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View Full Version : Just to clarify about mapping elements/textures/brushes/etc?



Jalyha
02-05-2014, 10:00 PM
I really just need to clarify, because there are some things where this is totally not okay, and I'm paranoid, so I want to make sure I understand everything precisely, so I don't get in trouble (here or elsewhere...)

Here's what I *THINK* I'm understanding.

These Creative Commons textures, brushes and mapping elements, basically, are premade photos/artwork, that anyone can take, and use, (as is OR edited) to their heart's content... as long as it isn't for commercial purposes.


Like for practicing your map skills, or having game sessions, or.. whatever.. as long as it's not for money.

Use of one's own mapping elements (textures/brushes/etc) is at his/her own discretion.


SO... if I'm right...

1) On the forums, or just for my own reference, I can make as many maps as I want with stuff that's already out here (giving credit to those who made it, if liberally done).

and

2) If I make my own mapping elements or textures or brushes or whatever, I can use them on any and every map I ever make, in different ways, to make different places, even if I later sell the maps or use them in a commercial product.

and

3) This is all a generally accepted practice in the mapping community.



Have I MISSED something? Is this right? I mean, could I just paint a bunch of realistic looking mountains/trees/roofs/whatever, turn it into a brush (by the same process as the mountains in this tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/14211-%5Baward-winner%5D-fast-easy-artistic-maps-gimp.html)) and then I could just use those trees/mountains on every map I ever make (okay maybe several brushes, in different styles) and never have to draw another tree or mountain or roof (for mapping purposes) for the rest of my life?

And I could make land/sea/sky textures the same way?

Or am I totally confused?

Azelor
02-05-2014, 10:26 PM
1-You can use elements depending on the license. Even creative commons have different licenses, some allows creation for commercial purposes, some don't. Same thing concerning modifications, it all depend on the license. Do you have a specific element in mind?

2- yes, you can do whatever you like with the content that you are the author. And yes you could use the same elements all the time but map mass production seems a bit boring.

Jalyha
02-05-2014, 10:43 PM
1) Nope just clarifying the "rules" :)

2) Okay, I don't want to get into anything too personal here, but... I've recently had a... complication, which makes artistic endeavors more... complicated (which in a long round about way is how I ended up turning to my writing and then mapping). After I found the forums, I thought mapping would be much easier, because of the way you sit when you hold a mouse/tablet/whatever is way different than painting. But there are times when I still can't do the things I am used to.. and it's even harder because I don't have a tablet, and I don't know the program. SO.. I didn't know what to do but then I realized I think you can do bits of your maps with the brushes/textures, right? So if I was finding it difficult to paint an entire forest, but I had like... 40 trees for a brush to cycle through? Then I could do that for as many forests as necessary, right?

Or have a basic "ocean texture" that I could just edit as needed?

I have to be really clear on this, cause with most art forms, you can't just.. do that. :P

Anyway, so not to like, mass produce/make them all the same, but when it's too difficult to do it normally, so I don't have to stop working, if I needed to use them sometimes, that's acceptable in the general mapping community?

Bogie
02-05-2014, 11:30 PM
Most of us are not lawyers so there are many different ideas as to what the licenses mean. most of us are not always right.
The one thing everyone agrees on though is If you made it you can do anything you want with it.

Jalyha
02-05-2014, 11:43 PM
:) Okay thanks guys!!

Azelor
02-06-2014, 12:33 AM
Well, yes you can build your map with a bunch of elements.

Easy forest: http://www.cartographersguild.com/mapping-elements/11361-treething.html

and a good brush set that I really like: Sketchy Cartography Brushes by StarRaven on deviantART (http://starraven.deviantart.com/art/Sketchy-Cartography-Brushes-198264358)

Jalyha
02-06-2014, 12:50 AM
Thanks :) I think I'll still make my own, but I'm just so happy to know it's okay.

:D :D I made an ocean, and a sky, and a trees brush ... they're not the "handdrawn" style though, but I can't wait to try them! :)

Maybe I should make some mountains first...


Annnnnnd... I think I figured out why no one does it this way :P

61074

Unless I made my brush wrong, I think I've found the problem... that looks AWFUL!! :)

Azelor
02-06-2014, 01:27 AM
Personally, I never liked the realistic style very much.

For top down trees you could look into Larb and Lingon work for inspiration
http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/25755-takauro-village.html
http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachments/finished-maps/58882d1383730482-cradle-%96-region-pangea-pangea02-10-72dpi-.jpg

A good tuto if you like the style: http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/18390-%5Baward-winner%5D-town-map-tutorial.html

Jalyha
02-06-2014, 01:56 AM
Thanks :)

I'm trying to take baby steps... I'm used to painting realistic-ish scenes with oils, and thought it might be an easier adjustment for me >.<

I do like the styles of the maps you linked... and I think *part* of my problem is too much variation in the shades of the trees (even though real trees are all different, but okay...) and part of it might be too much detail with the distance... :P

So that did help a lot.

I'll make some changes and if it doesn't improve, I might try for a less... realistic style >.<

(I'm never going to get this mapping thing figured out and you all are so patient... :( )

Lingon
02-06-2014, 03:48 AM
I think those tree brushes has a lot of potential. They are too big for most maps right now, in my opinion, but if you'd use a smaller size and, as you say, a little less color variation (mapping isn't necessarily about perfect depiction of everything, after all, but about finding a representation that conveys what you want it to convey (which can of course be photorealism, just doesn't have to ;))), I think it could make a very interesting forest.

Thanks, Azelor :)

Jalyha
02-06-2014, 04:32 AM
Well, okay, so I scaled them down, and dialed down the bright tree-colors, and got this:

61080

Which, although not as scary as the first, now just looks like green spots on the page. *sigh*


So,... guessing that either A) I should just use them for individual trees (or not at all) and find another way to convey forests, or B) Try it by drawing smaller more detailed trees from the start... then again, that gets into the color variation issue, so....

Yeah, I don't know where to go from there :P

I think I might try to switch to a more simple line style (whatever it's called?) on parchment, and see how far I get with that?

Or keep playing with my trees... I'm not sure atm because it's past my bedtime :P

Azelor
02-06-2014, 12:15 PM
I would recommend to lower the colors saturation and a bit less luminosity variation.

Jalyha
02-06-2014, 01:27 PM
Yeaaa... the luminosity I will have to change the individual trees, I think :)

Jalyha
02-06-2014, 02:04 PM
Is this any better? >.<

61094

madcowchef
02-06-2014, 02:30 PM
Trees are my enemy on local maps. Having read tutorials and what not I still am not overly satisfied with the results. I have even gone so far as to consider investing in some more software, which grates on my cheapness. So if you come up with a solution I'd love to hear it!

Azelor
02-06-2014, 03:12 PM
Ok, the difference in color is still to big. Ideally, you should pick a color and put some tree randomly on the map. Then change the color slightly. I don't know which software you are using but you could either play with the different color sliders, saturation, luminosity... Just change it a bit so they look different. To get new colors it better to start form the original color and make a different change at each time.

I made an example here. I used other options such as random size and random colors (very low around 3%)

61096

Jalyha
02-06-2014, 03:20 PM
Aye, I see what you mean. :/

I think my issue is still that I'm looking at a "tree" as a painter... not a mapper... I see a tree as a billion different shades of green on a leaf... and another billion on each other leaf, and so on...


But each tree in yours is just one color (basically) with highlighted and shadowed areas... so, what, 3 tones all together?

And most of the other trees are just slightly lighter or darker versions of that one.

Mapping is hard >.<

So... I just need to simplify things? Wouldn't it start to look kind of ... blah... like that, on a map of a much bigger area?

Azelor
02-06-2014, 04:24 PM
Aye, I see what you mean. :/

I think my issue is still that I'm looking at a "tree" as a painter... not a mapper... I see a tree as a billion different shades of green on a leaf... and another billion on each other leaf, and so on...


But each tree in yours is just one color (basically) with highlighted and shadowed areas... so, what, 3 tones all together?

And most of the other trees are just slightly lighter or darker versions of that one.

Mapping is hard >.<

So... I just need to simplify things? Wouldn't it start to look kind of ... blah... like that, on a map of a much bigger area?

No need to simplify things. The forest I just made could be good on a small scale world map. Otherwise, the 2 trees in the top of the map might be better (maybe too dark). It's pretty much the same idea but with some stroke around and shadow/light layers.

For a very realistic approach I would recommend that you look into Gameprinter and Bogie works

examples:: http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/25970-cathedral-ruins.html
http://www.cartographersguild.com/mapping-challenge-archive/25673-dec-jan-2014-litechallenge-miltonmills-village-3.html

and maybe there are some trees here idk : http://www.cartographersguild.com/mapping-elements/16821-mapping-elements-starting-preset-tables-chairs.html

Jalyha
02-06-2014, 06:06 PM
Aye, that's what I was trying for with my (original) trees :(

I still have too much color/light variation, though, I see what you mean there :)

Maybe I should just do outlines or something D:

jtougas
06-04-2014, 03:40 AM
I think you might be on the right track but try thinking more "regionally" At the scale you're working on you wouldn't be able to see individual leaves and probably not even individual trees. I think a representation of a forest might be more what you are looking for. You could achieve that with what you have by scaling them down and using them as a pattern. Good luck and keep it up :)

Jacktannery
06-04-2014, 04:40 AM
Is this any better? >.<

61094

I disagree with Azelor and Madcowchef. I think these low-saturation trees are amazing, and a really good job if you did them yourself. I love the subdued greyish colour and their blurred shapes. I think maps using these would look excellent at any scale. I also think it is much better to make your own map objects, and to assert your own style and palette, than to use a hodge-podge of other people's work in your maps.