Create a Fantasy Map of Your Own Fictional World in Adobe Photoshop

everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe
Photoshop. Today we’re going to have some fun creating
a map of our own fantasy world, just like the fictional story settings of Neverland,
Middle-Earth or Westoros. We’ll use Photoshop’s built in tools to establish
the landmass and sea, then construct hills, mountains and deserts with some simple filter
combinations, before finishing off the artwork with a vintage paper texture and place names
to simulate an old map. But first, a big thank you to Envato Elements
for sponsoring today’s video… So to construct your own fantasy world, begin
by creating a new document in Adobe Photoshop. I’m using a canvas size of 2000×1458, but
artwork can be created at any size. The larger you go, the more land you’ll have
to fill. Create a new layer, then go to Filter>Render
>Clouds. Add a Threshold Adjustment layer at the bottom
of the Layers Panel. Activate the clouds layer again. You can use the CMD+F, or CTRL+F shortcut
on Windows, to randomise the result until you see a basic layout of continents you could
work with. Add a new layer, then select the Brush tool. Set it up with zero hardness, then begin to
paint black around the edges of the canvas, and over any portions of land you want to
erase. Switch the colour over to white, then paint
within the landmass to fill in any gaps, or to join together pieces of land. When you’re done, shift and click all the
layers from the Threshold to the Clouds layers and merge them together. Switch over to the Channels panel and hold
the CMD key while clicking on any of the channel thumbnails to loads the selection of the white
portion. Back in the layers panel, add a new layer
and fill this landmass selection with a green of #92985d using the CMD+Backspace shortcut,
then deselect with CMD+D. Delete the original threshold version, which
is no longer needed, then fill the background with a beige paper colour of #e3e2c8 Add a new layer above the background and fill
it with a blue of #83aab1. Apply a Layer Mask to this sea layer, then
set up the brush tool with reduced opacity of around 30% in the top options bar. Begin painting around the edges of the canvas
to bring back some of the beige paper colour. If you erase the blue too close to the land,
switch the colour to white and paint within the mask to restore the blue around the coasts. Add a new layer above this blue layer, then
reset the foreground and background colours back to black and white. Head to Filter>Render>Clouds, followed
by Filter>Render>Difference Clouds. Change this layer’s blending mode to Soft
Light and reduce the opacity to 50%. Apply a layer mask, then paint around the
coatlines to erase the texturing, so it only appears in the deeper oceans. Add another new layer and render some clouds,
followed by difference clouds. Then go to Filter>Stylize>Emboss. Change the settings to 3px Height and 100%
amount. Set this layer’s blending mode to Soft Light. Double click the land layer to begin adding
some effects. Start with an Inner Glow layer style using
the settings black with the Soft Light blend mode, a size of around 20px and an opacity
of 25%. Add an Outer Glow next with a light blue of
#6ec5f2 and the Screen blend mode. Set the size to 40px and opacity to 45%. Add a new layer above the land layer and generate
some cloud and difference cloud textures. Press CMD+F a few times to randomise the layout. Set this layer to Soft Light at 40%, then
CMD+Click the layer thumbnail of the land layer to loads a selection of its outline. Go to Select Inverse, then delete the excess
texturing. Apply a layer mask to this texturing layer,
then use a soft brush to reduce its prominence in some areas to make the land look flatter. Add another new layer followed by the clouds
and difference clouds filters. This time go to Select>Color Range and choose
Shadows. Set the Fuzziness to 100% and Range to 0. Hit the backspace key to leave just the lighter
portions of the cloud texturing, then deselect with CMD+D. Load the selection of the land layer, inverse
the selection and remove the excess. Apply the Filter>Stylize>Emboss effect,
this time with 250% in the Amount field. Set this layer to Linear Light to produce
a series of mountain ranges across the world. Double click the layer and add a Color Overlay
effect with white and the Soft Light blend mode. Reduce the opacity to around 60% to simulate
snow-capped peaks. Add another new layer with difference clouds
again, then select Color Range and delete the shadows. Trim the layer to the outline of the land
layer, then apply an Emboss filter, but this time reduce the Amount back to 100%. Set this layer to Linear Light to generate
some subtle hills. Select the land layer and add a new layer
above it. Hold the ALT key while clicking between them
in the Layers Panel to apply a clipping mask. Grab the brush tool and set up the colour
to a sandy brown of #ccb991. Begin painting in some deserts and dry regions
on your fantasy map. You can also add an extra clipped layer to
paint the colder regions with snow. Bring the brush opacity back to 100% to paint
with pure white, then use a large eraser to make the ice caps softly recede. To finish off the map with and aged appearance,
download a vintage paper texture. This one from DeviantArt is linked in the
description area below. Open the image in Photoshop, Select All with
CMD+A, Copy with CMD+C, Paste with CMD+V, making sure it’s at the top of the layer stack,
then Transform with CMD+T to scale the texture to fit it to the canvas. Change the blending mode of the texture layer
to Multiply to allow the artwork to show through, then reduce the opacity to 50% so it’s not
too harsh. Use the CMD+U shortcut for Hue/Saturation
to bring down the saturation to around -60 to reduce some of the vibrant orange colouring. Add a simple Levels adjustment with CMD+L
to darken the shadows and lighten the highlights by dragging each respective slider inwards
slightly. That’s the main map effect complete, but you
might want to spend some time adding labels to your fictional places using the Type tool. Here I’m using a font on my system named Trattatello. Using a browny colour of #493f37 works well
for in-land places, while #d5f3e7 is a nice light blue that stands out against the oceans. Adding a subtle Arc text effect also helps
style up the text a little. The final result is a cool old map of your
own fantasy world. Ideal for story book art, table-top gaming,
treasure map party invitations, or just for fun! If you enjoyed this tutorial or learned any
new tricks, a Like on the video would be great to help spread the world. Subscribe to stick around for more, and head
over to my Spoon Graphics website to join my mailing list to get my free resources bundle. As always thank you very much for watching,
and I’ll see you in the next one!

57 Replies to “Create a Fantasy Map of Your Own Fictional World in Adobe Photoshop”

  1. Join my mailing list at Spoon Graphics if you want to keep up with all my other content. Every subscriber gets a FREE design resources bundle! 📦

  2. I'm not a native English Speaker and my knowledge of PS is very short. It was hard to keep up with the instructions and your accent was a little hard to understand (I was like, omg what is "Sofly"? My PS is outdated it doesn't have "sofly"! Until I finally realized it was Soft Light). But the results speak for themselves, great video, keep up the good work!

  3. You are amazing my friend, thank you so much for this video.
    Secondly; Can anyone tell me how to delete the excess texturing at 4:30 Thank you
    Edit; Figured it out, )Edit – Clear( Thank you

  4. this has been really helpful so far but… when i first select the colour range and choose shadows, it wont let me change the fuzziness. anyone know how to fix this..?

  5. That stylise and emboss effect doesn't work for me at all. I get a very distinct embossed line around the area, and the mountains aren't so distinct 🙁

  6. I’m writing a book and wanted a map to go along with it. I drew it at first and it looked pretty bad. After this tutorial I did it on photoshop and it’s looks so awesome. Thank you so much.

  7. cant use color range, in shadows mode fuzziness bar and the other one become unusable :(, did anyone else has this same issue????

  8. Hello I have a question, my clouds are way smaller and less compact then your. How do I adjust that?

  9. Thanks for this video! Even someone with little to no experience in Photoshop can do this and I made a great map for my WorldAnvil page and future YouTube Video's. Cheers my Friend!

  10. Somehow when making the layer 2 blue with opacity 30 my screen remains the same,The layer doesn't seem to change color- not sure what I did wrong??? [I clicked new layer, went to the background icon entered the numbers and hit enter. Nothing, even did opacity to see if it would kick in the blue]

  11. I'm not on a mac so I don't have the command button. How am I supposed to select all painted things on a layer?

  12. Why the fuck is everyone complaining about the video being too fast? Can't you just thank him that he made a simple tutorial for you entitled pricks?

  13. I don't even know why I don't have the clouds options and when I checked the Adobe store I didn't see it either. I have to be honest, I have never used Adobe Photoshop and I don't know the interface as well as you do. I would've preferred the video be a little more catering to those like myself. Still a great video, I just don't have all the prior knowledge on how to properly use the program so sadly I have to find a different one who dumbs it down for me lol.

  14. The end result looks pretty nice. But it seems like this method is limited in how much creative control you actually have. If you want mountains to fill a specific place it looks like it would be difficult to do that.

  15. Incredibly helpful tutorial as I was strolling Google for some reference art. I absolutely love this effect. Thanks!

  16. can't get past ctrl+F–it doesn't toggle through those cloud shapes, it goes to SEARCH function.

  17. Thank you so much!!! This was PERFECT for a little fantasy realm I'm creating, appreciate this video to no end.

  18. Nice map came out awesome. Next maybe talk a little faster and less understandable and explain how to do what you're doing less. But nice map

  19. I was going through the steps and when it came to turning the land masses the greenish color, I add the layer and type in the color just as you did Chris. However, mine does not change color. It stays white.

    I rewound your tutorial several times and tried to see if you did another step and nothing showed up. Am I missing a step?

    Great video so far, but I know this step is important.

  20. His accent and speed really makes it hard to follow him. Had to use headset and pause 10 times or more to understand each instruction…. Good vedio though. Very thorough and fun ones you get past the problems

  21. His accent and speed really makes it hard to follow him. Had to use headset and pause 10 times or more to understand each instruction…. Good vedio though. Very thorough and fun ones you get past the problems

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