all the names, I ran latin words through a customised phonetic filter (using this), since I wanted it to sound somewhere between latin and it's children. I'm fairly happy with the results, though it'll probably change a fair bit in the future, and any feedback is welcome as always. For example, Aestura is a contraction of "summer" and "grain field", while Sinoastio is a contraction of "river mouth" and "bay".
I've also added a border to the map. The markers need a bit of explanation, which I've put in a spoiler below since it's unusual but not really that interesting... I've also increased the image size to A1 at 300dpi, making it over 10,000 by 7,000 pixels. I may come to regret that decision. I haven't re-processed the coastlines' waves yet, since that'll probably crash my computer at this size.
Medium Resolution (5000px x 3595px)
Low Resolution (2000px x 1438px)
I'm not 100% happy with the river at the moment, it feels a bit intrusive. Admittedly that's what I wanted - where they're a significant barrier to people I want them to be noticeable - I'm just not sure if it works yet. I guess that'll become obvious once more stuff has been added...
Last edited by Raptori; 03-27-2014 at 08:46 PM.
I very much like your mountains! Care to share your technique? They're both minimalistic AND freakin' hot!
The first step is to create a new layer - which I imaginatively named "Mountains" - and apply a Colour Overlay layer style that matches the background of the page behind the mountains. Mine is an off-white grey, #eeeeee.
The next step is to add some layer styles, which combine to create the effect. The screenshots show the settings I used, changing them will give slightly different results so playing around with them can be pretty fun.
Bevel and Emboss
The bevel and emboss settings control the height of the mountain (Depth and Size), the angle of the light, and the harshness of the highlights and shadows.
The contour controls how harsh the peaks of the mountains are. I've set this to a low percentage, since that creates harsher peaks.
The texture makes the peaks slightly less harsh, and makes them feel a little more like they're painted on a page. It's good to mess around with these, different patterns and depths give loads of different effects.
The final step is to use the brush tool and paint the mountains. I've used one of the presets bundled with this (awesome) brush set - the one shown in the image below. The key things you want from your brush are a bit of a texture and fairly soft edges, I just found that this particular brush worked really well. The colour you use is irrelevant due to the colour overlay, I use black so it stands out when I want to look at the layer without the styles.
I painted in two stages, starting with lower altitudes. For this, I set my brush to something like 15% opacity, and then just painted over and over until it looked right. I paint with the layer effects on so I can see the result, but I've also included screenshots of what the layer looks like without them so you can compare the results.
The second stage is the higher altitudes, which bring a bit more scale to the mountains. I just increase the opacity, to something like 50%, and paint over the top of the existing stuff.
This is coming along really nicely, the mountains are very cool! For me, the double graticules weren't confusing, I quite like the idea actually, but there is/was a problem with them. If you're using an azimuthal projection, the meridians are only straight lines if the projection is centered on a pole. If it's centered anywhere else, they become curved. The secondary graticule would be drawn like you did it though, if the projection is centered on Sinoastio. If you bring it back, I'd suggest to make them different somehow; lineweight, transparency, color, something to make them easy to tell appart.
The river is nicely made, I like how it gets fainter, but there's a discontinuity in detail level for me; you show tons of tiny tributaries, but the curves of the river are very simplified. I think it needs to be more squiggly
The labeling is really good, I might add. I always have trouble with that. It's very clean and nice. Though the floating Aestura label looks quite out of place, when no other labels float.