View Full Version : Is there a way to mix terrain in a single layer?

03-02-2014, 02:24 AM

I have been trying to teach myself GIMP by reading several of the wonderful tutorials available in the forum, but I've come up against a Gordian Knot of a problem that has me tearing my hair out!

I've been dabbling with the tut by RobA -Using GIMP to Create an Artistic Regional RPG Map- after downloading the pdf version, and I've had pretty good luck with it: for the most part everything comes out pretty much like the guide says it will. But as good as it is it has left me in a quandry: all of the terrain features pretty much overlap each other (well, except for trees, rivers and mountains). When laying down the basics - grass and dirt - you have the same basic ground cover everywhere. There are lots of variables, certainly, but there has got to be a way to mix and match.

My point: I have been trying to figure out a way to use layer masks to lay down multiple features that overlap; fer instance - I got an island with a central peak, a "Diamond Head" kind of cliff, beaches, grassy areas, trees, patches of bare earth, yada-yada, and I know there has to be way to say "...ok, there's a beach over there, a dusty field over here, patches of trees and grass..." without the same sort of generic TLS carpet covering everything.

Is there a way to carve up a land mask into four or five parts, or combinations, or even oodles of cascading layers and masks that do the job? Am I even making myself clear? Will my dog ever get enough cheese?

My brain hurts......


03-02-2014, 04:31 AM
I'm not clear what you are asking, but I suspect that yes, there is a way to do what you are looking for using layer masks. Perhaps you are having problems from having too many stacked layer masks, so that the lower ones are never visible? If so, I'd advise you to start at the bottom with the base terrain and use succeeding layer masks to build up the terrain from a base of white/invisible, darkening as needed.

In any case, you should check out JFrazier's tutorial on using layer masks in Gimp '[Award Winner] Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP(and PS)' - even if it does not answer your question it should give you enough information to ask it! http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/3143-%5Baward-winner%5D-explanation-layer-masks-gimp-ps.html

03-02-2014, 08:27 AM
Now that I can think clearly, I believe what I am looking for is a way to load different layers, masks, etc. for each type of terrain and/or vegetation; so that each has it's own unique color and texture scheme. I understand the base "land" or terrain mask/channel idea, but what if I want to break that base layer into separate regions, like a beach on one side of the island, a grove of trees on the other and a range of hills in between? Technically they are all on the same base layer, but can I cut out the separate pieces and use them

03-02-2014, 10:15 AM
Your are better off using separate layers; one for each element. It will be much easier to modify afterward that if they are all on the same layer.


It's for photoshop but as a Gimp user you will probably understand. It gives other advices to avoid big mistakes.

03-02-2014, 10:54 AM
Hmm I don't know if gimp has the equivalent of a layer clipping mask that I would use in Photoshop.

03-13-2014, 02:27 AM
To all that looked/replied...

After hours of experimentation with GIMP, I figgered out on my own: a combination of tweaks to RobA's tuts & clever use of the clone tool to paint with patterns and I got exactly what I wanted.

Look for my first map post......