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Thread: The start of and In-Depth Endeavor

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    Guild Apprentice SkarValidus's Avatar
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    Wip The start of an In-Depth Endeavor

    I've been messing around with a novel (and planned series) for a few years and didn't get too far (not even done the first quarter of the book!). I realized last summer that I really need to get more serious with it, so I decided to scrap my few hundred pages and start again. Now I'm beginning with this map of the continent, after which I will continue designing the languages. I plan to fully explore every region, species, history, and possibility of this land in my notes, if not in the series itself, and since it all begins with this map, the map had better be good!

    I think that the waves are looking too edgy, not soft or transparent enough, so I'll work in that.
    The mountains are not yet properly scaled, I need to go in with a harder and denser brush to make the little "fractal" arms which one usually sees shooting of of ridges like I have.
    The rivers I've done represent only the most major ones, so when I get into more local mapping, I'll elaborate.
    The forests are a bit sketchy here, since I can't seem to find how to represent trees from such a hight... Textures don't work...

    If you have critique, PLEASE BE HARSH! I am a very honest and blunt offerer-of-thoughts and I hope others are the same with me! I've followed numerous fantastic tutorials around here and I also used some of coyotemax's stuff that he put on DeviantART (I think). I don't remember who it was that I got the layer style and brush that I used for "dirtying up" the mountains, but I appreciate it!

    This rambling has gone on long enough, so let the map-bashing begin!

    EDIT: The thread title should say "The start of an In-Depth Endeavour" Sorry for the confusing title =/
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The start of and In-Depth Endeavor-stand-map-cg-.jpg  
    Last edited by SkarValidus; 04-04-2010 at 11:37 PM.
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      muddle is offline
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    Well, I don't know about map-bashing, but the waves seem really really huge, like giant tsunami!! Seems like crested waves like that would be much, much smaller, and generally found nearer to the coastlines (not out in the middle of the ocean.) However I am making a bit of an assumption regarding the scale of the map. I am also not an expert on ocean waves, perhaps other have greater knowledge and will chime in.

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    Guild Apprentice SkarValidus's Avatar
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    Yes, the waves are massive, they're meant to be symbolic, not satellite. Now you see why they should be softer... Your scale assumption was right, as was your notice, I just haven't clearly communicated what I'm trying to...
    Thanks!
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      Larb is offline
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    I think the map looks good, and the waves also look really nice. But I think they are just way out of place on a continent scale map. They are just too incongrous in my opinion even if they are symbolic, and would look much better on a small island map. Apart from that, I think it looks fine otherwise.
    Although if the north west is a cold climate, how come the island in the corner isn't?

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    Guild Apprentice SkarValidus's Avatar
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    Thanks for your opinion on the waves, Larb. Maybe I'll try to find a way to do a batch-wave-making. They're hand-painted so they take a bit. I'm glad you noticed the climate incongruity, however, this map is aproximately placed like the United States or the middle-east/Europe, so the north isn't all that chilly. The reason for the local snow and ice is a Narnia-style (though I cringe in making the comparison) magic side-effect created when a massive spell used too much energy. Thinking about it now, I may lower the diameter of that area...
    Thanks for the comment!
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      rdanhenry is offline
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    Good: The colors work well together. I like the overall continental shape.

    Bad: You've got multiple lakes with multiple outlets. Normally, a lake has only one river flowing out of it (there are a few very rare exceptions, but these lakes don't appear to be placed where an exception would even be an option). Of course, if something artificial is being done with the water flow through dams, magic, or river spirits, that's another story.

    I agree about the waves. It looks like the sea god is very, very angry. The style is too realistic for the giant waves to register as symbolic.

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      Diamond is offline
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    The mountains/terrain and colors are excellent; the only things I'm not digging are the rivers and the waves. For the rivers, they look a bit wide for a continental scale, especially with the stroke and bevel around them. Also, the terminus where the meet the sea is very abrupt because of the heavy black outline around the landmass. For the waves, I'd dump them altogether. They draw too much of the focus away from the land and seem out of place.

    edit: I also see a river violation in the west - it looks like you've got a river splitting around that long peninsula on the left.

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    Guild Apprentice SkarValidus's Avatar
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    @rdanhenry:
    Thanks for the advice on the lake outlet issue. That's definitely one to fix before continuing! I'll see if I can get that a little more natural-looking. I hadn't thought of any artificial river-meddling, but I may incorporate it a bit here and there... It would make for a neat story addition... I have no idea why I didn't clue in about having a singular lake outlet... looking at it now, it seems so blatantly obvious...

    @Diamond:
    Thanks for the compliment on the landmass! I agree that the rivers look wide, but I'm afraid that maybe they'll become invisible if I fix that? The largest river is surely needing a down-sizing, but the rest I am hesitant to slim... Once I get the river placement finalized, I'll fade/taper the black outlines at the terminii (plural terminus?) I think that without the waves it looks really empty out there, so I'll mess around and see whether I can get it to look more watery... I actually really wanted to add a reflection of the sky and clouds as an overlay but couldn't find a pleasing picture. I suppose I'll take one of my own. I'm not sure where the "river-splitting" is occuring, do you mean in the southwest where the lake has two outlets? *confusion.*

    I'll be uploading another WIP asap. (Once I make one...)
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      tilt is offline
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    The start of and In-Depth Endeavor-rivers-violation-.jpg
    heres a little guide - the NE river violation is easy to fix - the next 2 there are too many rivers floating from lake to lake. Just remember that a river always only flows one way. Two rivers can meet but only one flows on ... think of mad max cage fighting ... two rivers enter - one river leaves
    otherwise- looking really good - I'd perhaps use some smaller lettering as the texts domiate your map and takes away the attention from it, and as mentioned above - the waves are rather dominating too - but cool map - nice beginning
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    Guild Apprentice SkarValidus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tilt View Post
    heres a little guide - the NE river violation is easy to fix - the next 2 there are too many rivers floating from lake to lake. Just remember that a river always only flows one way. Two rivers can meet but only one flows on ... think of mad max cage fighting ... two rivers enter - one river leaves
    otherwise- looking really good - I'd perhaps use some smaller lettering as the texts domiate your map and takes away the attention from it, and as mentioned above - the waves are rather dominating too - but cool map - nice beginning

    Thanks for the guide, tilt. I actually fixed it all up last night, but I'll take a closer look at your example and compare it to my "fixed" version soon. I'm not sure waht you mean by the "text," because I haven't done any titling yet... Did you mean that I should keep scale in mind *when* I add text?
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