Map-Making - Continent of Kranisis - Part 1

I'm busily building a new map because my next story - Ocean of Empathy requires it.
I was just trying to remember where I took this continent from, but that information is lost to me at this time. Whatever I took it from, I would have rotated it, maybe flipped it, etc.

I'm using GIMP (because it's free!)
Today, I am starting with an old version of my map. Easier than trying to find the original!


Step 1 - separating the sea from the land

The first step this time was to create two duplicate layers. One, is called "land" the lower one is called "water".

I activate my "water" layer by clicking on it in the layer dialogue.
Now, I use the color picker tool (in my version of GIMP, this tool is at the right of the second row of tools.)
I click on the water color. I choose this because my land colors are too complicated. So, with the water color activated, I click on the "Select" tab and choose "invert" (Control J does the same thing.)
Then, I hit "Delete" and all my land should now disappear.
(Note: if some of the water disappears, that's okay - It's easier to go back and mend it than to deal with the land by hand!)

(Now, if you toggle the visibility on your "land" layer, you should be able to view just the water now.)

Step 2 - removing extra sea

Now, I activate my "land" layer by clicking on it in the layer dialogue.

As my land area is complicated and I'm still a beginner with GIMP, I start off repeating Step 1. i.e I use the color picker to select the water. (Stick with me here - it feels weird, I know!) Then, I invert the selection again and delet the land.

Next, I use the fill tool to paint my land with green. (If I don't see it, I toggle the visibility of the layers to make sure it's done correctly.)

Now, I use my color picker again to select the water a second time. Now, I hit "delete" and the water disappears from my land layer.

Step 3 - setting the bevel

Under the "Filters" tab, choose the "Decor" sub-menu and finally "Bevel." The tutorial I watched suggested to choose "9" for the setting, but play around and see what you like. I am sticking with "9".

What this does is give the map a tiny bit of tilt and a light effect to the whole map. It sticks out just a little bit.

Here is what it looks like now.


What do you think for that first stage? I like how the bevel gives it that slight 3D effect.

Okay, yeah, I also moved and shrank the Island of Irola because it was massively too large - it may still be a bit too large, but not nearly so glaringly now. (That involved a "cut", "paste as layer", "layer to image size" and "scale" before I moved it and "merged down" into my land layer.)

Yes, my water has a line through it still, but that's easily fixed in the next step... which I'll share with you tomorrow because this post is long and I think that's about all I can do for the moment!

I'd sure love to see some of you try this far and see how you get on. (Especially true if you've been afraid of trying GIMP - like I was!)

Lori – photographer at Viking Visual, author at A’mara books, student-of-the-world.

Banner by @shai-hulud

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