View Full Version : Mountains in The Gimp

02-28-2012, 09:21 AM
Hello everyone,

I am currently making a map in The Gimp (2.6.12), based on a rough sketch I did on paper. I found some excellent tips and pointers here on the forums, which have proved an enormous help so far. Especially this thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?1142-Award-Winner-Using-GIMP-to-Create-an-Artistic-Regional-RPG-Map) has been a big help! However, it appears I am stuck where it comes to creating mountains. At least, they don't come out looking tall at all, rather flat... See the included samples to see what I mean. I have been using this thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?4335-Award-Winner-Simple-Mountains-in-Gimp) to make mountains.



Obviously, I am doing something wrong, but for the life of me, I can't think of what it is. I've tried several times, played around with the different settings and layers in The Gimp, however, this has been the best result so far. I am hoping one of The Gimp wizards here could tell me why my mountains seem less than tall. Also, how do I avoid getting the strange looking ridge at the foot of my mountains?

Hope someone can help!

02-29-2012, 03:32 AM
Joober, I used that tutorial a month ago for my first gimp map - see here http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?17153-Island-Map-for-Campaign. The most difficult part by far was the mountains, as it was very very easy to skip steps in the tutorial. You have to pay close attention to the tutorial's images. I had to go through it about five times before finally understanding. The tutorial is written for someone that is familiar with gimp, which I was not when I tried to follow it.

I can confirm that you are definitely doing something wrong. You've missed a step or a key part of the tutorial.

Also, avoiding getting the ridges at the base of the mountains is covered in the tutorial steps 11 AND 13. You need to make sure you got both of those steps absolutely correct to avoid the ridges - this is something I had huge trouble with at first also, and took many repeats to finally understand what I was supposed to be doing.

One thing you might consider is making a single mountain chain at a time. This is because the system the tutorial uses (if memory serves) can only have a single highest point/elevation, from which all other points slope down. That may be why you only have one snowy mountain. Repeat the tutorial picking only a single one of your ridges, and see if that works better.

02-29-2012, 06:25 AM
Hi jacktannery,

Thank you for your reply and I am glad to read that I am not the only one who has had difficulties getting my mountains to come out right. I know a little bit about working with The Gimp, but not nearly enough to understand all the steps. I've been quite diligent in following the steps accurately, tried them out 6 times by now and I am getting better. But because I don't know exactly why I am doing things, turning on option A, switching off option B, it is hard to improvise. Thank heavens for Ctrl-Z ;)

I have made the following image now, with all the mountain ranges present in one go, which is beginning to look better. The main difference is that I turned up the depth on the Emboss layer considerably.
It's not great, but certainly better than what I had before!

I'll keep on trying, paying attention to each step and the screen shots provided.

Thanks again!

03-02-2012, 05:01 PM
I think you have it there Joober. Try this to set them off:

Make a new transparent layer directly on top of your green grass layer
Get a big fuzzy brush at 30% opacity and choose a pale browny-beige colour
Paint on your blank layer with the brush exactly where the mountains are. Go over it a few times. They should start showing up beautifully like that.