View Full Version : Inchoate Tyro Newbie

05-22-2009, 03:25 PM
Hi all,

I'm very new to the forums, and also very very new to trying to map things using computer software. I've done simple hand-drawn maps using ye olde pen and paper, but now, as I find myself prepping to run a sci-fi campaign I find myself in need of computer options.

I'm creating a planet for some friends to use in a Warhammer 40k campaign, and I'm struggling with the drawing of the map. I have sketches on paper, but I need a digital format for the following reasons:
1. Needs to be quickly and easily editable as I will be tracking the movements of their troops
2. I need to be able to easily hide and reveal map information
3. We're operating the "overworld" section of the campaign through digital means (email, chat, etc.)

So that's what brought me here. I tried a few Googley searches for sci-fi terrain tilesets and an editor in which to use them, but had no success. A member over at the other forum where I post a lot (www.yog-sothoth.com) suggested this site, so here I am!

I've browsed the tutorials section a little, but if you have any suggestions for absolute must-reads on how to draw using a computer and mouse (I'm hesitant to shill out the $50+ for a tablet at this point, since I don't know how much I'd use it) please let me know.

Also - I've downloaded GIMP, but have only dabbled mildly, so I'm in need of basic "how to use the damn thing" tutorials as well.


05-22-2009, 05:52 PM
Here is Pasis's Tutorial for Photoshop and most of it can transfer to GIMP minus layer effects which he mentions.

Here is Ascension Excellent "Atlas Style" Tutorial for again Photoshop but again alot of it is similar to GIMP.


And from the Grandfather of GIMP mapping RobA's Tutorial for GIMP.


That should get you started. I use GIMP Exclusivly (with Wilbur) and these three tutorials taught the basics of what I have learned over the past year or so in mapping... There is an entire Tutorial section in the forums (its at the bottom) to exploit. Dont forget to experiment too!

EDIT-> Start with RobA tutorial as its in GIMP and will help with the "how do i use this thing" then go the Photoshop Tutorials so you know what tool/command will do the same thing in GIMP as the one listed for PS.

Steel General
05-22-2009, 05:58 PM
Welcome Aboard!

Lathorien pretty much covered much of what I would have recommended. You really can't beat RobA's tutorial for learning the basics of map making with GIMP.

There are also some tutorials on planet/asteroid creation for Photoshop, but much of it should translate over to GIMP.

Be sure to create a WIP thread in the sci-fi forum so we can see your progress and help you along with any questions, etc.

05-22-2009, 07:12 PM
Welcome to the guild and be sure to post and ask questions if you get lost.

05-23-2009, 02:11 AM
I don't want to hi-jack Jabonko's thread but sure we can help. First thing is post an intro just like Jabonko here did (but you get to be the star of that one). Go to the following link and hit the button that says "new post". Put in a title (something like Hello fellow mappers) and then write up some stuff about yourself and what you need help with and we can go from there.


Don't feel too embarrassed if you don't know much about this sort of forum stuff because I didn't either at first (some would say that I still don't) :) Anyways, hope we see you around and if you get your post right then there will be lots of us around to help you out. Cheers.

03-04-2010, 06:35 PM
I don't know how I missed it, but I can't find any tutorials that translate Ascension's atlas guide into GIMP. Could someone please direct me to one?

03-04-2010, 07:02 PM
You have the one of Gidde here http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?4084-Award-Winner-My-atlas-style-in-PS/page14 (at the post #139) and I advise you to have a look on the following pages (perhaps there is an update of this tuto :)