So like the title says this is the land of the Fanavar Empire that I am trying to create and its the first map I have ever made, in fact its the first thing Ive ever made in PS ever outside really basic photo touch ups. The reason I am making this map is to have a foundation for a story I want to write and I dont want to start without having a solid picture of where its happening and where the people I am writing about came from and the kinds of environments they developed out of. Ive done some poking around on the forums and looked at a lot of peoples work and three that stuck out the most were Tear's Westeros, Shegu by Bohunk and most of all Ramah's Vaniya. Ive also looked at a number of Ascension's tutorials, though I don't think his style is exactly right for my purposes, though I have to say I love his Antique style map a lot.
So far Ive made two distinct maps the first was a complete failure that a 4 year old could have drawn. The second has come out much better and I have two versions of it, though I am not opposed but rather leaning towards scrapping this too and starting from scratch. I am not sure which direction to take or even how to finish them but V1 is more realistic with bump mapping and actual mountains and elevations that took me a while to figure out and Im still not happy with, while V2 is very simple with no fancy style effects and Ive only used Minty's mountains, thank you those are awesome by the way, so far and I like the simplistic look akin to Ramah's Vaniya.
My overall goal is to create a map encompassing a land surrounded by water that is comparable in size to the United States or Europe and as diverse geographically, with then enough detail to be a worthwhile reference for when I write my story. So any help or comments would be greatly appreciated, especially if people know of specific plugins or other tools I should get for PS or if theres another program altogether that I should get.