23 May 2014
Testing what maps, and especially ocean maps using World Machine, can look like. This first image is a raw render looks like when its different parts have been merged using Photoshop.
My Flanaess maps you have seen me present here for over a decade now have used tools and techniques from the 90’s. For the past couple of years I have worked to replace my trusted and tried old Bryce 5 with much more powerful and modern tools. Instead of spending days literary hand painting the terrain fractals onto tiny pieces of land, and then render small sections at a time. I can now in the same file work on either a whole world in one go, or tweak a tiny detail. Then I can render the files needed in a fraction of the time it used to take.
At the moment most of my time is devoted to creating templates macros and textures. Creating the building blocks and workflows I need to be able to crank out maps efficiently, that looks great. That means a lot of time in World Machine setting up devices and macros. Below is a screenshot of what a map file can look like, while I’m working with it. World Machine works by creating a kind of recipe for what the world looks like, and you can then export things like a top down, color map, shadow map and even a 3D mesh object of the terrain.
By combining the results from World Machine in Photoshop and then applying a bit of texture and other magic, the results can look really impressive. Below are some quick tests with texture and even some forest and rivers added to see if it works.
So far I’m quite pleased with the results, and when I get more used to working this way the results will look even better. Even the shoreline in the picture above is starting to look good, and with more than one texture and some careful touch up it will be achieved what wanted.
This test was primarily to try and work out how to map large bodies of waters, like lakes and oceans. So here comes a closer look at what an ocean map, from shore to some depth can look like.
This was all for today. Next week there will be a few more pages of the Atlas, and also some more about one of my upcoming projects.
Have a great weekend everyone!