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Porklet
12-07-2007, 01:07 PM
First off, I am a novice map maker. I have never before created a map using software of any kind (not counting a rather tragic attempt using MS Paint). At present, I am gathering the tools I will need to build a world map, regional maps, interior blueprints, and city/town maps for a world I have imagined for quite some time. I have a few questions I need to answer before I get started.

I have access to the latest versions of GIMP (2.4.2) and Inkscape (0.45.1). I also have access to TurboCAD (a stunted version of AutoCAD).

I have recently been given an older version of Photoshop (4.0 to be exact). Is it worth my while to use it? Are there features and tools in the later versions that don't exist in 4.0 that are crucial to creating an artistic-style game map? Are there features and tools in 4.0 that I can't find in any other program (other than Photoshop, of course)? Do I need this old version of Photoshop at all?

I have experience with TurboCAD (not much), and part of my job is to create functional blueprints for homes. So I am fairly comfortable with that aspect of my overall goal. However, I don't know much about the capabilities of the other programs, and I don't want to waste time learning software that I am not going to use. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

pyrandon
12-07-2007, 02:08 PM
Hi, Porklet, and wlecome to the Grand and Munificent Hall of Cartographical Pursuits--otherwise known as, well, this web site. ;) (Okay, nobody really calls it that big name, but I'm starting a grassroots campaign to make our site's name a bigger mouthful. Why not?)

My advice would be to pursue GIMP for two reasons: first, updates are always free, and the most recent version is surely beyond PS 4.0 in power. Secondly, when combined with your CAD knowledge, you could learn to do amazing touch-ups and finishing effects in GIMP that would fulfill your desire for "artistic" maps.

Now, if you already know how to use PS, this advice would change, perhaps--especially if you plan to someday purchase a newer version of the software. Familiarity may ease your pains in the future. But if you do not know PS or GIMP, then I'd say do the latter; spend time learning not the dead-end, but instead the free program--and GIMP is a great program (as you can see from searching our site for maps made using it!!)

Inkscape would be good too, but I'd say use your CAD skills for now and spend your time learnign to fix CAD work up in GIMP. Later, expand to Inkscape.

I hope my ramblings help! Welcome once again to our site!

RPMiller
12-07-2007, 03:52 PM
I'll just say ditto. Oh, and welcome to the Guild!

Don's advice is exactly what I would have said.

RobA
12-07-2007, 04:11 PM
(Chiming in late)-

I'll agree with what they said (including welcome).

One question is what format Turbocad can export in? GIMP can pull in a lot of formats, but dxf is not one of them...

And throw up a map you've done!

-Rob A>

pyrandon
12-07-2007, 04:38 PM
...And throw up a map you've done!

Ewwwwww....messy! ;P

RPMiller
12-07-2007, 04:52 PM
See I wasn't going to say anything, but I'm not cleaning it up.

RobA
12-07-2007, 05:34 PM
Between my "retentive" issue in that other thread and now this, I think I need to start proofing better before hitting the submit button!

-Rob A>

RPMiller
12-07-2007, 05:48 PM
You speed submitter you... ;) :lol: We know what you mean. :D

Porklet
12-07-2007, 07:54 PM
Thanks for the welcome and the advice. I have already unpacked the new programs and started digging around in them.

I've been lurking around for a couple of weeks, but it was RobA's GIMP tutorial for artistic regional maps that pushed me over the edge (which was inspired by Pyrandon's city map tutorial). Like I said, I have never (successfully) created a map using software so I don't have anything to post, yet. When I finish the tutorial I'll vomit my results.

RPMiller
12-07-2007, 07:59 PM
I'm still not cleaning that up! :x

;):D:lol:

Porklet
12-07-2007, 08:02 PM
In answer to your (semi-)query TurboCAD can export as TurboCAD for Windows Bitmap (.bmp), Drawing Web Format (.dwf), TurboCAD for Windows 3-D Model File (.mdf), and the aforementioned .dxf format (amongst other less useful methods).