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Thread: Copying a map onto something big, then writing on something on top.

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      Naeddyr is offline
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    Default Copying a map onto something big, then writing on something on top.

    I've been working on my new map, but I'm a bit stuck with the lettering. I'd really like to be able to write these with a real pen (because, even though I can get it done with my tablet, the results aren't nearly as good as they think they are), then take a photo of the result and paste that on top of the real map.

    Caveats:

    A) I do not have a printer, scanner, printer-scanner or scanner-printer.

    What I'd like to do:

    1) I'd want to somehow make a copy of my map layout on a large picture surface; say, 2 A3 stitched together.
    2) I'd like then to be able to write on top of this on a separate paper layer. The best I can think of is using baking paper, and stapling it to the map underneath. Don't know if oven paper takes ink though. Probably not. EDIT: It doesn't, at all. :TIDE
    3) Then I'd like to scan this, but I don't have a scanner. I guess I could scan it in pieces if I had a scanner, but my brother has a relatively good camera.

    Thing is... The above method is, y'know. And I have no idea how to get my map onto paper, short of printing it out onto separate pieces of paper... hrm. come to think of it, I could do just one bit at a time, if I had a printer. Anyhow, does anyone have any suggestions to any of this? What is a good translucent paper for this sort of thing? Should I just give up and buy a cheap printer-scanner again?

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      DevinNight is offline
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    That seems a long way around things.
    Couldn't you just write everything you need on one piece of paper. Take a nice picture of that then take the pieces and paste them electronically onto a new layer of your map?
    If you make the text very contrasty, you should be able to erase the background of the text and just have the text.. if it has a bit of an edge, try adding a small glow around your text, that will mask the slight white edge.
    If Inkscape can live trace your text, then you can have nice clean text on your map.

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      Naeddyr is offline
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    I want to be able to control the curvature and size in a simple way. Doing it in GIMP means I lose information when rotating, and doing it for each and every letter if I'm curving the text would be a ducal pain. If I scan a black and white image with the help lines erased, I can just adjust contrast and then Color To Alpha the white to get a good-looking layer.

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      moutarde is offline
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    What about drawing a path, and the putting the text onto the path? Either that or do that whole map in raster, text in vector thing that everybody says they do, though I could never figure it out Unless you're going for a jiggled text type thing, which each letter rotating in a different direction. That would be tough

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      Naeddyr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by moutarde View Post
    What about drawing a path, and the putting the text onto the path? Either that or do that whole map in raster, text in vector thing that everybody says they do, though I could never figure it out Unless you're going for a jiggled text type thing, which each letter rotating in a different direction. That would be tough
    If I did that, I'd have to first digitise this (or whatever it looks like by then):



    There will tons of ligatures, special signs, variants, all that stuff. It'll look better if I do the lettering by hand (I can feel the cramps already). Making a font out of that will also magnify everything out of proportion due to repetition; when every <n> looks the same, it's easier to notice an annoying blemish... Plus, it'll look too uniform, and not really real. And I haven't done fonts before, it's a pain.

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      moutarde is offline
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    Yeouch. Well then, for doing this by hand, I would take the map to a kinko's (or any other place that can print it for you), and then stop by a drafting supply store and get yourself some tracing paper. I don't know if you'd be able to find any in individual sheets, but you should be able to get a small roll for not too too much. Then do your stuff and borrow and borrow your brother's camera. Probably a pain, but far simpler than making a font

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      Gidde is offline
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    As someone who just jumped into the deep end of the font pool, I'd like to confirm that yes, creating a font out of what Naeddyr posted would indeed be a royal pain

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    I use tracing vellum, as moutarde suggested. The stuff is pretty cheap, and one roll should last you a good long time. Here's my process:

    First, I put in some dummy labels in Photoshop, around 40% opacity so they'll be visible but not too obtrusive as I do my hand lettering. This ensures that I don't miss something I'd intended to label when I've got the calligraphy pen or brush out. Ink always intimidates me, so I try not to give myself too many opportunities to screw up with it.

    Next, a layer of registration marks: just little crosses here and there so that I can easily line things back up when I go to translate the hand lettering back to the map. Then I print the map at full size in overlapping sections, making sure that each label is intact on at least one sheet. If I feel it's necessary, I might trim the prints and assemble them with invisible tape into a complete map, but usually I work with each section on its own.

    I tape down the map, then tape some vellum over it. I make matching crosses over all of the visible registration marks, then start doing my lettering. If I make a mistake, I mark it without defacing it (just in case I decide I can use it after all), pull the vellum up and put down a new piece--the correct labels remain done, and I can simply erase the mistakes back in PS.

    Once I have all the labels and drawings done, I scan each piece of vellum and put those scans at the top of the layer stack. I set each scan's blend mode to multiply, so the white vanishes, and I then line up the registration marks with the originals. If a label needs to be adjusted slightly, a quick lasso-and-move usually does the trick. Sometimes I can even do a small distort to improve a curve or tidy something up.

    Once all of the labels are properly positioned, I add a layer mask to each scan layer and mask out the registration marks and errors. Then I open up the Levels and adjust until the paper color is gone. Sometimes I need to mask out the corners a bit, since my scanner tends to make them a bit grayer than the rest of the page.

    Finally, I turn off the dummy text and the electronic registration marks, and it's done!
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

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      Hai-Etlik is offline
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    You could print out a section of the map in a light, high saturation colour (blue/cyan is traditional) then write on it in black. You can then scan it and remove the blue lines easily leaving just the black.

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      Naeddyr is offline
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    Midwardworm, thanks for the detailed tips, that was about what I was thinking. Now I just have to find out what tracing vellum is called in Finnish...

    Hal-Etlik, that also sounds feasible. It would be simpler.

    Well, I guess I'm getting a scanner after all. I thought I saw a sale on one somewhere...

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