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Boethius61
11-06-2009, 07:27 PM
Hello folks,

I joined the guild about a week ago and, after learning a great deal, am posting my first map. Kind of a thank you and intro rolled into one.

Warning - I'm long winded. ;)

The Setting
Just so things make sense I am going to give a little (very little) info about the campaign setting the map was designed for.

In essence the world is broken (I call it the Broken World Campaign). It was broken from the beginning. When the celestial dragon (don't worry about it), brought the elemental orbs (again don't worry about it) together they didn't stick. All the elements instead scattered and created regions of iconic elemental intensity. (I use the term element here loosely. I have about 20. Fire, stone, sun, metal, plant, animal, time, storm, etc.) Thus the map has very segregated zones. Hence, there is a zone of intense forest while the rest of the world is tree light.

Also, people fight for control of the orbs and thus the elements. If you control an orb you wield enormous power over that element and its region. Therefore, it may seem that things look unnatural and wierd . . . they are supposed to! For example, the mountains look odd. That is because they are not natural, there is a will behind them. They are formed to serve the whim of the orb master not because of plate tec. etc.

Background - before the guild
For interest sake I am including my original terrible map that I am replacing. This was my pre-guild map in GIMP (yes, you can make something this bad in gimp).

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The Tools
GIMP - I used GIMP exclusively (with the felimage plugin). I already had it and there was a great tutorial available. Which leads to . . .

RobA's Regional Tutorial - fantastic tool btw. I know it is not for world maps but it suited my purpose (the world is small).

RobA's Simple Mountain Tutorial - because it is better than the mountains in his other tutorial.

Gidde's Textured Forest Tutorial - holy layers batman!

The Tweeks
After working through all the Tuuts I had a much better understanding of GIMP and its applications. I made the following tweeks to get the results I wanted. I like some of them so I'm including them incase others find them useful.

1) Dirt and Grass texture - I put the same bump maps from the grass into the dirt so that all the land rise and fall together. I found it produced a more unified image.

2) River Valleys (this is a good one)- I had a river and sea mask (the land mask after the rivers were added) just sitting there. So I duplicated it and gave it a bit of a gaus blur then used it as a bump map on the grasslands layer. It created a great texture. All the rivers are in valleys and the land drops away at the sea. Very happy with this one.

3) Colored Mountains with green valleys- I liked the results of the mountains tuut but not the color. They were either very silver grey or all grass and dirt from the grass layer. So I put a new layer in with a brown color (one of the roof browns from the city pallette) Applied the already existing mountain mask blurred it (the mask that is) and lowered the transparency to a color I liked. I was then able to take my airbrush (low, low settings) and carefully and slowley brush the mask in black to let the green of the grasslands layer show through in the valleys.

4) Lava - I liked one of GIMP's standard patterns for the landscape of a region of fire and lava. Very cracked earth! I then used RobA's clip technique to isolate the cracks made a mask (had to nudge it to make it line up since it grabbed the light edge not the base of the crack). Used the mask on a cloud noise+orange color gradient map.

5) More tree height - I wanted to create a greater variety of tree height and colour. First I did a color gradient for the forest fill and shading. Then when I got to the bumps1 section of Gidde's tuut I selectively bump mapped the areas with increasing depths. You can really see how the top trees are quite low but the bottom trees get quite deep.

6) Hills - I wanted hills instead of mountains so I used the mountains proceedure but left out the angular fill layer. This created a rounder lumpier terrain than the mountains.

Everything else was a minor tweek.

The Map
At long last . . . the (semi) final result.
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Props to the guild esspecially the GIMP tuut writers RobA and Gidde.

Steel General
11-06-2009, 07:35 PM
Quite the change from the first image to the second. This is quite nice.

Ascension
11-06-2009, 08:40 PM
That second one is more dramatic for sure but the first one has quite a lot of charm to it.

Gidde
11-08-2009, 11:58 AM
Have some rep for posting your first map! I really like that volcano.

Glad you found the tut useful, and yeah, it has a plethora of layers ;)

RobA
11-08-2009, 09:53 PM
Nice maps! Nice to know the tut was helpful.

Could you post them as jpg or png so the will open in browser?

Txs-

-Rob A>

Boethius61
11-09-2009, 05:55 PM
Thank you, and yes all future posts will be in jpg. Sorry, I didn't know.

Noon
11-10-2009, 03:49 PM
Your first map wasn't so terrible. It looks like an illustration and I'm sure that it's possible to improve it while retaining this style.

However, the new map is very nice.