This tutorial includes the steps I have used to create an entire fractal planet using Fractal Terrains and Wilbur and then using that data to create composite images of the planet. This will depict pseudo-realistic environmental coloring as well as the addition of cloud-cover and for this exercise will be used as planet overlay.
Additionally will be the creation of a regional map to show how one can control erosional functions in Wilbur to give a realistic effect on a different scale. This regional map will be an old-style fantasy map and will be composited using the Fractal Terrains + Wilbur data with different layered effects in Adobe Photoshop CS3. Also included will be some layer "recipes" for quickly changing the look of the map using the data already in the file.
For the tutorial I will use Fractal Terrains with its great new incise-flow function as well as Wilbur for added erosion and finally Adobe Photoshop to bring the images together. All of my screen-shots are in Photoshop CS3 as I have used Photoshop to composite the images for this particular tutorial.
If you don't own Adobe Photoshop, there is a program called The Gimp which is a powerful and free image editing software very similar to Photoshop in many respects and could accomplish similar results for someone very familiar with that program, which I unfortunately am not. Either way you will have to be fairly familiar with the program you are using to follow the steps I will cover, especially the masking features of that program. I will cover the basics of Photoshop masking in the steps and there is a link to a Gimp masking tutorial provided in the Resources section at the end of this tutorial if anyone is brave enough to try going that route.
Google Earth will be used briefly to exhibit the planet overlay but is not used for any construction work.
Mac users should substitute the Command Key for the Control Key in any keyboard shortcuts that I refer to. "Click" used in a keystroke combination will always refer to left click on a two button mouse unless referring to a key by name, for example "then click 'Delete'."
I have to thank some people from Cartographers Guild who were kind enough to let me include some of their home-made resources. Ramah's fine hand drawn Photoshop brushes and Coyotemax's hand stained paper textures helped add to the finished product. There are also several web resources below which have helped me out to varying degrees.
Prior to starting the tutorial you will need to download and open the israh_extras.zip which includes several things necessary to the tutorial and some optional goodies as well. The israh_extras.zip file includes:
1 Psuedo-Realistic Climate Image for FT, by Brian
2 Fractal Terrains color schemes, by Brian
3 Wilbur color schemes, by Brian
3 PS brush sets; town, castle and trees created by Ramah (cartographersguild.com)
2 Stained Paper Textures, hand-made by Coyotemax (cartographersguild.com)
1 cloud graphic from Natural Earth III, public domain
1 cartouche silhouette by Brian
1 canvas texture by Brian
1 "Ripples" PS style by Brian
1 globe image
This tutorial may be built directly or indirectly on foundational knowledge from one or more of the following tutorials or resources:
Various tutorials by Joe Slayton;
...namely; "Fun with Wilbur" tutorials by Joe Slayton;
... as well as; "There and back again" tutorial;
The Welsh Piper Fractal Terrains info;
World-Builders Climate Data;
A great collection of people, knowledge and inspiration for all things map related;
The Gimp masking tutorial by Yves Ceccone;
"Wrought Iron" Photoshop action created by John Barttels, free from adobe.com;