View Full Version : A WIP aka My tortured dream.

12-03-2009, 05:17 PM
As promised here is my world map that I've been obsessing about for the last 3 weeks, give or take.


The method is based on Torq's tutorial using Wilbur and GIMP.

I have to go meet the bus so I'll post more later. Comments and criticism greatly appreciated.

***The code is there directing it to my album but I don't see it either.***

12-03-2009, 05:20 PM
I'm not sure if I am doing something wrong, but I cant see the map.

12-03-2009, 05:27 PM
When you post there is a button labeled as "Manage Attachments"...click on that and then browse your hard drive to the file then click upload. When editing a post you have to click on "Go Advanced" then proceed.

12-03-2009, 06:10 PM
Alright, I can see it now...

I'm not sure if this is the intended look, but it looks like your land masses are cutouts from a larger landmass. Thus the terrain doesn't seem to flow. Others can probably explain better than I.

12-03-2009, 06:23 PM
Now that I look at it on the guild I see one problem I was ignoring. The continents definitely look like cut outs on top of the sea. That is because they are. I used the load selection function in wilbur after I had mad a mask of my continent shapes.

I started with using the GIMP. Create > Pattern > Render Map and got gimp world 1.

I then loaded it into G Projector to get a rectangular projection and rotated it to look at the different continents.

I then moved a couple of continents around and filled them out in GIMP and then reloaded them into G Projector just to check for spikes towards the poles. I think it came out okay.

I spent the Thanksgiving Holiday, after eating a lot of pie, doodling tectonics, currents and climate zones.

When I got back I began using wilbur in earnest to make the sea floor and the elevation for the continents. I encountered several problems which has left me where I am.

I am somewhat wedded to the continental shape, having spent so much time massaging it, and I was trying to use wilbur to dictate the rivers. I was going to make my own height map but went with one generated by wilbur after I found the directions for load selection.

12-03-2009, 06:29 PM
Davros1: I'm not sure if this is the intended look, but it looks like your land masses are cutouts from a larger landmass. Thus the terrain doesn't seem to flow.

You are correct and it is not really my intent, primarily an editorial oversight. I'm also not totally sure how to fix it.

12-03-2009, 06:34 PM
Firstly welcome to the guild - I should say that in the intro thread but then Id have to post twice... anyways. Good effort on the world map. Heres my thoughts. I think that you could do with more detail on the land which I would think means running at a higher resolution if you are able. Then for the sea it depends what kind of style map your going for but it looks like your trying for a realistic satellite view. In which case I personally think that the subsea depth map should be almost entirely hidden. Almost because the sea is a little bit translucent in clear water. Of course I have seen maps where you get the depth on the same chart too tho.

Also at world scales you just dont see rivers. At least on earth you dont unless you are running at very high res indeed. I think the nile is about a mile wide at its widest (bar its delta) so a mile on 26000 or whatever it is means 1 pixel wide rivers when you render at 26000 pixels wide. So at the scale you are hitting, concentrate on the mountains, big forests, deserts etc

12-03-2009, 06:37 PM
There is also a mismatch between ocean and land. You've got mid-ocean ridges, fine, but if your ocean shows depth, there should be continental shelves around the land. The ocean and land appear independent of each other, whereas in a real world, they are one piece, just flooded up to a certain elevation.

Oops. I was commenting on the original post. New stuff got posted in between my opening the thread and posting my own comment. The newer images suggest a much better look developing.

12-03-2009, 07:56 PM
Oops. I was commenting on the original post. New stuff got posted in between my opening the thread and posting my own comment. The newer images suggest a much better look developing.

Actually I back tracked so I went away from the initial images a little.

Also at world scales you just dont see rivers.

I have noticed that. You have to zoom in quite close to see the Nile and the Mississippi, the Amazon you can see traces of a little farther out.

I had been meaning to ask some questions about scale and resolution before I got to work, but I just got this map under my skin and couldn't let it alone.

I need to look at some planetary scale stuff again. I also need to be a little clearer in what I m trying to achieve. I want to know where the rivers are, but I get it that my world is roughly earth sized so the erosions shown dwarf the grand canyon. Perhaps I need to develop the continents more and then stitch them back into planetary scale.

I tried fooling around with Wilbur to make continental shelves but they didn't work right, ie they weren't under water. Also the image that I manipulated looks screwy as a height field.

I'll finish by including the world map I made using RobA's regional map method. The problem for me was the sea. I hated how it looked. I used the topo palette in Gimp to color it. It is vaguely Earth sized and has a 25 degree tilt.

***Also part of the issue may be what I called it. It's a combined Bathymetric, Topographic map. I just have an idea that the bathymetric heights may come into play as landforms change do to "magical?" forces. I'm thinking Middle Earth over the various ages, which were not on a geologic time scale. But the input so far is what I needed to hear, I got caught up in what I could do, not what works. I was going to include a link, but it was too big, and I'm sure you know what a bathymetric map looks like.***

12-06-2009, 07:48 AM
Started over again and increased resolution and size.

I went back to the drawing board and basically re-did everything after scaling up the basic land forms from 1200 X 600 to 2500 X 1250. I like the overall look of it, but my main concern about it is how pixel jaggy the coast looks at even just 100%. Also the shoreline smear doesn't look quite as nice.

Mountains are putting me off right now. When I was trying to make a sensible depth map I was getting awesome results on individual depth layers, but couldn't make them blend together. Now when I do mountains on land they just look like turds. I think I just stayed up too late and a fresh start on them will help.

Anyhow I'm going to let this sit a little before my wife loses patience with me.

12-12-2009, 11:57 AM
After quite a bit of trial and error I got some mountains I am happy with. I am struggling with the next portion, biomes. Right now the two problems I am encountering are a hard shape edge and non conformity to the mountains below. I thought Screen was the right setting, but then lost confidence in that.

I need to go back to the Textured forest tut and ravells edges tutorial. I've basically followed a combo of RobA's regional map tut, Torq's Mtn's in Wilbur and Gimp, and waldronates Fun with Gimp Vol4 from the wilbur tutorial section.

The hills and mountains still overlap the water slightly, my mask may not be tight enough and it is the one issue I have not solved when using Torq's tut.

04-26-2010, 09:41 AM
I'm back at trying to realize this project after trying out Gidde's GIMP conversion of Ascension's Atlas style tutorial. Here is the result.


I'm fairly satisfied, but the mountains seem too washed out for my tastes. I've tried adjusting the input, output and gamma for the source clouds but just can't seem to get it right. Setting the mountain layer to multiply looks more like it but then the color seems too gray (just like an embossed image). I am preparing to try Torq's method to see what I can come up with.

I am aware of the striations in the ocean, I don't care for it but am not that concerned right now. I'm thinking that the shelf opacity should be raised from 30% to 50% and perhaps reduced to 10px from 20px.

Deviations from the tutorial: Made a custom planetary gradient using the Ascension palette and the blend tool. Skipped the Hills section. Reduced the size and feathering of the mask on the mountains to 10px from 20px. I used a 25px feathered lasso to get the mountains where I wanted them.

Any thoughts?

(this is a re-post, since I apparently lost the original during the down time. It seems somehow slightly less coherent.)

04-26-2010, 04:02 PM
Looking better using Torq's technique with patterns instead of colors. I did a version in color and it still didn't look quite right. Here is the pattern version.


The mountains are done in 4 layers, each with the layer set to hard light and an opacity of 85%. Each one has also been bump mapped.