This map can also be viewed here on

Desolate is part of a series of maps called "Lonely Continents". The premise of lonely continents is that an atmosphere comes into existence, and within this atmosphere is a single continent. The first of these was Revile, the Floating Continent (which floated within its atmosphere, looking hardcore). Desolate was the second of these, and although it is based on an entire planet, the landmass mapped here is the only land on the entire planet. The rest of the surface is water.

This map has taken me the better part of two weeks, and it has brought me much frustration; I am unable to replicate any of the effects that I've used to create it as it.
The entire map is "held together" by the parchment layer at the very bottom of the stack. Without that single layer (which could be replaced by any solid colour layer), the water is a mostly transparent blur with a blue tinge, and the land is a grey mess with a slight tinge of the parchment colour from an overlaid layer above the emboss layers.

I followed one or two tutorials (namely RobA's coastline tutorials) in order to get a few things done, but the rest was taking bits and pieces that I already knew from a few longer tutorials and mixing them with the Plasma Clouds Filter.

So far, I've come close to getting a similar effect to the water, but I am still unable to replicate the land effect. My bump maps never turn out the way they should for some reason.