Tribal – ZeroRewind

I’ve put together a neat little tribal themed chiptune, which I will probably use as a theme in my “Conduit” series!

Here it is:

Maybe, I could make each culture have its own distinct themes and songs. The tribal theme would go to the sea elves, serenity to the land elves, modernity to the humans, and steampunk to the dwarves.

Hope you like the song! I had fun making it.

Teeny tiny update!

Hey everyone! Hope you’re doing well.
Just a small update to say that I’ve linked up my blog to my Goodreads Author Page!

I’ve also started the process of brainstorming ideas for my second book, as well as coming up with ideas for a series of short stories that tie into the series itself! I’m going to be releasing them, free of charge of course.

That’s all I wanted to say. Have a good one!

Populating your world map.

So, you created a map of the world.

But, it looks a little.. empty, doesn’t it?

Well, have no fear!
I, your ultimate hero, have the answer to your question!

I will show you how to populate your maps and explain the simple drawing techniques I’ve learned to be able to fill it up with trees, hills, mountains, and the like:

What you’ll need:
– Map of the world
Autodesk Sketchbook (It’s free!)

You won’t need any special touch screen pens. I populated my map using my mouse.

For the purpose of this guide, I won’t be using my own map.

Where to start… Let’s play with a blank slate island! I just moved my mouse while the Predictive Stroke option is on. Predictive stroke is your best friend, here. When in doubt, Predictive Stroke!

I mostly enjoy using the Chisel Tip pen in the Brush Palette to draw with, but you could draw with anything, I suppose.

So, what do we start with…? Let’s go with mountains. Let’s put a large mountain range at the center of the island.
Basically, you draw some upside down V-s. Small ones at the bottoms and bigger ones as you go up. Make sure you use a brush size of.. 4.3.
To change your brush size, click the top left button in your Brush Palette. You will need to remember this for later.
You can also add snow to your mountain by drawing a horizontal-ish line slightly lower than the peak, with streams of water going down.

Here’s what you end up with:

So, you now have a mountain range with snow that is melting, creating… Rivers!
Next up, time to make some rivers which lead into the sea, as well as form lakes!

Remember: Predictive Stroke is your best friend. Also, make sure to use a larger brush size when having a large river and smaller sizes if it splits into two, and so on.

Now that we have rivers and lakes, what are we missing?
Forests, of course!

How do you go about making a forest? I’m sure, as you’ve noticed in my earlier photos, I use quite a number of forest types. Let’s go over them, one by one.

The simplest forest: you simply draw very short vertical lines in a forest-like grouping. I will show you by drawing them next to one of the lakes.
Make sure to have your brush size a little smaller here.
You should end up with something like this.

Pretty simple, right? It’s easy, you don’t have to go through any order. You can make the trees as tall as you want. The chaotic nature of it adds to the realism, as trees come in all heights depending on how good the soil is.

Here is another kind of tree— my own personal favorite.
First, you draw the canopy. Set your brush to a size of 1.5:

Pretty basic shapes. Bonus points if you go around the lake, or over a river. The next step is to give this forest its “legs”. At the underside of the forest, draw vertical lines, like so:

Now, for the tree tops! You’re going to laugh at how simple this is, you simply draw sideways-C; like this:

Then you simply build off of each row until you have this:

You could alternatively choose to have your treetops be pointier. So, what’s left? We’ve drawn a mountain range, rivers, lakes and a few forests!

Hills! Let’s put them between our two forests. Hills are quite easy. They’re like mountains, but you have to give it an altitude only slightly higher than the surface:

Of course, don’t forget to make some grasslands! I’ll put some between the two rivers on the right. Simply draw dots!

Make sure to fill your map with these! I am only doing them once to show you the tools you’ll have at hand.

We’ve covered mountains, rivers, lakes, trees, hills and grassland. Next up, cities and roads! Let’s have us a few cities south of the mountain, and have roads between them!

Switch to the felt tip pen! I want to put three cities. The felt tip pen will simply put a nice big circle on the map to signify each city:

Now that we have a few cities, we’ll need to make a few roads. It’s not too hard, but certainly not making direct lines between each city. Roads are long and winding.

Here’s what you have to do. Switch to your Chisel Tip pen. Open up your Brush Properties and change the opacity to about… 40%.

Then, choose the option Steady Stroke in your toolbar, it’s to the left of Predictive Stroke. As its name implies, it will allow to draw steady lines, despite having them weaving around places.

I ended up adding a 4th city north of the hills to demonstrate my roads better!

So, I’d say that’s about it! If you like, you could have little stations and inns on the road and whatnot, to give life to your surroundings.

It’s all little things. Eventually, you’ll end up with a map like this:

For information on how to give the map a parchment background, I’ve covered that in a previous guide! Go check it out!

Anyway, that’s it for how to populate your world map! If you liked the look of my map, maybe you’ll enjoy my book, The Dreg of Bellmead!

If you have any questions, comment below! I’d love to hear from you all.

Have a good one!


Release! The Dreg of Bellmead is now on Amazon!

Okay, #readers#WritingCommunity . It’s #bookrelease time!

#TheDregOfBellmead is finally up, both in e-book and paperback formats!


I hope you all enjoy it! I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, as well. 🙂

My next post will be about my world map, and how exactly I went about populating it with trees, rivers, mountains, and the like.

Submitted my manuscript!

I’ve done it. My manuscript, both in ebook and paperback formats, is up on Amazon KDP!

From what I’ve been told, it should take a day for the review on the ebook, maybe longer on the paperback.

I’m so excited, and quite a bit nervous. I hope people will enjoy my story.

I really do.

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to say. Take care, reader.

Finished editing! Also, more map stuff!

My book is as edited as it’s ever going to get!

I will be releasing it on the 14th— in just four days! Isn’t that amazing?

I hope you’ll all consider giving it a read!

I’ll give it one last quality-check read, format it to the standards needed for e-books on Amazon, and voilà!

I’ve also been working on my map, some more. Here’s a few countries I’ve already charted!

You thought I was done with the map? Oh, no. 🙂

What’s the point of a map if it has no cities, forests, hills, valleys, mountains, rivers, lakes, roads and water routes?

Of course, if you’ve seen an earlier post, you already know there are still 5 more great landmasses to cover!

Saint-Morning (where my first book is taking place), Saint-Evening, Lunda-Le, Somnia and Noctis!!! I’m so excited to finish it all!

I want to research to see if I can include a picture of my map in my book.

If not, I will simply release it on my website. No biggie there.

If you’re wondering, I will be making a tutorial on how to populate your map.

I’m doing it after I release my book, though. I don’t want to take on too much at once, after all.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a great morning/afternoon/evening/night! 🙂

How to draw a world map!

I’m sure you’ve googled a few things at this point: how to draw a map, map generator, artists map pricing, etc.

Point is: you want to make a map.

If you’re willing to pull a little legwork, you can make one yourself! It’s really simple. Even if you’re the worst artist you know, with a little bit of practice, you can make a map of your own!

I promise.

First things first!

I’ll tell you what you need before even starting this:
– Microsoft Paint (maybe).
– Paper, pencil and pen. (You can skip the pencil if you’re confident in your drawing. I wasn’t.)
– A scanner. I suppose you could snap an image with your phone if your camera is steady enough, but a scanner is a lot less fuss.
– Autodesk Sketchbook. (It’s free software!)
– Adobe Photoshop (this, you might not have— however, you will already have a working map by the time I start talking about photoshop!)

Are you ready?

Step 1: Drawing the map.

I’m guessing you have something of an idea of what you want your map to look like, but you can’t put it into a good enough drawing by letting your hand flow over the paper.

What I personally did was find a map generator (, and continuously generated maps until I found landmasses I liked, before using a mishmash of them in my own design.

You can tweak the generator’s parameters however you like!

However, you’re here to make a proper, respectable map. So here’s what to do after you find whatever landmasses look good enough for you to use in your own.

This involves a lot of screenshots and MS Paint to just crudely move them all together in a way that you like.

Here’s what mine looked like:

As you may or may not be able to tell, I used MS Paint to draw crude bridges and assigned various points on which cities will stand.

This served as the template for my own creation.

I’m sure your own template will look different, but the principle still applies.

So, stick around for step 2!

Step 2: Hand-drawing

This is the hard part for most— myself included: physically drawing the map.

Now, as I said before, if you’re confident with your drawing skills, you can skip using your pencil.

For everyone else, it’s pencil time.

Get yourself a sheet of paper, something to draw on, and simply try your best to draw the map you put together earlier. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and you might scrap your work twice or more.

I personally scrapped my work three times before drawing something which I liked. However, there was something off about it.

Apparently, pencils aren’t very good when it comes to scanning, as you can tell from how faint the lines are, instead of the sturdy darker ones I could physically see on my paper.

And so, I simply traced the maps with a black pen before scanning the paper again.

Much better. You can tell it’s more defined.
Of course, don’t forget to crop it properly, since the scanner always has more area than the actual paper you put into it.

Now, it’s time for the fun part. You have your map, and you have Autodesk Sketchbook.

Step 3: Autodesk Sketchbook

You actually might be able to complete this step using Photoshop, but I prefer using Sketchbook for the quick edits, since it’s perfect for something like this.

You don’t even need a touch screen or a special pen. I did this using my mouse.

How convenient is that?

First things first, I erased all of the city and country names.

Then, I added all the necessary text, moving them to where they need to be, and rotating them to look a little more bombastic! My personal choice of font is Luminari.

You might find that you’re now unable to make any changes. That’s because you’re currently on the many text layers you’ve used to put the names of everything everywhere!

The fix is simple, click on Window > Layer Editor. A small window will appear, showing all the layers on your project. Choose the layer with your drawing in it. Usually, it’s “Layer 1”.

Now that you’re back on track, it’s time to make banners around the country names!

I picked the Chisel Tip Pen from the Brush Palette on the left side, as well as the Predictive Stroke on the Toolbar. Both of these can be found under Window, in case you don’t have them activated.

Then, simply draw the banners! I did a few wavy ones.

The result of all your efforts so far should be something like this:

Make sure to keep your map when you reach this stage. It will be the basis for all further changes.

Personally, I plan to add some mountains, sea currents, forests and the like. But, if this is all you want from a map, then you can stop here, or go a little bit further and give the background some texture.

Perhaps make it look like parchment? (That’s what I did)

Step 5 (Optional): Create a texture background using Photoshop!

It doesn’t have to be parchment, by the way. You can use any texture you like as long as it’s bright enough.

Assuming you want parchment, however…

So, the first thing you do is hop on and search for “parchment”.

I personally chose this:

It’s a 1024×1024 seamless texture. Seamless means that, if you put a copy of this on its side, it will fit seamlessly. This is important, because your map’s size is probably not 1024×1024.

You’ll have to check to see what the size and width of your map are; mine was 3276 pixels in width, and 2548 pixels in height!

And so, using the wondrous MS Paint, I painstakingly copy pasted the same small block of parchment and made an image the exact same size as my map.

I think I used over 9 blocks.

Anyway, it’s time for some Photoshop!

So, you take the parchment background and launch it through photoshop.

Then, open your map with Photoshop, as well. You should now have two tabs.

All right, what you do now is: you select the entire map with Ctrl + A, copy it with Ctrl + C, and paste it into the other tab with Ctrl + V.

You’ll end up with this:

Looks no different, right? Wrong. Check the layer window. One layer says Background, and another says Layer 1. Two layers!

Currently, your map is on top of the background.

But, how do you blend them together? Easy.

Right click on where it says “Layer 1”, and choose “Blending Options” from the long list you get. It’s the first thing on the list, so it’s hard to miss!

It should open the following window:

Now, for the last part. Do you see where it says “Blend Mode”, with the option of “Normal?”

Change the option to “Multiply”.

And, just like that, your map now has a neat little parchment background!

Great job, if you’ve made it this far! I’m proud of you.

Make sure to save it as a photoshop project. If you want a ready-to-use jpeg file, go on File > Save As and then choose what extension file you wish to see.

And, that’s it! That’s how to make a fully fledged map.

If you’d like to draw forests, rivers and such, you can simply go back to the previous black and white image you had and add them, before going through the exact same process of blending.

Anyway, this concludes the guide on how to make your very own world map! If you liked this post, please share it with others and let me know in the comments!

If you have any further questions, I’d be happy to answer them!

Until then, take care!

ZeroRewind out.

My real first post!

Hello! My name’s Samir.

I am an author on the cusp of releasing his first book. It’s a Fantasy/Horror series called “Conduit”, which is set in Ard, a world in which society’s technological prowess is comparable to ours.

The first entry in my series will be titled “The Dreg Of Bellmead”, and it will be available on Amazon.

I’m so excited to share it with you all!

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