the sirus companion isnt green
Well, I let this project go for almost a whole year again, doing other, non-cartography related things in the meantime. I also noticed that the two versions of Sirius were both older, so I nixed both of them.
Post is updated with most recent Sirius map, as well as added Toroi and Fuu'u'll maps.
Little background info. Emaria is not our universe. Scales are smaller between stars and planets, stars are much closer together than our universe, light is instantaneous and ships mostly move fast through a mixture of magic and technology. Gravity is a force made wholly by convenience, which the gods pretty much control as they see fit, and thus "artificial gravity" is not needed even for space ships (called Skyships in-universe). Stars can be any of several colours they can't in our universe, including one star which is not a black hole but in fact a "dark star," a star that actually emits black light.
That out of the way, I have the three Core Worlds star systems completed. Sirius is the homesystem of the most of the major races (specifically, they are from Azureus). It's largely a political capitol by the time of my book, with the population density on all inhabited planets relatively comfortable and stable. Fuu'u'll (pronounced foo (as in "food") ool (as in tool)) is the cultural capitol of the universe, holding the most people as well as the home planet of the first spacefaring race, Materia. Nexus is a Coruscant-like planet, with a single massive city covering all of the land surface of the planet (but about 70% of the surface is water). Toroi is the system claimed by one of the two human civilizations to spring up from Azureus at the same time as the Emarions. Officially their new capitol is Matica, but that being a water world (98-100% surface water) with only several thousand artificial Atolls hosting only several hundred people each, Weymuth is far more important to them.
I'll post a little something on the method I used to create these maps a little bit later, but for now I need to try to find the right sources to credit for the tutorials I used.
Next five maps will be found here, or in post 12 of this topic.
I was going to mention that there are no stars that are green, but I have been telling myself that I need to relax and let people have their artistic license.
“Maps encourage boldness. They're like cryptic love letters. They make anything seem possible.”
Correction: We have yet to observe any stars that are green. That doesn't mean that a particular star couldn't be the subject of a particular phenomenon that makes it so. We've got a good grasp of stellar physics, but it's hubris to think we have everything figured out.
As for the map, I like it! Much more artistic and pretty than the dry, boring ones you get in some space RPGs.
Did I fail to mention the fact that Emaria is in no way connected to our own universe? Green stars, interstellar travel, much smaller planets and moons; all are made possible when you stop trying to pretend that the universe you're creating has anything to do with our own. Sirius is named as such after the real star, but it by no means meant to emulate it in any other way. If either of the stars are blue giants, I was not even aware.
Another thing of note: in Emaria, light doesn't travel. Light just is. You look up at the sky at night and any stars you see are showing as they are in the universe at that very moment.
I'm glad I'm not the only one that doesn't like the usual "this dot is the sun and this smaller dot is a planet"-type maps that usually go with Sci-Fi RPGs. I was hoping to achieve a Mass-Effecty feeling with this map, yet also let it be something that works in a static image.
Question: If I have an update to make to the map later tonight, is it customary on this forum to make a new post in the thread, bumping it to the top, or just silently edit the first post?
Make a new post in the thread; that way, your progress history is showing so folks can learn from your process (or so that we can see how much cooler it gets each post)
So, here's version 2. I've redone all of the planets completely, making sure of a few things this time around. Planets with water (Coelenth, for example) now actually, you know, HAVE water. Bangarash has a little more water, which is appropriate for the planet. I made the water less of a flat colour by adding another layer below the land for the water to rest on, selecting the continents on the land layer, and then growing the selection a little, adding a lighter colour for the water there, and Gaussian Blurring them into a nice gradient. Not that you can really make out the detail on the smaller planets of the map, but the large planet images look better for it.
I've added the ring I wanted around Coelenth, though I'm not sure I'm happy with it. It's supposed to be a ring of dust and ice vertical and a little askew, but it looks pretty bad in this version. I'll be redoing it for the next.
I moved Azureus. I really wanted Azureus to have a nice, central location on the image, it being the home planet of most of the races, but in the end I just needed to fill in some more space off in that corner, which looked really bare in the last version.
Another thing I want for next version which will, unfortunately, require I add all of the planets and moons again, is to add in the shadows that I made for them. This time I added planets and moons from the .png files that I had made of them, forgetting that I cropped them from 500x500 each to a range of sizes, depending on the intensity of the atmosphere. I also want to establish a good scale of sizes, which can be based off of every celestial body starting at a 500x500 size and making them smaller from there. This time I really just eyeballed the sizes, but Kukri is still a bit bigger than it should be, and Bangarash is too big compared to Niff. Most of the other planets mesh well enough with the others, but I want to redo sizes all the same.
Finally, moons. Emaria has a smaller number of moons-per-planet than we do, which explains why the gas giant only has three (instead of sixty five or whatever absurd amount Saturn has) and terrestrial planets have, at most, two. Fuu'u'll, a white dwarf system which I will be working on after Sirius, will probably be leaner for moons-per-planet, but it'll also have a total of nine planets (the most in the Emarion universe, if I'm not mistaken). Another quick note about the moons: Niff's moons were not generated like the others. I scoured free texture resource sites for a decent picture of cratered ground, and cut out bits of it to form Haim and Evaun. I also desaturated Haim, but left Evaun alone. They unfortunately don't look terribly cratered in the image, but the .png files look okay. Similarly, Ansekh was made by adding a bumpmap to a picture of a satin sheet that had been wrinkled a bunch, coloured gold instead of wine red.
Hmm. I'll try not to prattle on too much for the next update.
As an aside to the thread (the OP has said that what he's describing is not our universe and therefore stars can be green in it, which is fair enough) - but you're incorrect: in our universe, we do actually know that stars can't naturally appear green. Stars emit a range of wavelengths, depending on their temperatures. Very hot stars look blue because their wavelength distribution is shifted towards the blue end of the spectrum (they actually emit a lot of UV as well). The wavelengths emitted by cool stars are towards the other end of the spectrum - they have hardly any blue wavelengths in their light and so they look mostly red (and emit more IR radiation). Stars that are between the two would appear orange, yellow, white, or blue-white depending on how hot they were. You would expect the "white" (type F) stars to actually appear green, since their wavelength peak would be in the middle of the visible light spectrum - but since they're emitting bluer and redder wavelengths as well the combination always appears white.
So you can't get stars emitting green light in our universe - the only possible way to do it would be if something (e.g. a dust cloud?) was in between the star and us, and selectively absorbed the redder and bluer wavelengths that it emitted.
Last edited by EDG; 10-01-2010 at 01:20 PM.
Wanted to bump this with the news that the older versions of Sirius have been removed, replaced with a newer one I did about a month after posting the others here. Recently, I began work on Toroi and Fuu'u'll as well, and they are more or less finished as well. As these are fairly completed works, a moderator may want to move the topic to the other forum, but the overall project is still very much a work-in-progress.
Up to you guys, basically.