There are a number of aspects of editing your world: removing inland seas, flattening mountains, creating new mountains, reshaping continents, etc. The process for making each of these different types of changes are remarkably similar. Therefore, I’ve been torn as to whether I should address each of them separately or to try to bundle them all together. After a great deal of thought, I determined that it was preferable to talk about them individually, and perhaps be a bit repetitive, opposed to convoluting matters by covering them all in one post.

Settings

Here are the settings I used, in case you want to bring up the same world in order to follow along.

  • Fractal Terrains v3.0.12
  • RMF with Perlin’s Improved Noise (World Settings > Fractal Function)
  • Highest Peak: 30,000 ft.; Lowest Depth: -30,000 ft.; Circumference: 25,000 miles; Roughness: 0.90; Percent Sea: 60%; Land Size: 1.74, World Seed: -319047328 (World Settings > Primary)
  • Longitude: -60 degrees; Continental Shelves enabled and set to -1,000 ft. (World Settings > Secondary)
  • Editing Size set to 8190 with Prescale Offset Editing enabled. (World Settings > Editing)

You should now see the following world.

There are a number of large lakes/inland seas. I’m going to fill them all in.

Select an area to start with and zoom in. I’m starting with the central portion of the map.

Click Raise Prescale Offset on the Editing Toolbar. Under Paintbrush Options, set the height and width of the brush each to 257 (the maximum). Value will probably default to 0.164042. This setting is perfectly fine. However, I like to change it to 0.15 (easy to remember and less arbitrary). Remember that changes to these settings will not take effect until you leave the text box, so click in another text box or press tab (or shift-tab) to change focus.

Now just start clicking around in the inland sea area. I don’t follow any particular pattern. Just move the mouse between clicks. Continuous clicks in the same area will build up a cone (if you do it enough) that looks very unnatural. Don’t worry if bits get raised too high. We can go back and fix them later.

Here is what I have after 54 clicks (restricted to the upper inland sea in the image). Notice that I did focus on the terrain below the level of the continental shelves. That is not necessary. It is just how I happened to approach it this time.

133 clicks later and that inland sea is now gone. Again, I did not follow any particular pattern. I moved around at random and continued until all the blue within the area had disappeared.

Zoom extents and then zoom in on another section. Repeat as necessary. If a section is raised too high during this process, simply click on Lower Prescale Offset and use the same brush settings. Lowering and raising work in exactly the same manner.

Here is the final stage, after filling in all lakes and inland seas.

You may not have noticed, but we accomplished something else while filling in these areas.

When Fractal Terrains creates a random world, it creates mountains in the center of land masses. Often these look unrealistic. More commonly, mountain ranges (in the real world) appear at the edge of continents, where one tectonic plate is pushing over another.

By filling in these inland seas, we have turned two landmasses, each with elevated terrain in the center, into a single land mass with elevated terrain on the edges. This can result in a much more natural looking continent, without the effort involved in flattening mountain ranges and building them up elsewhere.

The process described above is the core to all types of planetscaping and should go a long way towards giving you whatever type of planet you desire.