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Thread: Completely Overwhelmed

  1. #1
      voidgere is offline
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    Post Completely Overwhelmed

    First let me state that my admiration for the artistic skill and insight of the members of the Guild is beyond words. The works of art that I have had the pleasure of viewing here everyday is a real treat and I thank everyone for sharing their skill and dedication.

    For seven months I have poured through tutorials and walkthroughs. I have scoured over maps and tiles. I have saved and written down tips, tricks and notes. I have made several attempts to author my own maps, replicate maps from RPG's and novels and some I've seen on the net. I have tried GIMP, Photoshop, Paint, Inkscape, and a slew of other programs all recommended by the fine members of the Guild.

    In the end, it was to no avail. I'm not sure if it is a lack of artistic ability, the inability to manipulate the software properly or just plain lack of comprehension when reading the tutorials, but I cannot seem to make a map of any sort of quality.

    So this is me saying I appreciate all the hard work by all the members who produced the many tutorials out there and those who created all the wonderful maps.

    *EDIT*

    Here is the map I have been trying to edit. Its been flattened and such but I do have the base picture with all the name layers saved as a .psd file. My main goal was to make it more crisp and provide a more photo-realistic version of the file to include with my RPG that I am developing. I found the original map on the net somewhere but lost the url when my HDD crashed. So if anyone recoginzes the map/style or knows the author that would be helpful. The original file name is "TheDuchies.jpg". That was the biggest problem with the clarity of the file. It was a jpg.

    http://i718.photobucket.com/albums/w...TheDuchies.gif
    Last edited by voidgere; 09-24-2009 at 05:09 PM. Reason: Added link to the map.

  2. #2
      NeonKnight is offline
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    Looks good. I cannot give much input as I don't use the software you mentioned.

    What I CAN say, is I am still amazed at the sheer number of maps that come out with the same general shape as one of my old campaign/world maps. Not saying people are copying me, but wondering what is going on inside our brains that we are all coming up with a similarly shaped campaign map.
    Daniel the Neon Knight: Campaign Cartographer User

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    MY 'FAMOUS' CC3 MAPS: Thunderspire; Pyramid of Shadows; King of the Trollhaunt Warrens; Demon Queen's Enclave

  3. #3
      Coyotemax is offline
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    I think part of it is that Europe and Asia put together make such interesting shapes, it's hard to mess with a good thing

    I look at that map, and that's the first thing that pops to mind. AslanC and I are running into the same issues working over his overall world map too, we keep coming back to existing shapes


    Voidgere: Don't be afraid to post your work as you're working on it, if you've been watching the forums you know that people are willing to provide input as you go. When I first started, I didn't think I was that great, it's a matter of practicing and taking feedback into consideration

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

  4. #4
      voidgere is offline
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    By no means am I taking credit for creating this map. Someone else created it and I was just trying to remake the map in a higher resolution and with a more photo-realistic style.

    But try as I may, I could not master the skills to do so. I linked the map in hopes it might inspire someone else as it did me.

    *EDIT*
    I've been using these two tutorials in the hopes that I could create something workable. I was also hoping it would help begin training me in the skills I would need in order to really delve deep into map making:

    Quickstart Guide to Fantasy Mapping.
    [Award Winner] Using GIMP to Create an Artistic Regional RPG Map

    In the end, I got overwhelmed by the number of layers, masks, filters and such and would always make a mistake that would not become evident until I was several steps past and could not reliably back track and fix them. This would result in me having to scrap the working copy and start over. I guess after all was said and done it was the amount of failures that disheartened me. It did this to the point that I wasn't having fun anymore and that saddened me.

    I went into the learning process hoping that the computer would simplify the map making process and I came to realize just how complex and involved making a map with my computer actually was. This was counter productive to the reason I started this pursuit. I will keep working at it (as I never give up on anything), but I just wont have the fervor I did in the beginning.
    Last edited by voidgere; 09-24-2009 at 06:08 PM. Reason: to avoid double post.

  5. #5
    msa
      msa is offline
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    I'd say....

    You're being too hard on yourself!

    The map you made is pretty good. Sure, its not as pretty as many of the others here (not mine, btw, which are only OK). But, at the same time, you haven't been doing it professionally like many of the people here.

    Here are my tips:

    • start small - don't take on too much detail early on... just map a region or a single continent or empire.
    • create your own - its much harder to replicate someone else's work faithfully than to just create something yourself (or randomly: clouds->threshold!).
    • play around - for your early maps, write down what you do, and try it a few times doing different things.
    • get feedback - many of the posters here can almost effortlessly take a part of your map that you hate and help you make it wonderful!
    • don't give up - practice is more important than anything.... just keep plugging away at it and eventually you will be great!

  6. #6
    msa
      msa is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyotemax View Post
    When I first started, I didn't think I was that great, it's a matter of practicing and taking feedback into consideration
    And for the record, Coyotemax is now... after 4 months.... officially GREAT!

  7. #7
      Gidde is offline
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    I'd like to second everything msa just said.

    Your map is MUCH better than my first attempts, lol. I'm still no picasso, but after doing all the things he listed, I'm getting better all the time and starting to feel really proud of the progress I've made.

    You'll start loving your maps too, chin up

    Oh ... and this one bears repeating: while experimenting write EVERYTHING down. Nothing is worse than finally achieving something that looks cool and then not having a clue how to repeat it.

  8. #8
      zenram is offline
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    Well, is hard if you compare yourself with other, many of the people here have done this for years, newbies like us, can only hope that some day we can do a job as good as those of them.

    But.... many pro-maps are not even close to the maps here, so dont be discouraged, just get yourself published.

    XD

    My work is under CC licences, you can see wich one apply in the work itself, if there is no CC logo, you can assume is an: Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence

    Need more rights, just mail me and we can chat about it.

  9. #9
      voidgere is offline
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    Let me say this again...

    I did not make this map

    I am not a fan of plagiarism and just want to be really clear on this subject. I found the map on the net and would love to give credit to the artist but I lost the URL to the original.

    It inspired me to finally sit down and make the RPG I have always wanted to author so I used the map. The quality left something to be desired so I search the net for a way to improve the map for my needs (print quality has to be a minimum of 300dpi). I found the Guild during my search.

  10. #10
      Coyotemax is offline
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    The suggestion to start small and work your way up is good.

    I understand you were looking to create a specific map for a specific project. So try that. Pick just one tutorial and stick with it. follow it word for word, right to the letter. Post your work as you go and ask for suggestions or clarifications. Speaking from experience, the tutorial authors are active on this site and seem very willing to share their views and help clarify points. Plus a number of others on the site have gone through the same tutorials a number of times and can offer helpful suggestions.

    So go ahead, start it from scratch, toss something up here after you get a few steps in when you seem to lose track of what's going on, and let's see if you can't make a masterpiece by the time you're done!

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

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