PDA

View Full Version : World Creation WIP: Etarek



laevex_esre
09-07-2011, 12:16 PM
After spending a few months playing with map-making tools, I think it's finally time I started a big project.

I want to create a world with a high technology level called Etarek. I will be using Fractal Terrains, Wilbur, Illustrator and Photoshop to flesh the world out and eventually I aim to have a fully-developed collection of regional maps covering the globe.

I want to make this world realistic. I know there a lot of people here who are knowledgeable in geology and climates, so I will certainly be taking influences from them.

I'd love my world map to end up looking like this:
Israh by a2area (http://www.worldofgotha.com/PF_TUTORIAL/israh_index.html)

And my regional projections to end up looking like this:
Torentine Empire by a2area (http://www.cartographersguild.com/feature/TorentineMap.jpg)


But first things first. I want to build my planet up systematically.

Starting out playing with Fractal Terrains has given me this map. I've plotted some proposed tectonic plates onto it.
38394

Any feedback or criticism is very welcome.

Kelron
09-07-2011, 04:28 PM
I like the continent at F1 most. Is this world planned to be a hot world or will you add arctic regions later?

laevex_esre
09-07-2011, 08:41 PM
I think it will have arctic regions. At the moment I'm just trying to work out which continents would get certain weather. I'm very open to people's climate opinions.

torstan
09-08-2011, 07:18 PM
That all looks very reasonable. I'm not a geologist so I'm not oing to argue the realism of it, but I'd take that layout to be sensible. The mountains look to be a bit localised - I'd expect them to be more long thin ranges rather than some of the broad lumps that appear in C1 and the border between D and I, but that might just be my own bias.

As for climate I'd start with your tropics, desert and temperate bands and allow those to be affected by the mountains as natural climate boundaries. If you want to delve deeper than that I'm sure there are many people here who can go into prevailing winds and climatology but I'm certainly not one of them. Looking forward to seeing the next steps.

laevex_esre
09-09-2011, 07:49 AM
I've worked on the terrain a bit more and made the mountain ranges thinner like suggested.
Here's an image of the altitudes:

38427

And here's one with more natural colours:

38428


Next I want to keep working on the terrain. I realise that I need smoother plains, more coastal lowlands etc. How would I best create these? Would this kind of process (http://www.worldofgotha.com/PF_TUTORIAL/israh2.html) work, using lots of incise flow and fill basins?

If anyone has any tips or criticisms then they'd be much appreciated. I want to get the terrain sorted before I move onto working out the climate.

Greason Wolfe
09-09-2011, 12:00 PM
Since you'll be using Wilbur at some point during the editing process, you can smooth out the coastal areas and what not by applying an Exponent (Filters>>Mathematical>>Exponent) to your land masses. When I do that sort of thing, I tend to create a selection (Select>>From Terrain>>Height Range) so that I can isolate the land mass and experiment with the Exponent value. I also use a math function in the Calculate Height Field dialogue from time to time, but that's a bit more complicated. Fill basins will definitely create more flat areas, but I tend to shy away from that approach as it sometimes has a tendency to create too much flat area. Incise Flow, on the other hand, is more of a channel digging process that cuts elevation away based on the projected flow of water from higher areas to sea-level. If you're working through a2area's tutorial, he has a link to waldronate's tutorials for both Wilbur and FTPro, and I would strongly recommend reading through them to get a better feel for what they're capable of.

GW

laevex_esre
09-10-2011, 06:23 AM
Thanks for those tips. I definitely feel like I'd like to get a better grasp of FTPro and Wilbur, so I'll check those out. I've been playing around with incise flow and fill basins a fair bit but I'll try and see what an exponent does too.

Also, I didn't know that the tutorial was by a2area, so I'll edit that first post to credit him. It's a brilliant tutorial and it's teaching me a lot.

laevex_esre
09-12-2011, 10:54 AM
Etarek is shaping up. I think I have the terrain sorted now. After going through all of the Wilbur tutorials I worked through a2area's Israh tutorial and got to this point:

38498

There are a few things I'm unhappy about:
-When I open it in Fractal Terrains it's pretty low resolution.
-It's a bit bumpier than I originally wanted. The plains have annoying dots on them.
-The precipitation erosion has left big river estuaries all over the place and they aren't completely continuous. Sometimes they stop, close up and start again.

I might fix all this stuff later and if you have any answers to them I'd be grateful.

For the moment I want to work on the climate. I'm just about to start working through The Climate Cookbook (http://jc.tech-galaxy.com/bricka/climate_cookbook.html), so that will be interesting.

Greason Wolfe
09-12-2011, 12:03 PM
Etarek is shaping up. I think I have the terrain sorted now. After going through all of the Wilbur tutorials I worked through a2area's Israh tutorial and got to this point:

38498

There are a few things I'm unhappy about:
-When I open it in Fractal Terrains it's pretty low resolution.

That is, unfortunately, one of the downfalls of working back and forth between FTPro and Wilbur. There is a certain loss of detailed resolution because of how many editing channels each application uses (or so I've come to understand). You can try increasing the resolution in FTPro before sending the file to Wilbu, just be sure that you save the .mdr file at the same setting as the editing resolution. It's not a perfect solution, but it might preserve a bit more detail.


-It's a bit bumpier than I originally wanted. The plains have annoying dots on them.

Before sending the file back to FTPro, try applying a small gaussian blur in Wilbur (Filters>>Gaussian Blur>>0.5). Do this two or three times and it should smooth out those little bumps some.


-The precipitation erosion has left big river estuaries all over the place and they aren't completely continuous. Sometimes they stop, close up and start again.

Depending on when these are happening (in FTPro or in Wilbur) you might be able to fix this by using a Basin Fill more frequently. I'd have to actually play with the file to know for sure, though.


I might fix all this stuff later and if you have any answers to them I'd be grateful.

Offered what answers I could, but the best recommendation I can offer is to keep experimenting here and there, see if you can isolate when the problems start to occur and then work from there.

GW

laevex_esre
09-12-2011, 12:51 PM
Thanks for the tips. Sounds like I'll just have to redo the Wilbur erosion and try and work out where the issues are coming from. I'm guessing I've used more precipitation erosion than necessary (stupid estuaries) and added too much noise at some point (bumps).

I'm interested in using an exponent too because it definitely looks better than too much fill basins. But I don't know if I'm doing it right. This is how I do it:
Select > From Height > 0 to highest
Filter > Mathematical > Exponent > 1.2

That looks about right, but I'm wondering if starting at 0 without feathering would cause an issue.

laevex_esre
09-12-2011, 01:21 PM
It seems that the bumps aren't to do with anything I did in Wilbur, because as soon as I save the map as an mdr file, if I import that straight back into FTPro, they appear. To get rid of them, I think I'll have to blur them out like suggested, but the 3x0.5 wasn't enough.

Is there any other way to get rid of them? And should I try and do it before or after all the erosion is applied?

Greason Wolfe
09-12-2011, 01:53 PM
Using the exponent function from 0 shouldn't cause any issues that I know of. If you apply a feather value to the selection, however, it has the potential to leave some rougher edges/elevations along the coast which isn't really a bad thing (think of the coastal regions of Norway, Sweden and the western coast of North America where a number of cliff like areas go right up to the waterline). I should mention that using the basin fill isn't a bad thing at all. I just tend to follow it up with some noise and precipitation to smooth out the transition from mountains to flatlands.

As far as getting rid of those bumps, I'm not sure what to suggest on that one. If waldronate happens along this thread, he might have a suggestion given his knowledge of both applications. For my part, ever since I installed the latest patch (li18hy0) for FTPro, I've not been able to import .mdr files back into FTPro without some serious issues.

GW

laevex_esre
09-12-2011, 02:25 PM
I'll play with some more erosion then. Maybe an exponent. I'm actually pretty happy with it. My main issue is with the transition back to FTPro. But if I make all my maps out of images exported from Wilbur then I can avoid this problem. Just about to post up my first attempts at climatology.

laevex_esre
09-12-2011, 03:34 PM
Here's my first attempt at climatology. I've just followed the Climate Cookbook (http://jc.tech-galaxy.com/bricka/climate_cookbook.html) and come up with these pressure maps.

If there are any climate-savvy people out there, could you tell me if I'm on the right track please?

January:
38502

July:
38503

laevex_esre
09-14-2011, 08:44 AM
Does anyone have any comments on my pressure maps? Or shall I just get going on prevailing winds?

Greason Wolfe
09-14-2011, 09:24 PM
Seeing as how I'm no expert when it comes to climate building, I would imagine you're probably safe with what you've got. If you've been following the Climate Cookbook, you can probably move on to the prevailing wind and such.

GW

laevex_esre
09-15-2011, 10:28 AM
So here are my prevailing winds:

January
38539

July
38540

waldronate
09-15-2011, 11:15 AM
For my part, ever since I installed the latest patch (li18hy0) for FTPro, I've not been able to import .mdr files back into FTPro without some serious issues.

Any details on these issues?

Greason Wolfe
09-15-2011, 11:37 AM
Acutally, I think I know what I was doing wrong. Since I was exporting parts of the world as a "Wilbur MDR Files" instead of the whole world as a "Special Wilbur MDR file" the latitude and longitude extents of the area weren't being sent to Wilbur, and I was forgetting to adjust them before sending things back to FTPro. I was actually getting data back into FTPro, but it was a tiny little 1 degree by 1 degree spec instead of the full extent of the area. I do appreciate you asking though, and I meant to contact you about it at one point. With all the updating I've had to do since the crash, some of these things have slipped my mind. It must be old age catching up to me. :D

GW

arsheesh
09-16-2011, 03:23 PM
Wow, that's pretty interesting. I'll have to check out the link you provided to see how you figured out the wind patterns (something I've been curious about but haven't really looked into yet).

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

laevex_esre
09-24-2011, 05:21 PM
So I finished my planet's climate using the cookbook and put this map together.
It roughly outlines the different areas of climate, but I haven't taken the mountains into account and such so it's only a general outline of where deserts and forests are etc.

38709

As always, any criticism is welcome. I will probably try putting together a satellite view next with realistic textures.

arsheesh
09-24-2011, 05:45 PM
That's pretty cool laevex. This makes me want to give this cookbook a try for my own homebrew world.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

laevex_esre
09-25-2011, 03:27 PM
I'm trying to use this climate map to create a satellite view and I have no idea how to go about it.

I'd love to do something like this (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?10144-Fractal-Terrains-Climate-Image-Overlay), yet another example of a2area's work that I love. Any idea how I would go about it? I find editing climates in FTPro incredibly difficult.

laevex_esre
09-28-2011, 06:17 AM
Here is the result of all my work on defining Etarek's climate. I'm quite happy with the result. One odd thing is that the estuaries are completely crazy, but I'll explain that away with backstory. It's a quirk of the planet.

If anyone has feedback I'd love to hear. If not, then I'll post it in the 'Finished Maps' section and move on to my regional maps (the big project).

(Because the attachment feature is broken, I've uploaded it using Imageshack. Click the link to see it.)

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/8497/satelliteviewwithrotati.jpg

Steel General
09-28-2011, 08:21 AM
Looking good so far.

laevex_esre
09-28-2011, 08:27 AM
Another thing which I think may be wrong is that I have rivers starting in dry areas, particularly in deserts. Does this ever happen?

I'm assuming not.Does anyone think it would be a good idea to redirect them?

cantab
09-28-2011, 10:22 AM
It could be explained by them actually starting outside the deserts, but not getting wide enough to be seen on the map until they're in the desert. If you think you have too many desert rivers, you could simply remove some.

Also, do I see submarine canyons in the bathymetry? Very nice to have details like that.

Your estuaries, and coast in general, are about right for a planet that's recently had sea-level rise.

laevex_esre
09-28-2011, 12:09 PM
Yes they are submarine canyons. But I only have them because I followed a2area's Israh tutorial to get my erosion looking good. The idea for that was a world coming out of an ice age, so sea levels had recently risen. I expect this is why my estuaries are like that. But I'm happy to accept that as the geological reasoning for them. I actually really like the geology of this world.

Here's the latest version with less rogue rivers. (I still can't attach images properly, so it's just a link I'm afraid.)

http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/6622/satelliteviewfinished.jpg

waldronate
09-29-2011, 01:10 AM
Things you can do in Wilbur to fix some of the complaints:

One way to mitigate the deeply-incised coastal rivers is to save a selection of your base terrain's land before you erode the terrain and then load that selection back in and height clip the selection from 0.1 to 10000000 after you erode the terrain. That will pull all of those just-below-sea-level areas to just above sea level. Not an option after the terrain is eroded, of course.

Another option in Wilbur is to perform a Filter>>Morphological>>Dilate operation with a value of 1 followed by a Filter>>Morphological>>Erode operation with a value of 1. That sequence will close all 2 pixel-wide holes without doing too many awful things to the terrain. It will do some damage, though, so you might want to only do that in an area around the coast. One way to select the coast is to do Select>>From Terrain>>Height Range with a value that selects fairly coastal areas. Select>>Modify>>Expand can be used to expand the coastal selection without worrying too much about the actual height of the land.

laevex_esre
09-29-2011, 01:31 PM
Thanks Waldronate! I fixed the estuaries using the second option you suggested and it looks great. I'll have to go through and redo the Photoshop part now, but I'm very happy.