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pasis
06-05-2014, 02:28 PM
This started as a Photoshop experiment to create clear water to see through. I think I got it quite ok and the water looks cold and clear. We'll see if I can turn this to a larger regional map.

madcowchef
06-05-2014, 03:10 PM
Looks really nice and conveys the sense of depth perfectly. The waves confuse the sense of scale for me a bit, but that may be more a factor of the difference in waves under difference in conditions rather than any misrepresentation.

Diamond
06-06-2014, 01:23 AM
Wow! How do you keep pumping out awesomeness like this? That looks great.

Ilanthar
06-06-2014, 08:40 AM
The water's render and its transparency are just stunning!

pasis
06-07-2014, 04:24 AM
Thanks guys. The transparency was quite easy to do with Photoshop and no additional rendering sotware is needed. You just paint using blue and black brushes with low opacity (10% or so). The more you paint the less you see through. Then just apply the water texture and waves and you are done.

Diamond
06-07-2014, 06:11 PM
It's not the paint, it's the painter. ;)

pasis
06-10-2014, 03:50 PM
Finally I was able to pull of the mountains around the lake. I have not progressed too far though and still trying to get the colors right, but here is a sample of where I am now.

EDIT: added the low res image of the whole area I have been working on to get an idea of the surroundings

Francissimo
06-10-2014, 04:10 PM
What a render! i've rarely see a map so close to photorealism, brillant result congrats!

lostatsea
06-10-2014, 09:37 PM
pasis Looks great when put in surrounding terrain.

Bogie
06-10-2014, 11:11 PM
Looking great. The water is terrific. I'm wondering why there are so many parallel lines that look like scratches running from top right to bottom left at a 45 degree angle. At first I thought they might represent glacial effects, but there are some on the surface of the water also.

Viking
06-11-2014, 12:03 AM
I like what you're doing here Pasis. I can see this approach having a lot of potential!

Diamond
06-11-2014, 01:49 AM
I'm wondering why there are so many parallel lines that look like scratches running from top right to bottom left at a 45 degree angle. At first I thought they might represent glacial effects, but there are some on the surface of the water also.
I wondered that too. I've seen the same effect in other maps he's done, so it must be some artifact inherent in the way he renders his terrain...

pasis
06-11-2014, 01:53 AM
Looking great. The water is terrific. I'm wondering why there are so many parallel lines that look like scratches running from top right to bottom left at a 45 degree angle. At first I thought they might represent glacial effects, but there are some on the surface of the water also.

The lines are leftovers from the process when I created the heightmap. I will clean them up at some stage, but I was too eager to start making the ground textures that I left the cleaning for later.

Veldehar
06-11-2014, 03:28 PM
That close-up view just blows me away.

pasis
06-24-2014, 03:05 PM
Finally I found some time to continue this project. I spent majority of the time cleaning the parallel lines (some still exist) but managed to do the more fun parts as well...

Edit: corrected some typos...

Akubra
06-24-2014, 03:24 PM
Simply amazing, pasis! One of the ridges in the northwest looks like a crab crawling out from under the sand. I can see the front of its shell, two eyes and a couple of legs.

Cheers - Akubra

RazielKilsenhoek
06-24-2014, 05:24 PM
Really nice work. Would you be willing to share some techniques with us on how you've achieved this? The map I'm currently working on is still at the stage where I can change the general style completely, and I've been toying around with different map styles. I would love to toy around with this.

If not, no worries! Do keep us updated on future developments though =D

pasis
06-25-2014, 05:06 AM
Really nice work. Would you be willing to share some techniques with us on how you've achieved this? The map I'm currently working on is still at the stage where I can change the general style completely, and I've been toying around with different map styles. I would love to toy around with this.

If not, no worries! Do keep us updated on future developments though =D

Sure I can share the methods used. Here are the steps in short:

1. Use Geocontrol tool to create the grayscale heightmap and save is as .BMP. Open the .BMP in Photoshop for the next steps.
2. Select the textures and colors to use to obtain the general feeling you are looking for (weather itís going to be arid and rocky or fertile etc.)
3. Create separate layers for the terrain, water, forest etc. and set the layer types to multiply.
4. Paint the ground and mountains etc. with the colors and textures selected. Use low opacity to get smooth color and texture transition.

There are few tutorials I have written covering many of the steps in more detail.
http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/16688-bumpmaps-photoshop-quick-guide.html
http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/4405-award-winner-rising-up-mountains-photoshop-10.html

RazielKilsenhoek
06-25-2014, 07:21 AM
That is extremely useful, thank you! This is gonna be so much fun.

pasis
06-25-2014, 03:59 PM
Here is the latest. I'm not sure if I like the forest or not...

RazielKilsenhoek
06-25-2014, 04:13 PM
Forest looks very nice to me. It's thick but subtle in a natural way, if that makes any sense. It's dense but it doesn't stand out or seem out of place. It might be worth changing one or two things, but that's just my opinion.

For example, those mountains (to me) are perfect for one or two very thin rivers to flow from them down into the lake. As for the forest itself, I really like the way it looks but the borders of it seem too consistent. By that I mean, it might be worth having the forest density gradually thin out a bit as it reaches the ends.

pasis
06-29-2014, 05:03 AM
Decided to add a small village. Here is the first sample of the design I'm looking for...

pasis
06-29-2014, 04:30 PM
I had to change the way I did the forest to match better with the houses. Requires still small twaking but I leave it like this for the time being. I might do more than just this one village. Maybe some mining and/or trading outposts.

tainotim
06-29-2014, 05:46 PM
That is absolute amazing. Makes me think about the first "Myst" game for some strange reason. Keep the good work up! :)

arsheesh
06-29-2014, 07:52 PM
I love it. BTW, I've been wondering for some time how you go about making your buildings. I imagine that the base layer is some type of bevel & emboss with a pattern overlay, but how do get all those chimneys and extra details? Are you manually adding each of them?

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

lomedhel
06-30-2014, 04:17 AM
pasis, this looks so great, I've got this tab open for three days now, wondering what to say! It looks just like an areal photograph.

Thumbs up!

Bogie
06-30-2014, 08:39 AM
Love all the detail!

pasis
06-30-2014, 11:35 AM
Thanks guys, glad you like it.

Arsheesh, I will creare a new house, document the process and post the instructions. You will be amazed how easy it is!

pasis
06-30-2014, 02:11 PM
Attached is a guick guide on how to create the houses in the village. I had no time to describe all the steps in smallest detail, but I hope you can follow it anyway.

Veldehar
06-30-2014, 02:40 PM
Beautiful work as usual, and thanks for the tutorial!

arsheesh
06-30-2014, 08:05 PM
Attached is a guick guide on how to create the houses in the village. I had no time to describe all the steps in smallest detail, but I hope you can follow it anyway.

First off, thanks a million for posting this, it's super helpful! Second, I had considered the method of pre-creating building symbols to then stamp onto a map and rotate. However what made me decide against this method was that it seemed I would run into problems with lighting inconsistencies when I rotated the symbols (e.g. the shadows on the chimneys are now at the wrong angle etc), and so would have to change the lighting for each building individually. Is this a problem you've encountered, and if so, what's your solution?

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

pasis
07-01-2014, 08:18 AM
I suffer from the same issue, but there are ways to minimize the work.
The shadows don’t have to be spot on. You can rotate the house about 45 degrees to either direction without a need for redoing them. But the need for changing the light direction still exists.
I have created all the houses in one PS file where all similar items of every house are in the same layer. I mean all roofs facing one direction are in one layer, all roofs facing other direction are in another layer and all chimneys etc. are in yet in another layer.
By changing the direction of the global light source you change all drop shadows and bevels at the same time. Then you just need to change the exposure of the adjustment layers to get the roof shadows right.
It takes just one minute to make all the changes and it applies the changes to all of your houses in one go.

If you could invent a way to do the roof lighting in a way that it would rely on PS global light source as well, the problem would be solved. You could have all your house layers in your map file itself and you could rotate them as you like and the lighting would work.

arsheesh
07-01-2014, 11:08 PM
I suffer from the same issue, but there are ways to minimize the work.
I have created all the houses in one PS file where all similar items of every house are in the same layer. I mean all roofs facing one direction are in one layer, all roofs facing other direction are in another layer and all chimneys etc. are in yet in another layer.
By changing the direction of the global light source you change all drop shadows and bevels at the same time. Then you just need to change the exposure of the adjustment layers to get the roof shadows right.
It takes just one minute to make all the changes and it applies the changes to all of your houses in one go.

If you could invent a way to do the roof lighting in a way that it would rely on PS global light source as well, the problem would be solved. You could have all your house layers in your map file itself and you could rotate them as you like and the lighting would work.

OK, thanks for the explanation. I didn't realize PS had a global lighting feature that affected multiple layers. I'm working with GIMP and, to my knowledge, such a feature doesn't yet exist. So this will likely mean more work on my end if I use your method. That said, I really like the results so it may be worth it.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

pasis
07-03-2014, 07:09 AM
Here is an overall map of the crater lake surroundings. Next I'll add more details and habitation.

Pixie
07-03-2014, 07:15 AM
I second what everyone has said so far - this is wonderful work.
A view of the entire area, with the houses very little down there makes the landscape appear much more impressive. That set of mountains and the slopes toward the lake must be an oasis of greenery in an otherwise dry region. I truly truly like it.

Lyandra
07-08-2014, 02:56 PM
It's such a beautiful map pasis! I love your texture work. Thank you so much for sharing more of your technique too! I've always wondered how you get the houses to look so realistic. Never would have thought it was such a relatively "simple" process. They actually looked to me like photos of real buildings cut out from some satellite photos. ;) The clear water effect looks spectacular. I like it much better than if it was a flat texture. I'm curious, how do you get the waves to look so convincing? Is it just more texture painted in? Those waves visibly breaking on the shores of the bodies of water add so much to your maps. It's one of those little details that makes them look all the more like actual satellite photos of real world places. :)

pasis
07-09-2014, 02:34 PM
Thanks Lyandra and Pixie for your kind comments.
Lyandra - Yes the waves are indeed just another texture. The texture is a closeup from an ocean foam and with few modifications I managed to turn it into waves :)

This will be the last WIP for a while so I attached a full resolution version. I will continue after few weeks but as I'm quite far with this already it shouldn't take too long to get it finished...

Llannagh
07-09-2014, 02:58 PM
Jesus. That style was something I originally wanted to achieve sometime until I decided against it for practical reasons (e.g. lack of skill ;)).

I don't have the time to read throughn the whole thread right now, but I take it you're using lots of textures? Also the lighting effects that come with Photoshop?

Anyway, that's really impressive.

Lyandra
07-10-2014, 04:30 AM
Thanks Lyandra and Pixie for your kind comments.
Lyandra - Yes the waves are indeed just another texture. The texture is a closeup from an ocean foam and with few modifications I managed to turn it into waves :)

This will be the last WIP for a while so I attached a full resolution version. I will continue after few weeks but as I'm quite far with this already it shouldn't take too long to get it finished...

Thank you for posting a full resolution version, being able to zoom in and see all those details is great. :)

pasis
08-24-2014, 05:17 AM
Continuing this project by adding various details pretty much everywhere. Here is a small sample without and with the added details.

Bogie
08-24-2014, 10:05 AM
Looks good, but the pics are small so it is hard to see the nice details.

Looking forward to when you are done and post the large version.

Axlleaf
08-24-2014, 10:10 AM
I love that texture work!

Ilanthar
08-24-2014, 11:10 AM
Glad to know that you're still working on this! I can't wait to see it finished.