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Eskandare
03-19-2013, 01:47 PM
Here are some maps I made for the SW: DoD adventure I'm running. Without access to Photoshop I'm stuck with using GIMP, Inkscape and Paint . I make due with what I've got. I think it turned out fairly well. Both Armoredgear7 and Jedicartographer are my insperation for my work. A few elements belong to them, so I give them equal credit for my work.

Imperial Prison and Command Center

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Swamp

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This one uses Mushroom elements by Neyjour. Neyjour on deviantART (http://neyjour.deviantart.com/)

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kestrelgrey
03-19-2013, 03:24 PM
Nice, these are looking good. Your swamp map is a little bare, and it looks a little like a map of some islands rather than water-logged swamp-land. The colors are good, though. The grid is a little distracting, but that might be the brightness of the white on such a dark map. Same for the mushroom map, although that one looks better in terms of the layout. I'm not sure the mushrooms, ground texture, and those more "scientific" (?) elements work particularly well together at the moment, but I just love those mushrooms!

Your first 2 maps, the imperial prison and command center, look great; I just want some labels! ^-^ They're very clean and the level of detail is good. The only critique I have would be the blood (if that is blood), doesn't really fit with the excellent detail of the rest of the map, and if that is blood, all the 'furniture' in the room is remarkably well-aligned and upright. That is, of course, based on my assumption that blood = rampaging monster of some kind ^-^; Good job so far, and looking forward to more!

- kes

kestrelgrey
03-20-2013, 05:50 AM
I can see the improvement; good job. One way to break up bare maps without interfering with playability is to add little, random elements, like stones, gravel, patches of grass, dead leaves (it's amazing how they manage to get everywhere, even if there aren't any trees around o.O), etc. Also just combining a couple different textures and make each one visible in different places and blending the overlap could help.

I like the idea of the blood (and there are some great free brushes/image packs to help lay down some more realistic blood); even just turning the table to angle instead of lined up with the grid would help give the impression that maybe things aren't all that under control there ^-^

As for the grid on the marsh maps, it is a good idea; it's just a strong/bright. Maybe lower the opacity, or set it to a light-ish gray? I don't use GIMP so I don't know what layer effects are available, but if there's something similar to overlay, you could set it to a light purple and then set the layer to overlay - the grid would "blend", but still be visible.

keep it up, and good luck!

- kes

Jacktannery
03-20-2013, 05:56 AM
Eskandare, great maps.

The Imperial Prison and Command Centre maps are very well done. Very clear but also interesting. The colour scheme works nicely overall and its great to see a map of this type that isn't a riot of clashing colours. Great lighting too in the room with the metal floor. The only criticism I'll make is that the red symbol on top of the olive-green bins in the centre are a bit too red - it looks out of place with the rest of the map. This red needs to be toned down. Also the yellow danger-tape lines along the west of the map come out a rather sickly shade due to the underlying blue - perhaps add a good bit more orange to that shade, something closer to directly opposite the colour wheel (R100% G75% B0%) rather than at a quarter of the way across like you have now (R85% G100% B0%). Rather than reducing the opacity of the yellow danger lines (and indeed the red symbols on the bins) you can make them look old and flaked-off by adding a layer-mask filled with a plasma or cloud layer. I agree with Kestrel that the blood is a bit limp too - you need to make it much darker brown in the middle, only that colour at the very edge.

I like your swamp maps. I don't find the grid too bright or distracting - I think you did that just right. Great use of Neyjour's mushrooms - they look great here. The only thing that does not work for me on these two maps is the shorelines of each of the islands and river-bank. I can see what you are doing with your sandy transition, but I don't think it looks good, and also swamps don't have much sand. If I were you I would get rid of the sand and make this a simple step, with shading to indicate the two levels. It will give the maps a more 3D feel and clear up the colours a little.

Also, these maps you say the original adventure gave you - is this a commercial product? I ask because I recognise elements created by a member of these forums (and for sale elsewhere) that are clearly not the work of the black & white map artist above.


Without access to Photoshop I'm stuck with using GIMP, Inkscape and Paint.
This is not quite as terrible as you imply - and you did a great job anyway. What do you use Paint for that Gimp and Inkscape cannot do?

Eskandare
03-20-2013, 01:57 PM
Eskandare, great maps.

The Imperial Prison and Command Centre maps are very well done. Very clear but also interesting. The colour scheme works nicely overall and its great to see a map of this type that isn't a riot of clashing colours. Great lighting too in the room with the metal floor. The only criticism I'll make is that the red symbol on top of the olive-green bins in the centre are a bit too red - it looks out of place with the rest of the map. This red needs to be toned down. Also the yellow danger-tape lines along the west of the map come out a rather sickly shade due to the underlying blue - perhaps add a good bit more orange to that shade, something closer to directly opposite the colour wheel (R100% G75% B0%) rather than at a quarter of the way across like you have now (R85% G100% B0%). Rather than reducing the opacity of the yellow danger lines (and indeed the red symbols on the bins) you can make them look old and flaked-off by adding a layer-mask filled with a plasma or cloud layer. I agree with Kestrel that the blood is a bit limp too - you need to make it much darker brown in the middle, only that colour at the very edge.

I hadn't thought of using a plasma layer or cloud layer on the crates. I tend to use that on some of my floor textures. I'll reduce the red on the crates.



I like your swamp maps. I don't find the grid too bright or distracting - I think you did that just right. Great use of Neyjour's mushrooms - they look great here. The only thing that does not work for me on these two maps is the shorelines of each of the islands and river-bank. I can see what you are doing with your sandy transition, but I don't think it looks good, and also swamps don't have much sand. If I were you I would get rid of the sand and make this a simple step, with shading to indicate the two levels. It will give the maps a more 3D feel and clear up the colours a little.

True jungles don't have sandy banks.



Also, these maps you say the original adventure gave you - is this a commercial product? I ask because I recognise elements created by a member of these forums (and for sale elsewhere) that are clearly not the work of the black & white map artist above.

As I stated in the beginning, some elements are made by Jedicartographer and Armoredgear7, I believe that's their handles on here. It's their handles on the old the-holocron.com site. I give them equal credit in the design of my map. I know that both artists are on this forum and I am a huge fan of their works. I have a couple of their works hanging in my living room. None, that I know of, are from either of their commercial works. Other, elements and textures I extract from real life or reproduce to match the styling used in the film. As for SW: DoD, it was an adventure originally posted on the WoC website for the, now out of print, Star Wars Saga Edition RPG. These maps I made for myself to use in the adventure and themselves cannot be used in any commercial product. Especially without the permission of Christopher West, Josh Derksen, and myself. I posted them on here to share and get tips on improving my skills.



This is not quite as terrible as you imply - and you did a great job anyway. What do you use Paint for that Gimp and Inkscape cannot do?

I use paint to quickly draw new brushes and specific shapes for creating my textures, and elements. It only takes a flick of the wrist, plus I'm still learning Inkscape.

Jacktannery
03-20-2013, 03:21 PM
As I stated in the beginning, some elements are made by Jedicartographer and Armoredgear7, I believe that's their handles on here. It's their handles on the old the-holocron.com site. I give them equal credit in the design of my map. I know that both artists are on this forum and I am a huge fan of their works. I have a couple of their works hanging in my living room. None, that I know of, are from either of their commercial works. Other, elements and textures I extract from real life or reproduce to match the styling used in the film. As for SW: DoD, it was an adventure originally posted on the WoC website for the, now out of print, Star Wars Saga Edition RPG. These maps I made for myself to use in the adventure and themselves cannot be used in any commercial product. Especially without the permission of Christopher West, Josh Derksen, and myself. I posted them on here to share and get tips on improving my skills.

No you misunderstand. I know that you are using elements from other artists - and you are doing it really well. I applaud you and all the artists would be delighted to have their elements used in this way - that's what these forums are all about. I am not referring to your maps. I am referring to the maps you posted in your Post #3, which you said were the maps in the original adventure.

Eskandare
03-20-2013, 03:57 PM
No you misunderstand. I know that you are using elements from other artists - and you are doing it really well. I applaud you and all the artists would be delighted to have their elements used in this way - that's what these forums are all about. I am not referring to your maps. I am referring to the maps you posted in your Post #3, which you said were the maps in the original adventure.

Oh smeg! You're right... I should probably remove them. The ones I posted were out of a zip file from off of one of the DoD fan sites. I didn't realise they were enlarged versions of the ones actually in the adventure. Although the adventure was freely distributed the original ones are still commercial. I'll take them down.

Eskandare
03-20-2013, 04:01 PM
Then again the enlarged versions seem to be modified. The very original black and white maps are credited to Corey Macourek.

Eskandare
03-20-2013, 04:12 PM
Sorry, as originally posted before,


Nice, these are looking good. Your swamp map is a little bare, and it looks a little like a map of some islands rather than water-logged swamp-land. The colors are good, though. The grid is a little distracting, but that might be the brightness of the white on such a dark map. Same for the mushroom map, although that one looks better in terms of the layout. I'm not sure the mushrooms, ground texture, and those more "scientific" (?) elements work particularly well together at the moment, but I just love those mushrooms!

Your first 2 maps, the imperial prison and command center, look great; I just want some labels! ^-^ They're very clean and the level of detail is good. The only critique I have would be the blood (if that is blood), doesn't really fit with the excellent detail of the rest of the map, and if that is blood, all the 'furniture' in the room is remarkably well-aligned and upright. That is, of course, based on my assumption that blood = rampaging monster of some kind ^-^; Good job so far, and looking forward to more!

- kes

Thank you. The blood on the Imperial prison was an after thought as the area there is more of a scientific lab. I figured sloppy mad scientist. I may try to find a different texture and reduce the blood splatter.

The map with the islands was bare in the adventure examples. I tried to add something to them but I couldn't find anything that would fit well. Yes, I agree the grid is distracting yet I wanted to make sure the players knew where the grid was. I should have played with the colours more. My swamp textures are not exactly how I wanted them. I had a different one that was darker, but it seemed more distracting. My goal with most of my maps is to make them detailed yet playable for the encounter. I must say though, all a major improvement to what I originally had been given to work with.

The original maps the adventure gave me:

:Images Removed: (for examples of the originals, please see the Star Wars: Dawn of Defiance Adventure Available on the web.) The Dawn of Defiance Campaign (http://web.archive.org/web/20100118064618/http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=starwars/article/dodcampaign)

More of my great maps soon to come.

Jacktannery
03-20-2013, 04:54 PM
...The very original black and white maps are credited to Corey Macourek.

I didn't mean for you to remove the maps. And yes - the thing I had recognised off those black and white maps was in a Paizo gamemastery battlemap pack; and who are a lot of those created by ... Corey Macourek! So that's all good then - no panic.

Eskandare
03-20-2013, 05:35 PM
I didn't mean for you to remove the maps.

Oh, well, I'm careful with works, and siting works because here in the States people go a bit mad with lawsuits over a little thing. I certainly would like to get into making RPG maps for a game company some day. I wouldn't want to get a bad name for myself in the community.


And yes - the thing I had recognised off those black and white maps was in a Paizo gamemastery battlemap pack; and who are a lot of those created by ... Corey Macourek! So that's all good then - no panic.

Well I do know that Corey Macourek and Chris West both worked with WotC for a while, it makes sense that Corey would make stuff for Pathfinder. I think Chris West is making Star Wars maps for Fantasy Flight Games' Edge of the Empire RPG. I saw something that looks like his style. It is a small industry.