Monday, 28 July 2014

In Stranger Skies Mapping by the Numbers

I'm now approaching the end of my work for the first book of +Bruce Heard's +World of Calidar.  As I have said elsewhere, working with Bruce has been an absolute honour, and one year on from joining the project, I remain very excited about Calidar, cartography, and where this runaway train ride may eventually take me.

What I have accomplished over the past year goes far beyond the first Calidar book, and you will only see part of this when In Stranger Skies is released in the coming weeks.  A lot of my work has been laying the foundations for future maps, both in terms of creating the actual cartographic assets as well as expanding my own skills, knowledge, and toolset to be able to produce the best maps I can.

Here's a little teaser of the various maps:

Calidar In Stranger Skies map mosaic

I thought it might be fun to share with you just what this has entailed with some statistics.

  • 2 poster maps, one continental topographic, the other national hex
  • 16 maps and diagrams in the book, including:
    • 2 world maps
    • 2 polar maps
    • 1 continental map (variant of the poster map)
    • 1 national map
    • 1 local map
    • 1 town map
    • 2 system maps
    • 6 skyship deck plans
  • 700+ geographic labels on all the maps
  • 3 cover designs
  • 9 planet renders
  • 106 bookmarks for cartography articles and tutorials I've read, plus likely more I forgot to bookmark
  • 13 different iterations of the height map in various stages of completion across the Great Caldera and indeed the world
  • 17+ different programs: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Wilbur, Fractal Terrains, Astrosynthesis, Fractal Explorer, G.Projector, MAPublisher, Geographic Imager, Google Earth, Word, Leveller, Manifold, Paint.NET, Hexographer, Blender.
  • 868 GB of data (mostly in progress and rejected height map designs)
  • 10,750 (and counting) Facebook messages and 92 e-mails back and forth between Bruce and myself
And an awful lot of cups of tea.

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