WIP: Tilkar map

Good evening everyone.

RL has kept me away from mapping last year. Not that i have too much time now but at least i got the spirits to create a new map. This time, it´s going to be another realm of my Erdan map: Tilkar. Being part of a continent, it has not much sea so it wont be as stunning as other maps i plan to make, but still i plan it to look as gorgeous as i can!

For this map i decided to use Worlds of Wonder 2019 Annual style, CA145. That style was the main reason to buy the 2019 Annual ( i knew i wasnt going to use much CC3 but it was also a way to show my support for the company). It fit much with the idea of what i wanted for a map, specially around land and sea textures, probably the ones i like most of every annual published.

Once i start the map, i realized i hated the mountain symbols. Usually, annuals have GREAT mountain symbols but this time i really disliked them. Damm, favourite textures with not so good symbols? Can´t be done. First i thought to use other annual symbols, even i was close to use DeRust Annual which look fine. But finally i wanted some more simple so i drawed a new mountains and hills symbols catalog. I also changed the rivers and forests aswell, and started cropping the map from my Erdan map.

So, here it´s the result from the first hours of map building. Will post advances each time i consider they´re worth.

What do you think about these symbols? Do you prefer the original ones?

The map:


  • MedioMedio Surveyor
    edited September 19
  • That's a very good start. A great coastline and lots of prime area to fill. Love to see what you do with it.

  • Your map looks great so far Medio.

    I can see from your mountains why you didn't like the default ones in that style.

    Personally, while I don't dislike the original ones, I do think that I prefer the more subtle shading and "traditional" shape of your mountains.

    I'm looking forward to your next update. 🙂

  • You make such lovely maps, so I am really looking forward to seeing your progress, Medio.

  • MedioMedio Surveyor

    Little advancement ... or not. Placed more mountains and a few testing on textures and with forests. Atm not sold on forest so they will probably change.

  • I think, for the style you seem to be aiming to achieve, the forests are fine.

  • Looks to me like the central mountain chain may be providing some rain shadow to the eastern half of the continent. If so, you might want to push some bits of the forest on the western half right to the edge of the map rather than leaving a gap to imply it stretches beyond. Otherwise this is truly excellent work.

  • MedioMedio Surveyor

    Actually, the predominant winds in this continent come from the West, and mountain chain stops humidity, well, part of it. The climate of this zone is temperate and the realm is big (you can check there is even snow in the north). The central part of the realm being free of trees is mostly due it´s a heavily populated area, with a mix of forests and crops. The scale is big enough to represent just the big forests (the western forest you see is an ancestral forest, the oldest one in the world habitated just by monsters and very xenophobic elves who doesn´t let anyone get into, including other eleves; and it has magical properties, and it´s dense as hell - but the way the map is created, shouldn´t be as tree symbol filled as currently is - working on it now ). Luckly for the eastern people living there, the mountains stop somewhat the forest - if not the forest could fill everything and no human would live there at all.

    Yeah Sue, the forests (actually i draw the tree symbol myself) had to be those, but they looked way better on a regional map than on this realm one. Scale issues. I just need to find out some symbol distribution that pleases me (and im usually kinda hard to please with my own work).

  • MedioMedio Surveyor

    And that´s all for today. Added last mountains, changed forests abit (still have a mad idea on my idea that will try later this week) and starting doing rivers properly. More fun tomorrow, hopefully!

  • That's looking really nice Medio.
  • MedioMedio Surveyor

    Today i spent a long time with the trees issue. Actually, i draw several woods that humbly looked awesome... for a regional map (will use them later on a regional map on this style) but it wasn´t the ones i wanted. Finally, i realized the first tree symbols i draw had no problem: the issue was in the scale. I had to put them as a realm map forest size. So i did and im much more satisfied.

    Also i did some work on rivers and on ice - soon will probably add some ice covered hills and will put also forests in there.

    One more note, im maybe overexplaining everything what im doing. Maybe you will prefer less posts. Just made me know so if these arent useful. Cheers.

  • Oh these are very interesting. Please do keep posting :)

    Trees are always tricky things to get right. Their size seems to be a key issue, but whether you like them large or small the size of a tree will ultimately depend on what size you mean to use your map. There is no point in having trees that are too small to be easily identified as trees.

  • edited September 22
    I'm enjoying your regular updates Medio, it's much nicer seeing a map develop bit by bit than just seeing the end result.

    I liked the big trees and I like the small trees as well (not very helpful I know, sorry!) - The bigger tree symbols made the whole map seem more bleak and cold to me for some reason (in a good way). The smaller trees make the map seem bigger, but less bleak.

    I can't decide which I prefer, so I thought I'd just share those thoughts.
  • Hi Medio - like Raiko I'm enjoying seeing this map develop. My personal preference is the smaller trees - I like the last map you posted best of the three.

  • WyvernWyvern Surveyor
    edited September 22

    @Medio: I think you should probably post whatever you're comfortable in showing. I don't really do WIP threads myself, as I tend to chop and change things while I'm mapping, and that's all done offline, but it is interesting to follow others' process in this regard.

    The size of the trees you select should ultimately come down to whether they make the map easier to read quickly, or not. Personally, I like the mix of sizes, and the background colouring for the forests, in your second Sep 20 map posting above.

    To my eye, the forests in your Sep 21 map no longer look as clear. However, you need to go with what works best for you 🙂

  • I also like the latest map best as far as trees are concerned. It is interesting (to me) that in the southern hemisphere, the winds mainly drive moisture from the east, which is why the desertlands in Namibia, Chile and Peru, and Western Australia are all on the western side of the continents, and the rainshadow is to the west of mountain ranges. Not sure what the situation in the Northern hemisphere is like - i thought it was the same, but I may be wrong.

  • MedioMedio Surveyor

    Thank you everyone on the posts, i really appreciate them. The size of the trees will stick: it´s a realm map, not a regional one; when i compare both, the latter gives me more the feeling of facing a bigger map.

    Will post later with updates.

    QuentenLoopysueRaikoMaidhc O Casain
  • jslaytonjslayton Surveyor Moderator, ProFantasy

    Rain shadow deserts are mostly a function of the prevailing wind direction. They are usually made worse by being in the desert band around 30 degrees latitude north and south, which is also one of the prevailing wind direction change bands. The Atacama desert in South America and Namib desert in Africa are made worse by being adjacent to a cold current that drains the moisture out of air masses that pass over them quite effectively (it's why they paradoxically have a lot of fog but little rainfall). One of the harshest deserts in the world is the Tibetan desert, which is largely caused by the Himalayas clawing out all of the rainfall.

  • jslaytonjslayton Surveyor Moderator, ProFantasy

    On a map-related note, these two maps are a great example of how the ratio of human-scale things (trees, visible towns, bridges, and other human artifacts) to the epic scale things (mountains, rivers) can really affect the perception of scale. In the first map, the features (wiggly rivers, similar size of mountains and forests) suggest a map at most a couple hundred miles across. By changing the size of the forests and leaving everything else the same, the map at least doubled in apparent size. The rivers and coastal waterlines are still a bit oversized, which suggests only a moderate scale change: simplifying the rivers and reducing the waterline effect might make the map appear even larger, but that's probably not the intent here.

    LoopysueQuentenRaikoMedioMaidhc O Casain
  • MedioMedio Surveyor

    You´re right Slayton. Actually, i tried to do the mountains smaller with not good result. Didn´t think about the coastlines though, will try them later. After all, there is an ultimate reason: to look beautiful ;).

    About the winds and humidity... well, west of that enormous not-really-that-natural forest there is a big plains which has such climate, and there is not really a desert because the latitude: Erdan my planet is a bit special, in the known world there is an equator with deserts but tropic climate only appear at south, not north. And there is not much land on southern tropic, so really Tilkar is quite above the equator and the temperatures are mild at the south part, and become colder and colder at the northern part, there is cold lands just above its northern frontier.

    You can check the entire Erdan map here: https://forum.profantasy.com/discussion/comment/52417#Comment_52417

  • Very nice work !

    i really like that you have showed us the different ways you have worked on the forests, inspiring work.

    Now I will revisit some of my own maps thinking of these forests , thank you -keep on posting.

  • MedioMedio Surveyor

    Well, this is the last WIP probably. Now i just need to add effects, cartouches, labelling and a few extras. The base of the map is done. Id like to add more playing hooks as there are plenty there, but i guess that will go into regional maps. As Slayton suggested, i reduced the waterline and it looks fine; i will try to learn how to make such lines white or at least clear, so check the effect.

    Ofc this is a light version which loses much detail if you zoom... The map weights at least 10 times more.

    LoopysueMonsenRaikoJimPMaidhc O CasainWeathermanSwedenQuenten
  • I really like this map so far. Brilliant! 😀

    Will you be adding roads between the cities as part of the "a few extras?"

    I think that it needs those adding, even if you don't add any more details.

  • MedioMedio Surveyor

    That is one of the things i could add but im not sure that a realm map needs roads. Will try how to looks, though.

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