Just wanted to post this and maybe get some feedback on it. This is my first map, based on over a years worth of adding to an old map made in ms paint for a D&D game my fiance and I play together. I figure after living here for a year of real time and 8 years of game time it was time to update this part of the world and make it look less.... well like it was made in ms paint haha! One thing to note about it, I know the eastern country has some weird looking terrain changes, but that is actually based on the magics of the area, and it supposed to look like that, and the same for the apparently random desert in the south west. Still working on tweaks of course, and need to add labels, but wanted to share the continent of Luthia with all of you and thanks to everyone for the awesome tutorials that made this possible. I really never thought I could do something like this and my fiance is blown away.
Let's see if I can get the responses flowing.
You've got some cool things going on, and things I think could
be tweaked a little bit to make the map even better. If you
made this in MS Paint, my hat is off to you. Keep in mind I
probably couldn't make this map, and definitely couldn't
improve it, with my mapping skills. However, maybe you'd be
able to. The things I think could be changed are:
1] Your mountain ranges are really thin for the map. I'm not
sure hoe high they are, but they probably could use some
more thickness. To make mountains, you've generally got
two plates pushing together. Not only will you get a peak,
but the inner plate will scrunch up as well. Your mountains
should extend further towards the forest for some realistic
height portrayal and slope.
2] Not sure if you're finished with the foresting, but I think
the placement could be a little better. In my opinion, the
forest(s) would closely follow the rivers, as they need
water to grow.
3] Not sure if you're done with rivers either, but you could
add more of those. I suppose it depends on how much water
the region is subject to. The river you have currently,
however, breaks a cardinal rule: rivers can't enter the sea
in two places (unless it's a delta, but that'd be pretty small).
What I am impressed with, however, is the unique coastline
and the sea texture. I think you have real potential to build
your skills as you go, especially if this was done in MS Paint.
Best of luck
The best maps are the ones we like the most after looking at the longest.
Your technique is looking good! What's off is a lot of the feature placement. The mountains that run perpendicular to the sea and end abruptly into it aren't right. They should either peter out before the edge form a island chain or turn before meeting the coast (preferably not at sharp right angles). That said, its a great first map.
Haha should have made it more clear, the ORIGINAL map this was based on was made in ms paint, this one was actually made in GIMP. I would post the original map that this was based on..... but since I kept having to resize to add more of the continent as we went, it is currently 9522x5944 and 3.88mb in size! Part of the issue I had with making the map is that a lot of the features became part of the story we were creating at the time before I really got into actual map making, so kind of had to be worked into it. I'm still working on how to fit things in with "proper" geography while keeping the integrity of the story that goes with the continent. The northern fork of the river.... well let's just say I didn't know that rule at the time haha. I do think I will take it out though, as it isn't important to the story in any way. I did notice the issue with the mountains as well, but wasn't quite sure what it was that was tweaking me about them. I am planning on adding a gradient from the landmass into the sea, so no reason I can't add an island chain to go with it, since there ARE islands out there. I do think that would help out the look quite a bit, thanks for that!
And, just for anyone lurking and wondering (I've wondered this on a few posts) the tutorials I used in creating this map were Using GIMP to Create an Artistic Regional RPG Map, Simple Mountains in GIMP, and Making Photo-realistic Trees in GIMP. The basic sea texture was enhanced by adding a layer of Render>Plasma at the highest settings, desaturated and then adjusting the color levels to even out the texture.
Thanks for the responses guys, I'll keep updating as this gets better and better =)
So still working on this map, don't have an update to post right now. Mostly trying to work on labeling and the headache of finding a way to do it that I like. I found some icons that I really like and seem to work with my map pretty well, but still need to contact the person that made them to ask permission to use them. In the mean time, does anyone know of any realistic looking town/city icons that they like and that are free to use?
Ok here's an update for you all! Fixed the rivers a bit, and also redid the forest, but still working on a way to fix the mountains that I like. Really frustrated with them right now haha. Starting to realize how hard it is to adapt a completely unrealistic map that was mostly used as a way to remember where things were into a working landmass! If the labels seem a little difficult to read I apologize, I had to scale a image a bit to make it fit the size requirements. I decided to go with more simple icons for towns and cities than I had originally intended, but am pretty happy with the way they came out. I used the appropriate colors for the regions as far as heraldry (I think that's the right term for it) but I'm worried that it is giving the map too many colors. And 3...2...1... go feedback!
Well, I don't think the map have too many colors (at least not yet), and the icons are good, but I think they are too small to show it's details.
The forest is very good.
I like the style of the mountains, I just think the positiong is strange, too straight, almost a line (the east vertical one looks like a wall).
I am still learning the "ways of the river", and for me the rivers are perfect, others may tell more about that to you.
The positiong of the cities are strange. Here RobA tell a lot of things about towns and roads positioning http://www.cartographersguild.com/tu...l-rpg-map.html, take a look.
For now, I think Traelor and the other town below it are in strange places. There's no river, forest or any kind of resources near them. Towns are usually buit alongside rivers or other places that offer something.
I generally like the rivers and forests, but I'm not a big fan of the mountain ranges and the coastline. Mountains don't just appear out of nowhere, they're the highest points of a ridge that was created by tectonic activity. The land around the range is generally raised as well. Imagine contour lines falling away from the highest peaks. Since a coastline is nothing more than a contour line indicating an elevation of zero, it should be affected by the mountain ranges as well.
In short: mountain ranges NEVER end perpendicular to a coast. They either peter out before reaching the coast, or force the coast to jut outwards (and probably both). Take the Ural mountain range for example: it seems to end at right angles with the coast, but in reality it swings east and then west, and only dips under the waves for a short while before continuing on in the Novaya Zemlya island chain. Mountain ranges never just stop at the coast, as if the coastline defines the mountains. It's the other way around, of course.
Another remark I have about your coastline: compared to the relative complexity of your other features (the rivers in particular), the coastline looks very dull and straight. I'm sure you can come up with a more interesting, jagged coastline that doesn't deviate too much from your general lay-out. There are fantastic examples here on the guild, just check out the Finished section for example!
You could use a redraw of the coastline to take care of both problems. It shouldn't take too much of your time, and the end result would be both far more beautiful AND more realistic