From Contour Map to
Once you have learned how to
make a relief map, you can
use that map to make pictures of the way that your planet will
look when you want to use its mountains as a background to your
Draw a relief map of the land area that you want to work with.
Remember that you are showing which parts of the land are high
and which are low.
If you are doing an under water scene, use the same steps.
Here is an island that I have drawn as an example for you.
Draw a line across the island at the place where you
want to draw the profile. (My line is white.)
This is like making a cut through a cake so that you can see
the inside from the side view.
Below the map draw evenly spaced lines that you can fill in
with the same color codes as you used on the map. The lowest
elevation should be on the bottom.
Look along the dividing line that you drew across your island
or continent.Every time that there is a color change along this
line, draw a line straight downward to the colored areas at the
Go to the same colors as the ones on the map.
If the line is from the lowest part of the color, go to the
bottom of the colored strip.
If the line is from the highest part of the colored area on
the map, go to the top of that color's strip.
Study this example to see how it works.
When you have drawn all the lines, join them together in the
colored strips at the bottom.
You can see that I have done this at the bottom of this part
of the example.
You can see that the lines make an outline of the ups and
downs on the map -- a profile view.
It is important to remember that the scale of your profile
is out of proportion to your map.
Unless your map is of a very small area, your drawing has
made the elevation changes going up and down larger than the
same distances going across your map. You have exaggerated the
elevation changes, otherwise they would hardly show up at all.
erased the colors inside the lines so that I can see the profile
of my island more clearly.
I have colored the profile of
the island and removed the colored lines in the background.
I have enlarged the profile of the island and colored
it a bit. If I wanted to use this as a background in an illustration,
I would use more detail in the coloring.
Copyright ® 1999. Elizabeth
Anne Viau and her licensors. All rights reserved.
This material may be used by individuals for instructional purposes
but not sold. Please inform the author if you use it at firstname.lastname@example.org.