View Full Version : What do I need?

10-24-2012, 04:20 PM
I dont want a huge discussion or anything . . . I just want to be told what I need to start doing this properly.

10-24-2012, 04:26 PM
Could you be a bit more specific as to what you want to do? (I'm assuming you want to start making maps) The mapping software guide is a good place to start to find out what kind of software is right for you. After that take a look at the tutorial section of the forum there are a lot of great tutorials that will help you get started. :)

10-24-2012, 04:36 PM
well thank you for that incredibly unhelpful reply. That is sure to help someone who is scared, confused, and intimidated by his own goals.

this is the map I made


it is confusing, cluttered, and generic. . . I am trying to build a map for my martian historical drama. I have no artistic experience . . . as I am a writer (althought this is not my first map failure)

I just want to make it a good map . . . try to think of it like a fantasy map, it hsould be like any other fantasy world map (even though it is not a fantasy, just medieval)

10-24-2012, 04:47 PM
I'm sorry if you found my answer unhelpful. We all started somewhere. I had been hand drawing maps (badly) for years until I discovered this site. Over the last few years my talent and my confidence has increased immensely. I think you have to ask your self just what kind of map you want to make (I should add that your original map is very interesting and not at all terrible) It's just a matter of starting with some questions about what you are trying to accomplish with your map. Remember that at it's base all a map is is a way to convey information. If you want an "artistic" style map I again suggest you check out the tutorial section. One great way to get some immediate feedback is to post you maps in the relevant forum section and ask for feedback. I think you'll find that were a helpful and friendly bunch and that pretty soon you'll find your skills and your confidence in your work growing. :)

10-24-2012, 04:59 PM
I want to make a mars map, I just want it to not be cluttered and for the environments to be distinct.

10-24-2012, 05:04 PM
By "environments" do you mean the land and the oceans? I'm assuming that in this setting Mars has open oceans.

10-24-2012, 05:15 PM
I have a basic version of it done


that is it

I need the deserts, plains, land-reefs (forests) all seperate from each other. Martian flora is largely black or yellow in color. . . and all of the mountains and distinct geological features have been totalyl muted by coloring the map.

10-24-2012, 07:27 PM
I am now learning in gimp. . . horay

10-26-2012, 09:46 AM
Looking at your map, it looks like you've already got a pretty good elevation setup. For an easy coloring technique that shouldn't mute your details would be to try some layers in gimp with different blending modes:

Open Gimp
Start with your uncolored map as the bottom layer.
Add a new layer - bucket fill (Shift-B) it with the color you want to add.
Change the layer's blend mode to Overlay or Soft Light
Add a Layer Mask - start with full opacity (if you want to keep most of the color) or full transparency (if you only want a little color)
Use a grungy-looking brush (I'm fond of Big Galaxy) to paint black or white on the layer mask - white where you want your color, black where you don't want it

You can also fiddle with the brush opacity - I like to start light (maybe 30%) and apply some jitter - keeps my OCD tendencies from making too many obviously regular formations. To add more colors, just add more layers for each color, and repeat the painting process. This method also makes it MUCH easier to correct mistakes and make small tweaks without resorting to endless undo-redo cycles.

Another option, since this is "Mars with Water" (and presumable has a hydrological cycle i.e. rain) - depending on your elevation layout's format, you could try importing it into Wilbur (http://www.fracterra.com/software.html) and running some Precipitation or Erosion cycles to add some rivers and other effects.

There's a huge variation in map styles and techniques out there - maybe if you could post some links to what style you're looking for, someone here could point you at a technique or tutorial that could achieve those effects. Recently, I've been a huge fan of arsheesh's Eriond (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/18280-%5Baward-winner%5D-eriond-tutorial-gimp-wilbur.html) tutorial.

I may also take a stab and see what I can do along these lines... always liked the idea of playing around on Mars. :)

EDIT: Found a Mars height map online, did a little playing around, and came up with this result:

10-28-2012, 01:20 AM
wow dude thanks :D

this mars is in the distant past, before a . . . mysterious cataclysm occured.

10-28-2012, 01:54 AM
dude the map you made is rpetty much perfect for the era I am working with. I need to figure it out environmentally though. Deserts, forests, plains . . .

10-28-2012, 10:39 AM
Glad you like it! I still have a few reservations, but you're welcome to take it as-is and run with it.

If you'd rather, however, I'd be happy to do some more fiddling - maybe rough in some rivers (add some erosion effects via Wilbur?), fix the contrast (the northern ocean is awfully dark, and Olympus Mons is just SO high it blows out the contrast), correct the edge mistakes I made on the northern cap and the NE island. And if you can give me some hints on where you want deserts, forests, and plains (say a copy of the map with color-coded blotches?) I can take a shot at putting in some more detail.

10-28-2012, 12:21 PM
my skills in mapping are not suited to doing what I need to do, so if you could help finish this up that would be great.

this is a partly colored version of the map that gives a vague idea of the environment, black plants are larger plants trees, bushes, shrubs, swamp-land. Yellow is smaller plants . . . plains, marshland . . . red is desert

It isnt very good - _ - and the placement makes no sense. But then again this whole map makes no sense as at the time the ancient martians did not have satellites . . . but if I really wanted a LOTR style map that owuld mean re-crawing the whole thing and making careful note of the geological features . . . of an entire planet.


11-01-2012, 08:34 PM
Here's a second attempt.

I did some erosion work and masking in Wilbur, followed by composition in Gimp. As requested, I made black trees/swamps in the lowlands, with some yellow plants sprinkled in, and more of the latter in the midlands. The high deserts are made of reds and browns, and we've got some basic arctic caps. I've also got some rivers and clouds included - though both can be easily masked out if you'd rather not have them.

I can't really think of anything else I'd do to it at this point, but I'm happy to take suggestions, or I can just post the xcf (gimp) file somewhere and you can make the little changes yourself.

Actually - here's the link: Mars Map XCF (http://toosigma.com/files/Mars-Map-121101.xcf). The most likely changes I can see you making are toggling the Clouds/Rivers layers, and maybe painting on the Land Colors. The former is fairly straightforward, but to make changes to the latter, I recommend just painting on the layer masks (the mostly black images to the right) - painting white will add more of the specified color, and painting black will remove it. You can also play with the opacity/blend modes, or try running a Hue/Saturation filter on the actual layer if you don't like my choice of colors.

Feel free to post more if you have questions. :)

11-14-2012, 07:39 PM
Thank you so much :d

11-14-2012, 08:17 PM
I only have one complaint with this map . . . is the lack of grasslands . . . I love deserts and all that . . . but replacing some of that desert area with grassland would be nice . . . I think I will try although I know I will fail x _ x