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Jaxilon
12-23-2010, 01:14 AM
An experiment of everything starting with mountains and forests. I figured I may as well splat it up here for advice and tips. My goal is to learn something new or at least a better way to make mountains and trees for the satellite view.

No idea if I will finish this and I'm not really knocked out with the landmass edges but I'll just try to take it as far as it can go. I know there are some tutorials around for making realistic coastlines but I seem to have a hard time staying focused through the tutorials. I may just have to bite the bullet and do one though.

I posted a small section of this on another thread but this will be where everything goes from now on.

VincentAlliath
12-23-2010, 02:40 AM
Do the OldGuy's coastline tutorial if you can. It's for GIMP. It's, like, 8 steps and it works a treat. It's quite possibly the best coastline tutorial I've used since it gives lakes and islands and things like that as well.

That is really lovely, too. I don't know that I could ever see those forests as satellitish. They're too blurry for one, and those mountains are a little... well, the one in the middle of the bottom half looks like a spine. They're a bit too dark, I think. They still look like they're on top of the landscape, not a part of it. That's just my five cents, though.

Jaxilon
12-23-2010, 03:59 AM
I think that's the biggest problem I'm having is making them merge with the land. I either have the layer settings wrong or I need to build up my landmass so it more closely matches the textures of the mountains. I kind of hate the way the mountains merge around their bases but I'm not sure what to do about it. I begin to approach the point where I say, "Screw this" and just paint the entire map. I could do that but I think it sort of misses the point of trying to use the layers and filters.

Too blurry...Well, to be honest I opened up Google maps and went to a heavily forested area like Europe or Colorado, zoomed in until the mountains where about the same size as what I was going for and tried to create what the forest looked like. Here is an example of what I mean. As you can see I did go for a slightly more vibrant coloring just because flat green is kind of boring for a fantasy map. Still, everything on here is pretty much an experiment and I agree that one mountain did come out like a spine :)

I'll check out OldGuy's coastline tut, thanks for the tip.

VincentAlliath
12-23-2010, 04:45 AM
A tip for mountains and making them merge with the land easier... from my experience: (Because I notice you use GIMP)

Fuzzy select the mountain area you want (if it's a small enough landmass, I usually just select the island/whatever and shrink the selection a bit). Feather the selection just slightly, 5 or 10 pixels should be enough.
Fill it with a gradient fill (Shaped, Angular) so that you have white in the center and black on the outsides. It'll be a tad blurry around the edges.
Bump Map it on itself (however you feel is necessary) (sometimes it's best to do individual mountain ranges with different settings so you get them right). You'll get a very simple "upwards to the point" range. I don't know how to explain it other than that.
Right click the layer and Alpha to Selection. Shrink the selection enough (again, for individual ranges if necessary) that only the white part of your ranges is selected.
Feather 50 to 100 pixels, invert and delete the black. When you overlay it, it'll appear to join the land better.

After that, duplicate it, bump map (using a maximum noise layer as the source) and overlay it onto the other. If you need it particularly white, duplicate the original mountain layer (the simple bump map) and bring it up. You can bring down the opacity and shrink the area if you have to.

As you can see, the mountain image you had shows the main range and then multiple smaller... spines... coming away. Doing all those will take a long time, but it's worth it since all you have to do is paint the terrain underneath it to get the look you want.

Ascension
12-23-2010, 06:54 AM
I think it's worth playing with, for sure. Once you get the land and sea to match the feel of the mtns and forests you'll have something that looks like a video game.

Steel General
12-23-2010, 02:04 PM
I think you're definitely on to something.

Jaxilon
12-24-2010, 02:48 PM
An update of many things but I am finding some techniques that I like here and there.

I was also thinking about how this was probably inspired by the current monthly challenge and how I should probably enter this. Just not sure if I can finish it on time.

jfrazierjr
12-24-2010, 03:09 PM
The ones in the upper right are by far the best in my opinion. They have a very nice character to them. They others look ok, but more like a texture with some dodge/burn applied to it. I would love to know more details on how you did the long single chain up and a bit right of center. I see some smudge tool use(I assume) which I have used to good effect before also..

Jaxilon
12-31-2010, 11:32 PM
I just realized that unless you were following the current monthly challenge you might just think I stopped on this. Sorry, my bad, I should have linked. This was continued and completed as a monthly challenge (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?12913-December-Entry-Xperemiante) for mapping a world.

Cheers!

Phill Devil
01-02-2011, 01:23 AM
do yopu think you can do that on photoshop too? and idk, post a tutorial XD