There are quite a lot of possibilities to manually style a generated map. I’m not going to describe them all and not going to make a tutorial, there will be a lot of changes in the future and current UI is in a draft version. Here just a quick presentation on how map can be styled using build-in instruments only.
Let’s start with a random map. The only pre-selected option is a “High Island” template as I want a map with clearly visible relief. Graph size is set to minimal value. There is some problems with performance on bigger graph. As of now my recommendation is to set graph size to 1 for all maps that you plan operate a lot. Bigger sizes are good for a converted map, but editing them using an outdated PC like mine can be a hell.
Clicking on a “New map” I’ve got a map shape I like:
As you can see almost whole map area in covered by ocean (heightmap editor shows landmass occupies 20% only), so a map color scheme depends mainly on ocean color. Let’s make it gloomy and select a pretty dark color #494f62.
A default heightmap style is good for its contrast, but looks too technical due to the cells visibility. To get rid of cellular look we can apply a blur filter with pretty big deviation value:
Heightmap colors are too bright, we need to change a heightmap scheme to a monochromatic and reduce the brightness decreasing the layer opacity value to 0.5.
Now we can use a heightmap as a background layer for political and other maps. Let’s start from political borders. I’m not going to cover countries customization in this post and displayed countries are almost auto-generated with just some minor edits in borders and names.
To make an accent on borders, we can assign a drop-shadow filter to it:
Looks too empty, but it’s just an intermediate phase. Let’s add countries layer itself. To remain heightmap visible, countries layer should be semi-transparent. Opacity 0.33 will be enough to clearly see countries and still be able to see a heightmap on a background:
The heightmap background looks like mottling and I mostly sure people will not recognize is as a heightmap. But this mottling creates an interesting pattern. To make it more interesting and less empty we can turn on relief icons. They are super primitive as remained unchanged from the very first generator version, but still usable. Let’s also turn on routes and burgs icons, even they are almost invisible on this scale.:
A map is boring and useless without labels. To fit a general style I have changed a font and applied a drop-shadow to labels. I have also added a label for a whole map. There is not built-in function for such labels, so I’ve just inserted a random label, changed its size and add “Realms” to work as a world name:
Two maps below show the same map but with a grid structure displayed (left) and square grid overlay (right) added. Both can be useful for a homebrew D&D campaigns:
Cultures layer does not work good with countries layer, so I recommend to create a separate map to show world’s cultures. To get rid of unrealistic solid borders between cultures we can apply a blur filter:
I’ve also prepared a trade routes map. This is a map with accent on routes and burgs. It is not so interesting, but can be useful for a world-building and D&D:
The last map I want to show is a map with heightmap background and political borders with a global grayscale filter applied:
All the displayed map look much better in a high resolution, so for those who are interested in I have created an external gallery here.