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Thread: SARTURUS - Ulthui - Map landscape drawing question

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      TaylorH is offline
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    Default SARTURUS - Ulthui - Map landscape drawing question

    Hello, all. I've been working on this map for a while now. I've written lore over nearly a decade with a few friends and I've decided to put it to cartography. This map shows most, but not all, of the continent of Ulthui, with its distinct political boundaries and some geography. I know it looks rough. This is all just planning for now.



    My question is, how would I convey dense unbroken forest? The region to the north is mountainous and below that are uplands of hills, plateaus and moorland, which transitions to heavy forest in the center and in the south. My question is, since I'm used to making "physical geography satellite" maps with colour, how would I convey this massive region as entirely covered by forest? Obviously since this is a continent and an extremely zoomed out view, it wouldn't work to have patches of forest that can be identified by eye. The entire central region and most of the south is covered in forest, so should I just represent it by covering the lands with a large block and "texturing" it, like this?



    The problem I have with this method is I want a gradual transition from forest to uplands, but I'm not sure how to draw that, really. It shouldn't be a hard boundary. I guess my question is rather how do I draw a soft boundary?
    Last edited by TaylorH; 07-25-2014 at 08:56 AM.

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      Chashio is offline
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    Cool looking map. I'd certainly try a flat wash of color or tint for the forests, with or without a subtle pattern on it (could indicate type of forest). For a soft transition you could feather/blur the edge, or maybe break the large mass into smaller fragments and fingers in the valleys... not sure what will work best for your style. Take a look at some forest or region vegetation maps for more ideas, but I'd say you're thinking in the right direction. On another note, the label for "The Sarinian Islands" could perhpas use a little more breathing room.

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      TaylorH is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chashio View Post
    Cool looking map. I'd certainly try a flat wash of color or tint for the forests, with or without a subtle pattern on it (could indicate type of forest). For a soft transition you could feather/blur the edge, or maybe break the large mass into smaller fragments and fingers in the valleys... not sure what will work best for your style. Take a look at some forest or region vegetation maps for more ideas, but I'd say you're thinking in the right direction. On another note, the label for "The Sarinian Islands" could perhpas use a little more breathing room.
    Thanks, Chasio. I'll probably just fragment the edges as a blurring effect would go against the style of the map. I'm essentially just trying to go for a simple illustrated map without much colour, a bit like the famous brown-tinted Middle Earth map that we often see. Those labels, by the way, are just quick placements. This is only a rough draft.

    I'll make sure to come back and show the final map.

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      Eilathen is offline
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    Looks promising. I like the landshape and the names. Looking forward to the development of this project.
    Care to tell us a bit about the world itself? Show us some of that lore you mentioned. I am a roleplayer and always interested in the story (as well as the map, no question ).
    I'm trapped in Darkness,
    Still I reach out for the Stars

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      TaylorH is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilathen View Post
    Looks promising. I like the landshape and the names. Looking forward to the development of this project.
    Care to tell us a bit about the world itself? Show us some of that lore you mentioned. I am a roleplayer and always interested in the story (as well as the map, no question ).
    Thanks, Eilathen, much appreciated. I'd love to talk about the world, but it's a bit hard to summarise. I'll spend time summarising the main concept when I finish this map and I'll include it in the thread for the final showcase.
    Instead, here's a quick sample image of the collection of lore facts. This is only a small section as a good quantity of the original writings have been lost to time unfortunately. I know the text isn't readable, but it's just to show that it's quite in depth. A lot of it has changed over the years. It's a lot simpler in content than it used to be now and we've gone in a different direction. I should say that I'm not aiming to be a fantasy writer or anything of the sort. This is just for fun. Cartography is my main interest and the lore is just the foundation.

    Last edited by TaylorH; 07-25-2014 at 12:15 PM.

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      Chashio is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaylorH View Post
    Those labels, by the way, are just quick placements. This is only a rough draft.
    Really? Darn. I thought it looked highly polished and informative in a spare-political kinda style. Reminds me of some of the fabulous National Geographic maps or something similar... but better, because it's fictional.

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