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View Full Version : My First WIP - The Launch Tower of Yelmn



DavidVS
06-20-2009, 04:46 AM
Hi!

I'm going to try to make a nice map using only Inkscape.

Here is what I did tonight:

14291

I am new to mapping, and to Inkscape. But the Inkscape tutorials are very nice, so even a newbie has some ability.

I am composing my work-in-progress in tutorial form, both for my own review ("to teach is to learn twice") and for the benefit of anyone who has never used Inkscape.

This map is for a role-playing-game adventure that my wife and I have almost completed playing. The entire adventure will eventually appear here (http://davidvs.net/rpg/index.shtml) in its own page among the "Adventures" section of the table of contents.

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(A) Set Up the Document

Create a new document.

(Note: Inkscape has two sets of tutorials. I will write this so neither is needed, but all of the built in set (in the menu bar go to [Help > Tutorials] and the first three tutorials of the online set (the two flags and hiking club logo at http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/QuickStart.html) are quick and highly recommended.)

Use Ctrl-Shift-D to open the Document Properties window.
In the Page tab, change the size to 800 pixels wide and 600 pixels tall.
In the Grids tab, make a new grid that is 20 pixels in both X and Y spacing.
In the Snap tab, enable snapping (usually checked already) for nodes but not bounding box corners. Have snap to objects when closer than 10 pixels, but disable the threshold for snap to grids.

Use [Layer > Rename Layer] to rename our only layer "PC Map".
Use [Layer > Add Layer] to create a new layer named "Background and Grid" below the current "PC Map" layer.
Use the Layers window (from [Layer > Layers] or Ctrl-Shift-L) to set the Opacity of the "Background and Grid" layer to 20%.
Close the Layers window.

Open the Fill and Stroke window with either Ctrl-Shift-F or clicking the lower left corner of the main window where the selected object's fill and stroke are shown. This window will stay open the entire time, unless otherwise specified.

Click the Commands Bar button "Zoom to Fit Page in Window".

(Feel free to create a few rectangles to test the grid snap. The shortcut for rectangle tool is F4. The shortcuts for selector tool are F1 and the space bar. Remove the rectangles with undo (Ctrl-Z) or the delete key.)

Use [Effects > Render > Grid] to create a grid of line width 0.2, horizontal and vertical spacing 20. Be careful to only click "apply" once.
Select the grid, and in the Fill and Stroke window, Stroke Paint tab, change its color to light blue (B3B3FFFF).
Make sure this image is selected. Use [Layer > Move Selection to Layer Below] or Shift-PageDown to move the grid to the "Background and Grid" layer.
Make sure the "Background and Grid" layer is selected in the pull-down menu at the bottom of the main window. Lock this layer by clicking on the lock symbol next to that pull-down menu. Use the pull-down menu to return to the layer "PC Map". Now the background and grid will no longer be selected with the selection tool.

Use [File > Import] or Ctrl-I to import the .jpg image "Paper.jpg". Use the selector tool to move it so it covers the page.

(Alternately, open the Align and Distribute window (use [Object > Align and Distribute] or Ctrl-Shift-A) and with the drop-down menu set to "page" click the buttons to bring the selected image in line with either side of the page, and the top or bottom of the page. Then close the Align and Distribute window.)

(Note: Before exporting our work to a .png file, use [Layer > Layer to Top] of Ctrl-Shift-Home to move the "Background and Grid" layer to the top. This puts the grid lines above all of the map, as is traditional for a role-playing-game map.)

These background image was made from an original freely available at http://www.3dplace.net/. Gimp was used to resize it to 800 by 600.

(B) Create the Floor and Walls of the Tower's First Floor

Use the circle tool (F5) to draw a circle 160 pixels (8 grid-boxes) in diameter.

Use [File > Import] or Ctrl-I to import the .jpg image "WoodFloor.jpg". There is no need to resize or move it as long as it does not cover the circle. Actually, even if it did you could use Alt-Click to select the circle under the image.
Make sure this wood floor image is selected, then use Object to Pattern (Alt-I).
Make sure this wood floor image is selected, then copy this image (Ctrl-C).
Select the circle and use Paste Style (Ctrl-Shift-V) to give the circle the fill pattern from the object.
Delete the wood floor image.

In the Fill and Stroke window, go to the Fill tab.

Use [File > Import] or Ctrl-I to import the .jpg image "BrickWall.jpg". There is no need to resize or move it as long as it does not cover the circle. Actually, even if it did you could use Alt-Click to select the circle under the image.
Make sure this brick wall image is selected, then use Object to Pattern (Alt-I). In the Fill and Stroke window, notice the name assigned to the brick wall pattern.
In the Fill and Stroke window, go to the Stroke Style tab and change the width to 10 pixels.
In the Fill and Stroke window, go to the Stroke Paint tab and give the circle a patterned stroke color by clicking the fifth box in the row of stroke types at the top of that tab. Below appears a pull-down menu of patterns. The two newly created patterns are at the top of the list. Pick the brick wall pattern.
Delete the brick wall image.

These two images were made from originals freely available at http://www.3dplace.net/. Gimp was used to scale them to squares of side 100 pixels and 80% opacity.

(C) Create the First Door

Use [File > Import] or Ctrl-I to import the .jpg image "Door.png".
Open the Transform window with [Object > Transform] or Ctrl-Shift-M. Go to the Scale tab. Enter a width of 20 and height of 35, in pixels.
Make sure this door image is selected, then click "apply" in the Transform window.
Close the Transform window.

Move the door to cover the very bottom of the circle. It will snap to a place slightly too far left or right. Use Alt and the arrow keys to move it one pixel at a time the 10 required scooches to center it.

The door image was made from clip art available at http://www.geocities.com/detroits_own_princess/clipart/dungeon/index.html. Gimp was used to crop the image, change it to a transparent background, and do 80% opacity.

That's all for today...

DavidVS
06-20-2009, 12:31 PM
Hm. While falling asleep I realized a few things.

First, I should clarify that the Inkscape "Document Properties" grid is never visible. Thus we need to render a visible one for the map. Perhaps some software applications provide an option to make the snap-grid also visible.

Second, a fill or stroke that is a flat color can have its opacity changed independent of the object's overall opacity. But not so if the fill or stroke has a linear gradient, radial gradient, or pattern. Thus I decided to "lighten" the patterns in GIMP before using them. Furthermore, I'll be wanting a rectangular room partly "behind" the created circle, so I want the circle 100% opaque to hid the rectangle's covered walls completely.

Third, the background image, as light as it is, does affect the colors of the rest of the map when its layer is brought to the top. So I should make *two* extra locked low-opacity layers, one for background and a second for grid. Then, before I export to .png, I can bring the grid to the top by leave the background image at the very bottom.

I'd like a more scroll-like background image, but am not sure how to do that.

Any other feedback from those who know mapping or Inkscape better than I?

DavidVS
06-23-2009, 01:05 AM
Today I was fiddling a bit with how Firefox can display .svg files, and discovered (as I had guessed) that the .svg vector-art file does not include patterns such as the ones I imported above.

So I'm abandoning this line of progress. I want my maps to be plain .svg files without attachments. I'll find another way to make them prettier than my first two vector-art maps.