Pictorial Tutorial on Putting Streams on Maps using Map Maker (Full Version)

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Rick -> Pictorial Tutorial on Putting Streams on Maps using Map Maker (6/6/2011 3:33:45 AM)

There was some interest in how you can put in streams/rivers onto your maps using Map Maker. Below I'll go through how I've done it. The example is using a map I've just started working on.

The map I'm using in this thread has a stream running diagonally in the Northeast Quadrant.It shows fairly clearly in the initial Google Map image.

First thing I do is adjust the grayscale image so I can see the underlying map. MR shows how to do this in his Picturial tutorial.

Then I click on the small brush size, so my pen is as small as possible.

Then I click on the locks button

Then with Left button held down, I trace the line of the stream, if this were larger river I might make two passes to make it wider.

You can see the stream delineated in red in attached screenshot. The red indicates that these pixels are "locked".

I'll change this in next post.



Rick -> RE: Pictorial Tutorial on Putting Streams in Map Maker (6/6/2011 3:36:29 AM)

Since we want to 'dig out' the stream itself without changing the rest of the landscape much, we need to invert the locks. This will lock everything EXCEPT for the stream channel.

So click on the Invert Locks button, you'll see most of map get shaded red, and the stream is now dark colored. remember the red means that area is locked and wont be affected by our next adjustments, only the untinted area will be.

Next I click on the 'large changes' and the 'large brush' buttons.

And then next I click on the Adjust button. If you hover over the button a tooltip tells you the right mouse button will decrease elevation and left increase it.

So I hold down the right button and drag the mouse along the stream channel. You will need to retraces it several times to make it deep. You might notice the stream channel getting darker and darker that means that area is getting lower.

this step just digs the channel out. In next post I'll fill it with water.



Rick -> RE: Pictorial Tutorial on Putting Streams in Map Maker (6/6/2011 3:38:17 AM)

In the upper left settings area you can see some Elevation values. This is where we set the water elevation.

Find the entry filed for the Wl: you type in a trial water elevation here. I chose 55.95 here because I see that in the field just to the left it shows that the minimum elevation on the map BEFORE I started digging was 56.0 (this came for the height map import), so since I dug out the stream, I dropped the WL down to 55.95.

After making that entry of 55.95 I click somewhere else in the control area so that MM recalculates the water.

If you hover your mouse over the stream now, in the lower right information panel it will tell you the water depths (if it shows an elevation instead of a depth then either your mouse isn't over the stream, or you didn't dig deep enough).



Rick -> RE: Pictorial Tutorial on Putting Streams in Map Maker (6/6/2011 3:40:49 AM)

At this point, I go ahead and build my map using the build map button. (See MRs picture tutorial). You don't need to do a Final build for this to show us what we want to see.

You should see your stream channel. If you are like me, you might see some areas that still need to be dug out some more, so you can close Map Scene Edit and your locks should still be in place and go ahead and dig those areas out.

You might also decide that the water is too jagged or has too many straight lines.

At this point it's your decision on much time you want to spend adjusting your stream banks.

In next post I'll show the general approach to making adjustments to make it look more natural.



Rick -> RE: Pictorial Tutorial on Putting Streams in Map Maker (6/6/2011 3:42:59 AM)

What we want to do now is "smooth" the banks of the stream. (you could also experiment with chaning the Water Elevation to see what affect that has).

The first thing to do is Invert locks again so that the dug out stream doesn't get changed.

Then you might want to "lock" most of the map so you don't accidentally adjust those areas.

Once you have things you don't want to change locked you can start 'smoothing' BUT don't use the Smooth button -- That affects the whole map.

Click on the small brush size first, and maybe small or medium sized changes button.

Then click on the filter button. If you hover over the Filter button you see that the left button will smooth the area under the cursor and the right button will add noise, or roughen the area under the cursor.

Hold down the left mouse button and drag over the bank area adjacent to the stream to smooth just that area. Since the stream and the other areas are locked we don't have to worry about changing them.



Rick -> RE: Pictorial Tutorial on Putting Streams in Map Maker (6/6/2011 3:45:12 AM)

You can build your map now. You still don't need a Final build to see how your stream is doing. It may take a few tries to get the stream the way you want it. After you get the stream looking the way you want, you might want to try creating a ford at some area.

When you start adding structures and roads, you may want to add a bridge at a road crossing.

I havent covered texturing the water. But the default settings work well enough for this stream. Since this stream goes in a lot of directions, I don't want to add too much motion. That works better for streams or rivers that are relatively straight.



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