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Thread: Terra Patria - Novice Map Effort

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      Gumboot is offline
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    Wip WIP - Terra Patria - Novice Map Effort

    Hi all,

    I have a world I've been building for about 15 years, and naturally mapping has been a big part of that (I love maps), but I wouldn't call myself a particularly talented mapper. However, my knowledge of photoshop has slowly improved, as has my grasp of geography, and after reading some of the exceptional tutorials on these forums I've set to work on building my "best map ever". I need a highly accurate regional map of this land-bridge continent mostly as a reference tool, and for me realism is the key.

    I am pretty happy with a coastline, but I've been giving more thought to terrain, which has led me to attempt a version of the map based on a height map. The only issue for me is the best way to go about creating a realistic height map. Most of the tutorials I've found seem to be based on randomly generated maps, which won't work in this instance as I'm dealing with a specific map layout.

    I've included a picture of the map as it currently stands, to show you what I am currently working on. I've created this map using the burn and dodge tools in Photoshop, entirely by hand, using a "ridgeline" layer as a guide. My intention is to move the map into Wilbur for additional erosion and establishing river tracks once the map is done (experiments suggest I'll need to do this in pieces as the map is so big).

    My initial question, I suppose, as a newbie mapper, is whether this hand-drawn method for the height map is sensible. Are there easier ways of achieving the same or more realistic results? It took me a couple of hours to do just the little section I'm currently happy with (the bit slightly NW of centre), so to complete just the height map will be an enormous undertaking.

    The map is about 7,600 x 5,300, and the scale is 1px to 1km.

    I've attached a slightly reduced version as it exceeds the maximum image size for the forums.

    Terra Patria - Novice Map Effort-terra-patria-heightmap-med.jpg
    Last edited by Gumboot; 05-22-2013 at 07:08 PM.
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      Diamond is offline
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    That is pretty impressive, especially for having done it all manually! You might try Ascension's Swiss-style relief tutorial: Swiss-style relief shading It's fairly easy to adapt it to an existing shape, and it give decent results. At the very least, it might provide a springboard for you to build from.

    And welcome to the Guild! Have some rep for jumping right in with a map.
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      Gumboot is offline
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    Just an update on the middle section of the map. Ran the height map through Wilbur then created a texture map to test my progress.

    Terra Patria - Novice Map Effort-update-01.jpg
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    THAT is pretty cool.
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    Guild Artisan eViLe_eAgLe's Avatar
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    Yeah, it looks good. Better give it color to match, too!

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      Gumboot is offline
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    Okay so having experimented with Wilbur a bit, I've decided I don't need to put anywhere near as much effort into the individual ridges for the mountain ranges... indeed Wilbur's erosion filter produces far more realistic looking ridges than me anyway! (Surprise!). This is great news, as it means less work to complete the initial Height Map. Still a bit concerned about how Wilbur is going to handle the whole map... :\

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    Guild Artisan eViLe_eAgLe's Avatar
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    Make sure to do the tutorials, and keep backups. Just a friendly tip from someone who has messed up quite a few.

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      waldronate is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gumboot View Post
    Okay so having experimented with Wilbur a bit, I've decided I don't need to put anywhere near as much effort into the individual ridges for the mountain ranges... indeed Wilbur's erosion filter produces far more realistic looking ridges than me anyway! (Surprise!). This is great news, as it means less work to complete the initial Height Map. Still a bit concerned about how Wilbur is going to handle the whole map... :\
    The 64-bit version of Wilbur didn't seem to have any real problem with that first image (6118x4286). It was a bit pokey on my Core i7 3770 w/32GB (30 seconds for fill basins, 2 mins for incise flow, 4 minutesish for 10 passes of precipiton erosion), but it did complete. I seem to recall that the 32-bit version wasn't able to handle that size image directly.

    One thing that you can do with similar effect is to start with a lower-resolution image (say, 1000 wide or so) to rough in the terrain features and then move up to higher resolutions using Surface>>Resample>>Simple (or something like that; my version of Wilbur isn't the publically-available one) to increase the resolution to approach your final result.

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    Those mountain ridges look amazing! Kudos for doing those all manually. Look forward to watching this develop.

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh

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      Gumboot is offline
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    Update time... I think I've mostly finished the height map to my satisfaction. This is a quick and rough render of how it looks thus far. I have a few areas to fix up and so on, then I'll start laying down rivers and lakes. Upload is heavily reduced in scale due to size.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Terra Patria - Novice Map Effort-terra-patria-shaded-relief-coloured-height.jpg  
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