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Thread: [Award Winner] Eriond - A Tutorial for GIMP & Wilbur

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  1. #1

    Tutorial [Award Winner] Eriond - A Tutorial for GIMP & Wilbur

    Some time ago I promised to create a Tutorial for my world map of Eriond. But hadn't gotten very far along in the process when my PhD began and life became a whirlwind. Now it's spring break and I've finally had an opportunity to return to this project. About the tutorial, as advertised, this is a tutorial for GIMP and Wilbur that walks you through how to make a photo-realistic map similar to that of the one shown below.

    A word of caution. This is an Intermediate/Advanced skill level tutorial. The techniques used in this walk through are difficult, and I assume that the reader already has both a working knowledge of GIMP and a rudimentary knowledge of map creation. Also, one tutorial that is really helpful to read as a companion to this one is Notsonoble's GIMP Gradient Tool Basics (EDIT: this tutorial has temporarily gone missing, until it is found, please use this tutorial instead), since my tutorial assumes a working knowledge of gradients. Finally, I have uploaded a set of gradients that I use within the tutorial. I recommend downloading and installing these before beginning. That said, I hope this is useful to some of you (EDIT: I found several small mistakes in the original tutorial so I have uploaded a corrected version).

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Arsheesh - Eriond - A Tutorial for GIMP and Wilbur - Corrections.pdf   Click image for larger version. 

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    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor LonewandererD's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    Really like the effect, especially on the mountains, any chance someone can get a Photoshop translation on this?

    People come and people go. I walk amongst them, I see their faces; but none see mine. I pass them in the streets but nary a glance is spared my way, for what interest would they have in a Wanderer? Not of this world... Forever Alone... Forever Wandering... LoneWandererD...

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    RIP Angel "Ingy" Yates - The first inspiration that guided me towards art. You will be missed...

  3. #3
    Community Leader Gidde's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Michigan, USA


    I'll totally be checking this out, that looks great! Thanks for posting!

  4. #4
    Guild Applicant
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    Mar 2012


    I can't wait! This is exactly what I've been looking for.

  5. #5


    I don't usually post here (in fact, this is my first), I'm more of a lurker just looking for inspiration - but I cannot resist the urge to break the silence and say thank-you for this.

    I'm just getting (back) into map making, and this is exactly the help that I need. In the 2 hours or so I've spent working my way through this tutorial on a test piece I've got a much more professional looking map than I ever dreamed I could make. I just need to spend more time blending the mountains into the rest of the terrain before heading into Wilbur (I got anxious).

    I'm certainly not an intermediate or advanced GIMP user, but I was still able to follow along. So, to others who are novices with GIMP, no need to be discouraged by the warning in first post - give it a try, and if you get stuck, Google can help.
    Last edited by Boundary Layer; 04-17-2012 at 11:43 PM.

  6. #6


    @LonewandererD - I wish I had Photoshop and knew how to use it. If I did I'd have written this tutorial for PS as well. However, aside from the kind cloud patterns that I am using to generate the height map, I'm pretty sure that the rest of the steps in this tutorial are easily translatable into PS, and of course the instructions on Wilbur will be the same regardless.

    @Gidde, AMichael and Boundary Layer - Thanks for posting. Please feel free to let me know if you come across any problem areas in the Tutorial (e.g. areas lacking in clarity).


  7. #7



    I got lost between unifying the oceans and bump mapping the height map.
    The 'Land Bumps' layer is referred to in the Unifying the Oceans section, but is not actually created until the following section. So, it was unclear on the first read of Unifying the Oceans which layer should be merged onto 'Temperate'. And in Bump Mapping the Height Map it wasn't exactly clear what you meant in the first line when you refer to the 'Color Map'.
    I think I understood your intent though.

    Test Piece:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'll have to spend more time blending the mountains in and getting a river mask that works on future maps. I was rushing to get to something that looked finished, so I used a big brush with high opacity to blend the mountains. The strokes are still visible in some places.

  8. #8


    Hi Boundary Layer,

    Thanks so much for letting me know about this. "Color Map" was an earlier reference for "Temperate" in the tutorial, but I went ahead and changed it later on and must have missed this one. Also, the reference to "Bump Map" in the Unifying the Oceans section should have been a reference to "WHM Copy", so this was a typo as well. I've gone ahead and corrected this and uploaded a new corrected pdf to this page.

    As to your WIP, the colors look good, but I can't make out the "bump map" detail on the mountains. Did you have the "Land Bumps" and "Mt Bumps" layers hidden when you uploaded the image?

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by arsheesh View Post
    As to your WIP, the colors look good, but I can't make out the "bump map" detail on the mountains. Did you have the "Land Bumps" and "Mt Bumps" layers hidden when you uploaded the image?
    Oops, you're right. I didn't notice that. New WIP, better example:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Anyways, I don't mean to thread-jack by posting a bunch of my own images. If I post more in the future I'll do so in a separate thread.
    Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Guild Applicant
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    Feb 2012


    This will probably help me out a lot; thanks Arsheesh!

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