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Thread: EIP - Talstem Islands

  1. #21
      torstan is offline
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    Shrinking that sea texture has made a huge difference. Looks great! I look forward to the tute
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  2. #22
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlassSphere View Post
    Well, Here is the latest results from a ton of experimentation. After attempting and failing at something for 4 hours straight you get a little bored, so It's been a few days. I think I really got it down. I was trying to do too much when the look was already quite realistic from what I've seen from satellite photos. The things I added are:
    1: Underwater lightened around coastlines/beach. This was the hardest part. I wanted to create an effect that didn't look like a simple linear glow. After trying tons of different filters and effects, I found a really simple one that worked fine-. A bevel (might as well be a glow) with an adjusted gloss contour.

    2: Shoreline waves. I wanted them abit longer actually, but I'm still amazed at how simple it was to create the effect by getting the typical water/glass distortion to contour with the shorelines.

    3: Shoreline Trees. You'll notice that the transition between beach and jungle is looking better, with trees now gradually forming the line. This was interesting to create, as I had to widen the coast before putting the trees on it, or else there wouldn't be enough room for them without some of them jutting into the water.

    4: Even smaller outer-ocean waves. 16,000x16,000 pixels!!! EEEEGAADS!. The effect was applied and shrunk back to 2,000 pixels. This took over 30 minutes for 3 steps overall. But oh does it look sooo goooood.

    Other: I made a little sandbar by just a little brushing on the island's mask. It doesn't look great, but I know if I took a look at some sandbars I could eventually paint in some better ones.

    Whats wrong: Beaches don't have varying width. I know how to, its rather simple, it'd be just 1 more step to widening the beaches for the trees. But to be honest after looking at a lot of beaches with google earth. They all tend to have a very set width. The effect to slightly randomizing the beaches width wouldn't be too realistic either. It would be best to manually adjust it with a simple very light erasing of the island's mask. The main problem with this is the tree-line will also have to be manually adjusted. Not that big of a deal I guess, that in order to manually adjust something you have to also manually adjust that section on another layer.

    Tell me whatcha think. Personally I think I've got it down enough to write a really comprehensive tutorial on it.
    VERY nice. The trees overhanging the beach only in certain areas is a great effect. Very convincing and helps draw a lot of attention away from the static width of the beach very well.

    The sand bar at the top of the upper right island looks a flat when compared to the one below it (near town harbot). It looks like you are going for the underwater sandbar thing, but are not quite there yet? If so, perhaps selecting just the sandbar and applying a blur to the edges to have a more gradual fade from the middle of the sandbar might help.

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  3. #23
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    I think you need to actually fly out to a tropical island, bring back some sand, and pour it on your monitor. That's really the only way you're going to make this look more real.

    Nice work! I'm still quite interested in how you achieved your original water. Maybe it wasn't quite right for this map, but it'd be terrific for others.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  4. #24
      Karro is offline
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    Oh, that's simply gorgeous!

    If I even attempted something like this, I think I'd kill my laptop twice over before I'd gotten anything nearly as good looking. Many kudos to you.

  5. #25
      landorl is offline
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    That is an awesome looking map! I like the way that it looks sort of like an overhead picture, but at the same time still has a hand painted artistic feel to it.

  6. #26
    Guild Novice GlassSphere's Avatar
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    Sorry to post so late.

    I really appreciate the comments, it really helps, I'm only satisfied with these effects if it looks good to others, as I can't really go on my own opinion.

    What has been going on:

    Well I started to write the tutorial and I ran into a ridiculous problem. A part of the water that I thought was simple to recreate and didn't really matter to get specifically the same again turned out to be the key component to making the entire thing look good. This was the underwater texture. For some reason, It appears as if I had merged some multiply effect adding layer onto it as well, making it even harder to remember what was created how. There are a lot of reasons why the texture is so important. with too complex of a texture the water looks really noisy and un-smooth, while water should be smooth in these areas. Another reason is the color of the water greatly affects the feeling. Having some areas with too much of a color variety too fast makes it look like somebody spilled food coloring into the Caribbean.
    Yet another reason why the texture is so important, this is the biggest one, I realized that the texture worked -with- the ocean depth.

    (the ocean depth is created by the original render-clouds that were thresholded to create the land mask. The original clouds are copied, and turned to multiply or some other darkening effect, and applied to the underwater texture. This creates a very realistic depth effect (more than any glow could possibly do) Cause areas farther away from land tended to be darker in the original clouds (hence why they didn't turn into land during the threshold) hopefully that didn't go over your head. If it did, don't worry, it span around my head many times before it poked me in the eye.

    Back to the texture part. The areas that were darker with the depth affect, had -more- texture to it! the concentration of the black stuff on the seafloor became higher in the deeper parts, and there was less in the shallower parts.

    So yet, I lost the method to creating this amazing texture.
    So I have spent more time trying to figure out how I did that texture again than I had to make this entire map.

    but I'm pleased to announce
    I found one of the main steps again!

    Due to the shape of the texture I had constantly assumed I had used filter-render-fibers. I spent hours trying to use this to no avail. And so of course when once again, I'm just fiddling around, I find it again.
    There are more steps that I will learn soon, it'll be easy from here, What I have learned so far is that It started with the original cloud layer, and simply used poster edges on it! poster edges with a high threshold, its like a 3, 1, 9 or something for the values, but yea.

    So yea once I get that done and replicated on a test run, I'll start writing the ridiculously complicated yet very easy step-by-step tutorial.

  7. #27
      ravells is offline
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    Oh you poor soul! I've done that so many times with photoshop. Create a great effect with loads of fiddling and then sit there wondering how I did it.

  8. #28
    Community Leader Facebook Connected delgondahntelius's Avatar
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    What version of photoshop are you using??
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