View Full Version : DnD Campaigne Map - using Gimp

Zar Peter
04-23-2009, 04:56 PM
Well, the title could improve I think...
Anyway, after a long absent I'm back with another try. I used Roba's tutorial for a interior inveroment and started with the mountains (because they were especially important for me). The mountains in the north are the Dragonspine Mountains, in the south are the Blue Hills.

I try to post my progress here and am happy to read encouraging and critical comments from this great community (and I hope I don't get stuck in some details...)

So this is todays work after three hours and the same picture with the underlying rough concept. I'm not sure about the width but you should walk from north of the map to the south in about two weeks (not included climbing on hills)

Zar Peter
04-25-2009, 05:10 PM
Second turn: I realized that 500*500 is too small so I copied the whole map (every layer) into a 2000*2000 field. Worked surprisingly well.
Then I added River and Dirt layer. Somehow I'm not very happy about the rivers... I think I can't bump them too look as if they are a bit lower than the land.

Anyway, here is the next iteration of the map:

Steel General
04-25-2009, 09:39 PM
This is coming along nicely...

Couple of ideas/suggestions;

1) Darken the water color - it seems very bright
2) Put a slight inner bevel on your rivers (color it a shade of brown or tan), it will help to prevent them from looking like they are lying on top of or floating above terrain

04-25-2009, 10:09 PM
I like the mountains quite a bit. The river in the NE corner is doing some weird things path-wise, at least to my eye. I really like the overall layout / design of the rivers themselves. I look forward to seeing more of this map!

04-26-2009, 09:10 AM
I'll second Steel in that the river color needs to be more muted and darker but also try clipping the rivers so that they don't travel over the mountains too far. Blue rivers and orange mountains clash a whole heck of a lot.

04-26-2009, 12:47 PM
You could desaturate the mountains and apply a layer mask (hue/saturation) and colorize it to tone down the mountains. At least... that's how I would do it in photoshop. Not sure how that works in GIMP.

Zar Peter
04-26-2009, 04:22 PM
Ok, thanks for all the input.

Today I played a bit so the mapped changed mostly in minor details... except for the woods of course. Don't know if I'm happy with them, I think I have to play with the bump there, too.

I changed the color of the mountains a bit, inserting a timberline clip mask and I changed the color of the rivers. The rivers are overall darker now and the rivers in the mountains and in the plainlands have different colors now.
Oh, and I need the rivers in the mountains since one adventure played in the mountains on a river...

Still not found how to bevel the rivers... didn't quite get it with the GIMP-tutorial.

So, todays update:

04-26-2009, 06:23 PM
Now add a little bevel and noise to the rivers.

Zar Peter
04-27-2009, 02:25 PM
Thanks for the interest and the critics, I think I got some decent bevel, now I'm working on the noise... and the woods. Hope to get something viewable together tomorrow.

Zar Peter
04-28-2009, 05:22 PM
Beveled rivers with noise, changed forest texture and added Towns, Villages and Hamlets.

To do:

- Town and Village names
- Roads
- Legend
- Compass (extra if I have enough time)

Critics welcome...

(Technical details: I'm drawing in 2000*2000 pixels but resize the image to 1000*1000 so it's not too big to upload)

04-28-2009, 10:11 PM
The finer noise (plasma?) makes a much nicer forest bump-map at this scale.

-Rob A>

Zar Peter
04-29-2009, 05:11 PM
The finer noise (plasma?) makes a much nicer forest bump-map at this scale.

-Rob A>

No plasma, I used a pattern (random, but it should be a bit coloured), filled the bump map with it and made * Filter-Artistic-Cubism *
With this Bump map I bumped the gray layer, made a second gray layer and bumped it with the first bump layer.

Then I made the same thing with another bump map but instead of Cubism I used * Filter-Artistic-Canvas * and a little gaussian blur.

(Since I have the German Gimp Version the names of the actions may or may not be the real Gimp names, I just translated them)

And the map is on hold until next week, I'm away for the weekend.

04-29-2009, 05:46 PM
Forests are good in themselves but for some reason stick out in the map and don;t feel like they belong. The mountains, in contrast feel nicely blended in. .
I think there is too much of a tone contrast and a "hard edge" on your forest textures.

Strong otherwise - it will be good to see where this goes.


Zar Peter
04-29-2009, 06:15 PM
Screw the "on hold", I had to change a bit. First I realized that the woods don't match the needings of the campaign so I had to redraw them. While doing this I was playing a bit with them and the result: I toned down the opacity of the colour layer to 60% and blurred the edges of the forest a bit . I think the result is a bit better than before.

Anyway, now it's on hold till next week.

04-30-2009, 06:37 AM
Yeah - much improved on the trees!

Zar Peter
05-05-2009, 03:51 PM
For those still interested: My map goes on... added Streets (made with Inkscape) and City and Village names.

05-05-2009, 07:27 PM
Nice map but the mountains could use some work...maybe change the texture....try this one from genetica.

Use a layer mask and a soft black brush on the layer mask to make the mountains merge to the land

Zar Peter
05-06-2009, 01:39 PM
You mean this way? Well, now the mountains are looking professional but forest and plain land is a bit... amateur like.

Thank you very much, ravells! Great texture.

(And the one who finds my mistake gets a cookie :))

05-06-2009, 02:12 PM
In my opinion that new texture looks too much. Maybe if you play with the scale or something?

And I would say it's lost all sense of elevation of the mountains now, can't really see any bevel or lighting.

Zar Peter
05-06-2009, 03:51 PM
Yeah, I think I posted too early... tomorrow's map will look better. Anyway, it's much better with the texture now (I toned it down) and I'm playing now with the colors.

And then I try with some other textures to work on forest and plains.

05-06-2009, 04:43 PM
Here's what I would do in the mountains:

New layer, fill it with 50% gray, set the layer to overlay, use the burn and dodge tools with a big soft brush tip and make darker and lighter areas to denote high and low areas. Once we get that worked out we'll move on to the forests.

Zar Peter
05-06-2009, 06:23 PM
Well, I should get used to post after days work on the map and not at the beginning, the last map was more a try than a serious version of the map.

The hight feeling wasn't the problem, more how to use the texture on the mountains. And maybe change their colors.

I think I came to an satisfying solution, the only problem now is that it's a bit noisy in the .png

Zar Peter
05-08-2009, 06:01 PM
So, actually I think this is close to the finish line... open for suggestions, though.

05-08-2009, 07:11 PM
Hey there, sorry to jump into your thread late. I think it's looking good. Just a couple of things;

1-I wish your forests had just a bit of volume, not quite sure how I would achieve that though, as I haven't tried this scale yet. On a smaller scale a cast shadow works great to elevate a given object, maybe you could try a black outline on the forests... not sure, someone else may have a better suggestion.

2-I'm assuming your brown terrain is rocky, desert, or infertile for some reason, but what that reason is (or what the terrain is) is unclear. From the climate and scale my impression is they are too expansive, unless you have a reason for wanting them that way.

Those are my thoughts, do with them as will or ignore them, :), still a good looking map.

Zar Peter
05-09-2009, 08:42 AM
Thanks for the remarks Feralspirit. I will work on the woods a bit more... don't know if I get something usable.

The brown spots: Yes, I know they are a bit too big, on the other hand I already planned the streets around them so I want to let then as they are... maybe the bigger have some ancient tower or castle in the middle, abandoned because of former fights between wizards. Would be a reason for new adventures there.