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A R Frost
04-16-2010, 12:13 AM
Ok, been playing around with GIMP for 3-5 days now trying to figure out how to redo my old map. And after several phone calls today stating that my new group was wanting to start our game this weekend I though I had better get some sort of starter map done.
The colors and details are really plain, but still trying to figure out several tuts on how to do this, and since I need some type of functional map for this weekend, I did it using the few thinks I have figured out so far. I am starting to become a slave to brushes since they do make some parts easier, but I need to break that addiction in it's early stages and learn to do it the right way. Most of the tuts I find for the style I like are in PS and I end up spending way to much time trying to duplicate a step in GIMP.

Hope, the River, Mountain, Hill police inspect it as well.
Right now I have one desert, and it was created from a huge magical battle 2500 years ago. Would like to add another one but not sure where to place it on the map so it's correct. All suggestions on the proper desert placement will be gladly accepted.

I'm included my first map that was done in CorelDraw so you can see the differences.

So take a look at it and let me know what's good and bad about it. I'll take one good point as an overall victory..lol

arsheesh
04-16-2010, 12:54 AM
Hello A.R. Frost. I like the overall shape of your land mass, and the color palette you are working with (though a few more colors in just the right places might help to give your map more texture). I would recommend blending the the colors between your polar and temperate zones a bit more gradually, and perhaps adding a few waves or ripples within the ocean (particularly around the...continent/island?).

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

rdanhenry
04-16-2010, 01:06 AM
The new one is a lot more plausible with that crazy river system gone. As to the desert: do you really want a desert (low precipitation) or just a wasteland, blasted by the battle? Those aren't the same thing. You can have plenty of water, but if the ground is magical-radioactive or whatever, it could still be desolate.

A R Frost
04-16-2010, 02:55 AM
Ok,
Tried to add some color to the map. Not very much but a little.

@Arsheesh-Smooth out the polar to temperate area some, needs more work but lack of skill will hold that back for now. I know the coastlines need to be redone and something with the oceans as well. But my dumb a$$ some how merged the three-four layers I used to make it together. I'll have to re build it hopefully in the next two days.

@rdanhenry- Real just want a natural desert, already have a desert wasteland created from the miss use of great magical powers.

As I went back to change a few things. I think I figured out way I was having such a hard time with RobA's tut.
1/3 of my trees are on the tree layer.
1/3 are on the snow/polar layer.
The last 1/3 is on the main land color layer.
Lesson learned: Finish what your doing!!! If you see something that needs changed, write it down and wait until your done with the layer your on. Then go fix it!!!
Why because you a dumb a$$ and forget to change back to the original layer.
I keep catching myself working on the wrong layer. No wonder I get so frustrated 6-7 layers in when something doesn't work.
But, I'm sure I'm not the only newbie GIMP or PS user that has had this issue.

Here is the next step: Hope you enjoy.

Jaxilon
04-16-2010, 03:04 AM
I get to working on the wrong layers all the time. You are not alone.

A R Frost
04-16-2010, 05:09 PM
Any GIMP Users that are good with Text, please take a look.

Ok,
Here is the next stage of my map of Milosha. I went through and placed all the city and country names. And I hate it.
The city text looked good when I was scrolled in typing them out, put once I scrolled out I noticed that you can't tread most of the letters.

Question's I have are:
Is there away to change all the fonts and or text colors at once? every one is still on it's own layer. when I try to grab one of the names I have already done I can't seem to select it? I click on the right layer and then the text tool, but can't seem to figure it out.
Does anyone know of some good tuts/web sites that can help me learn how to work with text in GIMP?

And while I'm on the subject of text, I was wondering if there is anyone out there that might be willing to design me a title.png to place in the upper left hand corner of my map? I have been searching the web look for ways to do text, but everything I find is way to complicated for my skill level, which when it comes to text is barely above zero. I have included a jpg of the basic text shape I would like the text to be in. As for font and the over all look, I'll leave that up to those of you who throw a bone my way with a map name logo.

@Jaxilon- Hope you noticed that your Assault Fortress's have a home in my world.


All comments welcome...

Thanks
Allan

Jaxilon
04-16-2010, 06:05 PM
Dude, that's awesome, I'm rockin a series of islands. That's quite an honor, thanks. I do think it's a miracle those ships ever made it that far but now that they have, I'm sure they will become the terror of the High Sea! LOL

Using text in Gimp is a bit of a pain. You might do better doing your labels in Inkscape or another Vector program. That's what I had to do when I wanted to create text on a curve. RobA helped me out on that if I recall correctly. I think it was on the thread where I made my first map but I could be wrong. I'll see if I can find it later when i have some time to dig.

As far as selecting a text that has already been created make sure you are on the right layer, then make sure you are using the text tool, it's the big "A" in the toolbox (duh, but you know how us beginners are :) ). Then you should be able to click or double click on the map where your text is and it will pop up a box you can type in or delete it, etc. I'm not sure if there is a way to select all the text you have done and change the font though in one swoop, even if they were all on the same layer.

Zar Peter
04-16-2010, 06:10 PM
Short reply with explanations (I hope): I really like the map, the trees and mountains and hills are great. Problem Text, it's not very good readable (as you have noticed yourself). Bigger problem: I fear you have to write it again.

Explanation: You can edit the text only if it's in a Text layer (in my example the red circle). If it's in a Text layer you can highlight it and change it (with the same button as you have written). If it's already in a normal layer (blue circle) you can't edit your text anymore, sorry. And you can't edit all at once because they are different layers.

Jaxilon
04-16-2010, 06:13 PM
Listen to Zar P, he's got it.

arsheesh
04-16-2010, 06:27 PM
Hello again A R. I do not know of any way of changing the color/font of all of the text layers all in one go. If you merged all of the layers together onto a single transparency level, then you could use the color select tool to select the text, and then change the color of the entire set of text at once. However you would no longer be able to use the text tool to manipulate the text at this point, so altering the size or font of the text is out. Although tedious, I think that your best option-if you want to preserve the ability to alter the text size or font-is simply to use the text tool to alter each text layer, one by one. You cannot do this simply by selecting the text tool and then clicking on any given area of your map that has text on it (this method only works if the text you have clicked on is in fact the active layer that you are working on). What you need to do is to find the text layer in your layers dialogue window, and then double click it. Once you've done this, the text window for that particular set of text will open, allowing you to work on it. Note that if you have already merged your text layers to any other layer, this option is no longer open to you. I hope that helps.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

A R Frost
04-16-2010, 06:28 PM
Bah, was hoping that wasn't the case. But no biggie I'll just do all my text in CorelDraw and save it as a .png(correct) and then place it in my GIMP map.

@Jaxilon- Only issues I'm having with the Assault Fortress's is the fact that steam power is a little advanced for my world. Maybe they have a few Gnomes held hostage that have designed the steam power system along with gun powder. Always wanted to add some blunderbuss to my game. I'll just have to keep tinkering with the ideas.

Thanks for the advise guys...

arsheesh
04-16-2010, 06:30 PM
Wow, guess I took so long in writing that this response has become obsolete!

arsheesh
04-16-2010, 06:53 PM
Well, as for your second question, I was in need of a study break so I decided to work on your map title. Here's what I've got, if you are interested, send me a private message with your email address and I'll send you the png file.

A R Frost
04-16-2010, 08:33 PM
Ok here is the version with the text and color changes.
For those of you who do hundreds of cities with nice text for there names, my hat is off to you people. Just normal types text is a pain in the butt...

It just needs a title logo and a legend box and it should be done for my first world map attempt.

Thanks to all who viewed it and helped fix the eye sore that it had in it.

Allan

A R Frost
04-16-2010, 09:44 PM
Ok
Here is the almost final version.
Thanks to arsheesh, for the kick ass title text. It fits in perfect.

I did a legend box for now, but like all of my stuff the text is horrible. One day I'll figure it out.

Thanks to everyone who helped...

Allan

Jaxilon
04-17-2010, 12:13 AM
Woot, I found the direction I was given by RobA to create labels in Gimp - especially if you need/want to put them on a path.


I make my entire map (or as much as I can) without labels, icons, etc in gimp.
I then do a save as to a jpg.
I import that jpg into inkscape, select the image, then size the canvas to fit the jpg. I lock the background layer (where the image is), and create new layers for things like city labels, rivers, titles, etc. I use layer visibility to reveal only the layer I want, and export it from inkscape as a png.
In gimp I use Open as Layer to bring in that png for final compositing (drop shadows/glows, etc.)

If I want to change text, I flip to my inkscape file and modify it there then delete the existing layer and again us Open as Layer.

When I know I'll do this a lot (like in my recent woodcut map) I used a linked layer set of scripts for gimp I reference here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?p=81481#post81481).

If there is interest, I can make a quick tut on it.

-Rob A>

I'm thinking he should make a tutorial as he said this wasn't the first time he's explained it when he told me. If you are not using Inkscape I'm fairly sure you can do the same thing with another vector program.

Jaxilon
04-17-2010, 12:29 AM
@Jaxilon- Only issues I'm having with the Assault Fortress's is the fact that steam power is a little advanced for my world. Maybe they have a few Gnomes held hostage that have designed the steam power system along with gun powder. Always wanted to add some blunderbuss to my game. I'll just have to keep tinkering with the ideas.


Wel, the other thought that I had was making that wheel on a gear works with a galley full of slave laborers or zealot Dwarfs all cranking away like mad. I imagined two chains with as many sprockets as you can fit down there, each with it's own seat. Would be seriously tough work but with a gear master there to shift the "machine" through it's paces you could have a decent little thing going. Naturally you would need a dwarf named "Lance Armstrong", hehe.

Diamond
04-17-2010, 12:46 AM
That's some pretty decent work; don't knock your abilities! Heck, we all gotta start somewhere, and your early efforts are certainly nothing to be ashamed of!

If I could change one thing about the text, it would be to add a thin 1-pixel black stroke around it to make it stand out a little more, and maybe additionally add a slight outer glow around the country names. I'm not sure if you have text effects like that in GIMP though, so if not, never mind. :D

Regardless, the whole thing looks very good. Repped!

arsheesh
04-17-2010, 02:17 AM
I agree with Diamond, you ought to give yourself a little more credit. I also think the border was a good choice, it compliments your map nicely.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Jaxilon
04-17-2010, 03:34 AM
It is coming along quite nicely. You could use a map scale to show how big this all is, if you wanted to add another thing to it.

You can make one yourself or if you like there is a script you can download for Gimp that does it for you. Found here (http://registry.gimp.org/node/16532).

I've used it since I figured out how to fill in the variables (that took me a bit of screwing around). I like to then tweak it and change things in gimp but it's a easy way to make a quick one.

FYI - There are lots of plug-ins for odd things in gimp as you will find out. Just make sure you save often as I've had some harrowing experiences not doing so.

A R Frost
04-17-2010, 04:05 PM
Ok, made a few more changes.
I added a outer glow to all the texts as Diamond suggested. Think it was a 100% improvement. I changed the red text to white, read a post last night talking about red text on a greenish background.
I also added some main roads throughout the map.

@Diamond- When I was talking about my work as horrible I meant my text work. I'm no Steel General, by any means but at least it somewhat looks like a map now compared to my first version. And I owe that to all you wonderful people who have taken the time to help me out.

@Jaxilon-First I need to add the scale and after I downloaded the scm file, I can't figure out how to open the function in GIMP. Can you throw me another bone, please.

Wel, the other thought that I had was making that wheel on a gear works with a galley full of slave laborers or zealot Dwarfs all cranking away like mad. I imagined two chains with as many sprockets as you can fit down there, each with it's own seat. Would be seriously tough work but with a gear master there to shift the "machine" through it's paces you could have a decent little thing going. Naturally you would need a dwarf named "Lance Armstrong", hehe.
I have a hard time visualizing sea going dwarfs that have advanced to that stage as being slave drivers, no matter how deserving the potential slaves are. Plus no Sea Captain of the Jaxilonian Assault Fleet worth his weight in salt would allow such vile creature aboard his gallant sailing vessel.

Here is The World of Milosha map in it's next stage.

Thanks
Allan

Jaxilon
04-17-2010, 04:22 PM
@Jaxilon-First I need to add the scale and after I downloaded the scm file, I can't figure out how to open the function in GIMP. Can you throw me another bone, please.

I have a hard time visualizing sea going dwarfs that have advanced to that stage as being slave drivers, no matter how deserving the potential slaves are. Plus no Sea Captain of the Jaxilonian Assault Fleet worth his weight in salt would allow such vile creature aboard his gallant sailing vessel.

Allan

It looks a ton better and much easier to read now too. Good changes.

I think the Legend box is a bit strong and overrides the actual map. If you have it on a separate layer you might try lowering the opacity on the box as I think that would allow you to see through it more. (If you want it to look like a big chunk of slate sitting on the map then I think you are fine.)

If you downloaded the .scm file and moved it to the correct directory in your gimp folders. It should tell you in the readme instructions but if not you want the /script folder. Anyway, in Gimp go to 'Filters>Render>Map Scale Legend' this will pop up a window for your variables. I had to experiment with them for a bit before I understood how it worked but it creates a little scale that you can then cut/paste and drop onto your map.

So maybe no slaves, just expand the Engine room and put one of yer elephants on a big wheel like a hamster. That should get you some power :)

A R Frost
04-17-2010, 04:51 PM
Added a map scale and toned down the text in the legend box.

Jaxilon
04-17-2010, 05:47 PM
Nice. I was thinking more of the background of the legend and making that more see through but it looks great so far.

A R Frost
04-17-2010, 09:57 PM
Here is the map with the legend box faded out some.

Jaxilon
04-17-2010, 10:10 PM
I think that is better. It doesn't feel like it sucks up my eye when I open the map. Instead I look at the lands.

A R Frost
04-18-2010, 05:34 AM
Messed with the land color a little bit more. I wanted it to look more green and vibrant, didn't really like a brown look that was going on. Also changed out the city/town icons.

rdanhenry
04-18-2010, 02:02 PM
This is looking good. However, I would replace that compass. It's pixelated and stands out as of lower quality than the rest of the map.

Ramah
04-19-2010, 08:39 PM
Not sure if this has been addressed earlier in the thread but I think your rivers need work. At the moment they seem to be a 50% opacity blue just drawn over the top and are totally uniform in thickness. I would suggest you make them opaque (if they are already opaque then I'd suggest changing the colour on them so that they don't look semi-transparent), and take a small eraser and move along them erasing parts of them so that they are thinner at the source than the outflow into the seas.

Another change I would make, although this is far more awkward to change would be the hills. The area called Runeshire for instance is totally filled with hills. It looks cramped and messy. I would suggest altering the way you do the hills so they aren't so completely crammed in together, or delete some so there are some gaps and maybe leave them not quite so close to the edge of the land.

Sorry if this sounds over critical. I actually do like your map and the landmass shapes are really nice. But I think with a little work it could look even better.

A R Frost
04-19-2010, 09:33 PM
Thanks for the ideas Ramah, I keep finding reasons not to redo the rivers like, "The sun is shinning" and "I should go look at someone elses map right now". lol I always seem to get sidetracked when it's time to redo them. As for the hills, they and the mountains, and the forests all have the same problem. When I was putting them into the map I would find another mistake and change layers to fix said mistake and forget to switch back to the correct layer. So to make what is a minor change I have to jump through major hoops. I wanted the hills to be closely packed areas. All three of the main hilly areas on rolling hills after rolling hills with thousands of halfling homes spread all throughout them.
I guess you can say I am being lazy with this map in some areas. After I get it finished enough for the needs of my game that starts this Sunday, I'll go back and fix the issues. I promise I'll even try to find the time this week.

A R Frost
05-08-2010, 02:09 PM
Here is my latest version. I added some names of some of the areas. I messed around with the rivers but can't seem to find a look that I like. I tried the tool that RobA made to redo my rivers but can't get it to give them the tapered look. They just end up having the same width from start to finish. The look they have now is horrible tried a inverted pillow emboss but ran out of time this morning, gonna try to mess with it tonight after work.
As someone who just started working again after almost five years my hat is off you folks with full time jobs that still produce awesome maps.
Still needs a lot of work but time isn't something I really have right now.

Any C&C is welcomed, God knows parts of my map can use it.

Thanks
Allan

PS: I know I need to change the compass as well, it's on my to do list. LOL, Never mind I guess I did change it and not even notice.

arsheesh
05-08-2010, 02:24 PM
Hi A.R. Regarding the tapered stroke path, I know this is going to sound like a silly question, but did you adjust the "Stroke End Width" to a smaller size than the "Stroke Start Width" (e.g. 1-2 pixels)? If so, then I'm not sure what the problem is. Otherwise your map is looking good.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

A R Frost
05-08-2010, 03:19 PM
Let me see if I can remember. I started with a stroke width of 5.0 and ended with a stroke width of 1.0. For example if you can find the Village of Oldroot, (It's just north of the Ethereal Coast). When I redrew that river that is just to the west of Oldroot using the 03 circle pencil and adjusted the paths so the new river would follow the route of the old and then applied the Tapered Stroke Path from the edit menu I was getting a river that was all the same width, from the Kunguzun Mountains down to the Ethereal Coast.

I have to redrawn all my rivers and lake again(no biggie) because I merged them all together and applied a G Blur to them. So I can't get them back to a normal straight line. I tried to erase parts like Ramah suggested but I can't do it that way with my damn hand shake. I end up erasing way to much of the line.

arsheesh
05-08-2010, 03:29 PM
OK, I think I know what the problem is now. you said that you drew the rivers in with the "Pencil" tool. Unless I'm mistaken here, you need to draw the river outlines using the "Paths" tool. This means that you will have several individual river paths (for each river, or segment of a river that you want to taper at a different width). You then apply the tapered stroke path to each of these paths (making sure that your rivers layer is selected). Hope that helps.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

A R Frost
05-08-2010, 03:54 PM
Ok I got it to work on one river. The one besides Oldroot. But every time I try to draw in another river with the path tool and apply the taper, it recreates the first river. Even tried a new layer for the second river. Do I need to do some think to "lock" the path before I start another river. Let me see if I can find RobA's thread.
And Thanks Arsheesh!!!! Huge help there...

A R Frost
05-08-2010, 04:02 PM
Tried it again on a new layer. It just continues to redo the path of the first river on the new layer. Any suggestions?

arsheesh
05-08-2010, 04:29 PM
You said you tried creating a new "layer", but did you try creating a new "path"? There will be a new path icon at the bottom left of the paths dialogue window. I found that I not only had to create a new path for each additional river, but also for each river segment that branched away from the main river.

A R Frost
05-08-2010, 10:11 PM
Thanks Arsheesh, you really helped me get it done correctly. May not be perfect but it looks a lot better. Now it's time to figure out how to make one of those killer compass that has the lines radiating from the center covering the whole map.

Again any C&C is always welcome...

Allan

arsheesh
05-08-2010, 10:22 PM
Glad to help, and it does look better than before (though I think they might be tapered just a bit more e.g. the end taper could be even smaller). As for the compass, I'd like to know how to do those myself; haven't gotten around to asking others yet since I haven't done a map with a large view of the sea. If you figure it out, I'd be curious to know how you did it.

Ghorgor Cram
05-09-2010, 01:19 AM
I for one, am impressed by 2 things. 1) The overall result especially for a first timer, I know my first map was far from looking this good and 2) Your impressive tenacity in not only asking precise questions but also in continually going back to your work in order to make it better inch by inch, step by step. This is very inspiring, have some rep.

Kudos

GC

A R Frost
05-09-2010, 03:50 AM
Started naming some of the rivers and other land areas. Think in time I will be redoing the way everything is named. Just don't like the look/feel that it currently has.

I also created my own version of the longitude and latitude lines. I know that they are not perfect but think they came out ok. I created it in CorelDraw and saved it as a .png. I had to erase the parts that went across the land. Don't ask why put several of my layers are way out of order. RobA would throw something at his computer if he had to look at the .xcf file for my map, its a huge mess, and done with many Allan created shortcuts because I couldn't figure out what the hell i was doing. lol

@ Arsheesh: Thanks for your help with the rivers. If you look closely you can see where I named a very important river in my gaming world after you. 8) Thanks.

As always C&C accepted!!!

Allan

arsheesh
05-09-2010, 11:43 AM
Wow cool, my very own river. Well whatever the case I like the new longitude and latitude lines, and the compass as well. They really help to complete this map. Great job on your first map A.R.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Hai-Etlik
05-10-2010, 06:44 PM
You probably don't want to hear this but that graticule (The "longitude and latitude lines") is REALLY screwy in several ways (Your compass rose is at one of the poles). I think you've confused the graticule and rhumb lines (Lines of constant bearing).

I'd suggest you remove the elliptical "parallels" and declare that the "meridians" were really rhumb lines all along. Better yet, add a few more radiating sets of rhumb lines. Try to arrange them so that you can follow paths between them across the sea: so you want them near promontories, major ports, or channels, and you'll want them to share lines with each other. Arranging them at the vertices of an octagon, hexadecagon, or tricontakaidigon was common as it let each share a line with each other convergent point.

These are examples of maps with rhumb lines: http://www.loc.gov/rr/european/guide/images/eu061001.jpg http://www.lunacommons.org/luna/servlet/detail/JCB~1~1~34~90004:By-the-discouerie-of-Sr-Francis-Dra