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Thread: Mountain Experimentation

  1. #1
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Post Mountain Experimentation

    OK, its a bit slow at work right now so I had time to mess around. I wanted to come up with yet another alternative to doing mountains on a regional / continental map. This may or may not have been tried before but I don't remember seeing it anywhere.

    So the image below is a result of about 2 hours of playing around. I think it has potential - just needs a bit of tweaking.

    As always C&C encouraged and welcomed.

    Here's a list of the steps I took;

    • New image (1000x1000pxls @200ppi)
    • Fill with my standard grass texture from Spiral Graphics
    • New layer
      • Filter > Render > Clouds (foreground = white, background = black)
      • Filter > Render > Difference Clouds x4 (not sure it matters as long as its at least twice)
      • Filter > Sketch > Bas Relief (Detail = 15, Smoothness = 1)
      • Apply layer effects
        • Bevel/Emboss (Inner Bevel, Chisel Soft, Depth = 500%, Size=45, Soften = 5). I also adjusted the settings of the shadow/highlights.
        • Color Overlay (Dk. Brown) set to Overlay
        • Pattern Overlay (I used Ft. Hills of Ariloa from Spiral Graphics)
      • Apply Layer Mask
    • Fiddle with the shape until you find something that appeals to you
    • Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur of about 8 (adjust to taste)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mountain Experimentation-mtn-experiment.png  
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  2. #2
    Guild Apprentice Revivalofhonor's Avatar
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    I really like the look of these mountains! Only suggestion I would have would be to maybe adjust the opacity of the pattern overlay. They feel kinda flat and I think it's because you dont see the bevel very much. Just my opinion ^_^ Looks awesome!

  3. #3
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    I tried adjusting the opacity of the pattern and color overlay's and it really made little noticeable distance. I even increased the bevel still no real change though.

    Have to play around some more.

    UPDATE: Played around with similar ideas to do forests and foothills - I'm really starting to like how this is coming out. Just hope I decipher all of the chicken scratches (notes) I made to get this far.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mountain Experimentation-mtn-experiment-2.png  
    Last edited by Steel General; 05-26-2009 at 02:27 PM.
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  4. #4
      Ascension is offline
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    I think that if you added your multi-layered technique on top of this that maybe you could get more defined peaks and ridges. You could also cover up some of that pattern along the way by doing so (like in the middle where the peaks are). You might be on to something with the forests, not quite there yet but I see where you're headed and like it.
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  5. #5
      torstan is offline
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    Looking good. I like the way this is coming along. If anything, I'd suggest having the overall shadow be more prominent than the colour on the mountains so that you can make out the texture in the shadows, but not quite as clearly as now. I feel the textures are dominating over the shadows.
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  6. #6
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Map More experimenting...

    Had more time to play around with this...tried stacking a couple of the masked layers. Still up in the air as to the results, but I generally think its pretty decent.

    Played around with the foothills and forests some more too. I'm happy with the trees, but the hills still need some tweaking.

    Tried some without the pattern and color overlays - it just looked to plastic, though it might make a usable height map or something *shrugs*
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mountain Experimentation-mtn-frst-experiment-3.png  
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

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  7. #7
    Guild Apprentice Revivalofhonor's Avatar
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    Hey Steel, I hope you don't mind but I loved the start of your Mountians so much that I had to download the last image and play around with it some to see if I could get peaks the way I like them. I don't know if it is at all what you were going for, but I attached an image showing what I did.

    I just did this real quick and didn't have a ton of time to clean it up much.

    ::EDIT:: After I uploaded this, I put the size on the bevel up to around 40 and it brought out the peaks alot more.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mountain Experimentation-mountains.jpg  
    Last edited by Revivalofhonor; 05-27-2009 at 11:53 AM.

  8. #8
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    No I don't mind at all... It's experimental anyway, if you find any of it useful and can add your own twists to get something you like, then all the better

    Go ahead and post up the full size version of yours - I'd like to see a larger version.

    I was debating on whether to add a third layer of 'peaks' but, haven't got around to it yet.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

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  9. #9
    Guild Apprentice Revivalofhonor's Avatar
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    Here you go Steel, this is basically what I ended up with.

    Cheers!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mountain Experimentation-mountainsfinished.jpg  

  10. #10
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    @RoH: Thanks, looks good.

    I went ahead and did something something similar with my last image - see what you think.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mountain Experimentation-mtn-experiment-4.png  
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.



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