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Wasteland - Texture/Terrain


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This tutorial is available as a PDF. Click here to view or download it

"Wasteland" Terrian Texture

This tutorial will show you how to create a texture that can be used as terrain for planet scenes (and I'm sure it can be adapted for other uses).

I used it in a piece called Wasteland which I recently posted in the Pictorium, following which there was a request for me to tutorialize it; so here goes.

You'll be looking to create something like this:


You will need the some of the following plugins to create this texture (some are optional for additional steps):

Splinter & Surface Blur (part of the Ed Harvey Effects).

Normal Map

Sine Wave Distort

Tube Oblique

Reflection Water

*EDIT Click any of the thumbnails to enlarge the illustrations.

I started with a 1600 x 1200 canvas

With Primary colour Black and Secondary colour white - EFFECTS > Clouds at the default settings.

EFFECTS > Blurs > Splinter: Splinters 8, Rotation 25, Mode Darken, Distance 50-100 (depending on what scale you want).


EFFECTS > Height Field to Normal Map: Bumpyness 10.00


EFFECTS > Blurs > Surface Blur: Radius 5, Threshold 15 - this will smooth out some of the pixellation.

Now, the Normal Map plugin will give you a strange blue/purple colour, so at this stage I want to give it a terrain type of colour.



This is the basic texture that I used to create the terrain; the rest of these steps are optional; but will help you create the surface I used for the original.

CTRL+SHIFT+N to create a new layer. Select the Gradient tool; set to Linear.

Zoom out to about 33% (to give yourself some room) and, using the right-mouse button, drag a gradient from the bottom of the canvas to the top of the screen.


Press F4 to access the Layer Properties of the top layer, and change the Blend Mode to Color Burn.

Then press CTRL+SHIFT+F to flatten the image.


In the Layers Menu, open the Rotate Zoom feature (press CTRL+SHIFT+Z), and use the following settings.

Angle: 0.00, Twist 90.00, Radius 70.00 - Zoom 1.45


Now, to add a bit of curvature to your texture use - EFFECTS > Distort > Sine Waves: Amplitude 10, Horizontal 1, Vertical 3.


For more curvature EFFECTS > Distort > Tube Oblique: Horizontal 0, Vertical 15.


Press CTRL+A to select the whole image and use the Move Selected Pixels tool to drag the entire texture down, so the to get the horizon where you want it.

For the water effect at the bottom, you'll need to put some sort of green/blue background at the bottom, on a new layer.

So, press CTRL+SHIFT+N to create a new layer, and select an area about 1/3 of the height of the canvas. Fill it with a green/blue colour.

Then move it below the surface texture.


Select the top layer again. EFFECTS > Distort > Water: Distance 80, Scale 20.


That's about it, really. I'll leave it to everyone's imagination for adding the sky/clouds/moon, etc...



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