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Thread: New member seeking advice

  1. #1
    Guild Applicant Ulfhedinn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    North Carolina

    Default New member seeking advice

    Greetings Cartographers,

    I am a brand new member to this site and I am seeking some insight, knowledge, and/or guidance on creating a map. I am a retired US Marine and currently work as a contractor for the Marine Corps. I am also a full time college student (at least by the VA standards). I have however, found the time to pursue a goal that I have long wanted to achieve, and that is creating a secondary world for a role-playing setting. I have attempted to hand draw maps in the past, and while they were okay for I wanted at the time, they never satisfied me. Especially when I want to know about the world as a whole. I would draw maps that would be appropriate to the setting or story, but then when I wanted to expand thing I would have to try to reverse engineer thing for them to actually make sense. I am trying to make something that is internally consistent as well as dynamic. I came across Fractal Terrains 3 and thought that it might be the answer to what I was looking to do, however, I'm a little disappointed. While it is an amazing tool, some things it does, do not seem to make any sense at all. Specifically, I was not happy with how mountain ranges were distributed. As I was looking for tutorials or information on using the software I came across this sight and found that there was already a lot of information contained here. I will begin by exploring information on the site, but I would certainly be grateful for any direct input that anyone has that would be helpful it getting me moving in the right direction. I look forward to learning from the folks here.

    Have a great day....


  2. #2
    Community Leader Guild Sponsor arsheesh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    Hi there Ulf, welcome to the Guild! Well there are several methods for making mountains, and which method you choose will depend upon the style of map you are going for. If you are interested in a more photorealist map, such as you would get from FT 3, then using a cloud pattern is probably your best bet. However, the disadvantage of working with cloud patterns is a lack of control of the general shape of the fractal pattern, meaning it is more difficult to generate the sorts of mountain shapes you need where you need them. There are a few methods I'm aware of for trying to bypass this. The first is the cut & paste method discussed by Ascension in his Atlas tutorial (I also use this method in my Eriond tutorial). Another is RobA's method which involves rendering clouds and noise in selected areas. Finally, there are some Photoshop specific methods for rendering mountains (that don't involve fractal clouds) through a process of using brush presets (e.g. bevel & emboss and pattern overlay) to "paint" in mountain areas. Pasis discusses this in his Mountain Creation Tutorial as does Tear in his Saedran tutorial. Spend some time in the tutorial section and you may find other methods that work for you as well.


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