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Sharpe
06-27-2010, 11:31 PM
Hello!

Thanks for stopping by my first work-in-progress thread. :)

This is only my second map I've ever made on the computer. I'm not familiar with anything in regards to making maps on a computer, let alone my image editing software, GIMP.

The map is for a role-playing game. Right now, the game uses the map as the game board (just like any other pencil-and-paper RPG), but also has decks of cards. When your character finds one of the several treasure chest located around the maze, you draw a treasure card. The card might have a treasure, or, it might have a trap, in which case you must draw a trap card.

It's not a board game, though. It's a regular RPG played with regular rules (GURPS 4e). There are role-playing encounters and several monsters located around the maze. I just use the cards as a bookkeeping and time-saving method. Don't have to write down what's in every chest! There are also doors that can only be opened by specific magic keys found in the treasure chest (blue key to blue door, etc.).

Ignore the sandy area in the lower right. It will be a tiled white marble floor. I used a sand texture under my grass texture and used a light eraser on the grass texture to spice it up a bit.

There will be more chests and plants as well as statues and fountains and stuff. It's a long way from done. Most everything I have texture-wise is from RPGMapShare.com.

As for the black walls, I'm not 100% sure what I want to do. Perhaps I'll figure out how to make them hedges.

Well, thanks for looking!

-Sharpe

Sharpe
06-27-2010, 11:34 PM
Oh, and I forgot to mention that my first ever map can be found here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?9105-Tiny-Village-Made-With-My-Finger-on-Touchpad-in-MSPaint, and that this project started here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?10784-(Image-Included)-How-to-Make-Shadow-in-GIMP-for-Maze.

:)

Sharpe
06-28-2010, 04:16 AM
Okay, I think you can see where I'm going with this now.

I didn't notice how extremely hard on the eyes that grid was until I turned it off on accident! Turned that layer's opacity down to like 30.

tilt
06-28-2010, 05:32 AM
yeah... I've seen the shadow thread, nice to see it progress.. if you need a marble floor, check out the tiles in my signature :)

tilt
06-28-2010, 05:32 AM
ah... took so long to post that I didn't see map version 2 ;) and have some rep for your first WIP :)

Jaxilon
06-28-2010, 06:00 AM
Woot! It's coming along nicely now. Looks like we have another Gimper in the making. Shadows working and all that.

Applause for another Gurps player too :)

Without the grid is much easier on the eyes too.

Sharpe
06-28-2010, 02:28 PM
Thanks for the encouragement and rep. :)

Next time I do this, I'm going to make the image two or three times bigger. I just chose 1024x768 for no reason at all. I'd say 3000x3000 would make things much easier.

I've been using a lot of Dundjinni objects and would like my hex grid to print out at "1-inch." For one thing, the treasure chests are huge at this current low resolution.

What canvas/image size would you suggest?

Thanks!

tilt
06-28-2010, 03:33 PM
What you can do is this: Calculate from the printers size... so for instance A4 which my printer can handle is 21 x 29,7 cm .. then I subtract a cm for border leaving 19 x 27 cm (rounded down) or about 7 x 10 inches (rounded down again) - now I know the image will fit on my paper. Then I choose my resolution - 150 dpi is enough for a decent print - but as I'm used to working with professional printers, I usually go for 300 dpi.
7 x 10 inches at 300 dpi gives a document size of 2100 x 3000 pixels. :)

Sharpe
06-28-2010, 03:57 PM
Cool. Thanks! :)

Didn't do much today. I made all of the treasure chests the same as it looked like someone flying overhead dropped their luggage out of the plane's cargo hold. The chests are more like symbols for treasure now.

What I think I'm going to do with the hedge maze part of the labyrinth is select the walls, then grow the selection, then use Select>Distort. This will give me hedge like shapes for the walls when filled with dark green. But, it won't have little leaves. Anyone know how I could turn a hedge-shaped green blob into leaves?

Also, I'm looking for a top-down obelisk. Anyone have a link to one? I might just try to make my own. Not like they are all that complex. A square with a smaller square pyramid on top divided into four parts. :)

Thanks!

tilt
06-28-2010, 04:17 PM
try adding some noise to make leaves.. they are after all small ... or perhaps noise and a very slight motion blur

Sharpe
06-29-2010, 06:49 AM
Hey, you were right! HSV Noise (Along with a healthy amount of Bevel) did the trick! Thanks a lot! :D

Really starting to become something. I have to do the treasure chests over yet again because they were too big after I Grew my selection and Distorted it.

Obelisks and statues will really help the labyrinth's appearance, as will a fountain and pool. Not sure how I'm going to handle arches, if at all. Still don't know what I'm going to do about the lower-right walls either. They are maze walls just like the hedges but are made of stone blocks...

tilt
06-29-2010, 10:52 AM
I'd do arches with a small inwards curve towards the middle (high point), look at my bridge on Crows Feet (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?10441-Crows-Feet-A-Gnome-Bar-and-Brewery)

Sharpe
06-29-2010, 10:28 PM
Thanks. I'll probably do that, and whatever I do will probably be "hand" drawn. Maybe two circles on each side (like pillars) supporting the arch, which will be slightly "fatter" where it rests atop the columns, then get a bit skinnier in the center as you suggest. Probably lay a texture of white marble on the pieces, then hit it all with a bevel. After that, slap it with a motion blur/fill/guassian blur shadow and call it good.

In addition to the arches, of which there will only be about four or so, there will be pillars topped with spheres and tall obelisks with longer shadows.

After all that, I'll probably be figuring out how to do some pools of clear water. Probably cut out a hole in the grass texture, then slide a rock or sand-bottom pond-like texture layer under that, then top that texture off with a water texture layer at light opacity.

If anyone's wondering what that caged cistern is at the bottom in the center, there's no easy way to get through the bars but it opens to an underground maze of caverns. When the players open the first (east) red door, a loud rumbling bellows from below and a plume of fire erupts from the well. When the fire dies down, a fire elemental is left standing on the cage. It guards the second red door for which there is no key; it opens when the guardian is slain.

The labyrinth is really huge. It encompasses mountain ranges, forests, grassy plains, rivers and lakes, villages, towns, and castles. But, much of the labyrinth -- probably more than 85% of it -- is wide open with no maze. The labyrinth's denizens, for the most part, act as ground keepers for the maze. Most live in the villages or forests and just visit their local mazes. Pixies, nymphs, fauns, centaurs, elves, dwarves, gnomes, and other sylvan creatures care for their mazes.

There is also a powerful sorcerer that inhabits one of the castles in the labyrinth. He's set up a wide area as his kingdom. His monstrous minions patrol his mazes and generally attack any outsiders they meet. For entertainment, the sorcerer captures or lures people from the outside world into his labyrinth to compete for wealth and their freedom. He also enslaves the labyrinth's denizens to work in his mines, and for that, the peace-loving sylvan natives have declared war on him. Recently, they, too, have began enlisting outsiders for help.

So, the campaign is heavily influenced by Jim Henson's The Labyrinth with a lot of references to Alice in Wonderland and even the original Super Mario Bros Nintendo game from the 80's. :)

tilt
06-30-2010, 02:42 AM
sound like a fun place to be ;)

Sharpe
07-01-2010, 12:38 PM
I don't know if I'm all that happy with the results, but I can't imagine a better way to go about it.

http://i852.photobucket.com/albums/ab84/Sharpe103/GURPS/Labyrinth11.jpg

jfrazierjr
07-01-2010, 12:55 PM
Looks pretty good. Why not have the hedge plantings growing up beside the adjoining walls? And perhaps even in places growing over the top of the walls (ala vines).

Steel General
07-01-2010, 04:22 PM
This is really starting to come together nicely.

Sharpe
07-01-2010, 06:55 PM
Looks pretty good. Why not have the hedge plantings growing up beside the adjoining walls? And perhaps even in places growing over the top of the walls (ala vines).
I see where you're going. It would help show that the walls are indeed part of an outside maze of walls and not walls inside, say, a castle. I plan on adding end posts to many (if not most or all) of the walls so that the cast shadow will help in that regard as well.

The hedges are below the walls layer. I could move it up and see how it looks. :)

But, right now, ivy is probably beyond my ability to construct. Any suggestions?

Keep in mind that this image is only 1024x768. My poor little 2005 laptop can't quite do much higher. It's hard to get much detail in at this small of a resolution and reducing objects in size really makes them take a hit in terms of quality. Some things just don't look very good when scaled down so far.


This is really starting to come together nicely.
Thanks! :)

Sharpe
07-01-2010, 08:45 PM
I need to strech the map from 1024x768 to 1024x1024. I'm at work and don't have access to GIMP. How can I do this? Is there just a simple stretch option?

Sharpe
07-02-2010, 02:13 AM
I need to strech the map from 1024x768 to 1024x1024. I'm at work and don't have access to GIMP. How can I do this? Is there just a simple stretch option?

Scratch that. I hit the scale image and it looked horrible. I hate that the dang thing is so far off. Might ruin it for me...

jfrazierjr
07-02-2010, 08:32 AM
But, right now, ivy is probably beyond my ability to construct. Any suggestions?
I didn't mean ivy specifically, just in a few places where have the hedge grow over the top of the wall it adjoins, but don't over do it...

Gidde
07-02-2010, 09:54 AM
This is looking really good; the only suggestion I'd make is to make your hedge-gate (currently bright green) wood or metal. The bright green is a little jarring.

Sharpe
07-02-2010, 08:28 PM
As of right now, I've decided to try to find an old image with just the black and white maze and start completely over. I don't think it will be too terribly hard, but I'm cringing to think about it. I'll be able to copy and paste some of the stuff, though. But, the gap between the north-south walls being about 30% smaller than the gap between the east-west walls is really causing problems. Plus, the hex grid is that far off, and that really bugs me.

I'll also use this opportunity to increase the resolution from 1024x768 to 2000x2000 and 72 dpi to 300 dpi.

If I can't find an old enough image... I don't know. I really don't want to trash this project, but I'm just very unhappy with this issue.


This is looking really good; the only suggestion I'd make is to make your hedge-gate (currently bright green) wood or metal. The bright green is a little jarring.
:D

It will be an arch supported by columns similar to the ones in the latest image, as will the blue and red doors.

Sharpe
07-03-2010, 01:47 PM
Started over...

2000x2000x300dpi. Changed the layout a bit.

tilt
07-05-2010, 02:45 AM
good luck with beginning again.. . at least you know the drill ;) ... and sometimes you just know that its the right thing to do :)
by the way, the 300 dpi setting is only "working" in relation to printing, as long as its on screen it will always be the screens resolution that decides how big the map is (ie 2000 x2000 pixels). In theory you could say that the 300 dpi is irellevant as even if you choose to make the map at 1 dpi the map would still be 2000 x 2000 pixels. But its good for checking how big the map would be if printed and for importing to other programs in its "right" size :)

Jaxilon
07-05-2010, 03:01 AM
On the bright side, doing things over will help you remember and even find better ways to do them. At least that's been the case for me. Also, you said something about moving hedges up a layer or something along those lines and I just wanted to make sure you do know how to play with the layers options and do things like: Overlay, multiply, Hard Light, etc? The more I use Gimp the more I'm getting into layers. It's my way to keep crap from getting all bungled up. I then save a .png file whenever I want a copy for uploading etc.

You probably knew this but I know you are still learning the Gimp so I figured just in case.

Anyway, based on how the last one was going I look forward to seeing you get this one completed.

ravells
07-05-2010, 04:03 AM
I don't think anyone has mapped a proper maze at the guild before. I really like the contrast between the stone and the grass. Lovely work.

tilt
07-05-2010, 12:41 PM
yep.. layers are an integral part of photoshop too - eventhough I do remember when I started with photoshop there was only 1 layer - yep, one saved A LOT!
Now, I somehow always end up with 100+ layers :)

Sharpe
07-05-2010, 04:30 PM
Thanks for the encouragement, guys! :)


Also, you said something about moving hedges up a layer or something along those lines and I just wanted to make sure you do know how to play with the layers options and do things like: Overlay, multiply, Hard Light, etc?
No, I have no idea what any of those things are... :(

RobA
07-05-2010, 06:04 PM
But, right now, ivy is probably beyond my ability to construct. Any suggestions?

Use the default ivy brush shrunk down and just paint it somewhat randomly in places where the hedge hits the walls.

-Rob A>

RobA
07-05-2010, 06:05 PM
And if you want to redo your hex grid consider my hex grid script: http://registry.gimp.org/node/15852

-Rob A>

Sharpe
07-06-2010, 01:37 PM
Hey, Rob, that's an awesome script! I'll certainly make heavy use of that! That was my first time installing a script, too.

Thanks! :)