View Full Version : Bretoria - take two

02-12-2009, 02:10 PM
I’m starting a new project to build a bit smaller scale map and I have started by experimenting with Photoshop and trying to find new ways to create good looking landscapes. I have started with hills/mountains and I have been playing with few different techniques. All the techniques have good and bad sides and I have not decided yet which one to use. In the end I might even use several if I can somehow make them work well together as they are so different.

Here awe have few samples I have put together:
The sample1 is a kind of rough rocky hill with forest partially covering it. The hills are easy to create, but hard to controll exactly. It is also difficult to blend the hills seamlessly to the surrounding ground. The good thing is that it is really easy to do and I can have several textures following the same height impression (forest and rivers or snow as in sample 1b). This actually look even better when I reduce the forest texture size and then it looks more like a mountain instead of a hill.

The sample2 is done with a different technique and I call this test version a Reptile Mountain. It is a bit harder to do than the first sample (but not too hard) and it blends really well with the surroundings. I have also made a way to add forest over the mountains and got it to follow the mountain height, but it requires a bit of extra work.

Comments please and let me know which one you like (or don’t like).

Steel General
02-12-2009, 02:38 PM
Some neat stuff here Pasis...

I like the mountains in #1 & #3 (especially the lizard mountain :D) - #2 while OK has to much white in it (for me at least).

Not overly fond of the trees, though the ones in #1 might be better with a bit of a blur on them to soften the hard outline.

02-12-2009, 02:46 PM
Reptile mountain gets my vote.

02-12-2009, 04:28 PM
Well I'm impressed!
I want you to give up your secrets right now!

02-12-2009, 04:51 PM
I like the gecko style just because I like the realism stuff and I also don't like those hard bevels defining the mountains and their peaks. In the end, though, that hard bevel style is quicker and easier to whip stuff out and probably lends itself to blending better with the forest style you have.

02-12-2009, 06:38 PM
Well I'm impressed!
I want you to give up your secrets right now!

I agree. If you don't i'll have my next town named after you and have it burned down by hobgoblins!

02-13-2009, 08:44 AM
I added the forest outline from an old memory without thinking too much even though it doesn’t fit well with this kind of mapping style. I will also have to work on my forest texture a bit but later. Here is another sample where I reduced the forest texture and made it to follow the mountains. (I accidentally deleted my lizard, so I had to create a new quick example). This sample doesn’t have a normal mountain look, but the purpose is to show that you can create any shapes with this technique and that you are not tied to any random effects.

There is nothing special in the way I have done the Reptile Mountains as I have seen the same techniques used in other maps and tutorials in this site. Even though this is not the tutorials section I think I could add the quick steps taken to get the result (in Photoshop CS3).

1. Make a layer containing black and white noise and remember to do some Gaussian blur to soften it up. Then add another layer with rendered clouds.
2. Add 3rd layer above these two and fill it with simple ground texture and select “multiply” as the layer type.
3. Set the ground layer effects: Bevel and emboss to 0, but texture 100% with some rough texture

1. Add 3 new layers above the ground layer; mountains low, -medium and –high. On each layer add effect Bevel and emboss with contour and texture.
1a. In low level mountains the bevel should be small (I used depth 100%, size 3 and soften 0) and then contour was about 25% and then select texture with some rough pattern with scale 100% and depth 100%
1b. Medium mountain layer should have higher bevel size, maybe 5-6, less contour (about 15%) and same texture settings as with low mountains.
1c. With high mountains the bevel is 10-11, contour about 3 and same texture settings as with low mountains.
2. Then on each layer you start painting with pattern stamp tool. I had the pattern stamp texture the same as I used in the Bevel texture. On low level mountains you paint with large and very soft brush with 30-40% opacity. Then reduce the brush size and increase the opacity and paint to the medium mountains layer. Finally take even smaller and a bit harder brush and increase the opacity to 50-60% and paint the mountain peaks to the high mountains layer.

Adding forest layer on top:
1. Create a new layer “forest height mask” on top
2. Go to channels and select only the channel that has highest contrast and copy it.
3. Paste it to “forest height mask” -layer
4. Create yet another layer on top and name it “forest”. Select multiply as the layer type
5. Go to that new forest layer and draw forest over the mountains
6. select everything else but forest with magic wand
7. Go to the “forest height mask” –layer and delete the selected area (everything else but the area under the forest).

02-13-2009, 10:20 AM
I'll give this a twirl when i get some time over. Thanks for the tut!
I saved it to a pdf for safe keeping, should I upload it?

02-13-2009, 10:21 AM
Yes please hoel! Thanks Pasis!

02-13-2009, 11:08 AM
There are some additional steps in this, so I can make a complete tutorial in pdf and post it into tutoroals

02-13-2009, 11:25 AM
Do that!
woekan: I was waiting for permission from pasis.

02-17-2009, 10:12 AM
I made the tutorial for this one and posted into the tutorials thread. Here is the link: