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Thread: Which do you prefer?

  1. #11
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Here is another example based on the concepts I did for #1. Also, the colors are a bit more muted. All of the tests come from the same base with variations in bump map properties and/or number of bump maps overlain.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Which do you prefer?-mountains_4.jpg  
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  2. #12
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Ok, so I have what I believe is going to be my final test for making mountains. This has both ridge lines and bit of texture, though perhaps a tiny bit to much on the last bump map for the mountains.

    My goal is to get a bit of the randomness in shape for peaks/valleys in a mountain range while maintaining a some of the texture when zoomed in. Some of the weave and flow as it were...

    I would appreciate comments and criticisms from as many people as possible(ie, most of the community leaders at least), and if anyone wants to see detailed steps, I will be glad to post up a tutorial. Like wise, if anyone knows a better way to do this in GIMP, please pipe up!

    Joe
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Which do you prefer?-mountains_5.jpg  
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    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
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  3. #13
      ravells is offline
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    I'm afraid it doesn't really look, 'mountain like' to me. The edges of the field seem to be too uniform...perhaps a layer mask to roughen the edges a bit? I really do like the twisty pattern of ridgelines within the range itself, but if you could find a way to texture or colour the 'low' areas, that might really make them shine. I think there's great potential in the design, but there's a little more work required, but if you can get there, it will be a fantastic way to do mountains.

  4. #14
    Guild Journeyer Facebook Connected rpgmapmaker's Avatar
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    I “think” I understand what you are trying to do now... but let me ask just to make sure...

    Are you trying to develop a new or improved technique for making mountain ranges without drawing it by hand using only "filters" to randomly generated textures, layer transfer types, layer masks, and bump maps to achieve the desired outcome?

    If so… I see potential in the images you are making but I am not sure how we can help unless you describe the filters/textures/ bump maps and the overall possess you are using in more detail. As there is a difference between developing a digital creation possess and developing an artistic drawing style.

    If not… just pretend that I have said nothing and carry on with what you were doing before I opened my digital mouth…

    -Chris
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  5. #15
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpgmapmaker View Post
    I “think” I understand what you are trying to do now... but let me ask just to make sure...

    Are you trying to develop a new or improved technique for making mountain ranges without drawing it by hand using only "filters" to randomly generated textures, layer transfer types, layer masks, and bump maps to achieve the desired outcome? :
    heh... yes and no. Will follow up post with the basics of the process I have been playing with the past week so you can see what I am doing. In a nutshell, I am quickly hand drawing a B/W layer to simulate a light/shadow of a bunch of mountains. Then on top of that, I add a few bump maps to create shape the peaks/valleys and then add a bit of rock texture. Basically, I am playing around trying to find something "I" like for a top down mountain range.

    Quote Originally Posted by rpgmapmaker View Post
    If so… I see potential in the images you are making but I am not sure how we can help unless you describe the filters/textures/ bump maps and the overall possess you are using in more detail. As there is a difference between developing a digital creation possess and developing an artistic drawing style.
    Will add to this post later tonight as time permits with the steps and hopefully, this will become clearer. Note counting the time spend trying to blend one layer into another, just creating the mountains themselves takes around 15-20 minutes. As you indicate, I don't what to spend hours to create a regional/global map in this style. If I was going to spend that kind of time, I would hand draw the mountains and trees. Likewise, if I wanted to get a decent relief map, I would generate something in Fractal World Explore rand and tweak from there. I want something in between. Here are the tools I have currently available:

    FWE
    Fractal Mapper 8
    GIMP

    Of these, I have the most experience with Fractal Mapper as I have built several maps for my DM's world, but none of these are what I would call great. In an event, I am also limited to using the tools I currently have or those that are free. So far I have seen no example maps which convey what I am trying to accomplish in a way I like except those created with programs which require great technical skill and/or have a monetary cost.

    Joe
    My Finished Maps
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    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
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    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  6. #16
      su_liam is offline
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    First off, look at RobA's attachment. Those are real mountains and they basically tell you just what rpgmapmaker is trying to.

    A mountain range is a labyrinth. For every point on that labyrinth(with certain exceptions where evaporation exceeds precipitation or the underlying strata are very porous) there is a path out. Water has three ways to get off your mountain: it can evaporate, it can flow across the surface, or it can fill a depression with a lake till it finds a way to flow out. A good way to structure a mountain range is to build a central spine then build radiating spines. Some of those radiating spines can themselves have spines that radiate parallel to the central spine, but make sure those have outlets.

    Quote Originally Posted by ravells View Post
    I'm afraid it doesn't really look, 'mountain like' to me. The edges of the field seem to be too uniform...perhaps a layer mask to roughen the edges a bit? I really do like the twisty pattern of ridgelines within the range itself, but if you could find a way to texture or colour the 'low' areas, that might really make them shine. I think there's great potential in the design, but there's a little more work required, but if you can get there, it will be a fantastic way to do mountains.
    I have to agree with Ravells here. To amplify on what I believe to be part of his point, you need to carry some of the lowland texture up into the mountains. Perhaps carrying some green up into the valleys between the ridges. These green areas can become increasingly narrow as you work your way deeper into the network. Try Google Earth on the Himalayas for examples. This can serve both to make your mountains more realistic and also blend them in better with the lowlands. I'll try an example later. Bedtime now.

  7. #17
      ravells is offline
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    There is a good shaded relief map of Everest and its surrounding mountains here. May be worth a look for some inspiration?

    Also have a look here for general wow-dom. Those Canadians make BIG 3d maps!

  8. #18
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Ugh... Another try. I need to go back through and clean up the forests that are on top of the mountains and make them a bit more ragged. Hopefully, that will make them look a bit better and less uniform, but for now, I am going to play with my new tablet for a bit.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Which do you prefer?-anothermountainchain.jpg  
    Last edited by jfrazierjr; 05-28-2008 at 11:27 PM. Reason: Ok, final try I think....
    My Finished Maps
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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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  9. #19
      Karro is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfrazierjr View Post
    Ugh... Another try. I need to go back through and clean up the forests that are on top of the mountains and make them a bit more ragged. Hopefully, that will make them look a bit better and less uniform, but for now, I am going to play with my new tablet for a bit.
    Hey, that's looking pretty good! Much better than the initial images.

    What does the stuff that looks like a giant patch of lichen (to the east and west of the mountains) represent? They don't look like the forests that are in the midst of the mountains.

  10. #20
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Post My final tests.

    Ok, here is my final try, with a new technique. There are no forests, or mountain colors, just a background and the mountains themselves. You may note that the left half might look quite a bit better (more craggy and irregular) than the ones of the right. This is be design for my testing. I have to say I rather like the way the ones on the right came out in terms of texture and stuff, so will be playing with this a lot more in the future.

    I know it's rather hard to separate components of an unfinished map, but please let me know what you think about the texture of the mountains themselves.

    Perhaps this weekend, I will take this example and finish it up with trees, water, and some more color variation in the mountains themselves.

    Joe
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Which do you prefer?-mountains_final.jpg  
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    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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