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Thread: Giau'Rexan, Imperium Haereticum Jugis Redigis, WIP

  1. #1

    Wip Giau'Rexan, Imperium Haereticum Terrae Minorae, WIP

    For those of you not fluent in horribly inaccurate Latin, that bit on the end there roughly translates to "Heretical Empire of the Lesser Continent." The first part is my Dragonborn nonsense language, carefully constructed (by which I mean randomly slapped together) in such a way that avoids sounds that involve the lips... Dragonborn not having very full lips, you know, being draconic and all. This translates to "The Temple of Rexa." They're a monotheistic theocracy/caliphate, believing that there is only one true god who created everything. I'm not sure how I'll mark down the objective truth on that, whether their god will truly exist or just be a name assigned to a re-interpreted pantheon, and if it is a single god I'm not sure how powerful he'll be in the grand scheme of things. But anyway, on to the map...

    It's going to be a large desert continent, as you've probably already guessed from all the sand. I plan on putting down some rocky ground in the northeast and southwest and a few green areas near the southeast coast (the caliph/emperor has to have his/her summer palace somewhere, after all) with the northwestern area blocked off from the rest of the continent by a deep canyon and some very craggy mountains. Politically the majority of the place will be the territory of Giau'Rexan, with the Saerdastian Empire (human empire) encroaching on the northwest, blocked off from furhter conquest by the natural barriers and rough seas, as well as the incredibly zealous and vigilant military of the Dragonborn nation. So there will be a few forts and cities clustered along either side of the canyon, some cities centered around large oases in the central-east desert, and quite a few on the coast.

    Looking at it now, I'm thinking I should probably add some small islands off the southern cape of the continent, and a very large one in the southeast. As far as scale goes, I'm thinking about half to two-thirds the size of Australia, as I want it to be smaller than the main continent, which will be roughly equal to or slightly larger than the United States in size.

    EDIT: Attached revised version of map. Feel free to comment on both.

    EDIT: I accidentally saved over the old version. Que sera sera. Please give your criticisms anyway.
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    Last edited by Gregorus Prime; 09-25-2009 at 12:23 AM.

  2. #2
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    I like the overall shape of the landmasses, but the outlines seem too smooth; not enough natural jaggedness, inlets, fjords, whatever. That sand texture is groovy though; good base for everything else.

  3. #3

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    How about this, then?

    Re-did the land mask (and by necessity, the beach water mask) to try and make it a bit more jaggy.

    EDIT: And once again. RobA's tutorial is a bit off in the text descriptions. To get a really nice jaggy coastline, you need to Make Seamless and then Small Tile map the land noise layer, and play with the levels a bit as well.

    Small Tile is fast becoming my new best friend in GIMP. It's critical for my water ripples as well. Also: Fjords? Really? On a desert continent? The world hasn't changed THAT much in the millions of years since the [war between old Lovecraftian races, summoned a God who wrecked everyone's **** maybe?].

    EDIT: Before I hit the hay, I was wondering if anyone could direct me to the best tutorial for making craggy mountains and canyons in GIMP (or Photoshop, I'm sure I could figure out the UI differences as long as there's not too much automation involved)?
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    Last edited by Gregorus Prime; 09-09-2009 at 06:58 AM.

  4. #4
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    The new coastline is definitely better, though I think the ocean/sea could still use a bit of work (still looks like blue clouds - at least to me).

    For the mountains, I suggest you look over the various tutorials and decide which version is most appealing to you as they are all pretty darn good.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

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  5. #5

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    Used the Lighting Effects Filter to bring out the watery attributes of the water a bit more.
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  6. #6

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    Nobody is telling me how much my map sucks

    Anyway, finally got around to adding some mountains and some desert sands in the middle. This thing is a long way off from completion but it's starting to take shape at last. It still looks a bit too plasticy for my liking, but I suppose I can worry about that when I get the shape banged out. I can always go back and modify the masks, after all. Just might have to for the grassy areas. I'm also not really liking the mountains, given the scale I want for this map (frickin' huge, it's a continent after all).

    Speaking of which, any advice on creating the illusion of sparse vegetation in the rocky areas?
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  7. #7
    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Coyotemax's Avatar
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    It's coming along..

    What I do for sparse vegetation (photoshop) is use one of the spatter brushes, usually the 59, and resize as needed to drop in vegetation a single click at a time. I'm using layer effects for the most part, along with the pattern stamper (a la pasis) so it tends to work out pretty well.

    For the mountians, you could give them some more valleys so they don't look 50 miles in altitude

    But it looks like a good layout and shape to me.

    My finished maps
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  8. #8

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    I'll probably have the continent be 1500 miles or so across, so there will need to be a lot more noise on those mountains. I'm thinking of either doing them in layers for different ranges (which would probably be a lot of work) or just using the same method I did before (RobA's multi-layer embossing method) but with much thinner ranges pretty much hand-painted with relatively tiny brushes. Either way it will be a pain in the ass. The desert is bugging me too and I'll have to re-do the height map for it because right now you can hardly make it out.

  9. #9
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    OK first off...don't get discouraged if you don't get any feedback for a day or two - it happens.

    Couple things I noticed...

    1. The wave pattern in the oceans is a little over done (at least for me)
    2. @1500 miles across I would definitely make the mountain chains thinner - more snake like (for lack of a better term)
    3. I would reduce the drop shadow on the mountains
    4. Add a slight drop shadow to the forests, and maybe even some inner shadow.
    5. Coyotemax's suggestion of using the spatter brush is a good idea as well (something I often forget)
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.



  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel General View Post
    OK first off...don't get discouraged if you don't get any feedback for a day or two - it happens.

    Couple things I noticed...

    1. The wave pattern in the oceans is a little over done (at least for me)
    2. @1500 miles across I would definitely make the mountain chains thinner - more snake like (for lack of a better term)
    3. I would reduce the drop shadow on the mountains
    4. Add a slight drop shadow to the forests, and maybe even some inner shadow.
    5. Coyotemax's suggestion of using the spatter brush is a good idea as well (something I often forget)
    I happen to like the waves, but I suppose I could lower the opacity on that layer and see how it looks. And those aren't forests, they're supposed to be grasslands. I guess I need some spread on the grass mask, and a retexture couldn't hurt.

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