View Full Version : Realistic heightmaps from coastlines & basic mountain positions- GIMP + Wilbur

06-06-2014, 11:04 PM
So I've been making a map of a large region of a continent - the land of Totallynotmedievaleurope - starting with a hand-drawn coastline and locations of major mountain ranges.

Basically, the current map is color-coded with sea, lowlands, highlands, and three heights of mountains.
The problem is, I can't figure out how to turn this rough map into a realistic heightmap.

I really like the results from this tutorial: http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/18280-%5Baward-winner%5D-eriond-tutorial-gimp-wilbur.html
but I can't get the mountain chunks to blend together properly, and they don't match the shapes I came up with beforehand very well.

Are there any other good methods for generating a heightmap from this type of map?

06-07-2014, 01:40 AM
http://www.cartographersguild.com/mapping-challenge-archive/18120-march-april-2012-lite-challenge-entry-csu-johnsondales-new-found-lands.html has a tutorial that outlines a process that will get you something like the image below. The image below is a variant on the described process, in that I started with a downsampled 375x500 image to do the basic processing quickly and then upsampled back to the original resolution and did a finishing pass with incise flow and precipiton erosion. I didn't bother with fancy coloring or touchup in Photoshop. I also added a few bits of linear gradient to force the river direction to align better with the landforms.

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