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Thread: First Map in GIMP

  1. #1
      nolgroth is offline
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    Post First Map in GIMP

    Hi all,
    I've been a lurker about these parts and I have to say that I really enjoy a lot of the maps I have seen. Many of the tutorials have been great too. As I love maps, it is no surprise that I have been experimenting with creating them. After a halted attempt at following RobA's "Artistic Region in GIMP" tutorial, I decided to start with something a little less grand. So I followed some instructions that I found here:
    http://forums.rpghost.com/showthread...8&page=1&pp=25

    And came up with the attached map. I've already started adapting techniques from other sources into this map and I hope to have the other "pieces" of the map finished soon. I have the XCF file and a non-labeled players' map as well, should anybody be interested.

    Any comments or suggestions would be welcome. Thank you.

    -James

  2. #2
      torstan is offline
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    Very nice! I'd suggest either going with a stronger grid than you have or removing it altogether. As it stands it's just a bit too faint to be useful. Also, I'd suggest that you don't have the walls casting a shadow onto the top of the doors - it makes it look like the doors are painted on to the floor rather than rising up from the floor. Note that most VTTs can lay down a grid so it is not really necessary to have a grid at all if this is meant for VTT play.

    It might also be nice to have the water as a transparent fill, rather than the opaque fill you've got there. You'd need to extend the floor texture under the area the water covers (if you haven't already). Then see what it looks like if you switch the water layer mode to hard light or soft light. Try duplicating the water layer and having one as a hard or soft light layer, and the other as a normal layer with low opacity.

    That's a very usable map, and a great first shot with Gimp. Is there anything you would like to do differently about this map?
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      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolgroth View Post
    Hi all,
    I've been a lurker about these parts and I have to say that I really enjoy a lot of the maps I have seen. Many of the tutorials have been great too. As I love maps, it is no surprise that I have been experimenting with creating them. After a halted attempt at following RobA's "Artistic Region in GIMP" tutorial, I decided to start with something a little less grand. So I followed some instructions that I found here:
    http://forums.rpghost.com/showthread...8&page=1&pp=25

    And came up with the attached map. I've already started adapting techniques from other sources into this map and I hope to have the other "pieces" of the map finished soon. I have the XCF file and a non-labeled players' map as well, should anybody be interested.

    Any comments or suggestions would be welcome. Thank you.

    -James
    Pretty good so far James. One thing you want to be careful with is the drop shadows. They make things look like they are floating above a surface in many cases. I would simply add a bevel to the background "gray" layer and this will make the "cut out" sections appear inset into the gray background. Also, everything looks raised except your doors. They look rather flat compared to the surrounding walls.

    Others may have more tips(and probably better).

    Joe
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      nolgroth is offline
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    The "grid" is actually a bevel added to the floor texture. After seeing it in action, I probably won't replicate that again. The true grid is a hidden layer in the XCF file at this point.

    The water is a layer above the floor and I just couldn't find a satisfactory (to me) layer mode. I like the water as is, but I'll try the method you suggested.

    The doors are the one thing I'd do differently. I was trying to find a method that works. Right now, the doors are made from filling a small pencil with texture and throwing a bevel on them. The only problem is that I wanted to make sure that they were straight, so I used a snap which places them under the walls. I am probably going to mess with that as well.

    Thanks much for your input. After I play with the water a bit, I'll post another JPG file here for comparison.

    -James

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      RPMiller is offline
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    Hm... There is only one person I know of with the nick of nolgroth and a real name of James... Although I'm sure he would have used hexes instead of squares.

    Welcome to the Guild James! Thanks for sharing the map and I look forward to seeing how your maps progress.
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      nolgroth is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPMiller View Post
    Hm... There is only one person I know of with the nick of nolgroth and a real name of James... Although I'm sure he would have used hexes instead of squares.
    Hey RP!

    Yeah, would have used hexes if I had taken the time to find some sort of hex making tool. As it was, I was just following the tutorial and adapting. As you can see in the posted update, I have gotten rid of the "grid" altogether. Wasn't doing it for me. I like the Solid Noise Overlay that added a "mottled" look. Even had a side effect of making the water look even better.

    Welcome to the Guild James! Thanks for sharing the map and I look forward to seeing how your maps progress.
    Honestly, this map turned out way better than I expected. The doors were a PitA and I am still not 100% into liking them. Better than the first attempt though.

    For the moment, I am going to continue using this particular technique to finish up a series of "portions" to a larger dungeon. Been playing around at running a short diversion from the Gemini game. Felt really like going "old school" with dungeons and all that.

    And then I am going to attack that Regional map project.

    For this version, I remade the doors and moved the Doors layer up above the Drop Shadow. I turned down the Drop Shadow layer opacity to 70% from 80%. I messed with the water technique described by torstan and I am not sure if I like it better or not. Any lower opacity and it looks like a discolored blob.

    Next step is to post a key and write-up for this section.

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      torstan is offline
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    The doors are looking better. I'd reduce the saturation on them a bit as they really stick out at the moment. If you are feeling particularly enthusiastic then they would also benefit from their own drop shadow - probably best done as an all round outer glow rather than placed off to one side if they are to be manipulated independently in a VTT.

    You said you were willing to post a xcf? If so, I would quite like to have a fiddle with the water if you were willing. I will obviously entirely understand if you would prefer me to keep my nose out If you do, note that you can't post xcfs directly - they need to be zipped and posted instead.
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      RPMiller is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolgroth View Post
    Hey RP!
    Haha! It is you. And the interwebs get that much smaller.

    Quote Originally Posted by nolgroth View Post
    Yeah, would have used hexes if I had taken the time to find some sort of hex making tool. As it was, I was just following the tutorial and adapting. As you can see in the posted update, I have gotten rid of the "grid" altogether. Wasn't doing it for me. I like the Solid Noise Overlay that added a "mottled" look. Even had a side effect of making the water look even better.

    Honestly, this map turned out way better than I expected. The doors were a PitA and I am still not 100% into liking them. Better than the first attempt though.

    For the moment, I am going to continue using this particular technique to finish up a series of "portions" to a larger dungeon. Been playing around at running a short diversion from the Gemini game. Felt really like going "old school" with dungeons and all that.

    And then I am going to attack that Regional map project.

    For this version, I remade the doors and moved the Doors layer up above the Drop Shadow. I turned down the Drop Shadow layer opacity to 70% from 80%. I messed with the water technique described by torstan and I am not sure if I like it better or not. Any lower opacity and it looks like a discolored blob.

    Next step is to post a key and write-up for this section.
    Excellent all around. Glad to have another Herophile filling up the ranks, and I look forward to seeing more of your mapping. Now if I could just find the time to map... I guess I have about another 2 - 3 years until my time is freed up.
    Bill Stickers is innocent! It isn't Bill's fault that he was hanging out in the wrong place.

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  10. #10
      nolgroth is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by torstan View Post
    The doors are looking better. I'd reduce the saturation on them a bit as they really stick out at the moment. If you are feeling particularly enthusiastic then they would also benefit from their own drop shadow - probably best done as an all round outer glow rather than placed off to one side if they are to be manipulated independently in a VTT.
    I'll give that a try.

    You said you were willing to post a xcf?
    I did and here it is. Enjoy.

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