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Thread: A world map WIP

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  1. #1

    Post A world map WIP

    I've been requested to share my work in its own thread, so I thought I would oblige. I'm currently working on a world map and I will post my progress in this thread.

    I've told the story here twice, so I'll condense it: a) been working on a fantasy world for 10+ years, b) been using same hand drawn world map until c) said hand drawn map was lost between moves. d) decided to draw a new one, more scientifically based, e) decided to try drawing it on GIMP, f) searching for "GIMP draw maps" led me here, g) read RobA's tutorial and decided to give it a try.

    So this time, before drawing random continents and coastlines, I decided to base my map on a bit of science and started with plate tectonics. My first task was to draw my tectonic plates, which I did by hand on notebook paper (the only thing I had available at the time the inspiration hit).

    I have since scanned my original drawing and touched it up with the GIMP. Here are my plates and their general direction of movement (as was said in my tutorial, movement isn't quite as simple as that, but for my purposes, it will work):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Then based on the plate boundaries and some of my own design, I drew my continents and islands. I first did this by making a copy of my original hand drawn tectonic plate map and drawing the continents over it. I then used white out to eliminate the plate lines.

    However I have also scanned my map of the continents and superimposed it onto my tectonic plate map:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And finally, a rough, two tone image of my world map:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I do plan to add a lot more detail like inland seas and lakes, gulfs, bays, more islands, more random coastlines in places, etc.

    And following that will be the arduous process of detailing it using RobA's GIMP methods (as well as those by others who have extended the process).

    One thing I need to do is dramatically increase the size of my continental map. I found that GIMP is unable to generate bump maps fine enough for a global scale map, at least not with any method I know of.

    If anybody has any advice or suggestions, please let me know. Thanks for looking!

  2. #2
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    I know that in Photoshop when I enlarge something, what was once a jagged coastline now becomes blurry. So what I do is make my base map in black and white and then use the pixellate > crystallize filter then bump the contrast all the way up to max, this takes all of the lil crystals that appear in the blurry part and makes them black or white. This, then, restores a jagged coastline but It doesn't quite line up with the old one, which is usually not a big deal. So look through and see if you have something similar to pixellate or crystallize in GIMP.

  3. #3
    Administrator RobA's Avatar
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    You might want to try this technique I posted a while back for "refractalizing" coastal detail as you zoom in.

    Here is a sample of the cluster of islands just NE of the center continent using that technique:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    -Rob A>

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the tips!

    I've done some work in the last few days according to RobA's marvelous tutorial, and have come up with this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Obviously, I don't plan to leave everything as grass (as you can see with my desert attempt, which I currently don't care a whole lot for).

    I've been playing with the polar ice caps and have come up with some stuff that's ehh... decent, but not really convincing. Gaussian blur is only getting me so far. I'd kinda like to go for a Northern Canada look, a la this satellite photo:

    http://www.debian.org/devel/developers.map.jpeg

    Neither my northernmost nor southernmost continents are entirely covered with ice, so I need a good transition and a simple Gaussian blur isn't cutting it. Any thoughts would be welcome, and it doesn't have to be exactly like northern Canada.

    Actually, any suggestions at all would be welcome. I need to do deserts, forests and mountains and at this scale, things get a little more complicated... for me, anyway.

  5. #5
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhalsimrocks View Post
    Thanks for the tips!

    I've done some work in the last few days according to RobA's marvelous tutorial, and have come up with this:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	world_map_progress.png 
Views:	154 
Size:	297.0 KB 
ID:	4367

    Obviously, I don't plan to leave everything as grass (as you can see with my desert attempt, which I currently don't care a whole lot for).

    I've been playing with the polar ice caps and have come up with some stuff that's ehh... decent, but not really convincing. Gaussian blur is only getting me so far. I'd kinda like to go for a Northern Canada look, a la this satellite photo:

    http://www.debian.org/devel/developers.map.jpeg

    Neither my northernmost nor southernmost continents are entirely covered with ice, so I need a good transition and a simple Gaussian blur isn't cutting it. Any thoughts would be welcome, and it doesn't have to be exactly like northern Canada.

    Actually, any suggestions at all would be welcome. I need to do deserts, forests and mountains and at this scale, things get a little more complicated... for me, anyway.
    Post what your trying for the polar regions so we can see what you are doing.

    As for the deserts, a bit to bright and needs some more color variation within the area.

    Joe
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  6. #6

    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by jfrazierjr View Post
    Post what your trying for the polar regions so we can see what you are doing.

    As for the deserts, a bit to bright and needs some more color variation within the area.

    Joe
    Totally agree about the desert. I'm going to go for a "dirtier" look.

    As far as the polar regions go, I guess I don't really know exactly what I have in mind, but here is the only attempt I've made so far (It's just some noise with a light blue/white gradient map and a Gaussian blur):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    My own criticisms of it are that the blur just doesn't look realistic at all, especially going immediately to green. The effect looks more like cloud cover. I also think they come too far north and south. They need to be smaller areas, but not by much.

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