Map-making - Velantia - Part 2

So, last time, I started the process of making the new map I need for A'mara Dawn - the first story about ancient Terrenden, approximately 1200 BTCE. (Before Terrenden Common Era.)

I showed you how I started from a real map and separated it into two layers, land and water. Next, I'm going to add some texture to the water and land and start adding some 3D features to the map.

Adding texture - water layer

  • First, I make sure the water layer is active by clicking on it.
  • I select the brush I want to use - the "grass" brush is included with GIMP (so free to use for any purpose) and can give my water a mottled look when I also select a slightly lighter/brighter blue as I do here.
  • I carefully sponge it on all over my water. (You can turn off visibility on your land layer if you like, but it's not necessary... except to confirm that you're working on the correct layer.)

Adding texture - land layer.

  • Again, I make sure I have the correct layer active, by clicking on my land layer.
  • I look at my texture patterns and choose the 3D Green one - you can even copy a texture that you find online and use it, though the process is slightly more complicated.
  • I click on my bucket filler and make sure that "pattern" fill is selected with my chosen pattern indicated.
  • In this case, I also reduced the opacity to about 30% so that it's not too dark.
  • I click in the middle of my land mass to fill it with this pattern
    Here's what it looks like now.


Bevel for 3D effect

  • In the "filters" menu, I select "decor" and choose "add bevel" - I used "9" as that setting, but feel free to play with it. When I let that finish working, it has a nice little 3D effect going which I'm going to enhance now...

Shading/Light to enhance 3D effect

  • I create my two new top layers - "dark" and "light" (so far, I don't think it matters which one is first - play with it and see what you think...)
  • I click on the "dark" layer - I click on the "mode" button at the top of the layer dialogue. I select "multiply."
  • Then I click on the paintbrush in my toolbox - select a round brush (I like one of the fuzzier ones for this task).
  • I choose black and set opacity to 10% or so.
  • I zoom in quite close and paint a single ribbon of color around the dark edges of the beveled map. (Usually, this will be the bottom and right side, but it depends on how the beveling worked.)
  • Now, I click on the "light" layer - I click on the "mode" button again and select "overlay."
  • Again, I use the paintbrush, with 10-15% opacity, but using white this time.
  • Still zoomed in quite close, I paint a single ribbon of color around the light edges of the beveled map. (Usually, this will be the top and left sides.)

Here is how it looks now:


Next time, I'll build my mountains including that volcano...

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

Banner by @shai-hulud

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