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View Full Version : [Award Winner] Create a non-destructive editable map in Photoshop



ravells
04-18-2009, 08:14 PM
Well here it is. This is the general approach I used to create the Steel Remains (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=4741) map.

I'm afraid that until Gimp supports layer styles, this tutorial will be not be portable to Gimp users.

All C&Cs appreciated, I can edit the tutorial. Please use this tutorial to create your own styles of mapping...I'm really looking forward to see what you come up with!!

All the best

ravs

guyanonymous
04-18-2009, 08:25 PM
Very interesting - in the brief look I just gave it! Thank you for sharing.

ravells
04-18-2009, 08:27 PM
Please try it, I'd be interested to know if I have explained things properly!

industrygothica
04-18-2009, 09:51 PM
I just happen to be starting a new map now.. let's see if I can't apply this. ;)


-IG

Bohunk
04-19-2009, 08:02 AM
Nicely done. 5 stars!

Steel General
04-19-2009, 08:53 AM
I'll give this a whirl as soon as I have a bit of time.

joćo paulo
04-19-2009, 11:07 AM
Thanks, I have that in mind when starting a new map.

ravells
04-19-2009, 11:25 AM
Great! Can't wait to see the results!

industrygothica
04-19-2009, 01:12 PM
Great! Can't wait to see the results!

I'm actually trying to use this for a city map, though I'm having some issues making buildings and such that look good with it.

Since I already had the outline done, I used this tutorial on the Witchlight Strand last night. I don't think it turned out too badly, but it still needs tons of work.


-IG

NymTevlyn
04-19-2009, 01:14 PM
I've used non-destructive editing for all my maps in the past year. It's how Brigand I created the Gaia map for the Heaven's Gate campaign. We can very easily go back and alter anything as needed and it will continue to match the overall theme.

ravells
04-21-2009, 08:04 AM
Looking good IG! I fast found that for me anway, the tutorial is not so good for buildings though. Was the tutorial easy enough to follow?

industrygothica
04-21-2009, 09:12 AM
Looking good IG! I fast found that for me anway, the tutorial is not so good for buildings though. Was the tutorial easy enough to follow?

Yes, it was. I was a bit lost on the first part for the sea, though.. The way I read it, the top layer completely obscured the other two.... the one with the render clouds on a white flood-filled background. I finally ran the clouds on a layer mask and it worked fine, but it didn't say that in the tut. Otherwise, it worked fabulously.... though I got a little lazy towards the end.

And, as I'm sure is quite obvious, I didn't download the eyecandy filters. Yet.


Thanks for the tutorial, btw... I will definitely use it again (and again....). Rep to you!


*EDIT* Bah! Someone rep Ravs for me!

-IG

Steel General
04-21-2009, 01:23 PM
Duly repped at IG's request *BONK*

ravells
04-21-2009, 05:53 PM
<s> thanks SG (on behalf of IG)...I'll take a look at that sea layer again. I suspect I forgot to put in that the layer was set to multiply so the white didn't show or something. Seriously do download the eyecandy jiggle filter, it's a beauty.

pasis
04-23-2009, 05:36 AM
This tut is great. I have not got yet time to create a map with it but I have read it through and I'm already familiar with all the steps presented there. There were couple of things though I have not actively used in my mapping yet (like jiggle to break out the outlines or even the mail principle to use white to draw the area for the texture and then just setting the layer style applying the actual texture). I sure need to keep this in my mind when starting a new project.
Thank you ravells for this....

ravells
04-23-2009, 08:21 AM
My pleasure, Pasis! If you see any room to improve it, please shout and I'll amend the tutorial.

StillCypher
04-23-2009, 10:44 AM
Seriously do download the eyecandy jiggle filter, it's a beauty.


Wow, those are a bit pricey for my pocket!! Is the jiggle filter only part of After Effects? That's the only place I could find it in the examples...

ravells
04-23-2009, 03:59 PM
It's free!!!! Go here: http://www.geocities.com/why2kspace/

Steel General
04-23-2009, 04:26 PM
Oh cool, thanks for the link Ravs!

StillCypher
04-24-2009, 01:32 AM
I tried that, but the 'free' version is for the Classic Mac OS. Pre-OS X. :( I haven't run the Classic environment in years.

ravells
04-24-2009, 02:16 AM
Hmm you could try using the 'ripple' filter followed by an 'ocean ripple' filter...that gets break up too.

industrygothica
04-24-2009, 05:38 PM
I started messing around with this tutorial again trying to get the feel of things. Here's what I've got. Having some color profile issues that I can't figure out for some reason though since I got the new computer. It's all too dark.


-IG

ravells
04-24-2009, 05:55 PM
Dunno, looks pretty good on my monitor!

industrygothica
04-24-2009, 11:24 PM
Actually I liked where this was going, so I moved it to a WIP forum.

Yeah, the color looks fine here to me, too.. apparently it's the picture viewer in vista that doesn't see the color well. I think I can live with that!


-IG

madmaz999
05-01-2009, 07:38 AM
This is great, i use photoshop Cs4 and its quite simple, i am working on a RPG at the moment and i needed a map that looked like this, can't wait to try it out.

ravells
05-01-2009, 12:11 PM
Please post up your results, I'd be interested to see them.

Ostar
09-09-2009, 11:46 AM
This is an excellent tutorial and the style is beautiful, thank you for sharing.

redleg7
09-23-2009, 11:03 AM
Downloaded the Eye Candy filters but have no idea how to install them.

I'm using PS CS4 and have tried copying the filters to several directories but no luck.

Still a rookie, any help would be greatly appreciated.

Coyotemax
09-23-2009, 11:36 AM
did it come with a setup exe? Mine did, then it autoinstalls to the correct directory. Then the first time you run it it asks for the serial number and off you go.

ravells
09-23-2009, 11:40 AM
I have a feeling that they only work with Windows - are you using a Mac?

redleg7
09-23-2009, 01:58 PM
did it come with a setup exe? Mine did, then it autoinstalls to the correct directory. Then the first time you run it it asks for the serial number and off you go.

Yes, but it looks as if all the install does is put it into a directory of my choosing.

For example the last step of the install is to select a destination directory.

redleg7
09-23-2009, 02:04 PM
I have a feeling that they only work with Windows - are you using a Mac?

Windows, but I think I figured it out.

All I did is add the EC directory as a plug-in directory.

I haven't tried it yet but at least I have the ability to choose an EC filter whereas before I didn't.

Thanks for the response, I think I'm fixed.

redleg7
09-23-2009, 02:22 PM
Seems this is only a demo version, because I only have access to three things, jiggle isn't one of them.

ravells
09-23-2009, 02:41 PM
Are you using the download from here: http://www.geocities.com/why2kspace/

That one has the jiggle filter enabled.

Coyotemax
09-23-2009, 05:33 PM
I clicked on your link out of curiosity and got:
Sorry, Service Temporarily Unavailable.

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.
Additionally, a 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.


Whee!

Steel General
09-23-2009, 06:12 PM
Hmmm...I tried a bit ago (~90 minutes previous to this post) and it worked just fine.

redleg7
09-24-2009, 10:55 AM
Are you using the download from here: http://www.geocities.com/why2kspace/

That one has the jiggle filter enabled.

Affirmative that's the link.

ravells
09-24-2009, 02:50 PM
That's odd, then I can't really help. I downloaded it to check it (a while back) and all the EyeCandy filters worked fine and without crippling.

redleg7
09-25-2009, 07:05 AM
That's odd, then I can't really help. I downloaded it to check it (a while back) and all the EyeCandy filters worked fine and without crippling.

I tried reinstalling but no luck.

Thanks for trying.

ravells
09-25-2009, 08:36 AM
As an alternative to the jiggle filter, try the ripple filter followed by the ocean ripple filter - the results are similar to jiggle and the filters are native to photoshop.

manikin
11-02-2009, 09:27 PM
Thanks for an amazing tutorial! Once the basic principle is down, the whole process becomes very intuitive and flexible, it's great.

If you don't have access to the photoshop filters, I found it easiest to create a greyscale rippled / ocean rippled / blurred area, push it to 100% contrast and then select the white or black part - this gives you a bit of flexibility with where the edges of things are as well.

For the rivers, if you use a path with "simulate pressure" and make the path much longer than necessary you end up with a nice tapering effect (for those of us without a tablet).

Edit: A couple more variations - using clouds and an overlay colour has worked better for me than using a texture for the final 'binding' layer

http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/963/mapofdoom.th.jpg (http://img22.imageshack.us/i/mapofdoom.jpg/)
http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/8435/mapbase06b.th.jpg (http://img38.imageshack.us/i/mapbase06b.jpg/)
http://img682.imageshack.us/img682/9809/mapbase07.th.jpg (http://img682.imageshack.us/i/mapbase07.jpg/)

ravells
11-05-2009, 05:20 PM
Those look a lot better than anything I could have done. They are amazing. You should append your method to the tutorial so others can follow. Lovely work manikin!

xvcrimsajadevx
11-08-2009, 10:38 PM
Are you using the download from here: http://www.geocities.com/why2kspace/

That one has the jiggle filter enabled.

Geocities apparently shut down so the link no longer works :/

Anyways, here's what I got from following your tutorial and applying a few techniques from a previous one as well as my own. This site is truly awesome... I can't wait to surprise my RP groups with the maps I'll be doing up :)

industrygothica
11-09-2009, 01:52 PM
Geocities apparently shut down so the link no longer works :/

Anyways, here's what I got from following your tutorial and applying a few techniques from a previous one as well as my own. This site is truly awesome... I can't wait to surprise my RP groups with the maps I'll be doing up :)

That is an excellent start. You should start a WIP thread and show us your progress as you bring it to completion.


-IG

ravells
11-09-2009, 02:52 PM
Rats, I had a look around to see whether the free download of the eyecandy filters was hosted somewhere else, but drew a blank. You can still use the ocean ripple method though as a work around. I love the map - but the coastline looks a little 'soft' to me - although that may be intentional. Have a look at craggle's tutorial on using smart objects (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=6493&highlight=smart+objects) in photoshop - it works really well with this tutorial.

As IG said, you should start a separate WIP thread for your map where it will get more exposure and comments.

Great work and keep going!

RobA
11-10-2009, 09:07 PM
Rats, I had a look around to see whether the free download of the eyecandy filters was hosted somewhere else

First link here (http://pircnet.com/downloads.html). Haven't tested it to make sure it isn't a nasty virus packed trojan, however, so practice safe downloading.

-Rob A>

ravells
11-11-2009, 07:05 AM
Brilliant, thanks Rob!

jelmore
03-01-2010, 12:34 PM
I have downloaded the tutorial and am trying to work my way through it, but here are some of the issues that I am running into:

1) The screenshots of the dialog boxes are blurry, so it is hard to tell what settings are used to create the desired effect.
2) There is no example of the completed sea layer, so I have no idea what I am supposed to be seeing. I don't feel like I can progress farther in the tutorial until I know if I'm doing it properly.
3) In my particular case, I cannot find an older copy of EyeCandy for Mac OS X, and the current version does not appear to have the jiggle filter anymore (unless it's disabled in the trial version). Maybe an alternate set of instructions using the ripple filters that were suggested would be a good idea?

If the same technique is used at each step of the process (which I assume is something like "use the bottom layer of your group to specify the color, use the middle layer to mask the shape to be used, and use the top layer to set the texture or apply a filter to the edge of the shape") then maybe having one clear, step-by-step example at the beginning of the tutorial would be a good idea; later sections can embellish on the technique (like using the contour filter to create an edge around the continent, etc.)

I would be happy to help write out such a step-by-step tutorial if I can get more detailed instructions.

ravells
03-01-2010, 03:54 PM
LOL, glad you decided to edit to make the tone a little nicer :). Frankly I've never been able to be nasty about people who educate / give away stuff for free, but that's just me :)

Let me take a look again at the tut (it's a while since I wrote it) and I'll come back to you.

If you get the detailed instructions, then you wouldn't have to write out the tutorial since it would have been done for you, but thanks for the offer! :)

jelmore
03-01-2010, 04:28 PM
Well, I wasn't being intentionally rude, but a couple of the comments I made could have been construed as such. :)

I guess what I meant by writing up the instructions was, I would be willing to do the appropriate screenshotting for an updated version, to make it clearer.

I would appreciate any suggestions or corrections you can offer; I tried to plow on through as best I could, but I don't know if my difficulties are because of the instructions, or because of my meager Photoshop skills...

EDIT: I started a WIP thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?9473-Fumbling-through-the-non-destructive-mapmaking-tutorial&p=103601) to detail what it is I'm trying to do.

jelmore
03-03-2010, 06:19 PM
Hmm you could try using the 'ripple' filter followed by an 'ocean ripple' filter...that gets break up too.

I couldn't get the Ocean Ripple filter to work on the white shape that I had created for my land mass; apparently, it ignores areas with no pixels in it.

What I worked for me was to create the layer, switch to the layer mask, draw my shape, then use the Ripple and Ocean Ripple filters; once that was done, I switched back to the layer and filled it with white.

ravells
03-04-2010, 05:07 AM
Hi Jelmore, see my post on the thread you started following the tutorial.

best

Ravs

eViLe_eAgLe
03-15-2011, 08:36 PM
That map reminds me of the fable 3 map...

warior916
04-04-2011, 12:36 PM
Thanks a ton, ravells.

I'm not much of an artist, never have been. I've been an avid D&Der(and later DM) since I was in the 4th grade, going a way back. I've always loved maps and the visuals they provided, and quite honestly they were some of my favorite parts of the novels I've taken the time to read. Now that I've come a long way into my first novel I have considered making more than a rough sketch of a map to help visualize my own world. Not to be published in the book, if I ever make it that far, but just for me. I won't be able to get much work on a map done for a while, but when I do I'll make sure to post it for you guys to see.

warior916
04-22-2011, 04:45 PM
Hey again. I know they're not much, but here is my first computer generated map ever. I uploaded it with and without the uniter, just for completion's sake. I tried out a bunch, but I think this is the one that I liked best.

35292
35293

Christopher Lydon
02-14-2013, 07:44 AM
How would you recommend someone gets started? I am interested in creating a map of the coast of Maine and overlaying a "story" of someone's adventures along the coast.

Christopher Lydon
02-14-2013, 07:47 AM
I am a total beginner. What suggestions do you have for getting started?

xorben
08-06-2013, 09:31 AM
nice one. I will try it!

fantasymapsbt
03-17-2014, 06:48 PM
I thought I knew a bit of PS, but now I see I know nothing.

Amazing tutorial, it helped me a lot. Tons of knowledge, thank you!

I'll try to post my study as soon as I finish it.

fantasymapsbt
03-18-2014, 09:39 AM
I tried to follow the tutorial, but I'm not using any plugins, so I did some kind of "jiggle" using Filter > Distort > Glass. I'm still playing with it, and I could get some nice results.

I still did not understand all this tutorial, but it's my first try. I'll do better in the next.

Thank you again for this amazing technic.

This is the image with no uniter.
62420

And this one with uniter. Uniters are cool!
62421

ravells
03-18-2014, 10:45 AM
Glad you are having fun with it! Keep experimenting!