View Full Version : How do I make large landmasses using the cloud filter in PS

02-28-2010, 06:18 PM
I figured this was the best place to post this, sorry if it's not.

I work in Photoshop CS2 if I do anything art related, and I've found some interesting idea on generating random map bases - the clouds / fill 50% hardmix thing is quite nice, it's usually what I use. The thing is, that if I try and do this I seem to never end up with the singular large landscapes that are always shown in the screenshots, rather I end up with a whole giant mess of islands or an odd sprawling spidery landscape that isn't very nice. I'm really not sure what I'm doing wrong.

Is it best to start with a very small document and then enlarge it - if so, does anyone have a recommended size?
Or is any size good and it's simply a matter of gettign the right settings?

Cheers in advance.

02-28-2010, 06:28 PM
When you render the clouds and use the hard mix (or threshold adjustment layer, they give you the same effect if I recall) you will end up with lots of random patterns and such. What I do at that point is to take a black brush (soft round usually 200px) and paint out the areas I want to be ocean then switch flow and opacity to 10 or 20% and go closer to the shoreline - with the softer settings it gives you more opportunity to brush lightly around edges you want to keep without changing too much. Then I switch to white and paint the inside the areas I want to be land.

Don't just trust the random clouds to do what you want them to do, sometimes you need to get in there and muck around a bit, kind of like molding clay - slap it onto the table (rendered clouds) then push it into the shapes you want (brushing) :)

Oh, and welcome to the guild!

02-28-2010, 06:28 PM
What you do is put a layer in between the 50% gray layer and the base clouds layer. On this layer use a low opacity (10%) airbrush (100 or 300 pixels) and paint in your landmass. If you keep the 50 gray layer visible while your painting on the empty layer you will see exactly where you're land is filling in with white or sea with black.

02-28-2010, 06:35 PM
Ah, I see. In that case it's just easier to draw the map, or the general idea of a map, in the first place, it seems.

And thank you for the welcome :)

02-28-2010, 06:38 PM
If you have a general idea of the shape you're after, the clouds method gives you some nice randomness for the edges. If you don't have a specific shape in mind, sometimes the randomness of the clouds can inspire you :)

Looking closer at the post, I think you want to follow ascension's advice more than mine for the specific process you're using, I think I missed a word or two the first time i read it. Not that my process is *that* much different, but his is more tailored to the method you're describing. My bad :)

02-28-2010, 09:03 PM
I think of it as tweaking a heightmap with hand painting. The best method I've come up with so far. It's way faster than actually drawing the continent shape by hand and once you put lighting effects on it works well for the bathymetry as well...if you're into that sort of thing.

03-01-2010, 12:02 AM
I just have to rep you for saying "bathymetry."