Update - Latest state of the map (fixed the mountains, drew in the equator and Arctic Circle and added nations):
Dotted red lines = Majour roads
Red circle-dot-things = Majour/notable Settlements (size of dot roughly represents size of city/town in comparisson to other dots)
Huge red circle-dot-things = Capitol cities. There are only two on this map, Darwin and Valdin. I think I posted the maps of both those cities (one of which, Darwin, is the largest and oldest human colony (in the tiny white area somewhere on the border of the green and yellow) on the planet and the other, Valdin, is the capitol of the one nation (on the southern shore of the yellow area) of native aliens (oxymoron-lol)).
Coloured bits = The edges of nations
Black lines between coloured bits = National borders
Semi-transparrent black curved line thingies = The northern one's the Arctic Circle, the southern one's the Equator
Well, this is a map of the central and eastern parts of the continent of Cyro'bar on the fictional world of Novusvita and is the setting for the first book in my The Peoples of Algol trilogy, The Start of Two Journeys.
The area of the map is about the size of China (the planet is about half the size of Earth). The grey is land and the white represents bodies of water (the oceans, seas and lakes).
I went about making this map by doing the following:
-Generating multiple worlds on Fractal Terrains, then cutting my favourite bits from each map and pasting them together to form a single map.
-Taking the aforementioned world map and orbing it in Fractal Terrains, then print-screening a zoomed-in view of the part of the map I wanted.
-I then took that image, traced it with a brush in GIMP and coloured it to show land and sea.
I still have a .xcf file of the map with the outline as a seperate layer.
In the second attached file, the black is mountainous area (it has to be overlayed onto the map). Let me tell you more about that:
I traced the areas that should be mountainous (this does not necessarily meen high in elevation, as no mountains does not necessarily meen low in elevation) using the selection tool, based on the original topographic Fractal Terrains image and my own interpretation of where tectonic fault lines should lie. I then aplied a black/white gradient to the selected region, made it a new layer and used it as a height map. The result was... disgusting.
So I undid that, now having no idea how to go about making the mountains.
My goal is to create a realistic looking map like the super-amazing ones I see all over this place (I'm talking about those that basically look like a view from space, but without clouds or sun-shading). However, I also want it to include the borders of nations, the locations of cities and roads and text labelling the map.
If all else fails, a simple un-coloued map would also work.
I also have images fitting that map which show the following:
-Topography (Fractal Terrains image).
-Which areas belong to which biomes, as well as where the equator lies.
-Where the tectonic plate boundaries roughly lie.
-Roads, cities and other notable settlements and the territories of the nations present in that region.
The topographical and tectonic maps are just for referencing mountain locations and such. I have yet to work out river placement.
So, uh, what should I do next? I really don't know where to begin...
Last edited by Rhotherian; 09-20-2011 at 07:04 AM.
I now added rivers and made the mountains somewhat lighter.
I noticed that the mountains are much smoother to the east than to the northwest (where I started). I made a mental note to fix that later.
I like the shape of the landmasses. As to how to proceed, hm, well if you are going for the photorealistic sat style then I'd recommend using the cloud layers (rather than GIMP colored version you are currently working with) as the base height map. The cloud layers provide the kind of texture one wants in a realistic looking map. From there you can use GIMP's "Bump Map" or "Emboss" features to give a three-dimensional appearance to the texture, and from there it's just a matter of adding color. Since you are a GIMP user I'd recommend checking out Gide's GIMP translation of Ascension's Atlas style as you may find some useful techniques for bump mapping and coloring there.
Edit: The problem with Ascension's method is that pretty much everything is randomly generated.
Is there any method that will give me a simmilar result that I could use with predetermined coatlines and topography?
Last edited by Rhotherian; 09-16-2011 at 03:13 PM.
Take a random clouds, then airbrush black or white over top to raise/lower the terrain to how you want it. Set the brush blend mode to overlay or soft light or just use a low opacity/flow. It requires hand work so it takes more time than just pushing buttons. Once you have a decent grayscale image height map then run it through wilbur to get proper erosion of the mountains.
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
Yup, that's how I do it to. But I was assuming you already had the cloud patterns for this map that were generated in FT; I merely meant to point you to ways (i.e. techniques for bump map and/or emboss settings and coloring) in which you could turn those per-existing cloud patterns into a sat-style looking map.
Ah, okay. I'll try that. Thanks.
Edit: Okay, it was fairly easy to blacken the coastline and lowlands, but now that I get to the mountains and highlands I'm struggling.
Since I wanna finish off my novel's illustrations as fast as possible, I think I'll go with the much simpler yet considerably-less-awesome method I've been using, then attempt the atlas style in my free time for the second or third book. Unless, of course, someone would take the time and effort to make the height map for me (in which case I'll give credit to that someone in the book).
Edit 2: Here's a new version with majour roads and settlements:
Last edited by Rhotherian; 09-17-2011 at 05:27 AM.
Had a quick play with the files you've posted and came up with this... obviously just mountains and oceans at the moment, other stuff to come - but getting late here and need to be able to function in the morning, so limited to this for the moment. Thought I would post it and see if you even liked the basics - can maybe do some more during the coming week if I get the chance. Would have to say that if you have them I can do more with larger size copies of the files you have - plus any others (rivers, borders, city locations, etc.). Any thing I can bring in as a layer makes life a lit easier than having to try and recreate.
OMG awesome! Thank you!! ^^
However, mind taking away the continental shelves? They make the oceans look highly unnatural.
Anyway, here are the layers. They're in order of bottom to top (in other words, layer 1 would be the very bottom layer and layer 10 would be the very top). Also, note that, on the map, layer 3 is set at 19.6% opticity and layer 8 has been made invisible (also, the version of the map where layers 2, 8 and 10 are present won't upload for some reason -_- ).
-Layer 1, Land:
-Layer 2, Nations:
-Layer 3, Mountains:
-Layer 4, Rivers:
-Layer 5, Roads:
-Layer 6, Settlements:
-Layer 7, Water:
-Layer 8, Borders:
-Layer 9, Shorelines:
-Layer 10, Equator and Arctic Circle: