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Thread: Geography Questions

  1. #1
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    Question Geography Questions

    I just joined the site and am looking to for some tutorials on how to create some realistic, professional looking geography for maps. I have my own techniques that I've been using for a while now but I want to expand upon what I already know with fresh techniques that other people have discovered.

    Software I use currently use is Photoshop CS6. I've got a project that I'm currently working on that I'm trying to speed up in completion.

    The problem I've been having on the site, so far, is trying to find the information for the things that I want to polish up on. Since I use Photoshop CS6, I really need geography tutorials on these things specifically: forests, mountains, hills, rivers, grass, etc. The typical geography you might see on a map.

    Any help would be grateful in pointing me in the right direction.

  2. #2
      ravells is offline
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    Hi EoS, for some reason your posts are getting caught in the moderation queue. Might be the 'Sin' in your handle...I'm not sure. Hopefully you should be OK now.

    As to your question we have an entire section of the site devoted to tutorials which cover most of the items you've listed (not sure about grass). Not sure also about what you mean by 'geography' tutorials. We are primarily concerned with drawing mountains, rivers etc on maps. Is that what you are after?

  3. #3
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    Yes, those are two things I've actually tried to find on my own before joining the site. There are so many threads and it's actually kind of hard for me to find what I'm looking for. Since I'm not very familiar with GIMP (don't really want to use it since I just recently upgraded Photoshop to CS6), my search has been rather difficult.

    Although I've solved my forest issue for the time being, I need help with mountains, rivers, etc. I just don't know why I'm having such a hard time finding it. I've tried using the search function on the site to find the threads but it wasn't exactly helpful.

    So yes, those things would be a great start for me to work on since I already have my forest brushes made earlier today.

    EDIT: I have no idea why my posts are still being delayed. I posted a thread in the Site Help forums about this and hopefully there can be some kind of solution to this cause I really want to dive into these forums to ask questions and look into things. That was the whole point of joining the site in the first place.
    Last edited by Entity of Sin; 04-23-2013 at 07:57 PM.

  4. #4
      Pineapple is offline
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    I'm also not clear about what you're looking for.

    There are lots of threads with brushes for creating mountain ranges, and there are threads with tutorials for creating mountain range effects. (I would also argue there are plenty of PS-oriented tutorials.)

    By geography do you mean information about how forests, mountains, etc. would realistically be arranged on a continent? Or how they affect the placement of cities and roads?

    I'm not trying to be contrary, I'm just wondering if you could more clearly describe what you're after. It seems like mountain and river (especially mountain) resources abound if you just flip through the Tutorial/How-To forum. Use Ctrl-F to quickly jump down the page to keywords like mountain or river.

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    It would also be helpful if you could post some samples of the kind of thing you would like to achieve. I get the sense that you're looking for help with style (how things look) rather than topography (where things go). There are lots of good Photoshop tutorials, guides, and case studies available, and we can certainly help guide you to them once we have a better idea of what you want to achieve.

    Off the top of my head, you might find good information by searching the tutorials forum for threads started by Ascension and Jezelf. Also, a search for the phrase "[Award Winner]" will get you a list of the tutorials generally considered most useful.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  6. #6
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    By geography I mean the way it looks. Here's one of my last projects that I could go back and polish up.

    Calitora Prime - Map Sector 1 by ~obsidianentity on deviantART

    I guess I'm having trouble finding those tutorials with the forum search function. I'll have to keep trying I guess. I want to have some different styles of how to do mountains, rivers, forests, hills, city locations, etc. I'm not really sure how else to describe what I'm looking for. Style of how the geography looks like is really all I'm currently looking for at this point.

  7. #7
      nolgroth is offline
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    My favorite mountains are done by Pasis. Here is the link to his Rising Up the Mountains thread: http://www.cartographersguild.com/tu...photoshop.html The last PDF document in the thread has the best stuff.

    Ascension has also done some amazing work. I am very fond of his Planet Making tutorial ( http://www.cartographersguild.com/tu...photoshop.html ). A Continent tutorial ( http://www.cartographersguild.com/tu...photoshop.html ) expands upon those concepts. And those are only two of his tutorials. He's also done town tutorials.

    Look up tutorials on Eriond and Saderan. I can't recall off-hand who wrote them, but the results are gorgeous as well.

    I'm afraid I mostly use GIMP, so most of the tutorials I follow are from the authors of GIMP tutorials. Sorry if you've posted a PS tutorial and I've excluded you.

    Good luck Entity of Sin. Hope you find what you are looking for.

  8. #8
      Pineapple is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entity of Sin View Post
    By geography I mean the way it looks. Here's one of my last projects that I could go back and polish up.

    Calitora Prime - Map Sector 1 by ~obsidianentity on deviantART

    I guess I'm having trouble finding those tutorials with the forum search function. I'll have to keep trying I guess. I want to have some different styles of how to do mountains, rivers, forests, hills, city locations, etc. I'm not really sure how else to describe what I'm looking for. Style of how the geography looks like is really all I'm currently looking for at this point.
    Ah, ok.

    It looks from your sample like you're looking for the semi-realistic/CG kind of feel rather than the hand-drawn/stylistic/line art kind of map. I'm just getting into the hobby so what I do right now when I have free time is flip back through the tutorial forum and just kind of skim the titles and bookmark anything that looks interesting. When I hit stuff that looks like it might be of interest to you I'll link back to it here.

  9. #9
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Hmmm... Looks like the basic search bar just doesn't cut it for finding things these days. I hadn't used it in so long that I hadn't realized just how worthless it was. Right below the search bar is a link that says "Advanced search." Go there, then click on the tab that says "Search single content type." Or just click this: Search Forums - Cartographers' Guild

    That search page turns up much better results.

    I have a bit more time right now to give more specific advice, but nolgroth already hit most of what I was going to suggest. Allow me to add Jezelf's tutorials: http://www.cartographersguild.com/tu...photoshop.html
    I like those a lot for coastlines and rivers.

    And speaking of rivers, let's just preemptively recommend this tutorial: How to get your rivers in the right place
    I'll bet our self-styled "River Police" are going to pay you a visit rather soon, and forewarned is forearmed.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  10. #10
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    Well I'm grateful to everyone being so patient with me about all of this and their help. Since I have the next few days off from school I'll be able to explore some of these links provided for me. I'm sure I'll find something and when I do and think it's worth showing off I'll make a thread about it.

    So I have my beer in hand and lots of work to do. Thanks everyone again for helping out. If anyone finds more stuff to share, then that's awesome as well.

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