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Thread: [Award Winner] Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP(and PS)

  1. #11
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmmmmpig View Post
    well, I for one did not respond because all it would have been was a response that said "Huzzah and kudos." That is why I did not respond.

    The application of this is sooo amazingly powerful and versitile. One could easily use this with landform textures and blending them. Find a nice pattern fill for rolling hills and a pattern texture for mountains and a pattern fill for mountains and have at it.

    ummm.... Huzzah and Kudos, by the way
    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.


    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.
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  2. #12
      Ascension is offline
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    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.
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      RobA is offline
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    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.!

    -Rob A>

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      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobA View Post
    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.!

    -Rob A>

    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....
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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      jfrazierjr is offline
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    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.

    [Award Winner] Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP(and PS)-some-creek-final.jpg

    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.
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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      Jkaen is offline
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    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.

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      bryguy is offline
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    viewable on my mac, but it goes off the screen
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      mmmmmpig is offline
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    I too was able to view it, but it seemed to go off the screen for me as well
    Something witty and pithy

  9. #19
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    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.
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  10. #20
      Karro is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jkaen View Post
    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.
    QFT

    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).
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