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Holdenburg
06-20-2012, 01:14 PM
Ok, so I joined the guild a few days ago in search of help and inspiration for my Kingdoms map. I am a complete amateur and up until now have been using basic paint software. Below I have reluctantly uploaded my Kingdoms map which I created around 10 years ago. It is a complete embarrasment, but I wanted to show where I had come from and where I am now.

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For the past couple of days I have been using RobbA's and Wisemoon's GIMP tutorial. I have now completed Part 2 and am quite happy with the results so far.

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I know it's not perfect but compared to my old map its great! Any advice or pointers is eagerly received and tomorrow I'll be battling my way through Wisemoon's Part 3,4 & 5 tutorial and will hopefully have some rivers and mountains.

Lyandra
06-20-2012, 02:08 PM
The map looks good so far. Compared to the old one the coastline of the main landmass looks way better, I cannot say that however about the smaller islands. Their shapes on the older maps look really good, or your new one they look like regular strokes of a round brush... I would recommend making the coastlines on your new map more irregular to make them seem more natural looking. Your islands on the older map are a very good example of such coastlines as I have stated before. There a many ways to make natural looking coastlines and you can find some of them in the tutorial section.
I'm looking forward to how this map develops. :)

Holdenburg
06-20-2012, 02:36 PM
What would be the best way of re-doing the islands without starting over?

Chashio
06-20-2012, 03:22 PM
You're using gimp? I would suggest pasting the old map, as a layer, on top of the new version at the same size, or so the old islands are just a bit smaller than the new islands. Make a second layer on top of both and re-trace the old island coastlines (without the square pixelized corners, of course). Delete or hide the old map layer. Make a duplicate layer (below the traced layer) of the new map for your working layer and hide the other one so you don't accidentally paint on it. Then rework the water to match the old coastlines. You could try using the smear or smudge tool (or whatever it's called, I haven't used gimp in a while). Or if gimp has a liquify filter like photoshop, that might be easier and you'll have less work to touch up the style design. There may be a simpler way to do it, but I'm not an expert. Maybe you'll receive better advice from someone else.

You're doing a fine job so far! =)

Holdenburg
06-21-2012, 05:47 PM
I started the map over and put alot more detail into the islands and it clearly looks more realistic than the blob islands in my previous effort. Through an error I messed up on the dirt section, but I've decided not to correct this as I am going to look to create a cleaner map, with just mountains, rivers and place names. The only thing at this stage I am not happy with is the sea, in my first effort the sea had a much better blend of dark blue to light blue and in the updated one it seems to just be mid blue. I'll play around with things and see if I can change this, but if anyone knows a quick fix for changing the sea let me know, or I'll be here all night going back and forth!

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arsheesh
06-21-2012, 06:14 PM
Looking good so far Holdenburg. I'm not too familiar with Rob's method for blending the sea colors between deep and coastal hues, but one quick method for doing this, is to create a sea color layer below your land and set it's color to a dark blue, then create a new layer on top of that for the shallow water, and fill it wit a lighter shade of blue. then create a selection of your land, invert it and, on the shallow water layer, hit "delete". This should delete all the color covering the sea but leaving the portion just beneath the land mass colored. Now turn off the selection and then apply a Gaussian blur to the shallow water layer. I'd experiment with px on the Gaussian blur and perhaps try duplicating the layer till you end up with something you like.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Holdenburg
06-21-2012, 06:29 PM
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Thanks arsheesh, I retraced my footsteps and found I had put the black and white of the land mask layer round the wrong way, so it didn't quite take me all night! Next battle: mountains, which i'm really struggling with, even with the great tutorial. For some reason my mountains keep turning out inverted and looking like ladies private parts!

Lukc
06-21-2012, 07:00 PM
Maybe you're using the wrong variant? Bevel instead of emboss*?

*or whatever it's called in ghimp.

Lukc
06-21-2012, 07:01 PM
Maybe you're using the wrong variant? Bevel instead of emboss*?

*or whatever it's called in ghimp.

Chashio
06-21-2012, 08:40 PM
It is nicer with the jagged coastlines, and no dirt. Did you intend for the deeper islands to have black sand around their edges? Just pointing out that it's different from the rest of the map, not necessarily bad. Um, your mountains... =) haha (as a last resort, you could try inverting the layer). I'm not sure what style/process the tutorial follows, but you could always draw them by hand, too, with various brush-style settings. That's my habit, but it's not to everyone's liking.

Holdenburg
06-22-2012, 05:02 AM
It is nicer with the jagged coastlines, and no dirt. Did you intend for the deeper islands to have black sand around their edges? Just pointing out that it's different from the rest of the map, not necessarily bad. Um, your mountains... =) haha (as a last resort, you could try inverting the layer). I'm not sure what style/process the tutorial follows, but you could always draw them by hand, too, with various brush-style settings. That's my habit, but it's not to everyone's liking.

Yes, I much prefer the jagged coastline an no dirt. I don't know what happened with the black beaches, I guess the residents will just have to put up with black volcanic sand beaches like Tenerife! :) I'm gonna have another go at mountains today, I was toying with the idea of cutting and pasting mountains onto the map.

jfrazierjr
06-22-2012, 09:23 AM
Looking good so far Holdenburg. I'm not too familiar with Rob's method for blending the sea colors between deep and coastal hues, but one quick method for doing this, is to create a sea color layer below your land and set it's color to a dark blue, then create a new layer on top of that for the shallow water, and fill it wit a lighter shade of blue. then create a selection of your land, invert it and, on the shallow water layer, hit "delete". This should delete all the color covering the sea but leaving the portion just beneath the land mass colored. Now turn off the selection and then apply a Gaussian blur to the shallow water layer. I'd experiment with px on the Gaussian blur and perhaps try duplicating the layer till you end up with something you like.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Being a layer mask evangilist, I would suggest a layer mask instead. There are two ways, I would suggest the first:

Very bottom layer, fill with the darker blue color
Second layer from bottom, fill with lighter blue
Make a selection of all the land(or all the "sea")... I typically turn off all of the layers except the outline one.
(this step is optional, but highly recommended so you have a "copy" of your layer mask before the next step, so if you want to get back to a base line, you can do so much easier)Select Selection->Selection to Channel(I am doing this from memory, so the exact wording is likely off a bit). This creates a "Channel" on the Channel tab.. make sure you give it a name that makes sense to your context such as "Land Outline". IMPORTANT!!!! depending on if you selected the land or the sea in the previous step, you may need to do Selection->Invert... you want to make sure that your Channel has BLACK for the land and white for the sea when you create the channel(and you can even do it twice and create two channels with each and inverse of the other if you want)
Right click on the second layer from the bottom and select Add Layer Mask, adding the newly created channel(again, making sure that you pick the one with the white part where the sea is)
Selection->None(make sure nothing is selected in the main image window!!!)
On the layers dialog tab/window/whateveryouwannacallit, click the layer mask that you just created(not just that layer "row", but the mask which will show as a B/W box to the right of the blue water color this layer is filled with.
use Filters->Gaussian Blur to suite
as needed, you could also pick a grunge style brush with white color selected and the airbrush tool to paint a bit more of the "sea" with white which will show more of the darker blue below.
Make sure you click OFF of the layer mask before going any further
Put all the other layers above these two.


Alternate:

Very bottom layer, fill with the darker blue color
Second layer from bottom, fill with lighter blue

Add layer mask to the second bottom layer filled with black
Select an appropriate brush size, preferably a nice fuzzy brush
Select the airbrush tool
On the Second layer from the bottom in the Layers dialog window, click OFF of the main layer part and click ONTO the layer mask itself.
lightly "paint" the white onto the black layer mask. Everywhere the white is on the layer mask, the layer below will show through. Make sure that you overlap the mainland by a decent margin
right click and select "Mask to Selection"(this step is optional, but highly recommended so you have a "copy" of your layer mask before the next step, so if you want to get back to a base line, you can do so much easier)... this creates a "Channel" on the Channel tab.. make sure you give it a name that makes sense to your context such as "Land Outline"
While still having the layer mask selected, use Filters->Gaussian Blur to suite

Chashio
06-22-2012, 12:04 PM
Wow. That's confusing... might try it myself and see how it works. I avoid channels like the plague but, I never really understood them.

My coastal mask system: When I create my coastlines, I magic wand the water (still just lines on a transparent layer) and inverse my selection (cuts down on choosing individual islands), make a new layer (name it land mass), fill my selection with a color, deselect, and reduce the opacity so it doesn't mess with my color-picking, and put it near the bottom of the layer list. My coastline and river and mountain layers, etc, go near the top, and any 'background painting' like watercolor, goes just above my paper layer. So when I need to paint on just the land or water, I click to my land mass layer and magic wand the one I want to paint on, click back to my painting layer and have at it. (there's probably a much easier way to do it, but it works ;)

How I would paint the water two-toned like that is make two solid fill layers, select my land mass (like above) and for both of the fill layers, cut the land section away so it's just blue on the water (or opposite, select water area then fill). Then click to the top of the two layers and use the erase tool on varying opacity to get the effect I want. When that's done, I usually adjust those layer opacity, or change the layer styles, so that the paper texture shows through and it looks more like watercolor.

Just another way to go about it. =) I look forward to your mountains. Cutting and pasting is basically the same as making a brush for it. That works too.

jfrazierjr
06-22-2012, 10:12 PM
Wow. That's confusing... might try it myself and see how it works. I avoid channels like the plague but, I never really understood them.

RUN, don't walk to the tutorial in my sig.. It's really simplistic, but will give you the basics. If you want something a big more in depth, you can search for threads started by me and "some creek thing"(I think that's the name of it) which has several videos(not great quality though and no voice) that walk through some of the steps as it's being done. That probably should have been in the tutorials forum, but it's not for some reason... I have actually thought about remaking the videos now that GIMP 2.8 is out, but just have not gotten the time yet.

Chashio
06-22-2012, 10:26 PM
@jfrazierjr Thanks, I'll check those out... and the ISO mountains ;) been playing with that, too.

Holdenburg
06-23-2012, 09:59 PM
I have created a political map for my Kingdom, showing the Provinces and Emirates.

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I tried and failed big time with the mountains and was kindly helped by waldronate, who did the mountains for me. I'm very happy with his work.

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Next up, rivers.

Chashio
06-23-2012, 10:48 PM
Cool shields. =D I might have to make some of those for myself. The mountains look nice too; did he follow the tutorial or just do them his own way?