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spydersman
05-05-2009, 02:42 PM
Greeting fellow cartographers.

I'm trying to make a regional map for an upcoming D&D campaign. This is my first foray into map-making. I've been using some tutorials on this site, which have been super helpful. i still seem to be having a few problems. For reference, I'm using Gimp 2.6.

1. my forests don't look foresty. the edges are ok, but the middles look more like plateaus.
2. the borders of my mountains don't seem to blend nicely with the grass/dirt layer. i like how vivid they look, just wish the base would not stand out as much.
3. despite using the exact same colors, the mountains areas on the little islands don't look right to me, I've tried a few other color combinations to no avail.

aside from those three major things I'm pretty happy with the way it looks.

I will be attempting to add a whiteish area up north for snow, and a dark swampy area in the south. Any tips on how to do that without changing anything else on the map?

I couldn't attach the Gimp file as it was way too large (about 19mb) so i attached a jpg instead. If someone was willing to assist I'd be more than happy to send them the Gimp file over e-mail.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/help, etc

Zar Peter
05-05-2009, 05:10 PM
Since I play around with GIMP only for a week or so I'm a bit insecure about advice but:

I think you should blur the edges of your mountains a bit. Just like you blurred the edges of the woods.

Use an other Bump map on the woods than you used on the plain. It looks as if they are bumped in the same way (or as if the woods aren't bumped at all and the plains are looking through)

The Bump Map of the Plain also is seen on the lake.

The rivers are looking good, the only thing I think is odd that the river in the north seems to flow from the sea to a mountain lake.

Oh, and the little forest in the middle of the map seems to grow in the sea and the forest in the north hides the little lake.

All in all: Play around with GIMP, move the layers a bit and blur the edges. Try different types of Bump Maps (it's really fun to play with the filters and try to bump your layers with the results)

Oh, and did I say already that I like your rivers?

ravells
05-05-2009, 05:11 PM
Hi Spydersman! Welcome to the guild!

The answer you are looking for in both cases (IMO) is layer masks.

If you want the mountains to have less of a hard edge, then make a layer mask and then put some gaussian blur on the layer mask. Also use a selection to put another mountain texture on top of the first one and then make a layer mask and render clouds on it so bits of it show through to break up the texture.

With the forests you really want hard edges but you don't want such a uniform round edge, so just render clouds, threshold them so they have very hard edges and then gaussian blur the layer mask a bit.

This is a really common question, I think I'll write a short tutorial on it.

spydersman
05-05-2009, 11:04 PM
Thanks for the advice guys! I'll try some of that later this week and hopefully it'll lead to some success.

Feel free to provide more helpful feedback!

Thanks again!