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Thread: Drawing/creating mountain/stone ridges

  1. #1
    Guild Member Facebook Connected SandmanNet's Avatar
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    Question Drawing/creating mountain/stone ridges

    So, I have this map project for the world of Myst. I'm sure some of you have played these games when you were younger

    I am creating digital Myst books, you can view Myst and the beginning of Riven here:

    http://sandman.net/myst

    And in them, I have drawn maps of the various islands of Myst. Some are available for download:

    http://sandman.net/texter/read.php?id=104818
    http://sandman.net/texter/read.php?id=97181
    http://sandman.net/texter/read.php?id=97168

    While there are a lot of things I'm not happy with in these maps, the most obvious thing is the mountains or stoney surfaces. On the last, Myst Island, it's the hilltop of the observatory and the edges of most of the island. The eroded rock that slopes down into the water.

    It doesn't look horrible, but not very authentic either. I want to make really authentic-looking hillsides/mountains/erosion effects. I'm also looking to do these automatically, not hand-drawn. I am currently drawing my maps all by hand using a Wacom Cintiq. But ideally I would like some form of software where I could draw the land and the erosion would automatically be generated. And I can selectively raise/lower the terrain until I am satisfied. I am using a Mac, but I do have a PC at hand if needed.

    If you've used Bryce, you know about the greyscale elevation map editor. Something like that, but a bit nicer, is what I'm looking for. It had controls for adding erosion and "ruggedness" to the terrain.

    Failing that, I would like to have some really good pointers for creating good looking stone surfaces on a map.

    Any help is appreciated.

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    Guild Member ProfGremlin's Avatar
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    Well, I've never used Bryce but a few years back I played around with both Terragen and World Machine. Terragen works off the premise of a greyscale elevation map. World Machine has a whole flow chart that you lay out to affect the terrain. Both have great automatic algorithms for creating erosion. That might be some place to begin. For me, Terragen was more intuitive whereas World Machine took a bit more effort in learning how to work with it. Both created some great land maps, especially if the height field was generated in World Machine and then imported to Terragen (though this is just a bonus not a requirement).

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    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    Honestly, unless you are looking for something to sell and and the customer has requirements(or your just looking to experiment and broaden your horizons), I would say play to your strengths. You have very nice hand drawn skills...
    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.

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    Well, thanks a lot! But I want it to look even better

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    Guild Member Facebook Connected SandmanNet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobA View Post
    Now I'm real jealous. Care to give a review in our tablet vs. mouse thread?

    -Rob A>
    Hehe, well, I'm sure I'm not the only one using a Cintiq... right?

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    Guild Member Facebook Connected SandmanNet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProfGremlin View Post
    Well, I've never used Bryce but a few years back I played around with both Terragen and World Machine. Terragen works off the premise of a greyscale elevation map. World Machine has a whole flow chart that you lay out to affect the terrain. Both have great automatic algorithms for creating erosion. That might be some place to begin. For me, Terragen was more intuitive whereas World Machine took a bit more effort in learning how to work with it. Both created some great land maps, especially if the height field was generated in World Machine and then imported to Terragen (though this is just a bonus not a requirement).
    Thank you for your suggestions, I will look into them.

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    If I remember correctly, the only other person using the Cintiq is the owner of the website, Arcana. I'm currently, saving for one, though.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  9. #9

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    add me to the jealous list.
    I spent a bit of time looking at your work. It's really good and it made want to dig out my Myst and Riven games. I still might.
    I'd have to agree that your hand drawn work is great and I'm not sure why you need to do it any other way. I would think that the hand drawn look would fit your project better.
    Anyway, nice stuff thanks for posting.

  10. #10

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    This is great. I always loved the Myst series.

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