View Full Version : First Time Poster - Testing Pasis's Terrain Style

10-29-2009, 09:24 AM
Well I have been lurking for long enough and have fallen in love with Pasis's Terrain mapping style and tutorial. I whipping up this map last night just to play with his style and see what I could learn from his excellent tutorial. Given my limited Photoshop skills I think it turned out pretty well.

Self Criticism: I think I need to make the forest terrain smaller as the trees look to large vs. the mountains and I don't like how the clearings turned out so I may remove them from the texture / pattern. I also think I'm going to look for a different water texture.

Question One: As you can see I applied my ground layer in tiles and the edges are creating artifacts through the terrain above. Is there an easy way to fix this or avoid it in future maps? It's the only real issue I can see and while I know how to use Photoshop at a basic level my skills do not extend to why things do what they do or how to fix things. I know enough to follow most tutorials without each individual step being explained but that is about it.

Question Two: Can anyone suggest how to make the mountains more prominant? I want them to appear a bit more 3D, kind of growning up out of the map. As it is now they king of appear flat, at the same level as everything else. The hills and ground terrain almost feel more prominant than the mountains.

With this style and I am definately excited to learn more however. Please, comment away!

10-29-2009, 10:00 AM
Hi Bitbyter, Pasis's tutorial is a gem, isn't it?

If you want to get rid of obvious edges on tiles, you need a seamless tile. Even with seamless tiles edges can be apparent, so it is often a good idea to overlay another texture or two on top to hide the seams.

As for the mountains, I'm not sure if I can help here, perhaps because I don't really understand the question. Are you looking for a mountain style which is more isometric (mountains seen from an angle?) RobA did a tutorial on forcing perspectives with mountains (you'll have to do a site search) which may be what you're looking for.

10-29-2009, 11:03 AM
No not neccessarily isometric, just with more "pop" I guess. To me, mountains should be the first major feature your eye is drawn to in a map of this style and it just seems that they are blending a little to well into the overall background of the map. Really it's more of an artistic question than a technical one as I am not that much of an artist.

As for the tiles, I did use his instructions to create seamless tiles but as you have explained the problem, I'll work on a solution.

Steel General
10-29-2009, 01:12 PM
First off...pretty nice go using Pasis' tutorial.

You could try 'stacking' a couple more mountain layers and see if that gives you the 'pop' you are looking for, or perhaps add some additional shadowing to increase the 'sense of depth'.

10-29-2009, 05:46 PM
The easiest thing to do is use the dodge and burn tools to give height or depth to them. You could also use the paintbrush to brush in black and white then set the layer to overlay. I like to draw ridgelines then blur and emboss them then put in a shadow that the taller peaks cast.

Here, I did all three. If I had more time to use smaller brush tips then I could get more definition into the little ridges so as it is it's kind of soft looking and not as "craggy" as it could be...but you get the idea. I also added a brown color overlay.

10-29-2009, 05:55 PM
THAT"S IT!! That's exactly what I was trying to discribe, thanks Ascension. Now to see if I can pull that off. Any chance of a more detailed post on the changes you made?

10-29-2009, 06:24 PM
I just roughed things in really to give an impression.

1. First I filled a layer with 50% gray then set it to overlay.

2. Then I used the burn tool, 45 pixel soft round tip at 20% strength to darken up the areas where shadows would be cast. Then I used the dodge tool, with same settings, to lighten the areas where the sun hits the slopes.

3. On a new layer set to soft light, I repeat the above process but with the paintbrush using white and black. Overusing dodge and burn looks bad so that's why I switch over to painting.

4. On a new layer I use the 9 pixel soft round tip paintbrush at 100% and draw some lines that will act as ridgelines. I then grab the smudge tool and smudge out the ends to give them some taper. Set the layer's fill to zero and apply a bevel and emboss of emboss with a size of 40, set the highlight to soft light, and give the bevel a contour that looks like the right side of the letter U. Note that this is not the gloss contour, it is the bevel contour.

11-02-2009, 01:47 PM
Well I spent what liitle time I had on the weekend locating & creating some patterns for my future attempts at Pasis's tutorial so I figured I'd share. Most of these are from sources advertised on this site and just tweaked a bit. I have seperated them in to two groups. One for continental maps and one for regional maps.

EDITED: Reuploaded the attachments.

11-08-2009, 11:57 AM
Well I have raise the land from the sea and I'm pretty happy so far with the results. I think I may have gone overboard a bit with the islands but I like the end result. I'm also going to play a bit more with the ocean adjustments as it doesn't quite feel right yet.

I wanted plenty of islands to facilitate seafaring cultures (swashbuckling / pirate adventures possibily). I wanted distance, but many places to travel to while making cross continental travel to be considered impossible due to the hostility of the deep oceans.

Can anyone tell me how to remove or prevent the glow from the edges of the map? I like the glow how it is on the land masses but I don't think it should affect the map edges the way it is.

Next Time:
Ground contours, hills and mountains. Oh, and an inland sea / massive lake I forgot to add.

11-08-2009, 01:02 PM
It may just be me - but I'm having problems with the two regional zip files. Both give errors on trying to open, and the 2nd one doesn't allow me to extract any files at all (though I can view the index).

11-08-2009, 01:06 PM
Can anyone else confirm if they are having issues with the zip files? If so I'll reload them.

11-08-2009, 01:38 PM
Yep, I can't unzip the regionals either.

11-08-2009, 04:14 PM
The previous attachments have been reuploaded.

11-08-2009, 04:20 PM
Ah good. I checked 'em and they're fine now.

11-08-2009, 04:29 PM
much thanks!

11-08-2009, 06:43 PM
Here's the continent with Mountains and Hills added. I'm still having an issue with the edges of the patterns being to obvious. Any suggestions on how to resolve this?

11-09-2009, 01:58 AM
'm no expert on patterns but try fiddling with the opacity or blend of the patterns or try the blur/smudge tool. If that doesn't help you could try and go back to the pattern itself to try and make it more seemless. Just fiddle and experiment.

Also, I have some seamless rock patterns that you could use, although they aren't all that great.


11-09-2009, 03:34 AM
Or you can overlay another texture on top of the pattern which repeats, that usually helps to break up edges.

11-09-2009, 05:22 AM
If the pattern was painted on directly I have found that grabbing small aribrush and painting over the areas in question which the pattern again can help to break up the edges. This won't work for patterns that are added along with a layer effect.