Yea that has been an issue. I have been experimenting and i like how the desert turned out. Its in the middle between the two. And the grainy texture has kind of given it a nice sand look.
As for elevation, the northern area is being a pain. I will post how it looks so far. Attachment 53919
My mountains also don't feel like they have any height to them (besides the fact that my southern ones ended up sunken into the ground lol) Its not too bad as it is for color. I'm not really sure how else i could color it though. I would like the mountains to be taller either way, they feel so small that way. I don't think i have the ability to use your cloud sculpting though.
I have had good luck with Roba's embossing method but i don't know how i would convert that into a heightmap or if they would be colorable from the grayscale embossing uses.
Well, a trip through the Wilbur wash seems to have fixed the grainyness i was having. Gaussian blur x1 and then a precipiton erosion x3 (at least for my map size) worked well. Now i think i want to redo the southern mountains, as much as i love the shape, they are just not working according to plan. So i might take where they end on the east side, and cut that whole west side and let wilbur build me some new mountains. I hope by taking the whole area, any land erosion and river placements that it adds will still match up when i put the puzzle back together again.
As for the northern, i need to flatten a spot but i want to try and keep the shape the same, and elevation. It gives the land mass that nice animal head shape lol.
The new bump map. Redid the mountains and lowered the ground elevations. Now its kind of flat though. But at least its not all grainy as far as i can tell.
I think i might lower the rainforest area a bit too. Then i guess its just matter of coloring, adding trees and maybe labels. I plan to use Arsheesh's tree method, so hopefully that will hide any of my glaring imperfections lol.
Finally got the coloring done enough to where i can take a break and or stop. I manually colored all the rivers, now my fingers are sore.
Overall im happy with how it turned out, but i like the look of the south alot more then the north. The north ended up with a lot of straight rivers. Next i want to add trees, lots and lots of trees.
My last and final attempt. I like this versions desert more, but it breaks all the rules set in place by the story lines so i cant use it. I don't have it in me to do it all over again so i will just throw trees and labels on the map i did before this. I do plan to keep the new ring though. Maybe add some rock out crops in the desert so its not so flat.
Might end up finishing this new version just for fun though, i like how it looks. And on a side note, why does everything i make keep looking like an animal? I swear the new desert is some kind of gecko gold fish hybrid. And the two islands in the far south looks like fish or dolphins. The purple thingie in the east reminds me of a spider. The island in the far west reminds me of a crab, or maybe some kind of weird aliens head.