Campaign Setting Map
This is an updated version of the map I first posted here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/regional-world-mapping/4299-first-draft-map-campaign-setting-no-labels-yet.html) the other day. I decided to start a new topic so I could make this a WIP thread.
Attached is the first draft, and my new draft.
I fixed the problem with the mountains having very little height, but I have yet to get around to fixing the river's annoying habit of flowing uphill at strange places. Also, the current forests are still there as a placeholder until I can find a better (and hopefully better looking!) way of doing them.
Okay another criticism from me :)
First-Up: Good start, nice color choices, looks pleasant to the eye.
Now on to the real meat ;)
Firstly, the mountains still look more like flatlands. I think you should raise them quite a bit, so they are clearly visible. Currently - to me - they look more like dust-plains.
As for woods, maybe you could try the brush I use for my woodlands (Photoshop CS3)
Data for the brush can be found here (klick me!)
Well, you are right about those rivers. ;)
My suggestion would be to look at the mountains and try to figure out where the rivers would flow from "lay of the land". As the River Police will tell you, rivers flow from high to low, meaning that they start in the high land and flow out to the plains. Some of yours seem to start at the plains and run up to the mountains and then down again to the sea. There are quite a few that would look good if the "mountain" part were cut so that they started there instead if passing through the mountain.
I do like the way they meander, just make sure that they go around the high ground instead of over them
Not much more I can do for the height on the mountains, but I might try adding snow-caps. It would provide the necessary effect without overdoing the bump mapping.
About the forest brush. Unfortunately, I use GIMP, so I'm somewhat limited. I might try something with the mosaic filter. The technique I use now works great for small image sizes, but because the cloud pattern I use scale proportionally to the size of the image, it doesn't look so great on larger images
On rivers. I know what's wrong. Right now, apathy is what's preventing me from fixing them. I did them before I added the bump map, so it was sort of a shot in the dark, and I'm to lazy to update them. I'll get around to it in my next draft.
RUN, DON"T WALK to http://fimg-gmplugins.sourceforge.net/
Originally Posted by Nerdling
and get the noise filter there.
it is NOT tied to the image size, instead, you set the noise size and it extends it to whatever size image you want.
(plus it gives a ton of other noise styles)
Originally Posted by Nerdling
Are you sure there's not much you can do on the height of the mountains? As pointed out, right now they look like flat dust plains, mostly. Add snow caps, and they might just look like flat snowy dusty plains. If you add a layer that adds bumpiness just to the mountains (but is masked so as not to add bumpiness to anything outside the mountains) you can make the mountains look higher than the surrounding land relatively easily. Or, for a quick-and-dirty method, you can just add a gray layer that set to overlay and is dodged and burned on opposite sides of the mountain area to give the effect of the ground rising up (basically, this operates on the same principle as adding additional bump-maps to make the mountains look higher).
Or... do you mean that you'd rather the mountains didn't look particularly bumpy?
I'm guessing Karro is suggesting something like this "markup" I made of a part of your map:
Originally Posted by RobA
Ooh! How did you do that?
Also, I've tried out felimage. I use it a lot, but it doesn't threshold nicely, which rules it out for a lot of the mapping I do. But I haven't tried it for forests mapping. I'll look into it.
Here we go, I fixed the rivers flowing uphill and widened them a bit (a little leery about how they look widened). I also did my best with the mountains and tried doing the forests using felimage. I really like the forests, though I might have bump-mapped them a little too enthusiastically, and the mountains are good, but I really need to learn, RobA, how you did that mountain fix. It's exactly what I want.
Here is my 3rd draft
Whoops! I just realized that I had the layers in the wrong order before I exported it, so the rivers can't be seen when they go through the forests. Try to pretend I didn't do that when you look at the map.