View Full Version : Emulating Fathusra

01-30-2008, 01:04 AM
I promised I'd post the results of my attempt to emulate the style of map in this image:


Here is the PSD file I created.


It's not meant to actually be a map just an attempt to demonstrate the techniques used. I used a heightmap similar to my previous tutorial (GlennZilla's Own Little World) (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1158) and a lot of layer masks.

For example to paint the forest into place I used this brush


I simply created a green layer with some noise on it and painted with the brush on the Layer Mask.

Similarly I painted the areas to have the "pebbles" texture on a layer mask. The trick to getting the Texture layers to work right is to use a layer filled with black with the blending mode set to "Screen". This way only the white highlights added by the texture are visible. Conversely you could use a white layer set to "Multiply" to make the shadows visible.

I think it gives everyone a sense of how I did it at least. Now I need to look into incorporating this into my new world and cough up a decent regional map before D&D 4.0 is released.

01-30-2008, 10:54 AM
Can you post an image, too? I'd like to see the result and don't have photoshop.


-Rob A>

01-30-2008, 11:41 AM
Sure thing! I'll get it uploaded this afternoon. No Photoshop at the office any longer.

01-30-2008, 09:43 PM
Here's a JPG screen shot showing the Layers Palette.

The "pebbles" layer is a black fill with the blending mode set to "Overlay". "Multiply" and "Screen" also work fine as they alternately add the shadows or highlights from the texture created by the Bevel and Emboss layer style, set to the standard pattern "Wrinkles". The area affected by the texture is controlled with a layer mask.

The "Mountians" layer is a lighting effect I created like in my previous tutorial.

The "Forest" layer is a green fill with some Gaussian noise added. There is a layer mask there as well. On this one I used a paint brush with the settings in the earlier image. This created the forested look.

The "Desert" layer is simply a painted layer adding the desert color. In the future I'll probably use a layer mask to allow me to use different blending modes and layer styles.

The "Grassland" layer uses a green fill with Gaussian noise similar to Forest layer. On this one I did use the layer mask to control where it appears.

The "Land" layer is a painted layer with the browninsh color of the mountians and beach. IN the future I think I'd use a layer mask here as well so that I have a ready made selection for all the land areas.

The "Oceans" layer is simply a blue fill, though in the future I would add some kind of shading to make the littoral areas of the water obvious.

And the bottom layer is the clouds I rendered and used for the lighting effect for the mountians layer. Just in case I want to double check elevations need guidance when drawing in the rivers.

The "

01-31-2008, 01:15 PM
Thanksm for the image.

I think the use of layer masks is key to any of thechniques, to provide maximum flexability in allowing changes at a later time.

Have you figured out how to apply rivers on this yet?


02-01-2008, 12:17 PM
Yeah, I was just going add another blue layer with similar layer masks and an inner glow in the layer styles.

02-01-2008, 01:40 PM
This is great! And thanks for the PS file, from us PS users!

02-01-2008, 03:31 PM
In replying to another thread I realized something. All us raster based cartographers should remember three concepts, working in layers, layer masks andnon-destructive editing.

Working in layers allows you a great deal more flexibility to change things later and most folks that work in in these programs pick this up pretty fast.

This project is a good example of how I used the layer masks to dictate where the forests would appear and make it easy to alter the color or look of the forests laster if I change my mind without having to re-do them.

Non-Destructive editing is something that people that learned in paint programs and hand drawing often have some trouble getting thier heads around.

The idea is that if you want to change the color of a layer, you can either re-paint it with a new color or add an adjustment layer to tweak the colors. The primary difference between the two methods is "Undo ability". If you realize the change was a mistake reasonably soon after you do it, simply undoing it will work fine. But if you realize it after you've already done something else that you don't want to loose or that step is no longer available in the edit history, you'll be stuck. But if you used the adjustment layer it's a simple matter to readjust it or remove it entirely.

I see photographers doing this the worst. They like to adjust the brightness and contrast of an image and find an option for that in the menus of Photoshop. However they end up permanently adjusting the image this way. If they used an adjustment layer they'd be able to adjust it later or even apply a layer mask to limit it's effect. Undo is handy but it's not exactly a time machine.

02-25-2008, 07:07 AM
Glennzilla, who made the map of the Fathusra Wilds that you're trying to emulate?

Whoever made it, it's a beautiful map, to be sure. I'll probably make my next map similar in style to that.

02-25-2008, 12:24 PM
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1417 (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1417)Post number 7.

I saw it and thought it was a great map and that I wanted to figure out how to make mine similar. So I took this shot at it. If you've got some time to tinker I'd bet it's possible.