PDA

View Full Version : Fractal Terrains painting



satyesu
05-06-2014, 10:50 PM
On page 9 of this (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCsQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cartographersguild.com%2Fatta chments%2Ftutorials-how%2F12090d1239048921-%255Baward-winner%255D-fractal-terrains-pro-tutorial-fractal-terrains-pro-tutorial.pdf&ei=G69mU97EL4TsyQGE4IB4&usg=AFQjCNE1o0BDmmZVosIb7nOXxgNdkFNZTQ&sig2=LOnyGX0agdU4B0Ypf-TOJA&bvm=bv.65788261,d.aWcit) recommends "painting." Painting what and why?

waldronate
05-08-2014, 05:18 AM
Tutorial for Cartographer’s Guild (http://www.ridgenet.net/~jslayton/CGTutorial/index.html) is the original of that tutorial.

The section "Painting" has subsections like "Use the prescale offset editing tools instead of the offset editing tools", "Use a light touch", and "Painting Toys", if that helps. I wrote that document in outline mode in MS Word and didn't see any need to put any body filler under "Painting".

satyesu
05-08-2014, 11:46 AM
But what are you suggesting I paint? What's the purpose?

Gamerprinter
05-08-2014, 12:37 PM
Apparently the painting is of the colors used for each terrain area - the browns and yellows in the mountain reaches, the light gray green of the hills, the green of wider plains expanse, as well as different shades of blue used to determine regions of depth in the oceans versus the grays provided in the base terrain depicted by landform generation by Fractal Terrains creation function.

satyesu
05-08-2014, 12:41 PM
I'm sorry, I'm very inexperienced. Does that smooth out the terrain or just color it?

Gamerprinter
05-08-2014, 01:09 PM
I've only dabbled with Fractal Terrains, so my answer isn't specific to that application, however, the smoothing of the painting is of the color only. You don't want to destroy the integrity of the terrain detail - that would be counter intuitive.

Azelor
05-08-2014, 01:39 PM
painting is to elevate and lower the landscape (page 7) it has nothing to do with smoothing

satyesu
05-08-2014, 02:02 PM
I'm trying to make a "realistic" world/planet. Should I even use this?

Gamerprinter
05-08-2014, 03:40 PM
As a tool for auto generation of elevation in terrain, Fractal Designs is very good at creating very realistic and satisfactory results. There are many limitations, however. If you have some exact coastal border and shape in mind, there is no guarantee that the auto-generation will ever even come close to what you have in mind. Regarding the water level, only the sea and lakes of the exact same elevation are depicted. You cannot differ between high mountain lakes as distinct above what is the maps 'sea level' - all waters in Fractal Designs are at sea level only. Also rivers and creeks cannot be depicted at all. Though some narrow sea level channels can seem to resemble a river. If you'd want to include such, this would be done in some other program as a post Fractal Terrains process. Being far more comfortable with my geographic, geologic as wel as cartographic skills, I don't really need nor would prefer to use Fractal Terrains, even so, I think the results are still impressive and indeed "realistic" as you seem to want to know. For a beginner at cartography, Fractal Terrains is an excellent method of generating a believeable world, at least the start of one.

If I were to include using Fractal Terrains in my cartographic process, it would the start of a map only, and the post-production work would be done in GIMP, Photoshop, or in my case in Xara Photo & Graphic Designer, a vector app that can also do the job.

satyesu
05-08-2014, 04:28 PM
Do you know of any tutorials/lessons on things like ralistically adding rivers and whatnot?

waldronate
05-08-2014, 04:37 PM
What was unrealistic about the rivers generated by FT?

feanaaro
05-08-2014, 04:49 PM
I don't know what the OP was referring to specifically, but the rivers in FT have some problems (at least they had in FT2, I haven't tried FT3) in that they don't precisely follow the terrain configuration, but only roughly so. Sometimes they appear to flow upward (going over small hills etc), and often they end a few pixels before meeting the sea. Sometimes they go in circle, especially when two or more meet.
Moreover, even when they don't have glaring errors, at close zoom levels they are always too straight ant not enough "serpentine".
Overall, the rivers produced by FT may be used as a guide, but you would be better off painting over them and correct any error that there may be. They may work well on their own only in the very lowest levels of zoom (like, worldwide map).

Gamerprinter
05-08-2014, 05:04 PM
What was unrealistic about the rivers generated by FT?

It might be my recent lack of experience on Fractal Terrain, and I'd forgotten how FT does rivers - its been since 2007 since I even touched the application. I'm sure I forgot things, my thoughts are only based on my memories of dabbling with it years ago.

waldronate
05-08-2014, 05:07 PM
I don't know what the OP was referring to specifically, but the rivers in FT have some problems (at least they had in FT2, I haven't tried FT3) in that they don't precisely follow the terrain configuration, but only roughly so. Sometimes they appear to flow upward (going over small hills etc), and often they end a few pixels before meeting the sea. Sometimes they go in circle, especially when two or more meet.
Moreover, even when they don't have glaring errors, at close zoom levels they are always too straight ant not enough "serpentine".
Overall, the rivers produced by FT may be used as a guide, but you would be better off painting over them and correct any error that there may be. They may work well on their own only in the very lowest levels of zoom (like, worldwide map).

The rivers in FT3 are a bit better behaved than those in FT2, but they are still computed on a basin-filled version of the terrain computed at a specific resolution (that pause where it's computing a terrain at your requested resolution is where it's taking the abstract FT terrain and making it into something that can be basin-filled and have the raw flow computation done before converting into a vector representation). Because the rivers are computed at a specific resolution, they will be represented as short segments of lines, which may sometimes touch each other on the computation grid during vectorization (these collisions will appear as loops). Because the segments are lines, zooming in far enough will reveal that they are indeed lines. Pointing out that the rivers in FT eventually degenerate into line segments when zoomed in far enough is an awful lot like observing that pixels in a digital image turn into blocks of color when you zoom in on them. The simplest solution for FT's rivers and an image is to generate the original content at a higher resolution. In both cases, there are practical upper limits.

FT was designed for producing whole-world and continental-scale maps to be annotated in CC2 and CC3. Pushing it outside of its intended uses can generate good results, but it can generate awful results as well. Due to the nature of its river generation, it will keep a novice cartographer from committing many of the river placement sins so common around here, at least for the world map.

waldronate
05-08-2014, 05:09 PM
And when I asked what was unrealistic about the rivers in FT, I was mostly interested in what the OP found disturbing about the rivers generated during the CGTutorial activity that he linked to.

satyesu
05-08-2014, 06:28 PM
Originally I was asking what "painting" you suggested in your tut. :P

feanaaro
05-08-2014, 07:17 PM
Yeah, sorry, I answered without noticing who was asking the question.

waldronate
05-08-2014, 09:52 PM
Originally I was asking what "painting" you suggested in your tut. :P

Was your question answered by the suggestion that the next few blocks of text are recommendations for using the prescale painting tool and that the "Painting" section is just an empty topic?