Have you ever wanted to create a detailed and beautiful map for your fantasy world? Do you struggle with the actual drawing?
Well, I won’t blame you. We are authors, not painters.
I have struggled with creating a detailed map for my world for years, but just recently I found a way to create beautiful maps even if you can’t really draw!
Read till the end, for I added some helpful links for you which can help you on your mapping journey!
If you find yourself struggling to withdraw, but you wish to create gorgeously fantasy maps,
Say hello to Wonderdraft!
Wonderdraft is a mapping tool, which gives you the ability to draw gorgeous maps, without having to do all the work from the beginning.
You don’t have to draw every single tree and river of your word. There’s a tool for all of those things! Trees, paths, lakes, mountains… all can be done easily and fast with this beautiful program! It costs around 30 €, but from my own experience, I can assure you: it’s worth the price!
So today, I’m going to make a quick map with you and show you how to get started with this program! I’m also going to put some helpful links at the end of the post, so make sure to keep reading!
Step One: Creating A New Map And Making Sure The Settings Are Right
So here we are! At this point, you can choose the size of your desired map, as well as the stance of your picture!
Step Two: Generating The Basic Landmass
There are two ways to do this! First, you can use the landmass wizard. (Like I’m using), or you can draw the basic shapes yourself! If I don’t have any clear ideas, I like to use the landmass wizard, for it will always give you a new shape to work with! Inspiring!
You can change the detail, roughness and other elements when creating your world! The pattern means the type of world you’re creating! Uniform creates a part of the world, but not the entirety.
This is good if you’re creating a closeup of a place for example! Then, there is the continent, and world options, which give you bigger pictures! For this tutorial, I’m going with the uniform option!
And here we go! A beautiful base with many story options! This could be the home for many harbour cities for example! Let’s start adding some colour and texture!
Step Three: Texturing And Colouring
On the left side of the screen, click “land” and then, select the “ground brush” tool! When you’ve done this, you’re presented with some options:
In addition to the basic textures, you can use manual color to get the exact color you want! Try playing around with the colors, opacity, and brush types! Get creative!
The basics are done! We got some green here and there, and some darker colors (for a desert for example). Sometimes, this is all you need, but the program offers a huge range of symbols!
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Step Four: Adding Trees And Mountains
Let’s add trees next!
What I like a lot, is the large library of symbols for you to use! I like to use the white ones, for they take the color of the base! If you place them on green land, they’ll be green! This helps to make the map more interesting!
I placed some forests here and there! I also added some grass to fill the empty space! I advise you to take your time with this step to make it more interesting, but for the sake of time, I have to push on!
Next, we’ll add some mountains! Select the mountain brush and start placing those misty mountains down!
I placed the mountains, with some hills here and there! I must say: The map’s getting more and more alive as we go!
Step Five: Adding Water
You can place lakes, rivers, and windroses to make the map more realistic and interesting! Select the water option and get experimental!
And so, my water elements are done! Next, I’m going to show you the labelling tool!
Step Six: Labeling!
Select the label section on the left side and choose the Labeling tool!
You can play around with this tool a lot! You can change the fonts, add some curvature, and select the colors of your choosing! You can even use a name generator if you’re running out of ideas!
Labels make the map so much more appealing and interesting! You can basically name whatever you want, so get writing!
Step Seven: Adding Details And Applying The Finishing Touches
There are so many symbols and tools to use that I simply don’t have the time to go through them all! i’m going to showcase some of the symbols in my next and final picture, but don’t think they’re the only ones! There are hundreds of them!
And we’re done! I barely touched the surface of this program, but hopefully, I managed to give you a basic idea of it!
I highly suggest you buy it if you’re a worldbuilder or an author in general! It has helped me a lot and I’m still discovering new tools and techniques to use!
I hope I can make another tutorial, maybe a more focused one, later on! But for now, I’m going to rest and allow you to start discovering the program yourself! Create beautiful maps and don’t hesitate to send me some of yours!
If you enjoyed this post, make sure to follow my blog and share it with your fellow creators! I post new content every other day!
As always, feel free to comment down your thoughts and have a wonderful and creative day!
Some helpful links:
Wonderdfart Reddit: Share your creations with the community and get help from other creators!
Cartography assets: Custom assets for your maps! (I’m not sure if any of the downloads include viruses, so be careful of what you download!
Icarus games Make some great tutorials and I highly suggest you take a look!
More articles about worldbuilding:
The Most Powerful 11 Tools Every Writer Should Use | List of Writing Tools
32 thoughts on “How To Make Great Fantasy Maps, Even If You Can’t Draw”
Fantastic! I didn’t know how much I needed this until I read it. Defo gonna check out these tips. Thanks!
I’m so glad to hear that! Hopefully, your mapping will be easier from now on!
Any buildings on this app?
There are tons of elements you’ll get when you buy the software and you can always download more. I don’t use them often, but they are there! Thanks for your comments! 🙂
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