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Thread: GIMP can make random world maps out of the box!

  1. #11
      RPMiller is offline
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    Ok, I found the instructions:

    To create the binary file:

    For each contour level
    1. Hide all layers but the contour level (or hide everything except the entities you want at a specific altitude level).
    2. Save AS a PNG file (JPEG is probably a bad idea) Note of the size that you're making - write it down.
    3. Next, start up a program like Photoshop or PSP.
    4. Create a grayscale image the same size as the output image (that's why you wrote it down!)
    5. For each output image (contour level) load it into something like Photoshop or PSP, convert to grayscale, preferably with the non-interesting areas black and the interesting ones as a dark gray (value 10 or so on a 0-255 scale)
    6. Optionally: blur the image slightly.
    7. Add the current contour interval to the growing image. Do this for each contour level.
    8. Save the file as a 256-color Window bitmap (BMP) file.
    9. Use Wilbur (included on the FT CD) to open the bitmap as a surface file (File->Open:8-bit BMP Surface)
    10. Scale the altitudes to the desired level (Surface->Point Process->Scale:To Range)
    11. Save the image as a Muse DTED file (a 16-bit binary format)
    12. Alternatively - save a copy of your CC2 map under a different name. Delete all of the symbols, text & non-contour stuff. make the sea & rivers Black & recolor all of the contours in shades of gray - starting with #242 at the coastline & increasing up as the contours go up.
    13. Some preplanning helps here. Separate the different contours by putting them on different layers.
    14. Remember each contour will be a different altitude. Once the map is grayscaled, export as a BMP 24bit file (write down the dimensions). Also note - you will get better results if you are working with your world map & not a section of your world map. FT maps are based on a sphere!
    To load the binary file in FT:
    • Use File>>New:Binary File. Select the DTE file you created and set the Per-sample info to 2-byte, LSB First, Signed, Header Length=1024, Line Width to image width*2 (the image with times 2), Width and Height to the image width and height, and Map Edges to the locations on the globe where you want the map to be placed (use Min/Max to find these coordinates)
    That's it. Your map should be present in the FT display.
    Last edited by RPMiller; 09-28-2007 at 06:38 PM.
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  2. #12
      RobA is offline
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    The other big difference I noticed is that the FT map is a globe (2:1 ratio) and all "cuts" in the algorithm map to a globe. Using the GIMP noise algorithm (even seamless) would lead to pinching at the poles if mapped to a sphere. So it all depends on what you want to do with it.

    -Rob A>

  3. #13
      Airith is offline
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    great find, but what... well ok i'm still new to GIMP, so I have no idea at all as to what to ask, but I want to know what to do to get that water effect. I think it looks great. Anyone? xD
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  4. #14
      RobA is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airith View Post
    great find, but what... well ok i'm still new to GIMP, so I have no idea at all as to what to ask, but I want to know what to do to get that water effect. I think it looks great. Anyone? xD
    The water effect is generated by the script-fu (the whole map is).

    The color is provided by the palette map used from greyscale noise function, and it is (I believe) lightly bump-mapped (parameters are in the script-fu).

    -Rob A>

  5. #15
      su_liam is offline
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    I've been playing around with this myself. I think the Clouds filter in Photoshop is based on a 1/f frequency synthesis algorithm. In my opinion, it makes some of the prettiest topology, but it has a big problem, even for local area maps. It tiles. This is great for doing a cloudy background on a webpage, but it's a mess for a planetmap, unless your planet is a torus.

  6. #16
      RobA is offline
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    The best I can figure, both Photoshop and GIMP use a perlin noise function to render clouds. Gimp has a toggle to make it tileable or not, but I don't know about photoshop.

    -Rob A>

  7. #17
      AidyBaby is offline
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    Photoshop doesn't have the option to turn off tiling that I'm aware of. It's easily solved, however, either by rendering clouds in another document at a larger size than the map and cropping it to suit before dropping it into your map or by rendering the clouds layer and then cropping and transforming up to the full document size (that's what I do). Obvious, I know, but worth mentioning.

  8. #18
      su_liam is offline
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    For planetary maps, I make a square image, then I run the Clouds filter with a white foreground and a black background. At about the halfway lines north and south I use smudge to break up the polar pinching. I then crop down till the image is twice as wide as it is high. Following that I use Flexify to move the poles down to the middle of the map. Then I use smudge and the healing brush to obliterate any remaining pinching to my satisfaction. Finally, I use Flexify to move the poles back where they belong.

    Anymore, I mostly use lunarcell or planetgenesis to produce heightmaps. In any case, once I get a decent heightmap I import it into bryce as a terrain.

  9. #19
      RPMiller is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by su_liam View Post
    For planetary maps, I make a square image, then I run the Clouds filter with a white foreground and a black background. At about the halfway lines north and south I use smudge to break up the polar pinching. I then crop down till the image is twice as wide as it is high. Following that I use Flexify to move the poles down to the middle of the map. Then I use smudge and the healing brush to obliterate any remaining pinching to my satisfaction. Finally, I use Flexify to move the poles back where they belong.

    Anymore, I mostly use lunarcell or planetgenesis to produce heightmaps. In any case, once I get a decent heightmap I import it into bryce as a terrain.
    Sounds like a great tutorial for you to make!
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  10. #20
      RobA is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by su_liam View Post
    For planetary maps, ...
    For GIMP, and easier way to do this is to get the Felimage noise filter.

    It will produce many types of noise, and allow for planar, tileable, or spherical mappings, choice of gradient to use, tuning of more parameters than I understand, and saving of presets.

    -Rob A>

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