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Thread: Technique - Topology Mapping (easy to edit)

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      Rwexler is offline
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    Tutorial Technique - Topology Mapping (easy to edit)

    This mapping technique aimes to create a photoshop file that can easily be edited
    for creating more custom and less randomized maps. I will explain how the whole setup
    has to be done so that the technique works well and easy!

    Technique - Topology Mapping (easy to edit)-finished-map-shown.png

    This tutorial inspired me much to create this technique:
    Satellite Style Photoshop Terrain - Part 1
    credit to kalvinlyle!


    Step I:
    The first step is to create a new layer that represents the Heightmap itself.
    This Layer will not only determine how high the landmasses are, but also how
    the coastlines will look like. This layer is the place where you will do allmost
    all the painting work.
    You can create a new layer with the hotkeys
    "Shift+CTRL+N"
    or in the upper bar in
    "Layer > New > Layer..."
    If you use the second method, a dialog will open in which
    you'll rename the layer to "heightmap" or whatever fits in your opinion.
    If you use the hotkeys you just need to doubleclick the name of the layer in the layer bar.

    Technique - Topology Mapping (easy to edit)-layer-setup.png

    Step II:
    Now you'll need to create a new Channel. This new channel will be vital when you create
    a nice lighting filter over the map to make it look more realistic.
    You just ned to switch from the layer bar to the channel bar and click the bottom down
    below to create a new channel. This new channel will be called alpha 1 channel,
    but you can rename it like you want. You can leave the channel bar now and get back to the fun business!

    Technique - Topology Mapping (easy to edit)-channel-setup.png

    Stepp III:
    This next step will be the most important step for making the map look like an actual map.
    You need to create a new adjustment layer called "gradient map". The gradient map will change
    the colours of the areas within your map and even set the water level.
    To open the gradient map dialog you need to click
    "layer > new adjustment layer > gradient map"
    The Gradient Editor opens an you can tinker around in the lower bar to create sone colours for different grey values.
    On the left of that bar black (RGB:0,0,0)is represented and on the right white (RGB:255,255,255)is represented.
    The space between them is obviously the rest of the grey values. In that case 50% is (RGB:128,128,12.
    I used mostly the colours of kalvinlyle's tutorial and edited them a bit.
    RGB: 199, 184, 157 (Sand)
    RGB: 133, 150, 101 (Grass)
    RGB: 84, 99, 42 (Forest)
    RGB: 117, 100, 93 (Hills)
    RGB: 157, 144, 118 (Peaks)
    This colours should work for now and you can edit them later, when you have drawn on the heightmap a bit.

    Technique - Topology Mapping (easy to edit)-gradient-editor.png

    Step IV:
    Well now go and paint on the heightmap layer! There are much techniques to play with,
    too much for beeing covered well in this tutorial. You can use brushes, the smudge tool or even create some render clouds with
    "filter > render > clouds" to pre erode the terrain for making it feel more realistic, tinker around!

    Technique - Topology Mapping (easy to edit)-map-shown.png

    Step V:
    Its all good and fine but it looks quite plain yet? Of course! We have no lighting layer created yet!
    Create another layer as you should be able to do that now and make the following preferences for that layer.
    Give it the "Overlay" mode and fill it with 50% grey (RGB:128,128,12!
    Now turn its opacity to 50%.
    Now before you can create the lighting filter you need to select and copy the whole heightmap layer and paste it in the alpha 1 channel!
    This is necessary for the lighting filter to work!

    Step VI:
    The lighting filter, finally! Select your lighting filter layer and click on
    "filter > render > lighting effects..."
    and a new dialog will open. Now just make the preferences you see in the picture below and click okay!

    Technique - Topology Mapping (easy to edit)-lighting-layer-setup.png

    Step VII:
    Show me what you have created!
    If you want to edit the map again you need to repeat Step V and VI for recreating the lighting effect.
    If you have any questions, critic or suggestions - leave a comment here!

    Greeting!
    Last edited by Rwexler; 10-08-2014 at 06:32 AM.

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