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Thread: First map!

  1. #1

    Map First map!

    Hi Folks!

    My name is Mike, and let me first say, I stumbled upon this site a couple of months ago while doing research and I'm amazed at the artistry and imagination (not to mention the pure research) that people put into their projects here. Truly amazing. Thanks for the inspiration!

    I've been working on a book idea and felt the need to take it to another medium. So I started this map in hopes it might make some things coalesce, as far as my world's backstory. Although I've only been working on it for a little while, it's definitely helped, so I'm determined to finish this map.

    I was deeply inspired by Schwarzkreuz and his map of Arden, so I'm doing something similar. The map is 62x40 inches, at 288 dpi for printing (hopefully a nice size poster someday, we'll see how it turns out). I don't have a timeline on to complete it, but I'm aiming for the end of summer. Normally my work involves a great deal of working in 3D, so its actually a welcome break just to work in Photoshop.

    As it stands right now, I've finished the major outlines of the continents. Let me say that the sea in the middle is not a 'natural' occurrence (that's a major plot point of the book), but I'm expecting everything else to be logical and believable.

    Here's a couple of images. The continents as they currently stand, along with some zoomed in sections. Sorry if its a little blurry, I just used a quick magic wand to fill in some sections. I also wasn't sure how *big* I should make them, in a working thread.

    Once again, thanks - there's a great deal of knowledge here, so I'm open to all suggestions and criticisms. Thanks for your time!


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  2. #2
    Guild Novice
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Portland, Oregon


    That looks brilliant to me, but I'm not an expert in cartography by any stretch! I look forward to seeing this evolve.

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


    Looks pretty good so far (assuming, as you mention, that you have some sort of catastrophic explanation for the inner body of water). Looking forward to seeing more.


  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by arsheesh View Post
    Looks pretty good so far (assuming, as you mention, that you have some sort of catastrophic explanation for the inner body of water). Looking forward to seeing more.

    Thanks! Yes, you're quite right, the inner sea was caused by a major catastrophe. I'm starting on the mountain ranges (just locations), so that they can inform the river basins.

    The inner sea is actually quite large. The world is roughly 28,000 (about 20% bigger than the earth) miles at the equator which means that every pixel is a little over a mile and a half. That means the inner sea is about ~6,000 miles across, or about 5,200 nautical miles (I think, hopefully my math isn't off).

    I've also started drawing the mountains, and like Schwarzkreuz, I'm going for an Atlas Maior feel, although perhaps not as stylized. I'll try and scan those in tonight.

  5. #5


    Here's my (quick) initial plot of mountain ranges and lowlands. I'm pretty happy with it, with the exception of the upper corner of the left continent. I may work on it some more. Colors are just temporary.

    edit: I meant left! My other right.

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    Last edited by lxdengar; 05-28-2012 at 06:05 PM.

  6. #6


    Ha. Well, I finished the final island only to accidentally hit the reset button on my computer. Rats.

    In the meantime, I finished my first set of mountains drawings. On to some bigger combinations of mountain ranges.


    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Guild Expert Facebook Connected vorropohaiah's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    35.921568 N,14.480068 E


    those mountains are lovely - nice and simple. need a good palette of mountains for my map, though ive been struggling trying to get a style im, happy with my tablet. great job on those
    My W.I.P Elyden globe map thread - please check it out and let me know what you think
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  8. #8

  9. #9


    Thanks! More soon, we're on super crunch here at work.

  10. #10


    I'm really looking forward to how this map evolves. I was trying to work with a fairly large map, like yourself, but was forced to give up due to my computer's limitations - Photoshop just got too slow... My other tip, that I learnt the hard way, is to make sure you regularly view your poster in Print View; it helps give you an idea of how it will end up printing. I always worked in a zoomed-out view, and forgot the "finer" details that appear when zoomed-in. Make sure to adjust your settings appropriately!
    To hire me for graphic design or web development, visit my website It's my virtual home away from my physical domain.
    To read my novels, and follow writing tips and other tutorials visit my website .

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