MAP DETAILS I
Hope you're now convinced that what we see on the map are indeed land masses! A bit empty, but land masses, though. Next thing which we'll need should be some more landscape details: forests, rivers, lakes, deserts, mountains, volcanoes and so on. We will start with the mountains as rivers usually have their source there, so mountains should exist before we draw rivers.
 Use the PAINTBRUSH TOOL
("B") with a small brush and draw two simple lines. Draw the left
one with a dark gray and the right one with a lighter gray. Zoom in so that
you can draw the details more easily.
 Now use the SMUDGE TOOL
("R") and smudge the left from NW to SE. You can do this with a
larger brush. A mountain is forming.
 Try to work out the
transitions now to the other parts of the landscape. Smudge the ends of
the lines in a way that you cannot see anymore where it starts. Use a
smaller brush size for this. Change the brush size every now and then when
you are smudging, just how you think it appropriate.
 If you have one mountain
the rest isn't complicated anymore.
As I have drawn several maps
already it of course isn't necessary to draw every single mountain. Just
grab a mountain or a group of mountains from another map and paste it into
the target map.
Important note! When copying and pasting from other maps do it this way: Select the LASSO TOOL ("L") and change the Lasso Options to a Feather value of 5 or something similar. The Feather value lets the pixels on the border of the selection fade out when copying it.
Paste the mountains and you
will see that they fit nearly perfectly into the landscape (in case the
colors of the land masses are the very same which is recommendable).
However, small difficulties can be
Be aware of the fact that Photoshop generates a new layer whenever you paste
something on the picture. This is very helpful, because you can edit this
layer until it fits your needs perfectly. You can add the layer to the
"Main Map" layer when you are satisfied with the result. To
connect layers click on the squares right of the eye symbol. Select all
those layers you wish to link to the current layer. A chain appears. Now
select LAYER --> MERGE LINKED from the menu (or press CTRL+E) and the
marked layers are reduced to a single layer.
Another useful function whenever you have more than one layer to handle is to press ALT when clicking on the eye square of a specific layer. This way all other layers will be made invisible. Just try it:)
Get accustomed to copy and
paste with the hotkeys CTRL+C (Copy) and CTRL+V (Paste) and use the
CTRL+X hotkey for the Cut command. This makes working much faster.
Another tip for copying and
pasting mountains: If you e.g. have already drawn a small group of mountains and
would like to have a similar larger one (or the other way round) - why not
try using the same mountains again?
Copy and paste the mountains, then change the size of the selection either by selecting SELECT --> TRANSFORM SELECTION from the menu or by right clicking on your selection and clicking on FREE TRANSFORM. You can now grab one of the squares surrounding the initial selection and drag in every direction you want, either enlarging it or making it smaller. Press RETURN to confirm the transformation you made or ESC to undo the complete action.
Of course further smudging adjustments will be necessary with the new version (especially when you enlarged the selection) because details may get lost or didn't turn out the way you planned them. Smudging adjustments are also recommended in order to make the new mountains seem more unqiue. The more different mountains you have the more you can chose from next time you'll need them.
 A river also isn't much of a
problem. First select the color white and then the PENCIL TOOL
("N"). Use a small brush (depending on the size of the river) and
draw the water, starting from a mountain, ending in the sea - no big
Zoom in once again so that you
can draw details more easily. Use the SMUDGE TOOL again to
soften the transitions at the source of the river as well as at the place
where the river ends in the sea. Smudge the sea into the river, not the
other way round.
 Now we draw a soft border line
on both sides of the river: Use the MAGIC WAND TOOL to select what you have
Inverse your selection by
selecting SELECT --> INVERSE at the menu or by pressing
CTRL+SHIFT+I (however, this hotkey is not very helpful when you have your
ICQ turned on...).
Take a bigger
brush, a brush
which is slightly larger than the river you were drawing. Now move along the
river again. This way you draw in fact outside the
river. You draw the transitions from the river to the land. Cool, eh?
Note that this may not be necessary at very small rivers, but the larger the
river the nicer the effect.
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