Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Topography of Iorden: a map commission

Topography of Iorden, a map commission by D.N.Frost for The Once and Future Nerd Part 2 of a series.
This post is Part 2 of a series to augment the Fictional Cartography by D.N.Frost available for free download. Start with Part 1 here.

This and other map commissions are gathered in my Portfolio Directory for you to explore.

Find more guest-inspired content in my Guest Directory.

After getting the go-ahead in Part 1 of this series, I worked with TOAFN creators Zach Glass and Christian Madera to start mapping their Realms of Iorden. They provided me with a thumbnail map of Iorden they'd made some time earlier, and I magnified the 300 pixel image to sculpt their coastline and apply rough topography swatches to their regions. Then I applied some quick color to differentiate all the areas of the map, and I added some basic text.

For working off a tiny image, I feel like I did a great job! The trouble with zooming in 1100% is that some blurry areas caused a few initial mistakes. The two big islands in the eastern sea? Those were actually tiny ship symbols. And that marsh on the northern edge of the desert? That was a swath of mini-cacti. To help me with the next render, Zach and Christian sent me a larger version of their old map.

Check out this Fictional Cartography by D.N.Frost for more maps!

WIP Image: Topography of Iorden, a map commission by D.N.Frost for The Once and Future Nerd Part 2 of a series.
I innovated a cactus stamp for the desert in the north, and I tested out cacti swatches until I found one that looked decent. I also removed the islands in the eastern sea.

The TOAFN creators broke up the southern coast, and they needed the hilly area in the south to be a marshy waste of broken stones - very specific topography I didn't have on hand.

Fortunately, I had a marsh swatch and a broken wasteland swatch, so I tried overlaying them. After a few tests, I came up with a broken marsh that captures the eerie spirit of the land. I also changed some of the colder southern forests from fluffy oak trees to a hardier mix of oaks and pines.

That's it for this post! Up Next: The shimmering White Forest...

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1 comment:

  1. Hello there! My name is D.N.Frost, and I'm a fantasy author, cartographer, and world-builder. My love for storytelling drives me to build the Known World, map its lands, and tell its tales. Let me send you my free ebook at!


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