Adding randomness to an imported coastline in Fractal Terrains 3+

Hello everyone! This is my first time posting here! I love using Fractal Terrains 3 for my worlbuilding projects but it's a little difficult to use. I have a coastline which I generated elsewhere and I know where I'd like to paint mountains. I imported my map into FT3+ and my sea is at an elevation of -9144m and my land is all at 1m. Is there a way I can introduce that fractal "look" of the landscapes from synthetic worlds? I can only raise and lower the land itself which raises in a very uniform way, I'm hoping to apply some randomness to how I raise and lower the land. Once I'm finished I'll be re-importing to Wilbur to perform erosion simulations.



  • Do you have CC3? If so, import it there into another sheet. You can use the TRACED command to draw the landmass in CC3 (There are instructions in the blog on how to do this). Then you can click on the fracticalize option and select landmasses. Then you can export it out as a jpg. Then import it back into FT3 like you did with the current map.

  • Woah, okay, I didn't know you could do that! I do have CC3, so I'll give that a try.

  • jslaytonjslayton Moderator, ProFantasy Mapmaker

    It looks like you imported a binary world. Depending on how high a resolution your world is, I would recommend using the Burn In To Surface operation, load your current outlines as a selection, and then slowly (maybe start at 0.1) increase the roughness channel of the world to increase the amount of the fractal function showing through. It will tend to pull the world underwater where the fractal channel is low, but you can use offset to raise the world a bit.

  • THIS, I think this is what I was looking for, thank you so much! I just tried adding roughness to the landforms and it's exactly what I wanted.

  • Can I somehow set the lowest height in my selection to be 1?

  • jslaytonjslayton Moderator, ProFantasy Mapmaker

    I'm pretty sure that there's a height clip type feature, but I don't recall what it's called at the moment. I don't have a copy of FT3+ installed on this laptop, but I'm pulling down the 3.5.2 beta and I'll see if I can locate the appropriate feature. It may take a while, though, because I'm at the end of a pretty slow link, unfortunately.

  • jslaytonjslayton Moderator, ProFantasy Mapmaker

    I can't find the height clip feature (or maybe the Math Tool operation is broken in FT3).

    However... If you're going to "be re-importing to Wilbur", you can do most of this directly in Wilbur. FT3 is really good at projections, image overlays, and exporting to CC3+, but Wilbur is easier to do some things with. For example, it can also modulate your basic image by noise (e.g. Filter>>Noise>>Fractal Noise with the Operation of Multiply and XY Scale values of 20 and 20). It has a Filter>>Height Clip filter that will enforce minimum and maximum altitudes. It also has Filter>>Mathematical>>Span to force the selection to a given altitude range. Filter>>Fill>>Mound will do some distance processing and the various erosional tools can add on from there. Those features should be able to get you pretty close to something like this:

    that can be imported into FT3 for use with CC3+ and for fancier annotations as desired.

  • edited January 26 gosh that looks amazing. I've wanted to see this map as a "realistic" heightmap for so long.

    So, I'm able to get to that point as well, but I want my mountains in specific places, is it better to paint mountains in Wilbur or in FT3?

    I'm also not exactly sure why those steps aren't consistent. I have an MDR file where the sea is at -9144 and the land is at 1. I've selected the land and set my height clip to 1<9144 and my mathematical span to be 1<9144 as well, but when I apply the fractal noise, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Oh, maybe it's just taking time to generate the fractal noise and I don't notice?

  • jslaytonjslayton Moderator, ProFantasy Mapmaker may offer some assistance with Wilbur, especially the "CSU Johnsondale" tutorial. shows Wilbur abusing someone's hand-painted contour maps and that sort of thing may also apply to what you're trying to do here.

    Height clip should work on the current selection, so loading your land mask as a selection will let you clip to a low of 1 and a high of whatever (I usually use something like 1000000 because I don't bother to check the actual surface altitudes). If I recall correctly, span only works on the currently-selected pixels in Wilbur, not on the whole-world values. If things seem to mysteriously not work in Wilbur, try Select>>All and then your operation because Wilbur isn't great at showing partially-selected areas. Reloading your selection mask may also help.

    Fractal Noise generation should be the fastest of Wilbur's generators, so it shouldn't take long for any reasonably-sized images.

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