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Thread: [Award Winner] Yet Another Mountain Tutorial Using GIMP

  1. #1

    Tutorial [Award Winner] Yet Another Mountain Tutorial Using GIMP

    ... or how to create mountains in less than two dozen steps.

    I put this tutorial together at the request of a friend of mine, and thought it may be of interest here. This is an initial draft (I'm sure there are spelling mistakes and other brainfarts; I've got a cold and it's getting late) but I thought I'd put it up for review.

    This tutorial presents techniques that are derived from RobA's 'Artistic Regional Maps' tutorial, and make maps that look like the attached.


    Keith
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails kjdavies-mountain-tutorial.pdf   Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by kjdavies; 12-05-2009 at 03:39 AM. Reason: added image showing how final image fit original scribble

  2. #2
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Those look pretty good.

    I'm not a GIMP user but I'm sure this will get a thorough workout by those that do.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.



  3. #3
    Administrator RobA's Avatar
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    That looks nice! Mind if I link to this post from my big 'ARM' tut?

    Also a couple of tips that might help, play with them an include them if you wish...

    1) with the magic want (fuzzy select) tool in gimp, click and hold the mouse button down. moving the mouse up or down will change the threshold slider and the screen will update to show you the selection! (I only found this out last week, and it is really handy. It also works with the select by colour tool)

    2) another option to the mathmap noise filter is the felimage noise plugin which is what I use to avoid the artifacts the built in noise filter has. It also makes a nice forest bumpmap, btw.

    3) I recently discovered a good way to draw uniform mountain ranges. instead of what you made (the big white bugs), draw the ridge lines in white using the 3 pixel hard brush, then use the Filters->Generic->Dialate to grow the white area, and crtl-F to get it 1/2 the size you want your mountain, then blur by the 2x the same amount:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    In any case, great addition to the tutorials here!

    -Rob A>

    P.S. I added a few tags to your post.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobA View Post
    That looks nice! Mind if I link to this post from my big 'ARM' tut?
    Absolutely not, go ahead. I'd intended to link to the ARM, but at 2:00AM, after six hours working on this with a cold and a headache, I just wanted to go to bed.

    (It didn't work; after a couple of hours of not-sleeping I got up again, but didn't want to risk anything dumb happening so I didn't touch this.)

    Also a couple of tips that might help, play with them an include them if you wish...
    I'd like to review the GIMP tutorial that's here (noticed it last night) and see if it's there, first. I can see putting together a book of common tasks and tricks in GIMP; I found myself wanted to just say 'add a black layer above the $foo layer', but completeness made me do it the long way.

    1) with the magic want (fuzzy select) tool in gimp, click and hold the mouse button down. moving the mouse up or down will change the threshold slider and the screen will update to show you the selection! (I only found this out last week, and it is really handy. It also works with the select by colour tool)
    I learned about this one recently myself (bought a couple of books on GIMP, haven't finished reading them yet). As I recall it doesn't work with GIMP 2.4 and I didn't want to complicate things any more than needed.

    2) another option to the mathmap noise filter is the felimage noise plugin which is what I use to avoid the artifacts the built in noise filter has. It also makes a nice forest bumpmap, btw.
    So I see (I've read the forest tutorial).

    What I'd really like to see is a simple and usable GIMP plugin for libnoise. MathMap purports to include libnoise, but I find MathMap's documentation rather weak -- I had to ask in #gimp how to find out where to find the MathMap plugin after it was installed!

    3) I recently discovered a good way to draw uniform mountain ranges. instead of what you made (the big white bugs), draw the ridge lines in white using the 3 pixel hard brush, then use the Filters->Generic->Dialate to grow the white area, and crtl-F to get it 1/2 the size you want your mountain, then blur by the 2x the same amount:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Interesting approach. Often when I do mountains I just scribble a few lines close together (say, 25-40 pixels across) and score some shorter lines across them, then go from there. This looks like it may give a little finer control over it. I'll give it a try.

    In any case, great addition to the tutorials here!
    Thanks! I can't say it was fun to write (*click click click click* *three or more screenshots* gets old, fast), but I'm moderately proud of it. Except for the typos I now see.

    P.S. I added a few tags to your post.
    Ah, good. I didn't think to tag it before I posted, then couldn't see how to add them later.

    Keith

  5. #5

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    A possible improvement to the process would soften the edges of the bump maps. On the bump map layers (high bump map and low bump map), add layer mask (mountain mask channel) and blur the mask by about 25 pixels. This will smooth the edges of the bump maps so the mountains don't suddenly 'spring out of the plain'.

    It will also kill a couple of the smaller bumps/hills near the mountains, which may or may not be desirable. I'm not sure if this is better or not, consequently.

    K.

  6. #6

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    Oh, wow.

    Rob, I just reread your post on "Making Not So Random Coastlines in GIMP", particularly where it talked about using turbulent noise. Applied that (instead of MathMap's fractal noise) to a couple of scribbled 'mountain ranges', look what I got.

    (First is the mountains produced, second has the 'rough ranges' highlighted.)

    My initial technique kept everything inside the indicated area (you'll see this one has things outside it), but I can accept this -- deleting undesired elements created would be easy enough.

    I'm going to have to remember this.

    Keith
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by HeaphevarkkaF View Post
    Yes not sure how to use it though. I played around with that function and managed to mess up my practice models. Is there a tutorial buried in the forum somewhere?
    Not sure how to use what? I suspect this message ended up in the wrong thread....

    K.

  8. #8
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    nice, i got reasonable results, with a few more trys i may get them looking like yours lol , thanks for the Tut

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vorhees View Post
    nice, i got reasonable results, with a few more trys i may get them looking like yours lol , thanks for the Tut
    You're quite welcome, Vorhees.

  10. #10

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    Nice work on the tutorial, I found it really easy! Hopefully it will work with what I am attempting.

    I am taking an 1895 map of Nevada and creating a locality map for a western RPG to show some terrain. Next step is the town map, then the full state map.

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