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darklingrisen
03-30-2011, 05:49 PM
I've lurked on the tutorial forums for a while, learning the tricks of the trade, and I figured I should try and give something back.

I really like the old-school style maps using not-to-scale graphical representations of objects of interest. I've adapted a number of the ideas I learned on these forums to develop a quick and easy technique for making this style map in my open source graphics software of choice, the GIMP. I wrote up a tutorial and attached it as a PDF. Running through the tutorial should take 1-2 hours (depending on your familiarity with the program) and you'll wind up with a map like the Sample map attached. Once you've got your brushes made and the technique down, you can churn out maps very quickly - the Sample map took me 15 minutes to make from a blank canvas. If you spend more time you can make much nicer maps using the same techniques.

The tutorial is written so someone completely new to GIMP can start using it to make maps. A more experienced user can easily get by with just skimming the highlights. The most important portion is the creation of the animated brushes and correctly tuning their spacing.

A caveat - these maps are not (nor are they meant to be) strictly geographically accurate. You'll notice the sample map doesn't have so much as a compass rose, let alone a scale bar. They're meant to give a general representation of an area. This is sufficient for some purposes and not for others. I use them as RPG handouts to give players an idea of their immediate area. It is of course not difficult to adapt these techniques towards the production of more accurate maps.

Gidde
03-30-2011, 07:55 PM
Welcome, yay for delurking and with a tut no less! Have some rep :)

Tigon
03-30-2011, 08:52 PM
Amen to that and thanks for introducing me to the creation of animated brushes in GIMP. You've just provided me with what I need for a WIP I'm toying with for a friend:
34740

I'll add some rep too, although I'm sure Gidde's carries somewhat more weight. ;)

Vandy
03-31-2011, 07:27 AM
Hi, All.

darklingrisen's tutorial is now linked in the Tutorials in PDF Format (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?4987-Tutorials-in-PDF-Format) thread.

It can be found on Page 1, in the GIMP-RELATED TUTORIALS section of Post 2.

Enjoy.

Regards,

Vandy

ravells
03-31-2011, 07:39 AM
I missed this one. Great tutorial Darlklin and detailed enough so that someone new to Gimp and pick it up and go with it. I'll be adding this one to the quick start mapping guide.

Thanks and repped!

Ravs

jfrazierjr
03-31-2011, 09:35 AM
Amen to that and thanks for introducing me to the creation of animated brushes in GIMP. You've just provided me with what I need for a WIP I'm toying with for a friend:
34740

I'll add some rep too, although I'm sure Gidde's carries somewhat more weight. ;)

Decent looking start Tigon... post up a WIP thread if this is more than a throwaway. I have a few initial thoughts...

darklingrisen
03-31-2011, 12:58 PM
Thanks for the support, everyone.

Tigon, I agree - animated brushes should make that map go much faster. I'd also provide some more detailed advice, but I gather a WIP thread is the place for such discussion.

Tigon
04-01-2011, 04:13 AM
Aye, been a bit busy and away from the home laptop (where I'm doing the work). Will start a WIP thread this evening hopefully. Thanks for the pointers Darkling, much appreciated, and I look forward to yours jfrazierjr.

darthbutternutz
04-06-2011, 03:40 PM
Great tutorial! You're is the first tutorial that I have followed from this site. Been lurking here for a while as well :)
This is what I made...
http://images.virtualretrovertigo.com/remus/crosswarren_region.png

AlexTna
06-27-2011, 05:27 PM
Very nice tutorial, perfect for a new guy like me. I have one question though : How do I color my houses all in one color? I tried in 2 separate maps to paint them like i paint mountains sides and roads, but using the same procedure i get a round brush color blop. I fill them with the bucket tool but its not colored the same, there remain white spots.
Also wanted to ask you what is the easiest method of making coastlines and maybe a patterned water effect in this style of map making.
Thank you again for the great tutorial!

Alak
07-18-2011, 06:20 AM
I just finished this tutorial, the results is cool i didn't think that i could do something like this but your tuto is really easy to follow!

Thanks!

PeterRJG
07-26-2011, 10:05 AM
Firstly, thanks for this tutorial. It was easy to follow and I had fun making the various brushes. I adapted it to a pre-existing map I had and drew on top of it. It's almost complete, I'm just not 100% about doing text on curves in GIMP yet, as I come from a Paint Shop Pro background where doing them is fairly straightforward.

Anyhow, here's my 95% finished map - the southern section of the Three Rivers continent, which is the setting for a number of stories I've written and am writing.

37353

Kanti
12-14-2011, 08:11 AM
Thank you. I used this tutorial to learn to make a map in GIMP. I'm not computer literate and your tutorial was very easy for me to follow. I did have one issue, I could never get the names to curl right like yours. In the end I just wrote them onto the map in a text layer without trying to get them to curl.

JeskaGrace
12-15-2011, 11:27 PM
Yesterday, in a fit of worldbuilding, I joined this site and downloaded GIMP. This tutorial has been really useful, both with ideas for maps, and in getting to know my way around GIMP. Thank you!

Spiral Thoughts
04-02-2012, 10:04 PM
Much appreciation for this tutorial. The tone of the tutorial was welcoming and supportive.

However, I am confused on two parts. :?:

On page 12 of 22, the tutorial says:
"Now go to Select->Select by Color and choose one of your black lines. Little moving selection lines should show up around every like you just make. Now go to Select → Shrink... and choose 3 pixels. This will make the selected area shrink by 3 pixels from every edge. Now choose the bucket fill tool and fill in all of the selected areas with white. This will make your roads nice, parallel lines with an organic hand drawn feel."

I did as you said . . . but once I was finished, I couldn't figure out how to deselect the roads without completely deleting them. That is one area where I am having trouble.

My next issue came with the Paths step (page 15 of 22). It says in the tutorial:
"Using this tool, click once on either side of the town you want to label. This should produce a thin line, a path, across the town. Now click on the middle of the path and pull up. You should see the path bend into a curve. Try to get this curve to be where you would like the text to appear near your town. Once your curve is acceptable, select Layer → Text along Path. This will cause the path you made to contort into the shape of the name you just typed."

I placed the two purple dots on either side of the text and pulled up in the middle as it said . . . but that only created a purple fuzzy thing off to the left . . . it stared at me. I was frightened :o.

And I'm sure once these obstacles have been corrected, I will delve further into the tutorial and come back further confused. 8) I'm just cool like that.

Thank you to anyone who can help me!

the bane
04-27-2012, 09:42 PM
Wow, awesome Tut. But for the life of me I can't figure out how to make the brushes bigger or smaller! They are 400x400 pxs and even when I start with a map that is 4000x4000 pxs, the brushes are bigger than I want. Can someone help a GIMP noob?

Gidde
04-30-2012, 06:11 PM
What you need is the scale slider (or the input box) in the Tool Options dialog. This is what it looks like:

Quin
05-09-2012, 12:48 AM
Thanks so much for your tutorial! It really can be done by novices. This is my first map ever, and I think it's actually decent.

44671

RSIxidor
07-18-2012, 12:27 AM
I am having a good time reading through this tutorial, but I'm having issues right during building the mountain brushes. It looks to be really useful for what I need to do.

I'm using GIMP 2.8 on Windows.

Whenever I try to use the brush after saving it, it only uses a single cell instead of randomizing between the cells.

EDIT: I missed the ranks setting.

RSIxidor
07-18-2012, 04:45 PM
I am having a good time reading through this tutorial, but I'm having issues right during building the mountain brushes. It looks to be really useful for what I need to do.

I'm using GIMP 2.8 on Windows.

Whenever I try to use the brush after saving it, it only uses a single cell instead of randomizing between the cells.

EDIT: I missed the ranks setting.

So now I'm stuck on the text.

Whenever I try the "text along path" part it does this:

46694

What did I do wrong?

Mercutio361
08-09-2012, 12:58 AM
Thanks for the great tutorial! It's the first one I've tried on here so far, and it was a huge help in getting my newb self started with map-making.

AaFen
08-09-2012, 02:18 AM
I... I think I love you... *snif*

TheKoalaNxtDoor
08-12-2012, 07:36 PM
Hello! This is my first post in this forum, mostly because I really needed to make a nice world map for a DnD campaign i'll be running for my friends. I only just installed the latest version of the GIMP, so I am about as new to the program as they come. This tutorial seemed simple and easy to make a nice map, and I started right away. However, as soon as I completed making my mountains brush, I ran into a problem. I went to the top left corner of the screen, clicked "Save as" and the named the brush Mountains Tall.gih, as instructed. In the Select File_Type slot, i put down Gimp brush (animated), but in the folders option, there wasn't a spot for brushes. Just pictures, documents, desktop, ect. I browsed for such a folder but could not find one. I tried making a brushes folder, but no matter what I do, the brush Mountains (Tall) does not show up in my brushes dialogue. I don't want to be a bother, and sorry if i am, but I am just really confused here. It's entirely possible I am just skipping over the neccessary step when it's right in front of me, as I am as green as they come with this program. Please help, and sorry for being so clueless.

HBrown
08-14-2012, 01:34 PM
<snip> I went to the top left corner of the screen, clicked "Save as" and the named the brush Mountains Tall.gih, as instructed. In the Select File_Type slot, i put down Gimp brush (animated), but in the folders option, there wasn't a spot for brushes. Just pictures, documents, desktop, ect. I browsed for such a folder but could not find one. <snip>

They changed the UI for saving stuff between 5.6 and 5.8. I don't have 5.8 on the machine I'm on right now, so I can't verify this, but you might try File->Export

Catfish
08-21-2012, 02:18 PM
They changed the UI for saving stuff between 5.6 and 5.8. I don't have 5.8 on the machine I'm on right now, so I can't verify this, but you might try File->Export
I can verify this. I recently started making a map with this technique, and this worked for me. Everything else is right when it comes to animated brushes, just use Export instead of Save.

I did run into another unfortunate problem on the new version of gimp. When saving a brush as .gbr (which the author recommends for houses), only the top layer of the brush will be saved. So it's probably a better choice just to save them as .gih, or save each individual building as separate brushes.

Anyway, very helpful tutorial. I'll be posting my map once it's all finished.

RobA
08-21-2012, 11:01 PM
I did run into another unfortunate problem on the new version of gimp. When saving a brush as .gbr (which the author recommends for houses), only the top layer of the brush will be saved. So it's probably a better choice just to save them as .gih, or save each individual building as separate brushes.

That is not new. .gbr is "gimp brush" and has always only supported single images. Greyscale images will create a gimp brush where the grey level equals brush transparency, and will paint in whatever the foregound colour is. RGBA images will paint exactly as they are created.

.gih is "gimp image hose" and is the format needed to create brushes containing multiple images that vary by direction, randomly, alternately, etc. The greyscale and RGBA are as per .gbr

-Rob A>

Catfish
08-22-2012, 11:04 AM
Oh. Well, disregard my post then. I must have just misunderstood your tutorial.

RSIxidor
08-23-2012, 12:59 PM
I still haven't figured out the text along path problem I was having. :(

Jack Daniels
11-26-2012, 10:43 AM
I have never used GIMP, or any GIMP/PS-like program, before and I found this tutorial to be extremely easy to follow. My first draft is below;

50244

General pointers/advice would be welcome, specifically; I would like there to be a delta at the mouth of the river near Split, any tricks for how to make that look? Also, I'd like to indicate that there are breakers in the ocean at a couple locations, indicating shallower water. I tried to do some wavy lines like I do on my hand drawn maps, and it looked dumb, any suggestions?

I do have a follow-up for RSIxidor's problem with inserting text and curving it and having it appear as a bunch of bubbles. I had the same problem and skipped that step until going back at the very end after I'd finished everything else. While poking around with the bubbles showing I deselected the Path Tool by selecting the Brush tool, the bubbles disappeared and the text was visible. Everything else worked fine from there.
The bubbles make it hard to see if your path is the correct length as you have to go a couple steps before you can see the text and I'm not really sure of their purpose. So, my text seems to be lopsided a bit, but that's how I got past that problem. I'm probably not going to curve my text in the future, seems like more work than it's worth.

maackey
11-29-2012, 01:05 AM
To make a river delta you could just make the brush a bit wider at the end to make a triangular shape connected to the river. You could also draw a few smaller streams splaying out into the bay. Don't make a lot, and make sure they are very close to the beach.

Shallow water typically has a lighter color than the deeper ocean/sea. This is pretty easy if you have layers and channels for your land/sea boundary. If you have no idea what that means, don't worry, just keep trying some more tutorials on the site :) I went through about two dozen (including this one) before I made my first map, they are generally very helpful.

As for general pointers/advice: ease up on the mountains, put them in clusters closer together, not spread uniformly across the whole map. Try adding in some more asymetry with the land/water. Save your image as a jpg instead of a pdf :P

WithAK
12-02-2012, 09:39 PM
I seem to be having some difficulties with this tutorial. I use the latest version of GIMP so that might be some of the problem, but after I have made all of the mountains and exported them to brush form, they come out much smaller and sort of... "smushed". It looks a little like someone took the 400 x 400 mountain images and made them smaller using Paint; they are incredibly pixelated and do not look at all how they look in the guide.

It's a little frustrating, since otherwise I haven't had any problems, but this is an important step I think. I went over the instructions to make sure I hadn't made a silly mistake somewhere, and I don't see anywhere where I differed. It's quite perplexing, does anybody know what might be happening?

Takarda
01-10-2013, 05:59 AM
Hi, I'm new to map-making and this site. This is the first tutorial I looked at, and if the rest of this site is even half as awesome, I'll be thrilled. Thanks for the great and simple tips!

Pluvian
02-06-2013, 04:39 PM
Hi everyone, another newcomer here. Is there any way of using this animated brush technique in Photoshop (currently using CS5)?
If not I guess I need to learn Gimp as well

Jason Stephens
03-22-2013, 03:19 AM
Same here, I paint what looks like 1 mm x 1 mm lines of mountains. I can't figure it out and also the instruction to select the Circle 07 (9x9) Brush... there's no such brush in the folder. I'm lost.

RobA
03-22-2013, 01:11 PM
Same here, I paint what looks like 1 mm x 1 mm lines of mountains. I can't figure it out and also the instruction to select the Circle 07 (9x9) Brush... there's no such brush in the folder. I'm lost.

In the 2.8+ version of gimp, the individual brush sizes have been replaced. Just pick the circle (hard) brush and size it to 9px.

-Rob A>

Jason Stephens
03-23-2013, 12:30 PM
Thanks, a friend on Facebook eventually pointed me in that direction. I got that part figured out.

So, to keep updates current (in the thread at least, if not in the tutorial itself)

Select the 100 hardness tip and set the size in place of sized brushes.

And Export, not Save As, to save the brush file.

Also, the path (at least in Vista) for saving the brush is C:\Users\Owner\.gimp-2.8\brushes

I've gotten as far as making my 2 sets of mountains and a set of trees. I'll post any more updates if I find more out of date info as I progress!

Akarius
07-10-2013, 04:21 PM
My first tutorial and my first gimp map!

I've scanned my hand draw map to use as coastlines then I have followed the tutorial, creating few dynamic brushes.

Here's my unfinished map so far. Still need to add water (rivers, lakes), cities and colors.

The problem I have is that I can't figure out how to separate land mass and sea. The land mass isn't closed so I can't select it with the select tools, there're too many cuts in the coastlines. Is it an easy way to do this? I don't want to retrace all the coastlines with a pen tool, my mouse isn't as accurate as my right hand.

Thanks for the great tutorial.

55966

Jaqen Hagar
08-02-2013, 12:48 PM
I tried this tutorial, and step by step, I made a success for in maitriser a little more GIMP.
This is not very impressive, but what I learnt is very hepful. Thank you for your tutorial.

xorben
08-05-2013, 07:33 AM
As a fan of this morge hand drawn style maps I give you a big digital hug for this one! NICE!

Erroll
01-16-2014, 11:00 PM
EDIT: Figured it out.. I needed the tool options window. How unintuitive. I am cruising along now.. thanks.




I followed this tutorial but I can't seem to get the brush to be anything but tiny pixelated mountains. It won't let me edit the brush. I am not sure what I am doing wrong. How do I get the brush to come out as 400x400?

Thanks

Micah Doulos
03-01-2014, 03:10 PM
I was making some detailed trees and tested out the new brush when I had 3 trees and it worked fine (but seemed to produce one tree more often than the other 2). I made 2 more trees and when I went to test it out with 5 trees it would only produce the tree at the top of the list despite me choosing random and 5 ranks. What's going on? The size I set was 400x500, wouldn't work despite multiple attempts and fiddling. I then tried 500x500, no effect. 400x400, still producing only the tree at the top of the list. Then I finally deleted trees 4 and 5 and it wouldn't work with the exact same settings it worked at earlier with three trees. What's going on???

Micah Doulos
03-05-2014, 09:23 AM
I figured this out. When you save your brush the first time, it automatically fills in the # of cells as the number of layers in the file. If you add layers after your first save, make sure to adjust the number of cells. The # of cells should always be equal to the # of layers, just like the # of ranks.