Struggling with mountains, craters, and canyons (oh my!)
Hey gang - love perusing the site and checking out all the amazing creativity around here. Keep it up!
I asked for some input on this problem a long time ago, and tried to implement the suggestions... but... the results aren't as good as I really want. I need more finite control.
Anyway, I posted a few maps way back when that are part of a 70+ full 8.5x11 re-creation of a 30 year old D&D campaign world. We're trying to digitize thousands of pages of completely original content, including these edge-to-edge maps. It's a pretty cool project, but LOADS of work.
I'm in charge of re-creating the new maps in Photoshop based on the pencil line drawings which only indicate mountain ridges, craters, and canyons with simple little lines. I've drawn about five different map tiles about twelve different ways, but these mountains, craters, and canyons are killing me. I need some advice or tips.
Essentially, all mountain ranges have critical importance, so I must respect the placement of the ridges which are at times very complex. I've tried using the Render Clouds technique for generating the mountains and hills, but they are way too random and just don't look right - especially when trying to create the craters and canyons. The fixed nature of the geography and topography are imperative, so I have to find a technique that is far more predictable but won't take forever to create (i.e. I really don't want to hand draw 70+ maps by hand if I don't have too... we aren't sure this will get published!).
I'm VERY fond of Ascension's overland mapping style, but I can't seem to find a way to control the creation of the geography so hillls, mountains, alpine areas, and all the rest are exactly where they need to be.
Can someone please chime in and help me figure out the best way to create predictable geographic features with Photoshop? I appreciate every tip I can get.