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Thread: Real World Mountain elevation data

  1. #1

    Info Real World Mountain elevation data

    Hey guys!

    Long time lurker... recent poster... Love the site, I've just never been able to get a map going that I really wanted to pursue... There was always something with the way that mountains, and mountain rangers were rendered...

    I was so tired of my mountains looking like mounds... Or piles of dirt, when real world mountains have water erosion like this:

    Well... I decided I had to have real world mountains. So I went and found a tutorial ( here ) that showed me how to export height maps from google earth. (I found the usgs site very unfriendly...)

    Once I got some nice dense mountains into photoshop, I spent most of the day creating a tileable (that is: seamless edges) realworld mountain texture.

    Then, I defined it as a pattern in photoshop, and painted this pattern on a new layer with a blend mode of screen, overtop of my original export from Fractal Terrains.

    My original image with the "mounds" of mountains was this:

    And with about 2 minutes of painting, I was able to turn it into this:

    I was so happy, I decided I'd share it with the class!
    So... you can download the full tileable mountain image
    (graciously stored on!!)

    I hope you all find it useful. Feel free to use it at your leisure. The only thing I ask is that you give credit where credit is due

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  2. #2
    Community Leader RPMiller's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
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    Welcome to the Guild and don't forget to post to the "Official" Introduction forum. You have some good stuff here and are definitely moving in the right direction.
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  3. #3
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    St. Charles, Missouri, United States


    I could see this being handy, especially for the pattern mappers. Probably need a few more just for variety's sake but good stuff nonetheless. If you make some hills I'll surely snag those.
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  4. #4
    Community Leader Guild Sponsor Korash's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    Montreal, Canada


    All this on a first post, and no rep?!?

    Gonna fix that right now!!

    Nicely done.
    Art Critic = Someone with the Eye of an Artist, Words of a Bard, and the Talent of a Rock.

    Please take my critiques as someone who Wishes he had the Talent

  5. #5


    It never occurred to me to make a seamless pattern out of a heightmap. Interesting.

    You may want to take a look at Wilbur, which is capable of creating those erosion valleys. It's not perfect, and it demands a lot of CPU cycles, but it is definitely a worthwhile program.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

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