View Full Version : Mountains (simple, shaded)

03-30-2014, 12:59 PM

I recently posted about a clean yet aesthetically pleasing way to represent mountains on a world map.

I really like the style of Max's mountains in this map (Central Uralien), however I'm not sure the best way to go about making a similar affect:


I'm still quite new when it comes to digital map making, and I generally prefer methods where I can use my wacom to more or less 'hand draw' my maps (in digital form). I have thought about hand drawing Tolkien style mountains, but I don't think they fit the overall style of the map (for now) as I just want a simple and clean map showing major mountains and rivers on a world scale.

I am using inkscape to make the coastlines, but I think GIMP might be better for the mountains? Even the most basic of advice would be welcome.


04-07-2014, 11:38 AM
GIMP probably fits better for this problem.

I don't know exactly how he did the mountains, but it seems that he used a 25% hardness large brush, with opacity set to something like 60% to 80%, color black for the shadows and probably white for the light part. Paint, polish, erase, until he thinks that it's good, and then set the layer blend mode to Overlay.

Maybe adding some hsv noise and then gaussian blurring it a little.

Hope it can help you a bit (and hope I am right). I'll try something.

04-07-2014, 11:58 AM
Thank you Slylok, that's a very nice stuff, but I think it isn't exactly the same technic used here.

I tried it and could get similar results. In GIMP, I used a soft (25% hardness) brush, with about 30% opacity with a very dark brown color (HTML 1D170E), with the tool paintbrush. Draw the mountain shadow with that, and erase for the lights. Also there are some smal angled lines (vertical lines, 45 counter-clockwise) painted on a layer above with low opacity (also dark brown). Set both layers mode to multiply.

This way you can get mountains similar to what you want, and you can do everything with your wacom.

Hope it works for you as it worked for me.

04-07-2014, 12:08 PM
Thank you Slylok, that's a very nice stuff, but I think it isn't exactly the same technic used here.

lol! Yeah i realized that after i posted it and tried deleting the post before anyone saw it, but you're just too fast :P