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Meshon
04-25-2013, 06:18 PM
So I've finally managed to put together a tutorial for the method I've started using to make cobblestone streets. There is an example in this forum thread: http://www.cartographersguild.com/virtual-tabletop-battlemap-mapping/23133-ruined-neighbourhood.html. I couldn't get the file size down on the pdf, so I've put the pdf and the files I used (including Illustrator and Photoshop brushes and some Photoshop styles and patterns) up on Dropbox.

The tutorial pdf is here:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/64705797/Battlemaps/MCS-tutorial/Meshons_Cobblestone_Streets.pdf
And the additional files are here:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/64705797/Battlemaps/MCS-tutorial/MCS_tutorialFiles.zip

I use older versions of Photoshop and Illustrator, but I've included my settings in the pdf so hopefully GIMP users can get something out of it. I also converted my Illustrator brush files to SVG which I'm led to believe might make them more useable for Inkscape users.

I have never really produced an instructional document before, let alone a mapping tutorial, so I would be happy to hear feedback about the tutorial itself as well as (dare I hope) if you find it useable.

cheers,
Meshon

Edit: I finally got the final part of the tutorial included. The link is the same but I've added a few pages at the end of the tutorial covering my method for getting moss to grow on the cobblestones.

I finally went back and reduced the file size of the pdf, so if you don't want to mess with DropBox you can just use the attached version of the tutorial document. I have also attached some of the brushes and textures I used, though the .psd file itself is too large to attach. Just a note: the quality of the images in this smaller .pdf is not great, but I think everything is still legible. The version on DropBox has clearer images.

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Pineapple
04-25-2013, 06:50 PM
Thanks for posting this! I repped you and I'm excited to try this out when I have to make a close-up city map. I'm on GIMP and Inkscape, but I'm going to try to make it work for me.

AmarilloQL
04-25-2013, 07:12 PM
Thanks man. I hope to learn something because i never can handle the tutorials hahaha.

Meshon
04-25-2013, 11:54 PM
Thanks very much! I'd be interested to hear if any of it translates to Inkscape and GIMP, or to find out if there's anything I can do with the additional files to make them play well with other applications. And I hope that you get at least something out of the tutorial.

cheers,
Meshon

nolgroth
04-28-2013, 03:15 AM
Thanks for posting this! I repped you and I'm excited to try this out when I have to make a close-up city map. I'm on GIMP and Inkscape, but I'm going to try to make it work for me.If you manage to come up with an adaptation, would you mind posting it?

nolgroth
04-28-2013, 03:17 AM
So I've finally managed to put together a tutorial for the method I've started using to make cobblestone streets. <snip>

I have never really produced an instructional document before, let alone a mapping tutorial, so I would be happy to hear feedback about the tutorial itself as well as (dare I hope) if you find it useable.

cheers,
Meshon

I really like the way your cobblestone streets turned out. While I am on GIMP, I will do everything I can to adapt this to my use. Thank you very much for posting.

Pineapple
04-29-2013, 11:10 AM
If you manage to come up with an adaptation, would you mind posting it?

I would be happy to, but it probably won't be any time soon. It might be one of those projects that gets pushed off to my summer break.

Vellum
05-09-2013, 09:56 AM
The guild members will appreciate this for sure, thanks for adding to the library.

jtougas
05-31-2013, 09:36 AM
Great !! I use GIMP and am very excited to see if I can adapt this to that software. Thanks so much for sharing this. :)

zeichen
03-27-2015, 01:15 PM
I know this old, but I just wanted to thank you for this. It really is an interesting approach. I had never thought about making a brush for streets. Reminds me of these interesting meditation circles I have seen. It would be interesting to take a celtic circle pattern and then use your brush technique to make the pattern into a road or meditation circle. Would look really nice in temples.

Meshon
03-27-2015, 02:19 PM
Great, I hope you find it useful! I was trying to get away from what happens when you use a cobblestone texture for streets and that is that the streets don't look like they were laid down as streets. I also was experimenting with ways to make maps dirty... I'm actually really pleased you commented here. It reminded me that I should get back to using Photoshop instead of hiding behind my safe, tidy vectors ;)

cheers,
Meshon

chick
03-27-2015, 02:29 PM
Hmmm, I hadn't seen this before either, and it's great!

zeichen
03-28-2015, 06:02 AM
Now I must admit I didn't read through carefully. I followed the best I could but since I don't use illustrator I had to fudge a little. I did create a pattern and made it a brush but it didn't really flow the right way. I couldn't get it to curve and follow a pattern correctly. I will definitely need to read every word step by step. I tend to skim and scan but this is a little more complicated of a process to get it to seam right.

Thanks again, I know that if I master it, I will get the look I am after.

ChickPea
03-28-2015, 10:47 AM
This looks fantastic! I'm using Gimp and Inkscape, so I'm not sure if it'll 'translate' but when I've got time, I'll definitely be giving it a go.

Meshon
03-28-2015, 02:32 PM
Now I must admit I didn't read through carefully. I followed the best I could but since I don't use illustrator I had to fudge a little. I did create a pattern and made it a brush but it didn't really flow the right way. I couldn't get it to curve and follow a pattern correctly. I will definitely need to read every word step by step. I tend to skim and scan but this is a little more complicated of a process to get it to seam right.

Thanks again, I know that if I master it, I will get the look I am after.
Unfortunately Illustrator is where the magic happens for this particular style and makes the cobblestones look like they're heading in a particular direction. However, I want to see you succeed, so I opened up Photoshop and came up with a possible solution. Keep in mind I'm not a Photoshop expert (I have no formal training) so there may well be other ways to do this.

It just occurred to me that if you're using GIMP I am out of my depth, but maybe there will be enough similarities that you can put something together.

I made a rough-edged rectangle for my cobblestone. If I get some more time I will try making a brush that is actually several cobblestones put together, but this might work for you.
1) Create a new brush in Photoshop. Draw the shape you want and select it. Go to Edit > Define Brush Preset, and give it a fun name. I think I called mine "Cobblestone" ;) You can use this one if you're in a hurry.
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2) Set up the brush. First, go to Brush Tip Shape in the Brushes pane and check "spacing" and give it a good high number. The actual % will probably depend on the size of your brush, so you may need to go back and forth a bit to get it the way you want. Here's my settings.
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3) Finally, set up the Shape Dynamics. The only thing you need to do here is make the brush follow the direction of your path. It will also work if you are drawing manually. Just set the Angle Jitter to Direction.
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Now when you draw with your brush the cobblestones should follow the direction you draw. What I've done here only does a single line of cobblestones. Keep in mind that you can draw a path with the pen tool (or any other method of making paths) and then stroke the path with the brush you've set up. This will give you a little more control.

Hopefully this is somewhat useful to you. If you have Inkscape I think that there are files in the tutorial download that can be used with that software, although I'm only going by what the internet tells me.

Best of luck! And let me know if this helps or is just completely confusing ;)

cheers,
Meshon

Edit: I regret that I didn't spend a little more time to understand brush spacing. I would recommend playing around with those settings to find the relationship between brush size and space between the cobblestones. I feel like it might have something to do with the size of the original brush because, to be honest, I couldn't get the spacing to work just the way I wanted it to. If I have some time later I'll dig in again and post an update.

Meshon
03-28-2015, 02:35 PM
This looks fantastic! I'm using Gimp and Inkscape, so I'm not sure if it'll 'translate' but when I've got time, I'll definitely be giving it a go.
I guess in Inkscape the appropriate technique is called "Pattern Along Path" and, according to what I've read, the .svg files I included in the download should give you what you need to get it working.

Good luck!
Meshon

Meshon
03-29-2015, 02:15 PM
Photoshop. You think you know it and then... I just found out about scripted pattern fills. It might be another possible solution if you want to do all the work in Photoshop. It's not even scary (which is what I tend to think when I read "script"). Just go to Edit > Fill and open the dialogue. Under Contents choose Pattern and then check the script box. Play around! There's one in particular for following a path that might be an alternate to the method with brushes I just described.

cheers,
Meshon

ChickPea
03-29-2015, 05:02 PM
I guess in Inkscape the appropriate technique is called "Pattern Along Path" and, according to what I've read, the .svg files I included in the download should give you what you need to get it working.

Good luck!
Meshon

I don't think 'Pattern along Path' is quite the right tool (despite it's name). I think that's for bending objects to the shape of a path, rather than filling them.

I've written out below how to use your cobblestones in Inkscape. It's really simple and fairly obvious, but if you aren't familiar with Inkscape it will hopefully help. I haven't included steps to explain the creation of cobblestones, because the SVG file provided is fantastic and it's impossible to anticipate what people might want if this doesn't suit them. However, the steps in Inkscape aren't much different from what's outlined in the tutorial for Illustrator.


Get the files from the link Meshon provided in Comment number one, and unzip the file. Once unzipped, open the streetBrush.svg file in Inkscape.
Initially, all the different cobblestone styles are grouped, so click on the shape once to select it, then press Control+Shift+G to ungroup (or just go to the Object menu and choose Ungroup)
You should probably re-group just the style you want to use (I'm not certain if grouping is strictly necessary, but hey it worked for me.) To do this, hold down the mouse and draw a selection box round the one you want, and press Control+G (or go to the Object menu then 'Group'). Once grouped, you can make the cobbles shape bigger or smaller if required.
Once your cobbles shape is grouped and sized correctly, click it once to make sure it's selected, then go to the Object menu, scroll down to 'Pattern', then select 'Object to Pattern' from the flyout menu.
Next, create the shape or path that you want to fill with cobblestones. Can't help with this. Only you know what you need! :)
Once you've finished, make sure your shape/line is selected, then go to the Fill and Stroke dialogue box. If you've got a shape you want filled, click on the Fill tab. If it's just a line or stroke, click on the Stroke Paint tab. At the top of the tab, there's a little row of boxes (e.g. Solid Fill, Gradient Fill etc.) Along near the end is Pattern Fill (it's got a pattern of little white diamonds on a blue background in my version.) Click this and Inkscape will show a drop down menu of built-in patterns as well as the ones you've created yourself (which have oh-so-helpful names like 'pattern9899'). If you haven't created any other patterns in the file, there will only be one listed above the built-in styles. Otherwise, the last pattern you created usually goes to the bottom of the self-created list, but still above the built-in styles.
Select your pattern in the drop down list and your shape should fill. And that's it!


So, that's what I did for Inkscape, which is the easy part of the tutorial. I'll take a look in a day or two at the Photoshop part and see if I can figure it out in Gimp.

Thanks again for a great tutorial! :)

Meshon
03-29-2015, 05:31 PM
Thanks @ChickPea for working this out! In Illustrator the tool I used is called a Pattern Brush, which is likely where my confusion with the Inkscape terminology comes in. My goal was to achieve cobblestone streets that look like they were built as streets and have their cobbles going in the direction that the street does. The pattern brush actually repeats the pattern along a path and (almost) seamlessly connects the units together. The top example here is my goal, the bottom is what I was trying to get away from. Sorry about the clunky illustration, it's just a quick one in Illustrator.
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This is great. At some point I would like to re-do the tutorial a bit and when I get there I'll talk to you about adding a "ChickPea Section"!

cheers,
Meshon

ChickPea
03-30-2015, 05:59 AM
Huh. I hadn't thought about the direction of the cobbles at all, which was dumb of me!! That would definitely affect the instructions I've given. I think I'll need to revisit what I wrote. I'll have a look tonight and will update.

I'm not certain about the 'junction' as you've shown in your pic. Just doing a pattern fill would give the result in the second pic, which isn't what you want. I suppose the simplest way would be to have two separate paths, but that might be more work in the long run. I'll have to think about this. :)