RSS

Tag Archives: write

Map Commissions

I recently checked back in with the commissioner of the Harmak map (Rossik, on the Cartographer’s Guild forums), and he was kind enough to like it a lot. Although I’m not sure it’s “perfect”, he likes it and that’s what matters most. He was even kind enough to ask for my website so he could share it with others, so thank you very much! It’s been a pleasure working with you.

I also checked in with the commissioner of the map of Nogarung, and updated it. Here’s the latest version:

Now, last week I found another request on the Cartographer’s Guild forums, for a “detailed world map for a high fantasy novel“. I e-mailed the commissioner, gorilla0132, and he kindly send over an example map of the style he was looking for, which was quite helpful along with the map he drew of the world himself. It took me awhile to figure out the waves around the edges of the continent, and this map is by no means finished. I thought it would be best to check in with the commissioner before continuing. Here is the first draft of the map (Eos):

For those of you who are wondering, yes – I am taking commissions. For maps, character sketches, SketchUp models, etc. I am a little busy what with finals at my university, but I welcome any and all commissions (to be accepted at my discretion), and would be happy to work with you on any project.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Graven Map

New  Map

New map of Graven, section

Well, I’m redoing the whole map. Again. I’m not even going to bother trying to count how many iterations I’ve gone through. This time, though, I’m moving out of Photoshop and into Illustrator, and working with building lots instead of individual buildings (1st large map), or streets (2nd large map). I’ve also increased the size of the map (sort of). I wanted the city to be about the size of Tokyo; I discovered my map was a fraction of that size, so I had to scale it up. To work on it in Illustrator (or in PS without the software crashing or taking 5 minutes to draw a single line), I have to work on it at 1/4 the final size – at 1px = 1 m (or 1000 px = 1 km), that means my final size will be 47,000 pixels across (2209km²). Or approximately 13′ x 13′. Okay, that’s a lot bigger than I thought it’d be.

I’m building the map in Illustrator for a few reasons, however, all of which depend on the infinite scalability of a vector image. The biggest reason is that I want to print this map as big as I can possibly get it (which isn’t going to be much bigger than 3′ x 3.5-4′ or so, probably; and sadly). I’m also planning on creating a sort of “atlas book”, similar to the excellent and inspiring “Tokyo: Bilingual Atlas” (there’s also one for all of Japan; the link is to the revised edition on Amazon, although I’m currently borrowing the older edition from the library).

Now that I’ve figured Illustrator out enough to work quickly – a lot quicker than in Photoshop! – I just need to double check that I’ve scaled things down properly to 1/4 scale. I have a sneaking suspicion I didn’t … But we’ll see, and this will go a lot faster now. Hopefully I’ll have a preliminary map done by the end of the week, if not sooner. Then I can get started on labels and marking key locations, among other things. Who know, maybe I’ll even have my constructed language pretty well completed (which I’m in the process of revising, as per the previous post). That would allow me to label in my own language, or at least use characters as map symbols.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Con-langing

The art of constructing languages. And it sure is an art – in patience, determination, and … overcoming the fear of math, apparently. I recently decided I didn’t like where my vocabulary was going, or the look of my writing systems. Well, the writing systems I still like, but they need work. What I was really bothered by was the sounds of my constructed (fictional) language. The Phonology, to be linguistic about it. So I sort of “shopped around” for ideas, keeping in mind that I like the sounds of Japanese, French, and Italian. I also like the sounds of Russian, Arabic, Irish, and Greek, but I want to keep things pretty simple. So I looked into French vowels and … all the possible syllables in Chinese (since there’s more variety/possibilities in Chinese than in Japanese, and I wanted a broader range of sounds to work with). I came up with a list of 11 vowels, 23 initial/medial consonants, and 3 medial only consonants. For clarification, a few of those consonants (all of the medial only consonants, and 6 initial/medial consonants) are actually what we call “clusters” in English – two (or more) consonants next to each other with no vowel separation. In addition, I included what’s called a “terminal” /n/, a consonant (in this case /n/) that can come at the end of any syllable. Otherwise, consonants must be followed by a vowel. Vowels, however, can act as single  syllables. So I set up a chart listing all the possible syllables available, and came up with 304 possible single syllable words, not including the medial only syllables (since they can’t act as single syllable words).

After doing a lot of math, here are the possibilities:

  • 304 single syllable words (including syllables that end with a terminal /n/)
  • 92,979 two syllable words (including the use of medial only syllables)
  • ~ 305,424 three syllable words
  • ~ 8,540,721,616 four syllable words
  • ~8,541,124,323 total words (1-4 syllables in length)

Obviously, not all of the ‘generated’/possible words will “work” – based on sound aesthetics and sound/concept associations – but that is a lot of possibilities! Plenty to work with to create an extensive lexicon.

All of this work was inspired by the excellent author (Gary Shannon) of the article Auto Lex Word Generator, who also runs a really interesting website called Fiziwig. His articles on conlanging (constructing languages) are particularly interesting, and easy to read.

Based on his Auto Lex Word Generator article, I determined that for my current phonology I can assign approximately 92 two syllable words – to use as “roots” – to each of the 1000 categories in Roget’s Thesaurus. I got a list of all the categories from Wikipedia, which provides a nice outline of the Thesaurus, which I’ve printed and will begin assigned roots to over the weekend. As I translate texts (starting with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, then working through the Lord’s Prayer and the Babel Text), I’ll be able to just look up a word in the thesaurus, determine which of the 92 possible roots I’d like to use, and create the words I need based on those roots. Of course, first I have to create a table of all possible two syllable words … Which could take the rest of the weekend!

On a final note, Gary Shannon also provides on his Conlang Page a series of “graded sentences” which, according to his description,”A translation of all 1200 of these sentences would constitute a fairly complete documentation of the grammar of any language, constructed or natural.”

At some point, I’ll work through those sentences; first, I’ll be translating those 3 texts I mentioned above so I can get a feel for the phonology and the grammar. Once I’ve translated those 3 texts, I’ll be revising/recreating the writing systems as well, starting with a character system (like Chinese Hanzi/Japanese Kanji, but looking more the Seal or Grass/Running scripts of Chinese). Then from some initial characters (probably 1 character for each primary root of each of the 1000 categories, so about 1000 initial characters) I’ll develop a sort of “block” alphabet similar to Korean Hangul. Finally, from that script I’ll be developing a cursive style alphabet, which I’d like to set up 2 “forms” for – one for writing vertically (based on Mongolian or Manchu), and one for writing horizontally (based on Arabic, Avestan, and handwritten Tibetan).

I know that sounds like a lot, but the idea is that the original writing system was just the character system. The block alphabet was then later developed to help teach pronunciation and to write loan/foreign words. The cursive script(s) were then developed even later simply for aesthetic purposes (because so many people wanted a more “organic”, curving alphabet to use for shop signs, in advertising, or simply to make writing by hand a little easier). The vertical version of the cursive alphabet will be developed first, since vertical writing is most common. The horizontal script will be adapted from the vertical script just so I have that option.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,