View Full Version : A Proof of Concept

05-16-2010, 11:41 PM
Edit: I'll be moving this to another thread after the next update. This was basically to make sure the concept works. Now that I know it does, I'll move it to it's own thread to contain the WIPs and maps for the project.

I think this might be my first post. I started playing with Fractal Terrains today with a specific goal in mind. I want a world that I can subdivide into segments and then subdivide further for city maps and such.

No specific goal for today, I just wanted a proof of concept. Here it is so far:

The planet (Fractal Terrains + 5 minutes in Photoshop)

Then I did a subset of that as a map and added an inset for detail of the land around one city

I actually like the planet I have. Now I need to either: Wrap that planet around a google earth setup so I can add political boundaries and such or find a way to draw them directly in Fractal Terrains. I'd rather do it in Fractal Terrains personally.

05-16-2010, 11:46 PM
Welcome to the Guild Minimal! Hey those are looking really good so far. I haven't worked wit vector programs yet, so I can't offer any advice myself, but I'm sure others will have something to contribute. Thanks for posting.


05-17-2010, 12:09 AM

I've totally ruined my lurker status haven't I?

Well, I can wrap it around a globe in google I'm pretty sure, and that would let me add political boundaries there. I think that might defeat the purpose of being able to reproject it while maintaining (and so far effectively increasing due to my detail levels in FT) the detail. I know there's a way to do overlay images in FT, but the manual states that those aren't saved as part of the map so I'm not sure if I can make political boundaries that way. (Any input on ways to do this would be massively appreciated)

I have learned some neat things though:

Reducing the altitude pallets to one color for land and one for ocean and removing shading results in the 'flat map' in the inset. I'm not sure I've seen anyone else do it that way but dang that's convenient.

The colors on the 'main' map were done by taking the gaia map as a base, overlaying a the custom climate map copy from this excellent tutorial (http://www.ridgenet.net/~jslayton/CGTutorial/index.html), using image adjustments to separate and retone the water colors on the gaia map and then using the (separated) land maps in that climate copy as a hue overlay. I like the coloring effect a lot better than the originals.

I also know that I need to learn how to do some of the nice compass roses. I like mine as a hyper simple place holder but it's not exactly professional looking.

05-17-2010, 02:14 AM
welcome to the guild minimal, good start you've got there. No experience with fractal terrains so can't help you there - but I'm looking forward to seing more :)

05-17-2010, 03:35 AM
Welcome! This looks very promising.

05-17-2010, 03:47 AM
aye welcome, and that's looking pretty sweet! I once used FT to generate google maps tiles (it has a tile-save option). I got to about 6 or 7 zoom levels ( over 300.000 map images for the last level :). I didnt dare do another level. if you want the googlemaps javascript code i can post it (it contains a function to map google map coordinates to FT tile filenames). One issue with google maps is the scaling (uses earth size measurements) so i also used a custom-scale control (a static scale ignoring projection differencs at poles, but for a fantasy it worked in my case). cheers!

05-17-2010, 06:28 AM
Looks good. Welcome to the Guild!

05-17-2010, 08:22 AM
Thanks for the welcomes all. Had another idea, gonna try it out but may not have a new image for a day or two (we're also in the middle of packing and looking for new apartments for a move soon).

Having that part working, I generated a new world and went through and painted it section by section until I had all the areas I actually wanted. Now I'm working on options for exporting it.

Honestly, the simplest thing may just be to use a mercator projection at an insanely high resolution for the political boundaries and then resize/take clips of it as needed for area/region maps. Then I can still pull local level snippets from the source.

Trying a 5 by 5 sliced image set now at 5000 px width per slice. I'll stitch those together in PS. My machine is going to hate me by the end of the day.

05-17-2010, 05:44 PM
After a lot of manual stitching I got the full world Mercator map for the new gen into Photoshop where I was happy with it.

Then I started playing a bit. Here's the first result.

I'm not sure I'd do a full map in this style, but I like the effect. If I were to take it further I would flatten out the color areas for the land masses and add in some elevation lines for them.


The important part is that the full world map works in the high rez. Done playing for now, but the next step (probably tomorrow) is going to be to start figuring out an expansion and where I want 'ground zero' to be. This will end up being a steam punk inspired setting by way of generation ship SF. Think Heinlein style colonization on a planet without oil supplies. Coal will be available, but what coal does best is generate heat. That makes a good excuse for steam punk civilizations.

05-17-2010, 07:26 PM
Wonderful colors, go with that.

05-17-2010, 07:44 PM
This is looking sweet