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Mountain Tutorial

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#1 Snow


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 04:43 PM

Ok so I tried making a tutorial on how to make simple mountains (as in this is by no means the best you can do), hopefully this helps some people out. Before we start some of the beginning steps are almost stupidly short, so hope you don't mind that. Also I am very liberal with the word "Square".

Step Zero: Which Tiles will we use?
Ok so first off which tiles are we gonna use for this mountain. Like I said this is gonna be a simple mountain, so I won't be showing you how to use all the tiles [s]mostly because I don't know how to use all of them[s]. So these are the tiles we are gonna use for the tutorial:
user posted imageuser posted image
On the left are the mountain tiles, with the ones we won't use scratched out in red. On the right are the ones we will use, each surronded by a color, I'll be referencing the colors a lot so you'll probably want to have that open.
For reference here is what each color means:
Dark Blue: Starting Tiles
Purple: Range Tiles
Light Blue: Peak Tiles
Green: Transition Left Tile
Yellow: Transition Right Tile
Pink: Border Tiles
Orange: Mountain Tiles

Prime pointed out that it sounded like I was saying you shouldn't use the tiles I scratched out, please don't take it that way, I just mean that I won't cover those in this tutorial.

Step One: Starting your Mountain
So now we start our mountain. So pick a tile in the Blue Square, one of the starting tiles, I recommend starting with one on the bottom row. In my case I'm starting with the one on the bottom left.
user posted image
Congratulations you completed step one of this tutorial! laugh.gif

Step Two: Mountain Ranges.
Now to keep your mountain going you have to use Range tiles, the ones in the Purple Square. You place it above your starting tile, usually. How many range tiles you use depends on you, given that this is a simple mountain I went with one.
user posted image

Step Three: Peaks
Now come Peak tile, the ones in the Light Blue Square. Peaks are what stands out the most in a mountain tiles, at least when I look at one, and you may notice that there are two blue light boxes. I'll explain some of the differences now and some in another part. First off, look at both of the squares, notice how some of the tiles have a little groove in the top left corner? That little groove is to move your mountain range to the left, which will become important in the next step. For now, you can just pick any of them. I picked one of the one in the smaller square. You place the Peak Tiles above a range tile, at least the ones in the Light Blue Square anyway.
user posted image

Step Four: Moving Left
So you have a basic mountain range and you've placed a peak. Now you have to decide, you want the mountain to go left? or do you want it to go right? or both? This part is about going left. To move left you want one of the tiles in the Green Square. Now there are two sets of tiles that can move you too the left, I'll explain the Upper Green Square first. You place the tile one tile above and one tile left of your peak tile.
user posted image
So see how the little groove from the tile I choose lines up with the new tile? That's part of what the groove is for.
You can also use the tiles in the Lower Green Square to move your range even more to the left.
user posted image
Now what I did here was place one of the Lower Green Square tiles next to my peak tile. See how the groove lines up with new tile to make it look like there's a sideways peak? That's the other part of what the groove is for. To make the mountain go up again you need to place one of the Upper Green Square Tiles like it shows in the image. Now you can place more than one of the Lower Green Tiles, for example if you place two it would look like this:
user posted image
I'll stick with one for now cause I think it looks better.

Step Five: Moving Right
Ok so we've covered moving left. Now comes moving right. There's really only one tile you need for this, the tile in the Yellow Square. Place it to the right of the your peak tile.
user posted image
Now if you look at our mountain you may notice that there's something off with the shadows of our mountain. See how the peak tiles I picked has shadow in the top right corner but the tile next to it has light on it? To fix this we need a new Peak Tile. Now here are some of the peak tiles from the top Light Blue Tiles.
user posted image
Notice how they all have light in the top right corner? These are the Tiles you use when you're moving your mountain to the right. Also notice how some of them don't have grooves in the top left corner for when you're not moving to the left. So now we change our peak tile for one of these.
user posted image
That looks better. Now to continue the mountain you just place a range tile above it. Like so:
user posted image
That looks pretty good.

Step Six: Borders
Now, Borders. basically this defines how big your mountain is. Border Tiles are in the Pink Square. Now you can make your border almost any way you want, though as you don't want your mountain to be too big.
user posted image
Dark Tiles go to the right of the mountain, the best way you can get the grasp of this is to experiment, also note that there are alot more dark tiles than light ones, so it's easier to make the right side of the mountain interesting.
user posted image
Now Light Tiles go to the left of the mountain, again the best way to get a feel for these is to experiment.

Step Seven: Filling in the Mountain
What it says on the tin. Mountain tiles are divided into Dark tiles, Light tiles and Mixed/Transition tiles, just like with border tiles light goes on the left, and dark tiles go on the right. Mountain tiles are in the Orange Square.
user posted image
You can just spam most of the Dark and Light tiles and then change one or two. Mixed tiles however are a bit different. It's kinda hard to tell but our peak tile is half shadow (on the left side) and half light (on the right side). Now to cover this we need to use a mixed tile. Some of these tiles are kinda funky, and there are some places where you'll never get an exact fit or maybe you'll have three different ways to do it and you can't decide. Here I choose to do this:
user posted image
Now that we've separated the dark and light parts of the peak, we can fill in the shadow tile that's missing.
user posted image
There we go.

Step Eight: Admiring your handiwork/Valleys between mountains
Now you want to look at your mountain. And feel good for making it.
user posted image
At about this point I realized that this mountain is terrible. It's sorta blocky, the border on the left side is way to big and it doesn't really look good IMO. So you change it.
user posted image
Here's what I ended up with, I tried using only things I showed in this tutorial (I cheated once but it'll show up in "Notes" just below this). Hopefully when you look at this new one you can see what I did. Somethings you should note though:
-See here where I go from dark border to light border?
user posted image
Basically when you want to switch between borders like this (you'll mostly do it when you have a valley between to mountains) you place a Dark border tile, a Mixed tile and a Light border tile. It changes depending on how you're doing it, but this is a pretty good example.

-The change from dark tiles to light tiles between the two mountains is important here, how many dark tiles you place determines the hieght of the new mountains (this is finicky, but generally the more dark tiles a mountain has the higher it is).

"Notes": Now some things about tiles that I didn't mention above.
- Look at the Blue square, see the tile in the top left corner? To start with that tile you need to do two things.
1. Put a Dark Border tile to the left of it
2. Instead of starting your mountain above your starting tile, you start one tile to the left, and one tile to the left. If you look at the final mountain I showed you'll see an example of this.

- Ok so you may have noticed that some tiles have this weird lines on them. Example:
user posted image
See how the second and fourth tiles have these lines in the bottom left corner? Basically it has to do with how high that tile is. In theory tiles that are higher than others have no lines, cause there smoother or something. A good example of this is chapter 12 of FE8 Eirika Route. It's not mandatory but it's something to keep in mind.

Hope this helps someone, and thanks for reading.
Posted Image
Posted Image
This won't be removed until Chile wins the World Cup - Started 24/06/12
BTW, I take map requests if anyone wants to make one XD, just send me a PM and I'll most likely accept. If you wanna see some of previous work you can visit my gallery here, I'd skip to the end because I've improved alot XD.

#2 Fire Blazer

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:07 PM

I know I'm not the first to say this (albeit the first to respond to this thread, lol) but this is great. I'll definitely keep this in mind the next time I see crappy mountains, haha. Also that's quite a lot of images so props for even creating this, I'm guessing it took quite a bit of work to get all those images online and such, haha.


Signature thanks to Shu.

#3 Blitzzurger96



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Posted 30 July 2014 - 01:50 AM

I skimmed through it and already i feel like i have a better idea on to make mountains.


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