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Elvish Presley
02-22-2009, 06:42 PM
One of the many things I loved about Battle Chasers was the flying prison. So I put one into my campaign as well. And this Wednesday, one of the players is going to try to spring an imprisoned demon king......

I've mapped out the whole prison a loong time ago, but today I foolishly decided to try to make a digital version, which would hopefully be done before Wednesday....fat chance.....as usual, I managed to start something which will take an age to finish.

I'm not sure how it happened, but I was aiming for a a slight modification of my hand drawn and scanned map, and ended up with this:

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This is the entrance level of the prison. There are several other levels further down.

For comparison, here is how parts of it looks like originally (1 square=10 feet):

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I'm really in deep water here, and I fear I might not be able to complete the map at all in the present style. But still, I like how it looks - i just can't fathom what's going to happen when I have to add statues and furnitures and guards and staircases etc...I'm used to sketching these things with a pencil!

Anyway, I'll toss it up here so that I'll feel some kind of obligation to work more on it, even though I'm going to have to settle for the hand drawn maps next gaming session.

jfrazierjr
02-22-2009, 07:28 PM
Cool... Of course, if you want some more time, you could always throw up a delay tactic. Not sure where they are at the moment, but you could always put in some guards on the outside and and enough encounters to keep them from getting inside. Or better yet, have the guards totally trounce them and have them wake up in a room, alive, but with little to no equipment.

Anything to delay another session might help...

woekan
02-22-2009, 07:40 PM
Cool idea, nice layout

Elvish Presley
02-23-2009, 04:22 PM
Yes, stalling would be nice. However, the player in question is playing a solo session, so it's gotta be efficient and (hopefully) successful. But today, I made a great discovery!

You can draw straight lines (!) in Photoshop! (/facepalm)
Up until now, I've been using the rectangular marquee tool to make objects and cut'n paste to make corners and rotate to make angled lines etc. etc.....oh, my....well, at least now I know better :oops:

So I drew some more walls today, and added some stairs (I don't like stairs, they're difficult) and doors:

10648

Hmmm...what's next? More objects, I guess...

Nytmare
02-23-2009, 06:48 PM
Forgive me if this goes too fast or makes too many jumps. I'll explain bits in more depth if you want them.

How Nytmare Makes Walls in Photoshop


Through all of this, the only thing that matters is that your walls are black and your floors are white. Don't bother trying to keep this process transparent, because we cheat later on and only focus on where the black parts are.
Start on a fresh layer.
Make all the straight walls and freeform walls with either the line tool (U) or the paintbrush, both with a size of 1 pixel. (You can also make straight sections with tools like the brush with a combination of View > Snap or just by holding down the shift key while you paint.)
If these wall sections intersect where a round wall sections will be, just overlap it and worry about cleaning it up later.
Edit > Stroke the selection to the appropriate width. At 200 to 300 dpi I usually have my walls end up being about 10 to 20 pixels thick, depending on what they're supposed to be.
Select the negative space and fill in with the bucket tool. Sometimes you need to do the negative space on a new layer so that you don't get a blank space between the outside wall and fill behind it.
On a new layer(s), layout the round rooms with a combination of the round marquee tool, Select > Modify > Contract (to the appropriate wall width) and the paint bucket.
Paint the overlapping bits white where the round parts and straight parts don't jive. (ie where a straight hallway turns into a round room)
Right about now you should be looking at a rough sketch of only walls.
At this point, again depending on what kind of walls I'm making, I might squish all of these layers into one layer with a white background and do a Filter > Pixelate > Crystalize at about 7 to 10 pixels to roughen them up and make them look rocky.
Go to the Channels window. It should be the middle tab on the Layers window. If it's not there go to Windows > Channel and it will pop up.
Hold the Cntrl key and click on the RGB layer. This will select everything that has red, green, or blue in it which is currently everything that is NOT black.
Go back to the Layers tab and make a new layer.
Select the inverse of what you're currently selecting either with Cntrl-Shift-I or by Select > Inverse
Paint bucket the heck out of it. Now you have all of the walls as a separate element on their very own own layer and you can decorate them however you like.


I know that it's cheating cause I'm used to the process, but as an experiment, I'm going to try to recreate your map to see about how long it takes me. It's currently 5:02 PM...and just shy of 45 minutes later, I have this:

jfrazierjr
02-23-2009, 07:05 PM
Forgive me if this goes too fast or makes too many jumps. I'll explain bits in more depth if you want them.

How Nytmare Makes Walls in Photoshop


Through all of this, the only thing that matters is that your walls are black and your floors are white. Don't bother trying to keep this process transparent, because we cheat later on and only focus on where the black parts are.



heh... for use GIMPers, if I you got white floors and black walls for the outline, it takes RobA's Dungeon map prettier script about 3 seconds, of course, thats even more cheating......:P You still have to manually put in the stair and door icons, but that should take about 2 minutes or so.

Nytmare
02-23-2009, 07:13 PM
:) The 45 minutes was spent making the black walls and white floors. I was trying to give him a process that I was assuming he spent at least a couple of hours on if not more.

jfrazierjr
02-23-2009, 07:29 PM
:) The 45 minutes was spent making the black walls and white floors. I was trying to give him a process that I was assuming he spent at least a couple of hours on if not more.


Oh.. duh.. yea... just making the b/w outlines takes a bit of time by itself.

Elvish Presley
02-24-2009, 03:08 AM
Thanks for the advice :)

Now, if I only knew how to instantly transform my scanned maps into clean black'n white images.....whenever I scan a pencil drawing, all I get is...well...grey pencil strokes, a not so grey paper background (but certainly nowhere near white) and a lot of grids.

And even when I start digitalizing the drawing, I end up making a whole new map/drawing from skratch because I can't incorporate the original, scanned drawing satisfyingly :(

Steel General
02-24-2009, 08:01 AM
Maybe try going over your pencil lines with a fine black marker before scanning? Its a bunch of extra work, but should help with the scan.

Nytmare
02-24-2009, 02:28 PM
Now, if I only knew how to instantly transform my scanned maps into clean black'n white images.....whenever I scan a pencil drawing, all I get is...well...grey pencil strokes, a not so grey paper background (but certainly nowhere near white) and a lot of grids.

You might be able to pull the information out by adjusting the contrast after you've scanned it. Do you have one you can upload?

Elvish Presley
02-24-2009, 02:46 PM
Try this one:

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There is also one in the first post of this thread, a portion of the map I'm currently working on.

ravells
02-24-2009, 02:50 PM
Here you go - just used 'levels' in PS to get rid of the squares.

jfrazierjr
02-24-2009, 03:09 PM
Thanks for the advice :)

Now, if I only knew how to instantly transform my scanned maps into clean black'n white images.....whenever I scan a pencil drawing, all I get is...well...grey pencil strokes, a not so grey paper background (but certainly nowhere near white) and a lot of grids.

And even when I start digitalizing the drawing, I end up making a whole new map/drawing from skratch because I can't incorporate the original, scanned drawing satisfyingly :(

So, is there a reason your doing your originals on gridded paper? or are you trying to reuse stuff that was created long time ago?

Also, I would highly suggest anyone who needs to do more than a tiny bit of digital drawing get an inexpensive tablet. Of course, I know that some people may be on a tight budget, but if you do more than a few maps here and there, the money is well worth it. If your on a tight budget, you could always check out Craigslist or Ebay and get a used one, though I would highly suggest getting WACOM that was originally sold in the past 3 years or so if going that route. You can typically find them for 1/4 to 1/2 retail price or less as many people buy a cheap one to start out with and then save up the money to upgrade to one with more features later. A new small (about the size of a postcard in drawing area, plus an inch or so of border) Bamboo is roughly $100 US, and can be found in some of the big box retail stores such as Circuit City or Best Buy. Also, since Circuit City is going out of business, you might be able to get a good deal right now if there is one near you and they still have any they need to get rid of. You could even try haggling!!!

Elvish Presley
02-24-2009, 03:22 PM
Yes, I'm currently trying to redo and improve a lot of maps I have on grid paper. I just bought a tablet, though - so I might be building some maps from scratch on the computer in the future.....although, I do love grid paper and the control and overview it adds when I draw.

I still feel a bit uncomfortable with the tablet as well, since I can't look at the physical drawing while I draw. But I'll get accumstomed to it, I'm sure.

RobA
02-24-2009, 03:41 PM
@Elvish - If you want to draw by hand, pick up a pad of tracing paper and use that with graph paper under. (Just speaking from experience ;)

Attached is the best cleanup I could manage...

I ran your image through a FFT grid de-noise, then used the curves tool (which gives much more control than levels) to get as much contrast as I could:

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-Rob A>

Elvish Presley
02-24-2009, 03:52 PM
I will go to the store first thing and get some tracing paper! (as soon as I find out what that translates to in norwegian, heh he). That was a pretty nice cleanup, though. I bet I could almost just toss it on top of a parchment background and call it a day :)

Ah, just remembered another thing about my tablet that irks me. Everything I draw with it looks so...smooth and computerized. I'm such a fan of the hand drawn look, gotta find a fix for that :)

jfrazierjr
02-24-2009, 03:54 PM
@Elvish - If you want to draw by hand, pick up a pad of tracing paper and use that with graph paper under. (Just speaking from experience ;)


Great idea Rob! I was thinking of that earlier, but could not get my mind to spit out the right sequence of words to put in my post.

jfrazierjr
02-24-2009, 03:59 PM
I will go to the store first thing and get some tracing paper! (as soon as I find out what that translates to in norwegian, heh he). That was a pretty nice cleanup, though. I bet I could almost just toss it on top of a parchment background and call it a day :)



Ah, just remembered another thing about my tablet that irks me. Everything I draw with it looks so...smooth and computerized. I'm such a fan of the hand drawn look, gotta find a fix for that :)

If in GIMP, use the ink tool for more calligraphy stylized lines. If using the paint/pencil tool, turn on the pressure sensitivity options and tweak to suit your tastes. Someone somewhere posted a link (RobA or RPMiller most likely) about a set of exercises for getting used to a tablet. I think it was in the Tablet vs Mouse thread, but can't look right now...

Elvish Presley
02-24-2009, 04:24 PM
Good idea about the pressure sensitivity! I'll try that next time I use the tablet :)

Also time for a tiny update on the map. What did I do today? Well, I added the structure in the middle. It's supposed to be metal and when it opens, an elevator going down appears in the floor. I also tried to make some windows and put some ugly golems on a couple of strategic places.

I'm also toying with other kinds of "themes" to get away from the polished look and make it more hand drawn looking (but not too cartoonish, if I can help it...)

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Elvish Presley
02-24-2009, 05:19 PM
I just couldn't help myself, so I took the cleanup that RobA made and toyed with it a little. I'm actually quite pleased with this one, and it took no time at all :)

10690

RobA
02-24-2009, 05:22 PM
I just couldn't help myself, so I took the cleanup that RobA made and toyed with it a little. I'm actually quite pleased with this one, and it took no time at all :)

10690

Try running the cutout filter on the B&W. It will soften up the jaggies a bit.

-Rob A>