View Full Version : How to make a map with Gimp and Fractal Terrains Pro

07-13-2009, 11:49 AM
Hi! This tutorial will show you how I make my maps by combining FT pro and Gimp.

1. Make a new world and set the settings like picture 1. I changed everything to metric units as I am more used to it then the default settings.
Change the Highest Peak and lowest depth to 9000 and –9000. Change roughness to 0.75 and Percent sea to desired amount (I’ll go mainstream so I set it to 70%). Change the land size to 1.99. This should generate decent looking land masses.
Now go to the Fractal Function folder and select Wilbur Ridged Multifractal in the Method box. Lastly go to the Editing folder and select what editing size you want to use.
I will stick with the large option (1024). Before you press execute check the prescale offset editing tools. You will use it later. When you are finished press ok.

2. The result did not turn out as I wanted. The whole world stretches out like a snake... Go back to the World Settings and change the World Seed until you have found a good looking world! If you need to se how big the continents are compared to earth search on the Internet after a picture of earth and save it. Then go to Image Overlays>Show Overlay Window and press the add button. Press Import color Image and select the picture of earth, set the opacity to 50% and press ok.

3. I’ve found a world that I am ready to move on with. From now on follow this tutorial
to make the world look better and a little more “realistic”. Follow the tutorial and stop after that you’ve finished the rivers.

4. Now we are going to modify the rainfall and temperature values so we can have some variety in the climate. You can do it in many different ways, but I will just rise the rainfall and temperature. Tools>Global Rise>Temperature. Set it to 15
Tools>Global Rise>Rainfall. Set it to 25
You can also tweak the rainfall/temperature as you want with the Tools>Paint>Rise>Rainfall/Temperature as you want. Do some research on climate and the conditions that different climates needs.

5. Choose what projection you want and what piece of the world we want to map. I will use the Orthographic projection over the north hemisphere (La:90).
Then add two (less or more) grids according to the picture.

07-13-2009, 11:50 AM
6. Now comes a little tricky part. Go to the color and lightning settings and change the colors like the picture (black sea, white highest peak and gray scale land). The last color on the land should have the number 46. On the Intensity folder set the shadow slider to none. Press execute!

7. Now hide both the river and grid layers. The map should look like mine or you have done something wrong. Save the image in whatever size you want. I save it as a .bmp 4000 width 3177 height. It will take a while until it’s saved...

8. Start Gimp and open the saved picture. Now I will show you how to make into a map!
This site has a lot of great gradients that can be used in Gimp! There is a category called Wikipedia elevation gradients and I downloaded the 1.03 gradient. I do not know if this tutorial works with other gradients, experiment a little if you want but stick with 1.03 for now.
Gimp can only use .ggr files so download the 1.03 .ggr and put the file in Gimp>share>gimp>2.0>gradients. Now you should be able to use it.

9. Go back to your Gimp map a select the wiki 1.03 gradient you’ve just downloaded.
Now go to Colors>Mapping?>Gradientchart.

10. Now it’s starting to look more like a map. Go back to FT Pro and save a new image with only the grids, black land and black sea. Save it like the last picture (4000/3177 .bmp), open it in Gimp, copy and paste it as a new layer over the map.
Now go to Colors>Mapping?>colorswitch? and do like the picture. Set the grid layer to multiply. I’ve also deleted the gray color on the first layer.
Repeat the process over and over with climate, rainfall, temperature and rivers each with an own layer.

07-13-2009, 11:53 AM
11. Create a new transparent layer and select the blue color with the “markeringsredigerare” (don’t know what it is in English). You can either find it in the layer folder or in the select folder. If you do not know what I mean se if you can find it with the help of the picture.

12. After you’ve selected the blue area go to the new layer, select a dark blue color and press the drawing tool button in the right corner of the “markeringsredigerare” tool menu . Set the line size to 1 and press ok. Lastly invent the selection and press delete (so the dark blue line doesn’t cover any land).

13. Now you are done. Start placing out cities, towns, countries or whatever you want to do. :)