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Mimi
02-19-2009, 06:58 AM
In absence of a proper introduction in the appropriate place I thought it would be more meaningful to break the ice by posting a map.

This is a map of a region called Neweastland, it's a for a fantasy setting with a colonial theme and is my first substantial attempt at creating a terran campaign map. It was made with the goal of beng, clear, bright, easily readable and a tad cartoonish. I think it does that pretty well. My main quandary is the geography, whilst I wasn't trying to make anything that was particularly accurate or realistic I think I let myself down on the quantity and length of rivers.

The map was made almost entierly in GIMP, I drew the basic geography by hand, added mountains by a process that ammounts to Lasso tool, solid noise, border selection, gaussian blur, cranking up the contrast, 00000 to alpha, emboss, then I painted the terrain with the airbrush tool, added some patterns to certain areas to give definition to the terrain, splashed some forests on then jammed a pile of icons on top. This version is indexed to 256 colours to make it smaller.

The text was a freaking pain, I accidently deleted entire sets of names about 3 times and had to redo the manually. For my first real try I'm pretty pleased with it.

What do you guys think?

bartmoss
02-19-2009, 07:17 AM
I like it. Good colors, the "stretch" effect in the sea is interesting, I like the mountains. I honestly can't find anything to criticize. Good work, and welcome aboard.

RobA
02-19-2009, 07:24 AM
Great map Mimi!

I see the water is the stock pattern, but so nicely distorted I could barely tell. How did you manage that, with iwarp, or some other process?

Also, I like the icons. Are they something you created yourself?

Regarding text, I have completely switched to inkscape for adding text to maps. I import the final map as an image into inkscape then create all the text on a new layer, then exporting the text as a transparent svg back into gimp as a layer for final effects.

Nice first post, have some rep :) (And it is good to see another gimp user here ;) )

-Rob A>

Steel General
02-19-2009, 07:40 AM
Welcome Aboard!

This is very good for your first try, and since you uploaded a map in your first post have some more rep *bonk*

I highly suggest that you take a look at the various tutorials that have been created for GIMP, they'll help you learn some other techniques that may inspire/help you in the development of your mapping style.

Vandy
02-19-2009, 07:52 AM
Hello, Mimi.

First of all, welcome to the Cartographers' Guild.

Second, what a wonderful map you've created. I should want something as beautiful for my first try! I really like your layout, use of symbols and icons -- pretty much everything.

Looking forward to chatting with you more.

Regards,

Gary

woekan
02-19-2009, 08:30 AM
Very nice first try! Great mountains and good forest!

Mimi
02-19-2009, 08:56 AM
What an awfully warm welcome. Thanks for your comments and advice. I have looked over the tutorials section and there seem to be some useful lumps of knowledge that could be sifted out of that immense pile of information. I'll certainly go through it at some point.

To answer questions:

- Yes I made the Icons
- Indeed, the water is the stock pattern modified with IWarp, I did have a go with polar coordinates, but that didn't work out.
- I did consider Inskape for the text and would have used it if not for the fact that the text tool always seems to behave oddly for me, you can set a default size, font and style, but I have no idea how to set a default fill colour or stroke style or if you can at all. Manually changing the text colour for every single label on this map would have been torture, so I went for GIMP and a thousand million layers of one word names instead. If someone knows how to aid me with this the I would appreciate any help I could get.

jfrazierjr
02-19-2009, 09:35 AM
Manually changing the text colour for every single label on this map would have been torture, so I went for GIMP and a thousand million layers of one word names instead. If someone knows how to aid me with this the I would appreciate any help I could get.

Not sure if this will help you or not, but what I do is to create my text labels with the correct font and convert each text layer to a path. Delete the text layers (since I don't need them anymore and merge down all of the text paths to a single path. Path to Selection, create a new transparent layer, and fill with color. This also makes it super easy if you want to duplicate said layer and put another color below with a blur to get some nice glowy text. It take time to do it this way, but you can save yourself tons of layers by using paths and merging them down when you know you have everything you need done.

Not sure if that helps or not with what you were trying to avoid....

torstan
02-19-2009, 10:46 AM
My approach in Gimp is to create the million layers of text labels. Then use the move tool with 'move selected layer' selected to get all the text in the right places. Then hide all non-text layers. Right click on the layers dialogue and go to Merge Visible Layers... That will get you all you text in one layer. Then you can mess with this to get layer styles and so on. Generally I duplicate the layer, invert the colour and gaussian blur it. I move this below the original text layer and it gives a nice outer glow. I also drop the opacity of the original layer a little.

Hope that helps.

Mimi
02-19-2009, 10:53 AM
My approach in Gimp is to create the million layers of text labels. Then use the move tool with 'move selected layer' selected to get all the text in the right places. Then hide all non-text layers. Right click on the layers dialogue and go to Merge Visible Layers... That will get you all you text in one layer. Then you can mess with this to get layer styles and so on. Generally I duplicate the layer, invert the colour and gaussian blur it. I move this below the original text layer and it gives a nice outer glow. I also drop the opacity of the original layer a little.

Hope that helps.

This is in fact exactly what I did except I used a drop shadow rather than a glow effect.

Karro
02-19-2009, 11:53 AM
Welcome, and my compliments on a very nice first map. I think you pretty much achieved your goals spot-on.

torstan
02-19-2009, 12:14 PM
Sorry to say that I don't have a better method than that yet. Gives good results though.

Ascension
02-19-2009, 05:06 PM
Very cool, very nice, and totally unlike all of the other Gimp-made maps I've seen here. Well done.

RobA
02-19-2009, 06:33 PM
Very cool, very nice, and totally unlike all of the other Gimp-made maps I've seen here. Well done.

That is the advantage to knowing the software before trying to make a map and having greated works before seeing other things here.

@mimi- perhaps you can share some of your techniques with us. How long have you used GIMP?

-Rob A>

jfrazierjr
02-19-2009, 07:47 PM
That is the advantage to knowing the software before trying to make a map and having greated works before seeing other things here.

-Rob A>

heh.... Yea... that's from the "When all you have is a hammer, everything tends to look like a nail" school of building philosophy.....

Mimi
02-20-2009, 02:56 AM
@mimi- perhaps you can share some of your techniques with us. How long have you used GIMP?

-Rob A>

I've been using GIMP for various things since I think 2003. I'd be happy to share my, erm..."techiques" with people, except they aren't exactly precise, I don't normally set out to use them how I end up using them and I rarely end up repeating them in the same exact way twice.

Fabrice
02-20-2009, 07:33 AM
Your map is simply beautiful and inspiring.

Welcome!

Mimi
02-22-2009, 05:01 PM
Because I can't look at something I made and say "Yeah that's fine" there is this result.

My main intention was to produce better mountains. I don't like the terrain colours and may just copy and paste the new mountains over the old map for a combined result. But the certainty of that is yet to be seen.

Better or worse? Origional or new?

Karro
02-23-2009, 09:39 AM
I think I have to agree with both assessments: I like the newer mountains somewhat more than the previous, but prefer the original terrain colors.

Steel General
02-23-2009, 11:09 AM
I actually like the second one better (the mountains are much, much better), though both are good.

Blake
02-23-2009, 01:10 PM
Very classy colour sceheme.

I like it. My main criticisms number three:

1. The mountains are good, the coast is good, but they are in stylistic conflict with each other. I prefer your mountains, so I'd suggest you nix the line around your cost and try some noise- sand or something, fading into your land.

Also, you might add some foamy ripples around the edge just for effect. You can do this by:

-Lasso your land, make a new layer, and fill it with black.
-Your land should look like black blobs (with the black covering it, but don't harm the original of course) Duplicate this layer several times
-Apply a layer effect- outer glow. Don't use the default curve- use an assortment of custom curves.
-Use a different curve on each layer. Your outer glow should be white.
-Flatten the layer effects to the layers (don't merge the layers together though)
-Set the modes of the black blob plus weird outline to a lighten only mode so your black blob vanishes.
-layer by layers, take your eraser to the new white outlines around your continent, breaking them up here and there.
-Finished- snazzy and simple foamy shore waves effect. Blur or apply other filters to taste.

2. Your roads.

Logistically, some of them are too straight (terrain is hilly, and people make mistakes). Also, some of them are nearly parallel- unless the people running each road for some reason don't like to share traffic, many of your main trade routes could be combined. Roads are expensive to upkeep, particularly when you have more than you need.

3. The key. I zoomed in and looked all over for it. Aren't most keys in the bottom right?
It's floating up there, and that's kind of weird to me...


Anyway, great map :)

Mimi
03-01-2009, 04:18 AM
Hnnnnnph. This one was like an unpleasant bowel movement, it was a pain to squeeze out, took far too long and the result is far from satisfactory. Far from a trouble free birth indeed. More like protracted labor with complications. Plus I was really hung over most of today and that didn't help atall.

But taking into account all things said by people here and from the other place I have created this.

So what do you guys reckon?

In before the river police.

EDIT: Forgot the actual map. I am a shining star of brilliance today.

Steel General
03-01-2009, 08:37 AM
I like it, looking forward to see where you take this.

jfrazierjr
03-01-2009, 10:50 AM
Real nice! That one section of forest in the middle, we should call that Riverpooluza....