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Thread: Colouring: lands, plains, forests, etc

  1. #1
      Backtired is offline
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    Default Colouring: lands, plains, forests, etc

    Hi all

    I'll take this map from Sapiento as example
    http://www.cartographersguild.com/at...ia-hyboria.jpg

    I don't understand how to make these wonderful colors for lands, forests, deserts, the "base" of the map (so, not talking about mountains or hills).
    I followed his thread and I know he started with basic colors, but then I just don't get how to make them more, "vivid", "alive"? Just take a look in the map linked, look Aquilonia's plains: they are not a single green boring color, but a mix. And I have no idea how to achieve this mix

    I don't know if he used any textures but I highly doubt it, so my questions basically is: how do you guys make the plains/basic colors more alive? Hope I explained myself

  2. #2
    Guild Member BlackChakram's Avatar
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    I can't speak for anyone else, but I use several methods. For reference, I use the GIMP, but I've also used Photoshop in the past. These ideas work in both.

    The simplest is to do a cloud or difference cloud render on a new layer, fiddle with it (posterize, gaussian blur, etc), then set that layer as an overlay blend.

    You can also grab a texture from the web (there are tons of websites that have hundreds) and use those for an overlay.

    You can also mess around with brushes. Both of the programs mentioned above have brushes that look spotty. You can alter your base color a little, use the brush a few times, and blur or whatnot to get things to blend nicely. You can also use plain old boring brushes but drop the opacity so that each stroke only darkens or brightens things slightly.

    The process is honestly a lot of trial and error with your favorite image editing program to get what you want. I keep a notepad file open and write down my steps so that if I get a result I like, I can replicate it.

    I've attached a really simple tutorial here for you. Hopefully it's informative. If not, I'll gladly take it in whatever direction you need.

    Cheers.

    Colouring: lands, plains, forests, etc-tutorial.png
    Meshon likes this.

  3. #3
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    I think I understand what you mean. If you're talking about the base colors and not the textures, it's surprisingly simple to get some nice variation.

    I was going to use some screenshots of my own work, but I just realized I actually got this method from a tutorial on this website, which can be found here. It's the fourth tutorial on there, called "One of many options to colour your map". The bit in that tutorial about the gaussian blur is what I'm referring to. Use several layers and just go nuts, see what works for you.
    Last edited by RazielKilsenhoek; 07-19-2014 at 10:47 PM.

  4. #4
      Backtired is offline
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    Guys this is totally what I was looking for.
    I will read the tutorial as soon as I can (I did search in tutorial section, but found nothing), thank you Raziel

    To Black Chakra, thank you for the little step-step. You say that there are some specific brushes that are good to do this. Any particular name for these? Got any link or points?

    Thank you both

  5. #5
      Chashio is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backtired View Post
    You say that there are some specific brushes that are good to do this. Any particular name for these? Got any link or points?
    Almost any brush will give a decent show of it with some setting adjustments. Low opacity, scatter, size jitter, brush spacing, rotation/angle randomization/jitter, you could play with textures and dual brush as well but they sometimes slow things down a little. Try a few different brushes and vary the settings to get a feel for it. You could also do a search online for grunge or grungy brushes and brush sets for your program... there's a ton of them out there and many are available as free downloads. I've seen a couple of nice ones on deviantArt that were uploaded by concept artists. But almost any brush will do. For tutorials on the subject, try looking for how to make a parchment background using brushes... should probably get something.

  6. #6
    Guild Member BlackChakram's Avatar
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    Chashio is pretty much hitting the nail on the head here. The variety in brushes and needs is so great, there's really little I can recommend. For example, in the current world I'm working on, I want my land features to look a little "spotty", like some flecks of paint bled or blobbed on the canvas a bit. I'm using the brush "chalk02" in the GIMP for this, which I've never used until now. Had no need.

    And heck, just looking over more of the default brushes, I'm thinking "vegetation02" will be a great start for my forests. *shrug* There's just so many options here that the best way to find what works for you is to open a new file and mess around until something resonates with you. Sorry I can't give anything more specific!

  7. #7
      Cirias is offline
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    I tend to rely on bump mapping my terrain colour layers using other textures, either that I download from stock image/texture websites or even just a simple Solid Noise render. It's a really powerful tool if you play with it and experiment with different effects. Most of the tutorials will include bump mapping in some shape or form.

  8. #8
      Wired is offline
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    This small tutorial by the resourceful Torstan might be rather helpful. It at least helped me a lot.
    How to draw grasslands.

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