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Thread: Yet Another Middle Earth

  1. #1
      Gidde is offline
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    Wip Yet Another Middle Earth

    It's been done, I know ... but Mom begged, so I'm working on a version of Middle Earth that she can hang on her wall. And, since it is going on the wall, I'm posting it as a WIP so that I can make it the best it can be.

    Please don't hold back with criticism on this one; I'd rather get it right than feel warm and fuzzy.

    This version is ... extremely preliminary. The land needs texture still, but (I think) the sea fill is done, the rivers are in, and the mountains are roughed out. I'm not liking the mountains as they are, but for some reason (I need to start taking notes or something) I can't duplicate the mountain look from my other WIP after trying all day. It's really frustrating.

    So, any suggestions on the mountains would be really appreciated, and if the rivers/sea look off let me know.

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    hmm. I'm not sure I can tell you how to do it right, I'm having some trouble mountains myself (though yesterday i think i had a breakthrough) but one or two things:

    the snow areas come over as flat. like plateaus with snow and ice rather than very tall peaks.

    what I found yesterday was that when I tried to draw the mountains with just one ridge they didn't really 'fill out' the area thats supposed to be mountains (I'm doing a world sized map too). then almost by accident I drew several ridges overlapping and merging which in my opnion gave a very realistic look. try zooming in on the Alps or Rocky Mountains in google earth and it might give you an idea. even though mountains are depicted as one big ridge there's often more to them than that.

    I'll post my WIP in a few days and you can see what I mean and return your opinion

    Oh and don't forget the parallel ridge in the upper left 'square' of the Mordor area. It's called the Morgai.

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    Guild Journeyer Gregorus Prime's Avatar
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    You know, the only thing that I can think whenever I look at any map of Middle Earth is that given the way Mordor looks there's no way anyone could think Tolkien was a geologist instead of a linguist.

    Here's the most recent mountain tutorial I could find.

    [Award Winner] Rising up the mountains in Photoshop

    The only advice I can give you is to keep scouring that section of the forums until you find what you need. Now if you want some help making water ripples for your ocean, I can give you a few pointers there.

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      Diamond is offline
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    It looks pretty good to me so far. The only thing I can see that might be off is that star-shaped sea (is that the Sea of Rhun? Been so long since I've read LotR...) seems too far to the west to me. I may just be imagining things though.

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      Gidde is offline
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    @LA: Good point! I was intending to do that (multiple ridges) and then forgot my intention, thank you for reminding me!

    @Gregorus: I know. Although, to be fair, Sauron (or was Morgoth still around when Mordor was created? Been a while since the Silmarillion) probably just made those mountains. It helps when you have a divine being in the flesh living in the improbable zone.

    @Diamond: Good memory, it is indeed the sea of Rhun. Placement is one thing I know I have right, since I traced a scan It's just really out there.

    Thanks for the comments guys! Most of my problem I think is the fact that I need this thing bigger than my pc can handle. So today I'm breaking it into tiles and I *will* fix those silly mountains.

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      Rythal is offline
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    to me the mountains look like brown ridges with white plateaus on parts. some [more?] shading would be in order i think to make it look better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gidde View Post
    @Gregorus: I know. Although, to be fair, Sauron (or was Morgoth still around when Mordor was created? Been a while since the Silmarillion) probably just made those mountains. It helps when you have a divine being in the flesh living in the improbable zone.
    no, mordor served as a refuge for sauron after morgoth was obliterated and angband was resting at the bottom of a brand new sea, and the world of arda is based on an alternate geographical history of earth essentially; in the world maps you can sort of make out the different continents of today.

    History of Mordor 101

    Dring the first and second age of arda (before beleriand and numenore sunk) the region of mordor was mostly covered by the sea of Helcar, though I cant recall any explanation for its drainage (perhaps to fill the sudden hole created by a sunken beleriand). The mountains surrounding mordor were the former coast of helcar, and the black, lifeless land are mainly due to a very rocky bottom I should guess.

    on a side note, the sea of rhun seems to be a remnant of helcar

    this map might help you understand former geology of middle earth:

    http://users.abo.fi/jolin/tolkien/at...ge_of_arda.gif
    Last edited by Rythal; 09-10-2009 at 08:17 PM.

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      Gidde is offline
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    @ Rythal: Thanks! Good info, I'll check those out

    Ok .... so, I think I've done a better job of the base land, and I love my new mountains, but I'm stuck and need some input if anyone is kind enough.

    My basic issue is that the mountains are now too realistic for the base lol ... and I'd like to get them more brown, but I've played with saturation and hard light vs. overlay, and neither are helping, so I think they're probably what they'll be.

    Should I tweak the mountains to match the base, or should I tweak the base to match the mountains?

    Two pics here, one zoomed out at half res to show the base, and one at full res of the Ered Luin range in the northeast corner.

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      Gidde is offline
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    Apparently all I needed to gain inspiration was to ask for help. I think I got it -- this is the final (I think) full-res mountain range.

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      Gandwarf is offline
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    Yeah, I think you nailed it. Looks very promising!
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

    Gandwarf has fallen into shadow...

  10. #10
      Gidde is offline
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    Thanks!

    Put in another mountain range and started on hills, wanted to check in and post progress before I went too much further with the hills, in case anyone had comments on them.

    //Edit: And added the forest surrounding the south end of the Blue Mountains.
    Last edited by Gidde; 09-14-2009 at 08:54 AM. Reason: Tweaked the mountains to lessen the brown around them; added forest

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