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View Full Version : Baby's First Maps :) Making Grids for the Gimp



shadoes
08-06-2008, 09:05 PM
I apologize to those that already know this sort of thing. I did a search and could not find anything like this. However that doesn't mean anything as it is probably up here somewhere...but just in case :) I was recently turned on to a very quick way to make simple cavern maps for RPG modules. Involves three layers in GIMP, PS, or whichever program you use.

First - get a grid. You can do this in GIMP or you can go download a suitable graph paper from here http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/plain/
And import it into GIMP. I use an 8 lines per inch grid from this site.

If you want to do it in GIMP start a new image. I normally use 1000 x 1000 pixels.

Go to Image -> configure grid. I use a small grid as I like to keep my maps small. Say 20 x 20 pixels. Select Solid for the line style
Then go to View -> Show grid to turn on your grid.

Go to Layer -> New Layer fill this layer solid black with the fill bucket.
Set the transparency on your black layer so that you can view the grid on the lower layer.
Then set the eraser tool to a 10 pixel or however large you like round brush. And simple erase you a new map.

Again add a third layer and use this layer to add text for room numbers and such.

using this you can whip out some real quick and dirty cave maps. It does not work so well with a square brush for more traditional dungeons.

Using this what you get is something like this. Here is a basic two cave level map that took all of maybe 10 minutes.

http://www.shadoespace.net/RPG/CaveMap.jpg

Again if this has been posted already(and I am sure it probably has somewhere) I apologize. NOT trying to take anything from anybody.

Ascension
08-06-2008, 10:03 PM
You know how when something hits you smack in the face and you realize "Doh! why didn't I think of that?" This is one of those times for me. Cool and simple and old school. Thank you very much from an old school retro gamer.

ravells
08-07-2008, 04:31 AM
Thanks for the tutorial shadoes! I've just amended the title to make it a little more descriptive of the content.

shadoes
08-07-2008, 10:03 AM
No problem. although the grid part is kind of secondary :) At least it was in my mind. hehe
Like I said I got turned on to this by a fellow who uses it in photoshop so went home and figured out how to do it in GIMP. Anyway hope folks find it useful.

Acsension: I pretty much did the same thing when I was told about it. hehe was like well..yea that makes sense. What I really like about it is you can crank out caverns in very little time. And if you can freehand a relatively straight line other types of dungeons. Like I said though in Gimp at least it doesn't work as well with a square brush as it does with the round.

nolgroth
08-07-2008, 12:44 PM
Interesting method. I wonder if it would be easier than how I do it now.

Presently, I use (in GIMP) Filter > Render > Pattern > Grid and then set the size to whatever I want. Then I create a new layer and draw with the Selection tools. Once I am done, I create a Layer Mask and Path from the Selection. I Stroke the Path with an appropriate pixel size and apply the Layer Mask to the Grid layer.

The problem sometimes comes up in that there is a doorway at the end of the map and the selection/path often draws over the opening and I have to do some clean up to open that up again.

Hope I'm not stepping on anybody's toes by posting this.

Posting an image of how my Layers dialog looks for reference.

shadoes
08-07-2008, 01:30 PM
You are making straight paths rather than rough caverns. The technique I detailed doesn't work well for more traditional straight walled dungeons. I will have to play around with yours and see how that goes. Also my little thing is for what I call quick and dirty old school looking maps. heh change the black to blue and they really look old school :)

nolgroth
08-07-2008, 01:49 PM
You are making straight paths rather than rough caverns. The technique I detailed doesn't work well for more traditional straight walled dungeons. I will have to play around with yours and see how that goes. Also my little thing is for what I call quick and dirty old school looking maps. heh change the black to blue and they really look old school :)Hmmn. I'll have to give it a shot. :)