View Full Version : *ahem* Yo.

03-07-2009, 11:30 PM
Every now and again, I get this idea in my head to create maps. I game sometimes, but I don't run; I write sometimes, but at the moment all I have is an image and no plot. But I still love maps.

My preferred drawing tool is Paint.NET, which does a lot of nifty stuff and is a free download; I'll have to poke at it and see how well the tutorials here cross over for it.

Looking forward to looking and lurking...

03-08-2009, 05:08 AM
Welcome to the Guild!

Ever thought of using GIMP, there are some great tutorials for it on this site, and its also a free download - though a bit more complex than Paint.net and tons more powerful. Lots of guys here swear by it! You should consider it.

Its not my app of choice, but there you go! Again, welcome!


Steel General
03-08-2009, 09:18 AM
Welcome Aboard!

03-08-2009, 11:06 AM
There are a few here using paint.net Post up what you have for a little C&C and see!

-Rob A>

03-08-2009, 03:12 PM
Yo, peace out! Happy to have you looking and lurking, but don't be shy about posting your projects either. Lots of great voices here to admire and improve your ability. Regarding your software, I am personally not familiar with it ,bear in mind, though, that many guild members use more than one app to achieve their effects. By all means, rely on the software you are most familiar (and proficient) with, however don't rule out expanding either. I'm very interested to see which and what you manage to apply to Paint.NET (if it's free I may end up getting it as well). Anyways, welcome and cheers!

03-08-2009, 03:18 PM
Welcome to the Guild!

03-08-2009, 04:46 PM
Welcome to the Guild, Heather!

03-09-2009, 12:05 PM
Yes, I've looked at GIMP before, but it mostly makes my brain hurt. :D A lot of the apps I've looked at do many of the same things, so the only change is in figuring out where to look and what steps to take.

I didn't actually have a map in reserve here, I just like maps. The last one I actually finished, I was probably 10.

Paint.NET gets updated pretty frequently, and supports user-made tools and plugins. I'm going to run through one of the tutorials on this site and see how well they translate over, but I'm guessing the answer will be "pretty good".


03-09-2009, 12:33 PM
I know how you feel, I'm not really a GIMPer myself, however, regarding how looking at it makes your head hurt (I know how you feel) - I know that RobA's "Create a not-so-random Coastline" tutorial for GIMP is one of the best GIMP tutorials for any graphic need, and that tutorial can really give you a head's up on the various tools, menus and techniques using GIMP.

Since GIMP is free, and so is RobA's tutorial, I think it would behoove you to try, at least. You'd be surprised at how "un-head-hurting" it can be! You'll learn so much, you won't even notice how many other buttons and features you haven't tried.

Me, I avoid anything that says "Microsoft" with a wide berth, as a graphic artist, I think Microsoft should stay in the OS and Browser market (X-box too) and avoid the idea they are actually a software developer, which I think they are a poor one for that. Look at Publisher, its one of the worst conceived graphics apps in existence and no professional would ever touch it.

Just my 2 cents!


03-09-2009, 02:05 PM
Well, so far as I know, Paint.NET has nothing to do with Micro$oft, but I'd have to, you know, actually look that up to be certain.

Following and translating the GIMP tutorial, here's what I have so far, and I'm actually pretty impressed. I had some lucky accidents with a few of the texture effects, so I ran with them.

03-09-2009, 04:58 PM
I love those Bob Ross "happy lil accidents"...wish I had more. Or maybe I wish I had the talent to turn them into happy ones instead of the usual dreadful. This looks good so far.

03-09-2009, 05:10 PM
Hi Heather, and welcome. :)
From what I've picked up (today, actually) Paint.NET was developed as a university project by a couple of students who wanted to improve MS Paint. I think they later worked for MS.
I'm trying to find out more about it, practical-wise, maybe you can help my query here:

02-09-2011, 03:58 PM
Wow, long time no see everyone. I got into maps, fell out of maps, and now my interest has come back around again. I might post some things in the near future, or, you know, I might not. :)

02-09-2011, 04:16 PM
Heh. I was like that at first as well. When I first started experimenting 6 months would go by before I did another experiment. Did that for a few years then when I found this place I began to do stuff every day.

02-09-2011, 04:40 PM
Welcome back :)

02-09-2011, 05:10 PM
Welcome back, Peaceheather! Good to see you again!

02-10-2011, 12:22 PM
Yes indeed WB PH :)

We have had a few new guys/girls who are also using PdN, but I can't recall who they are atm.

Anyhoot, glad to see you back. Still using PdN?

02-10-2011, 11:03 PM
You betcher sweet bippy I am, Korash! It's been upgraded and updated, and a great many uber-nifty plugins added. Mama like. :) Of course, my idea of fun still involves playing with all the GIMP tutorials around here to see how well they translate to PDN. The answer continues to be "quite well, thank you".

Had a happy accident a few days ago with an experiment I tried, and I ended up with something that could be riverbeds awaiting water, or political boundaries for various regions. Here, take a look:


02-11-2011, 12:13 PM
Yup, Stroke some of those boundries and presto.....Rivers! :) or like you said, political borders.

So.......in the spirit of learning, what was the experiment on?

02-12-2011, 11:19 AM
I was looking for a new way to randomize land placement. Right now I follow the tutorials here where you basically render some clouds and let the threshold settings determine where your land goes. But I've been playing this logic-square game (simiar to sudoku) and I got the idea to assign a color to each number, draw a grid and then Do Things to get the shapes you see there. The above actually started as a 5x5 grid - hand-drawn (yay for rectangles), so it wasn't perfect or anything, but *shrug*. Drew a grid, new layer, painted in the colors, then in Paint.Net, Effects > Distort > Crystallize. Muck around with the settings fairly large to get the basic shapes, then Cyrstallize again on a much smaller setting to get more detail. Rinse, repeat (although I think I only ran it twice in the above image) - each time you use a smaller setting, it reshapes the edges of each color blob and adds more niftiness. :)

From there, back to the rendering of clouds, engrave/emboss to get bumpy textured goodness, one last set of clouds with Things Done To It on a low opacity to add a little hazy atmosphere, and done. The only other thing was a not-so-great attempt to add some light-shine to the water, hence the big round dots with no consistent angle to them.

... Oh, lord. I'm going to have to write up a tut for this, aren't I. :D


02-14-2011, 12:24 PM
... Oh, lord. I'm going to have to write up a tut for this, aren't I. :D


Yuppers!! :D

02-15-2011, 11:01 AM
I'm about halfway through it, and hope to publish later today. This takes longer than updating my resume but is much more fun... which won't help me get a job anytime soon, alas.

EDIT: It's done. And it's dinner time.

02-16-2011, 07:20 PM
Hey Korash (and others!),
The tutorial has been uploaded, and to my surprise, has already been converted to a PDF. Hope you like it.

02-17-2011, 12:06 PM
K, Thanks PH :)

I am at work atm but will give it a Gimp try when I get home....if the kids aren't hogging the comp.....