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RobA
11-08-2007, 02:52 PM
Post 1:Introduction

First off, let me say that it was Pyrandon’s city map tutorial that inspired me to write up this one, so I will steal his format :). I have been working on a variety of techniques to make (what I consider to be) “nice looking” maps using GIMP, and felt they are polished enough now so that anyone can follow along and do the same.

I intend to publish this tutorial serially, in the How-To forum at the Cartographer’s Guild web site, and hope to coalesce it into a single pdf for download when complete.

Why GIMP?
In case you are not aware, GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a raster graphic editor. It is free software available under the GNU General Public License and can be downloaded from www.gimp.org (http://www.gimp.org) for a number of computer systems, including Windows and Linux.

This tutorial has been developed with GIMP version 2.4, and may refer to features not available in older versions. Additionally, the menu structures have been shuffled about as of this version. There are some super new features that make upgrading worth it (in my opinion).

Most of these techniques will also have equivalents in Photoshop, PaintShop Pro, and other raster editors. The key features that will be used are Layers, Layer Blending Modes, Layer Masks, Blue and Noise (cloud) filters, Gradient Mapping, and Bump Mapping. Additionally, some of the more advanced techniques will involve Channels and Paths.

How well do I have to know GIMP?
Don’t worry, as everything will be explained fairly methodically, with a lot of screen grabs to show what is meant. Hopefully, full menu paths (like Color->Auto->Normalize) will be provided all the time, though there may be the occasional miss for the more common commands.

What type of map?
The result of this tutorial will produce a map similar (but not exactly the same as some techniques have changed) to this:
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This type of map is good for representing larger overland areas where details like mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, roads and forests would be discernible. The techniques explored here will not work well for whole world maps or local maps.

What do I need to begin?
1) Well, GIMP (of course).
2) Hopefully an idea for a map. Ideally this will be a rough sketch showing the general shape of the land, with locations like mountains, forests and possibly cities marked out. It is best not to be too detailed at this point, as the techniques used will auto-magically provide a lot of the details for you. If you have NO idea or concern of one, a few options for completely random map generation will also be thrown in, for good measure.
3) A colour scheme. This is the thing that will really give the map its characteristic appearance. For this example, I will be using the same colour than Pyrandon used in his city tutorial. A GIMP palette has been put together with these colours, and will be attached for download.

RobA
11-08-2007, 03:00 PM
Post 2:Are You Sitting Comfortably?

The following things need to done to get started, but only once…

Download the palette and install it.
(Located at bottom of this post in the attachment section)

The City-Map-Colors.gpl file should go into C:\Documents and Settings\<User Name>\.gimp-<version>\palette\ and GIMP will see it the next time it is run. These are the colours available in the palette:
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The top row shows the grass and forest colours, along with a gradient from the lightest of these to the darkest.

The second row shows the dirt and rock colours as well as the gradient.

The third row shows the water colours and the gradient. (The light one is used for the coastline and rivers.)

The bottom row has colours for roads, 50% grey (used a lot when making overlay masks), a coastline stroke colour, and a label colour. All of these are available in the palette. Or use your own. Just keep roughly the same number of colours. Keeping the Colour set small makes the map look consistent, and will make all your maps look similar.

Set up the GIMP windows.
When you start GIMP, you will notice that unlike most Windows application, the dialogs and images all float in their own windows. This can be a pain until you get used to it. The first thing to do is make sure the dialogs you need will be available.

If the dialogs that came up when you started GIMP did not have all these:
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For convenience, you will want them set up this way. You can add new dialogs (called Docks) by going from the main GIMP window, File->Dialogs->Create New Dock->Layers, Channels & Paths and File->Dialogs->Create New Dock->Brushes, Patterns & Gradients.

There are a couple more useful dialogs to have available as well.

Select File->Dialogs->Histogram to bring up the image histogram.

Select the Palette tab in the Brushes, Patterns and Gradients dialog and click the Edit Palette button.
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These two new dialogs can be attached to the existing docs by dragging their titles to where you want them. I like the Palette editor to be a tab on the Brushes, Patterns & Gradients Dock, and the Histogram to be stuck below the tab group, so it is always open. This is the GIMP layout that will be used throughout the tutorial:
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RPMiller
11-08-2007, 03:05 PM
As a quick aside, if you don't get buckets of rep from everyone for this, I'm going to start knocking on doors with a big piece of ceder in hand. ;)

RobA
11-08-2007, 03:07 PM
Post 3: Then Let's Begin (if I have an idea)

Now that the environment is set up, it is time to begin. At this point you may have a rough sketch of a map, either drawn on paper or on the computer. Here is the rough sketch I will work with for this tutorial:
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I was doodling a coast-line with a crater like shape, and decided to put places around it line the numbers of a clock. This will be my starting point for The Region of Closh

Load this image into GIMP, and scale it to the page size you want. I’ll keep this one smaller (500x500) to make the tutorial more manageable, but it can be as large as you want. Ensure that the image is RGB, and the size you want. You may have to adjust some of the techniques (scaling, bump mapping amounts, etc) depending on the size and scale of your map.

Now create a new transparent layer (Layer->New Layer) and name it “Land”, pick a big, solid brush in black and trace out the contours using the Pencil Tool, then fill the area you want land in black, and everything else white.
GIMP TIP! – You can drag a colour from the palette or the color selector to an image and it will fill the current selection with that colour.
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Now invert the layer (Color->Invert) and blur the image (Filters->Bur->Gaussian Blur) The amount of blur will determine how random the final coast will be. The larger the blur, the more random the coastline will be (in the blurry area). If you have a well defined coast already (like here) use a smaller blur (50px). If you have a poorly defined coast (as is the case when using a random coast technique) make it a large blur.
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I went back and blurred a few areas more by hand on the main coast to get more randomness there but keeping the detail in the island ring. Note the histogram. What you want is a nice level image, with dark and light more evenly spread out, as opposed to a U shape.
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Create new layer called “Land Noise” and fill it with clouds (Filter->Render->Clouds->Solid Noise) Set the detail to the maximum (15) and the X and Y size to the max (16.0). The larger the size, the more randomness your final coast will have. Give it a new random seed and jot down the number (I put it in the layer name afterwards as a reminder). And change the blend mode to Overlay.
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RobA
11-08-2007, 03:10 PM
Post 4: I have an idea – part 2

Create a new layer called “Land Clip”, filled with white above that, and set its blend mode to Lighten. You will have a white image. Now, with this layer selected, Open the levels dialog (Colors->Levels) and grab the white output slider, and drag it down. As this happens, the land will be revealed. Stop at a place you like, and click OK.
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Now using the Magic Wand Tool, (making sure Sample Merged is Checked and the Threshold is 0) click anywhere in the dark area. This will define your coast. If you want to adjust it, just undo the selection (ctrl-Z) and change the levels of the “Land Clip” layer. I wand back and tightened the coast a bit.
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Now Invert the selection (Select->Invert), create a new black layer called “Land Mask” and fill the selection with white. Now save the selection to a Channel (Select->Save to Channel) and rename the channel to “Land Mask”. This will be used a fit bit later.
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Now clear the selection (Select->None).

That technique (the Three-Layer-Sandwich of noise, shape and threshold clip layer, or TLS for short :)) will be a basic technique that will be used over and over again, using different blending modes between the noise layer (to give some variegation to the surface) and the shape definition layer. It will be used to define forests and mountains, even clouds in the sky.

This is probably a good time to save. Always save your work as an .xcf file. That is the native GIMP format and will preserve all the image information, including layers, channels, etc. It is similar in that way to the Photoshop native .psd format.

RobA
11-08-2007, 03:14 PM
Post 5: Detour - Then Let’s Begin (But I have No Idea!)

If you have no idea for a map, here are a couple of options to generate a more random map…Just use a noise layer (set to smaller size, but keep the detail) This will five a variety of island shapes. Or use a gradient fill for the original shape definition layer. Or blurry geometric shapes (circles, arcs) Each of these will give different results. Here are 4 examples (from top left, clockwise: 50%grey, linear gradient at an angle, radial gradient, arc shape, blurred) all made following the TLS technique:
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And blended with the noise layer and a clip layer (lighten) applied:
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The selected, solid mask:
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And converted to an outline:
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You may now see some similarities in this technique to the “Creating Random Coastlines in GIMP” and “Creating Not-So Random Coastlines in GIMP” tutorials I had posted a while ago.

RobA
11-08-2007, 03:18 PM
Post 6: Create the sea. (in the beginning...)

To make the ocean/water (and the base contour for the land as well) a two layer variant of the three layer sandwich will be used.
Copy the “Land Mask” Layer, and rename it “Sea Shape”. Apply a Gaussian Blur (Filter->Blue->Gaussian Blur) large enough to eliminate the absolute black and whites of the image. In this case, I used the same size as the image (500px).
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Create a new layer and call it “Sea Noise” Fill this with Clouds (Filters->Render->Clouds->Solid Noise) set to a low size (3) and detail of 15, reseeding the random number. Set the layer blend mode to mode to Overlay, then merge it down with the “Sea Shape” layer by right clicking on the layer and selecting “Merge Down”.
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Duplicate this layer and rename it “Sea”. Add a layer mask by right clicking on the “Sea” layer, and selecting “Add Layer Mask”. When the dialog opens, select “Channel” (By default it should have the “Land Mask” channel shown and check “Invert”. Click Add.
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Nothing much will appear to have happened, but there will be a mask next to the layer thumbnail:
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Layer masks act like filters that let parts of the image “show though”. Areas where the mask is white will allow the layer to be visible. Areas where the mask is black will be transparent, and the various shades of grey will be varying degrees of transparency. Now right click on the “Sea” layer and select “Apply Layer Mask”. This will remove pieces of the layer based on what was showing through the layer mask. Here I have made all the other layers invisible to see the result:
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Also, check out the histogram….that is where we start next.

RobA
11-08-2007, 03:31 PM
Post 7: Create the sea, continued.

Now we want to stretch out the colours in the “Sea” layer across the entire black to white range. With the sea layer selected, auto normalize the image (Colors->Auto->Normalize). The histogram will now have little gaps in it. As the greys have all been spread out. To fix this, select the non-transparent area (by clicking on the “Sea” layer and selecting “Alpha to Selection”. Invert the selection (Select->Invert) and fill the area with white. Remove the selection (Select->None) and apply a 20px Gaussian blur.
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Note the histogram is now filled in.

Now the next bit of magic. Set the foreground colour to the darkest water colour (water 5) by clicking on it in the Palette Editor (that we set up at the beginning), and set the background colour to the second lightest water color (water 5) by Ctrl-clicking on it.
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Now we will turn the B/W into colour, by clicking Color->Map->Gradient Map, and the water is almost (for now).
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Recently, I came up with a nice technique (in my opinion) to finish the shoreline water. Often people will stroke the shoreline with a light colour, or add a light blur. Here is a quick technique for making a unique look…

Create a new layer called “Seashore”, and fill it with the really light water colour (Water 1). Add a layer mask, using the “Land Mask” channel, and ensure “Invert” is unchecked.

(Any edits you do now will be on the mask shape, unless the layer thumbnail is clicked. The one you are editing will have a white box:
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Give the layer mask a 10 px Gaussian blur.

Now apply a displacement map (Filters->Map->Displace). Use an X displacement of 20, and a Y displacement of -20. For both, pick the “Land Noise” layer. Set the Displacement Mode to Cartesian and the Edge Behavior to Smear.

Repeat this, flipping the signs, so set X to -20 and Y to 20. This screen grab is after the first one.
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This will give a nice wispy, random looking water edge, once the land is put in place…

RobA
11-08-2007, 03:43 PM
(And now for a commercial message...)


I'm pausing here. I'll try to get more up shortly...

Attached is a pdf (5MB) of the process up to this point.

-Rob A>

RobA
11-09-2007, 01:56 PM
Post 8:Let there be Land.

Now that the ocean is completed, the land can be build up. Create a cop of the “Sea Shape” layer and name it “Grass”. Create a layer mask using the “Land Mask”channel. Click on the layer icon so we now edit the layer, not the mask.
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Ctrl-Click on the dark green (Ditch) colour to make it the background and click on the light green (high ground) to make it the foreground colours, then Colour->Map->Gradient Map.
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This is bland, so lets spice it up a bit…create a new layer called Grass Texture, and fill it with clouds noise (Filters->Render->Clouds->Solid Noise), detail 15, size 3, and new seed.
Again, add a layer mask using the “Land Mask” channel, and set the blend mode of the layer to overlay.
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Looking better, but it could use some texture.
Create a new layer called “Grass Bump Map”. Fill it with rendered cloud noise again, this time setting the size and detail to the max, and selecting Turbulent.
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Hide this new layer (by clicking off the eye icon). Create a new layer called “Grass Bumps” and fill it with 50% grey. Set its layer mode to overlay. It will appear to be gone now. That is how overlay works. 50% grey doesn’t change the underlying image, while darker shades darken the image and lighter shades lighten the image.
Now apply a bump map to this “Grass Bumps” layer using Filters->Map->Bump Map.
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Lastly, apply the “Land Mask” channel as a layer mask like before.

RobA
11-09-2007, 01:58 PM
Post 9:Finishing the Land.

After the bump map we now have this. You can adjust the opacity of the bump map to make it less noticeable if desired:
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This is OK, but it is a little two green for me. One option is to change the overall colour by adjusting the hue, and that would be that. Instead, we’ll add a dirt layer. This will be a combination of a filter generated mask layer, and hand painting the mask.

Create a new layer called “Dirt” and fill it with the “med dirt” colour. Add some noise (Filters->Noise->HSV Noise):
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Now bump map this layer on itself to give a bit of lighting texture:
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Duplicate the “Land Mask” layer, bring it up to the top of the layer stack.
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and blur it by 50px or so:
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RobA
11-09-2007, 03:05 PM
Post 10:Finishing the Land (cont.)

Create a new layer on top of the blurry one, and fill it with rendered clouds, maximum detail and maximum size, then set its layer mode to Difference. This gives a noisy blaxck outline of the coast. (This is also a nice technique to make a light water effect along shores…)
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Merge down the difference layer, invert it, then bring up the layers dialog and adjust it to be a wider band of white on black. This will be used as the layer mask for the dirt….
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Go back to the Dirt Layer and add a layer mask, using the “Land Mask” channel. Now right click on the layer mask and select “Apply layer”. This will erase everything that is not above the land.

Go back to the noisy blended layer you had created in the last stop (called land mask copy). Select all and copy this layer (ctrl+a, ctrl-c), Then select the “Dirt: layer, and add a layer mask and just select “White”. Now with the dirt layer mask active, paste the copy (ctrl-v). This will create a floating layer. Just hit the anchor icon to drop it down into the dirt layer mask. Now you can delete the temporary “land mask copy” layer:
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This can be improved by applying a Gaussian blur (Filters->Blur->Gaussian Blur, 10 px) and some pixel spread (Filters->Noise->Spread 10 px) to the mask. I also took a soft white brush with 60% opacity and coloured in the areas I want to be desert. To make this easier, I moved my original sketch up to the top and set its blend mode to burn. This let me see where I needed to fill in deserts. Lastly, I reduced the opacity of the Dirt level down to get a nice looking blend.
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Here is where we are so far:
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Coming soon... Mountains.

RobA
11-10-2007, 04:45 PM
Post 11:Let There be Mountains

Before you continue, there is a better way I found to make mountains located over here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=4335). It works well with the rest of this tutorial, and seems much easier and predictable than what follows here...


The technique for making the mountains is very similar to that of making the land. Because we have an idea for a map, we will start in this case by sketching a blurred representation of where they should be. Otherwise, just use one of the random techniques:

Create a new layer “Mountains”. Fill in white for the general areas of the mountain ranges, and apply a 50 px (or so) Gaussian blur. It is helpful to keep the original sketch on top with reduced opacity to act as a guide. Don’t worry about going in to the sea, because we can we can erase those areas later:
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Now the noise layer (I used detail 8 and size of 8) and set the blend mode to multiply. Then add a third layer (remember the TLS) as a clipping layer, and use the levels dialog to bring it down to show the mountains you want Here is the screen showing the three layers
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Use the magic wand again to select the non-mountain area (like with the land) and create a new layer called “Mountains Mask” with a white on black. (Also the white colour selection as a new selection mask using Select->Save to Channel).

Now we want to create a heightfield from this. The easiest way I have found to do this is to copy the current visible image (Edit->Copy Visible) then paste it (CTRL-V) to a floating selection. Click the New Layer button to get it on its own layer rather than a floating layer. Now stretch the colour range out (Color->Auto->Normalize):
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Rename this layer to “mountain colour”. Make a duplicate and call it “mountain bump map”. Now set the foreground colour to “lowest dirt” and the background colour to “highest dirt”, and on the “mountain colour” layer, do a Color->Map->Gradient Map.
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Normalize the colours (Colors->Auto->Normalize) and add a layer mask, using the mountain mask channel. (Note, the Dirt layer was turned of in this image by accident).
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RobA
11-10-2007, 05:39 PM
Post 12: Let There be Mountains – continued

Similar to the dirt, apply a Gaussian blur and noise spread to the layer mask blend the mountains in a bit better. (Note, the Dirt layer was turned of in this image by accident)
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Create a new layer called “Mountains Bump” and fill it with 50% grey, and set its mode to overlay. Now run a bump map filter, using the “mountain bump map” layer you had made a duplicate of a while back. Play with the elevation and depth to get something that look good.
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To make the mountains pop a bit more, you may want to duplicate the “mountains bump layer.
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This is another useful technique. Make bumpmaps on a 50% grey layer and they can be overlayed on colour below. That lets you go back and edit the colour layer without affecting the bumpmap. Since GIMP doesn't support layer effects this is one of the ways I have come up with to to keep the image editing flexible.

RobA
11-11-2007, 10:19 PM
Post 13:Finishing the land up.

Forests are done the exact same way. EDIT - A Good Tutorial to making nice forests in this style in Gimp is here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?10009) (Thanks arsheeshA). I used the same bump map as for the grass but increased the depth effect. I also put all the forest stuff below the mountain layers, so the mountains would appear to come out through the forest. You could do it the other way, and the forests would appear to run on the mountains. (as long as you make the forest colour layer slightly transparent. Here I duplicated the forest layer colour layer and set the mode to Grain Merge to emphasize the colours a bit.
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This is where you can start playing with colours to get them balances, adjusting the hue and saturation, etc….Here I also added a new bump map hinting at under-water features. I also added a layer of low detail , small scale cloud noise over the whole map in overlay mode, and toned down the dirt bumpiness.
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The last thing is to stroke the shoreline to give it a less jaggy edge. Go to the Chanels tab and right click on the Land Mask channel, and go Channel to Selection. Set the foreground colour to the High Dirt colour (or a colour that complements the piece), and stroke the selection (Edit->Stroke Selection) with a 3 px fuzzy paintbrush:
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Rivers can be added by drawing with a fine fuzzy black brush on the “Grass” layer mask.
It helps to apply a small blur and then sharpen to clean up the lines:
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For additional effect, this mask can be turned into a bump map and applied to give the rivers a bit of a bevel:
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End of Part 2.

RobA
11-11-2007, 10:33 PM
And here is a pdf of everything in Part 2 (up to this point)...

I haven't written the rest (yet), but plan to continue with part 3:

It should finish up the map and include:
-Cities/towns
-Roads/trails
-Labels
-Legend/scale/compass rose
-Border

-Rob A>

Joshua_101
11-12-2007, 03:39 PM
Loving it! Can't wait for part three, this is a REALLY helpful tutorial. I really like the way you've done the lakes & rivers.

Is there anybody with an idea of how to create that wispy cloud effect on the coastline in Photoshop?

RobA
11-12-2007, 03:45 PM
FAIK, there is a displace filter in photoshop.

Here is a tutorial (http://www.thegoldenmean.com/technique/displace1.html)

-Rob A>

RobA
11-13-2007, 02:10 PM
Post 14: Cities
At this point, you can spend some time playing with colours, saturation, different overlays, etc. to get the land looking the way you want. Once all that is time, it is time to start detailing the non-terrain elements of the map. If you have an idea where cities and roads are to be located that is great. If not, here are a few suggestions:

All settlements need water - fresh water for drinking and agriculture.
Communities usually have a reason/industry for existing in the first place – farming, mining, shipping, commerce, defense etc. This purpose is often tied to natural resources in the area.
Accessibility is important for communities to interact with the world, and people will take the easiest path possible, not the shortest path. Water is one of the easiest ways to travel.

Once you have a mental idea of where you want settlements and roads, start adding them. I have found the simplest way to make cities is using dingbat fonts. The one installed on every windows machine is called “wingdings”. Here is the character map for wingdings generated by a free Windows font manager called “The Font Thing”. (You can get the link by searching in the forums.):
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As you can see, there are some nice symbols for mapping here, depending on your map style. Using a font manager will let you find these easier. For this tutorial, I will use some similar characters to indicate settlements; I will use the symbol that looks like a ship’s wheel (“]”)to indicate ports, the little square cloverleaf (“z”) for walled settlements, and the simple dot (“l”) for all others.

Create a new transparent layer called “Towns”. When using GIMP’s text tool, it creates text on new layers above the currently selected layer, but we will be merging all of them down to the “Towns” layer. Select the Towns Layer, and click on the text tool. Pick the font Wingdings. You can leave the colour the default (black) or pick a different colour now. Click in the general area you want a town marker:
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You can change the text size, alignment, spacing and such at this time. Notice the new text layer created in the layers dialog. Selecting the Move tool and toggling “Move the Active Layer” will allow fine positioning of the icon. This process can be repeated with as many icons desired.
Note: I have not found a way to get non-keyboard symbols into GIMP text. In other Windows applications you can hold the alt key and type the keycode (like ALT+177 to get the crosshair dingbat). Cutting and pasting from another application into the GIMP text dialog does produce non-keyboard fonts, but not what you would expect.
Once this is done, all the icons will sit on their own layers. (I used a smaller size for the solid dots as they looked too big at 22px):
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Now merge all the text layers down into the town layer. This can be done one at a time right clicking the layer and selecting “Merge Down” or by turning off all the other layers and selecting “Merge Visible Layers”. (I added a keyboard shortcut via File->Keyboard Shortcuts to make Alt-m merge down to speed up this action.) You should end up with all the text layers gone, and just the “Town” layer left.

The colour can be changes very simply at this time by checking the “Lock Alpha Channel” checkbox. You can then just drag colours (or patterns, or paint with tools) from the Palette Dialog, and all the transparent areas will remain transparent!
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Create a new layer below Towns called “Towns Outline”. This layer will be used to help the town icons stand out. Right click and Alpha to Selection on the Towns layer. Enlarge the selection by 2 px or so (Selection->Grow) and optionally soften the selection (Select->Feather). I used 5 px on the feather. Now with the Town Outline layer active, drag black (or a contrasting colour to the town icons) to the screen. Lock the transparency.

With both layers having transparency locked, you can drag different colours, or play with the colour adjustments (hue, saturation, lightness) and layer blending modes. Here I ended up with the icons using the “Roofs 3” colour and the outline the “Roads” colour.
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White on black (or vice versa) also work well if set to overlay mode.

RobA
11-14-2007, 11:54 PM
Post 15: Roads

Now that you have some civilization, they need to get around. A few things to remember are that people will travel the easiest way possible, even if it is longer. That means that one thing that roads are not is straight (at least in a pre-industrial world!). Even so, roads should be smooth. Trying to draw roads by hand is extremely difficult (especially if you do not have a tablet). My preference is to use paths, and stroke them as desired.
In truth, I prefer Inkscape for editing paths as I find it easier, and it is very trivial to have a workflow that integrates GIMP and Inkscape. However, this tutorial said using GIMP, so that’s what we’ll use.

ASIDE TIP: To bring an Inkscape SVG into GIMP as paths, right click on the little triangle in the Path palette to bring up the Path Menu option, then go to Import Path.
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Just follow the dialog. There are two options at the bottom. Merge Imported Paths will cause all the vectors to be imported as one path. Scale Imported Paths to fit Layer will scale op the extents of the SVG image to fit your gimp image size. If not merged, each path will come from Inkscape as a separate path, so combine (not group) any paths you want to be imported as a single element.

Once you have decided where your roads go, start drawing them with the path tool. Click on the path tool (pen icon) and to draw curves, uncheck the Polygonal option.
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Click on the drawing where you want a path to start (a town) and drag in the direction you want it to go. Then click the next node of the path and drag to set the curve again. This can be continued as long as desires. The edit mode can be used to move and change the handles of notes. It is also worth mentioning that paths can be edited while zoomed in. This makes it easy to accurately set where they are:
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Using the path tool will automatically create a new path in the image. Paths are not really visible on an image, but can be turned into selection or stroked with any of the tools. Paths can be made visible by clicking on the eyeball icon (just like layers).
Paths can even extend beyond the drawing edge.
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Once you have all the paths that represent your roads (or all the roads of a particular style) merge them into one path my making them (and only them) visible in the path dialog and right clicking Merge Visible Paths. Then rename this path to “Roads”.
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RobA
11-14-2007, 11:58 PM
Post 16: Roads (continued)

Once the paths for the roads are defined (either using the path tool in GIMP or imported from Inkscape) it is time to actual render them onto the map. There are two main styles for roads – single stroke, and over-stroked. Single stroked roads look like a line (dashed or solid). Over-stroked consist of multiple strokes layered over one another. For example, a wide dark stroke with a light narrow stroke on top will look like a light road outlined in dark. The type of stokes used will be depend on the style you develop, and you might want to use several, along with a legend, to indicate what they represent.
Here we will make a road similar to that of the ones I used in my Niagara map.

Create a new, transparent layer below the town layers, called “Road1”. Select white as a colour, and click Edit->Stroke Path (since there is only one path, it is selected as the current path). Choose a width that goes with your map scale (I used 3 px) and pick a solid line with curved end caps. Click Stroke. (I brought the dialog up again after stroking to show the options used).
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Change the drawing colour to black and bring up the stroke dialog again. This time, use 1.5 px, and a custom pattern. Draw the dash pattern you want to use. I made it short dashes.
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Change the layer blend mode to Overlay to get a nice road that blends in well. Alternately, different colours could have been chosen up front for the roads if you wanted specific colours. I want them a bit darker, so duplicate the Road1 layer.
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This looks nice now, but the roads are hard to see in the forest, so lets fix that. (And here is where the power of paths really comes into play.)
Select the “Forest Bumps” layer, ensuring the mask is selected for editing. Pick the paintbrush tool, with black paint, and a fuzzy brush slightly wider than the road.
Now again, stoke the path (Edit->Stroke Path) but this time select “Stroke with a paint Tool” and make sure paintbrush is selected.
This will paint a black line on the bump layer mask to make the road more visible. You could do the same thing to the colour layers as well to define it more.
Alternately you could stroke with the erase tool to erase areas along a path, or the smudge tool, or anything!
1579

Finally, as an optional step, to make the roads more jittery, I went back and applied a small (3px) displacement map to them (Filters->Map->Displace) selecting one of the noise layers in the drawing. This just makes the roads less smooth, and a bit more hand-drawn. (though it does look better to do this on a single stroke map)
1580

RobA
11-20-2007, 03:47 PM
A small diversion-

I am working on the next installment, but have been....distracted. :)

I just wanted to jump here with a variation of the map used in the tutorial until this point. I changed the colour layers (forest, grass, and mountain) to represent a more autumnal environment. This is one of the advantages I have found in keeping the colour and textures on separate layers...

1693

-Rob A>

RobA
11-20-2007, 08:15 PM
I was pm'd with a question on how the TLS works. Here is a sample xcf file you can look at that will explain better than I can (hopefully).

I have also created and added the mask layer on top, and turned off its visibility.

-Rob A>

RobA
11-21-2007, 11:21 AM
Here is a clarification of the overlay mode.. The way overlay works is that anything white in the lower layer will remain white, and anything black will remain black, it is only in the greys that the noise layer will come through and have an effect...

Here is a sample:
1698

See how the randomness of the coast is restricted to the width of the greys in the blur?

-Rob A>

RobA
11-21-2007, 04:37 PM
Post 17: Labels

It is now time to start labeling the map. Most of the horizontal text will be made using the text tool just like the city icons were done. So I won’t provide the detail here. Just merge all the text down to one layer when happy with its look, and apply an outline glow to separate it from the background. I am going to use the same colours as the cities themselves for most labels.
One thing to remember is that more is not better when it comes to font text. If there is more than four different fonts then something should be reconsidered. I would suggest one font for most labels, optionally a different, possibly more ornate font for a map title, and a clear small font for labeling rivers, roads, etc.
Colour in labels can be useful as well, keeping cities in one, territories in another, etc can help make a complex map easier to read.
I am using a font called Chaucer Ultra-Light for most of my labels. I also duplicated the text layer to make it a bit heavier, and reduced the opacity of the outline to 50%. To make things fit better, I also used different font sizes corresponding to the importance of the city. (Hedge and Il-Lac are both in a smaller font.)
1701

labeling terrain requires a slightly different approach, as terrain labels often follow terrain (for example, labels follow mountain ranges and rivers). For those labels that are horizontal, just do them the same way as the city labels. For others, here is the way to do them using GIMP 2.4, which now supports a “Text along Path” function.
This does not actually bend the text to a path. Instead, it creates a new path outlining the text that is bent along the previously active path. As an example, lets add a label to the mountains.
Select the path tool (just like when making roads) and create a new path along the line where the text should go (I have changed to the path dialog as well to show the new path):
1702

Now pick the text tool, and click in the middle of the screen. You can set the font and size, but there is no point setting the colours. Set the alignment to centered, and type the desired text.
Click on the “Text along Path” button. This will create a new path outlining your text, bent along the first path drawn. If you need to change the text (font, style, spacing) or the path, undo (ctrl-z) and make the changes in the text or path and redo the whole “Text along Path” process.
Depending on how bendy the path is, the letter spacing might have to be changed to prevent the letters from being either to mashed up or too spread out.
1703

Now in the path dialog, click on “Path to selection” (or right click->Path to Selection). In the Layers dialog, create a new Transparent layer called “Labels” (or what ever you want to call it) and fill it with your desired colour. Here I chose to keep the colours the same as the city labels, but flipped around (light text with a dark outline). Remember you can fill a selection simply by dragging from the colour palette.

GIMP Note: ctrl-t will toggle displaying the “marching ants” outline around selections. This is handy to see the results of a fill.

1704

Now create the outline layer “Labels Outline” below this, and (as for the previous text) grow the selection and feather the selection. Now fill on this new layer with the desired colour:
1705

You can see that the text layer is still there but is not necessary. It is however handy to just reuse this text layer to create any additional labels you want. I tend to put all the labels on one layer, so after getting the text selection, make sure you select the proper layer to fill on.
Finally, all of the paths used for lining up the text can be deleted (if desired) or keep them in case you need to redo the text later.
GIMP Note: The transform tools (rotate, move, scale, skew and flip) can all be used on paths as well as layers and selections. This means that if the text isn’t exactly where you want it after putting it on a path, you can move it, rotate it, etc.

RobA
11-21-2007, 04:41 PM
Here is the map after adding a number of titles and labels using these techniques:

1706

And of course, by keeping each type of text on a different layer, it is simple to change their colour by locking the transparency and dragging a new colour from the colour palette to the drawing area...

-Rob A>

RobA
11-27-2007, 01:17 PM
Post 18: Titles and Legend

Now come a title and a legend. These will be set on a paper-like background fitting the feel of the map. First the title. Create a new transparent layer named “Title Background”. Select a rectangular selection, and fill it with a suitable texture. Use one downloaded, or create your own.

1750

Using the Text Tool, add your title above this in any color desired.

1751

Here the new Align tool GIMP 2.4 provides will be handy to align the title text entered in the center of the title background.
Right click on the title background and choose “Alpha to Selection” to select just the rectangle we had filled with texture. Click on the Title layer, and choose the Align Tool.
Using the Align tool is fairly straightforward. First, choose what to align to. In this case make it Relative to “Selection” (as the current selection is the Title Background rectangle). The Align Tool looks like a hand with a pointing finger when over the image. Click on the title text, and it will get boxed with a marching-ant marquis that has blue corners. Now back in the Align Tool pane, click on the two buttons to center horizontally and vertically.
The text should now be centered on the background.

1752

To make the Title blend with the paper a bit more, Duplicate the text layer, and blur the copy by 5-10 pixels, then play with the blend modes. Here the text is 50% opacity, normal blend mode and a blurred copy above it is set to multiply, 100%.

1753

I want to apply some distortion to the title, so now will merge all three of these layers into one, then copy the merged layer and call it “Title Shadow”.

GIMP NOTE: When merging down several layers that have different blend modes applied, start merging them down from the bottom layer to maintain the final look.

Lock the alpha, fill this “Title Shadow” layer with black, unlock the alpha and apply a 10 px. Gaussian blur.

1754

RobA
11-27-2007, 01:21 PM
Post 19: Title Distortion

To distort the title, we will be using the displacement map filter again. First, a displacement map needs to be created.
Create a new layer (it will be a throw-away so do not worry about naming it). Select the gradient tools with the default colour, and stroke a linear gradient diagonally across the area the title is. Here the opacity of the gradient’s layer has been reduced slightly to see how it should line up.

1755

Now open the curves dialog (Colours->Curves) and change the straight line to a squiggle. This will end up turning the single black to white gradient in to a whole bunch of smaller gradients.

1756

Turn off the visibility of this new layer. Now it can be used as a displacement map. Select the Title Background layer (left after merging down) and apply a displacement map filter (Filters->Map->Displace)

1757

Now a few more things to liven up the distortion – (and I changed my mind here, we’ll keep the gradient layer I said was throw away before).
Right click on the Title Background layer and Alpha to Selection. Right-click on the gradient layer and add a layer mask, choosing “Selection”. Make the gradient layer visible, and change its mode to Overlay, adjusting the opacity down a bit.

1758

Right-click on the Title Background layer again, and “Alpha to Selection”. Now distress the outside by stroking the selection with the eraser tool, using a hard brush with jitter. Here I used the hard Circle (05) brush, scale of 1.0 and a jitter setting of 1.0
Then Edit->Stroke Selection and choose the eraser tool. I have brought the dialog up again to see the effect and the settings.

1759

Lastly, shift the shadow selection over and down, and decrease the opacity. Additionally, I played a bit with the colour and saturation until I was happy with it.

RobA
11-27-2007, 01:25 PM
Post 20: Finishing it up

Before starting the legend this is where the image was at:

1760

Now repeat the same process used for the title for the legend. Here I decreased the distortions amounts so the smaller text would remain legible (though it did get a bit blurry).

I also didn’t jot down the colour changes when making the Title colours, so I had to match the legend by eye, and didn’t get it quite right.

1761

Since this map is small, and it is getting cluttered, the only thing I’ll add is a compass rose.
I’ll just grab one from a clipart collection…And at the last minute I decided I didn’t like the legend, so I dumped it and moved the compass to where the legend was.

1762

To finish it just needs a simple border. If there is detail near the edges you want to keep, just enlarge the canvas to get working space for the border. In this case let’s add a six pixel border in the roof3 brown. Image->Canvas Size to get the dialog. The new canvas will be 512x512, and clicking the “Center” button puts the existing map in the middle. Leave the “Resize Layers” option as “None”.

1763

Create new transparent Layer called “Border” at the top. Select the whole image (Select->All) then shrink the selection (Select->Shrink) by 3 pixels (half the border). Select the desired color, and stroke the selection (Edit->Stroke Selection). Use a Stroke Like of 6 px, and make the dash preset is “Line”.
Now pretty it up by stroking a solid 3 px line with the Road colour. Picking an odd px size will give a nice blur to the line, as it interpolates the half pixel colouring. Lastly, I went back to the Roof 3 colour, and stoked a third time, 2px, choosing the dash preset “Stipples”:

1764

RobA
11-27-2007, 01:29 PM
In Conclusion

Here is the final map:

1765

I hope this tutorial was beneficial, even if you do not use GIMP. If you have any comments, suggestions, or criticisms, please post in the forums here, or PM
me.

The pdf is coming...


-Rob A>

RobA
11-27-2007, 01:54 PM
The promised pdfs. I had to break it into parts 3 and 4 because of the size limitation...

Also attached is a zip of the final xcf file (it just fits under the limit) in case anyone wants to dissect this thing to get a better understanding on any of the steps or layers.

And now that this is over, I can get back to some other things on the back burner :)

Cheers!

-Rob A>

pyrandon
11-27-2007, 03:47 PM
This tutorial is amazing, Rob. I can't even imagine how many hours you put into both developing the system and the writing/posting of that system. Thank you so much.

I can't wait to see what maps users make from it, too!

RPMiller
11-27-2007, 04:19 PM
I agree, and I really hope you get a bucket load of rep for it as well.

Istarlome
11-28-2007, 08:13 AM
the results are 100% fantastic. i'm going to refer to this thread at gimp dome. i'm sure your techniques can be used for many other apps. thanks for sharing.

you're one of the best gimp users i've seen. very inspiring......

RobA
11-28-2007, 10:37 AM
Thanks! I'm glad someone is reading this thread :)

As no one has been posting with comments are questions I was worried this exercise was for naught. Now is the time - any question? Post them here! I wil be adding any clarification that people ask for in an edited version that at some point will be set up as a single file PDF for download.

-Rob A>

GlennZilla
11-28-2007, 12:23 PM
Oh, no, I have been reading and building on this thread on my own. I'm currently doing a lot of world building with my gaming group to prep for the release of D&D 4.0. And this tutorial was how I got them to start sketching out the areas as we discussed them.

I'm hoping to provide a few examples once I've had the change to get something finished.

Darth_Gimp
11-29-2007, 03:13 AM
This is my first post to this forum, let me assure you that this excersize is not a waste. I have gotten through the first two PDF and have learned some interesting techniques. I will be applying them to how I create textures for Planets in Spacescapes as well.

I hope to post something of a map from your tut soon. I just want to make my own rather than the provided sketch.

Thanks for this tutorial!

Istarlome
11-29-2007, 07:14 AM
This is my first post to this forum, let me assure you that this excersize is not a waste. I have gotten through the first two PDF and have learned some interesting techniques. I will be applying them to how I create textures for Planets in Spacescapes as well.

I hope to post something of a map from your tut soon. I just want to make my own rather than the provided sketch.

Thanks for this tutorial!


hey,

good to see you made it here. its a nice place ti visit. can't wait to see what you come up with.

Robber Baron
12-08-2007, 09:21 PM
RobA:

I just downloaded and installed GIMP today. I'm looking forward to using your tutorial as a learning tool. It's the best way to learn the features of any software package.

Thank you for your time and effort!! I'm looking forward to digging in.

Robbie
12-08-2007, 09:43 PM
Make sure everyone gives RobA some rep over this!

The Cartographist
12-10-2007, 06:27 AM
RobA - Fantastic and thanks. All of us GIMP noobies really appreciate the time and effort that went into this.

Quick question: Where is Pyandon's city map tutorial? I can't find it...

RobA
12-10-2007, 10:56 AM
Right here:

Eneini: a medieval city tutorial (in Photoshop) (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=530)

-Rob A>

Darth_Gimp
12-11-2007, 03:21 PM
Uhmm how? I would love to give him some rep.. for his work and the fact that he's from Ontario! Makes me homesick.

RobA
12-11-2007, 03:25 PM
Uhmm how? I would love to give him some rep.. for his work and the fact that he's from Ontario! Makes me homesick.

1934

8)

-Rob A>

tannjew
01-07-2008, 12:18 PM
Hi,

I'm a gimp newbie and there is something I do not understand, regarding one of the first steps (as quoted and marked in blue):


Post 4: I have an idea – part 2

Now Invert the selection (Select->Invert), create a new black layer called “Land Mask” and fill the selection with white. Now save the selection to a Channel (Select->Save to Channel) and rename the channel to “Land Mask”. This will be used a fit bit later.
1431

Now clear the selection (Select->None).



I am not able to fill the selection with white. I've selected the land area with the wand as mentioned above (in the tutorial), but with the bucket fill tool I can only fill the sea part with white color...:o

RobA
01-07-2008, 02:00 PM
Where is the "marching ants" selection outline? Still around the dark sea? When you invert the selection the marching ants should be surrounding the land area. Make sure it inverted correctly.

And as a quick-tip, you can just drag from the colour-box directly to the canvas, rather than using the paintbucket tool.

-Rob A>

tannjew
01-07-2008, 02:27 PM
After inverting the selected area the "marching ants" did not surround the land area... but now they do. My mistake: I have selected the land area with the magic wand and after inverting selection the selected area changed to the sea area.

tannjew
01-08-2008, 04:49 PM
Now I want to create the mountains and I'm here in the tutorial:


Now we want to create a heightfield from this. The easiest way I have found to do this is to copy the current visible image (Edit->Copy Visible) then paste it (CTRL-V) to a floating selection. Click the New Layer button to get it on its own layer rather than a floating layer.


But always when I click an the New Layer button I get the following Error message:

Cannot create a new layer from the floating selection because it belongs to a layer mask or channel.

RobA
01-09-2008, 12:32 PM
Now I want to create the mountains and I'm here in the tutorial:



But always when I click an the New Layer button I get the following Error message:

Cannot create a new layer from the floating selection because it belongs to a layer mask or channel.
I think you are doing the "Copy Visible" while having the layer mask selected on a layer. Try selecting a different layer (or at least not the layer mask) before the "Copy Visible"

-Rob A>

Craig158
01-18-2008, 03:44 AM
This tutorial is brilliant (It's actually making me think about switching to GIMP for map making), but I'm having trouble getting the mountains to look 'natural'.

By that I mean that unlike yours, which vary in elevation after the bump mapping, they just appear as raised blocks. Could it be that I need to blur them some more to show the cloud noise?

Thanks

xcorvis
01-18-2008, 09:39 AM
Craig,

I had some trouble with that too, but I realized from a screenshot that RobA was using the "sinusoidal" setting in the Bump Map filter, which makes the mountains look much better than the "linear" setting. Maybe that will help?

Craig158
01-18-2008, 09:50 AM
I only realised that after looking at one of the screens, but they still don't look anything close to the ones in the tutorial. I might restart from that point, and see if I can get better results the next time round.

RobA
01-18-2008, 10:16 AM
Can you post a grab of what your mountain layer looks like?

-Rob A>

falcata
01-25-2008, 03:19 PM
Create new layer called “Land Noise” and fill it with clouds (Filter->Render->Clouds->Solid Noise) Set the detail to the maximum (15) and the X and Y size to the max (16.0). The larger the size, the more randomness your final coast will have. Give it a new random seed and jot down the number (I put it in the layer name afterwards as a reminder). And change the blend mode to Overlay.
*snip image*

I've tried this (and some steps after) over and over again in the past days, but it never really works for me :?:
All I get is a big square with clouds texture. Should I use the fuzzy selection before applying the filter?

I've downloaded your example file but couldn't figure out what I'm doing wrong.

This probably sounds to easy for you, but it's the first time I'm REALLY using GIMP and its features...

RobA
01-25-2008, 04:23 PM
No - The clouds will fill the entire screen. It is the blending mode of the layer that does the magic. Ensure the layers are in the correct order and each have the correct blending modes set.

-Rob A>

Crymoon
01-29-2008, 12:30 PM
I'm sorry to bother you with such a trivial question, but I'm GIMP newbie, and have tried to follow your tutorial but encountered a problem just at the start.

I created a simple map, scanned it and opened in GIMP. I made sure it was RGB and created a new clear layer. I traced the outline and filled it black. But when I try to invert the colors the black changes to white, but the rest of the layer stays white too. I'm using GIMP 2.4.3.
[edit] Can it be caused by transparency of the layer and thus lack of background color to invert?
[edit2] Ok I worked around it by creating a new white layer, moving it beneath the Land layer and merging them. Then applied inversion and it worked.

RobA
01-29-2008, 05:12 PM
Crymoon-

Glad you worked out something that got you the desired result!

I'll reread the steps to ensure I didn't miss something that a GIMP newbie might not know.

-Rob A>

Crymoon
01-30-2008, 02:22 AM
Thanks for your answer. I have forgotten to mention in the first post, although it was to be in the first line, how great the tutorial is. I'm now playing with grass and it looks better and better with each minute. And as I said I'm GIMP newbie (to be exact this is my first time trying doing something really useful with it).

I must congratulate you on your work.

scytale
03-13-2008, 06:01 PM
This is a great tutorial, no doubt. I'm having a problem, though. Being a complete newbie at graphics I can follow the steps closely (that's difficult enough, already!), but more often than not I have no idea what I'm actually doing. This makes adjusting the steps to suit my own needs very hard.
Does anyone know of an intermediate but general GIMP tutorial? I know about basic procedures, using brushes, selection, copy-paste and all that, but an "alpha layer", the settings to most filters (and what the filters actually do), a floating layer etc. are quite a mystery to me.

RobA
03-13-2008, 08:06 PM
For general GIMP stuff, try http://www.gimptalk.com/

Also, if you have the time and bandwidth, I'd also recommend the Meet the GIMP podcast (http://meetthegimp.org/) . There is a lot of focus on photo editing, but it will cover the basics of layers, adjustments, what the tools do, etc.

-Rob A>

Remko1981
03-14-2008, 01:21 PM
Before reading your tutorial i couldnt do anything with Gimp. This is my result after a few(5) hours of hard work.

2759

Only things which i couldnt do are those beautiful rivers of yours. And i cant get the color like youve gotten for the forests.

Any more advice? (your map still looks way better!)

My next step will be loading this map into viewingdale and start adding villages, ruines, etc as my players will discover them.

Thanks a lot for the great tutorial!

RobA
03-14-2008, 03:36 PM
Remko-

Did you use the "turbulent" check box when generating the forest? I find it makes for a nicer bump map. Also, when applying the bump map, try the other options (linear, spherical, sinusoidal) as they have very different results.

As for the colour, I just tend to keep playing with the HSV, as well as had painting on the colours layer with different shades until I get something I like.

Is there something specific about the rivers (generating the emboss?) that is giving you problems?


And you're welcome!

-Rob A>

Remko1981
03-15-2008, 06:48 AM
My rivers are a bit blocky. But my biggest problem is there height map. They just dont look like they are going down. Tried a lot of settings but cant seem to get it to work.

RobA
03-15-2008, 08:51 AM
My rivers are a bit blocky. But my biggest problem is there height map. They just dont look like they are going down. Tried a lot of settings but cant seem to get it to work.

I think I explained it a bit better in this posting:

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=7748&postcount=19

See if that clarifies things.

-Rob A>

Kasim
03-19-2008, 02:27 AM
Just a quick post as I work on this. I'm embarrased to say how long it took me to get past step 8 but here I am so far. These layers and masks are kicking my butt pretty well. But atleast I'm learning.

Note: the 4 circular shapes on the coastline were by design, not an error or oversight. (Old meteor impacts.. there will be two inland on the peninsula as well.) Next iteration I'm going to cut these down to 1 or 2 on the coastline as the chances of 4 out of 6 impacts landing in the exact spots to create neat little bays are pretty slim.

This isn't anywhere near where I want it but I'm going to complete the tutorial before restarting to do it right.. I'm in a hotel atm with no scanner so it was hand drawn via laser mouse on a crappy surface in GIMP. I plan on using a map quite close to this as the beginnings from a remap of my campaign in ViewingDale.

We'll see how well I can mold mountains, input a desert and direct rivers tomorrow evening. :?

And yes, I've repped the author for his tutorial, without it I wouldn't even dare using this method.

Remko1981
03-20-2008, 05:14 PM
Thanks, the link you send helped indeed.

Kasim
03-20-2008, 06:45 PM
Having some issues with the mountains. I did use "sinusoidal" like the sceen shots had set up.

Kasim
03-22-2008, 01:48 PM
Anyone else see off hand what I'm doing wrong just from the images?

Midgardsormr
03-22-2008, 04:31 PM
I was kind of hoping that someone who knew what they were talking about would speak up, but I'll give it a shot. Your mountains look a bit like my early experiments with bump maps. They leap up out of the ground and then plateau suddenly, which suggests that you need to reduce the brightness of your alpha channel quite a bit.

That flat top you're seeing is the result of very high whites in the center of the "blob." I would guarantee that if you sampled any point in that plateau in your alpha channel, the luminosity would read 255, which means the height there is maxed out.

Now, this is just guess-work because I am a beginner at this process, myself. I'll bet, though, that if you go back to your alpha, select the white areas, put some clouds in it, then play with the levels a bit, you'll get the results you're after.

If anyone who's actually done this before would like to chime in and correct any of my misconceptions, I'd welcome it!

Remko1981
03-23-2008, 11:03 AM
Kasim: It looks like you used your normal black on white layer for the bump map.

2841

Instead of one which has a bit of fuzzyness in it.

2842

See the difference in the selection box called bumpprojectie.

RobA
03-24-2008, 07:16 PM
I have to agree with Remko - That is exactly what it looks like!

-Rob A>

Airith
03-26-2008, 12:00 AM
Well here's my try at it. My first or second time with GIMP. I know I screwed up on the mountains somewhere, but I've done that part 3 times and I can't look at it without glaring :( Same with the forests. I got really lazy at the text part, especially the title.

My big question is adding the rivers, you might notice some blue squigglys randomly placed behind a mountain, because I guess I added to the wrong layer. Could not find the one you mentioned. Paths-do they just take time to get used to? They seemed so strange to use...

The tutorial is great though, I think I'm going to try it again and hopefully get closer.

Also, like my gross font color/outline :)

The Cartographist
03-26-2008, 03:28 AM
Airith,
I think that it is a fantastic start considering it was only your first or second time using Gimp. That just shows the power of the tutorials that we are lucky enough to have here at the Guild. Nice job.

RobA
03-26-2008, 08:54 AM
Good first effort Airith!

One of MY problems is that I tended to skip steps when writing this all down :) And I tend to "futz" with the image as I am working on it, adjusting levels redoing various things (lots of ctrl-Z :P )

So if there are specific steps you want clarified, please ask!

And yes, paths do take a while to get used to in GIMP. I personally find them very unintuitive, which is why I now do any extensive path work in Inkscape. GIMP will import the Inkscape SVG file as a path (or paths) without any problem.

-Rob A>

Kasim
03-27-2008, 01:06 AM
Honestly, I'd prefer a few more screen shots that show exactly what you should be doing.

Also you should double check the descriptions for creating layers.


Create new layer called “Land Noise” and fill it with clouds (Filter->Render->Clouds->Solid Noise) Set the detail to the maximum (15) and the X and Y size to the max (16.0).

I wasn't sure on many of them if it was transparent, white or whatever. Some you did specify, which helped.

There were quite a few steps that I had to guess on or use some trial and error. Next run through, I'll make sure to take notes on what I felt wasn't clear or would like to see a screen shot for.

RobA
03-27-2008, 09:13 AM
Thanks for the feedback - I'll read through it again to add those clarification. Generally though, if I didn't mention an option, it doesn't matter :) Seriously. In the case you provided, if you are filling the layer with rendered cloud it doesn't matter if the layer starts a any particular colour or is transparent. Bu t I can see how by NOT stating, it could be confusing.

-Rob A>

DarkOne
03-28-2008, 02:21 PM
RobA, this tutorial should be made an official GIMP tutorial. I learnt more of using GIMP than I ever done in the past year of using GIMP. Thanx for showing us the more interesting features of GIMP and how to use them together to produce stunning results.

RobA
03-28-2008, 02:36 PM
Geee. Thanks :blush:

-Rob A>

ravells
03-28-2008, 05:11 PM
It's about time RobA quit slacking and made another one!

pyrandon
03-29-2008, 11:21 PM
It's about time RobA quit slacking and made another one!

Hear hear!

This tutorial is the flagship of the Guild, netting more hits than any other thread, I believe (and definitely more than any other tutorial). It's well written, complete, and amazingly helpful.

Rob, you are hereby commanded to get to work! ;)

(PS: a video tutorial would be even better, I say!)

Zar Peter
03-30-2008, 06:43 PM
My three cents:
Great tutorial. I downloaded Gimp because of that and started to try two days ago. My efforts after about 7 hours work you can see below. I'm not very happy with the tree-texture but all I need now is some experience.

For me the hardest part was to translate the english terms and the inversion at the beginning (as described in Crymoons post. In the tutorial post you write "Now create a new transparent layer (Layer->New Layer) and name it “Land”..." it should be a white layer, otherwise the inversion doesn't work as shown.)

nwelte
04-02-2008, 02:27 AM
First time using gimp for anything other than cropping ans sizing. Not happy with my forest or the coast line. I also seem to have messed up the color of the water. I don't have the white wisps. But I feel the map is a good start. I will have to finish the rest of the map later.

Comments? Suggestions?

RobA
04-02-2008, 09:14 AM
Good effort, nwelte!

You might want to try a turbulent bump map with a larger x-size and y-size for the forrest texture. Just decreasing the opacity of the forest bump map overlay would also help make then less intense.

-Rob A>

Airith
04-05-2008, 12:16 AM
"Mountains, EVERYTHING almost. sorry, just a lot of spots during mountains that were odd. Bump map area in particular.

Is there a better way to do forests?

-Rivers-, mine turned out strange several times. had to erase a lot of upper layers to get it to look right."

These are just things I wrote down while I was going through the tutorial, hopefully you can understand them :)

nwelte
04-11-2008, 03:12 AM
Hmm I gave this tutorial another try and combined it with another tutorial I think you made. What do you think? Better than the first attempt I posted earlier? Still not happy with the mountains. And I have "dead space" on the image I need to fill. Think a compass would fill the space. Any suggestions for a a good compass?

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk40/nwelte/Zurgas.png

RobA
04-11-2008, 12:30 PM
Looks nice nwelte.

A little neon for my tasted (esp. the forest region) but I think it is the right scaled map for the technique. I'm also sure there is a a reason the roads are so straight (Other than curved paths in GIMP are awkward to work with :P )

Here is a compass I used in my quarry map:
3058

Feel free to use it (the full image is a transparent background png).

-Rob A>

nwelte
04-11-2008, 01:42 PM
I had trouble with the color of the map once I imposed it under the fuzzy layer in your paper tutorial. Found that the map was to dark and needed to be lightened. Unfortunately that created the neon look. Any suggestions on how to correct that?

RobA
04-11-2008, 01:53 PM
Did you put it on the paper as a flattened layer, or is the whole thing a single many layered image?

I tend to make my maps as one image, them export/flatten them to a single layer which I then add the paper/background/weathering, etc. That lets you adjust the levels and saturation a bit easier.

-Rob A>

nwelte
04-11-2008, 08:52 PM
I created the map itself as one multi layer image. I then create the paper as a seperate multi-layer image. I then copied all visible from the map and pasted it in to the paper image at the right layer.

I also think when I did the color normalization step that somehow that lightened the trees.

You have any suggests as to how to make artistic farm fields in this same style. As you can see from my map I tried to put furrows around a few settlements.

RobA
04-12-2008, 09:13 AM
You have any suggests as to how to make artistic farm fields in this same style. As you can see from my map I tried to put furrows around a few settlements.
mmmm.

Off the top of my head (and without gimp at hand) and if the scale is local enough....

Create a new gradient type that goes from white to black, but make sure you set the blend to be sinusoidal (the default blends are all linear).
Select the area's you want to be fields using the pen tool to make a straight edged selection.
Create a new transparent layer, and with the gradient tool, set it to triangular repeats, and fill the selection(s) with the gradient in the size desired for the row spacing. You can do it with different selection in different directions to make the furrows go different ways.

Use this as a base heightfield for:
-bumpmap (on a 50% grey level like everything else)
-colourmap (might have to create a brown-green gradient to represent the green crops on brown dirt.. a bit of pixel spread might work well on the colour after as well.. )

-Rob A>

nijineko
04-15-2008, 12:47 AM
i'm reinstalling gimp just to try this and the old paper tutorial out. =D thank you very much!

Dayzie
04-19-2008, 08:56 AM
Hey, this is brilliant. :) Being the insomniac that I am, I've been playing with this all night. I've never touched anything outside of paint, seeing as I have no artistic ability whatsoever, but this was very easy to follow. I've just hit the mountains and have run out of steam for now - but wanted to let you know that from a total newbie's perspective, this is a very well written tutorial.

E

ggdancer
05-08-2008, 07:34 PM
this is such a cool tutorial. I've been using Gimp for ages and this is one of the best tuts I've seen. It has inspired me to restart a project i started about 10 years ago. maybe i'll finish it now :)

RobA
05-08-2008, 09:23 PM
Thanks ggdancer!

Hope you share your results.

-Rob A>

Skycast
05-10-2008, 05:13 PM
This thread has inspired me to download GIMP and give it a try to make a map in this style. However I didn't get very far before hitting a bump in the road. Using the PDF as a reference, here's where I'm at:

Part 1, Page 8 - Created the "Land Noise" layer with clouds and changed the blend mode to overlay (I think I did that part right, but I'm not sure).

Part 1, Page 8,9 - Created the "Land Clip" layer and filled it with white using the bucket tool. Opened up COLORS > LEVELS and started changing the white output slider and nothing happened.

Obviously I've missed something here and being utterly new to GIMP it's not surprising. One question, when adding a new layer, what should the layer fill type be: foreground color, background color, white, or transparency? The only layer creation step that stipulated that part was the initial "Land" layer and it said transparency so I've created all my layers since there with that same type.

Thanks in advance...I'm eager to keep moving along with this experiement.

Xeviat
05-10-2008, 11:06 PM
It's possible you're playing with the wrong slider in the Levels. There's two bars, one for input and one for output. Check if you're fiddling with output. Oh, and that white layer should be set to "lighten" for its blend mode. That looks like the step you missed.

Skycast
05-11-2008, 10:41 AM
It's possible you're playing with the wrong slider in the Levels. There's two bars, one for input and one for output. Check if you're fiddling with output. Oh, and that white layer should be set to "lighten" for its blend mode. That looks like the step you missed.


I'm using the correct output slider, but I did miss changing the blend mode to lighten. I went back and did that with still no success. All I get is the layer going from white to gray to black when I adjust the slider, nothing underneath shows up.

jfrazierjr
05-12-2008, 10:18 AM
This thread has inspired me to download GIMP and give it a try to make a map in this style. However I didn't get very far before hitting a bump in the road. Using the PDF as a reference, here's where I'm at:

Part 1, Page 8 - Created the "Land Noise" layer with clouds and changed the blend mode to overlay (I think I did that part right, but I'm not sure).

Part 1, Page 8,9 - Created the "Land Clip" layer and filled it with white using the bucket tool. Opened up COLORS > LEVELS and started changing the white output slider and nothing happened.

Obviously I've missed something here and being utterly new to GIMP it's not surprising. One question, when adding a new layer, what should the layer fill type be: foreground color, background color, white, or transparency? The only layer creation step that stipulated that part was the initial "Land" layer and it said transparency so I've created all my layers since there with that same type.

Thanks in advance...I'm eager to keep moving along with this experiement.

Bottom Layer: Black with white where the land should be, and then blurred
Layer 2 (Noise): color does not matter since this is the noise layer. Mode should be overlay
Layer 3 (Clip): White layer with mode set to lighten only.

After your third layer, you then use the levels dialog to remove the solid white and it turns "grey" to black as you slide the output from right to left (whiter to darker). As the white goes down, it will reveal the "clouds" underneath on the grey/black background.

Hope that helps. Goodness knows, I have gotten a lot of practice with this since I got GIMP and this Tut. last week.

Joe

RobA
05-12-2008, 11:04 AM
Thanks Joe - that said it better than I could have :)

-Rob A>

DanChops
05-12-2008, 03:04 PM
RobA - Thanks for superb tutorial. I stumbled across the guild here a few months ago and have been itching to do this sort of map work, but have been at a complete loss as to how to start. This tutorial was exactly what I was looknig for. A very sincere thank you.

Here is my attempt so far at putting this tutorial in practice. This is my first go with GIMP (indeed, with any image editing software) so it took a bit of doing to get to this point. (i should note that this map is just a doodle - it's not intended to be realistic or usable at all.) By and large I'm quite please with where I've gotten so far, although I do have a number of problems.

The most glaring issue to me is that my mountains are simply too orange. I'm not really sure how to address that. I tried playing with the levels, but to no avail.

Another issue is that the edge of the forests seems too sharp. Perhaps I should do a larger gaussian blur on the "Forest Color" layer mask? (I think that's what it's called anyway - the cookie cutter template that limits the contents of the Forest Color layer to a certain area of the map.) That may work, I'll have to try it out tomorrow.

A final issue is that I'm not happy with the desert transistion in the north-east of the map. I suppose I could create a third layer with colors that would transition between the desert and grass layers - a "Sahel" layer as it were. Is there a better way to deal with this transition?

Anyway, thanks again for the tutorial!

RobA
05-12-2008, 04:41 PM
A blur (or spread filter) on the mask would probably help the forest blend a bit better.

To change the mountain colour, go into the mountain colour layer and use Colours->Hue-Saturation. This will let you shift the colours (using the hue slider) around the spectrum and decrease the colour intensity with the saturation and lightness sliders. Getting a good brown is always hard on computer screens...(at least for me...)

Nice first effort, though! Glad you found the tutorial useful.

-Rob A>

jfrazierjr
05-12-2008, 08:22 PM
A blur (or spread filter) on the mask would probably help the forest blend a bit better.

To change the mountain colour, go into the mountain colour layer and use Colours->Hue-Saturation. This will let you shift the colours (using the hue slider) around the spectrum and decrease the colour intensity with the saturation and lightness sliders. Getting a good brown is always hard on computer screens...(at least for me...)

Nice first effort, though! Glad you found the tutorial useful.

-Rob A>

heh.. so the update to clarify the mountain section is coming when? :P

Skycast
05-13-2008, 10:49 AM
Bottom Layer: Black with white where the land should be, and then blurred
Layer 2 (Noise): color does not matter since this is the noise layer. Mode should be overlay
Layer 3 (Clip): White layer with mode set to lighten only.

After your third layer, you then use the levels dialog to remove the solid white and it turns "grey" to black as you slide the output from right to left (whiter to darker). As the white goes down, it will reveal the "clouds" underneath on the grey/black background.

Hope that helps. Goodness knows, I have gotten a lot of practice with this since I got GIMP and this Tut. last week.

Joe

I have still got to be missing something PAINFULLY obvious, I'm following these steps closely and still can't get it to work. I've attached the file, can one of you fellas look at it?

Skycast
05-13-2008, 11:56 AM
After goofing around a bit more the only thing I see is that when setting the blend I only see a "LIGHTEN ONLY" option and not just a "LIGHTEN" option. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong there.

RobA
05-13-2008, 12:38 PM
Sorry to disappoint you Skycast, but the big issue is that your coastline already has as much "randomness" as you could expect to add with noise. The technique is designed to work with very smooth, general shapes, applying a large blur, and the noise gets added into the area of the blur. In your case, the blur is tiny (5 px or so) and the noise is just not fine enough to show up.

Beyond that, you missed setting the noise layer to overlay blend mode (but it doesn't really help here...)

You might be better off just getting a better detailed map of the area, alternately, Jump ahead to the shoreline section, and use that technique (a small positive, then negative displacement map using the same noise) to add some distortion to the shoreline.

Attached is an updated zip with the layer set how they should be (no real effect, for the reason's stated) along with a new layer I created by taking the blurred coast, thresholding it, then displacement mapping it twice so show what I meant.

Skycast
05-13-2008, 01:11 PM
Thanks Rob, I'm a long time CC2/3 user, but GIMP is brand new to me; I'll get there eventually! What post number in your PDF would you suggest I start at then?

RobA
05-13-2008, 01:20 PM
I guess I'm not sure exactly what you want to do...

This whole tutorial is based on my efforts to make a nice looking map from a vague idea, without having to draw anything :) as opposed to mapping based on a well defined area....

What are you hoping to end up with, and what is it for?

-Rob A>

Skycast
05-13-2008, 01:41 PM
I'm looking to produce a map similar to the one shown in the tutorial with the colors, textures, etc.

Thanin
05-14-2008, 10:37 AM
First off, as everyone else has said, this guide is brilliant. I was a complete Gimp newb, and still probably am, when I started working on these. But now I at least feel comfortable with the software.

Now, Ive been living with this guide for awhile now, using it to work on my maps when Ive had the free time. And Im pretty happy with what Ive done so far. The more complete map isnt finished yet -- Im still goofing around with text, testing things out. But Id like to know what you all think, and if you have the time maybe throw out some suggestions.

The other map is me trying to use this method to produce a more tundra/snow region. So again Id like to hear any feedback, positive or negative. Two of my main concerns are to keep the snow from looking like water and if the tundra/more grassy border is too abrupt.

jfrazierjr
05-14-2008, 11:01 AM
One thing that annoyed me was the pixelization when using the Noise->Spead filter on the mountains. I "just" last night found a solution that I prefer more that using this filter. Here is what I found and like: After adding the layer mask to the layers with the moutains on them, in the layers dialog box select the layer mask (right most icon) and run a G. Blur. I like somewhere around 100-200 px, but that depends quite a bit on the size/resolution of your original map. For a map with smaller height/width, smaller would probably be better, my map is like 3000x3600.

It really makes the mountain layer really blend into the underlying background (grass) much more smothly IMO and allows zooming in for more detail at a closer level before pixilization happens.

Thanin, if you have a layer mask for the tundra picture, you could try this technique to get a more natural looking blend from one layer to another, though I have no idea if it wil work or not.

Thanin
05-14-2008, 11:27 AM
Thanks jfrazierjr! I agree that, once I looked at the map in the jpg format, the spread filter was way too high, so I went back and readjusted all the masks to a lower setting. I also experimented with your mountain suggestion. I think Id like it for some mountains, but this specific map isn’t built for that look, unfortunately. Although I took your advice on the tundra and I think youre right, it integrates much better. Though I’ll probably go back and keep the snow/tundra part less blurry.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

jfrazierjr
05-14-2008, 11:45 AM
I have to say I really like how my suggestion turned out, even if you did not. Looking below the town of Pashvie, the blur created a nice "pass" type effect in the new copy while that area looked kind of odd in the original technique.

Also, I LOVE the mountain lake idea (and am trying to do something like that on my current map) but I can see how using my blur messed that up a bit. I am sure there is a way to fix that area a bit while keeping the rest of the blur area intact. I have been playing (though not perfected) creating multiple channels from the same selection and making each selection a bit different in size by changing the threshold and using a bit different blur for each. I am far from being artistically inclined, but I am just playing around with some ideas and trying to learn how GIMP works. The only problem with the approach of having multple maskes is that ones you merge mask and go past your undo buffer size, you can't get rid of it, so I have been playing with saving the file under multiple names to allow me to go back if needed.

Oh, and if you feel like playing with it, you could also try doing the same bluring thing on the dirt layer to make the dirt->grass transision a bit more naturual looking. Again, not sure how it would work (I have not gotten my latest map to have the dirt layer look good yet so skipped ahead) but give it a try if you like.

Over all, very nice map. The rivers look a bit blocky, but that might just be an artifact of saving to this format or the original map may not have been big enough. My only real complaint is that the city icons don't really match the map style. They are very pretty, but I would probably use overhead type views of the towns in some way as you have for the rest of the map. Not a big deal, just something to think about.

Thanin
05-14-2008, 12:02 PM
Man I think youve convinced me; the super blur on the mountains just might be the way to go. And I think I can save the mountain lake. As for the towns, theyre really just straight copies from CC3, so they arent that important... but Ill probably end up keeping them cause I spent so much freaking time putting a blur and bump map behind each one.

jfrazierjr
05-14-2008, 12:20 PM
The less blur you have on the mountains (perhaps 35-50 px or so) the more the details are going to stay somewhat sharp. Again, the amount of blur you use on the layer mask will go down the smaller you original map resolution is to make the same effect.


Personally (I keep finding more things that I like about it), the moutains above Mirkarna that got blured down into some nice hill things looks really cool. The blur actually made them "pop" a bit more as their own features instead of fading into the brown background as in the original.

Another thing I found was the river "peeking" through bits of Farileaf Forest. That's really a nice touch.

Joe

jfrazierjr
05-14-2008, 12:29 PM
Also, check out Rob's quick tutorial about how to create variable blurs in GIMP here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2016

I have not played with it, but I can see how this might be a way to make for some fairly precisely controled blurs for creating layer masks and blending two layers into each other.

Thanin
05-14-2008, 12:43 PM
Ahh another great tutorial by RobA on exactly what I was needing. Thanks for the heads up

su_liam
05-14-2008, 01:20 PM
Heheh... I thought the towns were made of love.

RobA
05-14-2008, 08:18 PM
Re: blur vs. spread...

I tried a lot of things, but found that blurring the mask often left the mountain edges too soft for my liking, hence the spread technique...but as said it really depends on the map. The last I made with this technique I kept blurring then spreading, then applying a mosaic filter then blurring some more...

I guess this is a bit more art then science :)

Glad you all liked the tutorial, and it is really nice to see people's efforts posted here!

-Rob A>

jfrazierjr
05-14-2008, 09:25 PM
I tried a lot of things, but found that blurring the mask often left the mountain edges too soft for my liking, hence the spread technique...but as said it really depends on the map. The last I made with this technique I kept blurring then spreading, then applying a mosaic filter then blurring some more...

Perhaps when you have a few minutes, you can post up few screenshots to show this technique.



Glad you all liked the tutorial, and it is really nice to see people's efforts posted here!


Your welcome. I even repped you for the tut. I am not very artistic, but I have learned quite a bit about GIMP from your tut's and playing around.

Joe

Lucjan
05-19-2008, 03:31 AM
My God, this is exactly the style of map I've been wanting to do, and the tutorial is amazing! :!::)

Much thanks to the fellow who spent so much time developing and writing this.

Azrof
05-19-2008, 02:56 PM
New to the site - I've been using Bryce with various results up until now. As a semi-artistic enthusiast, I've tried combining Bryce with PSP for years without really knowing how to do much successfully and recently broken down to using SnagIt! This tutorial has inspired me to work again on more artistic maps and more - shows me which directions to go.

Thank you very much.

As an aside (let the questions fly!):

Would importing an existing Bryce or similar 3D image work with this process, or would it be too much effort? (I'm thinking the existing 3D shapes would cause visual collision in the methods referenced here).

ravells
05-19-2008, 05:00 PM
Sorry, which tutorial and process are you referring to?

Azrof
05-20-2008, 12:01 AM
Sorry, which tutorial and process are you referring to?

Ah, the use of GIMP indicated in this tutorial.

Azrof
05-20-2008, 12:38 AM
I get to this point...


Now Invert the selection (Select->Invert), create a new black layer called “Land Mask”
and fill the selection with white. Now save the selection to a Channel (Select->Save to
Channel) and rename the channel to “Land Mask”. This will be used a fit bit later.

To make the ocean/water (and the base contour for the land as well) a two layer variant of
the three layer sandwich will be used.
Copy the “Land Mask” Layer, and rename it “Sea Shape”. Apply a Gaussian Blur
(Filter->Blue->Gaussian Blur) large enough to eliminate the absolute black and whites
of the image. In this case, I used the same size as the image (500px).

1: I don't see a black layer? When I make it a "Back" layer - it turns out white and when I copy the layer...it's just white...so when I blur it, nothing happens?

Thoughts?

RobA
05-20-2008, 08:56 AM
I get to this point...



1: I don't see a black layer? When I make it a "Back" layer - it turns out white and when I copy the layer...it's just white...so when I blur it, nothing happens?

Thoughts?

Create a new layer that is completely filled with black.
Fill the current selection with white. You should now have a B&W picture, with the land white and the water black.

With the land still selected, save the selection as a channel.

Select None.

Duplicate the B&W layer.

(continue)

Hope that clarifies things.

-Rob A>

RobA
05-20-2008, 09:11 AM
Would importing an existing Bryce or similar 3D image work with this process, or would it be too much effort? (I'm thinking the existing 3D shapes would cause visual collision in the methods referenced here).

Many of the techniques (cloud rendering, etc.) are just ways to create moderately decent looking heightfields. You should be able to export any bryce image as a heightfield image an use in place of any of those.

The only problem would be the 8 bit limit in GIMP leading to stairstep terrain, having only 256 possible values...

-Rob A>

Karro
06-02-2008, 03:04 PM
Okay, so stupid questions time:

1: I know at the beginning this is labeled as a regional map technique, not appropriate for whole world maps and not for local maps. But what, generally, do you consider the scale of this map (as in comparitive size to a region on real-world earth, or miles/km)

2. In obtaining some randomness to a coastline, what would the best method be to obtain such geographic features as barrier islands be... and at what scale would these even be features a map would normally show?

I was considering taking a fairly specific regional map, scaling it up to a very high pixel density (to within several thousands by several thousands) then using this method on a high blur that maintains the general shape to attempt to draw out some interesting geographic features like barrier islands within that framework, then scaling back down to a slightly smaller number of pixels while hopefully retaining those features. I haven't tried it yet. The idea is to take something like England or Nova Scotia or a similar regional area that on a world map is relatively small, but when viewed closely has tons of very interesting geographic features, including outlying islands that are too small to get picked up on the world map. Would this work, you think, for taking a general shape from a world map to produce a more detailed regional map?

RobA
06-02-2008, 03:59 PM
Okay, so stupid questions time:

1: I know at the beginning this is labeled as a regional map technique, not appropriate for whole world maps and not for local maps. But what, generally, do you consider the scale of this map (as in comparitive size to a region on real-world earth, or miles/km)

Mentally, I was scaling things to be in the 5px/km range. So a 800x800 map would be around 160km (ish). But as mentioned, the textures can be scaled up or down appropriately.



2. In obtaining some randomness to a coastline, what would the best method be to obtain such geographic features as barrier islands be... and at what scale would these even be features a map would normally show?

I was considering taking a fairly specific regional map, scaling it up to a very high pixel density (to within several thousands by several thousands) then using this method on a high blur that maintains the general shape to attempt to draw out some interesting geographic features like barrier islands within that framework, then scaling back down to a slightly smaller number of pixels while hopefully retaining those features. I haven't tried it yet. The idea is to take something like England or Nova Scotia or a similar regional area that on a world map is relatively small, but when viewed closely has tons of very interesting geographic features, including outlying islands that are too small to get picked up on the world map. Would this work, you think, for taking a general shape from a world map to produce a more detailed regional map?

I show one technique in this thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1397) for progressively adding coastline detail. A similar technique could be used for adding detail to areas: rivers/lakes/borders, etc.

-Rob A>

delgondahntelius
06-03-2008, 06:21 AM
just over 9,000 views.... does this make it the top viewed post ?? I don't remember seeing another higher .... you go YoDa ... make the thread Explode when you 10K .... :D

Karro
06-03-2008, 10:18 AM
Mentally, I was scaling things to be in the 5px/km range. So a 800x800 map would be around 160km (ish). But as mentioned, the textures can be scaled up or down appropriately.



I show one technique in this thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1397) for progressively adding coastline detail. A similar technique could be used for adding detail to areas: rivers/lakes/borders, etc.

-Rob A>

I saw this before, but I forgot about it before posting. I should really look before opening my mouth and asking stupid questions...

Thanks man! I'd give you more rep (I don't even know if mine counts yet), but it tells me I need to spread it around a little first...

dhalsimrocks
06-11-2008, 11:35 PM
This tutorial is just beyond outstanding. It was quite literally EXACTLY what I was looking for. See, I'm a Linux user, and as such, the most readily available image software is GIMP. However, I never had a moment's thought that I might find a tutorial this thorough, SPECIFICALLY for the GIMP. I'm blown away.

A huge "Thank you!" (and some rep) goes out to RobA for taking the time to make this extraordinary guide.

Not only is it going to be a godsend for my map making, but it has taught me a lot about using GIMP that I'm sure I can apply to other tasks.

Now, I got a chance to play around with these techniques this evening, and I must say, the results are very satisfactory. I'm still just practicing, so I haven't done any editing on my current map project, but I've gotten the hang of it and even added my own technique.

I made a mountain range and decided I wanted snow caps on the tallest peaks. So I made a new layer by copying the uncolored/greyscale mountain range (let's call it "Snow"). I then used the magic wand with a very high tolerance and clicked in the dark "non mountainous area", so everything but the lightest colors were selected. I inverted the selection, created a new layer, saved the selection to a channel and created a mask. I then applied that mask to the "Snow" layer", reduced the opacity to about 90% and this was the result:

NOTE: when I made this, I had no internet connection and was doing this from memory and I couldn't remember how to do the heightfield.

4285

jfrazierjr
06-12-2008, 08:48 AM
Looks pretty nice. You may also want to take a look a Karro's WIP thread as he took (yet another ) of RobA's tutotial techniques to make his mountains and the results are quite good I must say. It all depends on the style you are looking for. I would highly suggest looking up DanChops technique in his WIP thread for the forests, using plasma noise. The results are great.

Open a new thread and keep posting your WIP's up for everyone to see!

Joe

Karro
06-12-2008, 09:32 AM
--snip--


My sentiments exactly!


--snip the sequel--

RobA's other mountain tutorial is here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=594).

I demonstrate the results of RobA's other mountain tutorial here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=21393&postcount=16), then make my own adjustments to the process here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=21394&postcount=17).

DanChop's forest ideas can be found in this thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2087&page=2) starting at post 18.

jfrazierjr
06-12-2008, 04:22 PM
Thanks for posting the direct links Karro.. I just did not have the time to search when replying as I was on the way out the door.

Joe

Karro
06-12-2008, 09:39 PM
I was deadly bored at work. This was more fun.

Karro
06-12-2008, 09:42 PM
Looks pretty nice. You may also want to take a look a Karro's WIP thread as he took (yet another ) of RobA's tutotial techniques to make his mountains and the results are quite good I must say. It all depends on the style you are looking for. I would highly suggest looking up DanChops technique in his WIP thread for the forests, using plasma noise. The results are great.

Open a new thread and keep posting your WIP's up for everyone to see!

Joe

I'd also like to point out that Joe, I'm guessing through modesty, neglected to point out his own efforts (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2098)at producing mountain ranges, which by the end are fantastic looking. (Joe... the public wants to know, when are you doing a tutorial on those?)

jfrazierjr
06-12-2008, 10:54 PM
I'd also like to point out that Joe, I'm guessing through modesty, neglected to point out his own efforts (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2098)at producing mountain ranges, which by the end are fantastic looking. (Joe... the public wants to know, when are you doing a tutorial on those?)

:o <blush>

Thanks Karro, that means a ton. I was hoping to get it done this past weekend but stuff come up. Also, I have been thinking of how to do my part of the World building project, but am having a bit of trouble figuring out the style since around 85% of the tile is mountains and I have quite a few things I want to pack into the map so real estate is a real issue. Side view hand drawn mountains are out just because then I could not fit anything except into the small bit of clear areas.

I hope I can get some time this weekend or next and throw something together. Also, I have been playing a lot the past few weeks with various minor alterations to the technique to see which I like best and is easiest and I am still having trouble making up my mind. What I will probably do is go with one alternative and maybe make a few quick side screenshots to show a few variations at different stages and how they changes the final result.

Joe

Karro
06-13-2008, 12:42 PM
--snips the good news--
Joe

That's excellent! I look forward to seeing it!

megabyter5
06-17-2008, 08:13 PM
I got to post nine before I realized everything was purple for some reason. Does this work with the newest version of GIMP?

jfrazierjr
06-17-2008, 08:40 PM
I got to post nine before I realized everything was purple for some reason. Does this work with the newest version of GIMP?

Yep. There are a few things that might need to be cleared up, but it does you started. Save a copy as a .jpg file, start a new thread, and upload so we can check out your progress and help from there.

Joe

RobA
06-17-2008, 09:32 PM
I got to post nine before I realized everything was purple for some reason. Does this work with the newest version of GIMP?

2.4 and up...

Like Joe said, post a sample (in a new thread, please....this one is getting way big) and we'll try and help you along.

-Rob A>

megabyter5
06-18-2008, 09:11 PM
Strangely, I downloaded the colors file to exactly where it said to, but nothing happened. Does it matter that I had to MAKE a palette folder where it said it would be?

Steel General
06-19-2008, 10:07 AM
HI all, I've been trying to follow this tutorial (which has been great up to this point), and I have hit a snag. I am confused by the following step...


Now we want to create a heightfield from this. The easiest way I have found to do this is to copy the current visible image (Edit->Copy Visible) then paste it (CTRL-V) to a floating selection. Click the New Layer button to get it on its own layer rather than a floating layer. Now stretch the colour range out (Color->Auto->Normalize):


What layer should I be making a copy of?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Steel General
06-19-2008, 10:09 AM
Strangely, I downloaded the colors file to exactly where it said to, but nothing happened. Does it matter that I had to MAKE a palette folder where it said it would be?

I found I had to manually add the palette even after extracting it to the appropriate location. Go to the palettes menu and IMPORT PALETTE

RobA
06-19-2008, 10:15 AM
Strangely, I downloaded the colors file to exactly where it said to, but nothing happened. Does it matter that I had to MAKE a palette folder where it said it would be?

As far as I can remember, gimp should have set up the directories.....

Did you put it in the install path directory, or in the user directory?

-Rob A>

megabyter5
06-19-2008, 05:26 PM
Er... I opened the ZIP file and extracted it to the (newly created) palette folder.

EDIT: Didn't notice the other guy's post. I got it now.

Ambroise
06-20-2008, 04:21 PM
I also am having troubles at this stage. I ma getting to this point then get confused with your layers and masks. The pasting of the new layer is about where I get lost then my screen doesnt match you posts.
Any input would be helpfull.

RobA
06-20-2008, 07:02 PM
HI all, I've been trying to follow this tutorial (which has been great up to this point), and I have hit a snag. I am confused by the following step...


What layer should I be making a copy of?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Edit->Copy Visible will make a copy of the image, exactly as you see it (with all the layers). It is kind of like flattening the image into one layer then copying that into a new layer.

Ambroise - I hope that helps you, too.

-Rob A>

Steel General
06-22-2008, 08:12 AM
Edit->Copy Visible will make a copy of the image, exactly as you see it (with all the layers). It is kind of like flattening the image into one layer then copying that into a new layer.

Ambroise - I hope that helps you, too.

-Rob A>

Thanks Rob, I forgot to post that I had got it worked out.

A. Smith
06-25-2008, 03:02 PM
Rob, you are my hero. (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?p=24037#post24037)

angellus00
06-25-2008, 04:42 PM
Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I've been looking for a step by step to do something like this for AGES!! Thank you x100000

Here is the first map I made using this tutorial.

JadeEliott
06-26-2008, 09:24 PM
Rob,

Awesome tute. I, like others are completely new to Gimp and was using Microsoft Publisher before this! (Don't laugh.)

I have gotten to the mountains stage and the directions are becomig a bit "ragged" so that I am having a hard time keeping up. I am stuck here:


Use the magic wand again to select the non-mountain area (like with the land) and create a new layer called “Mountains Mask” with a white on black. (Also the white colour selection as a new selection mask using Select->Save to Channel).

What does "with a white on black" mean?

What does the second sentence mean? How specifically do I do this?

In the land mask step, you selected then inverted the selection. Do I do the same here? Otherwise, my mask ends up with the mountains black instead of white like the land mass was?

I have repped you for this tute, it is very helpful!

My only complaint is how your directions started out very clear and step by step and then degraded, skipping key points or assuming the reader would know what you meant. Like you just wanted to be finished and rushed (which you probably did just want to be finished after all that work!)

Thanks for any help you can give.

jfrazierjr
06-26-2008, 10:05 PM
Rob,

Awesome tute. I, like others are completely new to Gimp and was using Microsoft Publisher before this! (Don't laugh.)

I have gotten to the mountains stage and the directions are becomig a bit "ragged" so that I am having a hard time keeping up. I am stuck here:



What does "with a white on black" mean?
Create a new layer. Make it black. reduce the opacity down enough so you can see the underlying land shape. This will allow you to know where you need to make your mountains (so you don't put any into the ocean for example.) Where you want the mountains to be, you draw in some white, making sure to fill the entire "insides".

Se second part, just like with the land is to invert the selection and the do the save to Channel under the "Selection" menu. This should switch you over to the "Channels" tab (you will need to switch back to the layer tab) Make SURE that the areas that are white are in the correct locations on the little thumbnail icon. If not , you forgot to invert the selection.

Joe

RobA
06-27-2008, 10:20 AM
My only complaint is how your directions started out very clear and step by step and then degraded, skipping key points or assuming the reader would know what you meant. Like you just wanted to be finished and rushed (which you probably did just want to be finished after all that work!)

Somewhat guilty as charged. I intentionally decided NOT repeat the details whenever I used a similar technique, figuring people could just reference back.

I believe jfrazierjr provided a great answer... hopefully that will get you through the step.

Alternatively, there is a somewhat nicer mountain technique described here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=594)(and stf for more) that I would suggest using in place. (There is also a link to a video tutorial).

-Rob A>

-Rob A>

Carto
07-16-2008, 03:05 PM
I just love your tutorial!!! It´s amazing!!!!

Here is the map I created (hope you like it)

jfrazierjr
07-16-2008, 05:29 PM
I just love your tutorial!!! It´s amazing!!!!

Here is the map I created (hope you like it)

Welcome to the Guild Carto! Not bad for your first attempt. I know Rob has a few updates (or a new one) for this since he and others have come up with several new techniques since this was first created 8 months ago. You may want to search the forums in the past 3 months as there have been a lot of attempts by various people who have used this as a base and made some really nice results.

Also, feel free to post up your works in progress in the future!

Joe

nolgroth
07-18-2008, 05:49 PM
I just love your tutorial!!! It´s amazing!!!!

Here is the map I created (hope you like it)I like it. Not that I'm RobA, but I still felt compelled to answer. ;)

RobA
07-19-2008, 04:33 PM
Nice job Carto! You managed the forest exactly as I tried to explain, something a lot of people seem to trip over.

Thanks for sharing the results!

-Rob A>

Phynix
07-27-2008, 01:52 AM
Im having one major problem on the step that first tells you to apply a Gradient Map to the Sea layer, to color it blue. I have the correct two blue colors chosen, but when I tell it to apply the map, it turns into a red>green>blue gradient, instead of dark blue>light blue. I cant seem to resolve this myself... did I change some option somewhere?

I also tested this on a new file by making one, adding clouds, and trying the gradient map there, to see if some odd combination of layering was throwing my colors off, but I still got the wacky unintended color scheme from the gradient : /

nolgroth
07-27-2008, 04:47 AM
I was just playing around with using Channels as Masks and I noticed a couple of things. One, if all of the Channels are not activated or selected, it does some weird stuff with Gradient Maps. Also, if you used existing Channels to create new ones, it does some weird stuff.

Try just to have a "virgin" RGB channel set up to see what Happens. Make sure the Red Green and Blue Channels are all active and highlighted. Don't worry about the Land Mask. It shouldn't be causing any problems. If that isn't the problem, I don't know what is wrong. You may try checking the Layer Mode to make sure it isn't set to something weird.

Here is what mine looks like.

RobA
07-27-2008, 09:45 AM
@Phynix - In the normal gradient options you can choose the gradient to go between the two endpoint colours around the hue, or directly. This might be respected in the gradient map (sorry, no gimp handy today).

@Nolgroth - If you don't have all the channels selected anything you do will only apply to the selected channel. I.E. if only blue is selected and you fill with a pattern, it will only fill the blue component, even once all channels are selected later. Useful for a few things, annoying for most other if you de-select one channel unintentionally :P

-Rob A>

Phynix
07-27-2008, 10:24 AM
@Phynix - In the normal gradient options you can choose the gradient to go between the two endpoint colours around the hue, or directly. This might be respected in the gradient map (sorry, no gimp handy today).
:
Try just to have a "virgin" RGB channel set up to see what Happens. Make sure the Red Green and Blue Channels are all active and highlighted. Don't worry about the Land Mask. It shouldn't be causing any problems. If that isn't the problem, I don't know what is wrong. You may try checking the Layer Mode to make sure it isn't set to something weird.

Cant explain it, but today I tried again (just selecting the colors from the palette again, and telling it to apply the gradient map) and it worked. No idea what was wrong... but maybe I was messing something up from tiredness, 'cause it was late at night. :?:

Thanks for the response so quickly though, it was nice to see I wasnt ignored or something.

(And hello everyone, new to the forums:))

Ascension
07-27-2008, 10:56 AM
Oh, we never ignore anyone here. This is probably one of the more helpful forums around. Even if we don't know what the heck we're talking about (like me) we always try to help out or give a pointer or 2 or 5 :)

l3eater
08-08-2008, 07:22 PM
Now the noise layer (I used detail 8 and size of and set the blend mode to multiply. Then add a third layer (remember the TLS) as a clipping layer, and use the levels dialog to bring it down to show the mountains you want Here is the screen showing the three layers

Can you tell me in more detail about this step? thank you.

bryguy
08-09-2008, 07:29 AM
Can you tell me in more detail about this step? thank you.


I would like to know more about this step also. I use solid noise alot, and what your saying makes no sense. or is it since? i dont know which to use for this...

anyways, your saying to use a detail 8 and size of 8 if im correct, but i have never seen a blend mode on it. Are you just talking about the layer modes?

Steel General
08-09-2008, 08:30 AM
haven't used GIMP in about a month... IIRC the detail and size settings are for the cloud layer...

I hope I have this correct. The third layer is set initially to all white and then you use the 'levels' adjustments to "unhide" the mountains. Similar to what you do in Step 4 earlier in the tutorial.

l3eater
08-09-2008, 02:51 PM
I would like to know more about this step also. I use solid noise alot, and what your saying makes no sense. or is it since? i dont know which to use for this...

anyways, your saying to use a detail 8 and size of 8 if im correct, but i have never seen a blend mode on it. Are you just talking about the layer modes?

That is want i think he is trying to say, i've tried that and the result was similar the the image



Edit: I finished creating a mountain!

http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/1859/70597361jd1.th.jpg (http://img208.imageshack.us/my.php?image=70597361jd1.jpg)

I just need to know, on Post 12, when you have to do another G.Blur, does it stay the same as in 50 px blur or is it up to you?

Grizou
10-03-2008, 05:32 AM
Hi there,
just registered here a few days ago after i found this tutorial via google. It's really great! I had some problems with some things (i have the german GIMP, and some features are hard to translate ^^). But i think i managed most of it :)


Nice job Carto! You managed the forest exactly as I tried to explain, something a lot of people seem to trip over.
...
-Rob A>
I think I am one of these peple :(
I just don't get a nice colour, already tried various things, an now i am already closer to your example, bit not close enough ^^. Either its too shiny or to matt/dull :( or just the "wrong" green ;)

RobA
10-03-2008, 11:54 AM
Try using the colours->hue/saturation dialog to get the green you want.

-Rob A>

heathan666
10-12-2008, 04:30 PM
I have to say I just started using gimp and did what me and my friends thought was a pretty decent map...but I just have to say, "Whoa". This is freakin' saweet tutorial and I'm actually redoin' the map so I can make it the way I wanted to.

heathan666
10-12-2008, 11:40 PM
ok my first attempt at layering...I'm not happy with it, but hey first time this is actually a world map for my 4th Edition game, I got alot of stuff I have to add, I can only hope that I make it look as good as your stuff does there man. Its still a work in progress but here's a before and after shot...lol...I think I need to redo the mountains......just delete and start from scratch.

BEFORE TUTORIAL:
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d139/twelvedrunkenmonkeyz/worldmapkingdoms.png

AFTER TUTORIAL:
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d139/twelvedrunkenmonkeyz/worldmapkingdomstest.png

RobA
10-13-2008, 09:31 AM
Looks nice!

Mountains are always the hardest thing to get looking good. There are a few other posts on mountains. Try searching the tutorial forum for gimp+mountain and you should get a few additional ideas.

-Rob A>

Karro
10-13-2008, 12:10 PM
ok my first attempt at layering...I'm not happy with it, but hey first time this is actually a world map for my 4th Edition game, I got alot of stuff I have to add, I can only hope that I make it look as good as your stuff does there man. Its still a work in progress but here's a before and after shot...lol...I think I need to redo the mountains......just delete and start from scratch.



Just wanted to point out: it looks like your coastline changed a bit from the original version to RobA's GIMP Tutorial Version. I imagine this is due to the fractalizing the coastline steps right in the beginning: i.e. using the 3-layer-sandwich and the cloud fill to make a rough and jaggedy coastline.

I thought I'd mention that if you were particularly liked your old coastline (which already looked reasonably jaggedy and fractalized, imho), then it's perfectly possible to sort of skip these early steps on RobA's tutorial and move to the later steps (the sea, etc.) To do this, however, you'd need to convert your existing coastline into a black-and-white layer (white land, black ocean).

You can do this several different ways, probably. It looks like you already have a black line for the coast. You can probably use the Wand-select tool to select the ocean and, on a new layer, fill it with black. (You should be able to select all the ocean blues by changing the settings on the wand tool.) This should fill black up to the same point at which your coastal line begins. Then, you just invert your selection and fill the rest with white. If you've done this all on a different layer, you'll still have the original you can use as a guide.

jfrazierjr
10-13-2008, 03:46 PM
Tis sad to see such a wonderful tutorial which has close to 20000 (that's right!!!) in less than a year and yet it only have 13 rating votes. RATE THIS THREAD PEOPLE!!! please???

Steel General
10-13-2008, 04:24 PM
Tis sad to see such a wonderful tutorial which has close to 20000 (that's right!!!) in less than a year and yet it only have 13 rating votes. RATE THIS THREAD PEOPLE!!! please???

Duly noted and now rated.

sivilark
10-18-2008, 11:02 PM
I'm not even sure if the owner of this thread is online, but I saw the map and I was baffled so I decided to follow it and was doing pretty good until I got to the mountains... It's soo random? I finished with the dirt part... but I got lost after that.

jfrazierjr
10-18-2008, 11:15 PM
I'm not even sure if the owner of this thread is online, but I saw the map and I was baffled so I decided to follow it and was doing pretty good until I got to the mountains... It's soo random? I finished with the dirt part... but I got lost after that.


What exactly has you troubled with the mountains?

sivilark
10-18-2008, 11:30 PM
Well, first off it kind of started with the black background and the mountains outlined and i was lost in the transition actually.

I read the side note that said it was similar to the land making, but I'm a little slow with tuts and I need to really study them before I can get the whole thing down.

jfrazierjr
10-19-2008, 01:02 AM
Well, first off it kind of started with the black background and the mountains outlined and i was lost in the transition actually.

I read the side note that said it was similar to the land making, but I'm a little slow with tuts and I need to really study them before I can get the whole thing down.


The best thing to do is to attack an image of what you have and let us know exactly where in the tutorial you are (page number if following the PDF file, or post number and section if following the thread itself). We will be glad to help you get over the hump.

RPMiller
10-19-2008, 03:29 AM
The best thing to do is to attack an image...
I don't know that attacking the image is really the right thing to do. ;)

sivilark
10-19-2008, 08:43 AM
Pardon for the slow reply.

When I first began to read this I got lost because all of the sudden the blurry shape of the mountain was already done, and I'm not sure how he actually made it.

Post 11:Let There be Mountains

The technique for making the mountains is very similar to that of making the land. Because we have an idea for a map, we will start in this case by sketching a blurred representation of where they should be. Otherwise, just use one of the random techniques:

Create a new layer “Mountains”. Fill in white for the general areas of the mountain ranges, and apply a 50 px (or so) Gaussian blur. It is helpful to keep the original sketch on top with reduced opacity to act as a guide. Don’t worry about going in to the sea, because we can we can erase those areas later:
1485

Now the noise layer (I used detail 8 and size of 8) and set the blend mode to multiply. Then add a third layer (remember the TLS) as a clipping layer, and use the levels dialog to bring it down to show the mountains you want Here is the screen showing the three layers
1486

Use the magic wand again to select the non-mountain area (like with the land) and create a new layer called “Mountains Mask” with a white on black. (Also the white colour selection as a new selection mask using Select->Save to Channel).

Now we want to create a heightfield from this. The easiest way I have found to do this is to copy the current visible image (Edit->Copy Visible) then paste it (CTRL-V) to a floating selection. Click the New Layer button to get it on its own layer rather than a floating layer. Now stretch the colour range out (Color->Auto->Normalize):
1487

Rename this layer to “mountain colour”. Make a duplicate and call it “mountain bump map”. Now set the foreground colour to “lowest dirt” and the background colour to “highest dirt”, and on the “mountain colour” layer, do a Color->Map->Gradient Map.
1488

Normalize the colours (Colors->Auto->Normalize) and add a layer mask, using the mountain mask channel. (Note, the Dirt layer was turned of in this image by accident).
1489

This is what my lap looks like currently.

A little noobish I know, but I'll get better with practice.

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p304/Lone_Hunta/Soul%20Stone/Rowen.png

jfrazierjr
10-19-2008, 01:49 PM
I don't know that attacking the image is really the right thing to do. ;)

:P:P:P

I think it is entirely acceptable when you get frustrated!

jfrazierjr
10-19-2008, 02:03 PM
Pardon for the slow reply.

When I first began to read this I got lost because all of the sudden the blurry shape of the mountain was already done, and I'm not sure how he actually made it.


This is what my lap looks like currently.

A little noobish I know, but I'll get better with practice.

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p304/Lone_Hunta/Soul%20Stone/Rowen.png


Would a short video using your existing landform help? If so, let me know and I will "try" to bang one out tonight (though it may be somewhat largish in the 50MB range)

RobA
10-19-2008, 03:50 PM
Pardon for the slow reply.

When I first began to read this I got lost because all of the sudden the blurry shape of the mountain was already done, and I'm not sure how he actually made it.


Hi-

I read through the steps, and am not sure what you mean above... "the blurry shape of the mountain was already done"...

Go through a step at a time and tell me where things are different than in the tutorial, ok?

-Rob A>

sivilark
10-19-2008, 08:31 PM
I got it working never mind.

I had to go back to the first part of the tutorial to make my mountain range.

sorry >.>

sivilark
10-25-2008, 10:53 PM
Let it be known that even a noob can make maps with this guide.

I skipped some stuff since I'm just plain tired of not knowing how to do everything, (I'll get the hang of it later.)

Heres my improvised map with a key:

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p304/Lone_Hunta/Soul%20Stone/cel-dro.png

(ignore anything that sounds too weird. Its for my rpg.)
Index
I. Cities(Black)
.....A. Rubious
......B. Cyclos
......C. Generia
......D. Levitha
......E. Solovis
......F. Tritam
….G. Dissidia
….H. Cryous

II. Geography(Red)
.....A. Sinking Desert
.....B. Hyperian Sea
.....C. Gulf of Celestia
.....D. Celestia Mountain Range
.....E. Eos Lake
.....F. Dolphin Peninsula
.....G. Phoenix Beach


III. Special Locations ()


I.Cities
A. Rubious: Emissary city for the fire nation, Ember. A place where any Ember native will be reminded of his/her home country. Found on dolphin's peninsula, it's a rather exciting place. Flamboyant colors rule the streets and parades are monthly. Rather suiting for the typical wild nature of A fire soulston wielder.


B. Cyclos: Emissary city for the wind nation, Aeria. Its elegant buildings almost seem aerodynamic, like the city might lift itself of the ground. Found on the Great Planes where the breeze passes periodically. The people here might seem rather mysterious, but the city recieves plenty of travelers looking for exotic items.


C. Generia: Emissary city for the earth nation, Harthen. Home away from home. Found on the great Celestia mountain range. Usually a buzz of miners, hard workers are a dime a dozen. Many crystals and ores are constantly brought from within the mountain range. Even soulstones are found on rare occasions, probably left behind by careless travelers. The city is filled with hearty Harthenians and the occasional band of petty thieves.


D. Levitha: Emissary city for the water nation, Aquarius. Found near all the region's most important port cities. The best sailors use their soulstones to gain extraspeed on the dangerous deep waters. Also home of the best fishers. Thanks to their control over water, taking water from the fish is an easy task. The people here are gentle faced. Although they have a very simple look in their city, they do not lack in technology. Their always searching for the fabled city of Atlantis under the Hyperian sea.


E. Solovis: Directly across Tritam, this dea treade route is the quickest to travel from Celestia to Drome and viceversa. Solovis has been known to have smugglers trying to sell unathourized merchandise in Celestia.


F. Tritam: It is considered the older brother of Solovis. Though not as corrupt it, it represents Solovis on a much larger scale. This port city is home to the finest goods from Drome.

G. Dissidia – Capital of Celestia

H. Cryous – Capital of Drome

II.Geography
A. Sinking Desert: This desert is rumored to swallow anything brave enough to step on it. Scientists have observed it and their final analysis was that the whole desert was made of quicksand. Once a thriving forest it was drained of all its riches by the Drome government.


B. Hyperian Sea: A sea not unlike any other. Its fauna thrive in crystal clear water and the great coral reefs. Of course this sea where various lake monsters have been "spotted". Rumor has it that these lake monsters were born from soulstones of seamen that never went through a proper burial. Therefore never entering the lifestream. It also offers the most direct route between Celestia and Drome.


C. Gulf of Celestia: Gulf busy with fishermen.


D. Celestia Mountain Range: Huge mountain range in the north of Celestia. In it there are plenty of small dwarf mining villages along with the dangers of the mountain.


E. Eos Lake/River: Thousands of years old, this lake is nothing, but water. Thanks to Celestian care the lake has survived this long with very few contamination of the lake itself. Eos river flows into Eos lake from the Celestian Mountain Range and then flows back out to empty itself in the Hyperian sea.


F. Dolphin Peninsula: Strangely representing a dolphin, archeologists have searched for many reasons to why the peninsula is shaped by so. Coincidence or man made?


G. Phoenix Beach: Although the name seems attractive enough to draw tourists upon tourists, the heat in the beach is infernal. Usually the only creatures that manage to survive there are Seraphines with a former fire soulstone.

jfrazierjr
10-25-2008, 11:05 PM
Violation... Lakes will rarely have two or more outlets and over time one will win out and the other one will run dry. Fix that up and you have a nice start..

sivilark
10-25-2008, 11:08 PM
I have a special lake? lol

I pretty much need the multiple outlets for the rpg.

Ascension
10-26-2008, 09:57 AM
This is actually quite nice for a first go. It seems to me that the tuts helped and you certainly understand the process...now to go forth and tinker with it and create your own style is the challenge. Nice job.

JrFan88
11-02-2008, 06:44 AM
After giving the tut several shots, I have come here to vent my frustration and/or cluelessness (?)......

I have followed the tutorial step-by-step, trying to make sure I haven't missed anything, and yet I run up against the same stone wall time and again. Everything goes more or less peachy until I get to the "grass" level; when I apply the gradient map, the thumbnail shows the color layer, but the main window doesn't. If I start hiding layers, the color finally shows up, but goes away again as soon as I make the other layers visible again. There must be something that I'm missing, but I cannot figger out what in billy-blue hell it is. Has anyone else had this cunundrum? Or am I hallucinating?

jfrazierjr
11-02-2008, 09:23 AM
After giving the tut several shots, I have come here to vent my frustration and/or cluelessness (?)......

I have followed the tutorial step-by-step, trying to make sure I haven't missed anything, and yet I run up against the same stone wall time and again. Everything goes more or less peachy until I get to the "grass" level; when I apply the gradient map, the thumbnail shows the color layer, but the main window doesn't. If I start hiding layers, the color finally shows up, but goes away again as soon as I make the other layers visible again. There must be something that I'm missing, but I cannot figger out what in billy-blue hell it is. Has anyone else had this cunundrum? Or am I hallucinating?

Take a screenshot that shows your image and your layers dialog window and post up here. In case you don't know how:


Make sure it's all visible on the screen and then press the Print Screen button on your keyboard (it will look like nothing happened).
On your image go to Edit->Paste As->New Image
Save the image as a .jpeg
On the forum in reply, find the icon on the menu that looks like a paperclip. If you don't see it, you may have to click the "Go Advanced" button.
This opens a popup window where you can upload an image file
Finish your post and submit.

JrFan88
11-02-2008, 01:33 PM
OK, here it is, hope someone can help. I mean, I think alles en ordnung (my bad HS German).

jfrazierjr
11-02-2008, 02:56 PM
OK, here it is, hope someone can help. I mean, I think alles en ordnung (my bad HS German).

Unfortunatly, I don't have the tutorial in front of me at the moment, but double check your layer order AND the modes RobA told you to set layers to. The way this works is that layers HIGHER are on top and thus any colors on those layers will "cover" the layers below them, in this case, your sea and seashore layers are above the grass, and thus they "cover" the grass color. There are ways to keep the layer order the same as you have here but let the higher layers "come through" either via layer modes (the slider at the top) or via a layer mask(where in the mask, what is white on the mask allows that to show through and what is black is hidden.) Carefully go back over the turorial from the creation of the land through where the displacement map is applied to make sure you have them in the right order. If nothing else, you can manually change the order of the layers by dragging and dropping in the layers dialog window.

As an aside, if you want to learn how masks work, please visit my tutorial on layer masks in GIMP (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3143), when you get some time as learning proper use of layer masks will go a long way toward making your maps better and easier to make to boot.

JrFan88
11-02-2008, 03:33 PM
WELL DUUUHHH!!!!! :? That makes perfect sense, which is probably why I didn't think of it. :roll: Far too simple of a solution, so simple, a ten year-old could have figgered out ( but lacking a 10yo, it was beyond my meager brain power). Thank you, jfrazierjr, the gradient map worked perfectly after I re-ordered the layers; just like RobA intended.

Thanx for the quick response and help, and I'll be sure to take a look at the tutorial you mentioned. The mysteries of GIMP had eluded me until I started reading the tutorial posts; I ain't a pro yet, but with all the help I've gotten, I just might get there yet (God willin' and th' crick don't rise!).

jfrazierjr
11-02-2008, 04:06 PM
WELL DUUUHHH!!!!! :? That makes perfect sense, which is probably why I didn't think of it. :roll: Far too simple of a solution, so simple, a ten year-old could have figgered out ( but lacking a 10yo, it was beyond my meager brain power). Thank you, jfrazierjr, the gradient map worked perfectly after I re-ordered the layers; just like RobA intended.

Thanx for the quick response and help, and I'll be sure to take a look at the tutorial you mentioned. The mysteries of GIMP had eluded me until I started reading the tutorial posts; I ain't a pro yet, but with all the help I've gotten, I just might get there yet (God willin' and th' crick don't rise!).

I like RobA's GIMP tutorial not so much for the map you create from it, but from the huge array of GIMP techniques he exposes in the process of creating said map. While the mountains and forests are passable, I have found some techniques I like a bit more, but as I said, the main thing about this tutorial is that it is such an excellent introduction to many GIMP techniques you will use over and over again, pretty much on ever single map you will make. Also, check out the mountain video tutorial by RobA when you get some time. I have taken that as base and played with it a bit to come up with my own version which I think makes some excellent mountains. Search for the "Playing with" threads(titles start with that) to see some exampls by me and a few other people who started with this tutorial and made a few changes to come up with their own style.

Steel General
11-03-2008, 08:29 AM
Not only techniques usable in GIMP, but a lot of them are easily 'ported' over to Photoshop as well if you're willing to spend a little time on it. :)

jfrazierjr
11-03-2008, 09:15 AM
Not only techniques usable in GIMP, but a lot of them are easily 'ported' over to Photoshop as well if you're willing to spend a little time on it. :)


Heh... so SG, have you mastered using layer masks yet using Del and my tutorials? :P You know I am going to keep pushing you and Ascension until you are converted right? Of course, not that it will make your wonderful maps better, it will just allow you to create and change them faster.... FYI, I just got OpenOffice, so I hope to get some of this stuff PDF'ed up and posted in addition to the video parts of the tutorial.

RobA
11-03-2008, 12:10 PM
Take a screenshot that shows your image and your layers dialog window and post up here. In case you don't know how:


Make sure it's all visible on the screen and then press the Print Screen button on your keyboard (it will look like nothing happened).
On your image go to Edit->Paste As->New Image


Even simpler... In Gimp 2.6, use File->Create->Screenshot, then choose either whole screen or a specific window. Then save as suggested :P

In 2.4, I think it was File->Acquire->Screenshot.

-Rob A>

Steel General
11-03-2008, 12:17 PM
Heh... so SG, have you mastered using layer masks yet using Del and my tutorials? :P You know I am going to keep pushing you and Ascension until you are converted right? Of course, not that it will make your wonderful maps better, it will just allow you to create and change them faster.... FYI, I just got OpenOffice, so I hope to get some of this stuff PDF'ed up and posted in addition to the video parts of the tutorial.

No not yet, and yes I expect you to keep "pestering" me until I come over to the 'Legion of the Masked'. I'll get there eventually. :D

JrFan88
11-03-2008, 12:21 PM
Even simpler... In Gimp 2.6, use File->Create->Screenshot, then choose either whole screen or a specific window. Then save as suggested :P

In 2.4, I think it was File->Acquire->Screenshot.

-Rob A>

Yer right 'bout that. AND I figgered it out all by myself....whooda thunk? :lol:

jfrazierjr
11-03-2008, 01:01 PM
Even simpler... In Gimp 2.6, use File->Create->Screenshot, then choose either whole screen or a specific window. Then save as suggested :P

In 2.4, I think it was File->Acquire->Screenshot.

-Rob A>

Thanks. Yet another reason to love the free, open source software project that is GIMP. All hail YodA (aka -RobA>): GIMP Master. I would call you Darth GIMP, but someone on here already has that nick.;)

jfrazierjr
11-03-2008, 01:04 PM
No not yet, and yes I expect you to keep "pestering" me until I come over to the 'Legion of the Masked'. I'll get there eventually. :D

Join the greyscale side... it's about half light and half dark for 50% opacity....;)

jfrazierjr
11-03-2008, 01:07 PM
Yer right 'bout that. AND I figgered it out all by myself....whooda thunk? :lol:


Did you migrate to CA from the SouthEast? Your typing has an accent that seems peculiarly Southern(not that there is anything wrong with it since I am from a podunk NC town myself.)

JrFan88
11-03-2008, 02:01 PM
Did you migrate to CA from the SouthEast? Your typing has an accent that seems peculiarly Southern(not that there is anything wrong with it since I am from a podunk NC town myself.)

Nope. California born and raised, lived here most of my life. Did spend a year or so stationed in Charleston whilst in the USN, but I attribute my typing accent to my near-fanatic devotion to NASCAR (re: my avatar) and my avocation of writing commentary on the sport for Inside Racing News. See, if'n y'all listen to ol' DW (Darrell Waltrip) often enuff, it sorta rubs off on you.:lol::lol::lol:

Boogity, boogity, boogity! Let's go racin' boys!

Ascension
11-03-2008, 05:33 PM
Boogity, boogity, boogity. Let's go racin boys! I type the same way since I always play my fighter-types with that country drawl. In-game, I'm barely decipherable, I try to clean it up when not in-game but I backslide quite a bit. C'mon Carl!

JrFan88
11-04-2008, 02:51 PM
Greets;

OK, I'm at another dead-end. According to the tutorial, one should be able to draw lakes, rivers, etc. on the layer mask for the "grass" layer with a black brush/pencil. The examples are as shown. My question: must you create a new layer based on the mask to do this properly? It doesn't say yes, but it doesn't say no, either. I suppose I'm looking for some detailed tutoring for this part of the procedure. Any takers?

Also, in regards to RobA's script for tapered rivers for GIMP, can they be copied/exported as a new layer and dropped into an exsisting map? I'm working on a project using this tutorial, and if I can use the script for adding rivers, things could be much easier.

THANX!!!

jfrazierjr
11-04-2008, 03:17 PM
Greets;

OK, I'm at another dead-end. According to the tutorial, one should be able to draw lakes, rivers, etc. on the layer mask for the "grass" layer with a black brush/pencil. The examples are as shown. My question: must you create a new layer based on the mask to do this properly? It doesn't say yes, but it doesn't say no, either. I suppose I'm looking for some detailed tutoring for this part of the procedure. Any takers?


Now might be a good time to go read up on my layer mask tutorial. In a nutshell, a layer mask is a greyscale "pseudo layer" that sits on top of a particular layer. What ever is black on the layer mask does not allow that layer to show through, and whatever is white does, with shades of grey in between the two extremes allowing various levels of opacity. Your first picture is the actual layer mask itself if I recall. If you wish to get directly to the layermask for fine editing, right click on the layer mask in the Layers Dialog and click Show Layer Mask. You can then directly edit the greyscale layer mask with black/white as needed (actually, you don't have the show it to do this, but sometimes it's easier).

Does this help or am I totally flaking on your question(which could be the case!)





Also, in regards to RobA's script for tapered rivers for GIMP, can they be copied/exported as a new layer and dropped into an exsisting map? I'm working on a project using this tutorial, and if I can use the script for adding rivers, things could be much easier.

THANX!!!
Yes, but never haven done it, I could tell you the method and don't have the time to go try to figure out where you are at the moment.

RobA
11-04-2008, 04:14 PM
Now might be a good time to go read up on my layer mask tutorial. In a nutshell, a layer mask is a greyscale "pseudo layer" that sits on top of a particular layer. What ever is black on the layer mask does not allow that layer to show through, and whatever is white does, with shades of grey in between the two extremes allowing various levels of opacity. Your first picture is the actual layer mask itself if I recall. If you wish to get directly to the layermask for fine editing, right click on the layer mask in the Layers Dialog and click Show Layer Mask. You can then directly edit the greyscale layer mask with black/white as needed (actually, you don't have the show it to do this, but sometimes it's easier).

Does this help or am I totally flaking on your question(which could be the case!)


I think that answered it well. When the tut says "draw lakes, rivers, etc. on the layer mask" I meant it literally... take the paintbrush tool, set it to black, and paint the rivers on the mask (like jfrazierjr explains, all the more eloquently!).

And yes, the tapered brush script (or the new gimp brush dynamics on a path) could be used rather than free-handing with the paintbrush tool.

Just remember... black on a layer mask is transparent, white is opaque and grey is everything else in between:)

-Rob A>

JrFan88
11-04-2008, 04:30 PM
Man, I LOVE this forum! Fast answers, precise information, no rambling geek speak; just straightforward information! Many thanx to you both for being so readily available and incredibly helpful. Points all around!

Hoel
11-23-2008, 09:11 AM
Very nice tut. Made me register just to see the pics.
I tried it in Photoshop and this is the result
http://i263.photobucket.com/albums/ii146/ChristianHoel/Tworld-1.jpg

As you can see I didn't follow it all the way. I didn't mask the mountans and forests by the TLS method but drew them by hand and I used som layer effects and other stuff on the land.

torstan
11-23-2008, 09:33 AM
Very pretty Hoel. Good work.

It looks like the mountains on the coast have darker shadows than the mountains in the NW. This looks a little off as the mountains to the NW look likt they should be taller.

Otherwise, a beautiful map. Repped!

Steel General
11-23-2008, 10:03 AM
Very nice!

Be sure to drop an entry in the Members Introduction forum.

Korash
11-28-2008, 06:04 PM
:(

for reasons that I cannot, for the life of me, figure out, I can't get to select the Gaussian Blur in Filters. It just stays grey.

If I need to select the landmass before = Did that. no joy
without selecting landmass = Same as above

So I am stuck at Post 3 after Color>invert after about 2 hours of fiddling with all things that I can think of.

Using gimp 2.6.3.

:EDIT: do like what I have read on the tut, just wish I can get to APPLY it.

HEEEEELP!!!!!!!

bryguy
11-30-2008, 09:44 AM
huh, i didnt know that 2.6.3 had come out.



If so, then its new, and probably a glitch that you cant use gaussian blur.

torstan
11-30-2008, 09:59 AM
Nope, I have 2.6.3 and it certainly has Gaussian blur.

Korash, open up a new document in Gimp with all the defaults, draw a line and then go to filters->blur->Gaussian blur. That should tell us whether it is a general problem with Gimp, or just a specific problem with your settings on your map image.

Korash
12-01-2008, 12:28 PM
Thanks Torstan, I did that and I discovered that GIMP does not like .tif files (which sucks `cause that is what the big scanner at works saves as, besides pdf and cals files). I tryed a few other types of files (jpgs mostly) that I will be using as "bases" to making maps using the methods outlined above, and the only ones that didn't have the blurs available were the .tif files.

Maybe I should convert them to jpeg :| and will try that tonight

torstan
12-01-2008, 01:15 PM
Hmmm, that's strange. I can create a .tif file and then when I open it in Gimp it still has gaussian blur enabled. However if you can get it to work by converting I'd suggest trying converting it (you can do this by resaving the image using gimp). Jpegs are lossy and you'll lose information when you save them. Try saving it as a .xcf - Gimp's native file format - and then try the Gaussian blur.

RobA
12-01-2008, 04:27 PM
If the tif files are 1 bit (i.e. B&W)... then you can't blur them.

After loading them up change the image mode to greyscale (Image->Mode->Grayscale) then you should be able to use blur.

-Rob A.

Korash
12-01-2008, 05:13 PM
Thanks Guys :)

will try both later tonight.

RobA - yup the tifs are b/w

BTW - anyone know what a cals file is used for?

[Edit] just so I understand, when you blur you are also blurring the image on the layers below, or the items on the current layer? if the current layer only, what difference should the type of file on the lower layers make? Just Curious.

jfrazierjr
12-01-2008, 05:26 PM
[Edit] just so I understand, when you blur you are also blurring the image on the layers below, or the items on the current layer? if the current layer only, what difference should the type of file on the lower layers make? Just Curious.

No, just the current layer. You can't blur a strict black and white image since it is either black or white. There is no where to put the various shades of grey it would need to complete the blur. Thats why it needs to be converted to greyscale as Rob said.

Korash
12-01-2008, 05:49 PM
No, just the current layer. You can't blur a strict black and white image since it is either black or white. There is no where to put the various shades of grey it would need to complete the blur. Thats why it needs to be converted to greyscale as Rob said.

But then if I have created the layer "Land" as described in the tut, and then did my trace in black on that layer, filled the trace, and then inverted the colors, as well as ensured the Land layer is current, I should be able to get the blurs?

'cause that didn't work :?

[Edit] OK guys I figured it out = the first time I attempted the tut the top said RGB and then I inserted the tif, which was "indexed" and not "blurable" Once I made the BG RGB as RobA described it all came up roses. Sorta speak :)

Thanks for the help guys

RobA
12-01-2008, 07:31 PM
Glad you figured it out, Korash!

-Rob A>

Roger Calver
12-02-2008, 11:05 AM
Excellent tutorial, you know your a newbie to this stuff when it takes you 15 minutes to find the overlay option in the layers control :)

Oh well everyone has to start somewhere.

Rog.

Korash
12-02-2008, 08:32 PM
:lol:

With 17 years of army life behind me, and many of those teaching courses from Basic to officers, I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing that is truly idiot proof. Just when you think things could not get any simpler, along comes a bigger idiot.

To wit:

After finding out what my problem was with the blur thing, I find myself stuck on the very next step. I think that I did the noise and clip layers properly, but all I get when I slide the output level down is a darker gray layer and the land doesn't show at all. I have tried adjusting the opacity of both of these layers but that didn't turn out too well when it came time to use the wand.

signed
Bigger Idjut

Back to tinkering with it to see if I can figure it out

:Edit:
Please note that when using a layer to affect stuff below, that layer should be TRANSPARENT :lol:

ravells
12-03-2008, 05:32 PM
I find a more complicated way to do something simple all the time....or I give up and find there was a simple way to do it all along.

I'd be a liability in the army :)

Night Breeze
12-04-2008, 03:27 PM
sooo cool tutorial!! really awesome!! this is my first time using GIMP (and any layer-drawing program), and this tutorial made my map look so beautiful for me :) thanks a lot!!!

check out my map>> :D

http://img26.picoodle.com/img/img26/3/12/4/f_MapaNadenam_d9c7202.png

jfrazierjr
12-04-2008, 05:22 PM
sooo cool tutorial!! really awesome!! this is my first time using GIMP (and any layer-drawing program), and this tutorial made my map look so beautiful for me :) thanks a lot!!!

check out my map>> :D



I really like the color variation in your forests.... they seem to really come to life like few others using this tutorial. Did you do something different? Your mountains could do with a bit more bumpiness though.

Ghostman
12-04-2008, 05:28 PM
That's an excellent map for a first try with a raster drawing program! Says much good about the tutorial :)

Night Breeze
12-04-2008, 06:30 PM
I really like the color variation in your forests.... they seem to really come to life like few others using this tutorial. Did you do something different? Your mountains could do with a bit more bumpiness though.

I really just did what I understood I had to do XD
maybe I didn't understand it well.... :P but I also like the way the forest look like that :)

mooremi1
12-12-2008, 04:22 PM
Wow, thanks a lot RobA this tutorial is fantastic. I was afraid to go near GIMP before reading through this and now I'm getting into it. Here's my first attempt, I struggled with the mountains for a long time then got beaten down by the forest. There was almost no way I was getting that forest right and I'm not sure what went wrong. As you can see I tried some techniques a little further down the line as well (didn't get them exactly right either).

Full_Moon_Draw
12-12-2008, 08:06 PM
Hi RobA

Having a moment off from writeing a newsletter & thought I'd go through the tutorial - finding it very useful - but early days for me!

I'm stuck at Post 6 - here's the problem:

<You Wrote> <SNIP>Duplicate this layer and rename it "Sea". Add a layer mask by right clicking on the "Sea" layer, and selecting "Add Layer Mask", When the dialog opens, select "Channel" (By default it should have the "Land Mask" channel shown and check "Invert". Click Add.</SNIP>

All very clear & know what you're getting add - however I cannot get GIMP to shown any channels let alone the right one! Does anyone know what's going on here & how I can get the "Land Mask" channel selected?

Any help/guidance much appreciated!

Cheers - FMD

Korash
12-12-2008, 09:47 PM
I think the answer is ...

select the layer "Sea"

right click and halfway down the menu you will find "add layer Mask"

in this window you should be able to select "channel" and then use the drop menu to select the mask you want


At least I think that this is what you want to do :)

/me is new to this too

Full_Moon_Draw
12-13-2008, 10:00 AM
Hi Korash,

Thanks for that - but I get that far & the drop down box is for some strange reason empty, which (being new to GIMP) is rather confusing to me!

Anyone got anymore clues for me?

Many Thanks in hope.

Cheers - FMD

RobA
12-15-2008, 01:35 PM
@FMD-

Can you post up a zip of the xcf file (or pm a location I could check it out)?

-Rob A>

Full_Moon_Draw
12-16-2008, 04:56 AM
Hi RobA,

Thanks for offering to have a look!

Here's the file in question - zipped it up in stage_1.zip

Cheers - FMD

RobA
12-16-2008, 09:37 AM
OK-

Looks like you need to back up to post 4:

Now using the Magic Wand Tool, (making sure Sample Merged is Checked and the Threshold is 0) click anywhere in the dark area. This will define your coast. If you want to adjust it, just undo the selection (ctrl-Z) and change the levels of the “Land Clip” layer. I wand back and tightened the coast a bit.
Click image for larger version Name: Post4-2.png Views: 209 Size: 329.4 KB ID: 1430

Now Invert the selection (Select->Invert), create a new black layer called “Land Mask” and fill the selection with white. Now save the selection to a Channel (Select->Save to Channel) and rename the channel to “Land Mask”. This will be used a bit later.
Click image for larger version Name: Post4-3.png Views: 174 Size: 246.8 KB ID: 1431

Now clear the selection (Select->None).

That technique (the Three-Layer-Sandwich of noise, shape and threshold clip layer, or TLS for short ) will be a basic technique that will be used over and over again, using different blending modes between the noise layer (to give some variegation to the surface) and the shape definition layer. It will be used to define forests and mountains, even clouds in the sky.


-Rob A>

Caelan
12-16-2008, 12:25 PM
Well this is my map of Shaulkar (Kingdom in a world I am working on) and I have gotten up to the mountain section. for some reason I am lost when I get to...


"Now the noise layer (I used detail 8 and size of 8) and set the blend mode to multiply.
Then add a third layer (remember the TLS) as a clipping layer, and use the levels dialog
to bring it down to show the mountains you want Here is the screen showing the three
layers:"

I don't know why I don't understand I do tend to have brains at times but for some reason my brain is not wrapping around this. Anyway here is a ss of my map in progress (want to play with colors more since around the coast it is to white and I want it more green)

http://s193.photobucket.com/albums/z145/berrydelite/?action=view&current=diffmap.gif

Full_Moon_Draw
12-16-2008, 02:39 PM
RobA,

Many thanks mate! I'm suffering from the perils of a badly printed PDF file - I'd assembled the pages incorrectly and managed to miss out all but the initial instructions of Stage 4! Do I feel dumb or what? Thanks for taking the time to point me at the problem!

Cheers - FMD

kenbanistu
12-27-2008, 01:48 AM
I am itching to try this tut out. I've downloaded the pdf's and am ready to go. The only problem I may have is that I will be using Gimp 2.2. This old win98 'puter of mine won't run the newer versions. We'll see how it goes. I dl'ed the part 1 pdf earlier in the day and have gone through it with only a couple of small problems that I solved easily enough. And so it's on to part 2.

Korash
12-27-2008, 12:41 PM
Well this is my map of Shaulkar (Kingdom in a world I am working on) and I have gotten up to the mountain section. for some reason I am lost when I get to...


"Now the noise layer (I used detail 8 and size of 8) and set the blend mode to multiply.
Then add a third layer (remember the TLS) as a clipping layer, and use the levels dialog
to bring it down to show the mountains you want Here is the screen showing the three
layers:"

I don't know why I don't understand I do tend to have brains at times but for some reason my brain is not wrapping around this. Anyway here is a ss of my map in progress (want to play with colors more since around the coast it is to white and I want it more green)

http://s193.photobucket.com/albums/z145/berrydelite/?action=view&current=diffmap.gif

I am not too sure but I think I had a similar problem at that point too. Try turning off the other layers so that you see only the Mountain, Mountain Noise and Mountain clip layers. You should then be looking at something similar to what RobA shows on page 11 in the tut. I did make a black background layer at the bottom of the stack to see the "sandwich layers" better though.

Not sure that this will help but......

Nomadic
12-29-2008, 03:46 AM
Use the magic wand again to select the non-mountain area (like with the land) and create
a new layer called “Mountains Mask” with a white on black. (Also the white colour
selection as a new selection mask using Select->Save to Channel).


What does that mean? I searched around and found jfrazierjr's post but I couldn't understand what they were saying.

jfrazierjr
12-29-2008, 09:00 AM
What does that mean? I searched around and found jfrazierjr's post but I couldn't understand what they were saying.


Use the magic wand tool, which should be the 4th tool on the top row, with Circle, Square, and polygon selection tools in "front" of it left to right.

Since you already have your mountain rough shapes down in a previous layer, when you select outside those mountain shapes, everything else will be selected EXCEPT for those mountain shapes.

New Layer. Fill the inside with white and the outside (CNTL-I to Invert the selection) with black.

While you have the selection (remember to invert back!!) on the Select menu, there is a menu item called Save to Channel. When you do this, it should create a new channel on the Channels tab (switch to it to make sure!) When the the majority of the channel should be black and the stuff in side the selections should be white.

Note, I have no idea where you are at this point, but I am picking up from where you quoted, so this may be a bit off of the original directions, but should get you going.

Nomadic
12-30-2008, 10:27 PM
Use the magic wand tool, which should be the 4th tool on the top row, with Circle, Square, and polygon selection tools in "front" of it left to right.

Since you already have your mountain rough shapes down in a previous layer, when you select outside those mountain shapes, everything else will be selected EXCEPT for those mountain shapes.

New Layer. Fill the inside with white and the outside (CNTL-I to Invert the selection) with black.

While you have the selection (remember to invert back!!) on the Select menu, there is a menu item called Save to Channel. When you do this, it should create a new channel on the Channels tab (switch to it to make sure!) When the the majority of the channel should be black and the stuff in side the selections should be white.

Note, I have no idea where you are at this point, but I am picking up from where you quoted, so this may be a bit off of the original directions, but should get you going.

Thank you. I am (as you might have noticed) a GIMP noob. This is my first time using a photomanipulation software outside photoshop.

eoinmorgan
01-01-2009, 04:08 PM
Quick Question:

I have vista, and there is no c:\documents and setting folder.

I have:

acer
Elements
Nexon
Perflogs
Sierra
Users
Windows

How do i install the color pallete?

Thanks

jfrazierjr
01-01-2009, 06:44 PM
Quick Question:

I have vista, and there is no c:\documents and setting folder.

I have:

acer
Elements
Nexon
Perflogs
Sierra
Users
Windows

How do i install the color pallete?

Thanks

Under Vista, MS moved that to Users\loginname\

etriahn
01-31-2009, 02:53 PM
But another voice in a unanimous chorus, I nonetheless have to say that this tutorial has been a fantastic tool. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and gained a crazy amount of knowledge about GIMP, which I had never used before.

It was also a ton of fun.

Here's the result of a total newbie spending just a couple hours fiddling about:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9791&stc=1&d=1233431507

Thanks for sharing your expertise.

RobA
01-31-2009, 03:42 PM
Looks good etriahn!

And might I congratulate you on getting the mountains to look good! That seems to be most people's stumbling block, but you nailed it!

-Rob A>

Black Tower of Time
02-03-2009, 04:31 PM
Yes He done an incredible useful tutorial.

Also I need to say that you got really very good results for your mountains. I didn't checked all of that tutorial yet, so I don't know how easy it will get for me come up with similar mountains.
I also hope we will get or I discover this great tutorial here in the future made as a PDF file or a video... :o

Absinth
02-10-2009, 06:32 PM
Hey, I'm experiencing a strange problem when it comes to creating the first bump map. I'm creating the Grass Bumps layer and filling it with 50% grey and than I'm trying to create the bump map, but nothing happens. Whatever I'm doing and whatever parameters I'm changing, nothing happens! There's only grey in the preview windows and it stays flat... That's very, very strange and I can't figure out, what I did wrong. I tried doing a bump map on a plain red square in a new file, but without any results too! Is there something wrong with my version of GIMP then (2.6.3)?

etriahn
02-10-2009, 06:43 PM
In the Bump Map dialog box, the first control is the Bump Map drop-down list. You have to choose an option in the list that has some noise as the second layer--IIRC the default applies the layer to itself, which generates no texture.

I may be a bit off, but I believe that drop-down holds the answer you're looking for.