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Thread: (WIP) An atlas-style map of Palamb

  1. #1
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    Wip (WIP) An atlas-style map of Palamb

    This thread is to share work I have been making "in secret", to turn my original elevation map (which is only complete for one continent, the smallest, out of the whole world) into an atlas-style map, where I could include political and geographic features. I was also sure I wanted to use Nathan's tutorial to have a sort of relief shading on it, so the work-in-progress was also an effort to get that applied onto my own material.

    The end result (a few posts below) leaves me very proud. It's not a finished map, though, as labeling isn't completed at all. I would really like some comments on my labeling as it is something I am pretty unsure of.

    So, step 1:
    I finished my elevation map for the continent of Palamb after tectonics for the whole planet of Maward was complete.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Palamb_elevationmap.png 
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    This is a scaled down version of the image. At this time, I cropped this part of the world-map onto a new file, and wrote down the exact coordinates (latitude/longitude) of the map limits. The new file still had the elevation layers separate, as that is needed to create the shaded relief.

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    The second stage of the process is to create a shaded relief, so I could drop the original colors of the elevation map. The original file was enlarged 300% and then I went through a number of trials until I found nice "bevel and emboss" parameters for the relief. I found the right parameters depend on the scale of the original elevation layers. In this map, bevel was at 10%, 3 pixels wide, colors for shadow depending on heightlevel), but as I said, it is a matter of trial and error.

    Once this was done, I had the land mass colored in a solid neutral color and traced the main rivers (which were drafted already in the original file, by the way).

    The file is large, so I am posting only a reduced and cropped image of the result.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Palamb_detailofrelief.png 
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    The shaded relief is really beautiful in my humble opinion, and I felt pretty excited with it, but it was very "bland" at this point. One of the things I would love to do, since I am working on climates at the same time, is to use Natural Coloring on top of this. But having a mouse to paint and not being an art-trained person, this was just too difficult for me and I ended up giving up on it.

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    After some frustrating attempts, I left the "natural color" project in the back burner and decided to go for pastel colors, based on height.

    I had this map from the Pyrenees to use as reference for some time, so I took the color scheme from it (but not its relationship with elevation, as my map has mountains way higher than the Pyrenees) and tried it. From start I knew I wasn't going to re-color all the original layers, just a few, so again it was a matter of trial and error until I got something I was happy with.
    The result was a very traditional looking map, definitely atlas-style, with rivers, lakes and shaded relief added to a basic height coloring.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Palamb_pastelcolored.png 
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ID:	66256
    As before, this is a reduced version of the image I work on.
    Last edited by Pixie; 08-04-2014 at 09:06 AM.

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    So I was keen to label this baby by now, but there was still one more task before that... turning this cropped part of a global plate carrée projection into a proper atlas projection. That's why I had noted down the coordinated for the map limits (I also had this to use the map as an overlay on google maps, but that's another story).

    Uploading the image in G.Projector, I went through a lot of different projections. Palamb is a difficult continent to project because it's very bulky close to the equator, but it also spans all the way to 70º South, if Taupland (those islands in the south) is included, and at the same time, it doesn't really spans very much east-west.

    Once I found a nice projection (sort of, I don't think it is absolutely brilliant) I exported it with as much resolution as the program can do, with and without graticule.

    And this was the image that I started labeling.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	WIP_atlas_01.jpg 
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Size:	2.46 MB 
ID:	66261

    I retraced the graticule, labeled main features and added cities and political borders... This is the current stage of the project. I don't want to clutter it too much, but I think I can add more labels. However, as I said before, I am unsure of my labeling choices (fonts, orientation, colors).

    Any thoughts?

    (EDIT: attachment fixed)
    Last edited by Pixie; 08-03-2014 at 08:38 PM.

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    Guild Expert Azelor's Avatar
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    The atlas style map look very detailed!

    Unfortunately, the last attachment is invalid.

    For labeling, to make a long message short, I would recommend that you read this : http://www.cartographersguild.com/re...ames-maps.html
    Fonts should be easy to read and consistent but this is often more complicated that it looks. Usually it's better to use font similar to those you would find in a book. It does not have to be Time New Roman or Helvetica but certainly not too fancy either but I can't find a counter example right now.
    Attachment limitations:

    bmp - 7.63 MB
    gif - 7.63 MB
    jpg - 4.77 MB
    png - 4.77 MB

    Image must have less than 30 megapixels (the limit depend on the resolution)

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    I think looks awesome , but how you did the mountain ranges and the several inlands of the mountains if you didn't use wilbur?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naima View Post
    I think looks awesome , but how you did the mountain ranges and the several inlands of the mountains if you didn't use wilbur?
    By hand.. layer by layer... as I said, I am a bit of a freak

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    Guild Adept Naima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixie View Post
    By hand.. layer by layer... as I said, I am a bit of a freak
    Are you kidding? You did draw by hand every inlet? but it looks so natural and geographically fractal , how u did achieve that lol , you have a fractal mind? spent a night only for a single border ? what did draw ur idea for following such patterns? using a wacom or mouse? I do nto mean mostly the levels of colored layers but the really the in and out of the mountains ... I can't believe u did all by hand if so I want to see you drawing ^^ ...

    Abosultely anyway its a gorgeous job absolutely realistic , sorry to compare but even light years ahead of the tutorial you were following and I love it ^^ ...

    first time I see something I woudl rep more than once ...

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    Thanks for the compliments. Yep, it's done by hand and it was a long learning curve until I can get this level of realism. There's a couple more continents to work on and I just started to on the largest one. I still have plenty of opportunities to make a small video of the technique.... actually, I had promised it before, so I guess I'll make it happen someday.

    And yes, sometimes it is a whole night job to get a mountain range or a river basin right

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    Any more comments on the graphical layout of this map? choice of projection, labeling, borders to use or captions...?

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