View Full Version : Northern Isles/Crazy Fjords

08-24-2009, 06:55 PM
Her's a campaign map I'm working on, created on paper and in Photoshop CS and Wilbur. It's a little Technicolor TM, but it does fit my Norse/Scottish/Fey theme.


I sketched the basics on paper, scanned, it, and then went into Photoshop CS. I mainly based by work on Jezelf's tutorials, and "Photoshop Mapping With Chuck", rending clouds for the basis of a height map, and then grinding it down in Wilbur. Bringing it back into Photoshop, I used Render Lighting and Emboss to get the relief to show up. I had to fiddle with it quite a while before I could get it to look passable.

Then I painted in my terrains as colors below the relief. I blocked them in first, masking by height, then used Ripples, Gausian Blurs, and Glass filters to spread them out. The water, mountain and forest textures came from Pasis's mountains tutorials. I started work on the map with that approach also, so might go ahead and finish that one up too.

The reddish mountains and white peaks are above all the others. I just used a color range selection on my heightmap, and filled it with the mountain texture, and white for the peaks.

The forest is above the ground color layer, at 50% opacity. I copyed my original (unblurred) dark green areas, used a high-density Wave filter, and then after blurring the edges, filled them with Pasis's forest texture.

I think I will take a similar approach with the other areas of the map, as I want to get some fields and rocky ground better indicated. I've played a bit with mapping in Photoshop before, but this is my biggest and most successful project yet. Your advice and comments would be appreciated.

For some fun, here's my concept map, before Wilbur got to it! I may redo it to match my original coastline more closely, but decided to go with what I got.


Sorry, if a mod could put this in the regional rather than general section, it would be appreciated. Thanks!

Steel General
08-25-2009, 05:59 AM
First off...Welcome Aboard!

It's a great start. You've already mentioned the colors being a little "loud" so enough about that. Definitely some interesting land shapes you have there. Would hate to have to travel over that terrain :).

08-25-2009, 07:00 AM
I think i'll stick to the waterways for travel :)

Interesting idea, I really need to play more with Wilbur, so far I've only used it a few times for generating rivers :)

Steel General
08-25-2009, 08:22 AM
Interesting idea, I really need to play more with Wilbur, so far I've only used it a few times for generating rivers :)

Me too, I played around with it a little but haven't done anything significant.

08-25-2009, 11:11 AM
I've toned down the colors, and added more texture to the land, as well as redoing the water.


Here's a full-quality image of a small portion, to show the textures.


Do you have any suggestions on the borders between the water and land? Perhaps I'll set up two different styles, one for close-ups and another for small images. My next steps will be touching up the mountain peaks with a bevel, and working on some reefs and breakers.

08-25-2009, 12:29 PM
Oh that's really looking nice!!
Well, for borders, let me see what I did for my last map in this style..
Found it!! (clicky if you want to see the results (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=76043&postcount=53))
I copied the base land layer, feathered inwards by about 3 pixels and deleted anything that wasn't the base layer (moving through all the overlying layers (kept the slope intect to the water). I then copied the base layer, set it to transparent, and added an inner shadow set to normal with a light tan colour at.. 2 pixels I think, that added beaches . I then brushed around with a spatter brush tipped eraser set to a low flow to take some of the beaches out.

Steel General
08-25-2009, 03:49 PM
I like the newer version better, but your water/ocean texture is noticeably tiling. Should be easy to fix though. :)

08-26-2009, 11:25 AM
Here's the latest. I've added cliffs along parts of the coastline, as well as breakers and reefs farther out. I've redone the ocean, to show depth and surface a bit better, and fixed the tiling. I'm rather unsure of the scale I've created with the surf though. Thoughts?

08-26-2009, 11:43 AM
Myself, i would use the size of ripples from further out on the ocean for the ones by the shore, might give you a better look for that scale. I would keep the deep sea ripples few and far between - personal opinion of course.

Dang that's looking nice though!

08-26-2009, 04:16 PM
I'm cool with the waves, either way though, no biggie, try what CM says and see what you think. The only thing that I'm getting hung up on is that every mountain has white tops and it gets to be a bit of overkill. Might want to make some mountains just plain old brown so that the eye can rest a little bit. My 2 cents.