WIP - Needs Help
This is my first attempt at a map (of a reasonable quality), and I think it has come out rather well. However, it has several problems that I would like help with.
- I don't like my forests. I have created a placeholding texture, but I want something that looks more realistic. I am using GIMP for this map, and have been putting my color on an overlay layers (with alpha channels), so if anyone knows of a good way to do this, feel free to suggest it!
- Do my symbols and roads look alright? I got the icons from a post somewhere else in the guild (I forgot to record the author, and haven't been able to find the post since), but I am not sure that they are the best for this map.
- Similar to the above point, I forgot to leave a space for a compass rose when I semi-randomly placed the islands. Should I move the group of islands in the lower right corner to the top left of the map? North is in the top right, so a rectangular area is better than a square one.
- I am horrible with creating names, and always have been. Is this the right place to ask for suggestions, or should I get one more post and work with someone through the PM system?
looking way better than my first mapping attempts! :p
1) try making a solid green colour, and apply noise of some sort. I'm not really familiar with GIMP, but also adding a stone texture with a high roughness level might work (again, not that big of a GIMP user)
2)the symbols are pretty good for the map, though maybe a bit too large. the roads look way too smooth, imo.
3)I'd say between those two the top left, but thats just my opinion
also, the mountains seem a little too white (pardon any racist connotations), and its kind of hard to distinguish where the mountains end and the grass starts.
You have some lovely colors there. The roads and city icons might be too large but that's an easy fix. Forests and mountains are things that we all struggle with. I'd suggest trying out a tutorial or two (GIMP only, don't try the Photoshop ones) and a good one to start with is RobA's tut. You can find those in the Tutorial section. As for names, there are many name generators out on the web and many are listed in various places here in The Guild so you might want to do a search here and on Google.
The curvature of the roads is odd. If they were running along the easiest route to build with the contours of the land, they'd twist around more. If they were built to be efficient and engineered for speed, they'd go straight. What you have there looks more like a mathematician's graph than a road system. Maybe if non-humans were building the roads, they'd have a reason to do that, but the human preference is generally to go straight if possible (shortest road).
I actually think the mountains and forests are okay, although I would maybe want to see the mountains made darker or colored a little to make them stand out a bit more. You might want to put some foothills along one side of the mountains.
A compass rose would be a nice addition, but a scale is probably more useful. I'm not sure what scale this is actually supposed to be. Is this a continent or an island cluster?
Thanks for the suggestions, but I'm afraid I won't be able to implement them. I was in the middle of backing up my files (probably shouldn't have stopped midway), and my images have been corrupted as I was working on them today. :(( Luckily, I still have my paper sketch, and wrote down the steps for about the first three-quarters of what I had done, but I don't think I will have anything to put up for a while. I will remember your suggestions and implement them when I redo the map, but I still want to respond to some of them.
Rythal: I love that name link you gave me. The first two posts (and the similar one farther down) strangely seem to be the most helpful to me, and I have copied the templates down and will refer to them when I decide to do my names. I agree with you - those mountains were rather white. I had added a transparent layer over them to give them more color, and it turned out well.
rdanhenry: I want the scale to be rather elastic (I don't write well to certain distances), but it was intended to be a large island - not quite a continent. I found that curved roads looked better than straight ones, but I had straightened them out somewhat and used RobA's fractalize path script to get them looking really good when GIMP crashed. At least I learned something from this: either import the paths in small chunks (I used Inkscape to tweak them), or back up the map before importing them.
Ouch that really sucks... Sorry for your loss.
The Map Reborn
Yes, the map is no longer non-existent. However, I have decided to create it in Inkscape (don't ask my why), and am having trouble with some of the mapping. Is there a good way to get a random texture in Inkscape (like my original ocean, grass, etc. textures), or will I have to create it in GIMP and import it to this new map? Also, is there any sort of a threshold tool (turns a greyscale image into pure black and white) in Inkscape? I need it to create good random islands.
I realized that the other map had an enormous grassy area on the right, so I extended the mountain range in that direction (they are much more interesting). I think that the change also lets me use a much more realistic - read "smaller" - scale (or is that the wrong way around - this island is smaller than the other). Based on my longest road and some sites that said a horse could travel about 20 - 30 miles per day, I have a tentative scale of 30 pixels to 1 mile, making the map 82 miles wide. Is this a good number, or should I change the scale?
While I can't answer your question from experience I can tell you that from what I've seen over the past year and a half is that there is a lot of importing between rasters and vectors so having the Inkscape do randomness stuff might not work...you'll probably have to swap between the two programs. That being said, I'm sure that others will be along tomorrow to answer more fully from experience.