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ForgetDeny's avatar

Fantasy Cartography Tutorial: Landscape Texture

Here's part 1 of my long-promised Cartography Tutorial. It deals with creating the basic drawing, establishing the tools that you will continue to use for the rest of the process and finally establishing a clear texture that will be applied over the colour layer that we develop in the next tutorial. Hope this helps some people out! I'm by no means an expert, but this definitely seems to be a successful technique. A great debt is owed to Jezelf, who created a similar - though far more detailed set of tutorials from which I was able to develop my own approach. Cheers.

I will post the finished version of this map after I have finished putting together the tutorial!

[EDIT] Part 2, dealing with colouring can be found here: [link] [/EDIT]
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Illudyr's avatar
I absolutely love this tutorial! I love the outcome even though I think my file was too small which messed some things up (my rivers turned out to be too dark so they're all dry xD)
May I ask which size of file you like to use? I had mine on 1500 x 1000 px (this is my finished result after the first try in case you're interested :dummy: Merwakki Island map)
ForgetDeny's avatar
Hi, I'm glad you found it useful!  I tend to work with resolutions of no less that 5000x3500px, for a world map I'd be inclined to push that up to 8000x5000px.… This tutorial might help you with your rivers, I'd advise paying particularly close attention to the bits about strokes and alphas :)
SydValak's avatar
This is fantastic.

Did you ever finish the third part?
ForgetDeny's avatar
Thanks!  No, I got distracted by life unfortunately - I might still one day, although I think the colouring part could do with a bit of reworking too. :)
ChimeraArtz's avatar
This is beyond amazing!! I'm into the space genre as of now. This seems like a pretty good technique to use for making texture on planets. 
ForgetDeny's avatar
Yes it really is!  With a few slight tweaks some of the texturing steps are actually quite good for generating starscapes as well.
ChimeraArtz's avatar
I will definitely have to try this. I try making a map but it was a fail. I tried to do it on my own but I will just follow this tut so I can get some know how lol. Thanks for responding :hug:
nie-angel's avatar
fantastic! i'll do this!
leoshades's avatar
I know it has been a year since you put this up, but I wanted to thank you for it. Now on to your coloring tutorial...
Rejvaik's avatar
A very good reference thank you
ForgetDeny's avatar
You're welcome, cheers for the fav.
DetectiveRoboMonkey's avatar
This is really helpful, thank you!
ForgetDeny's avatar
You're welcome - I'm glad you find it useful!
Hellerick's avatar
What, I can't say it was useless -- I did learn some tricks, but the tutorial turned out mostly incomprehensible.
ForgetDeny's avatar
I did this out of generosity, not for income. Go home with your entitled crap.
Hellerick's avatar
Uh, unexpected reaction. I'm sorry if it did sound too rude. I just wanted to follow your instructions and failed -- that's all I wanted to say. In fact, my result was rather impressive -- but quite different from yours.
ForgetDeny's avatar
Perhaps that is what you should have said then, instead of implying that your failure was my fault. This tutorial assumes an already existing fluency with basic photoshop functions as it is not a basic technique tutorial, but a tutorial on a specific method for producing cartographic material. If you want to learn basic technique - find a tutorial that's actually intended for that instead of calling my work "incomprehensible". Seriously, so rude.
Hellerick's avatar
I am fluent at Photoshop. It's your tutorial I cannot comprehend.
ForgetDeny's avatar
See, rude. Would it not have been far more productive to clearly state which particular parts you were having difficulty with and request further clarification? I may even have been inclined to try to help. Instead, you come stomping onto my image thread, and make a sulky comment about how you couldn't get it. Well many people have found it very useful, several people have sent me polite notes asking for clarification, and I have provided such. Seriously, learn how to be polite and maybe you'll get a better response in the future - you don't deserve to understand, and I don't owe you a tutorial that speaks on your level. People asked for a tutorial that elaborated the techniques I use in the production of digital maps and I made one, out of generosity. End of story really. Your kind of response, simply makes the effort gone to in elaborating my technique feel like a waste - and frankly if you go around talking to people the way you have to me then I'm glad you didn't understand, as I don't really want you to benefit from my effort.
Kawaiikloudkat's avatar
I don't see how his comment came off as rude. I can kind of understand how his first comment may have seemed rude, but i think he's just generally saying that he doesn't understand some parts of your tutorial, and just wanted a bit of help. I think your reaction was a bit too negative.
ForgetDeny's avatar
But since you bring it up, this comment: "What, I can't say it was useless -- I did learn some tricks, but the tutorial turned out mostly incomprehensible" is horrifically rude.  It's not a request for help, it's a bitchy little statement, and it lacks anything constructive.
ForgetDeny's avatar
I can.  And anyway, this was a LONG time ago now, so you're kind of digging up old news here.
ForgetDeny's avatar
Cheers for feedback I guess. But Rude.
zljackson13's avatar
What program was used?
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