View Full Version : Tutorial Progress

12-29-2007, 05:35 AM
I should really, really, really not be still up right now. However, I've been working through RobA's wonderful tutorial in GIMP (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1142) and I couldn't stop until I'd gotten to a break (after the second PDF in this case).

I'd be interested in folks' feedback. Especially where I deviated somewhat from the exact techniques laid out by Rob. So far, I'm really happy with how this is turning out, though I have been working on this for... over 5 hours, at least. It's been a very educational experience (So, thanks, RobA! I'd give you some Rep, but I have to spread the love before I can hit you again!).


12-30-2007, 10:06 PM
Oh, this is looking wonderful! Nicely done--a credit to both you adn RobA. How far along are you toward producing "on paper" the end-map that's sitting in your head? I see a few things stylistically that stick out to my eye (ex: the extreme softness/blur of the map), but perhaps you're not done yet?

Also, most all your rivers split downstream, which is geographically possible but atypical in our world.

This is looking great, though!

12-31-2007, 02:42 AM
Hrm. Good eye on the rivers thing. The ones that're very near the cost were meant to indicate deltas (deltae? Is this Latin?). I guess it's much more common to see rivers flowing together. I'll have to keep that in mind in the future. I don't think I'll bother on this one for reasons that I'll explain... now!

So. There is no map in my head on this one. I mostly wanted to go through the tutorial and learn the GIMP techniques that it went through. So much of this is just kind of thought of at random when it comes to the right step. After I've done this thing all the way (or a lot of the way, anyway), I'll probably work up something larger and do a pre-work sketch-up to get a master view before I start in.

I've added some cities (big dot), towns (little dot) and forts (diamond) and some roads. No labels yet (and those may prove problematic, see below). My idea is that the north-easterly area is not civilized (from the POV of the map maker, anyway) and those forts along the gap in the mountains, there, are for protection. That's why no roads go thataway. The rest is sort of self-explanatory, I hope.

Things may be a bit thick on the ground, I think, but that's what I get for doing this at random with no planning beforehand. I tried to think of purposes behind the various settlements... Ports near river mouths and small towns near mountains and rivers (mining, see) Roads linking most everything. I imagine villages or something at most crossroads that don't already have something.

Anyway, if I've done anything else strange (like the rivers) I'd love to hear of it. Even if I don't change it on this one, it'll be good to know in the future. I'm having a good time with this tutorial and I hope I can adapt some of these techniques for different uses in the future, too.


12-31-2007, 01:47 PM
to indicate deltas (deltae? Is this Latin?).

Delta is Greek letter. A river delta is called such because it is triangular in shape, much like the letter.

I think the Greek plural should be deltata, but I know very little Greek, so I can't be sure. In any case, it's a fully Anglicized word, so deltas is correct.

01-01-2008, 10:19 PM
In any case, it's a fully Anglicized word, so deltas is correct.
Yeah, but "walrus" certainly isn't Latin and "walri" is more fun to say. ;)


01-03-2008, 03:01 PM
Looking good 177!

Glad you were able to follow the tutorial with happy results!

If you have any comments, alternate steps, or suggestions, please let me know, as I am (in my spare cycles) cleaning up the tutorial to a more printer friendly version (as opposed to a series of posts).

-Rob A>

01-03-2008, 04:12 PM
If you have any comments, alternate steps, or suggestions, please let me know, as I am (in my spare cycles) cleaning up the tutorial to a more printer friendly version (as opposed to a series of posts).
One question I do have is about forests. You seem to have achieved a general shadow on the edges of the forests in your example map. My edges are much less definite. While I don't mind so much the look I ended up with, I'm not sure what I did differently from what the tutorial was telling me to do.

You say in the tutorial that you used the same bumps as you'd used for the grass layers and just increased the depth (to get greater shadows). I assumed this meant that you literally used the same bumps layer, which renders the effect you see above. Did you actually just use the same type of bumps as for your grass (as seen through a blurred layer mask like for not-so-random landmasses) to get that shadow, or is what I'm seeing actually just coincidence on your example.

Thanks so much for the, obviously, ton of time you've already put into your tutorial, RobA. Once I feel confident, I may post some stuff about variations on your techniques. I have to nail them down, though. Specifically, I'm thinking of fiddling with your coastline effect.


01-03-2008, 08:57 PM
One question I do have is about forests.
I'll take a look when I am hands on the machine with that source file, and my notes (tomorrow).

Specifically, I'm thinking of fiddling with your coastline effect.
Feel free. The coastline line slipped in at the last moment while I was playing with displacement maps, and I happened to like it as a unique alternative to the standard "outer glow" that I see on many maps...

-Rob A>

01-03-2008, 11:13 PM
So, I just did an experiment and this shows the direction I'm going. I love the randomness of doing a +/-20 displacement. However, I also dislike it (go figure). Basically, I really like how it looks on, for example, the north edge of the larger island in the above pictures and my idea was to try to get that kind of look, but more consistently. Less big random white spots out into the ocean and less stretches of coastline with no waves at all.

So what I did below was take my land mask, grow it three pixels, feather it three pixels and then do a displacement +/- 10. Slightly more uniform. However, this technique is just my first stab at that effect. I'm thinking I might do something along the lines of creating the noise layer based on the land mask... somehow. I just thought I'd put my thinking out there for folks to see.


01-04-2008, 12:11 PM
The forest feathering looks better there, too.

Oh -

And I looked up what I did to the forest edges. I applied a Filter->Noise->Spread to the Layer mask to blend in the edges rather than feathering with a blur. This gives a blended edge without the mushiness that feathering causes (imoo).

Here is an enlargement of the layer mask:

-Rob A>

01-04-2008, 03:02 PM
I was about to ask another question, but I just realized you'd posted the .xcf. I'll download it and have a look. If I figure out what the answer to my question is, I'll post it here, otherwise, I'll just post the question, I guess. Thanks, RobA!


01-04-2008, 08:13 PM
I've also been working my way through RobA's tutorial, but I'm trying to make a much larger map. The additional tips and bits of info are helpful for tweaking my own stuff, so please keep it up.