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Thread: My first map (so far)...what think ye, guildmasters?

  1. #1

    Help Kinda stuck on this map

    I'm roughly following the Sederan tutorial for this world map, which intended to be the half of of a world above the equator. I didn't use the Sederan ocean but I followed the tutorial for land elevation, mountains, hills, rivers. So far, so good.

    When I go to add vegetation and forest, though, it looks horrible. I'm 100% certain this is due to my own limitations as an artist (and not Sederan's wonderful tutorial).

    I've made a few attempts and I'm wondering if perhaps I should just try a new approach. My remaining steps for this map are

    • Indicate grassland and forest
    • Indicate desert (or just leave areas unmarked by grassland/forest as desert)
    • Continental shelf
    • Arctic coloring

    I'm thinking perhaps I may need to just do something different rather than use the Sederan-style vegetation steps. Anyone have any tips/advice?

    Here is the pre-vegetation map, and the not-so-good post-vegetation added.

  2. #2
    Community Leader Guild Sponsor
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    Diamond's Avatar
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    Jul 2009


    Honestly, I don't see anything wrong with the forests; looks good to me!

  3. #3
    Guild Journeyer arakish's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Albuquerque, NM


    I have to agree with Diamond. I don't see much wrong with it. To me the thicker green indicates forests and woodlands. The thinner green indicates grasslands with copses of trees/forests.

    Only major problem I see are the river splits. If this is a world map, then those deltas appear to be a might huge to me to explain the river splits.

    Keep up the good work.

    Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun. - Albert Einstein

    A good friend will come down and bail you out of jail. A best friend will be in jail with you and say, "Dude, we screwed up."

  4. #4


    I think that the map is great. The different biomes are pretty clear.

    When I first looked at the map I was stumped trying to figure out what was wrong because I didn't see anything.
    Induite vos armaturam Dei
    Ephesians 6:11

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by arakish View Post
    Only major problem I see are the river splits. If this is a world map, then those deltas appear to be a might huge to me to explain the river splits.
    I hadn't considered that. I was looking for something roughly on the scale of the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting map. I just looked at it and did some math. It's roughly 2200 miles E-W and 2900 miles N-S (using the units of measurement on that map).

    Earth is about 12,400 miles from north pole to equator, so yes, you're right, my scale is a little off.

    On the Pathfinder map, they do have many river paths that are similar to mine...I think I'll recast this as a regional rather than world map.

    Thanks for the comment!

  6. #6

    Wip My first map (so far)...what think ye, guildmasters?

    This is an update of the map I posted earlier.

    I've got the vegetation done. Decided not to do an "arctic north". The scale has also been changed...I'm thinking this is 2900 miles wide by 2400 high. The lat/long lines are reasonably correct (spaced at 69 miles).

    The title will probably be something like "the Northwest Sea" or something, to show that this is a partial world map.

    This is really the first map I've done and I more or less followed the Saderan tutorial. A few changes were:

    • I first made the rivers using the pen/stroke method, but I found that later vegetation could cover them up. So instead I took that layer and did some work to cut it out of the land instead. So the ocean shows through and the vegetation layer does not intersect with the rivers.
    • I obviously used a different ocean...the shelf is vaguely Ascension Atlas style and the ocean itself is blurred chromed clouds.
    • For the desert, I brushed in a "beach sand" texture I got.
    • I also brushed some hard rocky areas fairly heavy.

    The source PSD is 7050x5850 pixels @ 300 (for 24"x20" printing). I shrank it to 1200x1000 for this post.

    I would be happy to hear any critiques! The vegetation was probably the most difficult area for me.

  7. #7
    Guild Artisan landorl's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Brandon, FL - USA


    It looks good so far. I think that the mountain areas might need to have a different color because it looks a lot like desert.

  8. #8


    Agreed on the mountains...something more rock-colored might be good. Though not all of the mountains need be the same colour/texture, of course. Other than that, looks good. How about posting a larger resolution version so we can see some more detail?

  9. #9


    Thanks for the response. I've learned a lot by following the tutorials but have realized one can't just follow them literally. The Saderan tutorail works if you want a map like Saderan, but mine is different so I tweaked it a bit.

    Here is the improvement! Mountain color is a better darker brown and the tundra in the north has improved. I added a few more touches and a name, compass, and scale. Hopefully this isn't too big but Soixante asked for larger resolution ;-)

  10. #10


    Hmmm, didn't really increase the resolution...must be the forum software. Well the 2000px-wide version is here.

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