View Full Version : [taken][unpaid]A sad request, from a failure of a mapper...

09-27-2009, 07:41 AM
Okay, so.. Before anyone jumps on me for asking people to do my work myself let me say, I did try. I tried my damn best to no end, again, and again, and again to recreate this map only to find it just unbearable, or to find myself confused and dazed as to what the hell I am doing. Do not get me wrong, the many gimp tutorials here are wonderful and they pushed me far, but reading a guide and looking at screen shots is just not my best method of learning I guess.

With this said, at last I have broke my will in trying and ask simply if anyone can recreate a more detailed version of a map I already have, this map is going to be for a campaign I am running coming up within the next week or so, although how long you need/want to take on making it is up to whomever finds time to do so.

I guess my biggest problem is my heart is set on this one solid setting, and NOTHING I have seen aside from this very bland map, which is very well made also (A good friend online made it for me) and I want nothing more than it's layout.

Here is the map I am using as a base reference...


Now, to fully understand what I am trying to create and to give to whomever want's to take this project up let me tell you a little about this region in itself. The first thing I want you to note is that anything labeled I am taking out, just the basic landmass and rivers/mountains/forest/ect are to remain. I tried my BEST to use this to get some coastlines in but I would always get stuck mess up and just have to restart from nothing...

The main focus is that split in the middle really, the mountain range in the center separates the grass lands of the south from the barrens and desert of the north. Basically think of it as a good/bad spilt with everything good in the southern region, the vast rolling plains, the dense forests, rich rivers; and the bad being in the north, the barren wastes, rocky deserts, swamp lands.

Really I have tried, and I will continue to try even after posting this, but if anyone takes the time to even read and look this over I would be more than appreciative of there time and work.


09-27-2009, 09:18 AM
There's two ways to go about this one. The more ultimately satisfying one would be to post your attempt, tell us where you think you went wrong or what steps you're having trouble with, and you'll get a lot of helpful tips and advice, and learn more than you ever though possible. You'll likely end up with something you're very proud of - and have the satisfaction of knowing it's all yours.

That having been said, I understand the level of frustration you describe, can't be easy knowing you're under time constraints while learning something new, heh. I've started playing around with the map a bit myself, testing out a few things, and it's actually coming along very quickly. I just needed a break from the other projects on the go, heh. And I'm learning a few things along the way while I mix and match styles, which is another bonus :)

You didn't really say what kind of style you were after, so I jsut went with my first impluse. An antique/hand drawn style would actually be quite a bit easier, it's got a decent base to start with.

Anyway, here's what I have so far.. (but I still highly recommend picking one tutorial that catches your fancy, and posting your progress)

Oh, I should probably ask about that river, it would be unusual for a river to choose to go through a mountain range like this one shows :)

09-27-2009, 09:40 AM
Thanks for the advice, and I will do that.

All I have to say, is how the hell do you do that?

I was using this - Wonderfully made Tut. (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1142) - and I do mean that, it was going well... But, every-time I would do my coast it was so dull, I tried experimenting with different levels of Blur, and the Noise but nothing seemed to make it look natural enough for me. I think my biggest problem is I know what I want, I just have no clue on how to get from A to B right now seeing as I -JUST- started using Gimp.

Sadly, I would give up and start from nothing before I even got my Sea done and after about 10 or 11 goes I said I may as well just ask someone. I want to do it myself, I really do but learning through reading is hard for me due to personal traits. I always have learned best hands on with a teacher/someone who knows more than I down my neck giving me advice and such as I went along.

Thank you, and that start-up is just brilliant. It is amazingly the exact style I wanted as well, How did you do that from scratch?

I am going to work on a base again, starting from scratch and I will post a WIP Thread in about 10-20 minutes, thanks so much.

09-27-2009, 10:04 AM
To be honest, the coastline is right off your map, with a bit of a ripple effect to break up the straighter and smoothly curved edges. I just used a magic wand tool to select the ocean areas, removed the text from the selection, then filled it on it's own layer.

After that I used a combination of the masking tips presented by craggles, and layer styles as per Pasis' "Raising up mountains" tutorial - but those are pretty photoshop specific. From what I understand it's a tad difficult translating photoshop tutorials into gimp, due to the differences between how they each handle layers.. but we have some high ranking Gimp experts on this site, so you should find plenty of help in that regard.

Really, the thing to remember is that things aren't actually as difficult as they seem at first. Don't be afraid to experiment a bit - but wait until you understand what each step is doing before you start tweaking it around :) As you're just starting with gimp (as with any tool) I recommend playing around with the different tools for awhile, get a feel for how some of them work. Then break into your tutorial, and follow the steps exactly. Then go back and start playing with the different settings and see what happens. As you do that, you'll start getting more of a feel for how different setting affect what you're doing. Then before you know it, you'll be teaching us new tricks! (don't laugh, I've seen it happen)

09-27-2009, 11:04 AM
You said no labels?

How's this? I took a bit of a liberty with the river, so it's now two rivers that start on either side of your major mountain peak. I think it kind of adds to the symmetry effect.

the northlands do look a little toxic and unfriendly if I do say so myself :)

09-28-2009, 07:35 AM

It's like you pulled it right from my mind, seriously. I can not thank you enough, and I will be using this for my campaign! Thanks, really.

Even though I have this, I do plan on working more on my own, for the sole purpose of completing it myself and saying I did something I thought I could not.

Brilliant man, thanks!

09-28-2009, 11:21 AM
Oh absolutely keep working on yours. I was figuring this would help take the pressure off, you can use this until you get your own done. tell you what, I'll put a high quality version up on my FTP site and you can download it at yor leisure.

I looked up Gimp's file handling, it says it can read PSD so I'll make that available, I don't believe I used any particularly special effects with it, most of this is simple texture work with a bit of masking for the ocean/river layers, and the rest is transparencies. I'll put up an uncompressed TIFF as well, in case you have issues with the psd. Assuming gimp reads the psd properly, you can see how it's put together, and maybe use it as inspiration for your own, too. and if not, then at least you'll have the tiff version ;) This way you can go about adding your own labels too (I'm making the assumption you'll be printing this out at some point. btter quality makes you happier, lol)

Once everything is set up, I'll PM you with details.

09-30-2009, 12:43 AM
Just a word of warning... GIMP handles OLDER *.psd files. At some point Adobe decided that the PSD coding should change and that they wouldn't make those changes publicly known. So old-format PSDs are all shiney and dandy... recent ones may not work...

09-30-2009, 12:53 AM
Excellent point to bring up. We seem to have options covered though, but will keep that in mind for future reference!

09-30-2009, 12:58 AM
Coyotemax, you're gratious and inspiring. (I tried rep'ing you again, but apparently I've got to find some new victims and spread it around a little first.)

BlueDay, go get 'em. Make it yours! You're doing fine already, and the extra skills will come with experience. We have faith. We're all behind you! Rock that map!

09-30-2009, 01:21 AM
I've gotten so much out of this site, I just want to give back some of that and pass it along for other new folk.

I firmly believe you get out of life what you put into it, and I try to bring that philosophy into all I do.

Sometimes I even succeed :)

09-30-2009, 07:25 AM
BlueDay, you might get better results if you get the Felimage Noise plugin; the vanilla Solid Noise doesn't get small enough for me to be happy with coast results either.

I can confirm that gimp can read up to Photoshop CS3, as I just imported a bunch of place names for my Middle Earth map from it. Not sure about CS4 though.