View Full Version : Background Help

12-20-2009, 07:46 AM
I'm tinkering around with a map for a post-apo/sci-fi type setting. Now I'm new at this whole mapping business and I'm using GIMP, which I'm also new at. However I'm having a ton of fun learning. My main problem atm is how to make a background for the map. Like on many fantasy style maps you'd have grassy type background. Well in my case I want a ruined city! Problem is, I have no idea on how to accomplish this.

I've read some tutorials on rivers and mountains and all that hawt stuff. So far adding in the various spots on the map such as those mentioned above, have been fairly easy and with some tinkering I'm sure it'll blend in well. But the background I have absolutely no idea how to make. Any ideas or suggestions perhaps? I'd be extremely grateful. And I do hope I posted this in the right forum, seemed the most appropriate one to me.

12-20-2009, 09:22 AM
First off, welcome to the guild. Secondly, you should post what you have so far so that we can better help you with what you want to accomplish.

Sounds to me like you need to hit the tutorials and hit them hard. Even though you might not find exactly what you're looking for, they will teach you some very important techniques that should point you in the right direction.

If at the end of day you're still stumped, that's what we're here for :)

12-20-2009, 01:52 PM
Thanks for replying. I've spent all day looking at tutorials and experimenting, have a feeling I'll keep doing it for a long time to come.

So far I have mountains, lakes and other such things. I have a pretty decent idea of what else I need and I'm fairly sure I'll be able to figure all that out. The only thing I can not wrap my mind about is how to make the background texture.

Imagine you have a rather large area, one which would take a couple of days to walk across. All that is city, and all of it's been bombed to pieces, so we're talking ruins. That's what I need help with. I just don't even know where to begin. Mountains aren't too difficult to make, but minor elevations though, I could sure use some tips when it comes to that too. So any ideas on where to start for a background texture and also a nice way to make small elevations like hills and such?

12-20-2009, 03:52 PM
I don't think that you're going to find large patterns of ruins. The best you might be able to find are patterns of pebbles and cracks and rocks and blricks and such. For elevations, well, darker colors are lower and lighter colors are higher so maybe airbrush in some colors and set the layer to overlay or soft light or something.

It would be most helpful if you could tell us what software you are using and also an example image of what you're aiming for so that we can understand better.

12-20-2009, 04:01 PM
I believe what you are looking to do is a larger scale of what I typically map. That being said, I usually take a concrete texture and "dirty it up" with cracks, mud, debris (bricks, steel, or stone), or other sci-fi effects. In GIMP - I make a base layer and fill it with a concrete texture and then add layers on top of it to get the desired "dirty" effect. [I would normally provide a link to textures, but my computer crashed a few months back and I'm just now getting it back online.]

As has been mentioned before, if you give us a image of what you're trying to do then we can be more specific in how to get your desired look.

Steel General
12-21-2009, 06:57 AM
Genetica has some textures that may be useful to you (or at least give some inspiration) - take a look here (http://spiralgraphics.biz/packs/terrain_civilization/index.htm).

12-21-2009, 10:10 AM
Holy Cowhandler Batman, that page is fantastic! That's exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking for. Thanks Mr Steel and to everyone who replied. I actually tried using a stone background and then change levels and curves and break it into a mosaic pattern. It definintely created some interesting illusions but it looks too... too much the same but using such a technique I may be able to pull something off. Thanks a bunch fellas.

Steel General
12-21-2009, 10:37 AM
I would suggest you download the free Genetica Viewer - it comes with a bunch of textures of various types. The viewer will allow you to render them at various sizes as well as do some basic manipulation.

I use them all of the time.

12-21-2009, 03:40 PM
Ok so here's what I got so far. The idea is that the mosaik layer is to represent some manner of ruins. The whole thing is on a place with a moon-like surface so there's not a lot of color. The big black thing is supposed to be a chasm, the little blue things are supposed to be very small lakes and the other three big things are supposed to be mountains :P Be kind, it's for a table-top campaign in Mutan Chronicles and it's the first time I use gimp or do anything like this! But please help a fella out and give some feedback :D

PS. I realize I may have used to small size and resolution. And the frame is purely for my own amusement :D

12-22-2009, 03:50 PM
And here's a map of a city I'm tinkering with too. Figured I'd throw that up here for some feedback as well. I really would appreciate some thoughts.