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Thread: Overlapping mountains

  1. #1

    Post Overlapping mountains

    Hi, this is my first post in this forum and I hope it is in the right place, if not please someone move it...

    I am trying to draw a world map for my RPG campaign, but the mountains in all tutorials that I find seem to overlap with the background. I want to create a mountain brush that hides the background (such as coastal lines or other mountains) behind it, is there a way?

  2. #2
    Administrator Redrobes's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Depends on what app your using. If your using most apps like Gimp etc then you will probably use PNG files with some clear backgrounds. So all you would do is create some mountain brushes which have mountain colored areas as a fill so that they over write the background.

  3. #3


    Sorry, I guess I should have said that... I am using Photoshop CS2 and I have created a mountain brush that is half black (shadow) and half gray, but these gray areas overlap with other colors and become darker and darker until they reach black. I am new to photoshop, so after I set the opacity to 100% I didn't know what else to do...

  4. #4


    Photoshop unfortunately doesn't do multicolored brushes. If you paint part of a brush gray, then that part of the brush will be translucent. As far as I am aware, there isn't really any way to do what you want easily. What you could do is define twobrushes--the left side with the right outlined and the right side of the mountain with the left outlined--create a path, then stroke it twice. Once with the left side brush in one color, and once with the right side brush in the other color (or vice versa). I haven't tried it yet, but theoretically, that might do what you want. The key is that when you define the brush, only the pixels that are 100% black will be fully opaque.

    What you can't do with this method is just paint in the mountains and immediately see how they look.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  5. #5


    Oh, that's what I was afraid of... Well, thanks!

    Just one more question: I have no problem in defining my mountains as just black and white, instead of black and gray, would that make any difference at all? My map will have to be in grayscale, it will be printed later on.

  6. #6


    You should have the same problem: white should be completely transparent.

    I just tried the technique I suggested, and it doesn't work unless the two brushes are exactly the same size. I'm not sure where I went wrong defining them, but they were a couple of pixels off, so the first mountain was perfect, and each one thereafter was just a little bit more wrong. Probably more work than it's really worth.

    What's frustrating is that this is one of those things that Gimp does fairly easily. I don't know why Adobe can't manage to implement features that an open source product contains. Or maybe this is just their way of trying to get people to also buy Illustrator, in which it's as easy as dragging your shape to the swatches panel.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  7. #7


    Ok, I downloaded GIMP and I am willing to compromise... I will draw the entire map in Photoshop and then I open it with GIMP and fill in the mountains! Not the best solution but it will work nonetheless... So, how do I avoid overlapping in GIMP? I created a mountain brush with white background and added it as a brush but I am having the same problem as before.

  8. #8
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Apex, NC USA


    If I am understanding correctly, your brush where you want the mountain shape to be has to be "filled" with solid color. About the only transparency you should have is the background and any lines for the shape of the mountains where you have blurred (either manually or via fuzy brush to anti-alias.
    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.

  9. #9


    I am not a Gimp user, so I can't give you any concrete guidance, but I believe the feature you need is called an image hose.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  10. #10


    Thank you everyone for the advices! I was able to solve the problem using GIMP, creating an external image with solid colors and then importing it as a brush... I tried the same procedure in Photoshop and it didn't work, but I don't see any major problem in using both programs, so I guess that is it!

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