View Full Version : My First Regional Map

07-24-2011, 11:47 PM
After a day and a half of trying to tutorials, I attempted to make my first regional map - based off a Final Fantasy style world I am running for a Table Top game. The results were... well, they are encouraging, but less than thrilling. This is hours of tweaking, testing, reading over tutorials again, and so forth. I want to send out a huge thank you to RobA and arsheeshA for getting me to this point!

I've got a long way to go yet, but it's a start. Tomorrow I'll keep plugging through now that I have the main geography in generally the right spot.


07-25-2011, 12:01 AM
The overall shape is pretty cool, though I would recommend increasing the canvas size so that the Eastern peninsula does not feel quite so crowded against the map border. Two other comments regarding mountains and forests. It looks like you might have somehow inverted the mountain height map; might be worth it to go back and try to reverse this. As for the forests, there is a hard edged bevel surrounding the border that results from the bump mapping. This was always an issue with the original tutorial which is why later on in the tutorial thread I added some techniques for remedying this. In particular, I added some patterns for scattering individual trees near the edges of the forest (you can find this on the first page of the thread; in fact, I've added several updates to the thread that might be worth checking out). Also, one one of the green color layers, try setting the layer mode to "Multiply" rather than Overlay or Soft Light. That should help the color bleed into the edges a bit more. If it ends up looking too dark you can just reduce the opacity of one of the other color layers.

Overall though, once these issues get resolved, I'd say you are off to a great start!


07-25-2011, 02:00 AM
Yeah what immediately strikes one is that mountains and forests are lit from different angles. So the mountains actually look more like depressions right now. A minor issue is that some of the rivrs are covered by the trees, which you should fix too. But I agree, you are off to a good start.

07-25-2011, 07:58 AM
I will absolutely continue through the thread, thanks! I need to rework the general texturing also, it looks kind of bland compared to the other objects.

Bart - I was noticing that also, but I am not really sure how to correct it.

07-26-2011, 05:51 PM
Well - easy solution would be to just cut gaps into your forests where the rivers are.

Steel General
07-27-2011, 06:36 AM
I haven't used GIMP in quite awhile but couldn't you;

1) select the river layer
2) switch to the forest layer
3) "delete" the selection from the forest layer

that should give you the rivers 'path' thru the forests (I think :? )

07-30-2011, 09:36 AM
On the version of this I have been halfheartedly working on (busy real life week), I just moved the river layer up and it looks alright. I am thinking I am just going to start this over, try to find another way of going about it. A lot of my coastline was mutated the way that I hand drew it, and I am not entirely happy about that. But, that's what learning is all about, no?

Here is what the b/w contrast I made from the handdrawn looks like: you can really see how much detail in the coast was lost.

07-30-2011, 01:20 PM
Again, I really like the shape, but I'd suggest extending the right-hand side of the canvas a bit so that the eastern peninsula doesn't look so crowded.


07-30-2011, 01:56 PM
Yeah, I have on the new one I am working on - I extended that border by 250 pixels (making it 3k by 2k), so it doesn't look so abrupt there. I threw that up quickly, and didn't have the new contrast one made yet.

07-30-2011, 10:36 PM
Alright, I spent all day trying to learn Ascension's atlas style, using the GIMP conversion tutorial. I did just a random deal to make sure I could do this, and then tried doing it without random terrain. After hours of wanting to smash my monitor into many small pieces, I was able to get the land counters in - but I never could get any of the mountain techniques I know to work correctly. The one time they did render out, they were extremely jarring in contrast and it looked horrible.

However, when I tried the random mountain way using the color select tool from noise, I did get mountains that were generally in the right spot. I didn't want to have nothing for all the frustration I went through today, so I finished it off with those. I like it... I am not totally happy with the mountain/river placement, but I will get back into figuring that out better tomorrow.


08-01-2011, 09:12 AM
Here we go! This is from the ground up again (like a fool, I saved over my master template). This is using RobA's mountain technique with the translation of Ascension's atlas style for GIMP. It took a bit of doing for my monkey brain to figure out and merge it all correctly, but I was able to do it and get my mountains in the right spot. I'll make note of this in the other thread also, but the reason my mountains above (in the very first screenshot) were inverted is because, when I was changing the levels and curves of the area, I had them selected. I repeated that mistake several times, until I realized the pics didn't have the selection in a dotted line. As soon as I cleared the selection, everything worked.

I would really like some feedback or comments on my rivers. I think most of them are obvious, as they are just draining the water out of the mountains and taking it to the seas. The fairly large lake in the southwest corner of the map is a basin between that area that has been damned up on the eastern shore, with the terrain surrounding the lake shored up to stop it from running over. I did my best to keep river levels small at the start, and only increase the ink size when it seemed like a significant amount of water had been dumped into the system (trying to keep in mind how volume works in exponents). The one time I started with a larger ink size was in the very central river, which started at a 2, and is again an aspect of the efforts of the city that will be placed near its source. I put a lot of thought into the rivers, but I could be way off base - let me know!