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Thread: Leend - first try

  1. #31
      Jalyha is offline
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    Agreed, Zach. Africa is kinda like one without the point
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  2. #32
      Lyrillies is offline
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    Zach that sounds amazing, I can't wait for the beta
    But you'll have to explain to me what SVGs are, I don't know the topic that well actually - I never worked with fractal images or terrains before I came here. But high scalability sounds seriously awesome! So what is the problem?
    As for developing it on mac: YAY! I was worried it would be for windows, cause while I do have a virtual machine i don't really like running things on it, especially not stuff for art or graphics.
    The program does sound a bit complex though to run it solely from the terminal… How do you know what part of the terrain you're working on then? or does it have a visual output and just not a user interface with buttons and stuff to click on?

    Also, don't worry about hijacking the thread, I am really interested and as far as I know there's no other place do discuss software development in this forum, right?

    @world: It is, and yes it does seasons are easy as in they don't really exist as such. The balls you saw in the picture above emit temperature streams -cold and warm- which are relatively stable in their strength and intensity. The effect is that the further south you go, the warmer it gets. Of course there is variation and there are temperature storms but they are mostly irregular.
    I could say a lot about the other stuff as well, but beware: I've been working on this stuff for over ten years, still don't have all the answers and this is not a world building forum so I kinda don't want to give book-long explanations that don't really belong here…
    But I'm always happy to explain more in PMs or something like that if you really want to hear it.

    As for the shape: Does anyone actually know why Africa is shaped that way? Would be interesting in light of this problem!

    Oh and as for the map in general: I'll have to cut back the time I spend on this for the next week, I have to write five papers and as good as I am at denial, I probably should get something done. I'll be in trouble as it is already. So I apologize in advance for not updating as frequently next week

    edit: One last thing that I just can't keep to myself right now: i just bought a graphic tablet! I'm very excited about this, wanted one since I was 13 or so but then I turned to oil painting and forgot about it - but the past few days here really got me back to drawing, especially stuff from my world… The website has way too few illustrations and scanning them and then reworking them into usable digital images is just a real pain. Sooo I'm SO excited right now!
    Last edited by Lyrillies; 02-01-2014 at 10:23 PM.
    And that's with great detail like "A COMPASS tells you which direction is north!"

  3. #33
      waldronate is online now
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    Africa is shaped how it is due to the way that rifts carried the continent around. Rifts have a nasty habit of splitting into three lines roughly 120 degrees apart (it's a low energy configuration for dynamics on a sphere) and the Atlantic side shows a few of those from when the Atlantic rifted apart Africa and the Americas. On the west side of Africa is a lovely triple junction that's still active. The Red Sea is one arm, the Great Rift valley is another, and the third has more or less failed (which is very common during rifting because once two of them break, it takes more energy to make the third one break further than to just have it stop).

    There is software out there that can fractalize a shape. Old Guy's better coastlines tutorial gives a nice monofractal result. Using any of the fairly recent Wilbur tutorials and a little bit of image editor work might get you a result like the one shown below (pardon the artifacts; it was a quick job). Wilbur is a Windows program, but that's the way life turns out sometimes.

    One of the problems with a huge landmass like that is that physics will just give you a desert in the interior starting at less than a few thousand kilometers. Water just won't make it in that far. The deep interior of Pangea, for example (a continent a tenth the size shown here), seemed to be one of the worst deserts ever recorded with much of the rainfall that did penetrate much into the interior coming back as huge floods. It made a good proving ground for harsh-condition life forms, though.

    Software development discussions usually end up in the "Software Discussions" or "General Discussions" main areas. But they do regularly turn up in the oddest places...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Leend - first try-leend9x.jpg  
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by waldronate View Post
    One of the problems with a huge landmass like that is that physics will just give you a desert in the interior starting at less than a few thousand kilometers. Water just won't make it in that far. The deep interior of Pangea, for example (a continent a tenth the size shown here), seemed to be one of the worst deserts ever recorded with much of the rainfall that did penetrate much into the interior coming back as huge floods. It made a good proving ground for harsh-condition life forms, though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrillies View Post
    Maybe the entire map is just lacking detail, but then I have the problem of what to do with the desert? If I add tons of detail on the mountains, islands, forests etc the desert in the middle will look unfinished and blank...
    Problem solved!! Yay


    It's exactly what you needed ... you already had it and didn't even know it ^.^
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  5. #35
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    By Lyrillies
    sea streams are a great idea! I have no idea how they form or anything really, but do you think something like this would be possible?
    Thanks, but I'm not such an expert at this point ! I just rely on university memories...

  6. #36
      Zach is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrillies View Post
    Zach that sounds amazing, I can't wait for the beta
    But you'll have to explain to me what SVGs are, I don't know the topic that well actually - I never worked with fractal images or terrains before I came here. But high scalability sounds seriously awesome! So what is the problem?
    As for developing it on mac: YAY! I was worried it would be for windows, cause while I do have a virtual machine i don't really like running things on it, especially not stuff for art or graphics.
    The program does sound a bit complex though to run it solely from the terminal… How do you know what part of the terrain you're working on then? or does it have a visual output and just not a user interface with buttons and stuff to click on?
    SVG stands for "Scalable Vector Graphics." All objects in an SVG file (except embedded raster images) are defined by mathematical formulae, so they not only have high scalability, they have INFINITE scalability. Most modern browsers can display, but not edit, SVG files. Probably the two best-known SVG editors out there are Adobe Illustrator (price seems to be a few hundred dollars) and Inkscape (freeware). There are some others as well.
    The drawback of the software is that it does not generate "terrain" which will give you elevations. It will take a coastline you define and fractalize that. You have to come up with the elevations yourself.
    The program really isn't that complex. You just need to give it an SVG file to take data from, set how much randomness will be applied per iteration, and the number of iterations. It works really fast. In the sample image, the bold black line is my initial shape and the red shape is what it is after being passed through the program. I am working on fixing the bug of paths crossing themselves.
    At the time of writing, the program works only for an SVG with one path. I don't know what you mean by "what part of the terrain you're working on". It fractalizes the whole shape. Later I expect that you will be able to fractalize multiple paths or select which ones you want fractalized, but that's some way down the road. I should probably teach myself how to put a user interface on the program; it will be much better.

    @waldronate: The main reason that I am creating my own fractalization software that I am not satisfied with what is available to me. I used OldGuy's tutorial for a couple of maps, but I didn't like the results enough to be happy with them. By all accounts, Wilbur (and Fractal Terrains, among others) are amazing programs but I can't use them because I don't use Windows. I don't really want to pay money for a terrain generator either, not when I think I can make something of equal quality and suitable for my own use.
    I am developing the software for my own personal map creation. I am not trying to profit from it in any way. If others think that it is worthy enough for them to use as well, I will do all I can to make it available to them.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Leend - first try-fractalize-example.png  
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  7. #37
      Lyrillies is offline
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    Thank you very much, Waldronate, for that explanation! That is some highly interesting information and explains a lot. Makes me realize (again) that whatever we choose to do with our lives, it is all very limiting and leaves so little room to learn all the amazing stuff out there.

    As for the fractalisation software: well, to be honest right ow it is too much hassle for me to install windows programs on the VM. if I had more time would probably try it, but the way it is now there's other things that need too much of my attention. I will have a look at the tutorial though, thanks for pointing that out. There are so many great tutorials here that it's difficult to find the ones that are useful in a particular situation.
    As for your example: Thanks for showing me what it would look like. I think a little fractalisation would probably do that content some good, but I guess I'll just change the coastline by hand. For one, I lack the software, ad the other point is that I like having control over these things.

    And then there's the desert.
    So originally this continent is almost completely covered by desert, just like you said it would be (although this really has nothing to do with physics in this case, but I'm glad to hear it would work out similar!). I changed it when I felt that I couldn't make the landmass look big enough.

    And then theres the other thing that Jalyha referred to: First of all, Jalyha, I don't really understand how that solves my problem? Maybe it's a language problem and I just didn't understand it all correctly. Didn't Waldronate basically confirm that there would be nothing but desert in the middle and the other elements only near the coast? And my problem was that if there is only desert, it will look unfinished because that's basically a great big yellow-orange blob in the middle of it all.
    I guess I just need to learn to draw deserts better. Is there maybe a standard go-to tutorial for this that anyone knows about?

    Secondly, and apart from what I just wrote, the effects you described Waldronate are exactly what I want on this continent. The idea was always to have this impenetrable desert continent with extreme conditions. I just don't know how to put it on a map and still make the land look like an enormous continent…

    Oh and I must be blind, I didn't even see that there was a software discussions forum O.o


    @ Ilanthar: Oh well, thanks anyway for the idea! That probably already solves the biggest part of the problem and I'm sure I'll find a way to get the rest done as well.


    Zach, wouldn't it be possible though to create a fractal height map or elevation map with this? The reason I'm asking is because I was searching for a way to make fractalized height maps for my mountains, in order to convert them to realistic 3D images in Terragen 3.
    So couldn't I just take the general area of my mountain range, fractalize it like you have shown with the coastline in your post, do that several times in separate images and then stack these several images? Wouldn't that give me a fractalized elevation map?
    And that's with great detail like "A COMPASS tells you which direction is north!"

  8. #38
      Jalyha is offline
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    So... if the desert is so vast... (and don't get me wrong ... "desert" doesn't mean "big sandy waste"... there's ways to liven it up) then everything else would seem MUCH smaller in comparison. So your trees (not just the forests, but the trees in them) would be 1/4 the size. Same for your mountains.

    Is there a way to just shrink them? You can make more mountains to make the ranges cover more/less area... but the individual peaks would be smaller. You're talking about a continent the size of the earth (and then some). Fine, look at a globe of the earth, see how small the mountains look, and plan from there. THAT is how you make your continent bigger... you make your features smaller. Everything but the desert.

    If you want, you can do insets of important areas in your mountain ranges or forests, but... Honestly I think you should just go global (well, earth global) scale, and if you need to, you can map the other areas separately. Otherwise, it won't be very accurate, and it will always probably look like an island.
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  9. #39
      Lyrillies is offline
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    Oooh now I get it! Thanks!

    My desert on this continent definitely is standard "sandy waste" or "rocky waste" - but from how I understood it that's the kind of desert that would form on such a continent anyway.

    I did what you suggested and had a look at the entire earth from google, but honestly most mountains then look like some weird brownish slobber. I think the problem is that that's not exactly the style I want to use for my map.

    Ok so for making the features smaller: your suggestion is a possible solution but I think I would then have to go to a resolution of about 8000x11000 pixels in order to paint the peaks as small as they would have to be in the final image. That's a bit much for my little laptop and the reason why I basically skipped having any great detail and individual peaks at all in the last version. Partly because you wouldn't be able to see it anymore anyway.

    Anyhow, this is still an option I'm willing to try (will have to split up the map for that but that's fine) but I'll have to wait for my graphic tablet to arrive before I can do that.
    But in preparation for this I went and tried to find maps of how pangea possibly could have looked like and found this:
    Leend - first try-blakey_220moll.jpg
    (it's from wikipedia so there should be no copyright issues with posting it here)
    So what I see here is the following: The mountains are depicted mostly by very fine scrapes and a change in color. This I can do, but I kind of tried it before and it didn't really work in terms of making the land seem bigger. One of the reasons why pangea here looks so big is probably because it's projected onto that flat globe.

    Ok long story short: my conclusion is that while that may help and I will definitely try your suggestion when my tablet comes on friday, Jalyha, I doubt it's gonna resolve the issue entirely. Another aspect is the coastline, I will rework that so that it seems more fractalised and therefore the individual features on the coastline will look smaller, making it seem like they are shown from greater distance -> ergo the continent seems bigger in total.
    And that's everything I have. So if that doesn't work I'm truly stuck.

    Uhm anyway... I can't do any of this before friday. which sucks. I wanna try this now.
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    And that's with great detail like "A COMPASS tells you which direction is north!"

  10. #40
      Zach is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrillies View Post
    So couldn't I just take the general area of my mountain range, fractalize it like you have shown with the coastline in your post, do that several times in separate images and then stack these several images? Wouldn't that give me a fractalized elevation map?
    Not sure what you mean here. Which of these is closest?
    - Just repeatedly shrinking the initial shape and fractalizing it each time until it gets sufficiently small.
    - Generating several different shapes from the same base image and merging them somehow.
    - Making a complex net of polygons out of the base image and then fractalizing it in three dimensions.

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