I have been trying to teach myself GIMP by reading several of the wonderful tutorials available in the forum, but I've come up against a Gordian Knot of a problem that has me tearing my hair out!

I've been dabbling with the tut by RobA -Using GIMP to Create an Artistic Regional RPG Map- after downloading the pdf version, and I've had pretty good luck with it: for the most part everything comes out pretty much like the guide says it will. But as good as it is it has left me in a quandry: all of the terrain features pretty much overlap each other (well, except for trees, rivers and mountains). When laying down the basics - grass and dirt - you have the same basic ground cover everywhere. There are lots of variables, certainly, but there has got to be a way to mix and match.

My point: I have been trying to figure out a way to use layer masks to lay down multiple features that overlap; fer instance - I got an island with a central peak, a "Diamond Head" kind of cliff, beaches, grassy areas, trees, patches of bare earth, yada-yada, and I know there has to be way to say "...ok, there's a beach over there, a dusty field over here, patches of trees and grass..." without the same sort of generic TLS carpet covering everything.

Is there a way to carve up a land mask into four or five parts, or combinations, or even oodles of cascading layers and masks that do the job? Am I even making myself clear? Will my dog ever get enough cheese?

My brain hurts......