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Thread: World Creation WIP: Etarek

  1. #1
    Guild Member laevex_esre's Avatar
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    Wip World Creation WIP: Etarek

    After spending a few months playing with map-making tools, I think it's finally time I started a big project.

    I want to create a world with a high technology level called Etarek. I will be using Fractal Terrains, Wilbur, Illustrator and Photoshop to flesh the world out and eventually I aim to have a fully-developed collection of regional maps covering the globe.

    I want to make this world realistic. I know there a lot of people here who are knowledgeable in geology and climates, so I will certainly be taking influences from them.

    I'd love my world map to end up looking like this:
    Israh by a2area

    And my regional projections to end up looking like this:
    Torentine Empire by a2area


    But first things first. I want to build my planet up systematically.

    Starting out playing with Fractal Terrains has given me this map. I've plotted some proposed tectonic plates onto it.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Tectonics 1.jpg 
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    Any feedback or criticism is very welcome.
    Last edited by laevex_esre; 09-10-2011 at 06:24 AM. Reason: I didn't know that the Israh tutorial was also by a2area

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    Guild Member Gracious Donor Kelron's Avatar
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    I like the continent at F1 most. Is this world planned to be a hot world or will you add arctic regions later?

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    Guild Member laevex_esre's Avatar
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    I think it will have arctic regions. At the moment I'm just trying to work out which continents would get certain weather. I'm very open to people's climate opinions.

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    That all looks very reasonable. I'm not a geologist so I'm not oing to argue the realism of it, but I'd take that layout to be sensible. The mountains look to be a bit localised - I'd expect them to be more long thin ranges rather than some of the broad lumps that appear in C1 and the border between D and I, but that might just be my own bias.

    As for climate I'd start with your tropics, desert and temperate bands and allow those to be affected by the mountains as natural climate boundaries. If you want to delve deeper than that I'm sure there are many people here who can go into prevailing winds and climatology but I'm certainly not one of them. Looking forward to seeing the next steps.
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    Guild Member laevex_esre's Avatar
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    I've worked on the terrain a bit more and made the mountain ranges thinner like suggested.
    Here's an image of the altitudes:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Terrain 1.jpg 
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    And here's one with more natural colours:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Terrain 1a.jpg 
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ID:	38428


    Next I want to keep working on the terrain. I realise that I need smoother plains, more coastal lowlands etc. How would I best create these? Would this kind of process work, using lots of incise flow and fill basins?

    If anyone has any tips or criticisms then they'd be much appreciated. I want to get the terrain sorted before I move onto working out the climate.

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    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
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    Since you'll be using Wilbur at some point during the editing process, you can smooth out the coastal areas and what not by applying an Exponent (Filters>>Mathematical>>Exponent) to your land masses. When I do that sort of thing, I tend to create a selection (Select>>From Terrain>>Height Range) so that I can isolate the land mass and experiment with the Exponent value. I also use a math function in the Calculate Height Field dialogue from time to time, but that's a bit more complicated. Fill basins will definitely create more flat areas, but I tend to shy away from that approach as it sometimes has a tendency to create too much flat area. Incise Flow, on the other hand, is more of a channel digging process that cuts elevation away based on the projected flow of water from higher areas to sea-level. If you're working through a2area's tutorial, he has a link to waldronate's tutorials for both Wilbur and FTPro, and I would strongly recommend reading through them to get a better feel for what they're capable of.

    GW
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    Guild Member laevex_esre's Avatar
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    Thanks for those tips. I definitely feel like I'd like to get a better grasp of FTPro and Wilbur, so I'll check those out. I've been playing around with incise flow and fill basins a fair bit but I'll try and see what an exponent does too.

    Also, I didn't know that the tutorial was by a2area, so I'll edit that first post to credit him. It's a brilliant tutorial and it's teaching me a lot.

  8. #8
    Guild Member laevex_esre's Avatar
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    Etarek is shaping up. I think I have the terrain sorted now. After going through all of the Wilbur tutorials I worked through a2area's Israh tutorial and got to this point:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Terrain 1b.jpg 
Views:	405 
Size:	2.97 MB 
ID:	38498

    There are a few things I'm unhappy about:
    -When I open it in Fractal Terrains it's pretty low resolution.
    -It's a bit bumpier than I originally wanted. The plains have annoying dots on them.
    -The precipitation erosion has left big river estuaries all over the place and they aren't completely continuous. Sometimes they stop, close up and start again.

    I might fix all this stuff later and if you have any answers to them I'd be grateful.

    For the moment I want to work on the climate. I'm just about to start working through The Climate Cookbook, so that will be interesting.
    Last edited by laevex_esre; 09-12-2011 at 11:21 AM. Reason: Changed image

  9. #9
    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laevex_esre View Post
    Etarek is shaping up. I think I have the terrain sorted now. After going through all of the Wilbur tutorials I worked through a2area's Israh tutorial and got to this point:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Terrain 1b.jpg 
Views:	405 
Size:	2.97 MB 
ID:	38498

    There are a few things I'm unhappy about:
    -When I open it in Fractal Terrains it's pretty low resolution.
    That is, unfortunately, one of the downfalls of working back and forth between FTPro and Wilbur. There is a certain loss of detailed resolution because of how many editing channels each application uses (or so I've come to understand). You can try increasing the resolution in FTPro before sending the file to Wilbu, just be sure that you save the .mdr file at the same setting as the editing resolution. It's not a perfect solution, but it might preserve a bit more detail.
    -It's a bit bumpier than I originally wanted. The plains have annoying dots on them.
    Before sending the file back to FTPro, try applying a small gaussian blur in Wilbur (Filters>>Gaussian Blur>>0.5). Do this two or three times and it should smooth out those little bumps some.
    -The precipitation erosion has left big river estuaries all over the place and they aren't completely continuous. Sometimes they stop, close up and start again.
    Depending on when these are happening (in FTPro or in Wilbur) you might be able to fix this by using a Basin Fill more frequently. I'd have to actually play with the file to know for sure, though.
    I might fix all this stuff later and if you have any answers to them I'd be grateful.
    Offered what answers I could, but the best recommendation I can offer is to keep experimenting here and there, see if you can isolate when the problems start to occur and then work from there.

    GW
    When nothing is going right and you can't find someone else to blame, start beating your head against the wall, 'cause it'll feel so much better when you stop.

  10. #10
    Guild Member laevex_esre's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips. Sounds like I'll just have to redo the Wilbur erosion and try and work out where the issues are coming from. I'm guessing I've used more precipitation erosion than necessary (stupid estuaries) and added too much noise at some point (bumps).

    I'm interested in using an exponent too because it definitely looks better than too much fill basins. But I don't know if I'm doing it right. This is how I do it:
    Select > From Height > 0 to highest
    Filter > Mathematical > Exponent > 1.2

    That looks about right, but I'm wondering if starting at 0 without feathering would cause an issue.

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