View Full Version : Height maps drawn in PShop or Gimp?

02-14-2011, 09:23 PM

I take it some of you guys use height maps for producing mountains. Correct?

I wondered whether "fairly" realistic height maps could be drawn from scratch in PShop (or Gimp. I'm not familiar with Gimp)
I quickly drew this height map at a low resolution just as a test. (if you look at the image, I only tried this on one side of the mountain range. Ignore the blob at the back)
I then imported it into Leveller to see if it worked. It seems to.

Is this sort of thing useful to you? If yes, then I'll do some more work on this. I can then share as to how I did it.

Interested or is this something you already know? (sorry, I'm a new boy here)

Feedback please ....



Apologies if i'm teaching you how to suck eggs. :P

02-15-2011, 06:08 AM
The guild has about 5 sets of distinct types of mappers. One of these groups is the 3D terrain group which is where I sit mainly. I dev an app where you enter a rough terrain and it chews on it and spits out a better one using a geological simulation to attempt to enhance it or make it higher res than the input. Waldronate on here devs Fractal Terrains and Wilbur. In terms of app devs we have several more though they post very rarely. Su-Liam also does a lot of terrain modelling with noise functions too. Monks is making middle earth using contours and there are others which hand draw or use SRTM / Lidar bits to make maps. All said tho, its still a pretty open field and one where new techniques are welcomed because as yet there is no bit of software or method which I know that can generate really realistic terrain of a wide variety of types. Even once done then the discussion starts about the vegetation and climate models so thats another area we like to listen to.

The posts about this kind of stuff are scattered about the guild and it can be hard to find them. I have a keyword index in my sig where you can look up 3D (I should add DEM to that list). Su-Liam posted some interesting things in the following link and made the guild rank highly in google with the word sperm - which will only be enhanced with this post too :)

I would be interested to hear about how you like to do it with Leveller tho.

02-15-2011, 06:49 AM
Thanks for the info. That's good, I now get a feel of how you guys work the maps. This may seem strange, but I don't use Leveller very much. Most of my maps are historical so I'm using STRM DEM data imported into Globalmapper. I can't recall designing a fantasy map in 3D at all. I'll do some more on the height map idea and see were it goes. Cheers.

02-15-2011, 12:07 PM
I can see myself using these techniques in the future but am slowly getting to that point. Still learning mapping starting from close up terms/encounter and making my way up. Currently at town/community level, so if you flesh it out Ill be looking into this.

02-26-2011, 08:52 PM
what are the other groups?

02-27-2011, 12:11 PM
I'm definitely interested in seeing more techniques for manual painting of height maps! Oddly, I may wind up doing something similar professionally soon, so more methods are quite welcome.