Map Making Map discussion

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There are several threads in SF & F about creating maps for imaginary worlds.

In the current thread about mapmaking a member asked

Would there be any objections to sharing images here? Be easier to give feedback for each other... :)

After some discussion with the mods, who noted that SF & F writers are by no means the only ones who make maps, I asked Alessandra if she'd be willing to host a thread for maps created by members with the purpose of discussing them.

Try not to go nuts with image size; you can always post a smaller image and link to a larger image on your own site.

See the Posting Guidelines.
 
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Kjbartolotta

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Yay!

Thank you for doing this, I sure I have more lying around somewhere. :e2teeth:
 

Jason

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Thanks Lisa, can’t wait to see what kind of artistry gets posted here. I’d only tried one map using the styles referenced in the SF&F thread you mentioned. Once I figure out a good way to digitize it and host somewhere will post to see what others think and get feedback.

I’m guessing the easiest way is to scan but am wondering how well things like shading will get picked up. Guess the only way is to try so we’ll find out soon. :)

i went to look at a sketch pad and Amazon quickly took me down an expensive rabbit hole too but that’s another topic for sure! LOL
 

kevinwaynewilliams

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Db1mgGQU0AAMaNI.jpg:large
 
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Kjbartolotta

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That is a very fine map, reminds me of some of high-quality stuff I used to see on AlternateHistory.com back when I lurked there obsessively.
 

Jason

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Holy }%*##*!!!!

If that’s the standard we’re to adhere to I think I’ll go back to lurking. LOL

No joke though, that’s amazing! What did you use to draw/create that?
 

Jason

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Ok, here's my admittedly first attempt ever at map making based largely on the tutorial from here

Map_1.png


I know, it's amateurish, and there are things already I don't like about it, aside from the lack of talent thus far:
Not a fan of how my text looks - it should all go in the same direction!
I was just using a #2 pencil and a sheet of printer paper - it looks very much like a child drew this without considering the finer points.
The mountains and forests look a little disjointed
Not sure how I can better present the water...

If you want to see the larger res ones, check here
 

kevinwaynewilliams

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Holy }%*##*!!!!

If that’s the standard we’re to adhere to I think I’ll go back to lurking. LOL

No joke though, that’s amazing! What did you use to draw/create that?

It's based on a high-res scan of an antique US map. Each modified state was extracted from the base map, shifted to monochrome, colorshifted, with the new boundary marks hand-drawn back on. They were then placed on top of the original as new layers, with lettering layers added on top. All done with PaintShop. Probably about 60 hours of work.
 
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Kjbartolotta

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Ok, here's my admittedly first attempt ever at map making based largely on the tutorial from here

It looks great, a good fantasy map should clearly convey information, give a sense of wonder, and make a made-up world seem plausible. Your map does all three, relative sloppiness isn't a concern. My only critique how the Pran Mts look different from the others.
 

Jason

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Yeah, I was trying different techniques to see which came more naturally for me and what appealed - guess I should have been more consistent across the board :)
 

Jason

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Well, since no one else is going - attempt #2 which I am liking a bit more. It's super busy, but I am ok with that - though my printing still kind of sucks (I've gotten way to lazy with my penmanship LOL):

corcora_island_sm.png


As always, be brutal - I can take it, thick skin here :)

I've been working with a mechanical pencil only thus far, so think I am going to invest in some of the pens and pencils that Nathan links to in his tutorials - the erasing of goofs will likely be cleaner and I am willing to bet I'll get sharper details with better utensils - less than $20, so getting those likely later today! :)
 
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Jason

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That's awesome that a beta reader took the time to assemble that for you - I'm still working at my next creation but being much​ more careful this time! :)
 

Woollybear

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Hello!

I love every map I have seen.

OK. Mine is not done yet, and whoever called this mapmaking a rabbit hole wasn't kidding!!!

Do I need to put the image on the web somewhere before sharing? I don't see an upload button here. Just the button that links to a URL.
 

Woollybear

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OK I tried through Facebook, no good.

What sort of URL works?
 
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Kjbartolotta

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I got an Imgur account for posting images to this site, seems like a good way to do it.
 

Woollybear

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You are a jewel!

Here's my map in progress. I'm working on gradient fill in the ocean right now. Natch, this is taking hours.

2rnuo2v.png


Woot! It worked.

Pixelated, but not quite *this* badly in the real file.

I want to fade the landscape at the top/left. That'll be a transparency trick I still need to learn.

The roads need work. The buildings could be cleaner. Province names aren't perfect yet.

There's lots that could be better. Hours, hours, hours... rabbit holes...

Writing is looking better. :) LOL
 
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Woollybear

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LOL.

I dunno. I mean, it's not like you spend 6 hours trying to figure out why the magic wand sometimes samples all layers, and other times only one layer.

Words are flat. Words are easy. Words.
 

Kjbartolotta

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LOL.

I dunno. I mean, it's not like you spend 6 hours trying to figure out why the magic wand sometimes samples all layers, and other times only one layer.

No, that sounds better than writing, but you're catching me on an off day. What ended up being the issue? :D
 

Woollybear

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No idea. Sometimes Corel Painter just needs to be shut down and restarted again so it can remember to behave itself. Trying that now.

(writing--Grass is greener and all that.)
 

Kjbartolotta

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I know my way around an art program, but Corel is unknown territory for me. Clearly you showed it what's what.
 

Jason

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I’m not going to post anymore - clearly I can neither write nor draw very well...at least comparatively speaking.

*sigh*
 

Woollybear

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LOL thank you Jason.

I like your maps and watching them evolve!!!
 

Woollybear

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Okay. I'm taking/soliciting critique feedback. I've tweaked a bunch of stuff... Which you may or may not see... and this feels very close to done. Definitely a 'product' compared to the blank sheet of paper I had six weeks ago.... I still want to clean up shadows in the foreground and make the city buildings sharper, but this version is essentially as far as I can go on my own.

If this was in the front pages of a self published book, or else on a website associated with to a book series, which parts of the map would you think should have been done better? (My answer is the buildings.)

Any changes you'd suggest? The main plot locations for book one are Sangal, Mount Tura, Collimais, and the Belt. And Narona. Those are mostly in the northern part of the map... the other parts of the map get referred to in the text but we don't go there in the story until book two.

3pmejuI.png
 
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