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Thread: My first map, WIP

  1. #21
      DanChops is offline
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    Okay, now that I'm done with the sea and underlying land layers, it's time to start with mountains. I'm going to try a bit of a divergence from Rob's tutorial with the mountains. Instead of using the mountain colors to color in the entire area covered by the mountain bump map, I'm going to color in a smaller area inside the bump map. I'm hoping that this will create the illusion of hills surrounding the mountains, and will assist with blending the mountains in with their surroundings.

    That's the plan anyway. Let's see how it works out.

    First, I need to figure out where to put the highlands. I decided to sketch in where I imagined the tectonic plates would be. (Hey, it's a fantasy map, right? Just because I'm roughly basing the coastlines on a region of earth doesn't mean I have to follow real tectonic plates, right?)
    My first map, WIP-07-tectonics.jpg
    The tectonic plates (and their rough directions of movement) are in red. (The dotted line indicates where the large plate is splitting itself in two.

    My first map, WIP-08-tectonics-hills.jpg
    This image shows where I'll be doing a height bump map for the hills along with the plates.

    My first map, WIP-09-hill-outline.jpg
    And this is just the hills outline.

    Well, lets see how this turns out!

  2. #22
      ravells is offline
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    This is great stuff Dan, it's wonderful to have your thought processes explained. I appreciate the time you're taking to do this rather than just forging on with the map making!

  3. #23
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Very nice so far. I had the same thought about making hills around my mountains also for the transition. One thing I have played with a bit, but not mastered yet, is trying to use a gradient on the hills to blend from the underlying color into the mountain color and help reduce hard edges.

    Waiting to see more, so far it's coming along very well!

    Joe
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    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
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  4. #24
      DanChops is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravells View Post
    This is great stuff Dan, it's wonderful to have your thought processes explained. I appreciate the time you're taking to do this rather than just forging on with the map making!
    Thanks! I'm enjoying writing the process down. It helps me ensure that I'll be able to duplicate it in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by jfrazierjr View Post
    This is great stuff Dan, it's wonderful to have your thought processes explained. I appreciate the time you're taking to do this rather than just forging on with the map making!
    Now that's an interesting idea. I may have to try to play around with it after I exhaust this approach. Do post any results you get, I'd love to see them.

  5. #25
      DanChops is offline
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    My first map, WIP-10-hills-bump.jpg
    Okay, so here are the hills. I simply skipped over the color gradient step in Rob's mountain instructions, and added two bump map layers on top, similar to the layer Rob has on top of his grass layer earlier in the tutorial. One layer was bump mapped to a turbulent cloud layer, the other to a non turbulent (peaceful? calm?) cloud layer.

    I think this approach has potential, although I'm anxious to see what it looks like once I get a colored mountain layer on top. I'm particularly happy with the bit of a rift valley feel in the central-west, the southern island, and eastern of the two lakes in the middle (I think that may be the remnants of a monster long-dead volcano.)

    I also think I ended up with hills to form the foundation of rain shielding mountains most places that I would need them in order for my deserts to make sense.

  6. #26
      DanChops is offline
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    My first map, WIP-11-peaks-sketch.jpg
    Before starting with the peaks I figure I should sketch in where I want them to be. I started by applying the hills mask to a new layer, and selecting the area where the hills were. Then I shrunk the selection by about 30 pixels, and then adjusted the area to taste.

    My first map, WIP-12-tectonics-peaks-sketch.jpg
    For reference, here is the sketch of the peaks along with the tectonic plates sketch from before

  7. #27
      DanChops is offline
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    I liked the idea from my previous map of having two different colors of mountains - brown for deserty/sandstone type mountains and gray for really really tall granite type mountains. Here are the brown mountains.

    My first map, WIP-brown-mountains.jpg

    I'm quite happy with how these mountains turned out. I followed Rob's basic outline, with the following alterations:
    • I rendered low detail, medium size clouds directly on to the color layer. This created a bit of variety within the mountain range between the lighter and darker patches.
    • For texture, I added a bump layer to which I applied a bump map with the Peak Noise layer (the middle of the original peak three layer sandwich) as the base of the map. I then duplicated this layer. This really made the range "pop" as it were.
    • Of course, I fiddled with the colors a fair amount.
    • I added a "Brown Peak" mask to all five layers involved (the color layer, the two height map layers, and the two texture map layers) and applied a 50 pixel Gaussian blur to each mask.

    All in all, I'm pleased with how this looks. While the texture layers prevented it from appearing that there is one large mountain (like in Rob's tutorial) I think the scale of this map fits the multitude of smaller peaks look better. I'm also happy with how the mountains blended in with the surrounding landscape, although a lot of that may be due to the similarity in colors shared by the brown mountains and the desert layer. I'm anxious to see how it looks with the gray mountains, but I'm afraid that's going to have to wait until tomorrow.

  8. #28
      RobA is offline
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    That look great Dan! mush more in line with the "word scale" you are aiming for, rather than the "regional" that I initially was targeting in the tutorial.

    I'd also suggest copying the land mask and using that to clip where the mountains look like they overlap the water.

    -Rob A>

  9. #29
      DanChops is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobA View Post
    I'd also suggest copying the land mask and using that to clip where the mountains look like they overlap the water.
    Great idea. That cleaned things up quite a bit - especially in the red sea coasts. Is there a way to have two masks applied to the same layer?

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanChops View Post
    Great idea. That cleaned things up quite a bit - especially in the red sea coasts. Is there a way to have two masks applied to the same layer?
    No, unfortunately. You either have to apply the first (destructively) then create the second mask, save the two masks as channels, combine them manually, then apply them as a mask. Not destructive, but more work, as you have to manage the channels manually.

    -Rob A>

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