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Thread: How Do I get Started?

  1. #1
      StarSilver is offline
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    Post How Do I get Started?

    So I have Gimp and mind you I am not an artist, but I 'd like to start using Gimp to build out my worlds,from and city maping to worlds, I create, I need to know where to start. And I am unable to find the solid tutorial to figure out where to 'start' doing any of this stuff.

    I can open layers and the like, but beyond that, its kind of complicated, perhaps someone could port me to the correct beginning tutorials?

  2. #2
      tolcreator is offline
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    The first few of these is a good rough primer on world building:
    Bat in the Attic: A Fantasy Sandbox in Detail Part I

    If you have your world already and just want to map it, here's what I do:
    1) A blank layer, just white.
    2) A land layer. Draw your land in a single flat colour (like green!)
    3) Do "select by colour" on the land.
    4) Create a new layer, called sea. Do select->invert. In bucket fill, choose "whole selection" and fill it with blue.
    5) Create a new layer, called coast. Do select->invert again (this will bring you back to the land selection). Do select->grow (by 1).
    6) Bucket fill it, in black.
    7) Go back to your land layer, and do select by colour on the land.
    Go to your coast layer, and do "cut". You should be left with a 1 pixel wide coast line!

    How to draw your land?
    1) With a great big sized pencil, block out continents. Then reduce the size and add peninsulas and islands. Reduce the size and add in fine details.
    If you want lakes, it's better to change colour, and draw them in pencil (with hard edges) and then select by colour and cut, rather than use the eraser, I find.

    2) Get a map of the real world, and cut out bits. Paste them as layers in your map, resize them, rotate them, change them around, and then flatten all that out to one layer. Use that as a guide to your land drawing as above.

    3) What I'm doing lately, being *super* lazy: As above, but guide nothing. That's your land layer. Maybe do an extra layer underneath it and colour in green, just to fix any holes etc. Do a select by colour on the sea region (I make all sea bits transparent on the original map so I can muck about freely), and you can fill in land and sea later. You can use the "real world" mountains and rivers as guides as well later on, but you don't need to.

    Another thing I'm doing lately, with rivers, is to draw them all the same size at first. Then count their tributaries. 5 tributaries means that river gets bumped up in size (I start at 3, and go in 2 pixel increments). Then 10, 20, 40, 80. I've not gone above 80 yet...

    I usually have a river layer, a mountain layer, a hill layer, a forest layer, etc. I originally used the "ivy" brush on gimp to draw forests, before making my own. There are lots of forest/mountain/hill brushes out there, lots of good ones on this forum alone.

  3. #3
      jtougas is offline
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    The above post is a great start. I find it easiest to start "big" and then work down. I also find that it is helpful to have a fairly solid idea of what you are trying to create. Answer some questions about what you are hoping to accomplish with the map. You don't have to know everything at the start (I NEVER do ) but it is helpful to at least have a guide as to the large features of the map such as mountains and large bodies of water. Map making is as much about the journey as the destination and every journey starts with the first step. Draw something roughly (either by hand or using GIMP) and ask your self if there are any features that you absolutely have to have on the map. Draw those in. Then ask yourself what might be happening around those features when you have the answer, draw those features in. I cannot emphasize enough how helpful it is to hand draw your first rough outlines it will give you a guide to work from and give you a place to jot notes and other things on. Most importantly post your work in a WIP (work in progress) thread in the appropriate forum section. There are many GIMP users here (myself included) that would love to help.
    I am the breath of Dragons...The Song of Mountains...The Stories of Rivers....The Heart of Cities.... I am A Cartographer....

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    Everything I post is free for use and redistribution under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 licence, except where noted otherwise in the thread.

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Here are a few of the Gimp tutorials in the Tutorials forum here. RobA's artistic regional map tutorial is a pretty popular place to start:
    [Award Winner] Using GIMP to Create an Artistic Regional RPG Map
    RobA's Artistic Regional Map in Gimp Tutorial - Revised Presentation (If you'd prefer a pdf version)

    Here's one for a more illustrative style:
    [Award Winner] Fast and Easy Artistic Maps in the GIMP

    Here's an explanation of one of the essential tools in Gimp (and Photoshop)—layer masks:
    [Award Winner] Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP(and PS)
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  5. #5
      terro is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midgardsormr View Post
    Here are a few of the Gimp tutorials in the Tutorials forum here. RobA's artistic regional map tutorial is a pretty popular place to start:
    [Award Winner] Using GIMP to Create an Artistic Regional RPG Map
    RobA's Artistic Regional Map in Gimp Tutorial - Revised Presentation (If you'd prefer a pdf version)

    Here's one for a more illustrative style:
    [Award Winner] Fast and Easy Artistic Maps in the GIMP

    Here's an explanation of one of the essential tools in Gimp (and Photoshop)—layer masks:
    [Award Winner] Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP(and PS)
    Thank you very much for this i use gimp and this is very helpful

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