View Full Version : Creating mountains and terrain blending.

09-16-2012, 12:36 AM
I came across a map of the earth that left me almost breathless, as breathless as a map can make you ;)

I have several questions regarding it, but for the sake of simplicity I'll narrow it down to the main ones:

1. Are their any tutorials or tips to create mountains in GIMP or Photoshop as they are on this map?

2. Also, the terrain blending is obviously fantastic. Any tuts/tips on this?

This might be a satellite image, but I get the sense that it isn't. Any help with my questions would be great, thanks!

Here's the map; http://naturalearth.springercarto.com/ne3_data/8192/textures/2_no_clouds_8k.jpg

09-16-2012, 02:12 AM
Play around with truncating the URL. A clue is that there are zip files of DEMs there - so the whole thing was no doubt generated & rendered. Other views include the same dataset with clouds and ice - pretty stuff indeed!

There's a folder on there with a file named bryce.zip, which makes me uneasy - bryce is not open source. But it is shareware. Still, I'd rather get it from the developer. Hmmmm - but there's some kind of promotion right now where bryce7 pro can be had for free: the developer's site: http://www.daz3d.com/products/bryce/bryce-what-is-bryce/ Looks like they usually separate into a free version, a better version that costs a little, and a pro version that costs more. Bryce is a rendering package, so that's a plausible pathway to the world map you link to.

09-16-2012, 02:17 AM
Check out http://www.naturalearthdata.com/ for the source. See Tom Patterson's page at http://www.shadedrelief.com/ for good discussions on the techniques that fed into that data set.

It is a very nice data set.

09-17-2012, 10:42 PM
Ah, that sucks. I was hoping at least some sort of climate blending could be done similar to this map with a simple program.

09-18-2012, 01:05 AM
Well, you can do such with as simple a program as MS Paint, only it won't do it FOR you :-).

09-18-2012, 02:12 AM
http://www.shadedrelief.com/hypso/hypso.html offers a pretty good tutorial on the basic process.

09-19-2012, 12:46 PM
Yes, you can do it in photoshop with a bit of work (probably with GIMP, but I haven't used it in years and can't remember the vocabulary translations). I've been working on a similar something recently and can point you in a very general direction to look into... I know there are many tutorials around that cover these things much better than I could ever explain them.

Height maps/bump maps (greyscale images that show low areas as dark and high areas as light) are a large part of it. That's how you get raised relief terrain like in that world map you pointed to (they likely used one like this, but not in photoshop: http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=73934). Here's a good tutorial for how to go about it: http://www.michaeldashow.com/tips_bumpmaps.html.

For shading such as the tutorial which waldronate provided (thank you for that, by the way - reps coming) you can play with gradient maps in photoshop, again combined with the original height map (duplicate that layer(place it above the shaded relief layer), probably change the layer style to color, and you may want to heighten the contrast a bit if you find that the shading is too subtle for your taste).

For shading natural vegetation in photoshop, you can use the paint brush and common sense. =)

Hope that's somewhat helpful.

EDIT: Actually, I decided to go a little more in depth. http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?20061-Shaded-Relief-amp-Gradient-from-height-map-in-Photoshop&p=195961#post195961

09-19-2012, 10:35 PM
Wow truly great help everyone. I'll show you the map when I finish it!