Stage 5 Finishing touches
I haven't included how-to images in this part of the tutorial, because I cover several options, and because if you wanted, you could stop after the Blur layer is done, and probably be happy.
Go to your Blur layer, somewhere down among your ocean layers.
Go to the Ocean layer
Effects > Blur > Gaussian Blur, anywhere between 20 and 50 pixels wide.
This will further lighten the water nearest your coast and kind of give the impression of breaking waves or spray, or whatever.
Move this layer around, see whether you like it above the texture or between it and the color layers.
Go to the Land Texture layer, and adjust the opacity.
Add Noise (optional)
Color saturation can be anywhere between the default and 0; I usually prefer 0.
Coverage at the default 100.
Intensity the default is 64 but I usually prefer something less than that. You're just looking to soften the layer and make it look a little less like a solid and more fluid.
Effects > Blur > Motion Blur
The default angle is 25 degrees; I usually prefer something around -30.
The default distance is 10; I prefer anything from 3 to 7 at most.
Another option is to go to the ocean texture layer, and use the plugin Effects > Distort > Crystallize, with a setting around 5. This gives a really nice dappled effect, and with a slight blur applied, the water appears much softer.
The overlay blend mode gives you good texturing but can do odd things to your land colors; making the texture a little more transparent doesn't hurt the embossing, but does a world of good to your color scheme.Go to the land layer
DuplicateDone! Well, mostly.
Play with various blurs and blend modes to see if there is anything you like. I'm fond of a blend mode of Multiply, and then adjusting the opacity down until I'm happy. Sometimes' I'll also add a slight Gaussian blur to this layer, but it depends on the landmasses to a large extent..
I still dont have any rivers, labels, place-names, or any of that, but at the same time, dang this looks nifty. If you really want to curl your toes, get Shape3D along with the other plugins I recommended at the beginning of this tutorial, and use it to map this image onto a sphere instant planet, just add atmosphere.
Hope you all enjoyed.