View Full Version : Good Morning Everybody.

09-10-2010, 11:37 AM

I wound like to take a moment to say hello. My name is Gimpster and I am preparing to embark on my first foray in to the role of GM which has left me not being satisfied with the selection of maps that are currently available for download at a reasonable price for us poor unemployed starving students. It's not that the number of maps or the quality f maps are poor just that even for my first adventure none quite fit as well as I would like. In an effort to remedy that I have come to join you and learn the tricks of the trade so that I can start to build a database or collection of maps for others like myself who are looking for a better fit with their adventures. It's nice to met you all.


P.S. Can some one point me in the right direction to get started?

09-10-2010, 11:55 AM
You've certainly come to the right place to learn how to make maps. First decide what application you will be using. From your name it sounds like perhaps you use 'The Gimp' but in any case check out the Tutorial section. There you will find lots of tutorials you can learn from and in most cases the writer of the tutorial is around here somewhere and can help if you get stuck.

Have fun!

Aval Penworth
09-10-2010, 11:59 AM
Oh Wow, you have a wonderful adventure ahead of you as a GM. I am almost envious.

So are you looking at creating your own maps from scratch, adapting or "adopting"...:)

09-10-2010, 12:31 PM
Welcome to the Guild! Check out the tutorials and don't be afraid to ask for advice. You have any thoughts about what you're going to try to map first?

09-10-2010, 01:34 PM
And if you ARE using gimp, but have no idea as to how to go about using it for mapping, I cannot recommend RobA's Regional Map tut enough as a stating point. There are sooooo many ppl who have starting by using that tut who are now producing AMAZING maps, that I am sure that you will be well on you way. Check the other tuts out as well, 'cause you never know what technique will jump out and grab ya.

Once you start on a map, put up a WIP thread to show your progress and to recieve very helpful comments and critiques. Trust me, do not be shy to ask about any difficulties or questions you may have on your project. We are a friendly bunch here and try our best to make you a great (if not awesome) mapper. Just remember that it is YOUR map, so use the suggestions that will come and see what suits Your vision of it. We all started somewhere and it usually was not at the top of the game ;) so don't be shy about posting your work as it progresses.

And all that was a long winded way of saying "Welcome to the Guild, the Mappiest place on the web"

09-10-2010, 02:14 PM
Aye, welcome! And I also recommend starting a WIP. It's the best shortcut there is to learning your software, and can knock hours and hours off the learning curve.

09-10-2010, 02:46 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome.

I am using Gimp but I acquired my name long before I ever discovered the program. For the most part I am planing to build maps from scratch when I can not find one that will work for my application. Mostly encounter areas with some overland, regional and city/town maps as I need them. I have a few which I have already been working on. I will attach them to this thread for some initial feed back. My fist goal is to learn the tools and techniques, then start to build a sets of generic encounter areas for public use. After that I may try and put together a complete campaign setting for people to use. This will a hobby for now to keep me distracted.

Here is the first encounter map I am working on, River Crossing 1a (http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=29099&d=1284140482), still a work in progress, maybe a few hours in to this one. 40x40 at 50 pixels per in. Would love some feed Back.

Steel General
09-10-2010, 03:03 PM
Welcome Aboard!

09-13-2010, 09:40 AM
Well, Gimpster, I think your WIP is well on its way but I do have a few points. I understand that you are still working on it, but I am still a bit confused as to where the crossing is to be. It LOOKS like you want the crossing to be done at a bridge to be placed where the river bank is darkest. In that case I will assume that you are going to be darkening the rest of the river bank as well. I say this because it seem like the only place i wouldn't cross is at that location. The rest of the banks look much easier to navigate.

Another thing that i noticed is that as a battlemap, there does not seem to be much in the way of cover. It appears to consist of small shrubs, grass and dirt. I would suggest adding some trees or large rock formations if you want it it be more barren. The rock could be showing through a very thin earth layer that limits large plant growth. Just give the rocks some height and add one or two trees to give some sort of visual clues to scale and you would be good.

I also must say that i am not really a fan of the water texture and colour that you are using for the river. It does look like it would be a good texture for a bump map on a bluer color. If you go that route, I would say that it would be a very fast moving river (ie: steep and shallow over a rough bed) and I would make the sides nor rocky.

All that, and I still say it looks good so far. just keep an eye on the scale of the drawing and try to math the textures that you use to fit that scale. I know that is still a WIP so you are still working on it, and feel free to ignore my suggestions if you have already thought of them of they make no sense to what you want. I wouls also further suggest that you post this WIP in the Battlemap WIP thread else where in the Guild. You will get MUCH better response to it than having it buried in an intro thread. Not everybody come to look at these, but most will look at the WIP threads.

And once again, another sever/terminal case of longwindedness. ;)

09-13-2010, 10:35 AM
Welcome to the Guild!

09-13-2010, 08:00 PM
Welcome to the guild!

09-14-2010, 11:18 AM
Welcome to the Guild!!

09-15-2010, 02:59 PM

Thank you for the input. I still have a lot to learn for sure. The darkness was to represent an increase in elevation for allow for the clearance for a bridge to be placed over a fast moving stream which would be more difficult to try and ford, but I see your point.

The maps lacks cover items because as you assumed they have not yet been added. I was not happy adding in every single rock, bush and tree one at a time in layer upon layer from mapping object files and instead added them in using Map-Tool. Since then I have started to embrace d20Pro which lacks the same map building robustness and am starting to learn other techniques for adding those elements in Gimp.

The river/stream did not come out as I would have liked. I was trying to go for a more photo realistic look and most rivers and streams I have seen are not blue, but I defiantly need to work on that more. It's just not right yet. I would agree that the water in battle maps does need to be more stylized then my current attempt.

The texture scale is defiantly in need of some scaling. I either need to double the size of the image or scale the textures down by a factor of 2 to make them fit the drawing scale better.

09-15-2010, 07:41 PM
I actually like the appearance of the stream, but I agree with Korash that the crossing point looks like the place where the crossing would be most difficult. Generally, darker is interpreted as lower or deeper, particularly with water.

That said, it's certainly worth clearly stylizing your water so that there is no doubt about whether a character is standing in the stream or not, since that will likely make a difference to combat rolls.

Anyway, you're off to a great start!