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geoff_nunn
07-30-2009, 04:26 PM
Here is my first map made using a combination of GIMP and RPG City Generator. I merged and modified the techniques discussed in RobA's regional map tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1142) and Pyrandon's city map tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1150). Both of which are fantastic!

A bit about the map...
This map was created as part of a D&D 3.5 campaign that I am running. My players have been operating out of the town for a bit and the map legend reflects things that are important to them rather than to a general visitor to the town.

Fenwatch is a small border town and layover stop on the Eastern Tradeway running out of the kingdom of Turimor. The town is home to the Wayshepherds Mercenary Guild who provide escorts to the caravans that move along the Tradeway.

The town also runs a brisk trade in magical and alchemical reagents and is famous for its hogs which are specially bred to root out magic ingredients in the surrounding swamps.

ravells
07-30-2009, 04:53 PM
A goodly start! But I would suggest desaturating the green...it's quite loud <s>

If you need to find a colour just download a photo of a trees from above and use the colour picker on a 5x5 average setting...or just play with it.

Redrobes
07-30-2009, 05:04 PM
Cool map ! Would fit well into the CWBP Thrubland region too :D

Gandwarf
07-30-2009, 05:22 PM
Well, have some reputation for posting your first map. And a city map at that... great, I love cities :D

Anyway, I would definitely suggest toning down the green colors a bit. At the moment the forest is sticking out, while you want the town to stick out. Otherwise all the elements work pretty well together. Next time you might want to give some of the houses a different color to give the impression they have different roofs (making the town seem a bit more organic).

geoff_nunn
07-30-2009, 05:25 PM
A goodly start! But I would suggest desaturating the green...it's quite loud <s>

Yeah, I agree about the green. I have a version of the map with a desaturating color filter that I actually like better than this version color-wise. I will probably upload it when I get back to the computer where the original GIMP file is stored.

When I colorized the forest layer, I used a couple of dark olives, but when I normalized the selection, everything turned super vivid.

geoff_nunn
07-30-2009, 05:39 PM
Next time you might want to give some of the houses a different color to give the impression they have different roofs (making the town seem a bit more organic).

Thanks for the rep!

The buildings were definitely the toughest part for me. I was trying to adapt Pyrandon's PS city tutorial to GIMP. Unfortunately, the PS version uses a layer style of bevel and emboss while creating the buildings, which is not available in GIMP.

When I applied the bevel filter to the building layer, the bevel was not as sharp as I was hoping for and the emboss filter always turned the buildings a light gray, almost silvery color regardless of what they looked like before.

I ended up using several different layers at various levels of transparency. A bevel and emboss layer for shape
A shingle texture for, well... texture
a color overlay to get rid of the silvery sheen caused by the embossing filter
and several blending overlays.

I did a lot of experimenting with things while working on the buildings and feel like my process and final product wound up a little muddy in that regard. I intend to revisit this on my next map... possibly after downloading some python scripts to help me more easily modify textures and the like.

geoff_nunn
07-31-2009, 06:23 AM
Okay, here's an updated version of the map. I added a couple filter layers to the forest to give it a gloomier look more appropriate to a swamp. I also added a colored overlay to the buildings to add some variety to the roof colors in an effort to create a more organic look. Then, just for fun, I put together a heraldric seal for the town featuring two boars rampant with a potion flask between.

Gandwarf
07-31-2009, 06:26 AM
Ah, much better. Some great improvements. Forest looks good and doesn't draw all the attention anymore. Love the heraldric shield!

Coyotemax
07-31-2009, 06:32 AM
very nice!!
I especially love the bit about the hogs, and the way you did the fields.

Steel General
07-31-2009, 07:47 AM
Very nice for your first attempt, and you updates make it even better.

The only thing I really don't care for all that much is the trees, they still look more like green hills to me. *shrugs*

msa
07-31-2009, 12:56 PM
I like the colors on the revised map a lot. I think they are very synchronous with the region and the theme. Really nice work.

It looks like you used a cloud layer to make the forests, which may be why people are confusing it with mountains? I used a different technique to make forests in GIMP for this map:

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=5622

1. Select the wooded regions
2. Feather the selections
3. Fill with correlated RGB noise (filter->noise->rgb noise and check the correlated option)
4. Blur slightly (maybe 2-5 px)
5. Duplicate the layer
6. Emboss
7. Set the layer to overlay
8. Use a threshold on the other layer to create the colored sections

That will give you a different texture for the woods that you may or may not like better. I may not have accurately got that all right, btw, so you may have to play with the technique to make it work for you.

geoff_nunn
07-31-2009, 01:17 PM
Thanks for all the feedback everyone!



The only thing I really don't care for all that much is the trees, they still look more like green hills to me. *shrugs*

I go back and forth on the trees myself. I used the technique described in RobA's artistic regional map tutorial to generate them. He uses the same technique to generate his tress as he does to make his hills, so it makes sense that the results would look similar.

I think the issue may be more apparent in my map because I am using a regional map technique on a city map scale.

Steel General
07-31-2009, 01:28 PM
That's what I figured... you may want to check the tutorial section again, there may be another tutorial on doing trees in GIMP.

geoff_nunn
07-31-2009, 01:36 PM
msa,

Thanks for the recommendation! I definitely do like the look of your trees , but they look like they are scaled for a map that covers a much larger region. I suspect I might get the opposite problem from people thinking my trees look like mountains. They might think they look to much like bushes or ground-cover.

That being said...
I really struggled on this map while making the areas of underbrush at the edge of the forest. I wound up hand painting them using the 'vine' brush option in GIMP and applying some noise and bump maps for depth. I think your trees would make better bushes, hedges or orchards at a city level than what I came up with for this map.

msa
07-31-2009, 02:46 PM
Thanks for the recommendation! I definitely do like the look of your trees , but they look like they are scaled for a map that covers a much larger region. I suspect I might get the opposite problem from people thinking my trees look like mountains. They might think they look to much like bushes or ground-cover.

Yeah, I agree about the scale and my map, but I was ok with that. I just wanted them to indicate forest, but not actually be to scale.

I believe if you increase the blur you would get much larger 'treetops', so you might be able to increase the scale for your map. Like, blur 10-20 instead of 2-5 which, you are right, is too small for the scale of your map.

Gandwarf
07-31-2009, 02:49 PM
Just wanted to chime in and say the forest doesn't look like mountains to me :)

Now that you are discussing it: yes, I can see why people could mistake them for mountains or cliffs. However, to me there was and is no doubt they are forests.

Jykke
07-31-2009, 03:11 PM
It's a forest. :P