Disclaimer #2: I actually asked this on Facebook so I'll quote my question here.
Feedback:So fellow builders, how do I create topographic maps easily?
I got inspired by this video:
Drawing in climates will come later however. Important right now is the map he shows around 2:15-2:20 in the video, where you can see a basic topographic map. Thats what I'd like to achieve.
What I did so far: I created a map and drew in currents and winds. After this, I made seven different colour-presets in a new theme in the "Region"-tool. Opacity is about 60%, as 100% simply doesn't look good in my opinion. Now I'd like to draw in the different heights, starting from low to high.
My main problem however: It requires a really huge amount of work to look good, being rather tedious to create as well. And eventhough the map I'd like to achieve doesn't need to be extremely accurate, it's still very hard. Honestly, I'm not sure how to start....
So any advise to make things easier is more than welcome
I don't want to use any features like mountains, only region tools (to give it a flat, "global-map" feel).
Disclaimer #3: I'm no programmer, only a user of this awesome tool. I therefore can't guarantee that my idea will make any sense or can be implemented. I just want to share my thoughts
I spent my evening yesterday detailing a mountain range on one of my newly created continents. In the end I had around seven differently coloured layers and more than 30 regions (big and small), which I all drew by hand. It does look good I'd say but it's very tedious. Adding, removing ore changing position of a layer also changes all the colours (as I use around 60-70% opacity), not to mention that I alyways have to rearrange all layers if I want to change something. Not ideal....
I therefore thought of a tool that might make it easier and is already included into the program in some form. And behold, I think I found something: When you draw an ocean, a lake or something similar, you can modify the shoreline within the properties. If I wanted, I could draw in 7 levels of shorelines or even more, as well as their reach within the sea, lake etc. I created. Now what if I take this possibility, make it available for the region tool? Together with the ability to define the colour of every level separately it will do the job of topography just fine!
Now, theres only one problem with this method: The levels always have the same distance to each other and the center will always be in the middle. If you think in terms of topography, this would mean that every height on this world will always be highest in the middle and inclination is always the same. Now think of a mountain-range in real life, with cliffs, valleys, higher and lower points etc. Doesn't really fit, right?
One way to change this might be the possibility to change every level via the "Edit Shape Tool", as you can do with continents, regions and areas already. This way you could change every position of every level anywhere you want. It's a bit tedious again, but it offers the biggest amount of flexibility and ways to play with
A friend of mine also suggested that it would be awesome to define points or lines within an area and tell the program to make the levels you create "warp" around those points with definitions you can add before. Speaking with topography again: Imagine drawing a circle and adding seven levels to it. Now you define two points withing the circle and say that the levels should form around those two points and not the center of the circle. Now I define the levels with different colours and I got a ring-shaped area with two peaks (or anything else, depending on how I define which height has which colour).
Again, I don't know if this works, just sharing my thoughts. And sorry again for all the text, it's a bit hard to explain...
Please tell me (and the developers) what you think of this and suggest own ideas as well!