View Full Version : Making bogs and swamps in GIMP

06-02-2012, 07:04 PM
I am having some trouble figuring out how to make bogs in GIMP, and have them not look terrible.

Here is how I made bogs in a hand-drawn map, later edited in GIMP:

And here are the same bogs made directly in GIMP, on a map with a parchment effect. In this, the bogs were made by overlapping and editing the "coffee stain" feature.

Now, I am not 100% sold on either of these, but they seemed to work well enough. Now I want to figure out how to make bogs fit into this map:

I can't find a useful tutorial for it here, and my google-fu is not turning up anything helpful either. The most useful thing I can find is a thread Jaxilon started a while back. (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?15859-Salt-marsh-bayou-delta-dohicky&highlight=marsh) It's not a tut, but it at least provides something to potentially emulate.

06-02-2012, 07:51 PM
Bogs tend to be a mix of water and grasses with some shrubs.

https://www.google.ca/search?tbm=isch&hl=en&source=hp&biw=1920&bih=989&q=aerial+bog&gbv=2&oq=aerial+bog&aq=f&aqi=g-mS1&aql=&gs_l=img.3..0i5i24.4098.7392.0.8112. 136.989.2j8.10.0...0.0.WwEeCBP-Arw

is a crazy google image search for "aerial bog" which may provide inspiration.

-Rob A>

06-03-2012, 08:34 PM
Here is an attempt at making bog-lands. I'd like to get some input on it, to see what needs to be improved.


06-03-2012, 08:41 PM
That looks pretty good, except that the lighting looks inverted to me (it looks like the water is floating on top of recessed plants).

06-03-2012, 10:33 PM
Well, it is not in actuality so. I could just add a drop shadow and see if that improves it.

06-03-2012, 11:00 PM
Lol, I didn't think it was ;) That can sometimes happen when folks light things from the bottom right instead of the top left. Just wanted to let you know it was causing the visual confusion. A drop shadow might help, but I think it's just a matter of the lighting being different.

06-03-2012, 11:09 PM
It might be a bit different, but it would be a difference of maybe 15 degrees.

06-03-2012, 11:30 PM
And now that I'm looking at it again, I'm not getting the optical illusion. Maybe my eyes were just bugging out before!

06-09-2012, 03:11 AM
I created a couple of terrains in my Elechos (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?16359-Elechos-by-Jaxilon) map that might be close to what you are after. There is a dead bog area along the western edge of the mountain range as well as a delta roughly in the center on the southern edge that dumps into the ocean. That was all in Gimp.

If either of those are of interest I can pull up my source files and look at how I did them.

06-09-2012, 03:35 AM
I think for the map in question, I have come up with a system that works. And I believe I saw that delta in another thread of yours (or one very much like it). It did influence the way I am making my bogs currently.

I would be interesting to see some process though, for reference and refinement in the future.

06-09-2012, 09:18 AM
I like the way you did the bogs in your Abred map... but I think I found what bothered me about them in this particular map: you use exactly the same way for the bog-vegetation that you use for the forests. Thus they seem to be of equal height on the map... and together this looks like your bogs are filled with huge trees.

Maybe you could adjust the drop shadow (or whatever you used to make this 3D effect) on either the bogs or the forests?

06-09-2012, 02:21 PM
You may not like it, but I tried something in this map (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?2904-September-Entry-The-Broken-Coast) that I liked a bit for this style of map.

06-11-2012, 12:37 PM
Similar to RobA's search on "aerial bog" I found some slightly different pictures when I did aerial swamp (http://bit.ly/MnFl28).

I am having a similar issue myself so I was glad to find this thread!


06-11-2012, 12:54 PM
I also did a Google search on "aerial marsh"...march, bog, and swamp are all slightly different if you look them up in Wikipedia, but I am finding that the aerial photos look very similar on all those searches. Then again, within each search term, there are photos with very different looks, and they come from very different climate areas--I found one from Siberia! I'm sure there must be differences between a swamp in Siberia and a swamp in Africa, for instance. I'm just not sure if that would show up visually or not.


06-18-2012, 09:25 AM
Sheesh, I was about to post this exact thread and was beaten to it. Psychic! Everyone else's attempts are so inspiring that I'm going to have another attempt at a quick and dirty marshland. If I manage to come up with something remotely appealing (er... unappealing? It's a marsh) then I'll totally copy my steps here.