View Full Version : GIMP(and PS) questions on speeding up map creation - especially hand drawn

08-05-2011, 11:38 AM
Ok... so this is really me asking if anyone has any tips on how they set up GIMP. I am thinking about things like key/tablet keybindings for tools/brush size/ etc. Also, what about palettes, do you guys make a pallet for each map or have a few go-to palettes that you reuse over and over(and are they core or custom ones you made/found). The same question for palettes also goes for gradients...

So the above questions are for setup. What about any ideas for speeding up map making in general. I am thinking about things such as textures for grasslands, patterns for grasslands/desserts/plains ,etc. Do you guys do this type of thing. For example, here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?15182-June-July-Challenge-Entry-The-Rift-Principalities) I have a single solid color for the "grass" color(look at the end). I then moved it here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?15287-The-Rift-Principalities), used a different base color and then added several layers on top to come up with a slightly varied coloration. So the question for those who do hand drawn maps is do you do each 100% from scratch or as I am considering created a pattern to speed stuff like this up?

08-05-2011, 11:55 AM
I don't' have a tablet yet so can't help you there. I probably do a lot of stuff the hard way just because I am coming from an old school background and am fairly new to digital painting.

Here is a screenshot of how I have mine set up. (the image is just a little experiment I was working on for a new style of mountains)

I also added on: http://code.google.com/p/gps-gimp-paint-studio/

I have created a folder of brushes I have created for different things as well.

That's about it, I don't think I have any speed tricks.

08-05-2011, 02:53 PM
Wow Jax... Diggity the mountains.... Looking forward to seeing it more!!!

08-05-2011, 04:16 PM
I do a different color palette for every map (except for commissions based on previous work). The only patterns I use regularly are stones or blocks for doing castle and wall parts and cracks patterns that I will overlay onto mountains or rocks. I tried using patterns a lot but I found it repetitive and dull so instead I rely on a combination of filters to get different effects since I like to experiment. Plus, relying on patterns make you a pattern hound and you can spend years wandering around the internet collecting patterns that you'll never use - I had thousands of them just sitting around collecting dust sort of like my font addiction - 25,000+ and I've only ever used about 10% of them. On the other hand, patterns can be of great use for a small-focus map such as a street full of roof tops or a bunch of hardwood floors for an inn. That's all just a matter of preference and scale. As for setting up a tablet, well, I have an Intuos 1 so I don't have all of those shortcuts to play with...I use the tablet to draw and the mouse for clicking things. Heck, I don't even use keyboard shortcuts very much since I only remember 4 or 5. I use old tools and old methods (when not experimenting) and every time I do something different. If I were more concerned about speed and efficiency or if I were hired by some big game company to make maps the same all of the time I'd get more into using such things but since I have a lot of time it doesn't bother me too much. The only things I really use consistently are brushes - small soft rounds (1-9 pixels) and small hard rounds (1-9 pixels) for line work (occasionally square tips and angle tips for calligraphic lines but I can use the tablet's pressure sensitivity with a round tip to get the same effect), and airbrushes (17-300 pixels) for shading. So my hand-drawn methods are fairly primitive and basic but that's all I've ever needed. My satellite and atlas styles rely on preset filter settings but I'm always twiddling the knobs a little bit for experimental purposes and I don't think I've ever used the same layer styles twice either.

08-05-2011, 11:15 PM
Wow Jax... Diggity the mountains.... Looking forward to seeing it more!!!

I'm not satisfied with how they turned out. If I shrink them way down they look great but I don't want to paint so large in order for them to look right. I'll have to take another stab at them but thanks :)