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Thread: WIP - (ambitious) World Map of fictious earth-like planet

  1. #1
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    Wip WIP - (ambitious) World Map of fictious earth-like planet

    Right, so, first of all, some info:
    I am aiming at recreating the vivid world I have created with friends many (many!) years ago. But this time, as realistic/plausible as possible. There is quite a lot of background in my map concerning culture, history and even climate, which results from so much goofing around as a kid, but I will be trying to accommodate that as I can as the focus is on plausibility.
    With this in mind I have been reading a lot on tectonics and geology, on climates and geography, etc. In the middle of so much "navigating around" I found this site and it has given me already invaluable advice and pointers.

    My first goal is to achieve full-on detailed maps of elevation and climate.
    Then create some history, fitting it to what I have in my memory from teenhood and to what climates/terrain allow. (Strictly no magic )

    Should I reach this point... then... possibly, draw historical maps / geographical maps.

    I am currently working on elevation, having created a draft coastline and a complete tectonics model. This:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    These are smaller copies of the original multi-multi-layered original. I sometimes export small files to G-Projector to have a look at the planet with different projections (seeing Ortographic projections of the poles really helps!). It took a few weeks and experimenting with several possibilities until I got a balanced model.

    I am now on the process of hand-painting a planetary elevation map and, oh man, is that a lengthy process!

  2. #2
    Guild Adept foremost's Avatar
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    This looks like a very interesting project and I will be following
    the progress as it comes. Have you looked at the site's tutorials
    yet? Depending on what software you might be using, or could
    download (Gimp is free), those could be big boosters to your
    project.

    I've always wanted to see a very scientific/accurate map on here,
    and particularly while it's being made
    The best maps are the ones we like the most after looking at the longest.
    I cAn gET fancy w1th my s1GNaturE, UH huh!

  3. #3
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    Thanks.

    I am using Photoshop (and G-Projector every now and then). For now, the job is lasso -> bucket fill, lasso -> bucket fill, lasso -> bucket fill, almost at pixel level. Every now and then I do some other tasks (like warping a selection to change/squeeze/stretch the overall shape of a mountain range, or to open a valley/rift). Once all land-area is colored this way, I'll work on noise and effects (might use Wilbur at some point). Once land is about right, will repeat the technique for submerged crust.

    I am aiming at something along the lines of this:
    http://www.geosage.com/products/srtm...ew_res10km.jpg
    (BUT... a little less detailed, I'm not mad )

    As for tutorials, I have read a few yes. I've been lurking for a while.

  4. #4
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    Just wanted to share my current state of affairs concerning this map:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is a partial screen shot from the continent where my work is more advanced. The method is to paint small areas at a time, highest bits first.
    It's a slow task but I'm enjoying the result. Specially now that the main ridges stand out, as well as some volcanoes, and I'm starting to cover other areas with lower/older mountainous areas.
    The elevation map is a separate layer, obviously.

    This second pic shows the color code I'm using.. just for reference (and the continent is zoomed out a little).
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Any thoughts? I've seen this so often lately that I'm curious to know how it actually looks to others.

  5. #5
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    Another peek the the current state, a week after the previous one. I decided to work on single continent at a time, and started with the smallest. So, at the current pace I know it'll take no less than a month to finish the elevation map.
    This has been 100% hand painted with lasso -> bucket fill technique, often with a lot of zoom.

    I have also took some time experimenting turning my work into a B&W heightmap and testing it with Wilbur. It works fine, but Wilbur can't make precipitation vary from area to area and considers all terrain to be equally hard/soft for erosion. On a continental scale it doesn't really work that way... Hence, I'll use it only in the last stage, to create some localized erosion, because on that particular aspect it's way better than I can ever be painting by hand. I will still have to develop that technique once I get to that point.

    Anyway, that's the future in a month or two time... Without further ado, the current state of affairs:

    This first one shows the whole continent. I left latitude/longitude lines, which are 30º apart in both cases. The map goes roughly from 35º N to 60º S.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This second one has more detail. In most of the map there's only 2/3 levels of altitude to go...
    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    Guild Expert Jalyha's Avatar
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    Oh that's shaping up well. Looking forward to the next installment!
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    Guild Expert Ilanthar's Avatar
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    Nice work on your mountains! And yeah, an ambitious work (the world maps often are )

  8. #8
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    Well, again, here's a the weekly preview of the "Work In Process"...

    I think I am getting better and faster with the technique, but at the same time, more demanding with myself and I now spend maybe 1/3 of the time retouching what's done (not a bad thing in itself, but it will make everything take longer).

    Also, the color key had a problem which had to be fixed (inverted colors in the lower levels) so I had to redo some parts over, which made me move "sideways" instead.

    Yet, I'm still pretty proud with what's done, and enthusiastic about what's to come. Here's the preview:
    (This time at 100%, meaning no zoom, meaning larger image)
    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9

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    Wow that's beautiful! I wish I had your patience!!

  10. #10
    Guild Expert Jalyha's Avatar
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    It's coming along really well pixie
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