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  1. #1

    Map Greetings from Nethseaar Valihan

    Hello to all! It's fantastic to see all the maps that are posted here, and exciting to join in on the creativity.

    I am writing a quest-centered novel, in which maps are terribly important. Learning cartography has been enjoyable thus far, and I look forward to all that I have yet to learn. I have experience drawing with pens, so they're my weapon of choice for now.

    Some questions for you:

    How does one depict sandstone canyons (like the Grand Canyon) without using topography? I may need to reassess my expectations, but if there's a neat trick to it, I'd love to have it.

    What symbols do you like to use for forests? Especially rainforests. Do you like to draw each tree individually, or combine the tops into one canopy with many trunks at the bottom?

    What's your favorite tutorial for mapping cities? What about for mapping tunnels and tunnel networks beneath cities?

    Here's some WIP/concept region maps, open for critique and praise:
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    Last edited by Nethseaar; 04-23-2012 at 09:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Community Leader Gidde's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Michigan, USA


    Welcome to the Guild! Torstan has some great canyon-drawing advice in his Tips and Tricks thread in the tutorial section. Give it a gander!

  3. #3
    Community Leader Guild Sponsor arsheesh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    Welcome aboard Nethsear. You can find Torstan's walk through here. You might also want to checkout Djekspek's tutorials as well. Best of luck to you!


  4. #4
    Guild Expert jbgibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Alabama, USA


    Welcome, Nethseaar. Those are a good start. On the second one you'll want to connect the Dahla and he Kievlan to somewhere - maybe downstream of Arendon? They wouldn't just fizzle out. You have a good depiction of linear ranges of mountains and hills going. The settlements seem too regularly scattered - I'd expect thicker in places and sparser in others.

    On the Ceerorian map you have the lower-river-meandering bit down pat, but that really happens just on the lower reaches of rivers. Upper stretches would tend to be less finely wiggly. Don't get me wrong - upper stretches will still be irregular, just not all that finely meandered. The coastlines look better on this one - understood the other is still a study or WIP. I'd tame those claw-foot deltas a bit - such an extension happens, but amidst plenty of other distributaries, branching, bayous and such. Why's the central lake so jaggy? I'd expect such shores to come from rugged terrain surrounding it, yet it's amidst plains.

    Think of a peninsula as a ridge sticking out to sea. Ask yourself why so many rivers would be "clinging to ridgetops" as you show. Granted in flat terrain the "ridge" is gradual, and one *could* have a pair of parallel coastal rises channeling a watercourse out the tip. But I'd expect that to be the exception rather than the norm.

    I'll be interested in seeing more - keep it up!

  5. #5


    Thanks to all for the welcome, and for the link to the tips! And thanks in particular to the specific feedback, jbgibson!

    The Dahla and Kievaln dry up because of heat -- is there a better way to map that? Or is it so uncommon or unlikely an occurrence that I might need to reconsider it? The land is supposed to be cursed and desolate, all trees petrified and such.

    Settlements I'll definitely change. Somehow that didn't seem abnormal to me, but now you've pointed it out, I definitely agree. Check on the less meandering upper rivers, as well. Rivers have been a challenge for me to figure out, so I'm happy for the advice.

    The peninsulas with rivers and the claw-foot deltas are supposed to be bayous. They're the result of me comparing historical maps of Louisiana with satellite imagery, trying to make sense of how to map such an area. I'm not set on what I've got, especially since it hasn't done well at being recognizable as a bayou.

    The central lake is supposed to be in an area like southern Utah, based specifically off of Lake Powell. I'm going to make it more narrow, and draw in canyons, once I find a favorable way to do it.

    Thanks, again! I'll post progress as it's made.

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