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Gamerprinter
03-06-2008, 06:01 PM
I never thought it would happen - a local customer finding my shop and desiring a fantasy map for an miniatures game (they didn't even know about Gamer Printshop, they were just checking out the local graphics shop - me...)

Anyway, I'm not sure what the game is yet, but I am creating a 36" x 48" printed and laminated map, using a 3 inch wide hex grid, where 1 hex = 50 feet.

I am creating a WW1 battleground scene for a biplane dog fighting game, that will be used at RockCon (Rockford, Illinois gaming convention).

Once I complete the map design, I'll upload it here for your perusal. Basically its two trenches one side is allied troops, the other the Germans, in between a "No Man's Land" which is where the fighting occurs over. I'll also include some cloud cover too.

Give me about a week for this... ;)

RobA
03-06-2008, 10:43 PM
Woot!

Good for you, GP!

-Rob A>

delgondahntelius
03-06-2008, 10:51 PM
congrats.... may that be the first of many more!! :D

Gamerprinter
03-06-2008, 11:36 PM
This is actually my second pro map-making gig. Its just my first "local" client for a gaming map - I'm deep in the heart of northern Illinois nowhere, about 90 miles from Chicago and Peoria, smack dab in middle of corn. The likelihood of acquiring local business for maps is pretty slim. Yet the guy came into my shop today for it. I was pretty amazed!

I created 3 maps for Dog House Rules, LLC's first fantasy mini-adventure called Quick Quests: Eggsellent Opportunity. It wouldn't be right for me to post the maps here as they are intended for use by DHR. But the product is a $5 PDF download if you consider ordering it.

Visit their news page which talks about the product with link to ordering and a link back to cartographersguild.com on the same page!

http://www.doghouserules.net/news.php

The map for the Biplane Dog Fighting Game is for a hosted game at Rockcon, by a game master, not a publisher, but its still a paying gig... 8)

pyrandon
03-07-2008, 12:02 AM
Cool, Gameprinter! That's awesome. Looking forward to seeing it.

HandsomeRob
03-07-2008, 12:34 AM
I would check your NDA and make sure that it's allowable for you to share the map with us first, but if it is it'd be interesting to see.

Congrats
-Rob

Gamerprinter
03-07-2008, 01:21 AM
I checked my NDA with Dog House Rules - I retain total ownership of artwork and copyright. Since maps are already published, there is nothing that restricts me from posting them here so here they are...

3 maps - Griffin's Nest, Pegasi Nest, and Spider Haunt Valley.

These maps are in color, as that is the format I created them, however, DHR required grayscale maps only, so once I was completed I exported the map and converted it to grayscale. So you're seeing what the product doesn't have - full color versions.

Note also, because the maps were intended to be grayscale, the light grayish ground cover in the maps was deliberate so when converting to grayscale, it could be easily distinguished from the other elements of the map. So if it looks off, know that it was going to go gray so I optimized for the result.

Scales and any other anamolies in the terrain layout, elevations or element placement was completely within the direction of the published adventure, not my own discretion.

Regarding the WW1 Dog Fighting map there is no NDA, so no restrictions.

delgondahntelius
03-07-2008, 07:21 AM
beautiful maps GP, I especially like the last one, the overview of the area with the 10' increment... all well done and beautiful colors...

I'd voice a minor concern with the first one... if I knew what it was that was bugging me about that map... I can't really put a finger on it.. I'm not sure if its the altitude numbers that may be throwing me off but there is something... but its probably something that's really nothing... I can be a bit... nitpicky sometimes... a trait I find a bit annoying myself...

keep up the great work and maybe these will bring in more business... the gaming community is rather tight knit so word of mouth can sometimes be the best advertising. I do know a group of gamers there close to peoria... trying to think of the name of that town...it may be joliet... they game at least once a week and as far as I know use mini's .... If you want i'll throw your name out there and see if they may want something in the way of battlemaps...

Del

Gamerprinter
03-18-2008, 04:20 AM
I mentioned above that I was working on a WW1 trench war battlefield for a dogfighting minatures game, well not quite finished, but the terrain is complete. I have add some tiny soldiers of German and Allied colors, some horses, carriages and cassons, no artillery (would be off map on either side), maybe a Model T ambulance, machine gun nests, a couple dead bodies, and a dead horse.

Oh the little round spots are supposed to be craters from artillery.

I've yet to add the grid and some cloud cover - after the ground is finished...

Note: at full scale the map is 36" x 48", 1 hex = 3" at 50'. This means a normal sized human is 1/10th of an inch in size. Barely of detail beyond helmet and body positions in appropriate color.

WIP so far. 8)

The Cartographist
03-18-2008, 04:57 AM
Really nice GP, but one comment: If there are craters in the ground and artillery is implied (although not visible on the map), wouldn't there be some artillery damage to the walls at either side of the battlefield? Some gaps, knocked-over sections, etc? Maye some char as well?

RobA
03-18-2008, 06:35 PM
I'd also suggest adding an overlayed bumpmap crater later like this one I doodled up using your source image as a guide (hand drawn white fuzzy blob with black fuzzy blob in middle, apply pixel spread filter, then displace map with a noise layer)
2799

Here is that turned into a bumpmap applied to a 50%grey base layer then set to overlay:
2800

-Rob A>

Redrobes
03-18-2008, 10:32 PM
Yes yes, and some blast marks like kicked up dirt.

Gamerprinter
03-19-2008, 02:47 AM
I'd also suggest adding an overlayed bumpmap crater later like this one I doodled up using your source image as a guide (hand drawn white fuzzy blob with black fuzzy blob in middle, apply pixel spread filter, then displace map with a noise layer)

-Rob A>

OK, I just downloaded GIMP 2.4.5, as well as your GIMP tutorial and printed this page.

Hopefully, I can get these bump maps the way I want them. I will probably include some dirt clods around the crater rim to add some more texture to the craters, so they are less just circles, but rough circles with outlying piles.

Let's see what a day of experimenting can achieve.

Thanks for the tip, RobA (repped!) 8)

Oh, and I took Cartographist's suggestion and placed some craters and damaged sand bags in both trenches, added a dead and bloody horse and one shelled carriage. Still more bodies live and dead to add...

Gamerprinter
03-20-2008, 03:33 AM
OK, I gave RobA's tip a try using GIMP. It worked, but somehow I made the crater edges to large or the depth isn't great enough. I like RobA's version better, but I just need a bit more practice. Unfortunately, I'm running out of time in completing this project.

Thanks again, RobA!

I found some photos of WW1 soldiers - both Allied and Central Powers, actually the best pictures were from WW1 reenactors sites. Tomorrow, I'll hand draw some British "Tommies" and "Germans" in several body positions - firing rifle, at machine gun nest, standing idly, sitting position, wounded on stretcher and dead on battlefield. Then place in both trench areas.

I added the grid and some cloud cover just to see if they worked.

WIP so far - almost done! 8)

The Cartographist
03-20-2008, 12:29 PM
Really looking good, GP.

I'm a little surprised at the dimensions (in terms of number of horizontal and vertical hexes). It doesn't seem big enough to stage dogfights on.

Gamerprinter
03-20-2008, 12:44 PM
Really looking good, GP.

I'm a little surprised at the dimensions (in terms of number of horizontal and vertical hexes). It doesn't seem big enough to stage dogfights on.

Something didn't seem right as I was creating the Hex Grid. I should have 12 hexes top to bottom and 18 hexes left to right, so I think I need to half the size of my placed grid.

The hexes were correctly scaled, but the map is only 1/4 scale to the actual - that's the problem.

I will fix this sometime today, as well as add in the troopers and bodies to the trench areas. If I have time, I'd like to put some disorder into those perfectly placed sandbags. And I'd really like to try RobA's crater rim bump maps again, to see if I can improve the look on mine.

I need to finish this so I can get back to my challenge map... ;)

Midgardsormr
03-20-2008, 12:46 PM
I think it would be helpful if we had some tutorials on using bump maps in Gimp and lighting effects in Photoshop. I've been experimenting a little bit, but I think seeing how people who know what they're doing approach it would be helpful for those of us who haven't really got it down yet.

We have a few tuts about generating a heightfield for use in a 3d app, but not much about using the graphics programs' own functions.

RobA
03-20-2008, 12:50 PM
OK, I gave RobA's tip a try using GIMP.
...
Thanks again, RobA!


No problem! But aren't you a photoshop guy? It should be just as trivial in photoshop, no?

-Rob A>

Gamerprinter
03-20-2008, 01:25 PM
No problem! But aren't you a photoshop guy? It should be just as trivial in photoshop, no?

-Rob A>

I had a discussion with RPMiller once in a past thread - I think its the "DPI vs. PPI" thread - that I used a rather old version of Photoshop (5.5), I don't have and never had PS CS.

PS 5.5 doesn't have bumpmap feature, or many of the filters now common with CS - so I've never used this function in any Image Editor.

Though I use PS extensively - I never really dabbled in bump maps, outside of 3D applications (which I use lots).

I tried to create the crater in 3D first, but it was difficult to see, that's why I needed to try your technique - I was looking for better results... 8)

RobA
03-20-2008, 03:30 PM
Hope you stick with gimp for a bit... I find it quite flexible (and the price was right :) )

The best thing I can suggest is to really over-exaggerate the bump map filter (crank the height up quite high, almost until it starts to clip at white and black) then adjust the amount of the effect by dialing down the overlay layer opacity.

-Rob A>

Gamerprinter
03-21-2008, 12:35 PM
As far as GIMP goes, well, like I said, I use an old version Photoshop. I should upgrade, but I'm not too interested in forking over $500 and I don't do software piracy. I'm getting comfortable with GIMP and plan to eventually replace PS with GIMP, though I still may run to PS when I'm in a hurry.

The WW1 Dogfighting Trench map is complete. I've populated the trench with live soldiers, with several dead bodies in the no-mans-land, as well as around craters in the trenches. I rescaled the hexes properly. I even redid the crater rims in GIMP - turned out better this time.

Final map is printing now at 36 x 48 inches, 300 dpi, 469 MB in size...

Now I have the weekend to finish the March Challenge map - I'll get to it!

Thumbnail WIP of map... 8)

delgondahntelius
03-21-2008, 01:58 PM
I don't know if you can add this to an existing picture, but the next time you have a need for craters (and I don't know how much of this you can do with PS 5, either) but start a new photo, filter>render>clouds, then duplicate the image, save that as cloudsimg2, go back to original filter>render>diff. clouds, then bring up levels control (ctrl+L) slide input levels to 0/1.00/>150< and output >115</255 (you can play around with the numbers in the > < ).

New layer, blending mode to overlay, gradient tool to radial set it to Foreground to Transparency preset, paint some black areas, then some white areas. Add a new layer and use this custom gradient (http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2820&stc=1&d=1206118284) (attached to post) put in some rings and play with the settings of the gradient to come up with some varying craters. you can blend the rings into the the terrain if you like by using filter>render>diff clouds. And to give the craters a natural feel you can go to Render>Distort>Displace (keep the default settings of 10) and select the psd file you created in the begining of the steps...

Then select your layers and ctrl+E to merge them, rename the layer craters, then Filter>Sylize>Emboss with an angle of 135, height 4 and amount 248%..... that should give you some nice craters on your landmass....

If you want crisp craters like on a battlefield, I imagine that not adding the Displace step would do the trick (but I don't know, I haven't tried it yet. I could turn this into a full tutorial I suppose if I really needed too.

Gamerprinter
03-22-2008, 01:27 PM
Thanks for the tip, Del, but I think I am going to try to learn as much GIMP as possible. I don't think I will ever upgrade past 5.5 for Photoshop - I don't plan to pay for another image editor for awhile. So GIMP is it for now.

Oh I found out that WW1 map I created is for GDW's Blue Max game.

That client was so pleased with the map, he showed it to a friend, and it looks like I will be working on some Civil War Miniatures maps next. 8)

Redrobes
03-22-2008, 04:55 PM
It's a mighty fine map !

Midgardsormr
03-22-2008, 05:21 PM
That client was so pleased with the map, he showed it to a friend, and it looks like I will be working on some Civil War Miniatures maps next. 8)

Shiny! That's the best kind of business you can get!

delgondahntelius
03-22-2008, 10:59 PM
Civial war... that should be fun!

RobA
03-24-2008, 06:25 PM
I don't know if you can add this to an existing picture, but the next time you have a need for craters (and I don't know how much of this you can do with PS 5, either) but start a new photo, filter>render>clouds, then duplicate the image, save that as cloudsimg2, go back to original filter>render>diff. clouds, then bring up levels control (ctrl+L) slide input levels to 0/1.00/>150< and output >115</255 (you can play around with the numbers in the > < ).

New layer, blending mode to overlay, gradient tool to radial set it to Foreground to Transparency preset, paint some black areas, then some white areas. Add a new layer and use this custom gradient (http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2820&stc=1&d=1206118284) (attached to post) put in some rings and play with the settings of the gradient to come up with some varying craters. you can blend the rings into the the terrain if you like by using filter>render>diff clouds. And to give the craters a natural feel you can go to Render>Distort>Displace (keep the default settings of 10) and select the psd file you created in the begining of the steps...

Then select your layers and ctrl+E to merge them, rename the layer craters, then Filter>Sylize>Emboss with an angle of 135, height 4 and amount 248%..... that should give you some nice craters on your landmass....

If you want crisp craters like on a battlefield, I imagine that not adding the Displace step would do the trick (but I don't know, I haven't tried it yet. I could turn this into a full tutorial I suppose if I really needed too.

Thanks Del-

I tried to follow this in GIMP but get lost at this:


New layer, blending mode to overlay, gradient tool to radial set it to Foreground to Transparency preset, paint some black areas, then some white areas. Add a new layer and use this ...

Care to start a new thread ad post a couple of steps graphically? I think I could figure out the GIMP equivalent then...

Thanks,

-Rob A>