View Full Version : "Fuzzy Caterpillar" Victorian Mountain Brushes

Bill Hooks
07-15-2010, 07:49 PM

I'm pretty new to the forum and have been soaking up techniques for antique-style mapping. One thing I hadn't found yet was a good set of Photoshop brushes for simulating Victorian-style hachure mountains, so I decided to make my own. These are sampled from images found at the Perry-Castaņeda Maps Collection (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/), mostly maps of Texas from 1830-1840. Also, they were made in Photoshop CS3, in case that makes a difference.

A variety of styles are represented. For the one-sided "cliff face" styles, note that the direction you draw the stroke determines which direction the elevation faces; it might take some getting used to.

Let me know if there are any problems with the brushes. And generally speaking, thanks to everybody here for creating a great learning resource!

07-15-2010, 08:03 PM
Thanks for posting! Could you by any chance add a sample image? Plz? :) I have a map in progress that this might be useful for, but as I'm lacking in latent talent, I need something that tells me how it's *supposed* to look when you use them ;)

Bill Hooks
07-15-2010, 09:10 PM
Sure, let me see -- here's a couple of different styles on an island map. The first one shows the eroded cliff style brush, and the second one shows the skinny ridge brush along with some buttes. One thing I'm noticing is that while the brushes do okay with laying out "sausage strings" of mountains, if you want to get precise placement you're probably going to have to nudge some of your mountains by hand. In the case of the long peninsular "tail" of my island, some of the things I did were:

1. Using the lasso to select mountains that ended up in the wrong place, and using Free Transform to nudge and rotate them until they lined up correctly.
2. Painting a few different types of buttes and mountains in a clump, then using the eraser, also set to one of the butte shapes, to randomly "eat into" the clump and make it look a little less computery.


07-15-2010, 09:20 PM
This looks pretty handy so I'll have to test drive 'em.

Bill Hooks
07-15-2010, 10:12 PM
This looks pretty handy so I'll have to test drive 'em.

Your antique style tutorial was a major inspiration, so I'll be pleased if you like the brushes!

07-15-2010, 10:16 PM
Thanks a ton! Rep coming your way from me; I'll definitely have to try these for that map.

Steel General
07-16-2010, 10:40 AM
Cool stuff, thanks for posting!

07-17-2010, 08:51 AM
Yoink!!! (sound of swiping files for nefarious purposes) Have some rep.

Bill Hooks
07-17-2010, 09:49 PM
For what it's worth, this is what I used these brushes for. It was originally intended to be a clean, usable gameplay tool with a bit of antique flavor, but with all the techniques I've been picking up on this website, I ended up throwing the kitchen sink at it (or words to that effect). At some point, I'll probably wind up splitting it into two projects, a gameplay one and a "looks" one. (No hurry though, as it's still in the daydreaming stage.)

07-24-2010, 07:28 AM
Cool brushes. I'll have to try them out. :)


07-24-2010, 08:44 AM
These are brilliant Bill thanks!