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Thread: Imperium Saerdastim

  1. #1
    Guild Journeyer Gregorus Prime's Avatar
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    Wip Imperium Saerdastim

    At long last, I've finally gotten to work on the main continent for my campaign. I figured if I put it off any longer my group's current campaign will end before I can get all the maps finished.

    What I'm posting here is in the planning stages. The continent's shape is pretty much just how I want it. What I'm asking for is advice on placement of biomes and geographical features. I think this rough makes sense for what I want. I figure the heart of the Roman-esque empire, the little kingdom that grew into a republic and then went on a continent-conquering warpath that ensured every last speck of dirt was owned by the human known as Holy Emperor Saerdast, to be centered in that big eastern projection bordered by mountains to the west and north. Above that are the forests that were once the heart of the Eladrin empire that collapsed several millennia before the rise of the human empire. To the northeast, the Nordic-flavored goliath and shifter kingdoms/trading hubs/nomad lands that have a tributary relationship with the Imperium.

    Northwest, more human lands with a bit more of a medieval feel to them, all stone castles, sharecroppers, and a smattering of independently-owned farming communities where people would rather live as poor landowners and live with the risk of raiders and famine than give up their rights for the stability and security of life as plantation slaves. Southwest, the dwarf and drow kingdoms, who like the goliaths and shifters decided to live with tribute and occupation rather than get embroiled in a bloody war that they would eventually lose. At least this way they get to keep their own governments.

    So please, keeping these things in mind, tell me if you can see any big problems with my planned layout. I think the wetlands might be a little too extensive for the scale I'm planning (very, very big, this is a large continent), but just give any advice you can.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Imperium Saerdastim-imperium-saerdastim-planning.jpg  

  2. #2
      Gidde is offline
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    Looks good to me. The wetlands may indeed be a little large, but you can tweak those as you go.

  3. #3
    Guild Journeyer Gregorus Prime's Avatar
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    Worked a bit on this. Tell me what you think.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Imperium Saerdastim-imperium-saerdastim.jpg  

  4. #4
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Not to bad so far, though when zoomed in to full-rez everything seems a bit fuzzy.
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      Gidde is offline
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    Looking pretty good, I like the colors alot. The only thing I'd add to the fuzziness already mentioned is that the ocean texture looks a little too tiled, imho. You might think about either toning it down a little so that it's less obvious, or adding some sort of smear or displace to break up the tiling a bit.

  6. #6
    Guild Journeyer Gregorus Prime's Avatar
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    I've changed up the shapes of the forest, plains, and tundra masks and I think those parts are looking much better now. But I hate doing mountains so very much.

    If I make any part too thick then it all comes out as a big congealed mass. If I make them too thin, as I have in this example, too many parts are difficult to make out. And then of course there is the constant problem of giving them depth.

    Does anyone know an easy way of making sinous, tapering lines with lots of similarly-shaped branches in either GIMP or Inkscape? That would probably make experimenting with these mountains a lot easier.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Imperium Saerdastim-imperium-saerdastim.jpg  

  7. #7
      Ascension is offline
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    You could make a brush that looks sort of like a snake spine with ribs that stick out but put a little wave in the ribs. Then warp the spine once it has been painted, then use some blurs or glows or airbrushing to flesh out some area around it. Here's a pic of a spine brush that I have as an example to show you how you could take something similar and make it into a mountain spine brush.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Imperium Saerdastim-screenie.jpg  
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  8. #8
    Guild Journeyer Gregorus Prime's Avatar
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    I don't know how to make brushes, and I'm working with nothing but a mouse. No pressure sensitivity with that.

    Free-selecting is the only thing left to me for the moment, I suppose.

    EDIT: Made some adjustments to my map. I think given the scale I'm working in the mountains are about the right size. My only concern is that they're too sparse, and that the ones bordering the wetlands in the south don't stand out enough. Slapping a height map overlay onto the plains could add something, too, I suppose. Thoughts?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Imperium Saerdastim-imperium-saerdastim.jpg  
    Last edited by Gregorus Prime; 10-09-2009 at 03:49 AM.

  9. #9
      Ascension is offline
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    I had two thought while looking at it. There are no hills right now so adding some might help beef up the mountains. The other thing might be a question of scale...the forests look good but also look like really big trees when compared to the mountains. So maybe if you put some smaller texture in there to make it look like a billion trees instead of a handful it might look better.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  10. #10
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    Post mountains too thin...

    Maybe the mountains are properly placed, but they seem awfully thin, and as Ascension mentioned, next to them are some really bushy forests. Why such big trees and such skinny mountains? I think you need to both thicken those mountains (throw in some hills) and make much less "big" trees.

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