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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fantasy Authors who have maps. How do you make yours? Do you have someone do them or is there a program? I need to make some maps for my next series and I'm not sure how I want to do it yet. The guy who made my last series maps is out of the picture now.
 

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I have two maps. I hand-drew the city map. Then I went through a youtube tutorial on how to make maps in photoshop for the map of the country. I think it was this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qUFyy00Haw

You can see my maps here:
http://ameliasmith.net/?attachment_id=376
http://ameliasmith.net/?attachment_id=536
I really prefer the hand-drawn map, and might go back to a hand-drawn version of the world/country map later. I did the labels/lettering in photoshop, though.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out how to add images to these posts, so you'll just have to click on the above links to see what I did. They're not the best, but they're enough to orient people who like maps.
 

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It won't be out until May (or later), but as a quick PSA, I'd like to mention the Other World Mapper for those who are interested in doing it on their own. It's supposedly going to be a super easy program to put together detailed fantasy maps. They won't be as pretty as they do when created by a graphic designer, of course.

http://www.otherworldmapper.com/
 

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I do mine in Gimp and SAI.

In Gimp, set your canvas to the size you want. Then go do Render / Difference Clouds. Fiddle with the sliders a bit, and make sure the option for the clouds to be tileable is selected. Then go to brightness and contrast. Turn the contrast all the way up, so you only have black and white blobs. Then fiddle with the brightness until you have decent-looking little pieces.

That's when I save it as a PSD and drop it into SAI, just because I like SAI better as an art platform. But you could do the entire thing in Gimp if you wanted. Move the blobs around if you don't like the shapes of the continents, and then outline them, making sure to be as imprecise and fiddly as possible. Then I have a brush texture for mountains, and one for trees, but I never quite like how a map looks with both. It gets too busy, so I tend to only use the mountains. Add paper textures, and colour. Then add labels as necessary.

This is Nidavellir before I added textures and labels.

I also have a program called G Projector, which was designed by NASA, that lets you map any image to a globe, with dozens of options for how to do that. I like it, because square maps aren't really accurate when it comes to how landmasses are actually shaped near the poles. The poles of Nidavellir become almost completely unrecognisable when mapped to a globe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks you guys! All of you have really interesting maps. My last map artist kind of fell apart on me and I had to do an emergency fix to get my book out. I might see if I can use one of your suggested artists to go and redraw it from the fix. As for my new series. I have not worked out the particulars of the land areas yet but I know it's coming. (hince this thread) I am not very good at making maps myself. I would rather spend the time writing, but I can do it if I have to.
 

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Not only do I have a working map of my world—it is hastily scribbled on a 7x5 piece of paper sitting on my desk—I am preparing to build a 3D model of the capital city of my world.

I plan on adding the map to a future edition of my books. Plus, I'm considering creating an interactive book via Apple's ibooks system so readers can see where on the map a particular scene they are reading is located, or touch the map and have the book open to the scene that happens in that location.

This led me to the thought that it might be interesting to create a non-linear story where the reader could open the map and then touch a location and set the time and find out what happened there and then. The reader would have to then piece together the flow of the story. Like trying to investigate a crime and find out what happened and why, and what led up to it.
 

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WDR said:
Not only do I have a working map of my world--it is hastily scribbled on a 7x5 piece of paper sitting on my desk--I am preparing to build a 3D model of the capital city of my world.

I plan on adding the map to a future edition of my books. Plus, I'm considering creating an interactive book via Apple's ibooks system so readers can see where on the map a particular scene they are reading is located, or touch the map and have the book open to the scene that happens in that location.

This led me to the thought that it might be interesting to create a non-linear story where the reader could open the map and then touch a location and set the time and find out what happened there and then. The reader would have to then piece together the flow of the story. Like trying to investigate a crime and find out what happened and why, and what led up to it.
I don't think I could throw my money (read: all the $10 to my name) at you fast enough if this was a completed project. As a visual novel game (2D) designer, I adore the idea of a 3D novel alternative to traditional games. It sounds fabulous. Good luck if/when you go through with this kind of concept. :D
 

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Nicholas Andrews said:
I make my own in Photoshop. They're not the prettiest in the world, but they get the job done and they're at least better than some of the outright lazy, bare-bones fantasy maps I grew up with.

http://thenykkshow.blogspot.com/2013/11/secrets-of-stonechaser-maps.html
http://thenykkshow.blogspot.com/2014/06/follow-faery-footpath-maps.html
You can just run a filter or image over something like this in Photoshop if you wanted a different look. I'm quoting you Nicholas because I grabbed your map to use. I hope you don't mind. If you do, just let me know and I'll delete it.

 

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As someone without an actual e-reader (I use the PC versions), how well do landscape/horizontal maps work on them, considering print books normally take up two pages? Are they scrunched down to fit the width of one page? Does it adjust if the device is flipped, or do you have to upload it sideways for them to see it in full size?

Catchy said:
You can just run a filter or image over something like this in Photoshop if you wanted a different look. I'm quoting you Nicholas because I grabbed your map to use. I hope you don't mind. If you do, just let me know and I'll delete it.
Wow, I see we had * haha. Filters and borders never hurt a map (so long as it's legible and fits the theme). c:

[If anyone's curious, I used this stuff on Pixlr for the linked pics (in this order) :
Effects > Vintage > Sun; Overlay > Canvas > Weave; Borders > Ink > Blacksmith (only on the dirtier one); Borders > Ink > Blackfyr.]

@Nicholas:
*I'll delete this stuff if you want, no worries. I was just using your map as an example. (That page is private and only accessible by those who know the link anyway.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Catchy said:
You can just run a filter or image over something like this in Photoshop if you wanted a different look. I'm quoting you Nicholas because I grabbed your map to use. I hope you don't mind. If you do, just let me know and I'll delete it.

Wow, that's awesome! How does that translate into kindle or to other ereaders? I was under the impression that grey-scale was best in the book. What about createspace? anthing but black and white would up the price of the book. I DO want something like this done to my maps eventually so I can put them up on the walls of my study.
 
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