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Thread: Playing with mountains

  1. #11
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karro View Post
    I'm still not quite sure how you do those long snaking range ridgelines. They do bear somewhat of a resemblance to what they actually look like from sat-photos (although I also think sat photos of mountains look peculiar, but you capture that in a good way!)
    Not quite sure what you mean by "long snaking ridgelines". I just follow RobA's video tutorial process (though I have started using white and gray instead of B/W in my gradient) and just make the mountains with plenty of twists, turns and shape variation. So far, I have been using the mouse most of the time for test stuff like this, so I could probably get a bit better results if I were to use my tablet instead. Once I have the mountain shape down, I start playing with various brushes for dodge/burn, then smudge, spread, and G. blur and then usually smudge again for the Gray/White layer used as the bump map. Takes a bit of time, but really helps sell the randomness on the "slopes" and also makes the ridges less uniform and unnatural looking by "flattening" them in a few places.

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

  2. #12
      Karro is offline
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    Joe, there was just something about the way your mountains twist and wind over the ground. But... I think I'm beginning to crack it:

    Playing with mountains-new-mountains2.jpg

    Playing with mountains-new-mountains.jpg

    Just playing around with the order and blend type of layers. I didn't have time last night, but I have a few other styles and techniques I plan to try out. One thing I'm trying to do here is separate the bump layers from the color, so I can lay colors on top of the bump and add effects like snow caps or forest on top of the mountains and hills. I will be playing with this further to see if I can make it work.

    I think I've also figured out a few ways to make canyonlands work: using black on the bump-map layer instead of white to represent depressions, or conversely by raising the water-level setting on the bump map filter dialog, or by clicking the "invert" check box in the filter dialog.
    Last edited by Karro; 06-18-2008 at 10:01 AM. Reason: added thoughts on canyons

  3. #13
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karro View Post
    Joe, there was just something about the way your mountains twist and wind over the ground. But... I think I'm beginning to crack it:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Just playing around with the order and blend type of layers. I didn't have time last night, but I have a few other styles and techniques I plan to try out.
    IMO, you have way to much rockiness underneath the mountains and it makes them disappear. I will say, even my latest example is not right. I was playing around yesterday and had done a bunch of smudges done, took my laptop upstairs after saving and then left the house with it unplugged and on. So I lost all of my undo buffer stuff and did not feel like starting some of the steps over again to fix the bad places. One thing I end up doing to "check it" is to play at 100+% zoom and then zoom out to make the mountains take up 1/5 or less of my screen. A lot of the time, something that looks good or even ok zoomed in looks like crap at thumbnail size, so I kind of let that be my guide and play until I get something I think looks good at both sizes.


    [QUOTE=Karro;23332]One thing I'm trying to do here is separate the bump layers from the color, so I can lay colors on top of the bump and add effects like snow caps or forest on top of the mountains and hills. I will be playing with this further to see if I can make it work./QUOTE]

    Yep, separate layers is the way to go. I try to duplicate layers, add the bump map and then overlay and blend with a layer mask and the smudge tool.

    I think my biggest problem is forgetting to duplicate layers before starting the next section of work (adding blur/spread/smudge/etc) so I always have the original unaltered to go back to in I royally screw up. I really need to start being more consistent about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karro View Post
    I think I've also figured out a few ways to make canyonlands work: using black on the bump-map layer instead of white to represent depressions, or conversely by raising the water-level setting on the bump map filter dialog, or by clicking the "invert" check box in the filter dialog.
    Yep, I figured that out a few days ago also with the invert bumpmap. I had not tried the waterlevel thing though.

    Joe
    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.

  4. #14
      Karro is offline
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    Yeah, I agree, these aren't perfect yet. I only had about 20 or thirty minutes last night to play around, so I had to settle for what I had after a bit.

    My goal, I think, is to see if I can't come up with something a little like a cross between some of the mountains I've seen you put together combined with some like what RobA posted up thread--something with a nice looking ridgeline with occassionaly sharp looking peaks, and lots of rolling hills around it. My attempts on RobA's tutorial combined with some stuff I tried here and some ideas I have to try will hopefully get me around to that place.

    Yeah, as for duplicating layers... I think I had two or three copies of every layer when I did these... I just wanted to make sure I still had the original in case, as like you suggested, I completely hosed it with whatever I was trying.

  5. #15
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karro View Post
    Yeah, I agree, these aren't perfect yet. I only had about 20 or thirty minutes last night to play around, so I had to settle for what I had after a bit.

    My goal, I think, is to see if I can't come up with something a little like a cross between some of the mountains I've seen you put together combined with some like what RobA posted up thread--something with a nice looking ridgeline with occassionaly sharp looking peaks, and lots of rolling hills around it. My attempts on RobA's tutorial combined with some stuff I tried here and some ideas I have to try will hopefully get me around to that place.

    Yeah, as for duplicating layers... I think I had two or three copies of every layer when I did these... I just wanted to make sure I still had the original in case, as like you suggested, I completely hosed it with whatever I was trying.
    Hmmm... I wonder how hard it would be to come up with some Script-Fu or Python-Fu to:

    • Duplicate a selected layer
    • Make the new layer invisible
    • Lock the new layer
    • Move the new layer to the bottom of the layer list.


    Joe
    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.

  6. #16
      RobA is offline
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    Here you go, Joe (not sure what you mean by "lock the layer"... link it's position, or lock its alpha (so I didn't include that). Just save it as a scm file in your scripts and assign it to a hot key:

    Code:
    (define (script-fu-joesaction img inLayer)
      (let *
        (
          (new-layer (car (gimp-layer-copy inLayer TRUE)))  ;create a duplicate
        )
      
    	; it begins here
    	(gimp-image-undo-group-start img)
    
    	;copy the layer
            (gimp-image-add-layer img new-layer -1)	; create the copy as a new layer
    	(gimp-drawable-set-visible new-layer FALSE) ; set invisible
    	(gimp-image-lower-layer-to-bottom img new-layer) ; move to bottom
    	(gimp-image-set-active-layer img inLayer); set active layer back to initial layer
    	;done
    	(gimp-image-undo-group-end img)
      )
    )
    
    (script-fu-register "script-fu-joesaction"
            		    "<Image>/Filters/Joe Action"
                        "4 steps."
                        "Rob A"
                        "Rob A"
                        "June 2008"
                        ""
                        SF-IMAGE      "image"      0
                        SF-DRAWABLE   "drawable"   0
    )

  7. #17
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobA View Post
    Here you go, Joe (not sure what you mean by "lock the layer"... link it's position, or lock its alpha (so I didn't include that). Just save it as a scm file in your scripts and assign it to a hot key:
    Damn... Thanks Rob! I owe you like 10 points of rep and counting now... I don't think I will ever be able to catch up.... heh...

    Joe
    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.

  8. #18
      RobA is offline
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    No problem. Little scripts like this are quite trivial to knock out.... and I don't really understand scheme... I just copy from existing scripts.

    -Rob A>

  9. #19
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Wip

    Ok, so just for the heck of it, I decided I would play with this map and actually try to get something completed. I deleted a few layers under the mountains and redid them to make them look a bit better.

    Also, I kind of played with a new technique on the shoreline to indicate shallow water. Basically, I had a separate mask layer for the shore line. I selected and saved this as a path. Then, I set up the airbrush tool with a large fuzzy brush and a light blue color (almost white) and quite a lot of jitter. Select the paths tool, right click, stroke path, and select airbrush. Poof, a nice quick way to make some shallow water area. The jitter is used to make it somewhat more random distance from the actual shore line as it is drawn. Anyway, I kind of like the effect I got from it.

    Joe
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Playing with mountains-newmountains2.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.

  10. #20
      Karro is offline
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    So... we use, say, notepad, and throw that code into it and save it down as .scm instead of .txt and then put it in the scripts folder? Then it'll be listed in our scripts when we open GIMP again?

    Cool...

    I'm going to have to learn this. It looks like pretty simple code, but it's been 5 years since I've done any kind of coding but HTML and CSS.

    That's looking cool, Joe!

    Hopefully, I'll get a chance after a few days to play around again. Been really busy, and look to be busy for the foreseeable future. I'm in hard job-search mode, at the moment, so pretty much all my free time that isn't used up with the fiancee is spent looking for a new job... and that's cutting into my mapping time.

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