Adventures in Mapmaking

20 Sep

Click to enlarge

So now that the book is complete, there are still quite a few things left to be done. I decided now was the time to take my map from the numerous rough sketches I have to something more permanent and presentable. Bear in mind, I’ve never done a map before.

First, I went about searching for software. After several experiments, I settled on a combination of Fractal Terrains, Campaign Cartographer 3 and Photoshop. Why so many? When I drew my maps free hand, I just didn’t feel like they were representative of a true map. So that’s where Fractal Terrains came in. It randomly generates a world with all the amenities (climate, terrain, river possibilities etc etc.) I chose a part of a Fractal Terrain map of a world to use. Then I ported that into CC3 to do some editing to it before exporting it to JPEG. Why not build the full map in CC3? I’m still not sure I wanted to pay for the other addons I would need to get what I wanted done. However, I do have some meager experience with photoshop and there were plenty of tutorials as well as the fact that brushes are so darn easy to use.

I played around with the software for about a week, testing, throwing out, redoing, redrawing, sometimes getting very frustrated, because I wanted this done. But nothing good comes about unless you put in the work, so I settled down and did just that.

Then this past weekend after my final edits, I said to myself, “get the map done.” Two days later of trial and error and I’m almost done. Here is what it looks like at present.  THE WORLD OF DENESTIA


Posted by on September 20, 2011 in Announcements, Artwork, Cartography, Epublishing, Tools


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6 responses to “Adventures in Mapmaking

  1. okokok

    September 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    I found it very interesting that the name I took as my artist’s ( in about 2007 ) “Denestia” is the name you chose for your world. Funny.

    I am a Jim Butcher fan too. Love the Dresden files. I’m def going to read your books.

    Sincerely Denise, AKA Denestia. Specialize in Watercolor and Acrylic on paper, found objects, Fossils, rocks, minerals, Holey Stones, bricks, Runes, Crystals etc.

  2. terrycsimpson

    September 23, 2011 at 3:56 am

    Hey, Denise. Hehe. Great minds think alike, maybe. I actually started building this world in 2001. Started from my initial drawing of the map and the religions within the world, then began to map the plots and characters etc. 🙂 Dresden is also one of my favorites.

    • okokok

      September 24, 2011 at 1:50 pm

      Maybe I tapped into your Collective Consciousness and pulled my artist name from your great mind, which I can tell you have!
      I love what you said in your blog about the talking to the characters, they def have lives of their own. I have done a little writing myself but prefer painting.

      Hope you are having a great weekend!

  3. Barb

    October 11, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Neat job! 😉 I cheated and hired an artist friend to redraw all my maps… 🙂

  4. Tim

    October 24, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    That looks amazing! I love the detail. It’s hard to tell that it’s your first time making maps.

    • terrycsimpson

      October 25, 2011 at 6:46 am

      Thank you, Tim. I’m surprised how it came out myself.


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