Next steps in my mapping of Kranisis which I need for my story Ocean of Empathy that I want to get epublished soon now. (I have all the other parts of this collection done now.)
Step 7 - Rivers
I make a new layer above the light and dark layers I was using in the mountain work. This one, I name "rivers."
I select the pencil or paintbrush (personal preference here) with the solid or spray paintbrush (I choose the solid one for a sharper line.) I make sure the brush is a good size to make a small river for when the map is at full size.
I read the geography, looking at inlets for mouths of the rivers and slopes of the mountain for the river sources. I'm designing a tropical continent so I can be generous with the water.
I found that my rivers were a little too bright, so I reduced the layer opacity to 50%.
Here's my next image.
Now, I realize that I missed a step, lol.
Step 8 - (should have been step 4, I think) shading the beveled image.
Thankfully, I'm using layers, so I can go back and fix this...
I turn off the layers for everything above the land layer for the moment.
I'm double-purposing the light and dark layers.
On the "dark" layer and using black, and 10% opacity, I brush on a general shadow on the bottom and right parts of the entire map - simply accentuating the bevel.
On the "light" layer and using white and 10% opacity, I brush on lighter areas on the top and left parts of the entire map - again, accentuating the original bevel.
Here's the result of that change. (After turning visibility back on for the picture.)
Anyway, hopefully, you can see why layers are so awesome to mess with!
Step 9 - vegetation
I make another (top) layer to add forests and swamps. I did look at stamps to begin with - but they looked too artificial, and (again) tended to not be available for commercial use. So, I opted for illusion rather than specific - thinking of how it looks like from above. I think with the Almara map, I used the sponge brush for my forests, so I will try that one again.
I ended up using the "chalk" brush for the trees. I was thinking about where the rainforests would be growing - up and down the sides of mountains, along the river. I expect there's more there than what I've added, but humans have their impact as well - especially up the marshy Chalða River: it splits just before Omrill - which you'll see in the next map when I add the human-related features. (There are awesome A'mara-run gardens in Omrill, that's why it deserves a special mention.)
I then used the "bristles" brush to place marshes and swamps - especially between the forks of the Chalða again and anywhere else where there's a strong meander of the river or where two forks meet. This is not meant to be all-inclusive at this distance above the land, but a general idea.
Here's what my map looks like now.
This is where I'll leave this one for the moment. It's saved in this state so that I can alter it if necessary. I figure this land doesn't change significantly, even over the 1000s of years of known history.
The next steps are to mark political and other human-made features... things which change much more requently. I'll take you through that process next.
Lori – photographer at Viking Visual, author at A’mara books, student-of-the-world.
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