PHOTOSHOP: Compositing
Part A; Planet Overlay
Part B; Stylized Regional Map

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A. Planet Overlay

Israh Central Map
Final Planet Composite Map

Introduction

In this section you will use our data to create a detailed pseudo-realistic planet map which you can use simply as a map or as an overlay in either Fractal Terrains or GoogleEarth. Actions and settings won't be highlighted in quite same way they were in Wilbur or Fractal Terrains due to the diversity of tasks needed for this phase. I have tried to hilight long actions and to bold the names of tools, layers and layer groups to help visually.

SET-UP

Open the white_shader.bmp file in Photoshop. Copy it and create a new document to paste it into name it something like "ICE_PLANET_TUTORIAL" for example. The new document should inherit the dimensions of the copied file.

Important

It is a good idea to name them immediately after you bring them and then close the corresponding .bmp image out in so you don't lose track.


Open and bring in the rest of the planetary graphics as layers:

slope.bmp
hypsometric.bmp
rivers_small.bmp
rivers_large.bmp
planet_climate.bmp

Either copy/paste (or Shift-Drag in Photoshop) the layer into your new document and arrange your layers something like this:

THE FIX

First things first. Due to our erosional effects and transitioning from fractal to raster images you should have some discrepancies between the Wilbur and Fractal Terrains masks. It's a minor issue but since you are using data from both programs it can effect the visual continuity of our map if not corrected. The following will delete stray pixels where they shouldn't be and add correctly colored pixels where they are needed. This is why both masks are were output.

Select the Magic Wand tool and set it to:
Tolerance = 0 (zero) & Anti-Aliasing=unchecked, Continuous=unchecked, Sample all layers=unchecked

On the "Wilbur_mask" layer select the color of the water with the Magic Wand tool and then Delete those pixels
Repeat this for the "FT_mask" layer so all you have left on those mask layers is the the color indicating land. Be it white or black it doesn't matter as it will only be used for convenience of selecting those pixels

Duplicate both of the above mentioned mask layers
Layer >> Duplicate Layer...
Select both duplicates and hit Control-E which merges those layers
Label this layer something like "merged_mask"

Now fix the "climate_color" layer related to this same issue.
With the Magic Wand tool select the solid sea color on the "climate_color" layer then hit "Delete" clearing all water pixels on that layer.

Duplicate the "climate_color" layer
Layer >> Duplicate Layer...

Apply a gaussian blur of about 2px to that duplicate layer
Filter >> Blur >> Gaussian Blur >> 2

Duplicate that layer about 6-10 times
Select all of the duplicates and merge them being careful not to include the original "climate_color" layer
Layer >> Merge Layers


Place this merged layer below the "climate_color" layer
Select both of those layers and merge them
Layer >> Merge Layers

Control-Click on the "merged_mask" thumbnail which will select our new land mask
Invert that selection
Select >> Inverse

With that inverted selection active, choose the "climate_color" layer from the Layers Palette and then hit "Delete"

Now you have our corrected "climate_color" layer

LAYER GROUPS

Moving right along, It would be pro-active to create some empty layer groups:

The following groups will shortly be used to contain new layers:
"CLOUDS"
"OCEAN COLOR"
"LIGHTING"
"RIVERS"
"LAND COLOR"



Layers and layer groups can be turned on and off as needed while working.

CLOUDS-

Set the "CLOUDS" group effect to Pass Through
From Photoshop, open the "NE_III_storm_clouds.jpg" file that was included in the israh_extras.zip

Copy and paste or Shift-Drag the layer into our Photoshop document and close the .jpg file.
Make sure the new layer is in the "CLOUDS" group and then duplicate this layer;
Layer >> Duplicate Layer.

Set the top layer to Screen 100%.
Set the bottom layer to Multiply 50%.
Move the bottom layer one pixel to the right and one pixel down,
This creates a subtle shadow effect as if there were distance between them and the planet surface.

Turn off visibility of the "CLOUDS" group.

OCEAN COLOR-

Choose the "OCEAN COLOR" layer group in the Layers Palette and create a new layer.
Control-Click on the thumbnail of the "merged_mask" layer in the Layers Palette and then invert the selection;
Select >> Invert.
With the selection still active, choose the Paint Bucket tool and fill the selection on that new layer with the color RGB: 12, 75, 121.

Set this layer to Multiply 100% and make sure it is inside of the "OCEAN COLOR" group.
Duplicate that layer.
Layer >> Duplicate Layer.

Set the duplicate to Multiply 50%.
Set the "OCEAN COLOR" group effect to Multiply 100%.

Turn off visibility of the "OCEAN COLOR" group.

LIGHTING-

Set the "LIGHTING" group effect to Pass Through.
Duplicate the "slope" and "white_shader" layers and move those duplicates into the "LIGHTING" group.
Set the "slope" layer effect to Multiply 100% and place it above the "white_shader" layer.
Set the "white_shader" layer effect to Soft Light 100%.

To apply the "slope" layer to the "white_shader" layer as an effect select both of those layers in the Layers Palette and hold down the "alt" key (Option on a Mac) and click on the line boder between the two layers.
This assures that "slope" layer is a Multiply effect only for this particular "white_shader" layer.

I am going to kick up the contrast on this effect by applying an adjustment layer;
Layer >> New Adjustment Layer >> Levels, Hit OK.

Place this new layer above the "slope" effect layer and as previously
While holding down the "alt" key, left click on the line between the two layers.
Double click the Levels Adjustment Layer and enter the following settings which may vary depending on the terrain and your personal preference:

Turn off visibility of the "LIGHTING" group.

RIVERS-

On each of the river layers, select the black pixels and Delete them.
Select the entire layer and inverse the color:
Select >> All, Image >> Adjustments >> Invert.
Drag the two River layers into the "RIVERS" group.
Make sure "rivers_small" is below the "rivers_large" layer.
Set the "rivers_small" layer's Opacity to 40%.
Set the "RIVERS" group effect to Multiply 50%.

Turn off visibility of the "RIVERS" group

LAND COLOR-

This is the part where you will really see a pay-off, the land color.

Locate our corrected "climate_color" layer and drag it into the "LAND COLOR" group.
Locate the "hypsometric" colored layer and drag it into the "LAND COLOR" group below the "climate_color" layer.

Control-Click on the thumbnail of the "merged_mask" layer in the Layers Palette to select the pixels in that layer.
With that selection still active, choose the "hypsometric" colored layer in the Layers Palette.
Hit the "add layer mask" icon at the bottom of the Palette.

The "hypsometric" layer should look something like this:

Choose both the "climate_color" layer and the "hypsometric" layer and merge them;
Layers >> Merge Layers.
Now the ocean floor is a part of our "climate_color" layer.
Duplicate the "climate_color" layer.
Now there should be two "climate_color" layers in the group.
Set the bottom of these to Multiply 100%.
Set the top of these to Screen 50%.

WRAP-UP

One last thing to mask is the upper rivers of the icy areas.
Select the Magic Wand tool and set the tolerance to 10

Select an area the white, frozen areas of your "climate_color" layer. It doesn't have to be perfect but should include the highest and coldest regions where rivers would not be free flowing.

Feather the selection by about 20px;
Select >> Modify >> Feather >> 20px

With this selection still active, choose the "RIVERS" group from the Layers Palette.
Hit the "add layer mask" icon at the bottom of the Palette.

Immediately afterward hit Control-I to inverse the newly made mask. If you wish you can also copy this mask by clicking on the mask thumbnail and Alt-Dragging it to the "cloud_shadow" layer to elimated shadows in the icy regions.

Create one final layer group called "SUPPORT". This is a good place to put all mask/outline layers or extra "utility" layers in this folder for future use and then shut off the visibility.

Turn on the visibility of all of the groups (except SUPPORT). Your Layers Palette should be looking like this:

..and an overall planet view should resemble this to some extent:

If it looks like something is not right, check your layers to see which are on and off. Also re-check layer and group settings. Keep in mind that your planet may vary quite a bit from the one in this tutorial.

Save your layered file.

Now save out a flattened .jpg image at about 10 or 11 quality to import as a globe overlay in Fractal Terrains and Google Earth.

Detour to Place the Overlay in Google Earth? >>

 

B. Regional Map

Israh Central Map
Final Regional Composite Map

Introduction

Our goal here is to bring this region to life by using all of our data to create a hybrid political, topographical and enviromental map. This initial style is somewhat ornamental with an old-world feel.

From Photoshop, open the following .bmp files that you saved earlier:

regional_white_shader
regional_slope
regional_hypsometric
regional_Wilbur_mask
regional_rivers_small
regional_rivers_medium
regional_rivers_large

From the israh_extras.zip open these files:
canvas_texture
cartouche
dark_parchment_by_djekspek
light_parchment_by_djekspek
victorian_texture

Create and save a new document the same pixel size as any of the "regional_" .bmp files. They should all have the same pixel dimensions.

From the Layers Palette of each file, Shift-Drag the layer onto your new document.
Name each layer as you bring it in and then close the corresponding file.
The cartouche is saved as an indexed .gif so it will have to be copy-pasted.

Once you have all of your layers named and contained within your document, Save and arrange your layers in the following order:

Duplicate the "white_shader" layer and move the duplicate above the "dark_parchment" layer.
Duplicate the "dark_parchment" layer and move the duplicate above the "victorian_texture" layer.
Select all 3 river layers and create a new group call "RIVERS";
Layer>>New>>Group from layers.

THE FIX-

You will have to fix the discrepancy between the "Wilbur_mask" layer and the "FT_mask" layer as you did in the planet map. This will be a slightly different approach than before but will achieve the same result.
Remember that you can turn layer visibility off in the Layers Palette if they are obscuring your view of layers that you are currently editing.

Create a new layer above the two mask layers and fill it with solid black using the Paint Bucket tool;
Layer>>New Layer.
Name this layer "new_mask"

Select the Magic Wand tool and set the tolerance to 0 with no anti-aliasing;

Choose the "FT_mask" layer in the Layers Palette.
Using the Magic Wand tool select the sea color of the mask.
With that selection active, choose the "new_mask" layer in the Layers Palette and hit "Delete" clearing the sea pixels from the "new_mask" layer

Now do the same thing using the "Wilbur_mask" layer choosing the sea color from that layer and "Delete" the corresponding pixels from the "new_mask" layer.


You can now create a new layer group in the Layers Palette and call it "SUPPORT".
Drag the "Wilbur_mask" and "FT_mask" layer into the "SUPPORT" group and turn the visibility of the group to off.

Now you have our primary mask or "new_mask" layer which will help us to correct the "climate_color" layer as in the planet portion of the tutorial.

Choose the "climate_color" layer from the Layers Palette.
Using the Magic Wand, select the sea color from the "climate_color" layer and hit "Delete"
Duplicate the "climate_color" layer.
Apply a Gaussian Blur of 2px to the duplicate "climate_color" layer.
Filter >> Blur >> Gaussian Blur >> 2.0
Duplicate that blurred layer about 6 times.
Select all of the blurred duplicates and merge them (control-E)

Place this merged layer below the original "climate_color" layer and proceed to merge those two layers together.
Locate the "new_mask" layer and Control-Click on the layer thumbnail activating those pixels as the selection.
Invert that selection;
Select>>Inverse.
Choose the newly merged "climate_color" layer and hit "Delete".
Now you have given that layer a corrected coastline.

Locate the "hypsometric" or "Wilbur_hypsometric" layer and place it below our corrected "climate_color" layer.
Select both of those layers mentioned above and merge them using Control-E
making the sea color is part of the "climate_color" layer.


LAYERING EFFECTS-

Position the "climate_color" layer below the "canvas_texture" layer.

Now turn off visibility in all layers and groups with the exception of the bottom-most "light_parchment" layer which will be our foundation color.

Thes section will progress upward layer by layer adding masks and styles as the map reveals itself. I will show a portion of my version of the tutorial at 50% scale as well as the Layers Palette with the layer effect noted in the layer name.

Since I have already completed this map this is not the order I would have worked in necessarily, but so as not to lead you on too convoluted a journey through experimentation, at least this will allow you to see how the layering and duplication of layers and their effects can be used to achieve a variety of "looks".

At this point your window should look something like this:

Turn on the "dark_parchment" layer and set it to Multiply 100%.
With that layer still hi-lighted in the Layers Palette, locate the "new_mask" layer and Control-Click its thumbnail in the Layers Palette.
This activates that layer's pixels as a selection.

Making sure the "dark_parchment" layer is still hi-lighted, click the "make layer mask" icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette window.
Now invert the mask; Control-I or Image>>Adjustments>>Invert

Turn on the lower of the two "white_shader" layers and set it to Multiply 100%
Locate the "dark_parchment" layer that you previously edited.
Option-Click and drag the thumbnail of that layer's mask to the "white_shader" layer you just set to Multiply.
This has copied the mask to our "white_shader" layer.
Invert that mask; Control-I or Image>>Adjustments>>Invert

Turn on the upper "white_shader" layer and set it to Soft Light 90%
Copy the mask from the other "white_shader" layer to this layer;
Option-Click on mask thumbnail and drag to our subject layer.
Make sure you have copied the layer mask rather than moving it.

Turn on the visibility of the "slope" layer and set it to Multiply 100%
This will be very subtle adding a slight shading to steeper slopes.
No mask is necessary.

Now comes a fun one. Turn on the "victorian_pattern" (or victorian_texture) layer and set it to Screen 100%
Copy the layer mask from our "dark_parchment" layer as you only want this pattern visible on the sea.

Turn on the topmost "dark_parchment" layer and set it to Saturation 100%.
This will kick up the color depth overall and no mask is necessary.

Time to add some real color with our "climate_color" layer.
Turn that layer on and only set it to Color 70%, so as not to over saturate it.

Now the map is starting to look like something. Before moving on to any details you need to better define the shoreline.

Create a new layer above the lower of the two "dark_parchment" layers.
Name this layer "water_ripples" or something similar.
With this layer still hi-lighted in the Layers Palette, Control-Click on the "new_mask" layer thumbnail.
Using the Paint Bucket tool, fill the selected area, which should be the land, with the color white on our "water_ripples" layer.

I have provided a Layer Style which uses a banded gradient applied as an outer stroke to simulate shoreline ripples.
To load this, open the "Styles" Palette;
Window>>Styles.

In the Styles Palette there will be a small triangle in the upper right corner indicating a menu.

Click that and select "Load Styles"
Navigate to the "RIPPLES.asl" file included in the "israh_extras.zip" and hit "Load"


The new style should appear as the last in the Style Palette.
Click on the style to apply it to the "water_ripples" layer.

Since this is an old style map, you want to mess up those perfect ripples a bit.
Go back to the Layers Palette and create a new layer beneath the "water_ripples" layer.
Fill this layer with white and don't bother to name it.
Merge (Control-E) the "water_ripples" layer with the new white layer.

With the merged "water_ripples" layer hi-lighted in the Layers Palette, apply a distortion filter;
Filter>>Distort>>Glass.
You can play around with the settings, I am going to use the following:

Set the "water_ripples" layer to Multiply 100%
Copy the layer mask from the "dark_parchment" layer below to the "water_ripples" layer which will mask out the dark effect over the land portion of the map. Since I was aware that this effect would be distorted later I included the dark fill to avoid shoreline anomalies during created by the "glass" Filter.

Important

If you would like a portion of some layer effect to show through, you can choose any grayscale tone or gradient and any painting or drawing tool and paint directly onto the mask by clicking on its thumbnail. The darker the shade the more of the layer will be masked.

You should lighten up the land a bit, especially those icy highlands.

Duplicate the "climate_color" layer and move the duplicate just above the "water_ripples" layer.
Set this "climate_color" layer to Screen 100%
Copy the layer mask from the "white_shader" layer above to this layer.

I still don't think our frozen areas are white enough.

Duplicate the upper-most "climate-color" layer and set it to Screen 60%.
Since this is making everything to light you'll want to give it a mask.
Start by copying a mask that covers the sea, either of the "white_shader" layer masks will do.

This is better, but I want at least some of our mountain detail to show through after all of that work you did in Wilbur.

Click on the mask thumbnail that you just copied over.
Choose the Paint Brush tool and select a large feathered brush set on a low opacity, like so:

Now you selectively paint where you want some of our mountain detail to show through instead of being so blown-out.
You still want it to look white and icy, but even ice has shadows so try and accentuate the side of the land that is already shaded. When you select the mask thumbnail Photoshop has a habit of switching to the default black and white so be sure you're using black to paint as you are masking this layer not exposing it more.

There, that looks good to me.

Let's take care of the rivers now.

Do the following to each of the 3 river layers:
Select the Magic Wand tool and set the tolerance back to 0.
Select black pixels and delete them, then
Select>>All and Invert the layer color: Control-I or Image>>Adjustments>>Invert.

Set the river layer opacities as follows:
rivers_small; Normal 30%
rivers_medium; Normal 50%
rivers_large; Normal 100%

Select the Magic wand tool again and set the tolerance to about 10.
On one of the "climate-color" layers select an area that would be icy, preferably a high altitude.

Select>>Modify>>Feather>>30px
Choose the "RIVERS" group and hit the "make layer mask" icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette.
Invert the mask: Control-I

Now you have a completely frozen wasteland free of all running water.

To define different political regions I am going to used colored boundaries. First you need to divide up those regions. One of the easier ways is to create a new layer and block out different "nations" using very different solid colors. Don't worry about what the colors are at this point as they will change. After you do that, delete any areas that overlap into the water by using your "new_mask" layer & invert selection to select the sea pixels.

Move each of these colors to its own layer using the Magic Wand tool set to 0 tolerance.
Select one color at a time and right click on the selection (Control-Click on a one-button mouse) to create "New Layer via Cut"

Once you have all of your colors on separate layers, label them as desired and create a new group named "BORDERS" to house them. Place this group below "RIVERS".
You won't actually use those initial colors, instead select the "Lock Transparent Pixels" icon at the top of the Layers Palette while that layer is selected.

With the Paint Bucket tool paint each of those layers, transparency locked, with white.

Set the group called "BORDERS" to Multiply 100%
Apply an Inner Glow effect to each layer of the "BORDERS" group layers by double clicking on a layer which will cause an "effects" window to come up.
Hi-light and check "Inner Glow" in the list on the left.

After you have applied the Inner Glow to each of your "nations",
Copy the mask you made for the "RIVERS" group over to the "BORDERS" group.
This will fade out the political boundaries in the frigid areas as they are probably un-traversable and ill-defined.

For that old-world feel you can widen the mouth of some major rivers where they meet the ocean.
Duplicate the "large_rivers" layer.
Control-Click on the duplicated "large_rivers" layer thumbnail which selects the pixels on that layer.
Expand the selection by about 5 pixels.
Select>>Modify>>Expand>>5px

You may have to help a few rivers reach the ocean if they don't quite make it. Make sure you're painting on the correct layer. Use the pencil tool with about a 10px brush to do this. Don't worry about overlapping into the water.

Create a new layer beneath this new rivers layer and fill it with white.
Merge the duplicated "rivers_large" layer with the new white layer.
Control-Click on the "new_mask" layer thumbnail (see how handy that mask layer comes in) which will select the land pixels.
Select>>Modify>>Feather>>50px
Using the Paint Bucket tool, paint the selected area white on the merged layer.

Image>>Adjustments>>Threshold and move the slider until you have a shape you can live with. There shouldn't be too many large rivers so you can always taper these shapes a bit by hand as well.
Double click that layer and bring up the Effects (fx) window.
I added a dark brown Stroke to the inside and a dark teal Inner Glow set to Normal rather than the default screen.

The result should look something like this but much shorter. This image shows the canvas effect which you'll turn on in a bit.


THE CARTOUCHE-

Locate the "cartouche" layer and turn visibility on.

Create a new group called "CARTOUCHE" in the layers palette and set it to Normal 100%.
Inside of that group create another group called "LUMINOSITY" and set it to Luminosity 100%.
Put the "cartouche" layer into the "LUMINOSITY" group and move the "CARTOUCHE" group just below the "canvas_texture" layer.
With the Magic Wand tool set to 0 tolerance, select the white pixel background and hit "Delete" leaving only the black cartouche outline.

You are going to apply a Wrought Iron effect to the cartouche using a Photoshop Action.
Go to the Window menu and select Actions and the Actions Palette will appear.
Window>>Actions
Using the drop-down menu in the upper right of the Actions Palette, select "Load Actions"

This window will pop up, hit "Continue"

Navigate to the "israh_extras" folder and choose the "Wrought_Iron_ACF2ABC.atn" file then hit "Load".

Now the action will appear at the bottom of the list in your Actions Palette.
With the entire "cartouche" layer selected, open the Wrought Iron Action folder in the Actions Palette.
Select the actual Action which is inside this folder and then hit the "Play" arrow at the bottom of the Palette.

producing a nice effect...

For some reason this action leaves extra channels behind which need to be manually deleted each time it's used.
Window>>Channels, then select the channels (there will be 2) that resemble the shape of the cartouche and click the trash icon at the bottom of the palette.

Select the "CARTOUCHE" group in the Layers Palette and choose:
Edit>>Transform>>Scale or Control-T
In the Scale Tool settings, usually located under the menu-bar, click the link between the Width and Height settings.
Set either Width or Height to 75% and hit enter.

This will scale our cartouche down and make the overall detail appear finer.

Copy a portion of the "victorian_texture" layer large enough to fit over the cartouche and paste it below the "cartouche" layer.
Rename the new pasted layer "victorian_texture" and then invert its color by selecting
Image>>Adjustments>>Invert or Control-I.

Use the Oval Selection tool to select the center of the "cartouche" where the name will go.
With this selection active, choose the new "victorian_texture" layer under the cartouche.
Hit the "make layer mask" icon at the bottom of the layers palette.
Set the "victorian texture" layer to Screen 40%
Move the entire "CARTOUCHE" group into the lower left corner or wherever looks appropriate on your map.

Select the Text Tool and type a name for your cartouche and scale it to fit.
Move that layer above the "cartouche" layer inside of the "LUMINOSITY" group.
Apply the Wrought Iron action to the text and reposition it in the cartouche oval if necessary.
Rename the layer and delete the extra channels afterward.

Make a new layer within the "CARTOUCHE" group just above the "LUMINOSITY" group.
Name this layer "cartouche_color" and set it to Color 80%.
Select the shape of the new text layer by Control-Clicking on that layer's thumbnail in the layers palette.
Add the cartouche to that selection by Control-Shift-Clicking on the "cartouche" layer thumbnail.
Choose the "cartouche_color" layer and with the Paint bucket tool fill the selection with color RGB: 234, 225, 202.

This adds a warmer tone to our cartouche.

Open the "globe" image included in the "israh_extras" folder and drag it into your document just below the Wrought Iron text layer. Name this layer "globe" and set it to Hard Light 60%.

Our cartouche is now complete! It may look a tad different than the one in the example as I may have used several (forgot which ones) effects on the planet.

THE FRAME-

The final step before adding towns, roads and names, is to make a border or frame for the map.
Since this particular map looks as if it may be printed on material or parchment, you'll do a slightly worn edge with some movement to it.
Select>>All.
Select>>Modify>>Contract>>40px
Select>>Inverse


Now a frame area should be selected around the document.
In the layers palette, create a new layer above the "canvas_texture" layer and name it "frame"
Using the Paint Bucket tool, Fill the selection with black.

Now inverse the selection
Select>>Inverse
and fill this area with white.

With the Polygonal Lasso tool and going in from the edge, select some thin triangular areas where creases may have worn through the map over time. You can follow some of the creases visible in the parchment layers, you can set the layer to Multiply so you can see through the white while you select. No need to be too aggressive here.
Fill these selections with black, change the layer back to Normal and you should have something like this:

To roughen this up a bit let's apply a couple of filters.
Choose the "frame" layer in the layers palette,
Filter>>Sketch>>Torn Edges
Adjust the settings until you like what's going on. You don't need it to be overly rough. I used these settings:


Filter >> Artistic >> Paint Daubs

You can distort the frame to give it a bit of movement using Warp:
Edit>>Transform>>Warp

Don't worry about the edge pulling away, you are going to fill that with black in a minute.
Create a new layer behind the "frame" layer and fill it with black.
Merge the "frame" layer with the new black layer to take care of any gaps made during Warping.

Select all of your layers and groups except for the "frame" and "background" layers & "SUPPORT" group.
Using the drop down menu in the layers palette, select "New Group from Layers"
Name this group "ALL"

Now you have to apply our frame to the "ALL" group.
Choose the "frame" layer in the layer palette.
Select>>All and Edit>>Copy
Choose the new "ALL" group in the layers palette and hit the "make layer mask" button at the bottom of the palette.
Alt-Click on the thumbnail of the layer mask that you just created in the layers palette.
This is a special method to paste an image as a mask which you are doing with our frame.
Edit>>Paste

Turn off the "frame" layer's visibility.

Create a new layer underneath the group "ALL".
Name it "shadow" and set it to Multiply 100%.
Control-Click on the thumbnail of the mask for the group "ALL" and use the Paint Bucket to fill the selection with white on the "shadow" layer.
Double click
that layer and the "Effects" or (fx) window will come up. Check the "drop_shadow" box on the left to apply.

Close that window and now your map has a shadow.
If you would like a colored background, simply paint it into the background layer with the Paint Bucket.

WRAP-UP-

Turn on the visibility of the "canvas_texture" layer.
Position the layer above the rest of the layers but below the "SUPPORT" group and set it to Hard Light 50%
This will give a subtle texture to the entire map and pull everything together.

The remainder of the map is up to you! It is fairly straightforward and consists of your own creativity in placing text, roads and using a brush set to add towns and trees etc. On the tutorial example I used a limited number of these brushes just as a minimal example.

These great "homemade" brushes are located within the "israh_extras" folder from the .zip file.
To load them, select the Paint Brush or Pencil tool and then from the menu bar choose
Window>>Brushes which will bring up the brush Palette.
Pull down the menu in the upper right of this Palette and select "Load Brushes"

Navigate to the "israh_extras" folder and select all 3 brushes inside the "PS_Brushes_by_Ramah" folder and hit "Load".

These brushes will now be available at the bottom of your brushes selection in the Brush Palette.
They are quite large and will have to be adjusted when selected.

Save your layered document and do a Save As to output a 10 or 11 quality flattened .jpg

OK!! you're done with that map.. pretty easy huh? Well, maybe not, but I think it looks worse in written steps than it actually is to do.

 

Using layered effects with your Fractal Terrains and Wilbur data in combination with other graphics makes it possible to change the entire look of your map in a matter of minutes. Check out the "Miscellaneous" portion of this tutorial where I have provided 4 examples of other looks and their "recipes" that I made in almost no time just by rearranging the data used in this tutorial.

 

Proceed to Miscellaneous >>

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