Painting a Terrain with Photoshop as a Poor Man

Started by WAS, October 31, 2018, 06:16:40 pm

Previous topic - Next topic


Has anyone with a lack of funds or heightfield generation software ever attempted it via Photoshop?

I don't have access to World Machine or World Creator, so wanted to give it a go. Curious if anyone else has attempted it.

See, I figure, I could start with cloud noise in Photoshop and use the Burn and Dodge tools to paint the terrain scaling, and do whatever else I wanted in there for base shape. Terragen than provides me a nice Erode v3 and Erode Smooth, and even further Daniil's amazing Classic Erosion or Proc Erosion to bring it further life.

Now I'm heading to the drawing board...


October 31, 2018, 06:41:49 pm #1 Last Edit: October 31, 2018, 06:51:22 pm by digitalguru
I'd say it's possible, though a little long winded go back and forth between Photoshop and Terragen as you build up a terrain. Dannis plug-in is excellent though, and if you give it enough detail to erode, should make some nice natural results.

I'd definitely suggest creating a file and painting in 32 bit float, even though the toolset reduces drastically in 32bit mode - and save to Open Exr.

Adobes Open Exr plugin is crap though (at least it is in my Photoshop CS6) so grab a plug-in called EXR-IO, which is heaps better and free:

p.s have you tried Blender?, I don't use it, but it looks like you can sculpt geometry and bake out to a displacement map:


I have been trying to work with blender for a couple years but just not too keen on it's UI and methodology of macros as a default teaching approach as apposed to more appropriate documentation where everything is the long way about with macros being a simple reference page lol


Spent some time after a power outage to try a TIFF export at 16bit, the results for wildly just burning and dodging the heightmap are pretty nice actually.


Try painting a vector displacement map. Nice challenge. I did a few.


I've been looking at vector maps and trying to figure out the relation between channel offsets and displacements