Thanks mmmmmpig! Your second paragraph is exactly why I thought it would be beneficial to write this up in the first place(and I bolded your quote). I have seen many people post that use PS or GIMP and they either don't use masks at all (many say they don't know how) OR they get stuck in the "masks are only useful to mask off land/water divisions via a channel" (which they are), and those people end up missing SOOOOO much of the potential just how flexible the use of masks can really be.
Originally Posted by mmmmmpig
I DO plan to add more to this tutorial in the next few days to show a few practical applications of masks instead of just a (hopefully) good explanation of what masks are and a general how to use them. For example, I plan to go over in detail how I used nothing much textures, masks, and a bit of dodge/burn to make the map in the following posthttp://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3127.
One big thing to note is that if you do not spend the time to do the dodge/burn, you can make that exact same map in under 10 minutes in GIMP with the appropriate textures Granted, you could do same thing by directly "painting" the textures and get the same result(though taking more time to do so), however as I pointed out in the tutorial's first few posts, if you ended up needing to change on of the textures, it would take far more time to make the change without masks than it would by using masks.
I haven't responded because I have yet to read all the way through it...I'm currently reading a book so too much reading for me. Once I do read through it and dust off the Gimp to try it out then I'll give ya some feedback.
The other thing to keep in mind is that layer masks can be edited like any greyscale image/layer.... you can apply filters on them, distort them, change the contrast, draw in them, stroke paths in them, etc.!
Originally Posted by RobA
Yep... I plan to go over some of that stuff, hopefully if not the next immediate update, the following one behind that. I was playing with a few textures and used the radial gradient with a repeating wave to make a cool texture the other day, and will show that at some point....
Ok.... so now on to practical application. I will start with a completed map and show you how I used layer masks to create the map and how using layer masks allows you to be flexible if you wish to make changes to the textures used.
I will use some textures I got from the CSUAC to show you how to create a battle map similar to the one I create here. Here is the sample file we will try to imitate (to some extent) while using layer masks to keep our flexibility.
Start with a new image. In this case, I have my GIMP set up default to 1600x1200, 150 ppi.
Here is a short quicktime video file. Hopefully, this is viewable as it's the first one I have created. The video file is 10MB and is only 14 seconds long.
- Create a new File.
- Fill the background layer with the color 314077(or something you like)
Will continue this after a few people can verify that the video file is viewable.
I can confirm the video is viewable
I find mask really useful, and I tend to have them on most layers to be honest, what I really wish was that you could have 2 or more active masks on a single layer at a time (ie a blurred forest mask and the landmass mask). And hence not be forced to apply a mask when not ready to.
viewable on my mac, but it goes off the screen
I too was able to view it, but it seemed to go off the screen for me as well
This next video is longer and larger in size, but smaller in screen real estate as I constrain the video to a portion of the screen indeed of full screen. Link is here. Note, the previous step and this step can be skipped if you already have a method for generating water that you like or if you have an existing texture. This is included here for completeness.
In this video, I finish up the water using these step:
- Create a new layer named Water Texture
- Create a new layer named Water Texture Overlay
- Fill the Water Texture Overlay layer with 50% gray, which is 808080 in hex as per the video
- Run the Filters->Render-Clouds->Plasma set to max turbulence on the Water Texture layer
- Set you Foreground to black and background to white and Run Colors->Map->Gradient Map on the Water Texture layer
- Turn off the Water Texture layer so it is not visible
- Select the Water Texture Overlay layer and run the Filters->Map->Bump Map with the Bump map set to the Water Texture layer. Make sure the Elevation is turned all the way up as high as it will go. Set Depth down around 10-20 as you prefer.
- Change the Water Texture Overlay blending mode to Overlay and you should have an image of blue with a very choppy texture over top.
Originally Posted by Jkaen
They are very nice tools... but I have found myself wishing that a couple of times, as well... I have hated having to apply the mask, thereby forcing any changes to be made permanent (short of a ctrl-z).