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    • CommentAuthorGW1230
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2020
    I'm an author, not a cartographer! That said, I need to make a few maps of the world I'm writing about. Situation: I used FT3 and loaded the binary earth file as a starting basis (appropriate for my story.) I'm attempting to modify the "Earth" due to large meteor strikes along with the passage of time. All seemed ok until I tried to fine tune portions of the map after I deliberately mangled several continents. The raise and lower tools work, albeit with strong tendencies to raise or lower portions I didn't want raised or lowered. That got worse when I zoomed in to try more details. Things became even more screwed up when I tried to use either roughness or smoothing tools. Large sections either seemed to disappear into my ocean or emulate the Alps.
    I don't know if this is the fractal engine trying to maintain the original binary relationships or me just not knowing how to set the tool parameters. (Even selecting raise would cause my land to disappear under water and lower can launch high mountains.)
    Should I scrap this map and software and try another, or convert this map to CCW or other and use a different tool?

    Remember, I admitted that I'm NOT a cartographer--although I love maps. I need to get back to writing, not learn a whole new skill set. (You people are incredible.)

    Any tips/pointers or vectors for me? Thanks!
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2020
    FT3 tools are famously aggressive.

    Use the brushes as large as you can get away with using them so that the effect blends with the surrounding land more naturally, and turn the power down in the tool settings docker.

    Don't attempt to use roughen or smooth at all. These two just seem to mess things up more often than solve a problem unless you are very well practiced in their use.

    Dab, rather than scribble, and give FT3 time to react to each action before dabbing again in the same place.

    Save frequently as a series of versions, so that you can go back to the last stage if anything looks really wrong the next day.

    I'm sorry that sounds a bit general as far as advice goes. Maybe if you show us a screen shot we can be more helpful?
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2020 edited
    Also, use prescale offset option, and very much lower numbers, and you will get very fine control over details.
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2020 edited
    My 'cheat sheet' to using FT3 for designing worlds. I first keep flicking through worlds till I get one close to what I want. But the method should work for binary files as well.

    Fractal Function: RMF with Perlin’s Improved Noise; Automatically set Parms; Parms > Octaves 24
    Altitude: 30,000’ - -30,000’ (or whatever you like)
    Diameter: 25,000 miles circum (or whatever you like)
    Roughness: 0.85
    % Sea: 70
    Land Size: 2.0 – 2.1
    Editing: Custom size: 4096
    Allow prescale offset editing
    Projection: AE Hemispheres (or whatever you like)
    Initial Creation
    Tool > Paint Raise/Lower> Prescale Offset
    Set at 0.01 – 0.05, tool size 100 – 250
    A Fill in lakes
    B Expand land on 1 side of mountains, and reduce it on other
    C Global Smooth > Prescale Land Offset value 1
    D Tools > Actions > Fill basins in offset
    E Global Smooth > Land Offset (NOT Prescale) value 1
    F Tools > Actions > Incise Flow: amount 3.5; Flow 0.35; Effect 0.25; Blur 2
    G Fill Basins
    H Global Smooth > Land Offset value 2
    I Tools > Actions > Incise Flow: amount 2; Flow 0.1; Effect 0.1; Blur 0.5
    J Fill Basins
    K Global Smooth> Land Offset value 2
    L Planetary Bombardment
    M Tools > Rivers > Find Rivers > Fine. Pick value of 2.0, Potential flow.
    Use Tool size of 100-200.
    Increase Temperature and Wetness in latitudes 20 N to 20 S
    Reduce Temperature and Wetness in latitudes 40 N – 20 N; and 40 S to 20 S
    Reduce Temperature and Wetness in highest latitudes N and S (~ 75N and S)
    Check Climate Map. If necessary, paint climate, esp ice and desert.
    Export to CC3
    • CommentAuthorGW1230
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2020
    Thanks for your replies, I appreciate them and will take the genera advice to heart! I'm using an iMac via Bootcamp to Windows 10, so I wasn't sure if that was part of my problem, but apparently the roughen/smooth tool set is just grossly bugged.

    To Quenten, that's a great set of tips, but maybe I should be more specific. For my storyline, I have a mental image of my fragmented Earth with separate, severe gouges through various continents. So, I've tried to shape the result on the map from the image in my mind. Unfortunately, the fractal landscape has its own ideas of how to interpret what I want the tools to do. Should I adjust the various settings of FT3's tools as you described in your design setup discussion, or was that intended primarily for generating a new random world and, therefore, ineffective for where I am now? I suppose I could start over with random worlds and see if I find something that looks kind of close, but random is random and might take any number from 1 to infinity. Further thoughts for tuning in FT3, or should I punt to CC3 and edit there?

    Thanks again for replies!
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2020
    I would try doing what I suggested on your map, though some say the prescale offset doesn't work on binary maps. You can but try
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2020
    If the prescale brushes don't work you can use the other raise and lower brushes. Just not the smooth and roughen unless you really really need to, and then only extremely weak and very light dabs.
    • CommentAuthorjslayton
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2020
    Every world in FT3 has an underlying fractal shape. Adjusting the roughness value multiplies that fractal function by a non-zero value to make it show through more.
    I recommend finding a world that has ocean where you want your gouges to be, then load the Earth data and use Actions>>Burn In To Surface with a large (8190 or so) value to let the editing tools do their thing. You wouldn't want to use prescale offset with a world derived from binary data because prescale offset takes effect before the continental shelf operation and probably won't do what you want ( I recommend turning off continental shelves altogether when using a world based on binary data ). Small roughness increases will cause your world to sink within the brush confines because it exposes the underlying fractal function more (using a negative Value on the toolbar with roughness will flip the land/sea push from the basic value, but gets weird around the coastal areas). Using the regular offset tools should work well, but always use a light touch (small values) when possible.
    • CommentAuthorGW1230
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2020
    Well, I thought I was making progress, but it seems I've slid backwards.

    - I tried some of Quenten's settings, although I admit that the tool settings don't seem to match any screen dialog I find. And, Fill in Lakes means in offset or in Basins?

    - I drew my own craters/gouges in the world, so skipped planetary bombardment, but ran into a big snag trying to edit terrain with insufficient precision. I get these square shaped chunks that never edit where I'm painting, but instead raise/lower adjacent land. Somehow in one of the changes to settings, one map iteration ended up with a nice, small circle for much greater precision, but I've not been able to duplicate how that happened! Sheesh!

    - Perhaps related to the square editing issue, I now have heavy square pixelation where I did a lot of editing. Looks terrible! How did I get this and how do I undo/fix it?
    Burn to surface FAILS with a vertical gray line and never a chance to set any value. It just stops with this line now parked on my map. Tech help from Ralf suggested moving the map center in the projection drop down box, but that didn't help the result.

    - Still no burn to surface. Will this thing export to CC3 this way or overwhelm my system resources?

    As I already said, I'm a writer, not a cartographer! Is there a FT3/CC3 for Dummies book somewhere?

    Thanks again for any suggestions.
    • CommentAuthorGW1230
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2020
    Ok, thanks to Ralf, I found, bought, and downloaded the One Day Worldbuilder in CA2019. He also advised a few other things, some helpful links, and so on. I have made progress but find that there are still a few ambiguities in the docs, including in the ODWB.
    The FT3 color schema for CA155 FT3 CC3 is what I'd like to see, but Wilbur doesn't load it. I'm presuming that schema will appear sometime ahead in steps. I also found that the Land/Sea Color List applications ended up with all green land and all blue sea. I played with checking the Absolute Color block and tinkering with the Altitude default setting, which was not included in the instructions but did bring out the color variations Sue included in the examples. Thing is, I had to choose 10,000--maybe even less to get that result on a map altered from binary Earth True. It occurred to me than that the dimensions might be in meters instead of feet? No place in preferences that I found allowed a choice. Is it meters?
    Are there some other tricks I need to know working the ODWB approach with a binary file burned to surface? If so, please let me know before I waste another month screwing up a map. Thanks!
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2020
    There are separate files for setting up the same colour scheme in Wilbur because Wilbur land and sea colour schemes are split into two entities where FT3 uses only one for both. The instructions on how to set the same colour scheme up in Wilbur may be found on page 6 of the Mapping Guide, and also on page 12 of the Supplemental Notes.

    If you have land that is all green (ie it appears totally flat not matter how many mountains you had in your FT3 world) you will need to carry out the procedure on pages 10 and 11 of the Supplemental Notes to get rid of the NANs (Not A Number) and outliers that can sometimes be generated in FT3.

    Wilbur works with metres and FT3 with feet, so 30,000ft in FT3 is roughly equivalent to 9144m in Wilbur.

    Unfortunately, once the binary file has been burned into the surface the prescale tools and many of the mathematical editing tools do not currently appear to work, though I can't say what might be possible in the future. This is why, In CA155, the burning of the binary data into the FT3 world is regarded as the finished product - all processing after the rivers are generated being done in the exported CC3 map.
    • CommentAuthorGW1230
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2020
    Well, I just wrote for half an hour or more to update my foibles and progress on using FT3 and CC3 from a writer's point of view. However, this forum just dumped it claiming there was an error on my post. It erased everything--great. I will try again, but with a smaller version because I'm not repeating losing my input.

    First, thanks for Ralf Schemmann to providing me links and advice to make some progress. He also suggested I try the Cartographer Annual 2019 excellent article written by Sue Daniel called One Day Worldbuilder (ODWB from here on.)

    I plunked down more bucks and subscribed to the CA and dutifully read and downloaded Sue's ODWB article. I made a binder and followed her guidance item by item. I got through the FT sequence, into Wilbur for erosion, noise, altitude adjustments, et al, then back into FT for the final step for rivers. All worked just fine and I was ready to save to CC3+.

    The export to CC3 was fine and all looked good. Then I tried to use Sue's process to copy my map over to her template with a color scheme that would allow me to make a series of maps for my epic novel. When you need to provide labels, you need a color scheme that provides for legible text! There I ran into a problem that took several days to get though. ODWB may be a bit oversold on the one day part--especially for rookies like me. Anyway, her approach requires a copy/paste of the completed FT map that was just exported as an FCW. No problem, easy steps, except that my system kept cycling over and over with a flashing "Not Responding" and a black screen that flashed by, then a restart of the whole contour graphic sequence. I never got to the land contours, no matter what I tried, and believe me that Sue tried a lot of whispered tricks trying to help. I even sent her a copy of my map which she was able to copy over, but mine still failed.
    Then she suggested that perhaps my clipboard was choking on the whole map--although she had somehow succeeded. I'm running an iMac (high end) with BootCamp into Windows 10. Some quick research on my part revealed that the Gatesian crowd had limited clipboard to 4MB files. You could grab a bunch, but none over 4MB. Could it be that my BootCamp version was different from native Windows? Who knows. Regardless, Sue suggested that I try to do separate cut/paste operations, first with the sea contours, then the land. That did it. Her modified guidance for HC155 follows:

    SD quote: "We can get past this by copying first the ocean contours and then the land contours over to the new template file. Lets just get them all over there, and then move the origin in the new map so that it is aligned perfectly with the corner of the pasted map.

    1. In the original FT3 export file show only the CONTOURS (SEA) and GRID sheets.

    2. Don't bother with ATTACH. Leave that off. We don't need it yet. Just copy all that's visible in a nice big selection box that covers the whole map, and type the coordinates 0,0 as the Copy Origin when you are asked for it at the command prompt.

    3. Paste into the new template, using 0,0 as the Paste Origin when you are asked for it.

    4. Go back to the FT3 file and hide everything except the CONTOURS (LAND) sheet.

    5. Copy all that's visible - just like you did at point 2 above, using 0,0 as the copy origin.

    6. Paste again into the new template, again using 0,0 as the Paste Origin, like you did before at point 3 above.

    Now you should have the whole map transferred across without any missing contours. It is far easier to move the origin to the bottom left corner of the map than it is to move the map to the origin, so follow these instructions and you should end up with everything in exactly the right place.

    7. Now it's time to switch on ATTACH.

    8. Go to the View menu and pick Move Origin.

    9. Zoom into the bottom left corner of your map really close, and click right on that bottom left corner.

    And that's all you have to do." (end quote)

    And that did work. So, if any others find themselves using a very large binary Earth map modified for their use and adapted via the ODWB, and you run into this bizarre issues, try the above.

    So, I'm off to continue her ODWB the rest of the way. I did run into another hiccup with a narrow channel of water that the contours connected with land in a few places. Trying to go back and deepen the channel in FT3 and again save and cut/paste, etc. did not eliminate that anomaly. Should I proceed further in CC3+ and try to fix that there, or should I fall back into FT3 and widen the channel? Suggestions?

    Anyway, I'm certain that I will have more questions/issues as I proceed. I'm putting this out there for any other writers that are as incompetent in cartography as me to benefit from.

    Thanks again to Ralf, Sue, and I am awed by Joe Slayton's products. Wow.

    If I ever get this done, I'll share the map--or maps.

    Travis (aka GW1230)
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2020
    I think it depends on just how complicated the part you are talking about is - how many contours are affected.

    The contours are all multipolies - collections of individual polygons welded into one vector shape. This is so that you can select the entire global contour with a single click instead of hunting around for ages to make sure you've got all the parts. Unfortunately, to edit any of them you would have to explode each one into its separate parts, then edit the bits that are too narrow, and finally find all the bits and pieces of each contour and re-multipoly them again.

    Even though it's been quite a project transferring everything to the template I think that unless this only involves 1 or 2 contours at most it might be quicker to go back to the FT3 file and widen the gap a little.