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torstan
07-10-2008, 12:37 PM
This short tutorial will use only basic Gimp skills and give you a map of the form of those classic TSR maps of the 80s such as The Palace of the Silver Princess, that can be found for free here (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/article.asp?x=dnd/dx20020121x7). I will try to keep it as simple and straightforward as possible. If there are any steps - however small - that are unclear please say and I will amend the text.

Throughout this I will be using gimp version 2.4 - go to www.gimp.org to get hold of the latest stable (2.4.x) release.

In this post we'll go through the following steps:
1. Open a new canvas of the right size
2. Set up Gimps grid to be the right scale for the map
3. Import a new pattern (only ever needs to be done once)
4. Use the new pattern to lay a grid over the canvas to make our graph paper background.

So there are very few steps and they should be pretty straightforward. If you want to see the result of this section of the tutorial, skip to the bottom of the post.

Before we start we need to decide what size the canvas is going to be. This depends on two things - how large the map is in numbers of squares and how many pixels each of those squares will take up. Here I use 50px squares and a canvas of 1000px by 1000px. This means that there are 1000/50=20 squares to a side so its a pretty small map. I've chosen 50px because it's a good resolution for virtual tabletop programmes which are the area I play D&D in.

To get a larger map you can go to a larger overall canvas - ie a 2000px by 2000px map will hold 40 50px squares to a side which should hold a decent sized dungeon. The alternative is to go to smaller squares. If I had chosen a 25px square then I'd get 40 to a side on my 1000 by 1000px canvas. This second option has the advantage of keeping the filesize down. On the other hand, all the resources I'll post here will be sized to 50px :)

So that's enough talk about this. You should now have decided on the size of your canvas. I take 1000px by 1000px. Create a new canvas (File->New). In the following dialogue, make sure the measurements are in pixels that your width and height are both set to the value you have chosen.

You now have a blank white square!

Gimp has a grid built in. It's invisible at the moment so go to View->Show Grid. Note the View menu is in the window with the canvas on it, rather than the window with the tool palette on it. We'll be using the canvas menus for everything except for opening a new file (and that's already done).

Now with the grid showing you should have a load of cross-hairs across your white canvas. These will probably be at the default Gimp spacing of 32 pixels - which you don't want.

To change this go to Image->Configure Grid... and set the grid spacing to your chosen value. Here I set it to 50px. You should now have something that looks like this:
5087

This grid just works as a guide for the Gimp tools - it won't show up in the final version. However that's no good for us as we will be needing a grid to form the basis of our map. We need to draw in a grid, but don't worry, you won't need to draw out every line by hand. We'll use a pattern fill.

This next step is a little tricky but you only have to do it once. I've got a couple of pattern (.pat) files that allow me to create a grid of any size with great ease. They are included in this zip file:
5088

Download this zip file and unzip it in the following directory:
C:\Documents and Settings\<userName>\.gimp-2.4\patterns\

Now make sure that you have the patterns dialogue open somewhere (by default Gimp will open this in the combined layers and patterns dialogue). If you can't see it, go to Dialogs->Patterns or use ctrl-shift-P. That will bring it up, or highlight it if it is already open. Now at the bottom of the palettes dialogue is a pair of circling arrows. This allows you to refresh the seelction of patterns. The button is here:
5090

Hit this and the palette will be updated with the new patterns you have just added. Your palette should now look like this:
5089

The new patterns are there and ready to use. You will never have to do this again - those patterns will always be there (unless you delete the files from the directory at a later date). One will give a black grid and the other will give a TSR blue grid. I'll use blue throughout for that added nostalgia factor. Click on the pattern you want.

Now, click on the window with your canvas in it. Go to Select->All or hit ctrl-A to select the whole canvas. Now go to Edit->Fill with pattern, or hit ctrl-;. You will now have a lovely blue grid that fits beautifully over the Gimp grid we set up! This will form the basis for the map. It should look something like this:
5092

Right, best to save it here. Save it in Gimp's native format - .xcf - as this maintains all of the information. So call it something like classicDungeon.xcf and you are good to go.

RobA
07-10-2008, 01:10 PM
Quick threadjack... You can also use Filters → Render → Pattern → Grid to render a grid of any size/colour (http://docs.gimp.org/en/plug-in-grid.html)

-Rob A>

(please carry on with the tutorial :) )

torstan
07-10-2008, 01:20 PM
In this post we'll do the following:
1. Add a new layer
2. Set up a brush of the right colour and size
3. Turn on snap to grid
4. Lay down the walls with the brush tool.

Right, now that we have out pretty graph paper, either made using my natty pattern files or through Rob's much easier method above (there's always a quicker way to do it :) ), we need to start laying down walls. I'm going to do a dungeon, so we are underground - this is a classic mapping tutorial after all, we should start with a dungeon.

Now it will be useful to make use of layers at this stage. The graph paper will be our background but we don't want to erase the graph if we make a mistake. Therefore we will do our drawing on a separate layer. To do this, make sure the layers dialogue is up - either by going to Dialogs->Layers, or ctrl-L. Now you'll see a thumbnail of your pretty graph paper called background. To create a new layer, hit the new layer button:
5093

This brings up a New Layer dialogue. In here, give the layer a name (I'll call mine Walls) and select the fill type to be transparency. This means we can draw on this layer, but be able to see everything that has been drawn on layers further down the stack.

Right, with this layer selected, we want to draw some walls. First we want to have the walls in the same lovely blue as the rest. In the toolbox there are two blocks of colour, one is the foreground colour and the other is the background colour. You want to change the foreground colour as this is the one that all the tools use to draw with:
5094

If you double click on the foreground colour box, you can change this. In this case I am using a blue with the code: 18769d If you enter this into the text field, you will have this colour too!
5095

Now we want the tools to snap to the grid we set up. Go to View->Snap to Grid and make sure it is checked. Now select the paintbrush tool and pick a brush size of 3px circle:
5096

Now pick a place to start drawing a wall and click once on a grid intersection. Now this will just make a single small circle appear. Now press shift and move the mouse to where you want the wall to go. You'll see a line connecting your current mouse position to that first dot. This is the line along which the 3px line will be painted. Move the mouse to the grid point where you want this section of wall to end and click again. A nic straight wall should appear. If you keep holding shift down and move the mouse again you can extend the wall further. This way it is very quick to lay down an outline of a dungeon that will look something like this:
5097

jfrazierjr
07-10-2008, 01:43 PM
Right, best to save it here. Save it in Gimp's native format - .xcf - as this maintains all of the information. So call it something like classicDungeon.xcf and you are good to go.

Better yet, save it as a template and when you open a new document, select the template name and poof, there you go.

torstan
07-10-2008, 01:49 PM
Okay, let's finish the walls and colour the rock around before we start putting in some furniture.

Finish laying down the lines for the wall outline as above so that your walls are a closed loop of lines, or until the lines reach the edge of the page. This will be important in a minute. You should have something that looks something like this:
5098

Now it's quite hard to tell where the wall is and where the corridors are (okay, not too hard on this map, but on a larger map this would be tricky). We need to flood fill the wall areas to make this clearer. To do this pick the fuzzy select tool:
5099

Make sure that sample merged is off. Now click within an area you want to fill. You should get a large area highlighted with a line of black and white 'marching ants' that should encompass the area you want to fill. If instead you get one square selected, then you've got the background layer selected rather than the Walls layer. Go to the layers dialogue and click the wals layer and try again. Now as we used the brush tool, our walls have a slightly soft edge to them. This means that the fuzzy select region doesn't quite go up to the wall lines. If we fill at this point then we'll get a thin line of white between the wall and the fill. So go to Select>Grow... and pick 2 pixels. This expands the selection to the middle of the wall lines.

Now go to Edit->Fill with foreground colour, or ctrl-, This should give you something like this:
5100

This is starting to look a little better. Finish filling the walls in the same way.

Now we want to lay some internal walls that don't take up full 5' squares. Do this by switching back to the paintbrush tool and using the click, press-shift-and-drag, click method above to lay down internal walls. Don't worry about doors, we'll do that next.

Remember - if something goes wrong you can always hit ctrl-z to undo it.

This should give you something like this:
5101

torstan
07-10-2008, 02:25 PM
Right, I promised doors, and doors you shall have. In the original TSR maps the doors were squares. Here's an example door that I have knocked up for you:
5103

Note that this is a 50px by 50px image so it fits the grid size I am using. You can get this for yourself by right-clicking the image->Save Image As... Place it somewhere you can find it easily.

Now when we start placing doors we'd best create a new layer. So go back to the new layer button again. Name the layer Doors and make sure it is selected.

Now go to File->Open... and find where you saved that door image that I posted above. Open this. Select all using Select->All or ctrl-A and copy using Edit->Copy or ctrl-C. Close the door image and click Don't Save when prompted - you haven't changed it anyway.

Now return to your map. Click the map window so that it has focus, and go to Edit->Paste or ctrl-V. Now you'll have a door image in the middle of your canvas. It will almost certainly be in the wring place. To move it, pick the selection tool from the toolbox:
5105

Now if you hover the mouse over your pasted door, you'll get a little cross-hair with a little four-directional arrow on the bottom right. When you hover the mouse away from it you'll get an anchor on the bottom right. Make sure you don't have the anchor and click and drag the door image to the position you want. The grid will help to an extent, but you may need slightly finer control. If so, place it roughly, then move it into its final position using the arrow keys on your keyboard. Once it is in the right place, move the mouse until you get the anchor symbol and click to place it. You can also place it by clicking the Anchor layer button in the Layers dialogue.
5106

Now the big square doors are all well and good, but they're not very realistic and they don't show which way the doors should open. Here's a different door that conveys that extra information. I know that's not really cricket, but it was requested in another thread, so here it is:
5104

You can place this in just the same way as the other doors, though you will need to use the arrow keys to get the placement right.

Using these it is straightforward to do all the doors you need to place:
5107

Note that you can rotate the images you want to lay down using the rotate tool from the toolbox. Just select the rotate tool and click the object before you anchor it. Equally you can use the Flip Tool to flip an image horizontally or vertically. I did this to get the double doors at the top of the map. Once you have manipulated the object into the orientation, go back to the selection tool to move it and anchor it.

torstan
07-10-2008, 02:59 PM
You can add other items to the map in exactly the same way. Now I'm not going to draw a load of mapping icons for everyone here, but it is quite possible to find a large number of them on the dunjinni site here:
[urlhttp://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=572&KW=old+style[/url]

I couldn't find the basic Dungeoncrafter tiles anywhere, but if someone has a link, I'm sure they can post it here.

Now the dunjinni tiles are a bit large (sized for a 200px grid) so it's best to resize them. When you want to use one of those do the following. When you open it for the first time, go to Image->Scale Image. Change the units to percent and the magnitude to 25 on each axis:
5108

This will scale the image down by 25%, from a 200px/grid size to a 50px/grid size. Now as before, select-all, copy and paste on to your map. Remember that it is probably worth setting up a new layer for each new set of furnishings.

This time when you close the image of your object, you do want to save. Go to File->Save As... before you close the file and save it as <objectName>Small.png or similar. That way you will quickly build up a library of objects that you can use that are at the right scale for your maps.

Equally, you can draw your own. This isn't too hard, but if/when you get stuck trying this, please ask around and people will be able to help you out.

Finally, you'll want to label your maps. Choose the trext tool (the large A) and start typing. If the label is in the wrong place, don't worry. Use the movement tool with the following settings:
5109

If you click and drag on your text now you will be able to move it to wherever you like.

With these last tips you should end up with map something like this in no time:
5110

If you want, you can add a scale in as well or you can leave those like toff guessing.

Save the .xcf version of your map again (ctrl-S), and then Save As... (ctrl-shift-S) OldSchool.jpg (or name of your choice of course), click okay on the two dialogues that come up and you have yourself a finished map!

torstan
07-10-2008, 03:25 PM
And here is the same map imported into maptool, given dynamic lighting and being explored by an adventurer who found a statue with ruby eyes and decided it would be a good idea to prise one out. The statue shudders to life, an infernal glow in those ruby eyes and the hapless adventurer wishes he'd had a bit more respect for those annals of D&D history..... :)
5111

Now obviously the labels shouldn't be visible to the players. That's why we kept them on another layer, so that by switching off the visibility of the layer (the little eye symbol beside the layer icon) we can hide them all. If we then save the map we get just the player view without any of the traps or secret doors visible:
5112

Now obviously this was a light hearted tutorial harking back to a more innocent time of D&D, but the basic principles you've seen here are the same basic principles that go into making far prettier maps. The core of this is getting a good selection and finding a nice way to fill it. Clearly instead of using blue for your flood fill, you could use one of Gimp's built in textures - such as the granite texture. Suddenly you have a very different type of map. Something in fact that looks a little more like this:
5114

But something like that is really something for another tutorial - and one by someone else as I need to get some dinner. Please feel free to ask any questions, or make comments - I will endeavour to answer them as best I can, or someone else here who is better qualified will be able to. I notice a couple of people have already chipped in with some very pertinent hints further up the thread. Thanks guys!

Oh, one final thing. Please star rate this thread with an honest rating for how useful this was. This will help other users see which threads are useful and which are not.

töff
07-10-2008, 03:33 PM
harking back to a more innocent time of D&DBurgers and fries and cherry pies! Things were simple and good back then. (You know the song.)

Very nice tute. Makes me want to learn whether I can give out rep.

torstan
07-10-2008, 03:37 PM
I'm glad you liked it. And I did wonder who would jump on the diagonal corridors - they really are an aberration.

jfrazierjr
07-10-2008, 03:47 PM
And here is the same map imported into maptool, given dynamic lighting and being explored by an adventurer who found a statue with ruby eyes and decided it would be a good idea to prise one out. The statue shudders to life, an infernal glow in those ruby eyes and the hapless adventurer wishes he'd had a bit more respect for those annals of D&D history..... :)
5111



Heh... All töff has to do is run back into that 7(3??) foot wide corridor, and that big hugh monster can't get to him. :D

Joe

Ghalev
07-10-2008, 08:30 PM
Bravo. A question, though (my GIMP-fu is nonexistent): can the Gimp provide this map with a bit of finishing stress? As it is, it looks very aggressively digital ... perfectly-sharp/crisp lines, symbols and labels.

In Photoshop, this could be amended pretty easily in the middle stages with a bit of screened noise, a soft blur, and a re-firming of the "spot ink" by adjusting the contrast - voila. What would be (if you have time) the comparable procedure for those of us just getting our toes wet in Gimp?

torstan
07-11-2008, 06:29 AM
My guess is that it can, I'm just not sure exactly what you're trying to achieve. Could you post a before and after version of the photoshop effect and I'll see if I can patch together the same result in Gimp. I think I know what you're getting at but I'm not 100% sure.

Ghalev
07-11-2008, 06:47 AM
My guess is that it can, I'm just not sure exactly what you're trying to achieve. Could you post a before and after version of the photoshop effect and I'll see if I can patch together the same result in Gimp. I think I know what you're getting at but I'm not 100% sure.

Ah, of course. The overall goal is to use a perfectly-clean digital image to create something that evokes the sense of a perfectly-clean printed one, by introducing some (relatively subtle) random variables in the crisp edges, some gentle blotting on the fonts and so on to suggest the normal imperfections in a 1980s printing process (rather than anything heavy like actual weathering).

I've assembled this sample pretty hastily (so hastily I forgot to add a grid - d'oh!) but it should get the idea across (especially the numerals).

torstan
07-11-2008, 07:39 AM
Yep. Very simple really.

Take the final image which should really be a jpg file now. Open that up in Gimp. Now you want to use the colour select too, with a relatively high threshold - I used the following settings:
5137

Now click on any white area, and you should get all the white areas selected. The threshold setting will determine how close the selected area is to the white/blue boundary.

Now create a new layer to play with. This should be transparent as before. We want to fuzz up the lines a bit. So go to Select->Distort... Now in this box I used the following settings:
5136

After running this filter, you'll get a slightly fuzzy version of your previous outline. Now, fill this with white (if white is the background colour still, this is as easy as pressing ctrl-.) and your map will now look something like this:
5138

How's that for you?

Obviously you can also fuzz the blue into the white areas. To do this, go to Select->Invert Selection (or ctrl-I). Then flood fill with our nice cyan colour (if cyan is still the foreground colour, this is just ctrl-,). I found that this was a bit too distressed so left that out of the above.

Ghalev
07-11-2008, 08:10 AM
How's that for you?

Definitely close enough to start with; I can take it from there to get it exactly where I need it (more plate-blot/paper-bleed, mainly, to complement the grain and insure that no elements lose legibility).

Thanks very much. I like the look of Gimp, I just need to set aside a work-week sometime and immerse myself in it, get the feel of the controls ...

torstan
07-11-2008, 08:34 AM
Well Gimp has noise (in Filter->Render->Clouds->Plasma), blur (Filters->Blur->... lots of options here) and contrast adjusters, though what you probably want is threshold (Colours->Threshold).

A combination of these would give a more fine-grained control over the end result than the crude selection distort I used above. In fact, you'd probably be able to carry the same method over from photoshop with no problem.

When you do throw yourself into Gimp I'll be happy to provide whatever pointers I can, and others here will do the same I'm sure.

The Cartographist
07-11-2008, 09:26 AM
Torstan - Rep coming your way. Really appreciate the time that you took with this.

Question: Is there an easy way (other than going in and manually erasing throughout) of stopping the grid lines just short of the walls?

torstan
07-11-2008, 09:42 AM
Yes definitely.

In your xcf file you should have a number of layers, one of which contains your walls. Now what you need to do is right click that layer -> Alpha to Selection. That should now have all your walls selected. Go to Select->Grow and pick a number of pixels. This number will be the number of pixels that the grid stops at before it hits the wall - essentially your padding. Here I used 5 pixels:
5139

Now create a new layer and move it between the walls layer and the grid layer:
5140

With this layer selected, fill your selection with white (Edit->Fill with background colour if you have white as your background colour, or ctrl-. for quick). This should give you a nice white padding around your walls:
5141

Glad it was helpful.

RobA
07-11-2008, 12:46 PM
Bravo. A question, though (my GIMP-fu is nonexistent): can the Gimp provide this map with a bit of finishing stress? As it is, it looks very aggressively digital ... perfectly-sharp/crisp lines, symbols and labels.

In Photoshop, this could be amended pretty easily in the middle stages with a bit of screened noise, a soft blur, and a re-firming of the "spot ink" by adjusting the contrast - voila. What would be (if you have time) the comparable procedure for those of us just getting our toes wet in Gimp?

The three methods I tend to use (depending on what I want) are:

Spread Filter (this was a 1px spread):
5147

Displacement Map filter using plasma noise:
5148

Displacement Map filter using cloud noise:
5149

-Rob A>

Ghalev
07-11-2008, 05:47 PM
The three methods I tend to use (depending on what I want) are:

Thankee; more grist for the mill in my head (ow. ow. ow. ow. ahhh.).

RPMiller
07-11-2008, 07:15 PM
So did TSR really produce those maps in nonphoto blue to prevent xeroxing or did they just like the color? Inquiring minds want to know. ;)

RobA
07-11-2008, 08:44 PM
I'd think, yes. It was to prevent copying.

-Rob A>

Ghalev
07-11-2008, 11:36 PM
So did TSR really produce those maps in nonphoto blue to prevent xeroxing [...]

Yeah. For similar reasons, they did many runs of the official AD&D character sheets on paper with a fairly heavy orangey-browney background that was difficult to photocopy (without great care it would produce a muddy swamp of grey mess), and in some later things they used red screens for similar reasons, since red photocopies as almost-black.

I'm just glad they grew out of their "Blue Period" in time to do awesome maps like the I6: Ravenloft plans :)

delgondahntelius
07-12-2008, 02:39 PM
OH man I6 RULED as a map when it came out ... I LOVED that map and it was a fun (?deadly?) adventure too... but I sooo fell in love with that map... we should have a gimp tutorial on creating one of those maps!! ... probably be easier in Illustrator tho ... more than PS or GIMP ... or actually I imagine that you could knock one out in Google Draw pretty quick...

nophoto blue... the earliest form of anti-piracy protection :) ... you can't hardly find any nophoto blue pencils or anthing like that anymore.. I know.. I've tried on a number of occasions in the past couple years.. I finally gave up ... just sketch with some blue colored pencils... :D

Ghalev
07-12-2008, 03:09 PM
... probably be easier in Illustrator tho ...

It is, yes.

delgondahntelius
07-12-2008, 07:42 PM
Illustrator just takes soooo long to get used too and to learn.... you see even less tutorials about mapping with Illustrator than you do with CC3... on here that is... I was hoping to put together some when I get the time... it really does help you learn if you make a 'tutorial' about what you are doing... I've been using Xara for a week now and I already feel more comfortable using that than I do my illustrator... for making map objects....

sorry to jack your thread torstan, I'll shut up now :D

Redrobes
07-12-2008, 08:08 PM
I think it was Torstan who had a tut up recently and used some blue pencil sketches so that when scanned he could remove the blue lines. I thought that was such a good idea I went and bought a fine art blue pencil. I didn't know about nophoto pencils tho. Any ole blue close to the pure B in RGB would do tho right ? Will try that technique out soon to be sure.

delgondahntelius
07-12-2008, 08:17 PM
yes... I've done it plenty of times... I used derwent watercolour pencil blue... spectrum blue I believe the name is... you can adjust the levels in your scan so they won't even appear... that's how i've done it in the past anyways...

Redrobes
07-12-2008, 08:21 PM
Oh excellent as that is what I have. A number 32 I believe :) thanks for the info. I also bought this weird blue one too in case that didn't work so well. Solid paint pencil - never seen one before. Couldn't resist it actually, sucker that I am for small inexpensive widgety things...

Ghalev
07-12-2008, 10:01 PM
With a photocopier, it has to be blue, because of the blue glass plate within the machine itself (which is also what causes red to go "black"). But with a scanner things are a lot more flexible ... A lot of [the hand-drawn elements in] my maps were actually drawn in magenta, orange, blue, green or other colors using markers, for example, precisely for that reason ... it's a snap for Photoshop to suck away or isolate the color.

RPMiller
07-12-2008, 10:26 PM
If you use Cyan for pencils and for PS it is extremely easy to knock out your sketch marks since you can just dump that channel and convert to RGB, or so the experts tell me.

claud9999
06-29-2009, 02:24 PM
First, thank you very much for excellent instructions and motivation (oh and your art has been very helpful as well in my MapTool-centered campaign.) I even used your sample dungeon in a mini-adventure in 4E with some folks and we had a blast. (If you want the .campgn file, I can send it to you.)

I have been using GIMP 2.6.6 to try to recreate the steps you've outlined, and I must be dense--I select "snap to grid" (after setting the grid to 50px x 50px and showing the grid) and the paint brush fails to snap to the grid. I've checked the GIMP Bugzilla and there is no mention of this being a bug. Am I missing something obvious? I suppose I can just do caverns until I figger this out. ;^o

RobA
06-29-2009, 04:08 PM
I have been using GIMP 2.6.6 to try to recreate the steps you've outlined, and I must be dense--I select "snap to grid" (after setting the grid to 50px x 50px and showing the grid) and the paint brush fails to snap to the grid. I've checked the GIMP Bugzilla and there is no mention of this being a bug. Am I missing something obvious? I suppose I can just do caverns until I figger this out. ;^o

You have to restart gimp to get the grid preferences recognized.

I'd suggest using the grid of guides script (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?p=47228) instead, as you can set and clear them on the fly.

-Rob A>

torstan
06-29-2009, 06:21 PM
You're welcome. I'm glad it came in handy - and I'd be very interested in the campaign file!

In Gimp 2.6.4 I can toggle snap to grid in the View menu and this changes the snap to grid behaviour of a paintbrush. I'll go and grab 2.6.6 and see if the behaviour is the same.

RobA
06-30-2009, 11:30 AM
Torstan, tt is not the snap to grid toggle, it is the grid itself. When you change the grid spacing (at least in my version 2.6.4) you have to restart gimp, otherwise the snap to grid toggle continues to use the old spacing. I find it a pain to do this, as I often want to change the snap spacing while working (i.e. to get a 1/2 grid snap).

-Rob A>

torstan
06-30-2009, 12:35 PM
Just tested this in 2.6.4 running on windows XP media centre edition and it works fine. No problems at all with using configure grid to edit the spacing. Snaps to grid like a dream. How bizarre.

claud9999
06-30-2009, 02:58 PM
Here's the sample mini-adventure, Cuboi's Slime Farm, wherein a Snaketongue Celebrant (in the Monster Manual under the Yuan-Ti section) has been growing a number of slimy creatures and teleporting humanoids to his little dungeon for experimentation. Puzzles, and a little fighting. Sure, not particularly realistic but heck.

The players start in the "cage" in the north-west without their goodies and with a snaketongue guard watching over them.

My first try of this was with two players at work (over lunch) wherein they made a deal with the snaketongue to give him gold in exchange for their freedom. Needless to say, the guard let them out and led them to the teleport room (where the four statues are) and then said, "I don't know how to operate this." (Only Cuboi knows how the teleporter works.) A little experimentation, and the blackscale was set free. The players backed out of the room and locked it from the outside (after all, Cuboi wouldn't have a teleportal room without some protection in case someone teleports without his authority.) The blackscale and the snaketongue battled it out while the party searched further for their goodies.

All tokens have graphics and "handouts" (from the Monster Manual), which you surely own already. Oh and I used many of your graphics, torstan. (Token suggestion: need a wizard's bookshelf with books, candles, jars, whatever on 'em.)

claud9999
06-30-2009, 03:42 PM
You have to restart gimp to get the grid preferences recognized.

I'd suggest using the grid of guides script (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?p=47228) instead, as you can set and clear them on the fly.

-Rob A>

Something's broke in 2.6.6, at least the MacOSX build. I am able to run your script and it generates the guides but when I select "snap to guides" the paint brush doesn't snap. Luckily I have VMWare, too bad sourceforge.net seems to be borked right now. ;^o

claud9999
07-10-2009, 10:15 AM
Something's broke in 2.6.6, at least the MacOSX build. I am able to run your script and it generates the guides but when I select "snap to guides" the paint brush doesn't snap. Luckily I have VMWare, too bad sourceforge.net seems to be borked right now. ;^o

Ah, I'm dumb. But perhaps my stupidity will save someone else the trouble...The trick I found is to turn up the "Snap Distance" in the "Tool Options" Preference panel. If you turn it up to 25, it snaps on all interactions, 15 is a reasonable medium, 8 is just too low for me.

torstan
07-14-2009, 03:53 PM
Ah, that's a great find! I'd never have gone looking for it there. Thanks for posting the solution.

Goblin Witchlord
08-18-2009, 10:08 PM
Thanks so much for creating this! It is enormously helpful to those of us who are very new with these editors to create something simple and cool. Altho I wish I had seen claud9999's comment at the end before I had started. ;)

Until I get more experience at this, I'm going to have to go through this step by step a few times. I put together a mini-checklist from the original tutorial to make sure I don't forget anything as I work on new maps.

I use GameMastery flip-mats for my RPGs, which are 24 squares wide and 30 squares high, which explains some of the dimensions.

Goblin Witchlord
08-18-2009, 10:09 PM
1. Create a canvas using "File > New". Assuming you use 50px squares, a 1000x1000-pixel image will create a 20x20 square grid. A 1200x1500-pixel image will create a 24x30 (flip-mat-size) grid. Setting the image to 160dpi should enable an output PDF of the (flip-mat) map to have a half-inch margin.

2. "View > Show Grid". This displays the default grid.

3. "Image > Configure Grid". Set the grid spacing to 50 pixels.

4. In the Layers Palette, choose "Patterns > Grid 50x50 blue". On your canvas, go to "Select > All" and then "Edit > Fill with Pattern". (Or "Filters > Render > Pattern > Grid" with Width 1, Spacing 50, Offset 0).

5. "Edit > Preferences". Go to "Tool Options" and raise the "Snap distance"; 25 will make the brush always snap to an intersection.

6. "View > Snap to Grid" should be checked.

7. In the Layers Palette, hit the "New Layer" button. Give the layer a name (such as Walls), and select Transparency as the Layer Fill Type. Make sure the new layer is selected.

8. Double-click the foreground color in the Toolbox Palette. Enter "18769d" in the "HTML notation" field.

9. In the Layers Palette, click on "Brushes" and select the "Circle (01) (3 x 3)" brush. A 9px brush creates a more visible internal wall.

Drawing and Coloring Walls

10. Draw some walls.

11. In the Toolbox Palette, choose the Fuzzy Select Tool, and make sure that "Sample merged" is off. On the canvas, click the area to be colored as impassable. Go to "Select > Grow..." and grow the selection by 2 pixels.

12. "Edit > Fill with FG Color". Repeat 11 and 12 to color in all the walls.

Placing Doors and Other Elements

13. "File > Open" and choose "door.png". "Select > All". "Edit > Copy". Close "door.png" without saving.

14. On the canvas, choose "Edit > Paste". In the Toolbox Palette, click the Rectangle Select Tool. Move the door and anchor it.

brianjpoole
09-06-2009, 01:54 AM
Thank you for this most awesome tutorial. A nice intro into GIMP as well. Now off to DL tiles.

torstan
09-06-2009, 08:06 AM
Glad it was useful.

Thanks a lot GW for those checks and clarifications.

claud9999
09-08-2009, 05:32 PM
Might want to update the original post so newbies won't have to read through the entire thread.

Also, note that the snap measurement is based on screen pixels, not image pixels, so if you're zoomed in (or out) from 100% the behavior gets a little more funky.

I figured out on my own how to generate textured versions, namely use the magic wand or select by color, expand the selection to completely cover the walls, then fill with the texture. Simple.

Lastly, I ran "Cuboi's House of Slime" this weekend at Conquest SF (great con!). In fact, I ran it twice, once for 2 hrs, once for ~5hrs. Both sessions went well. Attached is a variant of the original map that gives more space (and makes the gelatinous cube reasonable.) If folks are interested in a more complete campaign file, I'm happy to send it on. I am thinking of running a sequel adventure next year. Thanks again, Torstan, for such great graphics. We use them regularly in our Maptool-heavy campaign (our DM's moved to the mid-west and all our players are in California.)

BlueDay
09-20-2009, 12:00 PM
Thanks so much! I used this on my first map and it helped so much!

Zeupater
11-30-2009, 02:49 PM
Looks like a great method for making D&D-style maps, but unfortunately I can't seem to get GIMP to be installed correctly on my computer. It's having trouble with .FCW :(

torstan
11-30-2009, 03:52 PM
.fcw? Is that a file format?

Steel General
11-30-2009, 05:04 PM
.fcw? Is that a file format?

Yes it is for CC2 (not sure about 3)

torstan
11-30-2009, 05:16 PM
In which case Gimp isn't supposed to be able to read it. I'm not sure I understand the problem.

Sheelon666
08-20-2010, 05:23 AM
I'm having a major problem when I select the Fuzzy Select tool to colour in the impassable sections of the map, point 11 of the (fantastic) checklist. When I click on the area of the map to colour, basically EVERY gridline, every wall line on the map has the "marching atns", and it wont at that time actually fill anything - when I select the Fill With Foreground colour all it then seems to do is colour in the existing lines more heavily.

Help - I dont have much hair left!

Edit: Kicks Self, just discovered the basic error I've made. Tutorial continues...

torstan
08-20-2010, 10:14 AM
It was selecting things from all layers? If you let me know the mistake then I'll update the tutorial to mention it.

Sheelon666
08-20-2010, 11:01 AM
Realised after I'd posted this I should have more more helpful to all reading this - Apologies it was a really silly mistake on my part - I included the blue grid as part of the Walls layer as opposed to the background layer - hence my select all problem. However one new thing has occurred and I just cant seem to find a way back:

Once I've done the Fuzzy Tool select and successfully coloured my impassable sections, the entire map is still covered with the selection tool (damn those ants!) and I cannot deselect, or select brush, or pretty much anything to be honest. At the least this is giving me some new ideas how to go about this and I've been creating my own layers and adding them to the map as I've been going along.

At some point when I dont have a scenario hungry group begging for the next RPG session (prolly when I get them all back to school after the holidays!) I'm going to tackle the RPG Fantasy map tutorial also.

Edit: ahem, spurred on by typing this out I though I'd go back and try something new. Clicked a few times twixt brush and Fuzzy tool, then clicked on a point on map and at least the Dungeon part of the map itself is no longer selected (though the outer part of the map remains surrounded by ants) and I appear to be able to draw again. Huzzah!

torstan
08-20-2010, 11:05 AM
Edit->Select None doesn't work?

Having the grid on the Walls layer would definitely do it.

Sheelon666
08-20-2010, 12:17 PM
Sorry to be a pain, I just don't know if it's my inexperience using a proggie like this (the height of my skills using M$ Paint is a Space Invader and Bases type picture) but I keep running into little problems and it's driving me bonkers. Would it help if there was a "If you get <insert event> then you have done this <insert action> and to fix it do <insert action2>".

For example: I'm trying to fill in internal impassable sections as described in the tutorial, but for love nor money it will just NOT fill in the one square of wall that I want it to. got the Fuzzy Select Tool done, Grow done, one individual square highlighted on the correct Layer and all it does is thicken the lines around the square. I dont understand why its not allowing me to colour in this selection.

After this, I was content to leave that one little square out of the 400 on screen incorrectly coloured, I could live with it. Moved onto inserting Doors - saved Door and Door2. Open, selected all, copy all, close item (for Door2) and then went to main dungeon map, Ctrl V, door appears, but now it's stuck there. Used the Select tool and the door icon will just not move, anchor remains there whatever I do, just cannot get the door manipulated in any way whatsoever. The good thing about trying these steps 12+ times is I'm getting to know my way round the interface if nothing else...! Like I said, hope I'm not being an ass, but I've followed the Tute hopefully doing everything as described and these events keep cropping up. BTW I'm using Gimp 2.6, the very latest version to do this, in case that makes a difference.

Edit: OK got the internal impassable sections done, I used the Rectangle Select Tool to go to the area, select and Colour FG. Going to reattempt door manipulation now but I REALLY cant see where I'm going wrong on that one - if I get no joy in the next 20 mins I'll email to you Torstan. Thanks for the help and advice.

torstan
08-20-2010, 12:25 PM
Can you post the .xcf file here and I'll take a look? You'll need to compress it first to a zip file. If you don't have an archive utility then email it over to me at jonathan@fantasticmaps.com and I'll open it up and see what's going wrong. Gimp has it's quirks so you should never feel bad when things don't go quite right. It can be a little fiddly.

Sheelon666
08-20-2010, 12:50 PM
OK Now got the doors moving as required - I had to Unlock the floating layer on the layers dialog and then it allowed me to move the door to the desired location. Tutorial continues.

torstan
08-20-2010, 01:04 PM
I thought it might be a layers issue. Glad you got that sorted out. The lone square still sounds odd. I'd definitely like to take a look at the file for that.

Sheelon666
08-20-2010, 04:30 PM
NP will send the file in a minute. Work has continued for a bit:- I am definitely getting the impression now that the tute is NOT for total nubs in this arena. If you want you could treat my...bloopers as additions for the tutorial:

Latest is as follows:- the grab handle for the door grapic is actually pretty small, and I found that it was much easier to do the door placement when zoomed WAY in to the screen. Also when anchoring the doors using the anchor icon, to what am I anchoring them? It appears I have to have the Doors layer directly below the floating layer icon, whereupon the door will be anchored to same. Is this similar to the merge layers command? I appear to have accidentally added some doors to my Walls Layer earlier.

Email to follow with the graphic for the map but one other point: in the bottom left just above the single room, there is a spot where an internal wall could be placed, however after accidentally placing the internal wall in the Doors layer, I cannot seem to delete all traces of the wall which was placed there. For the moment I am leaving that spot blank.

Sheelon666
08-20-2010, 05:31 PM
At last - nothing fancy but enough that I can narrate the journey through the dusty corridors, and expand and run encounters when the party gets to the appropraite parts of the map! Thanks for the Tutorial Torstan - I hope to continue my own journey into Gimp and hopefully fingers crossed I'll get better as I go along. It really is a matter of being constantly aware of Layer in which I am working, and where I'm placing stuff at the time.

Sheelon666
08-20-2010, 06:17 PM
Also did this one using Excel with a little messing about with Autoshapes.

jfrazierjr
08-20-2010, 09:45 PM
Also did this one using Excel with a little messing about with Autoshapes.

Dude. thats just sick. Nice, but sick...lol

Sheelon666
08-21-2010, 08:58 AM
LOL I'm not sure if that's a thumbs up or a thumbs down! Thanks...I think!!

LOL

Steel General
08-21-2010, 09:44 AM
That anyone gets anything done at in EXCEL at all is a miracle in itself. I absolutely HATE that program.
For me it's more of an abomination than MS-Paint

So kudos to you for creating something useful with it. :)

MadCartographer
09-25-2010, 02:11 PM
Originally Posted by torstan View Post
.fcw? Is that a file format?

Yes it is for CC2 (not sure about 3)

Yea is both CC2 & CC3.

Gorgul
09-28-2010, 08:32 AM
Thanks for this great tutorial, even if it brings painful memories from the ruins of Undermountain...

MadCartographer
10-25-2010, 03:01 PM
Here is me trying my hand at your Tut. Using CC3.

I hope you like it. BTW, thanks for the tut, well done!

http://www.mstsls.com/ls/CG/OldSchool.JPG

Geleg
02-17-2011, 01:49 PM
Thanks very much for this useful tutorial. It's helping me render my hand-drawn beauties into, well, better-drawn beauties!

Still, I do have a question. I'm using the current version of GIMP (2.6.11), which seems to have some differences to it. I'm stuck at the point of trying to add doors to my map. I've got a third layer ('doors'), I've got your 'doors2.png' saved to the clipboard, and am able to paste it to the center of the canvas, but I am unable to move the darned thing. This is undoubtedly my own incompetence, as I have very little familiarity with any of these computer-generated art programs. But it's a bit frustrating. I've clicked the 'rectangle select tool' from the toolbox, and when I hover over the door image that appears in the center of the map, I get an anchor and a small square with 'marching ants' (as you called it), but no move arrows. If I click it just inserts in the center of the canvas.

I'd appreciate any help from you pros!

thanks,

Geleg

edit: I read Sheelon666's posts on the previous page and they mirrored my problems. His fix of zooming in has helped me finally grab ahold of the door icon and move it. I may have solved my own problem. Thanks anyway!

death_jester
11-07-2011, 12:00 AM
This thread is all kinds of awesome! Thank you very much for taking the time to post it for us newbies.

Peace
Jester

Axiom
02-28-2012, 07:32 AM
This looks like a great tutorial! Does anyone know if it will work with Photoshop?

torstan
02-28-2012, 02:52 PM
You certainly can do this in Photoshop. There's a slightly adapted version with photoshop specific tips here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?16819-Assorted-tips-and-tricks&p=174536&viewfull=1#post174536

Axiom
02-28-2012, 08:26 PM
oh ho! SWEET CHRISTMAS!!! Thanks so much for this!

Axiom
02-29-2012, 09:19 AM
EDIT: I think I pasted this in the wrong forum. I will move it.

Saruus
03-05-2012, 12:52 AM
Thanks a bunch, that was a pretty simple first map.

darth_borehd
08-31-2012, 06:00 AM
Any tutorials like this for Inkscape?

Also wondering if anybody has come across more old school map objects (like different stairs and doors) other than the one in tutorial.

James Potter-Brown
11-11-2013, 01:02 AM
So I know it has been 5 years since this tutorial was posted, but I'd just like to say, as a first-time member of the Cartographer's Guild, this was the first tutorial I found (congratulations on the award!), and I must say that it is still great! I look forward to getting a chance to mess around with some dungeon-making myself, thanks to this tutorial!

Just a question in case anyone sees this and can fill me in... Does MapTools recognise different layers in a drawing, or can in recognise doors, etc? Though I'm sure I'd discover the answer with a bit of playing around, right now I can't work out how it does that :)

Thanks!

jfrazierjr
11-11-2013, 10:58 AM
Just a question in case anyone sees this and can fill me in... Does MapTools recognise different layers in a drawing, or can in recognise doors, etc? Though I'm sure I'd discover the answer with a bit of playing around, right now I can't work out how it does that :)

Thanks!

I am not quite sure what you are asking about MapTool. If you are asking if MapTool can take a target file(a multi layer Gimp xcf or Photoshop psd, etc file) and have each layer in the source image on a separate layer in MapTool, the answer is no, and it never will. Nor can it "split" elements from a single source image into separate "things" within the software itself.

MapTool has 4 "layers currently, and it is entirely depending upon whoever builds the campaign maps within MapTool to separate things as needed for the game onto the correct layer.

MapTool specifics:


Typically, non movable things such as floors walls, etc should typically be placed on the Background Layer.
Things that are movable(and/or breakable) such as chairs, tables, etc should should typically be placed upon the "Object" layer. The GM can then show/hide items individually as needed within MapTool's UI.
Things that are hidden by default should go onto the "hidden" layer(though there is another option in the UI to make specific "tokens" visible on a per "object" basis you could use instead. ( RARELY ever use the hidden layer and go this other route most of the time))
Creatures of any sort will go onto the "Token" layer.


Within MapTool, if you wish to follow this approach, you will either need to design your maps following this thought process approach. I know in many(if not all) of Torstan's purchasable map packs, he followed this approach and created the base "background" and included numerous "items" as separate files which could then be placed upon the Object layer as needed to "complete the picture so to speak".

James Potter-Brown
11-13-2013, 04:43 PM
Thanks a lot! I shall keep that all in mind :) I guess I was mainly wondering how the map maid in GIMP became a usable map in maptools, given that the GIMP map had doors etc on it. But giving that some thought, I can see that these door images aren't exactly "closed" doors, more just symbolic of door space, and Vision-Blocking could be added invisibly or something :)

I have a bit of playing around to do, but am definitely looking forward to it :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk (http://tapatalk.com/m?id=1)

stormiestl
11-25-2013, 02:42 PM
I never thought of using Excel for a drawing program. I have no idea why I never thought of it because I use it all the time for other things. That is me not thinking outside the box!

Stormie