View Full Version : Creating Depths and Heights in GIMP

01-07-2010, 08:35 AM
I've done some searching and haven't quite found what I was looking for, perhaps I didn't look hard enough. Either way I have a problem or request rather. I want to create smooth heights and depths. Like hills and the like. I can create mountains but that's not the same. I need to make it look simply like the background has been raised, a hill pretty much, and depths in the same way. Anyone that can help me? Perhaps there's a tutorial I missed?

01-07-2010, 09:13 AM
You mean something like the two hills here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=8024&d=1227472240)???

01-07-2010, 09:20 AM
Sir yes sir, like that.

01-07-2010, 09:43 AM
Sir yes sir, like that.

Ok... that was created by use of highlights and lowlights. Personally, my preferred workflow is to:

Create a new layer
Fill the layer with 50% grey (this is the midpoint between pure black and pure white and is hex color 808080)
Set this new layer ABOVE the layer you wish to modify and change the blending mode to Overlay. As is, this will leave the layer underneath showing through exactly with no changes.
Now, switch to the dodge/burn tool OR use pure black/white of varying opacities to build up your height illusion on your Grey layer.

Personally, i MUCH prefer using the dodge/burn tool since you have much more control and don't have to constantly fiddle with the opacity. Pay careful attention to the shadows of other objects on your map(ie, this would be one of the last steps you do) so that they all match and then make your hills match the shadows of the other objects. Darken one side and lighten the other, with the top of the hill having the least amount of lightening/darkening. For a perfectly round hill, I usually have a small circular patch at the top that has no modifications on it. Once I have done ALL of your modifications, I generally run a slight Gaussian Blur on the grey layer with the size anywhere from 3-5px up to 50+ depending on the size on the hills and the map itself.

BTW, this takes quite a bit of practice and I am far from an expert. Torstan has some amazing work here and is a master of using the dodge/burn technique here on the boards. I assume you are working on a Battlemap for RPG play in some way? Post up a Work In Progress thread and we can help you more....

01-07-2010, 10:42 AM
Oh yes now I see, thanks a bunch. I tried it out and yes... it'll require a lot of practice! But it's much closer to what I had, thanks a lot.

01-07-2010, 11:48 AM
For hills it's also worth using a large fuzzy brush for the dodge/burn step and you might want to turn down the opacity so that you build up the highlights and shadows gradually. As jfrazier says, throw up a WIP and we'll hep you along.

01-07-2010, 02:08 PM
Well my biggest problem right now is trying to create a good junkyard filter. The elevation heights are supposed to be in a junkyard... ... ... So it may take a while before I make any progress on the hills.

01-07-2010, 02:17 PM
Ah, yes. That could take a while :)

01-07-2010, 10:37 PM
*gets the image of you pushing junk up a hill*
rather apt i think. the irony value is good :P

01-08-2010, 06:37 AM
Yeah, this is the area. Clearly very little is done. The white area is supposed to be the junkyard. Atm I'm at a loss for where to even begin. All of this is supposed to be on a moon-like surface in a sort of post-apo setting. So we got some old shells of buildings, we got a small settlement (not done) a lake (not done) roads (not done) and the junkyard (super not done). We'll see what happens heh.