My Life Story
Hi, newbie here.
I'm a huge fan of fantasy novels. My collection is small, but I hope to expand it further in the future. See, the problem is that on occasions, I would think of an idea for a story that I just have to write down. Then I wouldn't be satisfied with just a sentence or two, and will often try to expand on the idea. I am confident to say that I will never actually write any of them to the end, but it's a fun process nevertheless. However, it's hard to do much with an idea without a sense of the world it's based in. That's the reason why I made my first map.
I've only made about six maps so far, if you can call them that. Before I discovered Gimp, what I did was draw the map by hand, then trace with pen, and used that as a mold to make copies that I can doodle with. Pencil lead don't really scan well. I still draw maps by hand, but I trace the map in Gimp, which allows me a much needed margin for error. Bless the Saint who thought of CTRL + Z.
I don't really do much with the maps other than write down the locations, special area, and such. I tried to fill the map with details once, but it looked so ugly that I only did it one more time before I abandoned my attempts entirely. I've always been unsatisfied with my plain, ugly maps. I really want them to look pretty, but I have no idea how to do it. I am absolutely stunned at some of the maps I've seen and I can hardly believe that they were done with the very program that I've had installed for months, if not a whole year. Earlier, I was just about to purchase the Campaign Cartographer 3 program from Amazon, but the mediocre reviews gave me a pause. One of the reviews(well, review of a review) recommended this site, so here I am.
So yeah... where do I start?
Welcome to the Guild, the Mappiest Place on the Web :D
There got that out of the way ;)
Where to start learning to map with the Gimp....
Step 1 - Join the Guild.....check!
step 2 - Check out Tutorial forum.....specifically look for this one as a starter. A long read but well worth it to get a handle of the basics of the Program.
Step 3 - Work through the tut a few times to get comfortable with the prog.
Step 4 - Post up you work as you go in the WIP (Work In Progress) Forum. Postinng your work here is the BEST way to improve. It is where you can ask any questions you may have and people are very helpful with plenty of suggestions. Don't worry, we don't bite.
Step 5 - Post you finished map in the Finished Maps forum for people to admire :D
Step 6 - Rinse and Repeat :D
There THAT should get you moving in the right direction.
Happy mapping :D
Welcome to the Guild! Korash has already covered the basics. If you follow his advice you should be on your way to learning how to create beautiful maps with GIMP.