Hello people First timer here. I've used photoshop for a long time, but not very much for the last couple years. Recently I've had the desire to draw out maps, so I finally started attempting to create one in Photoshop. Looked up a few tutorials last night, had a bit of trouble following them with some bits, but I was able to somewhat learn how to shape the land.
Here's what I've got to start with at the moment:
Any tips on how to easily clean up edges is also appreciated
Edit: I may change the left land mass around a bit, I don't like how round it appears. Also, there's a few little ridiculous things, such as the 2 skulls, also the dog/panda looking face that I may get rid of. Although the skulls I think look cool, it's probably not too realistic. But I suppose that's the point of a fantasy map
I also want to add more detail all around. With less detail it doesn't look as large as I intend for it to be. Maybe it just looks that way because there's no features on it yet.
I'd like to learn how to make simple & clean, varying mountains, forests, rivers etc. I've looked around a bit and tried a few things but didn't turn out as I had hoped (or I couldn't get it to work at all), but if anyone has any tutorials to share that aren't too complicated, it would be much appreciated! Thanks!
Last edited by Zarxiel; 01-24-2014 at 01:17 AM.
The color looks really great!!
I couldn't find out how to make my own mountains/forests, but I found a few pre-made brushes that were posted up on this site that I was using. I'm going to get my hands on a tablet tomorrow so hopefully I can draw my own and not be so restricted. I like the look of the mountains, so hopefully I can match them decently when I draw my own. If not perhaps I'll just start over with my own mountains, or just continue on using the brushes. It's tedious but oh well.
Still lots to do though, lots of mountains/forests to complete. Once I figure out where I want all of them and finish, I'm going to work on the rivers. Next is meadows/grasslands, and then perhaps wastelands/deserts.
Pretty satisfied with the look of it thus far considering my lack of experience :3
Last edited by Zarxiel; 01-24-2014 at 07:23 PM.
Bit more work done, tossed in a few rivers as well. Figured it'd be more important than forests/mountains. Easier to form the mountains/forests around the rivers I suppose.
Not sure an easy way to represent plains and deserts. Tried drawing tiny cactuses but I thought it looked cheesy.
Trying to make things look as natural as possible and not so uniform/fake. Hopefully I've done a fair job at it so far
You're actually thinking backwards about the rivers and mountains – rivers start in the mountains and their flow is dictated by the height of the land, so even though it's absolutely possible to build mountain ranges around rivers, it tends to look more natural if it's drawn in the same order as nature does it. And forests grow where the land is watered by rivers, so they would be added last, to not end up with a forest in the middle of a desert.
That said, your map looks good! Interesting land shape and nice colors.
The rivers are a little bit iffy. Be careful of having a tributary join a river at a right or obtuse angle; erosion usually causes a tributary to join at an acute downstream angle. Also, there is a lot of meandering going on, especially in the top central section of the map. How much a river meanders is typically directly correlated with the steepness of the terrain, so the impression I'm getting is that the lands are pretty flat and close to sea level everywhere except for the suddenly steep mountains. I would expect that one extremely squiggly and loopy river would just erode its boundaries and turn into a fen or swamp.
For deserts, the simplest strategy is probably a pattern of random dots, maybe with a couple sand dunes thrown in there.
Keep up the good work.
Ah, alright thanks for the advice! Guess I got some research to do on rivers I wish I could better draw my own mountains and forests and what not. I tried with the tablet here but I was terrible at it hehe.
Edit: I skimmed through a post here about rivers the other day actually. I tried making most of the rivers begin from a mountain range and end in the ocean. There's a few random rivers that don't have anything around them yet, I just haven't gotten around to adding anything there.
Last edited by Zarxiel; 01-25-2014 at 07:54 PM.