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RobA
02-12-2009, 01:48 PM
This is in response to a request to show I made the demo mountains in post 7 of this thread. (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=4312)

The embarrassing thing is that I was just winging it, not paying attention (I tend to play/undo, tweak mercilessly until I get the look I like). So following is a summary of the MAIN steps I used.

I'm trying a different format this time, so I have 5 steps per image. I'd suggest opening them in a new window/tab as you follow along with the text.

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1) Starting with a piece of Nerdling's map (which has nice colours already - which is why I'm not going to show anything about colours except snowcap).
2) Make a selection using the lasso tool around the area(s) you want the mountains. On the Channels tab, click New Channel. Select the "Initialize from selection" check. This will give us the ability to bring up the selection again by coming back to the channels tab, selecting the "Selection" channel and clicking the "Selection from Channel" button (next to the garbage can icon)
3) Create a new black filled layer named "Blur". Since we still have the selection, fill it with white. Select>None then Gaussian blur 100 px or so (it depends on the size of the map...)
4) Create another new black filled layer named Noise. Load up the selection channel as a selection, and feather it 50 px or so (again, depending on the map...)
5) Fill the feathered selection with B&W rendered cloud or noise (I used the Felimage Noise plugin)

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6) Create another black filled layer named "Angular Fill". With our feathered selection, fill it with a Shaped (dimpled) gradient fill.
7) Change Layer Modes of the Angular Fill and Noise layers to Addition. The image will look all blown out. Select the Blur layer and adjust the levels, pulling down the output bright level to 85 or so.
8) On the Noise Level, Also pull down the brightest level to 50 or so. Do this by sliding the input white level down to where you see something on the histogram, and slide the output white level down to 50.
9) You could use the levels on the Angular fill layer, but you get more control with curves (this is where I spend lots of time "tweaking"). First, bring down the right land side of the line until there are no highlight blowouts (watch the image). Then shape the curve similar to what I have done.
10) Use Layers>New from Visible to create a copy of the heightfield so far, and use the curves tool on this new layer (I renamed it New from Visible...it is created with the name Visible). Make the curve like I show. The idea is to make it resemble the cross section of a mountain range. This is what really defines the peaks.

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11) Duplicate that layer, and run Filters>Distort>Emboss. The Azimuth (light angle) and Depth can be what you want, but the elevation MUST be at 30! (This will give all horizontal surfaces a value of 50% grey... perfect for later)
12) Load up that selection from the Selection channel. feather it by 50 px or so, then invert it.
13) Making sure the emboss layer is selected (It gets unselected when you click on a channel), set the foregound colour to 50% grey and fill the layer. This will smooth out the ridges that were evident in the embossed layer in the nearly flat areas. I filled it a second time, as I could still see the ridges (It depends on what your depth was when you ran the emboss filter).
14) Turn off all the Blur, Noise, Angular Fill, and New from Visible Layers, and set the Emboss Layer mode to Hard Light (or Overlay... again, it depends on the image and colours). I wanted to reduce the contast without effecting the 50% level, so using the curves tool, first anchor the 50/50 mark in the middle of the line with a click, then grab the black and white ends and slide them up and down respectively, keeping an eye on the result.
15) A little snow in the heights looks good. Conveniently we have a heightfield ready to use. Turn the visibility of the New fon Visible layer back on, and set its layer mode to Screen. Now apply a threshold, and slide the black level up to a point where you have the amount of "snow" desired.

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16) Lastly I ran a 5 px Gaussian blur on the New from visible layer, and lowered the opacity a bit.


That is it.

It is all the playing with curves and adjusting levels in the addition stack when building the heightfield that make this work OK. You could even go further, adding more layer to the stack to represent really big peaks, etc. If you wanted to make mesa's, you could just allow the highlights to blow out, making the top flat!

Hope this was useful, comments on both the content and the format are appreciated.

-Rob A>

Absinth
02-13-2009, 04:51 AM
Thank you very, very much for another useful tutorial! I'll try this on the weekend! Thanks a lot!

Hoel
02-13-2009, 05:36 AM
Ok. I'm downloading GIMP now since this clearly can't be done in PS

Vandy
02-13-2009, 08:04 AM
Hi, RobA.

This is an extremely useful tutorial and one that I intend to put to use as soon as I get GIMP installed. Thank you for writing this up for us to use!

================================================== =====

Hi, All.

I have converted Rob's excellent tutorial to a PDF document and have attached it to this thread.

Enjoy.

Regards,

Gary

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Hoel
02-13-2009, 10:12 AM
anyone putting it in a pdf

Steel General
02-13-2009, 10:31 AM
anyone putting it in a pdf

Vandy did in the post above yours. :)

Strickland5
02-13-2009, 12:52 PM
Nice! I've definitely got to play with this tutorial more.

strebalicious
02-17-2009, 07:21 AM
Good stuff. I'm sure I'm messing up somewhere, but a few passes at it got some decent results. The tops looked cut off, probably because I didn't do the curves right.

http://pics.bistromathics.com/tesht.jpg

The ridges were a little harsh for me, so I went through and smoothed it out manually.

http://pics.bistromathics.com/tesht2.jpg

Notsonoble
02-19-2009, 04:38 PM
I've already had lots better luck with this than the mountains in the the regional map tutorial, thanks RobA!

Bloodwolf
05-23-2009, 03:39 AM
I think this tutorial, along with the regional tutorial, are extremely useful. It's taken me a week of after work mapping to really get a good hang of them, but I'm eally starting to like the results. The original regional tutorial frustrated me at the mountain stage, but this one really fills in the gaps.

enazel
06-12-2009, 04:56 AM
Thanks for this method, been struggling with the mountains for my regional maps using your tutorial and this just worked first time and looked 100 times better.

sphagettiman
11-16-2009, 02:48 PM
Thanks man. This is working great though I can't them really to 'pop' They look more like large hills for some reason. :oops:

Vorhees
11-27-2009, 01:33 AM
Awesome stuff

kjdavies
11-28-2009, 01:06 AM
Thanks man. This is working great though I can't them really to 'pop' They look more like large hills for some reason. :oops:

You're probably basing the bump map on the noise overlay layer. Set it to multiply, 'duplicate visible', then bump map that one (sinusoidal, and be fairly aggressive with the depth). Apply this bump map on top of the one you have, you should see the pop you're looking for.

My tutorial ("Yet Another Mountain Tutorial Using GIMP") shows how I do it.

K.

sudro2
02-11-2010, 10:42 PM
I seem to be missing something. In Step 6, when you fill the selection in the Angular Fill layer with the shaped gradient, I can't get the gradient to fill. I have the settings exactly as shown in the screenshot and have the correct layer selected, but when I click inside the selection with the gradient tool, nothing happens. It doesn't even register on the undo list as an action. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?

kjdavies
02-11-2010, 11:10 PM
@sudro2: click and drag. Gradient fills aren't point-click, they need two points to work with. As it happens angular fill basically ignores them, but the interface seems to expect them.

akakscase
07-13-2010, 12:24 AM
How about this one? I edited the water look a little (emboseed the sea layer and then blurred and reapplied the gradient map) Still practicing though...

ProfGremlin
08-07-2010, 05:15 PM
Rob, I've been working with this tutorial as an alternate to the mountains creation process you detail in your Regional RPG Map tutorial. Would you mind looking at my results over in my WIP thread for Broken Isle - First Map (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?11224-Broken-Isle-First-Map&p=123277&viewfull=1#post123277)? I'm not quite getting the same results as you show us in your tutorial and I was hoping you could point out where I went wrong.

Gimpster
09-10-2010, 12:29 AM
Great little tutorial, working through this and the regional map one of yours RobA. I am how ever running in to issues with the mountain making. Not sure why but every time I try to make a mountain i end up with a halo around the range. It's obviously from the early steps where we use a gaussian blur on the first layer but I just can not seem to replicate your results. I will try again in the morning on a fresh map and post my results.

Korash
09-16-2010, 01:38 PM
I was just going through the tutorials again, looking for those that I REALY want to try when I actually have the time to put more that twenty minutes on mapping. When I looked through this one (again for the umpteenth time) I noticed a few things that beg the question "what version of Gimp are you using here, or what plug-ins do you have on it?" The two in particular are the Stencil Ops menu and the Gradient Preview you have in the Toolbox beside the Foreground/background display. What does the Screen Ops menu allow you to do? Is it an add on or rolled into a newer version? Where do I find it? ect, ect.

Oh, and Congrats on yet another well deserved scroll. :)

Sharpe
11-04-2010, 09:51 AM
Great tut!

Can someone give a dummy like me detailed instructions on how to change the color of my mountain range. I'm going through Rob's regional map tut for my first map and I'm a total newb.

Thanks!


Good stuff. I'm sure I'm messing up somewhere, but a few passes at it got some decent results. The tops looked cut off, probably because I didn't do the curves right.

http://pics.bistromathics.com/tesht.jpg

The ridges were a little harsh for me, so I went through and smoothed it out manually.

http://pics.bistromathics.com/tesht2.jpg

That's exactly what kept happening to mine. So, about the third time I tired it, I skipped as many steps as I could and they turned out looking good. Sorry. Any one else have this happen?

hohum
11-04-2010, 12:19 PM
If you have a big flat area it is because you left a big spot all white. So yes, you have to adjust the curves down until you get just a small peak if that is what you want. I'm not exactly sure what the reference to ridges is, but the noise generator included with GIMP leaves diagonal striations. Use Felimage to get away from that. If you want to alter the color of your mountains you need to make a new color layer and mask it to fit your mountain shape. If the mountains are essentially a 50% gray bump map/embossed layer set on overlay it will show the color of the layer underneath, whatever it is.

kjdavies
11-04-2010, 01:25 PM
you can also use MathMap (I like the flexibility, I don't much like how it sometimes crashes under Windows -- doesn't take GIMP with it, but it's still annoying. OTOH, being able to build complex generators and save them for later use is awfully nice).

As for the color, I usually take the heightmap, duplicate the layer (so I don't lose the heightmap in case I need it later, this step is destructive) and apply gradient color to it, usually going brown to a very pale grey (HTML #dddddd). If you go to white, you'll lose the ability to bumpmap, this pale grey is just enough you can still see them.

Sharpe
11-05-2010, 11:13 AM
I can get the shape okay, but they end up just being green. I tired to make a new layer and mask it and use a gradient map, but it comes out looking like crap.

I'll keep trying.


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kjdavies
11-05-2010, 11:44 AM
what colors are you using? If I'm following RobA's artistic regional map tutorial and using the colors there I might use one of the darker dirt colors as low and #dddddd as high, then apply a mask to it. I might also use the same dirt color above that (masked to the mountain shape again) and set the layer to 'soft light' mode. You can see the results at http://www.kjd-imc.org/2010/10/22/vale-of-elsir-reinterpeted/ (yeah, I kind of pooched blending the edges of the mountains, but I can live with it)

ddonari
12-14-2010, 11:52 AM
I can't;; I don't know why. I did all things equal to you, and result is always different. In my case, when adjusting curve or level, there are even no histogram. Nothing. Ah, this painting things really killing me;;

Dbuhos
12-18-2010, 02:32 AM
Hmm, thanks for the tutorial, using it right now for my map.

Fkeller
12-19-2010, 01:16 PM
Howdy all. Total noob here: to digital mapping, to gimp, and first post. I want to join the praise-a-thon and thank Rob for his wonderful tutorials. Like a number of others, I got hung up on the mountain stages in both the Artistic Regional Map and the Simple Mt. tutorials. I liked the look of the latter best so I stuck with it. The "Aha" moment came when I realized that one tiny step--intuitive to those with more experience--had been assumed but not written. Starting in Step 7, I realized that I had to "select>>none" in order to make the rest of the steps work. I didn't see that written down but the screen grabs used clearly show no selection. This may very well be a no-brainer to the more experienced here but it hung me up for hours! Thanks again to Rob and to the group. There's a great deal of inspiration here and once I got mine to work I was kicking my heels.

I've attached my first map Geardagas. My Mts look a little "young" because I added a little gaussian noise at the "blur" level thinking it would help feather into the rest of the map better. I'm happy with them just because I made it through to the end and didn't get hung up. I believe I'll do better next time. On to rivers, forests, and towns!

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_sjkC5yRN4HY/TQ5L8vn10UI/AAAAAAAAASg/EsxcQCswQFw/s640/Geardagas.jpg

Arctic Squirrel
01-16-2011, 03:26 AM
I have a problem... On step 5, whenever I try to fill in the Feathered Selection with a rendered cloud, it completely disregards the "Feathered" part and does the original selection.

How can I fix this?

RobA
01-16-2011, 09:04 PM
I have a problem... On step 5, whenever I try to fill in the Feathered Selection with a rendered cloud, it completely disregards the "Feathered" part and does the original selection.

How can I fix this?

What version of software?

Are you sure you have a feathered selection? What happens if you drag a solid colour (FG or BG) on the map?

-Rob A>

RobA
01-16-2011, 09:05 PM
I have a problem... On step 5, whenever I try to fill in the Feathered Selection with a rendered cloud, it completely disregards the "Feathered" part and does the original selection.

How can I fix this?

What version of software?

Are you sure you have a feathered selection? What happens if you drag a solid colour (FG or BG) on the map?

-Rob A>

Arctic Squirrel
01-16-2011, 11:11 PM
I have the latest Gimp version

and yes, I am sure I have a feathered selection. My rough selection is significantly curved whenever I feather it to 50 px.

When I drag a color to the map, the color still doesn't see the feathered part and colors in the original selection.

RobA
01-17-2011, 01:18 PM
When I drag a color to the map, the color still doesn't see the feathered part and colors in the original selection.

Then something is wrong, as any action should respect the selection. Not sure what more to say, as I've never seen that behaviour.

It really seems like you don't have a selection. What happen when you hit the quickmask toggle :
http://docs.gimp.org/en/images/dialogs/channel-quickmask.png

-Rob A>

Arctic Squirrel
01-17-2011, 04:49 PM
32631

This is basically what happens. THIS IS ONLY AN EXAMPLE.

The selection is feathered 50 px. when I do Filter > Render > Clouds > Solid Noise, my selection is disregarded and goes to the original selection.

RobA
01-18-2011, 10:51 AM
Can you upload a zip of the xcf file?

-Rob A>

Arctic Squirrel
01-18-2011, 04:57 PM
here is the map I am currently working on.

the mountains are already lassoed.

RobA
01-18-2011, 10:38 PM
Looks like you were working on the layer mask rather than the layer.
I ran through the steps but cut the feather amounts in half for the scale. Here is the file attached.

Note:
- The new channel I created based on your selection (step 2).
- The three new layers. All were created filled with fg colour (black) then the selection was loaded from the saved channel and feathered and filled as per steps 3-6.
- I added an extra layer called mtn colour and filled the feathered selection with grey to make the mountains more mountainy.

-Rob A>

Arctic Squirrel
01-19-2011, 02:20 AM
thanks a million!

Greyh Seer
07-07-2012, 07:56 PM
OK, after attempting to do the mountains I am running into a situation where I am not getting my peaks to look correctly:

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Any suggestions as to what I am doing wrong?

RobA
07-11-2012, 04:08 PM
Your histogram shows that there is nothing about 75%ish in the source image, so the curves tool has nothing to work with. Did you miss a levels step?

-Rob A>

Greyh Seer
07-16-2012, 06:44 AM
Hmmm.. I'm not sure. I'll go back and check.

Khadrim
08-27-2012, 07:23 AM
Thanks for the tutorial. However I am running into an unexpected problem. Not sure if I have missed out a step, but I keep getting contour lines around my mountains. 47833

Can I request some assistance on how to remove this?

RobA
08-28-2012, 04:29 PM
Thanks for the tutorial. However I am running into an unexpected problem. Not sure if I have missed out a step, but I keep getting contour lines around my mountains. 47833

Can I request some assistance on how to remove this?

You just need to feather out the overlay layer. These are a result of 8 bit quantization.

-Rob A>

Khadrim
09-02-2012, 07:45 AM
Ahh, Thank you. No more countour lines and the mountains blend in much better.

Soloeus
06-06-2013, 07:41 AM
I had some minor issues, because I forgot to Emboss the entire layer, I was at first embossing just the selection. I got better results first embossing the selection, THEN the layer, then 50% grey bucket.

I also filled the original "Mountain Copy" layer with "Bark", and it gave it a nice brown texture.


Thank you for this tutorial, it is still helping people. I am a little lost, but I am trying.

yowanai
10-10-2013, 08:31 PM
I'm having trouble beveling the rivers, can someone help me, please? How exactly do I do that?

Thank you!

RobA
10-16-2013, 12:22 PM
I'm having trouble beveling the rivers, can someone help me, please? How exactly do I do that?

Thank you!

The normal way to give a river a bevel is to blur it and emboss it, them change it to overlay mode. There is no rivers in this tutorial, however, are you referencing something else?

-Rob A>

JefBT
03-22-2014, 08:33 AM
Amazing, a wonderful tutorial, and for gimp. Love it!