Maps

Discussion in 'Workshop' started by Ranwulf, Jul 2, 2008.

  1.  
    Ranwulf

    Ranwulf New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    39
    I've started drawing maps for my stories as a lot of fantasy authors do. I feel it adds depth to a story and makes it seem more real, and it's just nice to know where things are. Here's one I just did a couple days ago, I think it came out REALLY well ;)

    [​IMG]
  2.  
    Writers Blocked

    Writers Blocked New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    127
    Nice work. Shows some decent imagination for nothing other than that it looks, "real." My only criticism might be that it looks like it was made for just one story. It probably wouldn't come through in the writing, so it might be nothing to worry about, but fantasy can really come to life if you (both you the reader and you the writer) know there's a whole world going on outside the narrative.
  3.  
    TheEndIsNigh

    TheEndIsNigh ...Prepare Thyself

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    2,504
    Call me mister picky but that pond is awfully big or the dotted lines are actually duck feet impressions:). Wouldn't Ingra Lake seem better
  4.  
    JDP

    JDP Never told a lie. Ever.

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    658
    Nice map! Jezelf did some really good tutorials on here somewhere for mapmaking, if anyone's interested. I can't remember whereabouts, though...
  5.  
    jezelf

    jezelf jezelf.co.uk

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Messages:
    108
    Maps!? did someone say Maps? :)

    Thanks JDP . Yeah there's a thread all about this at:

    http://www.sffchronicles.co.uk/forum/37340-map-creation.html#post838528

    http://www.sffchronicles.co.uk/forum/37340-map-creation-2.html#post855577

    which explores various options on map making. The stuff I put up uses Photoshop, which I've done a couple of tutorials Here's the link that might help

    but Photoshop may not be to everyone's taste or need. There is also other softwares you can use like...

    • A fractal world generator
    • Something like Terragen , a scenery generator for Windows and the Mac OS. Terragen is free for personal non-commercial use.
    • Also, Campaign Cartographer is aimed at desktop Roleplaying Dungeon Masters for their quest campaign - but it might help create maps for your fantasy novel.
    ProFantasy Software - Campaign Cartographer 3 - map making for game, historical and hobby mappers

    On this note, it's bee a year since I did the last tutorials, I might actually finally have time to complete the others. Apologies to anyone waiting for those. I'll see if I can do at least one this week.

    hope it all helps
    Jez
  6.  
    Hilarious Joke

    Hilarious Joke Fool

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,011
    Cool map Ranwolf! I would highly recommend Jezelf's tutorials, they are excellent (not that your map is bad!).

    I don't think you should use Kelewan as the name of a city, considering it's the name of a world in Feist's Riftwar books. However, the other city names are good, I particularly like Taeir.
  7.  
    Naryaló S dú

    Naryaló S dú Lord of Science

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    85
    It's good, but I'd say its too simple. I've drawn literally thousands of maps, and they come out much better if you spend a lot of time drawing a lot of detail, etc. Look at JRR tolkiens middle-earth map
  8.  
    Leisha

    Leisha Tennis-ball Robin

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    3,211
    Wohooo! Someone else recommends Terragen! I've been singing its praises for ages, but no one seems bothered. I've also tried Campaign Cartographer, but I didn't like it.

    Anyway, some of my Terragen samples, in case anyone wants to try their own:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  9.  
    Leisha

    Leisha Tennis-ball Robin

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    3,211
    Hope no one minds the double post.

    [​IMG]

    And, since they were the lowest quality of render, here's some at a higher setting:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    See? Terragen is great for creating your world in 3D.
  10.  
    Leisha

    Leisha Tennis-ball Robin

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    3,211
    As for Ranwulf's map, I agree with the other comments. It's good as an initial layout, but you need to add more detail. Here is one (tiny, since I'm not posting it full size!) map I created for my world a couple of years ago, and I've yet to add and label the major settlements on it:

    (I tried several colour variations, including some not shown here, before sticking with the grey one.)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  11.  
    TheEndIsNigh

    TheEndIsNigh ...Prepare Thyself

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    2,504
    I certainly didn't mind the double post Leisha. I was mightily impressed. however you did forget the duck feet impressions.

    Truthfully Leisha, I was stunned. Did it take you long or was it something you just whipped up over a bowl of cream.
  12.  
    Hilarious Joke

    Hilarious Joke Fool

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,011
    I'm also quite gobsmacked by both the images and the maps.

    Those maps have got me all inspired. I really want to read about your world now Leisha!
  13.  
    jezelf

    jezelf jezelf.co.uk

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Messages:
    108
    hey these are great, Leisha!

    I've not actually used Terragen yet - got Mojo World creator and haven't used it either - not enough time! - but I like your results. Bryce 5.5 is also available for free.

    The Cool thing about using these kind of programs is that it help immerse yourself into the world you create. You can do just as Leisha has - create a 2d map and also the 3d world. Then you could stick your 3d renders to areas you this suits parts of your2d map - as well as doing this with photos you can find on the web.

    I'm taking all this a step further with 3d packages - like Maya and 3DS Max, or a Free Noncommercial product - one of which is the Maya P.L.E (Maya is the premier 3D software used by design industry , film companies. Game Companies use either Maya or Max )

    Bryce is another tool for environments and there's a free version in the above link.

    (BTW that above site was the first I came across while typing in 'free 3D software' in Google - it's got a some great SFF illustrations on it for your desktop. However some of the links from it seemed suspect. something tried to down load itself. dunno what it was and stopped it, but I don't trust it 100% )

    with a 3D package imagine now being able to build your ideas for castles and towns in 3d - make them come to life. I'm doing this with one of my locations the more I work on it, the more I think abut possibilities with in - where would the king live? where would the guard room be? the people of importance down to the common folk? would their location have a bearing of them appearing in a scene in the story? what is the architectural influences and how does that reflect on the culture of your people? You can get a camera in there and be in amongst it.- it all helps

    Before long, you'll have built up loads of references to know your world even more. Describing it then because that more easier for writing because it's there in front of you.

    ...also when Hollywood comes knocking (well Peter Jackson ) you can show them all this stuff to their art department! ;)
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  14.  
    Lenny

    Lenny Edit Ninja In Training

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,734
    Just to add something to Jez's post, particularly the part about building locations like castles and towns, a program I keep plugging in Tea Rooms and a few threads here and there is Google Sketchup - an extremely easy program to pick up, yet at the same time a very powerful program in which you can amazing things (plus there's the added bonus that there are a few of us in the Tech forum that use the program so can help whenever help is needed).
  15.  
    jezelf

    jezelf jezelf.co.uk

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Messages:
    108
    Bryce did have a free version on their website but sinced removed however you can still find it on the web : Bryce5FreeVersion
  16.  
    Leisha

    Leisha Tennis-ball Robin

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    3,211
    Funny you should mention cream - I've just been eating a can of squirty cream. :D

    And it did indeed take me a long time. But I love fiddling and doing art and doing things like this, so I didn't find it a hassle. I loved mapping out what I spent so long seeing in my head. And drawing the coatline by hand with a Wacom Griphire tablet was fun! I used Paint Shop Pro, since I think it beats the pants of the expensive Photoshop.

    Some of those 3D images are not of my world, though. Only the mountain ranges are. But it shows what sort of landscapes you can create with Terragen. :)

    Thanks for the words, everyone. They made me get on and do some serious editing today. I love polishing my work. :)
  17.  
    JDP

    JDP Never told a lie. Ever.

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    658
    Yep, great images, Leisha. I especially liked the green grassy ones. I'll have to add Terragen to my growing list of apps to try out... Now all I need is the ability to pause time and maybe I'll actually start getting through it! :)

    I'd like to use Sketchup or something similar to map out my Capital: Can you put in things like hills and stuff, or does it have to be all on the same plane? Also, can you put buildings and stuff in Terragen, or is it just for landscapes?
  18.  
    Lenny

    Lenny Edit Ninja In Training

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,734
    You'll have to model the hills yourself, but you can do it, yes - things don't all have to be on the same plane in Sketchup.
  19.  
    Leisha

    Leisha Tennis-ball Robin

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    3,211
    I have an early version of Terragen, where you could only colour your terrain and change the sun/sky colour. I know in later versions they were going to add support for trees, vegitation, and extra planets and stars in the sky. Actually, I think I will download the newest version and see the improvements. :)
  20.  
    Ryden

    Ryden Winter is Coming

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    38
    Let's see some more maps! I always enjoyed making them.

    Here's one I made about a year ago for a story I planned. Whole lotta countries.

    [​IMG]

    I'm not really that happy with the lettering, and it's a bit too colourful. Watercolours, pencils and photoshop.

    Here's a more recent one, this one's nicer.

    [​IMG]

    I like how this one came out, a bit more gritty and dark. It's done completely in pencil and then coloured in Photoshop. I was gonna start adding borders and place names but I lost inspiration.

Share This Page