I’ve been playing with digital ‘collage’ for days now, and the image below comes close to what I see in my head:
It’s not perfect but I did manage to create the ‘ramp’ which features in book 2. This ramp has been in my head for years :
‘A moment later, all thought of Vokh politics fled Kahti’s mind as the tunnel opened out into a cavern of mammoth proportions. Glowworms placed at regular intervals revealed a number of passages leading out of the cavern, but the young Trader could not take its eyes from the huge ramp that snaked around half of the cavern before disappearing through an arched opening near the roof.’
From the second book of Vokhtah, title still up in the air.
All of the scraps of texture and shape  that went into the final, composite image were manipulated in Corel Draw 8. No idea what I’ll do with the image, but it will be handy as a reference if nothing else. Just relieved it’s done.
…but I’m going cross-eyed so I have to stop for the day! This is the map of Vokhtah at about 95% complete, if you don’t count the rest of the globe. 😀
The map is HUGE, but you don’t know how huge until you start zooming in, like so:
And then, because I’ve worked my butt off on this, we’ll zoom in a little bit more…
See that waterfall? Pinky looking thing almost dead centre of the pic? That small, not-so-important image is made up of a photo of a lake that I vectored in Corel, layered with transparent textures, reworked a number of times to make the textures blend into the background in Inkarnate…and all that’s before I made the actual fall of water. Just a tad pleased with myself. lol
Okay, enough crowing. Inkarnate is a fabulous graphics tool that’s worth every cent of the measly $5/month subscription. Like all tools though, the more you try to get out of the software, the more you have to learn. For example, to turn that picture of a lake into a usable ‘stamp’ [that’s what the graphic objects are called], I had to work out how to avoid having a nasty white edge all around the vectored image.
Without going into a full-blown how-to, these are the basic steps:
I found an image of a meteorite that had a great texture:
2. I cut out small sections of the texture and made them almost transparent:
3. Next, I made a background colour that would make the texture blend in to the background colour of the Inkarnate map:
4. Then, I placed the vectored image of the lake onto the top layer of images, grouped all three and exported them as a .jpeg image.
5. Finally, I uploaded the new ‘stamp’ to Inkarnate and spent a few more hours finessing the placement so there would be no straight edges to betray where my custom stamp had gone. Oh…and then I had to get the waterfall right, but luckily there were some nice ready made stamps for that.
The map still needs the trade routes pathed in, and labels, and a legend to explain what all the brightly coloured bits are, but that’s a job for tomorrow. Have a great weekend everyone, and remember to stay safe!