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torstan
05-15-2008, 04:20 PM
After foolhardily promising to provide a tutorial for the style of my pirate cove map, and equally foolhardily implying I would pitch in for this month's contest, I have decided to kill two birds with one stone and do my May entry as a tutorial.

I have decided to draw a ship-wreck as my tactical encounter map. There seems to be a sea theme to the current challenges so I thought I'd shamelessly pander the the audience and continue the pirate theme. I also need a ship-wreck for my current game so it seems to work.

The first step in these maps is to get hold of a decent parchment background. There are many excellent tutorials on how to create such a thing from scratch and I will not go into this here. However, note that a lot of the colour of your map will come from this parchment colour, so make sure it has the tone you are looking for. If you are mapping for a dark game - Cthulhu being the obvious culprit - then dark tones, low saturation and the odd blood-stain are the order of the day. If you are mapping for a standard high-fantasy map then ramp up the saturation a bit, and lighten the parchment colours. The lighter the map, the more colourful it will be later on. If you find the colours are off later in the process, don't worry. We'll be keeping the parchment layer as the background so it can always be swapped out later to test different effects.

Make sure you have a parchment background of the correct size for your final map. Set this to be your background and create a new transparent layer. Name it sketch.

Now, I will be assuming the use of a tablet for this I am afraid. A mouse will also work, as will a scanned pen drawing - I'll add an aside on the pen drawing question a little later.

The first order of the day is to sketch a rough layout of the drawing. This will be the base for the careful pen drawing that will come next. At this point it is all about getting the composition right. I now (after RobA's excellent tip) use the ink tool. This is highlighted in the following image. I set the size to 2.5 (or thereabouts) and have the size sensitivity ramped all the way up. Now sketch (on the sketch layer) a rough design for the map. Don't worry about mistakes, this will never see the light of day. You'll use it as a base for later on. You should now have something that looks like this:

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Note that this is not neat. It should be quick to draw and quick to correct. It should show all the major areas clearly and every main feature should be in roughly the correct position.

The Cartographist
05-19-2008, 04:17 PM
torstan - I'm really looking forward to this, because hand-drawn maps are more my thing. Please continue with it.

torstan
05-19-2008, 04:55 PM
More coming. It's just that I ended up starting this while doing a two week tour from Poland back to the UK via Oxford for wedding prep and then to Barcelona (currently) for a physics conference. Real life has got a little in the way of more important matters! Not to worry, I have a whole day tomorrow of seminars so I'll have plenty of time to plot about plotting.

torstan
05-28-2008, 12:27 PM
Now that the basic layout is there it is time to start inking in the final lines.

First reduce the opacity of the sketch so that you can use it as a guide, but you can tell what is being drawn now and what is the sketch.

Create a new layer and name it appropriately. I called mine DeckLines. This will hold the ink lines for one of the large objects in the image - in this case the ship's deck.

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Now before you go any further, it is quite likely that you want to refine your sketch. In this case, create a new layer called sketch2 over the desaturated sketch layer and begin a more careful sketch. Here's the progression of sketches I used to get to my final boat layout for this image:

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3989
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Each one was drawn on a new layer above the older one which was desaturated as shown. Once you have got a newer sketch then you can ditch the older one. The best way is just to hide the layer by clicking the eye that is beside it in the layers palette. You don't know when it will be worth going back to one of these older sketches.

torstan
05-28-2008, 12:35 PM
When you are happy with your sketch, go to your ink layer, in this case called DeckLines, go back to the ink tool with your favourite setting and start carefully inking in the lines you want to have at the end. Don't be afraid to use ctrl-Z if you're a bit off. Also, make sure you are working at 100% zoom or above. Gimp can pixelate things if you work at lower zooms and what looks great at 50% doesn't always look good at 100%.

Also, don't worry about areas that are below another object. I drew in the deck without the fallen masts first and went back to create the broken areas later. It's easy to erase a small portion of the line drawing later and redraw it as necessary.

Don't be afraid to add new layers to start working on a separate object.

Here's the finished line-drawing for this ship. Here I have been a little sloppy and deleted the old sketch now that it is no longer needed. Notice that there are 4 line layers that contain the overall ship and deck lines, the textures on the ship's deck - the woodeon planking and the hatch over the hold - and similar breakdowns for the area beneath the water.

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harchunk
05-28-2008, 12:47 PM
Considering I cant draw at all I think the ship is nice

torstan
05-28-2008, 07:01 PM
Welcome over here Harchunk - another victim of RPMiller I guess.

torstan
05-29-2008, 12:19 PM
An alternative way to get a line drawing into gimp is to scan a hand drawn map. For example here's the hand drawn map of Dragonford:

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If you have a scan like this you can place it over your parchment in a number of ways.

First open the base image of a parchment background as above. Now open your scanned image in a separate window. Scale the scanned image so that its dimensions are within the size of the parchment image you will be using as your background. Select-all and copy the scanned image. Now go to your parchment image and create a new transparent layer.

---Useful tangent---
Note that shift-clicking the new layer button in the layers dialogue creates a new layer with the last used values. This saves ages when creating lots of new layers like we will be doing here.
---end of tangent

Paste the copied image into this new layer. You will now have something that looks like this:

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Now this is no use to anyone right now. We need to get rid of the white background. The easiest way to do this is to change the layer mode from normal to multiply.

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This gives something that looks like this:

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Note that there is a strange artefact around the edge of the old white image. This is there because the background wasn't as white as it looked. To get rid of this we need to mess with the levels. Make sure the layer with the scanned image is selected. Go to Color->Levels. There is a histogram under which there is a black triangle (far left), a grey triangle (middle) and a white triangle (far right). If your histogram looks anything like mine then there should be a large peak in the histogram at the right hand side. This is just saying that most of the image is white - not surprising for a scanned image on white paper. The width of this peak shows that there is a spread of 'whites' away from the true white marked by the white triangle. This is what causes the artefacts seen above. Slide the white triangle to the left of this large peak. Now every region that was just off-white will be pure white. Your artefacts should have disappeared, leaving you with an image something like this:


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torstan
05-29-2008, 12:31 PM
The second way to do this is as follows.

Follow the same process as before so that you have a pasted layer with a white background above your parchment layer. However don't set the layer mode to multiply.

Before going further, use the layers dialogue to correct the whites as described above. Now we are ready to move on.

With the scanned image selected go to Layer->Transparency->Color to alpha...

Make sure that the box beside "From:" is white. This will turn all instances of white on this layer into a transparent image. Now you see why we needed to have the background as pure white as we could. Press okay and you will see your white background magically disappear. I prefer this to the multiply method because you aren't affecting any other layers with this. Multiply does affect the layers below it so it can create some wierd glitches further down the line. Plus it will be useful to be able to mess with the line layer modes later on which we can't do if we are relying on them being set to multiply at this stage.

This should give you an image much as before:

4029

Now this is a little light so we'd like to make it a bit darker. With the scanned layer selected press ctrl-shift-D or go to Layer->Duplicate Layer. This should darken the lines nicely. Play with the opacity of the new layer (using the opacity slider in the Layers Dialogue) until you decide it is dark enough. Then right click on the duplicated layer and go to Merge Layer Down. This gives you a lines layer as before. This now looks something like this:

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ravells
05-29-2008, 12:43 PM
Thanks Torstan, this is really useful stuff. I hadn't appreciated the downside to using the multiply approach to the alpha approach. I think I'll stick to the alpha approach from now on.

torstan
05-29-2008, 12:46 PM
Multiply is also really useful if you want to use a reference drawing. So for example say you found a map on google of a region you wanted to turn into a hand drawn map. Copy that image to your computer. Open up your parchment image as above. Open up the Google image and scale it so it will fit nicely over your parchment layer. Create a new layer over your parchment layer and paste the Google image on to it:

4031

This gives you something like this. Now change the Layer mode to multiply and you get something like this:

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Now create a new transparent layer (remember shift-click), choose the ink tool and start tracing round the coastline, along roads and so on until you have a line drawing of the map you are after. This way you need never complain of lack of hand-drawing skills or inspiration again!

Now that we have got our ink lines by subterfuge, deceit or elbow grease, we'll move on to colouring the image tomorrow.

torstan
05-30-2008, 07:05 AM
Okay, now that we have our lines, we need to get some colour down. In this case there are four different coloured areas - the sea, the deck, the sails and the rocks. First things first - create four new transparent layers and name them for the colours they will hold.

We'll start with the sea colours. We could just do a block fill of a nice sea colour to start with, but that's a bit dull. It's more interesting if we can get a bit of variation in the colour for the sea, so we will build it up bit by bit.

For varying colours I find it useful to use the airbrush with the 'Use colour from gradient' switch turned on. Gimp comes with a deep-sea gradient so that seemed particularly appropriate for this case but you can use others, or make your own. In this case I use the following settings:

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Now take a large fuzzy brush and block in the sea with colour. Note that I have scaled up the brush to aid in quickly filling a large area. Don't worry if it's not smooth at this stage. We'll deal with that in a minute. Also, don't worry if the colours aren't quite right. They are just going to give us a starting point. Finally, the edges are also not a great problem. It is more important to get the colour up to the edges of the area you are filling in than worry about going over into the adjoining area.

The end result will look blotchy and non-too smooth. Switch from the airbrush tool to the smudge tool. Now I decided that I wanted it to look as if the waves were rolling in from the north-east. Therefore I use the smudge tool to blur the colours in lines from north-west to south-east. Here is a screenshot of the smoothing in progress. Note that the area in the bottom right of the image has not been smoothed yet.

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Notice how the colour variation smooths out to give the impression of waves. Now this still looks a bit lurid. I'll deal with that next.

RobA
05-30-2008, 11:15 AM
---Useful tangent---
Note that shift-clicking the new layer button in the layers dialogue creates a new layer with the last used values. This saves ages when creating lots of new layers like we will be doing here.
---end of tangent

I'd rep you for that if I could... never knew that one! Thanks

-Rob A>

torstan
06-06-2008, 06:46 AM
Very glad to be of use. Sounds like you need to spread the love around a bit. Find some maps to rep and come back!

Okay, a bit more after a holiday sailing on the Mazurian Lakes. Yes, I like boats in RL too.

After using the smudge tool over the bluey green sea colours I ended up with this result:

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Now this is pretty lurid and not at all a reasonable sea colour, let alone a nice wash colour over a parchment background. To get that we only need to change the layer mode from normal to overlay and, viola, we get a great faded wash over the sea area.

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However this is clearly not there yet. This gives us a dappled blue and green base, but we need a darker blue background for the sea.

torstan
06-06-2008, 07:08 AM
-------- Another small tangent ---------

A few handy viewing tips in Gimp to help with getting a decent view of your image.


ctrl-shift-e maximises the image to fit within the window you have open, such as in the second image above.
1 - pressing 1 will get you to 100% zoom.
F11 - toggles full-screen. You can then use ctrl-shift-e or 1 to see your image at a large scale within full-screen.


-------- end of tangent -------

Now we want to get a nice dark blue for the sea to give it a deep-sea look. For this map I used the City Colours palette provided by Rob over in his Mapping a Region in Gimp tutorial. I used the dark blue with the airbrush tool and a large fuzzy brush (remember to uncheck use-colour-from-gradient) to block in the dark blue sea. Again, don't worry too much about edges, we'll deal with them soon enough. After blocking in the colour, use the smudge tool to smooth out any obvious edges and get a relatively smooth finish. Here's a screenshot with the colour laid down and the other sea-colour layer turned off:

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Now, we have no interest in having block colour on the map. The idea is to let the variation of the paper texture beneath show through to give texture to the whole image. No surprises then that we want to switch the layer type to overlay again. With the other sea colour layer turned off (note there is no eye icon beside the other sea colour layer on the left) this looks like:

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With both overlay layer's switched on we get:

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This is starting to look like a dark storm tossed sea,but we could still do with going darker. We could duplicate the dark blue overlay layer to darken it further, but in this case I decided to go with a burn layer instead.

I duplicated the dark-blue overlay layer and switched the layer mode to burn. This makes everything very dark so I reduced the opacity to 20%. This gives the result:

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This is pretty close to what I want for my sea colours now.

So the basic method for colouring in these maps takes the form:

1. Block in the colour with a large fuzzy brush. If you want some colour variation use a good gradient of colours and check Use-colour-from-gradient.
2. Use the smudge tool to smooth out the obvious edges.
3. Set the layer to overlay
4. Experiment with duplicating the layer and using other layer modes for the second layer - possibly burn for a dark, moody edge, or normal with low opacity to bring up the colours.

Next I'll make good my promise of dealing with the edges that I coloured over.

torstan
06-18-2008, 08:36 AM
Okay, after a bit of an extended break here's the next step. Currently the coloured layer for the sea bleeds over - a lot - into the areas that we don't want to be sea coloured. The plan is to clean up those edges. There are a few ways to do this. Firstly there is the obvious choice - take the eraser tool and go round the edges - yes it's that easy.

However, we have a number of sea colour layers, and it's going to take a while to go over all the edges for each one. Not only that, but we may well erase something we actually wanted to keep. The best way to deal with this is using layer masks.

1. Open a new layer (shift-click the new layer buttin to open a new transparent layer as before).
2. Take a hard edged black brush.
3. Turn off the pressure sensitivity to opacity if you are using a tablet.
4. Colour black all areas that aren't going to be covered by the sea colours.
5. Name the layer Mask.

You should now have an image that looks something like this:

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Don't worry that you are drawing heavy black lines over your beautiful creation, they won't be there for long. This step takes a little time, but it will save time in the long run.

1. Make the Mask layer invisible so that you don't see the large black image messing up your image.
2. Go to one of your sea colour layers, right-click -> Add layer mask. Accept the default setting of white (full opacity).
3. Go back to your black Mask layer.
4. Select all (ctrl-A) and copy (ctrl-C).
5. Select the white layer mask you created at step 1 by going to the layers dialogue and clicking on the white box that is beside the thumbnail of your colour layer.
6. Paste (ctrl-V) the black image of your non-sea area. As the layer mask (rather than the image) was selected, you won't drop a large black blob over your map. Instead the black lands on the layer mask. Click the anchor button at the bottom of the layers dialogue to anchor the pasted layer to the layer mask.

You should now have nice sharp edges on your colour layer rather than the spread of colour over the lines. You can repeat the process for all the other colour layers you used to give yourself a nice sharp edge throughout.

Now the layer mask is useful for the sea, but it is also useful for the other areas. Go to a new area - say the deck colours that currently is empty.

1. Right click the layer -> Add layer mask... and keep the white(full opacity) setting as before
2. Paste the Mask image on to this layer as before.
3. With the layer mask still selected go to Colour->Invert

Now the layer mask is the mirror image of the sea colour mask. This means that any colours you lay down for the deck will run up to precisely the edge of the sea colours and no further. This saves a lot of eraser work later.

This should give you something like the following:
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torstan
06-18-2008, 09:01 AM
--- Detour ---

This is a very basic use of layer masks. They are incredibly useful. For those who want to play a bit more, consider the following extensions:

1. Not just black and white
Obviously we use the layer masks above to get a hard edge between colours. However there are some areas in which we might want some colour bleed. For example I may not want the sea colour to be so dark over the submerged sails. To do this:
1. Take the airbrush tool and set the ink colour to black.
2. Select the layer mask of the layer you want to lighten.
3. Gently paint in the area you want to lighten.

Don't worry if the colour disappears a little too fast. You can always darken it back down by switching the airbrush to white and painting over the area again. Smooth out any hard edges with the smudge tool until you are happy with the results. To see what you've done, go to the layer and right-click->Show Layer Mask. This will let you see the greyscale layer mask directly. You should have a blurred area in the region you have just been painting.

Note for layer masks white corresponds to full opacity for the corresponding layer, whereas black is full transparency (it won't show up). Therefore a 50% grey on a layer mask means the corresponding region of the layer will only show at 50% opacity.

So for the water mask I could use the following mask. This would mean that the sea colour layers are less opaque over the sail area, least of all over the edges of the sails that are towards the surface.

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2. More than one masked region
Here I have created a mask for just one region - sea and not sea. That's pretty reasonable as the image actually has very few areas of colour in it. In a more complex image it may well be a good idea to create a black mask image (such as the Mask layer used above) for a number of different areas of colour. In this example I should probably have created a separate mask image for the sails and for the deck. This is easy to do. If you create a separate black image covering each of your major areas of colour, all you need to do to create the relevant layer mask is to copy and paste each mask you want for your layer to the layer mask. In each case the relevant mask will be some combination of the mask images you have drawn.

In the case of this map it would go like this. I would draw one Mask layer for the woodwork - deck, masts, boom and so on - one for the sails and one for the rocks. Now the sea is different from all of those. Therefore to build up my sea mask I would create a new white sea layer mask. I would then paste a copy of each of the Deck Mask, Rock Mask and Sail Mask on to the sea layer mask. When I do the deck it is actually much easier. Add a white layer mask to your Deck Colours layer. Copy and paste the black Deck Mask image to the layer mask. Click on the layer mask and go to Colour->Invert. Voila, a deck colour layer that will keep your colouring within the lines.

--- End of Detour ---

RobA
06-18-2008, 09:06 AM
Here is another gimp tip for you (discovered when hand drawing my novel map in gimp) that has become something I can't work without...

When in the full screen (f11) you have no tool palettes showing. Hitting the tab key twice brings up all the palettes, which stay up until you go back to working on the drawing, at which point they drop below again.

-Rob A>

torstan
06-18-2008, 09:08 AM
Right, now that we have the layer masks sorted, there is no reason not to colour the new regions in just the same was as we did with the sea. Remember:

1. Lay down areas of colour with the airbrush and a large fuzzy brush
2. Use a gradient of colours if you want some colour variation across the area
3. Smooth out any lines using the smudge tool
4. Duplicate the layer, keep one as a low opacity layer with a normal blend mode and the other as a low opacity layer with overlay, soft light or multiply blend mode. Play with the different modes and opacities until you get an effect you like. Also remember you can lighten/darken a layer and change it's whole set of colour values using the dialogue in Colour->Hue/saturation...

Do this for all of your regions of colour to get a result that looks something like this:

4432

torstan
06-18-2008, 09:36 AM
RobA - thanks a lot, that's a brilliant tip. Yep, that's definitely going to change the way I use Gimp.

Now the map posted above is a bit flat. Yes, it is clear and every element is distinct, but it's not particularly inspiring. To make the image pop we are going to add highlights and shadows. To do this we use an overlay layer.

First we will do general light and shade. Create a new layer and fill it with 50% grey (#808080). Your whole image will go grey! Don't worry, set the layer blend mode to overlay. Suddenly yourwhole image will go back to normal. Name this grey layer 'Sea light/shade' or somesuch.

Now The purpose of this layer is to give light and shade to the whole piece. This is done through overlay. Any colour value above 50% grey will have the effect of lightening every layer beneath it - up to and including your parchment background. The amount it lightens the layer is proportional to how much lighter than 50% grey the value on the overlay layer is. The opposite is true for values darker than 50% grey.

So to block in some light areas we need to lighten the overlay layer away from 50% grey. Now we could do this by laying down a lighter grey with the paint tools, but I find it easier to usethe dodge/burn tool on the grey layer. There's a good reason for this, but I won't go into it here unless people are interested.

Go to the dodge/burn tool and pick settings such as these:
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Now, dodge lightens tones whereas burn darkens them (it's a little more complex than that when dealing with colours but the purpose of what we are doing here this will suffice for now). By using a large fuzzy dodge brush on your overlay layer you will see whole areas of your map lighten up. Switch to burn to drop in the shadows. So for example if we have an overlay layer that looks like this:

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and we apply this overlay layer to the image I posted above, then we get something that looks like this:

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Now obviously a lot of the overlay regions that are making the waves dark are also darkening the ship, which is exactly what we don't want. Do we go back and paint those bits of the overlay 50% grey again? No! We just add a layer mask to out overlay layer. Copy and paste the layer mask from the sea colours layer into this new layer maks and the image cleans up immediately:

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See, I told you creating those layer masks would be useful in the long run!

torstan
06-18-2008, 09:53 AM
Now we repeat the same process for all the different areas of the map. It's worth using a new overlay layer ofr each section. It can be useful to be able to turn on/off different overlay layers to see what's going on. Equally, it can be useful to drop down the opacity of an overlay layer - yes dropping the opacity of an overlay layer just reduces its effect on the layers below it.

As you work on more fine details, drop down your brush size and maybe go to a hard edged brush. Also, try using the paint tools for lightening and darkening your overlay layer rather than sticking to dodge/burn. For example, if you need a bright highlight, you may need the to have an overlay tone of 90% grey (#e4e4e4). Getting to that with dodge will take a lot of working in. However, you can just go straight to that with the colour picker and draw in a sharp highlight using the paint tools. This is a good way of defining sharp edges.

I try to edit the overlay layers whilst they have their modes set to overlay. That way you are seeing the effect your modifications are having on the image as you go along. Don't forget that it is easy to smooth out a hard shadow or highlight using the smudge tool.

Here are the three further overlay layers that exist in my challenge entry.

The sail area:
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The rocks:
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and the deck:
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torstan
06-18-2008, 09:59 AM
The effect of applying these overlay layers in turn is:

Sails
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Rocks
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Deck
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Note that drawing the shadows isn't exact. The overlay layers are often very ropey (note the sail layer!). However the fact that these aren't super smooth and finished adds to the hand-drawn feel (well I tell that to myself anyway).

As for creating decent shadows and highlights, I have to say I am guilty of a few standard tricks. I always draw the light from the NW corner. Shadows that are close to the object casting them are often sharp. Shadows further away from the object casting them are more blurred. Note the shadow cast by the fallen main mast across the deck as an example. Finally, if you want to draw attention to a specific feature, make the shadows and highlights more exaggerated and crisp - it will draw the eye of the viewer.

Right - that's it for highlights and shadows. We're almost there now.

torstan
06-18-2008, 10:12 AM
Now the final stage is to put in little details. In this case I wanted to put in the remains of the ropes that led up the masts, and put some ripples on the waves.

For the waves I created a new transparent layer, selected the lightest sea colour from the City Colours palette I mentioned earlier and drew lots of rippling lines. This looked pretty poor initially as the ripples were jsut flat blue. I then switched the blend mode to soft light and the ripples softened into the picture nicely.

The ropes were done in a similar fashion - drawn in white using the ink tool on to a transparent layer:
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They are obviously completely overpowering! I changed the layer blend mode to soft light and dropped the opacity to 40%:
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Much better. With the sea highlights added in a similar way we get to the final version!
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Right, if you've made it through all of that and you aren't confused then you deserve a medal. I hope this makes sense. If there are any points at which you get stuck (and I'm sure there will be - I didn't exactly craft this carefully before posting) please ask and I'll do my best to answer.

Midgardsormr
06-18-2008, 01:44 PM
So to block in some light areas we need to lighten the overlay layer away from 50% grey. Now we could do this by laying down a lighter grey with the paint tools, but I find it easier to use the dodge/burn tool on the grey layer. There's a good reason for this, but I won't go into it here unless people are interested.

I'm interested!

torstan
06-20-2008, 12:56 PM
Okay, had a moment to sit down and think about this properly. The quick answer is that it just seems to work better and it gives me results that I like. Obviously that's not the 'better' reason I alluded to.

The reason is that the dodge and burn tools move the shade of the area they are applied to up or down from their current value whereas if you lay down a strip of a different colour with the paint tools it just gives a line of that colour. Obviously you can use the airbrush tool so that it only lays down a light opacity of that colour - which is close to the effect of the dodge/burn tools. To see the difference I did a little test:

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Now you can see that when I use dodge to lighten the mid-grey, it has roughly the same effect as using the white to lighten it. Equally, when I use the black to darken the mid grey, the results are comparable. However, the interesting result is where the two overlap. In the case of the airbrush, drawing over a white region with the black gives me a black line, darker than the mid-grey I started with, and much darker than the white. In the case of the dodge/burn tools, when I draw over the dodged area with the burn tool it darkens the tone it is applied to. In this case that tone is lighter than mid grey, so the burn tool moves it back towards mid grey.

Essentially the difference is that the paint tools are absolute. When you paint a black line, it lays down black, no matter what the underlying colour is. You can make the black less opaque so that its effect is less pronounced, but what you are painting knows nothing about the colours that are already there. In contrast, the dodge/burn tools are relative. They take the value that exists already and shifts it. This depends entirely on what is already there. I find that the second method gives smoother shadows and lighting than the first, and is more forgiving of a more quick and dirty approach to laying down light and shade.

Oh, here's the effect of the layer I posted above when applied to a textured layer. You can see that the black I painted on the overlay layer (on the right hand side) is very pronounced, whereas the area which was burned and then dodged is pretty subtle.

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I hope that makes sense?

jfrazierjr
06-20-2008, 01:35 PM
Okay, had a moment to sit down and think about this properly. The quick answer is that it just seems to work better and it gives me results that I like. Obviously that's not the 'better' reason I alluded to.

The reason is that the dodge and burn tools move the shade of the area they are applied to up or down from their current value whereas if you lay down a strip of a different colour with the paint tools it just gives a line of that colour. Obviously you can use the airbrush tool so that it only lays down a light opacity of that colour - which is close to the effect of the dodge/burn tools. To see the difference I did a little test:

4489

Now you can see that when I use dodge to lighten the mid-grey, it has roughly the same effect as using the white to lighten it. Equally, when I use the black to darken the mid grey, the results are comparable. However, the interesting result is where the two overlap. In the case of the airbrush, drawing over a white region with the black gives me a black line, darker than the mid-grey I started with, and much darker than the white. In the case of the dodge/burn tools, when I draw over the dodged area with the burn tool it darkens the tone it is applied to. In this case that tone is lighter than mid grey, so the burn tool moves it back towards mid grey.

Essentially the difference is that the paint tools are absolute. When you paint a black line, it lays down black, no matter what the underlying colour is. You can make the black less opaque so that its effect is less pronounced, but what you are painting knows nothing about the colours that are already there. In contrast, the dodge/burn tools are relative. They take the value that exists already and shifts it. This depends entirely on what is already there. I find that the second method gives smoother shadows and lighting than the first, and is more forgiving of a more quick and dirty approach to laying down light and shade.

Oh, here's the effect of the layer I posted above when applied to a textured layer. You can see that the black I painted on the overlay layer (on the right hand side) is very pronounced, whereas the area which was burned and then dodged is pretty subtle.

4491

I hope that makes sense?


Good explanation Torstan. This is exactly the type of techniques I have been using on my mountains drawn with RobA's technique Making Mountains in GIMP (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=594) BEFORE running my Bumpmap to get some of the colors spread out and make the slopes seem much more "ridgier" rather than just straight slope lines as can be seen here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=4481&d=1213922624


At least for me, this produces a very nice result and gives nice a mountain ridge without looking plasticy. I also go back over the dodge/burn stuff with a fuzzy edge smudge brush to decrease the hardness of the lines so the bumpmap does not get ugly looking. I could do this all with just the smudge brush, BUT it takes a LOT more time and again, it's easy to get bad looking bump maps so this combo seems to be the fastest way for me.

Joe

Ascension
06-20-2008, 04:48 PM
Wonderful explanation of the tools. It's like, "oh, yeah I knew this but then again I didn't". It's there in the back of the brain and this helps to bring it forward. Thank you.

Midgardsormr
06-20-2008, 07:42 PM
I hope that makes sense?

It makes lots of sense. Thanks very much! To be honest, I wasn't really sure what the dodge and burn tools were actually doing. I'll certainly be adopting that strategy the next time I attempt shaded relief. For my current try, I just used an airbrush, and while I got pretty good results, I think it could have been far easier.

torstan
06-21-2008, 01:02 PM
I'm glad that helped. Thanks for the rep.

Would it be useful to have a couple of .xcf files (Gimp equivalent of psd) of these maps to show how they were put together?

jfrazierjr
06-21-2008, 01:08 PM
i'm Glad That Helped. Thanks For The Rep.

Would It Be Useful To Have A Couple Of .xcf Files (gimp Equivalent Of Psd) Of These Maps To Show How They Were Put Together?



Yes! Yes! Yes!

torstan
06-21-2008, 01:56 PM
Hmmm, Arcana - could we get the forums to allow us to upload xcf files in the same way it allows the upload of psd files?

torstan
06-21-2008, 02:16 PM
Okay, I had to reduce the filesize a bit - the original .xcf file is 21MB! Anyway, here is the zipped .xcf of the shipwreck map at 50% of the original size:

4518

delgondahntelius
06-29-2008, 07:40 AM
Repped!!!
Great tutorial .... I don't know GIMP at all... tho I believe i have a downloaded version.. I prefer my PhotoshopCS3... from what i've read most of this can be applied to photoshop maps...

I'll most likely be confused for a long time until I sort it out :) but you are my hero, great advice on the burn/dodge and the application of layer masks and how to bring in a scanned handdrawn map...

A couple of points I wanted to ask or note on ....
When you do your first sketches... why desaturate each layer instead of just lowering the opacity... or is this just a matter of terminology?

Since I'm GIMP-retarded (that just sounds BAD) I don't know if they have the equivelant .. but when doing the sea block with different fuzzy brush colors... I found (when doing the forests for Stormwatch) that selecting both a foreground color and background color of light and dark of your preffered colors (this case, darker blue and lighter blue) Photoshop has a brush function called 'color dynamics' the settings allow you to adjust the foreground/background jitter (around 80%) saturation jitter (20%) brightness jitter (8%) and Purity (+9%) you get a nice random assorted blends of between your two colors.... maybe this helps ... maybe this doesn't ... but I found the effect quite interesting to play with and could apply to numerous mapping elements.

I could be totally missing some points in the tutorial... but I thought I might mention that locking the layers I currently aren't using a useful way to avoid erasing or otherwise selecting the wrong layer or being on the wrong layer when working with a map ...

In some areas, would(n't) using a saved selection be a shorter route than five million layer masks when you only want to affect one area of your map? This is more of a general question for any map really that I've been meaning to ask someone who is obviously far more learned than I. I do understand that having a layermask is probably a far more useful tool than just a saved selection, i was just curious.

is there a way that I can just make a copy of all your cool abilities to make maps and useful tutorials and then transfer it into my brain *instantly* .... ya know... like in the Matrix? That would just save me LOADS of time and energy :)

Great work... I'd of repped you fifty dozen more times if I could have... but .. you know... rules and stuff :D

torstan
06-29-2008, 08:59 AM
Thanks! I was wondering if anyone had gone through this, but then I looked at the view count. Wow.

Right, a few answers. Firstly, yes, I meant lower the opacity rather than desaturate when dealing with the sketch layers. A low opacity sketch layer set to overlay will allow you to see the sketch but not let it get in the way.

Secondly, Gimp is the retarded one, not you. It doesn't have any brsuh dynamics of the type you mention from photoshop. Colour from gradient does a good job though.

Locking layers is a great idea. I just don't bother and make sure that I am careful, but still screw up every now and again. Locking layers that aren't in use would be a very good habit to get into.

The reason for using a layer mask rather than a saved selection is that layer masks can be altered after the fact. Say I later decided that I want more sea, I can go back and just rub out a little more of the layer mask to let a little more of the sea show through. Also, you might want a little of the colour to bleed over an edge - say for the sea colours over the sunken sails. For that you really need a greyscale layer mask to get the smooth decrease in opacity - and a layer mask makes it easy to apply the same fade to lots of layers. To get the same effect with a selection would be pretty tricky.

Glad the tute was useful/interesting.

delgondahntelius
06-29-2008, 09:04 AM
Maybe its me .... but I can't seem to find a ... ? what was it.. oh ya .. a SCALE!! lol

actually i went to start setting this up ... couldn't find the actual size of the image you started with .. the blank canvas as it were... pixel wise

torstan
06-29-2008, 09:06 AM
It was for the challenge so this one was 1280x1024 px as that was the specified size. I usually start with 2000x2000 or 3000x3000. All the battlemaps are at 50px per 5ft as they are to be used in maptool. They don't have a scale on them because that makes them more useful to others who may want to scale them up or down a little for their own use.

delgondahntelius
06-29-2008, 09:09 AM
i figured that is what it might have been since it was for the challenge ... and I was just giving ya a hardtime :D

I actually did not know that all battlemaps for Maptool were 50px for 5' ... that makes it neat and tidy tho.. thanks :)

delgondahntelius
06-29-2008, 09:12 AM
another dumb question .. do you keep the ppi at 300? or does it make more sense to lower it to a screen resolution for VTT's or does a higher resolution help?

torstan
06-29-2008, 09:26 AM
ppi, or dpi don't have any effect on a map for a VTT so I never change them. These maps don't get printed so I leave them at the default of (I believe) 72dpi.

delgondahntelius
06-29-2008, 09:42 AM
great ..... that really helps keep the MB down :)

delgondahntelius
06-30-2008, 04:08 AM
Tired of me yet?

When you did the dreeston map, did you go through all the blacking out of areas you didn't want say the ocean or the fill on the land touching like you did when you blacked out the ship and rocks creating layer masks for your colored sections?

I was attmepting to recreate the style for one of my own battle maps ... a goblin ambush alont a road and near a small cliff ... its actually closer to your other map the pirate camp one than this one ... but since I had little line drawing as far as a large wooden boat .. most of the lines are sections of trees, the road the cliff edge ... small stream, some covered pit traps and a tent ... that kinda thing...

I kinda got lost because I think maybe photoshop and gimp are a little further apart in some functions than I originally thought ... OR ... i'm just completely retarded when it comes to following a set of instructions .. lol

delgondahntelius
06-30-2008, 05:23 AM
Ya... I tried blacking in a layer and selecting the layer I want to mask and dropping it on there... I can't get it to work like that...

In PS... (this saves alot of the steps you do) is slect what I need to mask (since I put all my different sections on seperate layers) so, I ctrl click my forest layer, which selects all my forested areas, layer>mask>hide which hides it on the mask. then with black brush I swath in the forest right up to my original penned in line edge. I do that for each of the overlay, right up to the penned sections...

Is tihs essentially the same process were doing with gimp ?

*edit: sorry ... white brush not black brush, white fills, black takes away

torstan
06-30-2008, 06:05 AM
Yep, you want to mask everything and then bring it back with a white brush. I do this once for one layer and then copy-paste it to the other layers. Glad you figured it out in photoshop.

Actually in the Dreeston map it was a lot easier than that. I made sure that all my boundaries between regions were solid lines. Then you can hide all layers (including background) apart from your boundary line - say the coastline layer. Then use the magic wand tool to select all of the transparent area that corresponds to your water. The selection will be a little shy of the line as the ink tool does not have a hard edge. To get around this use Select->Grow. 2 pixels usually does the trick here, but if you are using a larger ink brush you may need to grow it a bit further. Now your selection line runs right along the middle of your ink boundary line. Create a new transparent layer and call it Mask. Fill with white, then invert the selection and fill with black. You now have a ready made layer mask for your see layer. This is a LOT faster than going round the edges with a brush!

In the Dreeston map I used this method to get a mask for the land/sea boundary and also for the forest. The snow mask I painted with a fuzzy brush.

---- Combining layer masks ----
If you have two layer masks - say a forest one and a land/sea one and you want to combine them then you can do the following. First create a blank layer mask for the layer you want to mask (say Grass Colour layer). Now copy and paste the first mask onto the blank mask. Now if you copy and paste the second one, you would just replace it. To get them to combine, just do this:
1. Copy the layer you want to add to the mask
2. Click the layer mask you want to add it to and paste. Do NOT anchor it yet.
3. You should have a floating pasted layer at the top of your layers dialogue. Select that layer (it should already be selected, but just make sure) and change its mode to darken only if you want to add the blacked out area of the mask, or lighten only if you want to add to the whited out are of the mask.
4. Click the anchor to apply the pasted layer to your layer mask.

This allows for a quick and easy way of building up complex layer masks from your different pre-prepared masks.

delgondahntelius
06-30-2008, 08:19 AM
just a thought for any future tutorials containg layer masks.... I found it a bit confusing when you refer to a layer mask ... and to the layer you named Mask... and also calling layer Mask...

torstan
06-30-2008, 08:30 AM
Yes, I realised that when I was typing this out. My naming conventions help me when I am working on a map, but don't translate too well to telling others about it. I may one day put an updated version of this into a pdf, in which case I'll be more sensible when setting up conventions at the beginning.

Also, thanks to the mods for the tutorial scroll! Now all I need is one of those snazzy compasses for the full set :)

delgondahntelius
06-30-2008, 09:40 AM
oh wow.. nice ... and they broadened that category up a bit... maybe when I get this handdrawn commision i'm doing ... I can put up a pen and ink tutorial from start to finish .. .the guy gave me permission once the project is finished to post up a tut here... it (the map) will be featured at dragoncon promoting his game... which is cool :D in and of itself...

another side note.. I did figure out how to get similiar steps in PS ... as I said, I can't actually drag a layer into a blank mask on another layer (this was how I read it to be done in gimp from your steps...) From the layer named MASK, you have to create layermask and then drag that layermask to the layer you want it on.

NOPE... nm... I just found it you can create the layermask, and to copy it to another layer you hold down alt when moving the layermask.... good good good....

:D

jfrazierjr
06-30-2008, 10:21 AM
Yes, I realised that when I was typing this out. My naming conventions help me when I am working on a map, but don't translate too well to telling others about it. I may one day put an updated version of this into a pdf, in which case I'll be more sensible when setting up conventions at the beginning.

Also, thanks to the mods for the tutorial scroll! Now all I need is one of those snazzy compasses for the full set :)

And well deserved!

I would love it it you were to make up a tutorial for the Dresston map or create another map of similar overland style for a tutorial. I been mulling stuff over in my head about my section of the world building project and using some hand drawn top down mountains was way I was looking to go. I thought of this approach several weeks ago, but have not been able to get past the (in GIMP) rough inking stage in B\W and that looks mostly like crap without some color. I originally was going to do it in style like RobA's tutorial with the modified mountain shape, but want to try something different. I can't really do ISO on that map since the whole(well almost) freaking thing is mountains and that would look a bit odd which is why I was going to do top down in the first plac...

Joe

torstan
06-30-2008, 10:43 AM
Much of the Deeston map was just as in the ship tutorial, though with a few refinements. Sounds like you are interested in the mountains specifically. If I did a short mountain tute would that do the trick? I'm also happy to do a proper walkthrough of the whole map - you just might not get it for a while :)

delgondahntelius
06-30-2008, 10:49 AM
I don't think it matters what program you use ... the sketching stage for hand drawing a map or inking part .. will always take a kinda of ... getting used to ... especially if (like probably most everyone who began mapping) you are used to grabbing the nearest piece of sketch paper or pad and drawing it out by hand.

The best advice I have for you and what helped me out? (tablet a must really, handdrawn maps with a mouse is just asking for frustration) ... start out with a white background... start a new (transparent) layer and set your ink to a comfortable width (i usually use around a 3-5 pixel width) and just draw out the baser of shapes on the map... forests areas, hills... mountains... rivers coastlines, etc... and don't be neat about it... don't use ctrl z, don't use your eraser.... if you aren't liking it ... start a new layer and either turn the eyeball off on that layer or delete it if you like... and just keep going ... (like ripping off a sheet of paper and going to the next sheet)

When you got a rough idea of what you want it to look like.... turn that opacity down and start a new layer.... refine it as much as you can... again ... you don't have to be neat and worry about messing up .... just tighten it up a bit.... and then start a new layer ... turn the opacity off the previous, turn the opacity down on the just finished, and once again .."tighten" up the sketch .... I might go anywhere from 3-5 or mayer layers before I get a really well defined inked map ready to be colored and rendered...

but that's just my two cents :D

jfrazierjr
06-30-2008, 11:52 AM
Much of the Deeston map was just as in the ship tutorial, though with a few refinements. Sounds like you are interested in the mountains specifically. If I did a short mountain tute would that do the trick? I'm also happy to do a proper walkthrough of the whole map - you just might not get it for a while :)

Heh.. I will take what I can get, but yes, the mountains are a hugh part(85% or so of the map is mountains) of the map, so something specific to them would be great.

Thanks,
Joe

jfrazierjr
06-30-2008, 11:58 AM
I don't think it matters what program you use ... the sketching stage for hand drawing a map or inking part .. will always take a kinda of ... getting used to ... especially if (like probably most everyone who began mapping) you are used to grabbing the nearest piece of sketch paper or pad and drawing it out by hand.

The best advice I have for you and what helped me out? (tablet a must really, handdrawn maps with a mouse is just asking for frustration) ...

Thanks Del. I just don't have the talent to do stuff like this freehanded (or much for that matter!), so will be doing it all in GIMP anyway.

Tablet: check.... got one a few weeks ago specifically for rivers. After playing with ISO mountains and smudges, it is a vital when trying to erase or smudge and be precise. I just can't do that with the mouse without tons of undos.

Joe