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Eurypon
05-12-2010, 10:11 AM
Hi,

I go by Eurypon, but you can call me Eury (everybody does).

I am writing a long, long story in a fantasy Medieval-like setting. You can find it here:

http://pics.livejournal.com/eurypon/pic/0000eedz (http://www.ximerion.com/index.php/dark-tales/book-i-the-invisible-chains)

(A warning maybe: although the main story is one of political intrigue and impending war, there are a lot of gay characters and some graphic scenes. So, please, be legal where you live before you venture into Ximerion and neighboring countries.)

Originally it was supposed to be some twenty chapters long, but I am now at chapter 39 (300 000+. words) and only two thirds into... Book I. There are literally over a hundred characters and dozens of countries, cities, towns, counties, duchies, rivers, passes, mountain ranges, forests and so on.

If you care to take a look, you will see I tried to provide my readers with some maps. They were made with my meager Inkscape-skills and some free map-symbols I found here and there. My graphical skills are not very high, as you will notice.

Just like my main character, I love maps -- I thought it was just another way in which I was weird. So, I'm really excited to have stumbled upon this community and I hope to find tips (and textures, and symbols and so on) to spruce up my maps.

Antheon
05-12-2010, 10:25 AM
Welcome to the Guild, Eury!

As a fellow writer I'll gladly take a look at your story as soon as I'm not running out of time. You'll find here everything you need, may it be symbols, textures or help. Take a look at the Quickstart Guide to Fantasy Mapping (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?6037-Quickstart-Guide-to-Fantasy-Mapping.) and start a work-in-progress thread so we can provide you with feedback and such. I'm looking forward to see some maps. : )


Antheon
continuing work on his own story

Eurypon
05-12-2010, 10:43 AM
Thanks for the advice, Antheon.

I've been looking around for about twenty minutes... and now I'm thoroughly depressed. So many beautiful maps... I don't even know where to start... :)

Note: I'm on a Linux system, so for me it's the GIMP and Inkscape.

tilt
05-12-2010, 11:28 AM
Hi Eury, welcome to the guild - don't be depressed - we all have to start somewhere - and what better place to start than here :)

ravells
05-12-2010, 01:14 PM
Welcome to the Guild! Do be sure to check out the tutorials section! We have a lot of tutorials for Gimp and many for photoshop which can be done equally well in Gimp. Only a very few inkscape tutorials though.

arsheesh
05-12-2010, 02:51 PM
Welcome Eurypon! I was totally awed and intimidated by the beautiful artwork of the Guild when I first arrived here as well. I had absolutely no prior working knowledge of GIMP, Photoshop, Inkscape, or any other mapping software. Yet after checking out some of the tutorials, and through the help of many here, I learned how to create a decent digital map. So let this be an encouragement to you. If I can do it, then so can you. My advice, download GIMP and Inkscape, pick a tutorial you like and start going through it step by step. Then throw up a WIP so that you can receive advice and corrective feedback. Look forward to seeing more of you here at the Guild.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Eurypon
05-12-2010, 06:44 PM
Hi, tilt, ravells and arsheesh, thanks for the kind words.
However, I'm on Linux Ubuntu and I've worked with the GIMP and Inkscape for a few years now. Just haven't had the time to thoroughly learn the progs beyond what I needed at the moment.
Further, I'm mainly a writer, though I think the presentation, layout, typography and of course the maps are very important too. The poor excuses for maps I have now on my website (e.g. the one in this chapter link (http://www.ximerion.com/index.php/dark-tales/book-i-the-invisible-chains/chapter-2-the-ways-of-the-house-of-tanahkos)) were thrown together :) with Inkscape and some free svg's.
As soon as my next chapter is finished I'm going to start uploading the rough map I have now and start trying out some tutorials... :?
In the mean time I'll be drooling once in a while over the other maps here... :roll:

NeonKnight
05-12-2010, 07:02 PM
Welcome to the Guild!

Steel General
05-13-2010, 08:06 AM
Welcome Aboard!

Eurypon
05-13-2010, 10:39 PM
Thanks, NeonKnight & Steel General. Glad to be on board.

So, I uploaded some maps (if you can call them that) in an album called Ximerion on my profile.

First of all: don't tell me they're crap. I know they are. :)

As I already said, I'm mainly a writer, but I felt I needed some maps to help the reader visualize where he was.

At the time I chose Inkscape because it let me scale things to my heart's desire and every element is a separate object that can be manipulated and placed where I want it.

I chose to make a map of the "whole world" and zoomed in as necessary.

My question is obvious: where do I go from here? Should I start over from scratch? What are my basic options?

Immolate
05-13-2010, 10:51 PM
It's funny, when I first got here a year ago, it was by chance. I saw one map in the featured maps section by Ramah and was completely blown away. I thought it I ever managed to produce anything half that good, it would be worth any amount of hard work.

Now, after a year, I realized that producing something a quarter as good was a pretty ambitious goal!

I jest, but in all seriousness, you will be surprised to find out just how quickly you can learn to do good, solid maps beyond the ability of anyone who isn't either an artist or a member of this site.

Welcome to the guild!

tilt
05-14-2010, 03:48 AM
I had a look at your maps, and I won't tell you they are crap - quite the opposite - they are maps! Yes, they could be made in thousands more realistic looking styles, but they do what they are supposed to do - convey the message! And in clean crisp colors and lines too - so kudos for that :)
Now, if you want more - and I'm guessing you will - then go to the tutorials section and look for a tutorial describing the style that you like, and try it.. and ask for help, cause you'll get it :)

Eurypon
05-14-2010, 07:46 AM
I jest, but in all seriousness, you will be surprised to find out just how quickly you can learn to do good, solid maps beyond the ability of anyone who isn't either an artist or a member of this site.

Welcome to the guild!

I'm sure I will. Thanks.



I had a look at your maps, and I won't tell you they are crap - quite the opposite - they are maps! Yes, they could be made in thousands more realistic looking styles, but they do what they are supposed to do - convey the message! And in clean crisp colors and lines too - so kudos for that :)
Now, if you want more - and I'm guessing you will - then go to the tutorials section and look for a tutorial describing the style that you like, and try it.. and ask for help, cause you'll get it :)

I'm going to follow your advice of course. Meanwhile I uploaded a screenshot of my latest effort (http://www.cartographersguild.com/album.php?albumid=239&attachmentid=24767). Basically it's the same region, but I went away from the sharp lines and gaudy colors. Also, the screenshot is "in context" i.e. like it appears for the moment on my website (http://www.ximerion.com/) (Dark Tales - Chapter 39), with a little bit of the text included.

If you'd like to take a look... I'm always interested in your opinion and I'm curious if this is progress or not.

And thanks again.

tilt
05-14-2010, 08:18 AM
I would say the sharp lines stod out more :) ... but, give your self some time and you should probably work on a bigger document so you have space to work :)

Sigurd
05-14-2010, 01:27 PM
You obviously have an imagination and a need for maps. Those are the prerequisites, I'd say.


I looked at your maps. It looks like you had a goal for each of them and there's some variation in approach. Hey, they worked for you when you made them. :)

I wouldn't rush the next map. Try following the work of other members who use Gimp and read a few tutorials. Your maps look like you have the skills not the tools - the tutorials will acquaint you with the tools quickly.

Welcome to the Guild. Its good to have more people that don't use Windows - another target for Linux Questions 8)



Sigurd

Eurypon
05-15-2010, 11:46 AM
@tilt

I'm obviously still trying to find my 'groove'. :)



You obviously have an imagination and a need for maps. Those are the prerequisites, I'd say.


I looked at your maps. It looks like you had a goal for each of them and there's some variation in approach. Hey, they worked for you when you made them. :)

I wouldn't rush the next map. Try following the work of other members who use Gimp and read a few tutorials. Your maps look like you have the skills not the tools - the tutorials will acquaint you with the tools quickly.

Welcome to the Guild. Its good to have more people that don't use Windows - another target for Linux Questions 8)



Sigurd

@Sigurd

Thanks for the generous comment.

I think you're both right. I'd probably better first have a look around.

I'm so in trouble though. I face a major battle, well, my characters do and as battles tend to be confused and confusing I will at least need some schematic maps of which units are where at any given time... But they're only little colored blocks, right? Right? :?

Oh, and if I can help some fellow-Linux users: gladly. I'm not exactly a specialist but I do have some limited knowledge & about five years experience.
(My OS is Ubuntu 9.10 (waiting a few weeks to upgrade to 10.04), I use Gnome because I think it's more Zen :), so I know next to nothing about KDE and I use compiz because I like the bling, the cube and wobbly windows.)

tilt
05-15-2010, 12:13 PM
we once did a battle with an index card for each "force" on the map - so we moved the index cards around, and they had some combat statistics.. but the players jobs where to take out the oposition general, so we crossed the battle, rolled some dices for the big battle, and fought our own little one on the side of the big one :)

Aenigma
05-15-2010, 01:59 PM
This has raised my attention since I'm a writer myself :D You seem to be doing a great job!